I have been trying to educate myself in handling my money for the past year or so. It’s a bit difficult to budget especially if everything around you is telling you to spend. It’s harder when you know you can afford a lot of things.
A lot of people here are having problems with money. The constant lure of the city is to blame. Once you step out of your house, there’s always something the city wants you to buy.
There’s a four-letter word that I hate the most: SALE. It’s not in the budget but it’s on sale! I hate it.
Because the outflow of money is usually faster than the inflow, most of us would want to look for an inflow that is as fast as or faster than our outflow.
I have been fascinated by the Aman Futures scam in the Philippines. I could not blame the “investors” because it was easy money. Fast inflow. Shortcuts. One of the initial things that I’ve learned in my research is that if it’s too good to be true, then it’s too good to be true. No establishment, even banks, is crazy enough to give you a return that fast! No way! That’s just how money works.
My mother always told me that money do not grow on trees. I’ve learned though that money grow like trees – slow, steady and sure. And once it grows, believe you me, it flourishes and it bears fruits.
Fast money on the other hand is like a weed. It feeds on good crops, it grows scantily and it’s easily pulled off.
Now we focus on investing. Such a big word, investment. It is true that when you invest big, you will get big rewards. What people don’t usually realize is the goings on in between the investment and the reward.
Just like the growth of a tree, reaping the reward of your investment takes time. The keyword is not profit; the keyword is SAVINGS.
I have talked to a couple of people whom I have urged to invest with me. During that time I really did not know what to say when they told me that the waiting time is too long and the returns are not too “big” (ok first of all, it’s bigger than the 2.5% annual interest that I’ve been getting from my bank savings account). Some of them are already engaged in easy-money schemes like selling beauty products and what-nots.
I don’t have anything against those kinds of schemes but again, easy money gained is easy money lost… unless you save your profit.
That’s the keyword! Savings!
The wisest thing to do is to save. My mother would always tell me that. My mother also taught me to save for a purpose. Save for that chess board that you’ve always wanted to buy. Save for that pair of Sketchers shoes that are ridiculously expensive. Save for those trinkets that you always see on the Avon brochure. Save for your cell phone load, etc.
Now that I am older, the purpose is bigger than a new mobile phone or tablet or camera. The purpose is to put up a business back home. The purpose is to be able to retire early and enjoy the money that I have worked hard for. The purpose is to have my money work for me (as what Robert Kiyosaki said).
I was chatting with one of my friends who is working as a nurse in Canada a couple of years back. I told her about my financial status and my savings. When I told her that I am earning less than her, she told me, at the end of the day, it matters not how much you earn; what matters is how much of what you earn do you save.
In the world of credit cards and debit cards, saving your money in the bank is almost close to impossible, especially if you live in this part of the world where the word sale is everywhere!
Think of it this way:
20% savings/investments (no, this does not include your “investment” on books or other material things LOL)
That means saying no to that new bag, or new laptop, or new iPhone. More importantly, as OFW’s, that means saying no to your mom, dad, sister, brother, cousin, cousin-in-law, neighbor, barkada and barangay captain back home (I mean, you have to set a certain amount to give them and not go beyond that).
Of course, that’s the ideal formula. One could always tweak the savings depending on your needs. One thing is for sure, it’s better to sacrifice the money that you currently have rather than the money that you don’t have.
One must be wise where to put his/her savings. Remember, the longer you let it grow, the more fruitful it gets. The bigger the risk, the larger the reward.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is how rich people think in a nutshell. They don’t acquire money for the ultimate purpose of buying the latest sports car or a castle in Ireland; rather, they acquire money to acquire more money to acquire more money, then they buy the sports car and the castle. It seems avaricious if you read it that way but that’s another story. LOL
Luke and I are now investing (read: saving) some of our money where we can’t touch it for at least the next three years. We are also contemplating on investing on another venture. Knowing how money works, I trust God that it’s being well-watered and exposed to sunshine every day until it matures, flowers and bears fruit.
PS. I’ve found this PDI article very useful: Where Do I Put My Money by Randell Tiongson