Financial freedom and financial stability are terms that are somehow new to most Filipinos. Rare are the times that you see a family talk about money in front of their children, hence, even orient them about finances.
Sure, we are trained on how to make money, but the basics of handling finance—from budgeting, saving, and investing, as well as how you can achieve financial stability and freedom were not taught at school. This, then, led to a lack of financial literacy among many Filipinos.
However, it is not yet too late to learn about financial management. Whether you are in your teenage years, or early 20s or late 40s, there is still time for you to achieve financial stability and freedom.
Read on to discover money and life lessons to become financially stable and independent.
Live a Life of Simplicity
You don’t have to live up to the standards of other people or to that of the society. This is what Bo Sanchez, one of the country’s best-selling author, entrepreneur, and preacher has learned from his parents from such an early age.
Bo narrated that his financial awakening came when he got married and thought about the future of his children. Having always believed that to be a good person, he had to be poor. Bo realized that his calling is not to live a life of poverty, but a life of generosity and simplicity—just like his parents.
Learn the Concept of Passive Income
Filipinos are trained to become employees. You might have heard this, or sort of things like this, a lot of times, but it is true nonetheless.
It is common for Filipinos to spend eight hours a day working then get their paychecks every 15th and 30th day of the month. While there is nothing wrong with it as it gives you an active income, doing such leads to days of “work-spend-work.”
On the other hand, gaining passive income or earnings received on a regular basis with little effort can help you achieve financial stability.
To quote Robert Kiyosaki, “The poor and middle class work hard for their money. The rich have their money work hard for them.”
This is the same belief that Aya Laraya, founder of Pesos and Sense and an investment advocate, says, “The person who is working, while he is working, should have his money work harder. Unlike you, your money does not work, does not go on vacation, and does not sleep. So it should be earning something. The question is, how do you do it, where do you go? If you don’t know that, paano mo mapapalaki yan?”
Just like most of us, Fitz Villafuerte, Filipino entrepreneur, blogger and finance advocate, was once a corporate slave working 8 to 10 hours a day. However, the day came that he realized that he wants more time for his family and the things he wanted to do in life. This led him to learn passive income, which later on led him to invest his money and start a small business.
Prepare for the Future
Close family ties are common in the Filipino culture, but this also hinders most Filipinos in achieving financial independence. A recent report by Rappler mentioned that most OFWs fail to save for themselves and gain financial independence because they give everything to their families due to shame and guilt that they were not capable of helping them.
However, to become financially stable, saving for yourself in the future should be given priority. Riena Pama, President of Sun Life’s Asset Management Company, Inc., pointed out that she and her husband are already saving to ensure that they are financially independent in the future.
She even highlighted that one should not expect their kids to support them in their retirement especially that their children will have their families to help by that time.
Invest in Yourself
You cannot achieve financial stability without the proper knowledge to do so, as it is what lacks in most of us. Thus, it is what is needed to begin your journey to financial freedom.
There are a lot of free resources on the internet where one can learn money tips, saving, financial planning, budgeting, investing, and other financial-related information. If you have some spare money, you can also participate in seminars organized for this cause.
Ellen Labastida and her husband were affected in the 2008 financial crisis. Bombarded with debts, Ellen started reading financial e-books which helped and guided them to pay off their debts in two years.
The couple also attended financial training and seminars that later on enabled them to increase and diversify their savings and other investments.
Financial freedom is important if you want to enjoy life. Do not waste any time thinking about the “what ifs” if you have started doing the right thing way before. Learn from your mistakes, as well as from the mistakes of others.
It is not easy to achieve financial freedom, as you can’t do everything at the same time. Nonetheless, what is important is you take that first step.
via Carol Soriano
Carol Soriano is a consultant for PawnHero.ph, the very first online pawnshop in the Philippines. A writer at heart and a social media enthusiast, she finds personal finance, investment and money matters interesting topics to write about.