DepEd Quezon, CALABARZON
Do you still remember when you were still studying until the time when you were already looking for a job? You were able to survive and live within your means given the meager allowance from your parents, siblings or benefactors. In fact, there are lots of time that you were still able to save from these highly budgeted and exact allowance given to you.
Compare it to your current financial status now that you are already earning for a living as a newly employed worker or young professional. Are you still able to save? Is money still a big problem? Does it still play a big picture in your life? If the answer to all these questions is a resounding yes, then, you could have been going straight to the trap of financial difficulties in unimaginable magnitude as compared before when you were still studying. You need a total life style check.
|(moneytools.org photo) They should manage money wisely.|
First Key. Reflect and analyze. What went wrong? Is your spending habit the same as before or it skyrocketed after finding a regular job. Commonly, once we reached a new level in our lives such as having a regular source of income comes an upsurge in our spending habits. We begin to need things we don't need before. These are wants which are not necessary and thus could be set aside like weekly or even monthly dine out with the family to a popular food chain, branded clothing, high-end cellphones, computers even un-planned house repair or renovation and expensive education of siblings. The right thing to do as advised by various financial coaches is that, an increase or an additional income for the family should not mean an increase in their spending habits. They advised that, if we are still living with our families, only our share for the food expense and groceries should be added to our regular expenses. Meaning, if we are spending four thousand a month when we were still in college until the time we graduate and start looking for work, only the share for food, groceries and lets say utility payments should be added and the rest should go directly as savings.
Second Key. Revisit your goal and life's dream. Everybody's goal is to achieve certain level of financial security. Others call it, an improvement in ones living condition. But given the scenario above, without considering financial coaches advise, it is unlikely that things will get better. Consider this. What if there is sudden emergency such as sickness that requires hospitalization among one of the members of the family? What about when you opt to decide to settle down and start a family of your own? How will your financial status go along? Imagine the quality of your life ten to fourty years from now.
Third Key. Live on less and simplify. G.K. Chesterton once said that there are two ways to get enough: One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less. Bo Sanchez in his bestselling book Simplify and Live the Good Life explains that we should focus on what we have not on what we don't. It's because, satisfaction doesn't come from getting what we want but from wanting what we already have. "Some take their pleasure from dining in classy restaurants, going on trips . . . and owning the latest home theater equipment. I've chosen the simpler path: If i can simply be with my wife, or take a quiet stroll under a canopy of stars, or play with a child, or read a good book in my home, or laugh with friends over an instant pancit canton, I consider myself richly blessed," said Bo Sanchez in his book. Certainly, we could have a lot at the comfort of our homes with our family, friends and the community. All these for free!
Fourth Key. Budget and start savings at once. Start budgeting and along this start also writing down your daily expenses. Analyze it after a month to know the pattern of your spending and you will be surprised by the result. You will know that you are spending quite a portion of your monthly pay on things you don't really need or you could be over spending on some that you could cut back later let say cellphone load, bottled water or even softdrinks. Continue budgeting and listing your daily expenses until it becomes a habit so that it would be easy to track and monitor your expenses. Once you made it a habit, start saving as much as you can. Take note, savings is an expense for the future, so a decided or target portion of your income should automatically be deducted to your monthly pay then budget what has been left. Start saving for the following:
- buffer fund. Set aside money until you are able to save at least 5-months of your gross salary. This will give you and your family a fall back in case you got laid off from your work. You will have enough money that can supply your needs while you are looking for a new job. If you want six months or a year equivalent of your gross salary, much better.
- irregular expense account. this is a savings account intended for seasonal expenses such as tuition fees, family celebrations such as birth days, wedding anniversary, Christmas, new year etc.
- protection fund. if your the sole bread winner, you need to be protected in a form of life or the new one, a variable insurance so that whatever happens to you, your family will be in good hands for a certain period of time. You may have personal with regards to this matter.
- marrying or settling fund. For those who are actually of marrying types or whose ultimate aim is creating a family of their own, there is certainly no time and money to waist. One need to have a longer foresight of the future otherwise, life will be more difficult in the future. Since, as singles, most are still living with the parents. save as much as you can. The bigger chunk of your income, let say 50% or even more of it, the better.
- retirement fund. aside from SSS or GSIS, financial coaches and analyst highly recommend to have an additional retirement fund because your retirement and pension will probably be not enough to live decently . As we age, we would need medications.
- health care card. Considering that we begin to become sickly as we age so we need health care cards in addition to our Phil Health. If you are the bread winner, you may get one for your dependents too. It will help and save you from financial problems in the future as such, unwanted or unplanned debt which is a common occurrence.
Fifth Key. Avoid going with the tide. Don't let things such as the clothing you wear, jewelries, cellphones you use define yourself. Aware and financially educated people don't use material possessions as barometer of wealth or financial stability but on your networth instead. Get along with people who have embraced simple lifestyle and have clear financial goals for their future.
Sixth Key. Create your financial plan based on your life dreams. Bo Sanchez explains that writing down a financial goal is an exercise in faith and an exercise in personal commitment. He said that it helps our mind to open up and think of ways how those goals would be met. As such, it would led us going back to our divine appointed mission in life- because that was how God was going to provide for our needs and desires.
Seventh Key. Purify your thinking and motives about money. Money isn't evil. the LOVE of money is. Money is something that can be used to love or hate, to build or destroy, depending on how you use it. In other words, it can make you holy or it can make you evil- much like anything else in life. Purify your thinking towards money by embracing the truth that God wants you to have some material things to live a human life, enough for your needs and more than what you need, so that you can be generous. Money should come from our highest values. Money should be taken as an instrument to do more good. That is to provide for the basic needs of our families. To be more generous to those in need. To support and help our churches and the ministry of your choice.
We should not forget that we could not simply give what we do not have. But in all of these, put God first!
Reference: Sanchez, Eugenio R., Jr., Simplify and Live the Good Life, Shepherd's Voice Publication 2008
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