While I did not come from a privileged background, I have been lucky enough to be born in a family where all my basic needs are met. My family supported me as much as they can so that I can pursue my interests. Every now and then, they would buy me luxuries like the Playstation or a Nokia phone. Beyond this however, my family was always conscious of how much we were spending. We did not eat out often. We never really travelled outside of our city. We never really bought clothes often. The only reason I would attend an elite school from the Philippines is that I received a full scholarship with stipend. The only reason I would go to graduate school in Europe is that I was granted a scholarship from the EU.
Not coming from a rich family, I always have to budget what I spend my money on. Even now that I am working in a top business school, I still have to save and plan so that I can buy a house in the future.
To help me with this, I have been using the app You Need A Budget (YNAB) for the last 5 years. It is a personal finance app that lets you track where you spend your money so that you can save and invest more. It’s based on this philosophy that you have to always dedicate every penny to something. For example, if you end up spending on restaurant, you have to divert that money away from your clothing budget.