I am living frugally now because I have a lot of responsibilities to pay. I’m currently paying off equities for a pre-sold home (at age 23!), mobile data plan, premiums for a life insurance, premiums for a funeral plan (I know right?), saving for future plans (which I am not able to do yet) like finishing my postgraduate studies or travelling and investments like funding my stocks and mutual funds through Citiseconline and FAMI Equity accounts respectively.
I didn't need to wait until I reach the pinnacle of my career years to educate myself towards financial independence. I take it upon myself to learn about personal finance as early as I can even if I am still a rank-and-file employee. Ignorance is the biggest cost we pay, so we have the responsibility to continually educate ourselves in order to prosper as what God would have wanted. He always has great plans for us, I used to say often, but He can’t do it alone unless we pay our dues and do our share.
|Life loves those who dare live it. - Jaysee -|
There are small things that we can start doing today:
- Be tight-fisted with our pesos. If you save up your small purchases throughout the day, it might add up for an equity payment on a home for the first month alone.
- Keep a good credit history. Treat your plastics (credit cards) as cash. This will ensure that banks will lend you money should you ever decide to take out a loan for your business, home or first car.
- Keep your bills low. Be careful about subscription models and eliminate some recurring bills to things you don’t really “need”. If you are like me, who lives in a world of great consumerism then don’t give in to the pressure of owning the latest phone your telco offers or wearing the brand that everyone covets. This leads to my next advice.
- Live humbly. Be frugal but don't deprive yourself of great things you deserve. Being frugal could involve skipping taxis unless needed and taking public transportation instead. Having not to dine out at restaurants regularly could help save you money in the long run. Pantry could be good for you and you may also want to take advantage of the free drinks like the mega bank I am working for now.
- Sock money away. From your pay, take out savings which you might not use for daily expenses. Then from your savings take out an emergency fund and place it on a separate account. This should be at least 6 months’ worth of funds in case you lose your job. This is one tip I didn’t think through when I had quit my previous job and while I had a great time during the transition, trust me when I say this but I am literally paying the price of not socking money away.
- After you have saved for your emergency money, open another savings account for investments. Invest today. Check out stocks, and if you are not comfortable with your financial knowledge then go with mutual funds and UITFs. Life insurance products even have investments components today and it is very much recommended that you get one especially if you have dependents. The money you place on these accounts should not be something you would use in the next 10 years or so.
- This lack of financial strength makes us all exposed. It makes me feel bad when I had to turn down friends and family when crisis had hit them and I had nothing much to aid them. Share your financial knowledge as much as you can.
- Time is not an infinite product. As someone in our 20s, most of us think that we have all the time in the world to figure things out and get what we want. Truth is, we have to make the most of the opportunities we have today, because there will be a time when you have no more of it.
- Don't be so full of yourself. You are irreplaceable. It's easy to drown in our own ego since we may be the most capable, creative, knowledgeable and multi-tasking generation but we have yet to reach our full potential. The real world just have all the mechanisms to crush you down and humble you. We all still have to methodically and painfully work our way to success.
- Take Responsibility. I am proud to be part of a mega bank who fosters a culture around integrity. As people starting, we are bound to make mistakes but we shouldn’t be defensive about errors in judgment. We can only grow by embracing the lessons learned, taking accountability in everything we do by heart, I must say.
- Chin up if you ever got your butt kicked. Having a horrible boss or coworker is something to be joyful about. This is the most vulnerable, pliable and foundational stage of our professional career. Working for someone that demands fineness and pushes your bounds on a daily basis will build the most rock-hard ground work for your continuing professional victory. Dealing with difficult people will only strengthen your character along the way anyway.
What other tips can you share? Comment up!
Thank you Geraldine Tabada for the portrait above!
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