Top 8 Brutally Honest Money Tips for Filipinos. Seriously.

Filipinos are apparently boastful and naive when it comes to money. This was quantified during a financial literacy survey headlined by Philippine Daily Inquirer with "Filipinos as money ‘experts’: Clueless on bonds, stocks, loans." 

I don't claim to be a financial expert but I know enough and I care so much for people around me but educating them seems to be hard so I just hope they read this and the rest of millions of Filipinos who haven't got a clue. 

jaysee pingkian jayseeblabs at the bonifacio global city bgc

Rule number 1. 

Get Paid What You're Worth. 

Make sure you make an industry review of what your job is worth on the market. Network is the best source so chat up with peers and build lasting valuable relationships. Think about what you could do to advance your career and what your options are in the future.

Rule number 2. 

Spend Less Than You Earn. 

Why is everyone finding it so hard to live within their means? Why buy things you don’t need? Live humbly. Is that so bad? But reward yourself especially if you deserve it once in a while, before you go crazy.

 Rule number 3. 

Stick to a Budget. 

Know where your money is going. Set aside a few minutes within this day and think about how much you spend for each expenditure. Trackash is a simple app you can download for Android. You’d be surprised to see the results.

Rule number 4. 

Don’t blame the credit card. 

I grew up being taught never to incur debt to anyone because gratitude is hard to repay and debts in a financially challenging time is really bad too. But let me tell you, credit cards are the best financial tool you can use under the perfect circumstances. It could also be a nightmare if you are not responsible. One paradigm shift I had while taking graduate studies was when our Entrepreneurship professor encouraged us to get one for credit history reference should we decide to take out a business or huge personal loan someday. It could also help you acquire resources needed that adds value to your personal life or career at the present, e.g. an income-generating tool like a laptop. Using it to fill your egotistic materialistic social-climbing lifestyle leads you nowhere. I work with these types of people and they are in the worst financial shape of their lives.

Rule number 5. 

Think SSS Retirement Benefit is enough? 

Financial analysts and personal finance books and resources would tell you some things in common:

(1) build a business, (2) build up an emergency fund and (3) invest your long term savings. 

Emergency fund should be more or less three months worth of expenses to make you live comfortably if you go out of work or six months if you have kids. We have the best investment options in the market today and we can take advantage of our economy to place our savings for retirement in a fund that grows cumulatively over time.

Consider opening up pooled investment as a beginner like a UITF account from your local bank or a mutual fund. I currently have FAMI because it is linked to my Metrobank Account online. We are not in the US where they have 401(k) or Roth IRA funds but opening up a separate retirement fund is the next best thing.

Plenty of resources will teach you about long term investing actually and once you get the hang of it, you could try stocks. Stock trading is scary if you don’t have the tools or resources but long-term stock investing to blue-chip companies is the best option in growing your wealth. I recommend Citiseconline because of how they advocate investing among first-timers through tools and reports that guide you unlike BPITrade. Teach yourself delayed gratification once in a while.

Rule number 6. 

You have money for every plan you have, you just don’t know it. 

“I don’t have money for this and that,” you tell yourself.

Negativity only conditions your mind to fail. 

And if there is one thing I’ve realized after completing the Financial Management class being handled by the dean of the university I am in, there is nothing impossible if you plan. I have friends who have children and who have not given thoughts about starting to save for their kid’s college. I don’t encourage education plans because of what happened to CAP but I do encourage placing your savings into an investment vehicle so that you can shield yourself from inflation, make it grow if you don’t have the time for business and of course, shield it from your overspending itching hands. Whatever your other goal is like having a car, house, travel, or an expensive dog, spare a little money consistently every month and place it somewhere and be surprised to check it out after a long time. In addition, people wonder why I get to places and own nice things when I earn just like everyone else. I have a savings plan and it involves a simple equation.

Income – Savings = Expenses. 

I am still replenishing my savings as of the moment because I funded my own graduate studies but still I have a plan and have stuck to it all these years. Take a short time to assess your short term and long term plans, put in writing and post it somewhere you would see every day.

Start with the end in mind. Set a goal. Now.

Never underestimate the power of vision and memory sucks so put plans in writing. Plans should be SMART, our professor used to say. Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Research about SMART Goals to educate yourself further.

 Rule number 7. 

Insure. Get a life insurance. 

I suggest VUL since you don’t necessarily have to die to enjoy the money since within a term of let’s say 10 years, you start receiving returns and dividends! I currently have Cocolife Platinum Savings because it also insures my ability to earn income with disability insurance but SunLife also offers attractive plans which I might put into future consideration. Talk to a financial adviser or go to an IMG seminar to know what products work for you based on your time horizon, goals and risk appetite. If you are young go for Equity. Be conservative if you are kinda mature like Bond Funds or Money Market Funds.

 Rule number 8. 

Get a funeral plan, memorial plan if you can. 

Death is a sensitive issue to most of us; certainly was for me not until I started working and thinking about the future.

Life is beautiful but being a person who have endured a biking accident and a motorcycle accident (coincidentally in the same city area), a rockclimbing accident, and lately, an ATV accident with my brother, all I can say, no matter how careful you are or in my case, the other way around, death is inevitable. But it isn’t such a bad thing if you think about it as a spiritual journey. 

If you’re not born rich, chances are, you can never afford to be displayed in a posh chapel in the city not unless you have prepared for it ahead of time. I recommend St. Peter’s plan because it is also transferable. Premium payments are waived if the plan holder passes away but is transferable to a family member. On the other hand, a memorial plan is important since I definitely have an attitude problem and I don’t like to placed in a public cemetery for a lot of reasons.  Haha And if you can insure your home too, Malayan is the country’s best non-life insurer today.

Stop procrastination. Be a positive-thinker. Stop making effin' excuses. 

Educate yourself to the highest level. Talk to an adviser or a peer you trust. 

The best time to live an awesome life is… now. 

Please share this article and help others help themselves.

If you have a great tip/opinion, please comment now and let us know!

Thank you to Jasper Tecling and Justine Munez for the portrait above.

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*Disclaimer: follow tips at your own risk.

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