10 Money Habits Many Filipinos Should Break to Improve their Financial Life

Filipinos are well-known worldwide as one of, if not the most, hardworking and competent people. It is evident through the millions of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) scattered all around the world.

Their motivation drives them to provide a sufficient and comfortable life for their families. The sad fact, however, is, some Filipinos have bad habits that compromise their finances. Let me give you ten (10) money habits that Filipinos should avoid.

1. Friends and Trends

We are always on the lookout for the new fashion trends -what’s in and what’s new! The desire to grab them intensifies when we see our friends have bought one. This results in an imbalance or mismanagement of our finances. We tend to buy and spend on high-end items so we can fit in the society. Have you ever noticed one of your friends would simply say, “It’s okay,” for being outdated? True friends will accept no matter what clothes you wear or the makeup you use. Trends are temporary. The rest is up to you if you invest in these things which will compromise your financial stability.

2. “When it’s for food, it’s okay”

Food is life, right? Food is necessary for survival. However, it doesn’t mean that you need to spend a lot of money on delicious foods ‘sake! You can have some that suit your budget. Don’t make it a habit of buying expensive food or groceries just for show off.

3. One Day Millionaire

Taking hold of what you’ve worked for can be rewarding yet also, tempting. One thing that the Filipinos need to overcome is the “one-day millionaire” mindset. It happens when you received your salary and started thinking of the “many unimportant” things that you want to buy without considering what to spend in the coming days. Well, it is never wrong to treat yourself once in a while with your hard-earned money. Come to think, investing first to gain more profit so that by the time your investment has multiplied, you can truly pamper yourself without limits.

4. Want vs. Need

Life is a constant battle between wants and need- wants to feed our ego however need is necessary for survival. Most of the Filipinos today indulge themselves in meeting their wants rather than their needs. They will work overtime, investing too much effort just to earn more so they can afford to buy anything they wanted. Though it is not wrong to live a life of luxury, yet one should always consider living by his income and prioritize what is truly needed.

5. Futuristic

One famous phrase in the world of social media today is “Advance Mag-isip”. Well, this is because we tend to purchase things even though we still don’t have our paycheck. The anticipation of receiving our salary every 15th and 30th day of the month pushes us to take loans or buy appliances on an installment basis. What happens then is that you borrow to compensate for your daily needs. When salary comes, you pay for it and borrow again the next day, and the cycle continues. However, if you have the will-power to change this paradigm, you can live by your daily budget and avoid extra expenses.

6. The Mañana Habit

A famous line says, “Do not put off for tomorrow what you can do today.” Simply stated, if you can do it today, then do it now! Less percentage of Filipinos doesn’t have savings. Why? It is because they procrastinate. Why not take a big step and start saving today? Know that investing early will yield more interest and income.

7. “That’s Fine”

Basically, the most cliché used by many especially the younger ones is “Okay na yan” whose salary is much lower than the things they’ve been yearning about. Common reasons they used: 1) They are still young, remember YOLO? You- Only-Live-Once, to invest and save now; 2) They can earn a higher salary in the future. A friendly advice, why not start saving even a little amount? This can help you compensate for expenses.

8. No Budget Game

The fact is, we are good in making budget plans yet fail to execute them. When temptation hits the road, we easily give in and violate the rules we set about proper and right spending. Just a nugget of wisdom: Why not try one of the best budgeting techniques known – the “50-30-20 technique.” It suggests that whatever amount your take-home pay is, meaning your income minus taxes, 50% will be allotted for the basic needs such as groceries, paying off bills, transportation, day-to-day allowance, etc; 30% for your wants such as watching movies or eating in a fancy restaurant; and the remaining 20% should fall on your savings or in your investment. The next time you take hold of your salary, divide it accordingly, and you’ll have big savings soon.

9. Do not be “Shy”

There are people, not just Filipinos, who lack interest when money matters are discussed. This is because it’s too sensitive or very private issue. They just don’t want to talk about their financial status. I don’t know about you, but for me, discussing your finances on how to manage it with your family and friends could make you financially wise. They will give you some tips which you can relied upon and apply it in your daily living.

10. Being Rich or Stable Takes Time

The fact is, Filipinos are obsessed with “one-day miracle” and “get-rich-quick” or best known as instant millionaire schemes. They want to achieve financial freedom in an easy manner. They engage in sweepstakes, lotteries or any other forms of gambling with a hope of getting rich in just one snap. This is not as bad as it seems but should be taken moderately. Too much engaging on these things instead of taking the basic process could make one more unstable and insufficient.

Some say, money makes the world go round, and that’s maybe the reason why we are so after it. Nevertheless, we need to accept the reality that we have these bad money habits. It may require time to correct ourselves and start being wise in terms of money spending.

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