Monthly Archives: September 2015
This blog post belongs to one of my long time friend. It is not about personal finance but a great reminder to all of us.
In a country where it’s known for corrupt government officials, ranked as fifth with worst traffic in the world, typhoon and flood prone region; and the list could go on. These are just some of the not so good things that Philippines are known for. I even heard a friend mentioned that she would want to retire to another country because she can’t take living in a ‘third world country’ anymore. This country has no hope, she added. Is there really no hope for the Philippines?
Of course, I disagreed with my friend when she said that this country is hopeless. But I can’t blame her for thinking that way. With all the negative news feeding her mind every day, it’ll be impossible to not be affected. Nowadays, it’s really difficult and even close to impossible to remain positive in a negative environment. I’m just so glad that I was born in this country, where people are also known to be resilient. Is being resilient good enough to say that there is still hope for this nation?
I certainly believe that there is hope for the Philippines. Here are some of the reasons to support my claim and what made me so certain that the best is yet to come for our nation.
Firstly, Filipinos are intelligent, gifted, and warm people. We are adored people in the world. We are the most wanted when it comes to nursing care industry in other countries. Not only that, Pinoys are known for great talents; whichever field it may be. We are also one of the most hardworking & most flexible people in the world. Wherever we are in the world, we blend with them. If every Filipinos will only know that and start to think that we are smart enough instead of pity partying, we might be the most progressive country in South East Asia.
Secondly, Philippines is continuously experiencing economic growth. I read in one news article that we are the 2ndfastest growing economy next to China. Isn’t that good enough reason to stay in our country? I also heard from news that Philippines is progressing as a tourist-friendly economy, which made me so happy, because I’m a traveler myself. I’ve been to other nations but this country is just so rich with more beautiful natural resources and scenic spots.
Lastly, and the most important for me, this is a Christian nation.
“Pinagpala ang bayan na ang Diyos ay ang Panginoon. (Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord- Psalm 33:12)” – a verse printed on our peso bills.
Being the only known Christian nation in the world is already a great source of hope, and with laws that are governed by the supreme authority which is the Lord Jesus Christ. That has made realized that I’m really blessed that I am born in this nation. Personally, I believe in the One who is higher and above all things, who is sovereign and who is in control. His will is always good, perfect and pleasing. That’s why I believe that greater things are yet to come for the Philippines.
But, we, the Filipinos are entrusted to fulfill that promise. Our actions and words play a big role in fulfilling the dream or best state for our nation. It’s time to stop ridiculing our government. Instead of cursing, start blessing our politicians. If you haven’t prayed for the leaders of our country, you can do that now. It is your choice, are you going to be part of those group of people who are ‘negatrons’ about this country? Or are you going to be part of the change for improvement of our dear nation? So, who are you going to be?
Vannilyn Alegre was a former senior corporate hiring specialist of one of the largest bank in the world today.
She’s currently working as an Executive Vice President of their family business.
Photo Credits to the following
This is a guest post by Grace
Do you know that 8 out of 10 retirees will be dependent on their children for financial support? This statement was released from the Philippine National Statistics Office in 2003.
We are already in 2015, and yet I still see a lot of families who have their parents living with their children. It is happening and I am not even surprised because it has been in the culture of many Filipinos. I have been a Financial Advisor for almost 5 years now and witnessed many single young professionals stayed single for a long time without saving a penny because they spend quickly on gadgets; travel a lot, big purchases or constantly providing for their family (Mom, Dad and nephews). I have nothing against the latter but I still believe that making them financially secure through total dependency on you makes you a greedy person rather than a generous person. Why? Because you are holding them of their talents to earn a living by providing for themselves, In short, passing the legacy to them, so that even when you are not around they know what to do.
There are only 3 easy steps that I want to share to young people who do not yet know how to save for their future:
The moment that we start working, we can already set aside 10% of our salary. What is the 10% for? The 10% goes directly to God’s hand. How do we give to God? The head of the church is Jesus Christ and we are the parts of the body, the church should allow you to practice this willingly. We are in God-believing country and yes, it is a command in the book of Deuteronomy 14:22. The Bible talks about tithe which means a tenth of your first crop. 2 Corinthians 9:7 gives us an insight of the attitude of our hearts when we give to God. And how do we do this? We start a relationship with him through believing in Him. What is 10%, when what we all have is His. The gospel truly changes our values inside out which are truly critical in managing our finances.
This may vary on your needs and salary: at least 20% goes to savings and investments. Let’s say you have a P15,000 salary. What you can do is send 10% of 15,000 to your retirement fund and another 10% in your savings account. In this way you will have the discipline of making your money work for you and another for emergency funds.
What about the 70%? Our favorite part of our work is when we finally enjoy the fruits of our labor. This is the part where we spend for our basic needs and take a vacation. This is when we work around with the 10,500 or 70% of the 15,000. We budget around with this because we still need to be disciplined when it comes to our expenses.
In summary, this is the classic example of putting your money in order:
Salary = Tithe + Savings & Investments & Protection + Expenses
How we see our future is how we save for it. Are we among those 8% of the retirees who will be asking their children for money because of sickness and old age that we cannot work anymore? I know some parents who felt ashamed already because they knew that their children wanted to provide for their own family. Or are we among those 2% who are financially secured?
A grandmother who planned her retirement 40 years ago, have been living an abundant retirement now. Because the time she spent with her family is when they visited her in her house while having a sumptuous meals together or even travelling abroad. She’s now 80 years old and never did I see her ask for financial support except when playing with her grandchildren.
We too can experience this kind of retirement in the future if we start now while we are still healthy and earning a living. Let us increase the 2% of the retired population and make more people aware of their discipline. The way we can do this is to start with ourselves and pass it on.
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. – 2 Corinthians 9:6
Payday is not until next week but your wallet is now empty. You scratch your head and ask, “Where did all my money go?” This scenario is not uncommon for the working class specially the Pinoy young professionals. The truth is, most of us single yuppies live from paycheck to paycheck. We are the generation that demands “work-life balance” that is why we like to work hard and party harder. We live like kings on a payday weekend and end up virtually broke on the next weekend. There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying the fruit of your hard work. Let’s all live and enjoy. Carpe diem! However, if you are one of those people who seriously want to solve the problem of running short on cash a few days before payday, don’t you think it’s time to ask how you spend your money? The first step toward financial stability is reflecting on your finances.
Take some time to sit down and list all your expenses for the month. You can do this on your day off or even on your coffee break. Now, what you will need is to create several lists of expenses on a piece of paper or you may use an Excel spreadsheet. Identify the average amount of your pay slips for the past 3 months. You may be earning a total of twenty four thousand a month from your call center job – make a mental note of this figure or jot it down.
The first thing you need to identify is the total amount of your monthly bills. This is really easy and anyone can do this. Heck, some people may already be doing this! Your monthly bills may include, rent, mobile phone, internet service provider, credit cards, cable TV, and other stuff like electricity and water bill. You may include your average spending on groceries under this list.
The second list of expenses you need to create is the cost of your fare allowance from your home getting to your workplace. Do you take the MRT or you prefer taking a cab? You should include your lunch money on this list as well. These will all be part of your “daily operational expenses” and you will need to multiply this into the number of working days in a month. Keep in mind that on average, there are a total of 22 working days in a month.
The third list would be your “lifestyle expense”. Do you usually drop by Starbucks for a cup of coffee before heading to your office? Do you buy snacks at the office vending machine? How about your weekend activities? How often do you go to the movies? How much do you spend when you go to clubs and how often you visit a spa massage? Anything that is on this list are all variables but, pretty much flexible because you can live without them or you can replace one activity with a cheaper alternative.
Now, you were able to identify your total monthly expenses, how much was left? If what was left turned to negative balance, then make adjustments in your “lifestyle expenses”. If there’s more money left, congratulations!
How much money do you really need to save?
The responsible thing to do is to keep 10% of your income in a long term savings account or investment. If you are earning 24k monthly, you must keep 2,400 pesos in your “life savings”. This 10% is non-negotiable and part of your income which you could invest, while doing so that money will get a compounding interest in 10 to 15 years for VUL, growth stock mutual funds or the stock market. Most of the commercial banks offer investment banking options which could help you attains your financial goals.
Start a short term savings account or open another savings account. Your short term savings must be versatile. This pot of money will pay for that new gadget you really want to purchase or use it as your travel funds if you take trips every 4 months or so. If you are considering a home renovation project or simply need cash for a “rainy day” use your short term savings account as your emergency fund, never withdraw from your “life savings”. Truth is, you’ll never know when you will finally decide to settle down and start having your own family, and your expenses will definitely change and will multiply. When that time comes, you will be grateful for yourself having the discipline in keeping that “life savings” untouched.
At the end of the day, the value of determination will be the only thing you need in order to build a savings account. Nelson Mandela once said “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” You have to start somewhere and the sooner you start your savings account, the better. Don’t be careless with your money but don’t be a scrooge either. Live and enjoy your youth but make sure to create a balance.
Mahj graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Economics at Dela Salle University Dasmariñas Cavite. Currently, she’s a freelancer and studying graphic design.
She was also a former fraud specialist of a Trillion Dollar bank .
|Image by Sunvalley.com|
Financial concepts today are getting easier now to grasp. Movements from different organizations that talk about financial literacy program is getting momentum compare to the previous decades. Maybe this is because of the previous mistakes of our fellow countrymen. As a parent we are responsible in preparing the next generation for the upcoming tasks. Historically, year after year the number of fraud victims due to very good financial engineering and poor decision making is costing us billions of pesos but in today’s world we can prevent that from happening by spreading the fundamental values to the younger ones.
What is Budget
Teaching them about budget is also teaching them how to fish regardless of their resources. Never let your kids graduate from grade school without knowing how to do this because this is the pillar of financial management. Be organize with your finances.
The battle between wants vs needs
Kids are very known to their “I want it now” syndrome they are highly emotional and will throw temper tantrums ASAP to get what they want. Since you are ahead and more intelligent to your kids, you are using the logical part of your brain after weighing in the available resources. Once you passed an efficient system the future generation is going to be more responsible.
The concept of Investments
In simple terms once they spent something there should be a bigger return in a long run. We are not talking about consumerism but real investments like 1000% return such as education, attending a class or put so much time in something that you love like art class and use your kids talent to create project after projects to serve others.
Credit card and Debit Card usage
Let your kids be knowledgeable about how to use this or else this will make or break them. Both cards can be use in the same manner but if you keep on swiping without too much control and don’t know when to stop they will end up in a very deep hole.
Power of Debt
My parents hate having debt and since I live in a Christian home our philosophy is if you are in debt then you are slave to the lender. Explain to them that being in debt and interest rates should never bury you in stress.
You can escape other stuff in this world aside from tax and your kids should be aware of it to make sure not to focus to much with it. Wealthy people focuses in earning more and not just in taxes.
The 8TH wonder of the world. When your kids know this as early as possible they will be surely ahead of the game of money. Let them learn this wisely and it will help your kids be more financially savvy.
Beware of Scams
This is for older kids. In a low trust world let your kids learn not to believe every thing that they hear from other people is true. Let them ask you and get counsel from the people they look up to. Sit down with them so they can open up. Many people will lure your kids.
Giving to less fortunate
This is counter cultural but totally liberating. The principle the more you give the more you receive. The Proverbs 19:17 ESV says it all “ Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.”
David Isaiah Angway is a Financial Evangelist
|Image by pjefc.org|
At the heart of 2008 global recession, many individuals were eaten up by two emotional juggernaut namely greed and fear, when you cannot manage both it can paralyze or decapitate your long-term financial success. Like any other financial crisis the self-preservation became the starting point of a longer process of economic recovery. The good news is there’s hope that we can outsmart that thinking by knowing who we are and what character should we learn in handling our finances.
A Christian perspective towards global economy should be different from common people. Your true identity that you need to embrace is you are a very wise fund manager who properly allocate money not only for your existence but also to use it in a more unselfish ways. You don’t own anything, that big house that you have, those large asset class portfolios, tons of businesses you are managing are just all resources. A simple principle can be found from the first commandment given to Adam (the first man in the book of Genesis)was to manage everything he could see in the garden. Stewardship is more than spending, saving and investing.
Giving is the center of every financial management. If you wanted to change the course of your community and a nation you should also include your money that you are using as you serve today. Look into the philanthropic activities of those large organizations, the upcoming trend of social entrepreneurship that giving back to our society and environment. These are some good ways of managing funds. As we relate it to your personal finance, learn to give. I recently had a conversation with a highly respectful doctor. He told me that he have investments in different asset class such as mutual funds, stocks, real estate properties and more than enough cash to live but his problem is he still thinks those money are still not enough for him even he’s been frugal throughout his life. I asked him “How’s your giving fund?”, he responded with pure honesty and told me that “I noticed that as I grow older, wiser and earning big bucks I’m becoming more selfish”. Advertisements nowadays says about having more means you’ll be happier but for how long? I cannot blame that doctor, because inside our inner system giving is total counter intuitive.
|Image by Wallpoper|
Your goal is to maximize your money while you are here on Earth. In a simple context use your funds not just for your pleasure but learn to give and stop using the clench fist financial planning. In God’s economy we are all blessed and no scarcity. When you practice being a good manager and conscious leader definitely you will inspire your followers or even young generations. You will stop a vicious cycle that will free everyone from a self entitled culture.
Giving your Tithes, supporting worlds missions, continuously funding a non -profit organization to reach wide range of people are outstanding forms of selflessness. Money can be use to sustain wars, build iron towers, create roads and expand the kingdom of God. After all, it can change lives.
Let us all make poverty a history
David Isaiah Angway is a Financial Evangelist