As I was enjoying my vacation last Sunday celebrating independence day literally by going on an out-of-town trip alone.  I suddenly thought of this, can the average Filipino save at least 10% of their disposable income?

I think they can but most of us don’t due to lack of sense of priority and lifestyle.  My answer is solely based on observation from siblings, officemates and even friends.

I have worked as a budget analyst from 2005 to 2008.  The work was a solid financial budgeting that dealt with financials, estimates and studies.  And I think I was made for that job. 

Why did I say so? I started budgeting and managing my own finances when I was in grade 2.  Our father trained us early, he would give us our allowance for two weeks and we were free to ask for additional funds if need be without justification.  We weren’t rich; our family was in middle class.  I didn’t get what I want when I was a kid and I didn’t ask for something big to be fair with my very hard working parents.  My father used the reverse-psychology method, he wanted us to be honest and he was lax with money and proudly, I can say I never abused the “no need for justification policy”.

My father have always inculcated these things to us, first is to live within your means and second, set your priorities right.  Arrogance has no place in the family.  Being happy doesn’t mean getting all the material things in life that most of the time are just whims of our body.  Being happy can actually be simple.  Anyway, I’m talking in circles here and let’s get into the business now.  Here are my simple tips that I consider very useful and proudly the reasons why money has never been an issue with me.

  1. Set your priorities right.  My priority is to enjoy my life and of course this means I want to travel the world so what I do is I try to save up at least 15% of my disposable income since I still share for expenses at home.  If I weren’t this could be actually doubled.  So if I don’t save it means I can’t travel, right?
  2. Live within your means.  Spend only the money you have.  This is one of the major problems with Filipinos.  We tend to enjoy our lives more without thinking of our responsibilities.  Example, we have debts to pay, our priority should be to pay them off immediately but these days I see people who spend more on going out without even paying for their outstanding debts.  I’m so sorry but I’m not a big fan of this practice.  I only spend what I can spend.
  3. Try investing.  This isn’t something easy to practice.  One thing that I should still learn but unfortunately, I don’t have the heart to do this.  I have invested on our companies stocks and that’s only it.  I see and meet people who trade in stocks but my mind’s too lazy and stubborn to even entertain them.
  4. Control your debt.  This is one thing that I’m very good at despite being an impulsive type of buyer.  What I do is I buy everything thru credit card BUT I treat my card like it’s my cash. I pay my monthly dues and I’ve never failed to pay in full.  Control means discipline.  You can actually relate this with my number 2 tip.
  5. Make a budget and analyze your spending.  There was one year when I actually felt that I had a trouble with managing my finances and making and planning for my finances really helped.  I projected monthly income and other sources, scheduled payments and matched with the inflows and voila, I’ve managed my finances and never missed a commitment.  It also helped me to cut unnecessary expenses because I was able to analyze where my money is going.  It totally did the trick.

So I think that’s just it.  I’m not actually an expert but I’m sharing this because it has worked for me.  I just hope that this will be of help to you.  If you’re struggling with your finances and actually considering hiring someone for help, you can give me a try and guess what, it’s all free. Really!  Leave me a message and let’s see how I can help you.