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Why Some Filipinos End Up With No Savings

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Photo source: Graphicstock.com
Retired and no savings? We're all too familiar with this scenario, it could be a relative, a neighbor, or a family friend. Why does it happen all the time? Here are some of my observations:

Ginawang Palabigasan ng Pamilya (Family Cash Cow)


Some Filipino parents are good at investing. They use their child/children as an investment! The more the merrier! How so? They use their kids to support them. Just look at the kids begging out there in the streets of the Metro. You think they are orphans? Nope. Their parents are busy gambling or drinking at home (or worse making more babies!) 
Here's a typical story you'll hear from an average Filipino:

Sabrina (Call Center Agent)

Sabrina is the eldest in the family of 6 kids. She worked two jobs to go to college. She was also helping her 5 siblings with some expenses. As soon as she graduated, she got a job at a call center. Her starting salary is 14,000 (around 12,000 after taxes). 

Her mother asked her to contribute around 6,000 pesos for their household expenses (50% of her salary). Since Sabrina's job is far from home, she really didn't have to contribute because she is living at a dorm near her workplace. But what can she do? Her mother will get really mad if she doesn't do it. Not wanting to ruin her relationship with her mom, she gave in to her demands. Sabrina is left with 6,000 a month to budget for her own expenses. With 2,000 pesos for the rent, there's only 4,000 pesos left for food, transportation, and other extra expenses. This amount made it quite impossible to save some money. 

10 years later, her siblings are all married with kids. Sabrina is now a team leader and with a higher income bracket, but this cycle of giving is still going on. It even extended to her nieces and nephews. It even became impossible for Sabrina to get married and start her own family. 


Supporting the Whole Clan

Arthur (OFW in Saudi Arabia)

Arthur is an only child. He worked as an engineer for 30 years. All throughout his stint in Saudi, he was helping his parents and his cousin's family. Arthur never married and has no kids. 

Aside from the monetary help he gives them, he also spoils them with the latest gadgets and clothes. Ever since he got a Facebook account, he got bombarded with sob stories from distant relatives asking him for handouts. 

"Kesyo may sakit ang anak ko, magka-college na si ano, etc."

Arthur being generous and kind, never think twice about sending money to members of his clan. Now that he is nearing 65, he is worried about retiring. With no savings in hand, no properties back home, he is seriously concerned about his future. With his help, his relatives got a very comfortable life. Some even managed to have a decent house of their own. Will these same relatives help him in case he needs it? Arthur doubts it. They don't even greet him on his birthday.

Advice to Filipino Parents


Let us stop this vicious cycle. Parents are supposed to help guide their kids towards a better future and not use them as cash cows. Here are some things you should remember:

1. Gumawa ka ng bata dahil gusto mo at hindi para gamitin mo sa sariling kapakanan.

2. I-base mo ang bilang ng anak mo sa kakayanan mong buhayin sila. Tanungin mo ang sarili mo; kaya ko ba silang pag-aralin hanggang kolehiyo? Ilang anak ba ang kaya kong bigyan ng magandang kinabukasan?

3. Bago ka mag-anak, siguraduhin mo na may ipon ka para sa mga emergency para naman di ka na umutang sa kamag-anak mo. 

4. Mag-ipon ka para sa retirement mo para naman di ka umasa sa tulong ng anak mo. Tandaan mo, ang anak mo ay magkakaroon din ng sariling pamilya. Para mapaghandaan nya ang kinabukasan ng pamilya nya, kelangan nya mag-ipon. Kung aasa ka sa sweldo nya, wala na sya maiipon para sa kinabukasan nya.

5. Life is supposed to be fun. Make sound decisions in life and you and the people around you will never suffer. At the end of the day, use common sense.

This is a timeline that I teach my Nephew (Only 6 yrs old). Better start them young.

Photo source: www.graphicstock.com


Age 16 -21 ~ Get a part time job (summer job whatever). Save 50% of your earnings (If your parents are helping you with college). The rest you can spend on whatever you want. Kids, you should never be ashamed of working part time. Don't copy your pa-cool friends who ask their parents for money. Working part time will also teach you things that will prepare you for your life ahead.

If you don't want to work at a fast food company, you can always start a small business. You can also look out for certain niches that you can do (blogging, vlogging, creating Youtube content, etc.) 

Age 21-23 ~ By this time, you are already done with college (depends on the course you took). My advice is, start looking for a full time job the minute you graduated. This is the fun age, so while allotting some money for savings, you should also spare some money for fun and travel. You're young, have fun! (But do not overspend and go beyond your budget. Borrowing money should never ever be an option)

Age 23-25 ~ Start taking life a bit more serious. Do not get contented with your current life situation. Start grinding and climb that corporate ladder or dream higher! It is also about time to look for a house/condo to buy. Since you've been saving since you are 16, you can probably already afford the downpayment.


Age 25-30 ~ Save for your future family (If ever you want one). How awesome would it be if you won't have to worry about hospital bills (for your firstborn). Let's say you've saved like 250,000 pesos, and you/your wife are also covered by your insurance for maternity expenses, then your savings would be more than enough to buy baby clothes, vaccines, baby formulas, crib, and other baby accessories.

Age 30-31 ~ Settle down. Who says you have to get married early? It's plain idiotic to get married at an early age. You have to be mentally and financially prepared for family life. At this age, you've already traveled, had fun, saved money, experienced a lot, and the only thing missing is a family of your own!

Some advice: You don't have to spend a ton of money on your wedding. Why waste over a hundred thousand pesos just to show people you got married? Fancy wedding is just a scam to get people to spend their money for one freaking day. Go to the city hall and get married. If you want you can have a simple reception at a local restaurant with people that matters most to you (Ex. your siblings, parents, grandparents, and close friends).

Age 31 and beyond ~ Save and invest. Never ever stop saving. Get an advice from financial experts on how to invest your money wisely. Do not fall for a scam. Avoid pyramiding or if the ROI is too good to be true, then it's a scam. 

Disclaimer: My advice may or may not work for you. I'm just sharing what I teach my nephew. Let's change our bad habits for a better Philippines. Change should start within us.Teach our youth how to be responsible and prepare them for adulthood. We can have "Superman" as president but even his superpowers won't be enough to make a better Philippines.













4 comments

  1. Relate na relate ako dito! Mga kapatid ko asa lagi sa akin. Pag di napagbigyan, ako pa ang masama ang ugali. Hayyyy buhay

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Omg same here! My mom would even tell me to 'pagbigyan mo na kapatid mo tutal ikaw naman ang panganay'. Porke panganay ako dapat suportahan ko na sila? No way!

      Delete
    2. Why do Filipino parents require the eldest to give to the younger siblings? Di ba dapat fair lang ang treatment? Kawawa ang mga nakatatandang kapatid..

      Delete
  2. Well..that's Pinoy values for you. Love thy parents and siblings to the point na halos wala ng matira sa iyo.

    ReplyDelete

 

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