Showing posts with label Personal Finance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Personal Finance. Show all posts

Managing Finances While Keeping Your Mortgage on Track

Managing finances while paying a monthly mortgage for your house is easy – no need to break the bank or sacrifice for your dream home.

Managing money can be an intimidating thing, but this can be especially true when you are paying a monthly mortgage for your house. If you are finding that you are stretching your finances while you are paying for your mortgage, fret not. It is doable, which means you can get rid of the fear that you will slip into debt while paying for your dream home.

Buying a house is an accomplishment and should be celebrated! If you find yourself stressed, cash-strapped, and unhappy, here is a no-frills guide to balancing your finances as easy as 1-2-3:

Follow the Money

It sounds simple enough, but tracking your cash flow is one of the most overlooked ideas by many people. You have to know where your money comes from and goes to – in other words, budget!

Start with the incoming flow of money. Whether you’re a salaried employee, a freelancer, a businessperson, or some hybrid of those, you need to know where your money comes from and how much you make. For people with predictable paychecks, you already have an idea of your usual take-home pay; for those with varied paychecks, figure the average monthly income you earn.

Then, track where the money goes. You can use apps and software for this, or go into an Excel spreadsheet (there are many free templates online that automatically compute things based on what you type in). You can, of course, go old school and use a balance notebook if that’s more your style.

Classify Expenses

Classify your purchases to make things easier to manage.

Fixed living expenses include not just your monthly home mortgage, but also car payments, insurance premiums, and any other expenses that are the same every month like phone, internet, and cable bills.

Necessary costs are the opposite as they fluctuate month-to-month such as utilities (electricity and water bills), gas, and groceries.

Lastly, also note other expenses, especially non-necessary ones like dining out, entertainment (going to the movies, watching concerts, etc.) and so on.

Budget and Pay

Once you have figured out your cash flow and where your money is supposed to go, create a budget and pay what you need to on time. If you find that you don’t have enough to pay bills, take a step back and evaluate which costs are important, especially in keeping your job and staying healthy. There are many ways to set up a budget such as the envelope system (dividing and allocating money to envelopes, using that money only for that purpose), and the 50-30-20 budget (50% of take-home pay is spent on needs, 30% spent on wants, and 20% spent on savings and paying off any debt). Budgeting apps are abundant, so tips for budgeting and calculating things is in the palm of your hand.

If you do have just enough to cover your bills, take steps like making automatic payments to your electricity and mobile phone bills, or turning on email or text message alerts from certain providers. Some banks let you enroll automatic payments for certain services like Meralco and Sky Cable. Some streaming sites like Netflix and Spotify allow automatically debiting from a Paypal account or your credit/debit card. You could even set up alerts on your mobile phone or use post-its and notes on your refrigerator – whichever system works for you.

Remember that paying bills on time also means avoiding late fees and penalties, and in some cases allow you discounts, perks, or sometimes even a free month of something for being such a loyal and punctual customer.

Lastly, make sure there is enough for an emergency fund – never touch that money unless it really is an emergency such as a medical situation or a debt you are being cornered into paying.

Bonus: Grow Your Disposable Income

In relation to budgeting, find a way to grow your disposable income. As you play around and experiment what budget style works for you, you slowly become aware of your spending habits and your financial situation. This allows you a chance to grow your disposable income.

For example, identify which things are more of a burden than an asset. If you find yourself no longer using that video streaming service or neglecting to go to that high-end gym, cut these costs! You’ll be surprised how much you can save and allocate for house mortgage or other expenses.

As you start managing your finances better, you’ll find that your paycheck becomes money well spent – eventually, paying for your monthly home mortgage becomes a cakewalk and you’ll have more time and money that can be saved or used elsewhere.

How Smart Apps Help You In Budgeting And Tracking Finances

I remember when I started working, I tracked my expenses by writing it down in a yellow paper. So old school but it worked for me.

But now, have you ever thought of using your smart phone in tracking and budgeting your finances?

Now, it is possible!

Advocate Jenny Noynay shares how Smart Apps help her in tracking her finances and be able to save more. Here's her exact words:

With free downloadable Smart Apps available in App Store (if you are using IOS Phones) or Google Play (if you are using Android Phones), you can track your money with your fingertips, instead of using the traditional pen and paper.

Why budget and track finances in the first place? 

Do you have that time in your life when you asked yourself, "Where did my money go"? Experiencing such event, you may understand that tracking and budgeting your finances help you to be aware of your spending habits and give you control over it.

Why use Smart Apps in budgeting? 

Smartphones are handy so you can track your spending efficiently and easily. For example, you buy goods in grocery, in just one snap, you can update the tracker immediately.

What are the Smart Apps that can be used? Many free Personal Finance Smart Apps are available which you can choose from. Just type "budget" on search in your App Store or Google Play and you can choose any 4-5 star rating that is suitable for you. 

Based on experience, we recommend "Pocket Expense" for easy-to-use personal finance Smart App. Other options include "Expense Manager App" that will notify you if you have scheduled payment and "Good Budget App".

What are the features of the Smart Apps that can help you in tracking expenses and budgeting? 

Several advantageous features are available for any of these Finance Smart Apps such as:
1. Choosing your budget which makes you vigilant on spending money.
2. Selecting type of spending you incurred such as "Dining", "Utilities", "Household", "Clothing" and the like.
3. Providing analysis, chart and report daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly. You name it which can help you determine the criteria you spend the most. It can help you eliminate buying your "wants" instead of "needs".

Having a Personal Finance Smart App makes budgeting and tracking Finances handy, efficient and user-friendly. 

Try it now and experience it yourself.
Track + Budget = Save
Be financially smart!

Suze Orman's Financial Advice for Filipinos

American personal finance guru, Suze Orman, is in the country today. From the interview with Karen Davila on ANC this morning, here are some of her financial advice to us Filipinos about managing our personal funds.

Law of Money

1) Live below your means but within your needs. 

2) Before buying anything, you should ask yourself this: Is it a need or is it a want? If it's a want, walk away. If it's a need, you buy it. If you live below your means and purchasing only your needs and walking away from your wants, you will find money to save

3) The goal of money is for you to buy your needs to feed yourself, feed your children, buy a roof over your head that doesn't blow away. That's the goal, so you can sleep at night, not to buy five watches

Getting out of credit card debt

4) Debt is bondage. You will never have financial freedom if you have bondage

5) It is not about getting out of credit card debt. It is: Why did you get into debt to begin with
6) Before you save money, before you invest, your number one goal is to take whatever extra money you have and pay off that credit card debt because at 36% (interest), you are digging a hole deeper and deeper

7) When you spend money you don't have, what does that say about you? It says you care about these things that money can buy more than you care about having money in a savings account

8) If you look at your expenses you will find something in there that you WANTED to buy, not NEEDED to buy.
9) You cannot fix a financial problem with money. You have to figure out how you feel about yourself first.
Save, save, save

10) You want to make sure you have a savings account that has at least 8 months of what it would cost you to live for your everyday needs, one should also start investing money every month on a mutual fund. After you've done that, every month set aside a specific amount and invest in that fund. It's peso cost averaging, that way when the fund goes down, your pesos buy more shares. When the fund goes up, your pesos buy less shares but over time you've averaged the cost of the share with your pesos and you won't lose money

11) People don't realize just how much money they're spending for a cup of coffee every day - money they could be investing, instead. Look at it this way, even if you did that once a month, spent P100 a month on a cup of coffee and you did that for the next 40 years. If you had taken that money and invested it, you would have P1 million at just P100 a month

12) They think the goal of life is to buy this and buy that and that's how they define themselves. Things will never define who you are. You define the things around you

13) You have to do something to have money so you can invest

14) If you just have enough money, 2 things: 1) earn more money 2) look at your needs/wants. You have to generate money to invest

15) Get life insurance if you have dependents. Health insurance is extremely important

16) On pre-nup: You have to be financially intimate with the person you are going to marry
Invest in the Philippines
17) This is a country that is starting to grow. The economy is growing, the stock market is booming. So the whole country is doing great but its people are not doing great yet
18) I would be investing in this country. Forget the United States
19) On peso as a currency: Companies see what is happening. This is going to be the place to be, I would be taking advantage of this
20) At this point I would save in pesos. You have to believe in your country
Watch the complete interview of Suze Orman with Karen Davila on ANC.

 "You'll never be powerful in life unless you are powerful over your own money." - Suze Orman
source: ANC, ABS-CBN News

5 Finance Things To Do Before You Hit 30

Sharing with you this article written by one of my finance mentors, Mr. Randell Tiongson. 

There’s something about hitting 30. 

Somehow, you are still considered young at 30 and yet not that young anymore. Many things happen when you cross the 30 mark in the many aspects of your life. Your career should be taking off at this age, you may have started a family or contemplating on starting one, you may have started accumulating wealth and you may have also started accumulating debt.
I have crossed the big 30 many, many, many years ago, I felt there were many things I should have done before I hit 30. I was listening to my friend and colleague Marvin Germo (of Stock Smarts) on the things he has been doing for financial readiness and he is not even 30. Marvin mentioned many things he has done which I only started on much later. If ever I get to do things over again, here are the finance things I will definitely be serious about before hitting 30.

1) Ensure you have a very healthy cash flow – Folks in their 20s have started to earn and have begun to appreciate enjoying their income. The problem is, they enjoy their income too well that there is a tendency to spend every peso of it. This is a fun season to many as they now have freedom to do what they want and have the means to finance what they want. This is also a time of exploration to many especially for those who had parents who were a bit restrictive (like me as a parent), however, these explorations costs a lot of money. Accumulation of stuff also begins at this season and lifestyle upgrades becomes a social pressure.

Way before hitting 30, make sure you have a good grip on your money management. Working on a written budget is the best place to start. Learn how to allocate your income between needs and wants and make sure that at the end of the month, there is savings left. For those in their 20s, it’s best to have 30% to 40% savings left from income which is very possible if you have the discipline to stick to a budget. The money behavior you will have during this period will a have a lasting impact on your financial future so better start doing things right.

2) Minimize or resist from borrowing – Credit card companies and financial institutions are always targeting this age group because they understand that people in their 20s loves to accumulate stuff, see the world and enjoy life in general — the perfect setting to lure people into debt! Not all debt is bad but you need learn how to discern a good debt from a bad one. Generally speaking, a good debt is one that will allow you to grow your assets and/or add income like a loan to finance a business or to purchase a real estate property. Any other debt that will not grow your asset base or add on to your income would be considered a bad debt like using your credit card to finance your new Samsung or iPhone smart phone, a Michael Kors bag, or your dream vacation to Bali.

People in their 20s begin to accumulate credit debt and other consumer loans which are grossly disproportional to their incomes. The bad credit decisions you will make during your 20s will have severe ramifications up to your 40s and 50s. Your credit standing will also be made or broken during this time so learn how to use credit responsibly.

3) Start investing – The best time to begin investing is whey you are young! When you have a lot of time, you can have more options on how to grow your wealth and even take in more risks. Taking in more risks will mean that there is a better chance of growing your wealth faster and you can ride the ups and downs of the economic cycles. If you lose money and you are young, you still have a lot of time to recover. The good investments for long term would be investments in the stock market or Mutual Funds or UITFs that are invested in equities. While they are volatile, they are bound to generate the best returns over a long stretch of time. My friend and investment trainer Ricky So said “take risks when you are young, if you lose your money, you still have your parents to run to” – funny guy!

Start learning how to invest and act on it. There are a lot of seminars and training for the public on how to invest but don’t linger with making that first investment. A good way to start would be putting some money in a mutual fund or the UITF of your bank. Equity laced funds like stock funds or even balanced funds are ideal for young investors. You may also consider some on-line trading if you want to have a say over your stock market investments. Just a note, if you will not have the time and the competence to trade your own stocks, stick to mutual funds or UITFs. Make your investing automatic by regularly adding to your funds or buying more shares. In your 20s, you probably don’t have sizeable investment funds yet but small amounts done regularly will also produce great results. If you started investing only P2,000 every month at the age of 21, you would have accumulated over P1 Million by the time you hit 41 (assuming a yield of 8% p.a.). Have an auto-debit arrangement for your investing; making things automatic does the trick. Remember, invest early, invest wisely and invest regularly.

4) Buy life insurance – This is not a pitch for life insurance agents but I encourage you to listen to one. If there are people already depending on your income, do not delay in buying a life insurance policy. Premiums are much cheaper if you buy it before you hot 30 and I also notice that premiums rise sharply when you hit your 30s and 40s. Just remember to buy a policy you can afford. There are many kinds of life insurance policies but I would probably stick to either a term insurance or a Variable Universal Life insurance or VUL. Term insurance if you want to maximize your coverage and keep your premiums low – the downside is that you do not earn from this kind of policy. I suggest that you buy term and also invest in mutual funds or you can buy a VUL which is a term with a mutual fund. Just make sure you chose a reputable provider and one who has a good record on after sales service. For your peace of mind, you may want to limit your choices among the top 10 life insurance companies.

5) Learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others – For sure, you will make a lot of mistakes in your 20s – and your 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. Along with many other mistakes you are bound to make, some of them are financial mistakes — bad investment decisions, wrong borrowings, wrong purchases, etc. But that’s life and the best way to respond to our mistakes is for us to learn from it and not repeat it anymore. As you make those mistakes, always look for the lesson behind those mistakes and learn to avoid them in the future.

Experience is your best teacher but we don’t always have to learn from our own experience. You can also learn much from other people’s experiences and in this case, other people’s mistakes. Look for mentors who can help you and learn from their experiences and their mistakes as well.

Hitting 30 is a big thing and somehow, it’s a passage rite to many of us. It is a time to learn from the past but be hopeful for what the future will bring.

“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” — 1 Timothy 4:12, NLT

'Kurot' Principle: Pinoy vs. Chinoy Businessman

Some of my friends in facebook have shared this already and find it so true that they would like to apply the principle in their lives asap. It easily caught my attention so I thought of sharing it with you here in the blog.

source: google
Ano ‘yung Kurot Principle? Ay, ang ganda nitong Kurot Principle na ito. To better understand this, I will tell you a story of a person na balak bumili ng cellphone worth P1,000. Nagkataong mayroon siyang P100,000 na savings. Puwede ba siyang bumili ng cellphone? Puwede, kasi yung P1,000, KUROT lang ‘yon sa kanyang savings.

May pangalawang taong balak bumili ng cellphone. Ang bibilhin niya ay worth P1,000 din. Mayroon siyang savings sa bangko na P1,000. Bumili siya ng cellphone. Anong tawag dun? DAKOT na ‘yun! Dinakot lahat ang pera niya! 

May pangatlong tao, balak bumili ng cellphone, pero walang savings. P1,000 lang naman ‘yung bibilhin niya. Bumili siya. Anong tawag ‘dun? UTANG na ‘yun!

Ang tanong: ano’ng prinsipyo ang ginagamit mo sa buhay mo? KUROT, DAKOT, o UTANG? 

Magtataka pa ba tayo kung bakit tayo naghihirap o baon sa utang? Ang gagaling nating dumakot! Ang gagaling nating umutang! Gusto mong yumaman? Starting today, matutong kumurot. Kapag may bibilhin, dapat kinukurot lang! Nagkakaintindihan ba tayo? Kapag ginawa mo ito, pangako, yayaman ka.

Pag-aralan nating muli ang mga pinakamayayaman sa Pilipinas, ang Chinoy. Again, bakit sila mayayaman? Ang gagaling nilang… kumurot! Tayo ang gagaling nating… dumakot! Sasampolan kita…

Pinoy vs. Chinoy Businessman 

May dalawang negosyanteng nagsimula ng kanilang negosyo, isang Pinoy at isang Chinoy. Ang capital nila pareho ay P100,000.

Sa unang buwan, si Pinoy, kumita ng P10,000. Ano ang iniisip bilhin? Cellphone. Si Chinoy, kumita rin ng P10,000. Ano ang gagawin niya? Idadagdag niya sa puhunan.

So magkano na ngayon ang puhunan ni Chinoy? P110,000! Si Pinoy, P100,000 pa rin, pero may bago siyang cellphone. Ang ganda!

Ituloy natin. After a few months, maganda ang takbo ng negosyo. Si Pinoy kumita ng P50,000. Ang Pilipinong may P50,000, ano ang balak bilhin? Bibili siya ng home theater, DVD, at LCD TV! Si Chinoy, kumita rin ng P50,000. Anong gagawin niya? Idadagdag uli sa puhunan niya. Magkano na ang puhunan niya? P160,000 na!

A few months later pa, ang Pinoy kumita ng P150,000! Ang Pilipinong mayroong P150,000, ano ang balak bilhin? Second-hand na kotse o pang-downpayment sa bagong kotse. Ang Chinoy, may P150,000. Ano’ng gagawin niya? Idadagdag sa puhunan! Magkano na ang puhunan niya? P310,000!

Buwan-buwan, si Pinoy kumikita. Dagdag siya ng dagdag ng gamit. Magkano ang puhunan niya? P100,000! Si Chinoy, buwan-buwan kumikita. Ano ang ginagawa niya? Dagdag ng dagdag sa puhunan niya. One day, Chinoy was able to save P1 million! So ginawa niya, he approached one supplier and said, “Supplier, kung bibili ako sa‘yo ng worth P1 million, bibigyan mo ba ako ng discount?” Hulaan mo kung ano ang sasabihin ng supplier. “Of course, ang dami mong bibilhin, kaya bibigyan kita ng additional 5% discount!”

Ngunit naisip ni Chinoy, “Hindi naman yata maganda na sa akin lahat ang 5%. Ang gagawin ko, bibigyan ko ang customers ko ng 3% discount at sa akin na lang ‘yung 2%.” Ibig sabihin, bababa ang presyo ng kanyang mga ibinebentang produkto.

It just so happened na magkatabi ang tindahan ni Chinoy at ni Pinoy. Pareho sila ng mga produktong ibinebenta. Given the situation, kanino kayo bibili? Kay Chinoy, because it’s cheaper. Ano ang mangyayari sa negosyo ni Pinoy? Malulugi na. Kasi mas mahal ang kaniyang produkto. Ano ang gagawin niya? Ibebenta niya ‘yung kotseng nabili niya ng P150,000. Sino ang bibili? Siyempre, ang maraming pera, si Chinoy. Tatawaran pa ni Chinoy ang kotse ng P80,000. Dahil gipit na si Pinoy, kahit palugi ay ibebenta na rin niya. Si Chinoy ngayon ay nagkaroon ng kotse na murang-mura lang!

After a few months, mauubos din ang P80,000 ni Pinoy. Ano ang susunod na gagawin ni Pinoy? Ang home entertainment niya ay ibebenta na rin. Magkano? P20,000 na lang. Sino ang bibili? Si Chinoy. Darating ang araw na pati ang cellphone ni Pinoy ay ibebenta na niya. Magkano niya ibebenta? P2,000 na lang! Isang araw, magsasara na ang negosyo ni Pinoy. Ano ang gagawin niya? Malamang, magtatrabaho na lang siya kay Chinoy. Ito ang kuwento ng bansang Pilipinas!

Naalala mo pa ba noong araw, mas mayayaman ang mga Pinoy kaysa sa mga Chinese. Bakit nagbago? Ano ba ang problema natin? Dakot kasi tayo ng dakot! Sila, kurot lang ng kurot!

Mayroon kaming naging participant before na nagsabi, “Sir, hindi naman totoo ‘yan! I know a Chinoy, he drives a BMW. That’s a P5 million car! Kurot ba ‘yun?” Malamang kurot ‘yun! Noong binili niya ‘yun, mayroon na siyang P100 million na savings! So kurot lang ‘yun! Nandiyan ka pa ba?

Isang Kahig, Isang Tuka 

Saan ka makakakita ng mga taong isang kahig, isang tuka? Saan? Sa squatters area? Magtigil ka! Gusto mo’ng makakita ng mga taong isang kahig, isang-tuka? Sa Ortigas, sa Makati, may makikita ka.

What do I mean? Kapag hindi ka sumuweldo ng isang buwan, mabubuhay ba ang pamilya mo? Kung wala kang credit card, kung mawalan ka ng trabaho ngayon, ilang araw ang aabutin para mabuhay ng matino ang pamilya mo? Kapag nawalan ka ng suweldo, patay ka!

Ang mga Chinoy, kahit hindi muna kumita o magnegosyo, mabubuhay ng maganda. Bakit po? Kasi many years ago, kumahig sila ng kumahig at tumuka lang konti. Kaya marami sa kanila ngayon, tuka na lang ng tuka. Maraming Pinoy, kapag hindi tayo kumahig, wala tayong tutukain.

Ito ang masakit–sometimes, kahit matanda na tayo, kahig pa rin tayo ng kahig. Gaano karaming Pilipino ang 60 years old na ay trabaho pa rin ng trabaho? Puwede ba, simula ngayon, kumahig ka nang kumahig at iwasan munang tumuka. I-deprive ang sarili ng kaunti.

Ang pinakamasakit sa lahat ay ito–one day, you want to work, but you cannot work. You are already old. Why? Nagpakasasa ka kasi noong bata ka pa. Inubos mo na lahat ng lakas at kalusugan mo sa bisyo.

Tanong: Masama ba’ng bumili ng mahal? Sagot: Hindi! Basta kinukurot lang! Kapag nakakita ka ng kasamahan mong naka-Nike shoes, huwag mong husgahan kaagad iyong tao! Malay mo, kinurot lang niya iyon. At the end of the day, what is happening to other people is not important. What’s more important is what is happening to you.

The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 4:11, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life. You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you.” 

(Excerpted from Vic and Avelynn Garcia’s book entitled Kontento Ka Na Ba Sa KaPERAhan Mo?)

I might get a copy of the book since a client of mine named Sergie mentioned it to me. Share this to your family and friends. Be a blessing!

How Financially Prepared Are You For the Future?

This article was shared to me by my sister. She read it on Yahoo! I hope Mr. Mark Aragona wouldn't mind if I'll share it with you. I believe this is not only worth reading and sharing with your loved ones but will also inspire you to start planning ahead.

 How financially prepared are you for the future?

source: photo
Recently we’ve seen some surveys in the media indicating that we Filipinos have increased our financial literacy. For example, the study shows that 90% of Pinoys have created a monthly budget with 65% sticking to it, and a larger number of the population aged 18 and above own bank accounts. A 2012 survey by TNS Consumer Spending Barometer showed that 40% of the surveyed population were hopeful that they would soon be financially better off.

This is encouraging news. Right now we are at the most money literate we’ve ever been, a confidence that coincides with our burgeoning economy. However, a closer look at the situation shows a sobering and not-very-pretty picture.

Without proper savings for retirement

According to Asian Market Research, our “domestic savings as a percentage of GDP declined from 19% in 1994 to 17% in 2000.” Now we stand somewhere between 12% to 16% according, to NEDA. The TNS survey showed that 8 out of 10 Filipinos do not have savings in case of emergencies, rating far below that of our neighboring Asian countries like Singapore or Malaysia. And with regards to having money for worst-case scenarios, around only 14% of the population carry insurance.

What about those who do save? Another study shows that Philippine banks hold over P5 trillion in cash. One might think that’s an enormous amount of money saved, but considering today’s low-interest environment (which as of this writing stands at less than 3.6%), that money in your savings account is simply languishing in the bank vault, being slowly overtaken by inflation.

This paints a very bleak scenario of a typical working-class Filipino’s life during the retirement age. Without proper savings for retirement, it is likely that Pinoys will still be working past the age of 65. Worse, it is also likely they will wind up partially or fully dependent on their children or other relatives in order to get by. Of course, this is a cultural aspect and an honorable one as well—many workers today grew up providing and caring for aging parents—but that doesn’t make it any less thorny for both the dependent and the provider. Because these children are burdened with taking care of their parents, they save less and may even be forced to become reliant on their own kids after they retire. And the cycle continues.

Poor financial planning
What this indicates is that while Filipinos today are becoming more aware of the need to save for their future, we are not taking enough steps to ensure that we’ll succeed. It’s not simply due to lack of income but poor financial planning.

Average Pinoys are not aware of how much they need to regularly set aside for important life events like retirement and the education of their children, and as such wind up spending money on non-essentials like gadgets and luxuries.

The TNS study mentioned that Filipino households prioritize communication and entertainment for their expenses: while only 65% of surveyed Pinoys have access to something as essential as running water, 73% own mobile phones.

Despite the current rise in financial awareness, a lot more needs to be done. True, it starts with government efforts towards job creation and pay equality. But above and beyond that, there should be an organized and concerted effort to educate the populace on their financial options. Moreover, Pinoys themselves should actively seek out ways to be financially ready for their future. This includes seeking extra means of income, saving every payday, buying investments and financial instruments to make their money work for them, and most of all, having a clear, solid, and measurable financial goal, particularly when it comes to retirement and healthcare.

None of this is easy. As a Pinoy worker, there’s a great temptation to just focus on the present, on the near term, because that’s what’s easiest to see. But if we want our lives to genuinely change, if we want that dream of a house of our own and a comfortable life to come true, then we have to start with changing our spending habits, instead of forging ahead and hoping for the best.

When it comes to building wealth, as with anything, hope is not a strategy.

Money Matters asks: When it comes to planning your finances for the future, how prepared do you think you are?

How's Your Relationship with Money?

I have been attending "The Feast", the weekly Catholic Prayer Meeting of the Light of Jesus family led by Bro. Bo Sanchez, for three (3) years now in Valle Verde Country Club, Pasig City. I thank God for this. I really enjoyed the talks and worship right after the holy mass. There's so much to learn!

The current series/talk is entitled "Happy, Healthy, Holy Money". Bro. Obet Cabrillas, The Feast Pasig Preacher, said that the modern day people think that money can buy everything: happiness, health and holiness. Of course, that is not true. The truth is, money can buy: pleasure but not happiness, medicine but not healing, vitamins but not health, a house but not a home, books but not wisdom, companions but not friends, crucifix but not salvation. The real issue is stewardship. God wants us to prosper by managing our finances properly so we can share it with others.

Bro. Obet introduced the 3 kinds of Rich:
  • The Filthy Rich
  • The Guilty Rich
  • The Truly Rich
Bro. Obet
According to what he has written in yesterday's Feast bulletin, the Filthy Rich are actually very rich. They have plenty of money and they buy what they want. However there is a side effect to the intoxication of affluence. They are selfish and callous. They do not care about the needs of others. They're apathetic to the poor. Then along the way, they wonder why they feel so empty and desolate inside.  

The Guilty Rich are also very rich. They acquire many properties. If there is one thing that they're good at it is - making money and more money and more money. However, because earlier in their lives they've been oriented with a false theology that is anti-affluence, they feel guilty. The guilt within them gnaws on every happiness they have. It eats away their sense of clean satisfaction and robs them of inner peace. The effect - the more they get rich, the guiltier they feel. And because the only thing they're good at is making money, they drown their inner guilt by making more money. In effect they get richer yet sadder and sadder.

The Truly Rich are the ones that don't make wealth filthy. Nor do they feel guilty within when they make money. The reason for this is that they know that Christianity is all about stewardship and generosity. They grow their wealth and give. They're merciful to the poor. They're supportive to their family and relatives. More so, they tithe to the Spiritual Family that nurtures their Spirit.  

Also, there are 3 Rules of the Truly Rich:
  1. What you spend should be less than what you earn.
  2. What you save should grow more than what you lose.
  3. What you earn should be equal to what you know.  
Are you a Filthy, Guilty or Truly Rich?  

"Therefore keep the words of this covenant and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do." (Deuteronomy 29:9)

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