WHAT you believe controls your thoughts, which then dictates your actions. And having unhealthy beliefs about money will definitely lead to bad financial habits.
Below are seven money mindsets that a lot of Filipinos have and among the major reasons why they’re financially poor.
Check yourself against them. Take action on eliminating and then replacing them with better and smarter money habits.
1. One-day millionaire.
When one has worked so hard to earn money, it’s easy to believe that they deserve a reward when their salary finally comes.
It’s not wrong to think this way. In fact, it’s okay to treat yourself once in a while. However, this often becomes a dangerous belief when one spends more than what they can afford.
2. Splurging on pasalubong.
This is common for overseas Filipino workers — spending extravagant amounts on pasalubong (souvenir) whenever they come home. It’s mostly their guilt that’s making them do it; because they’re trying to make up for their absence.
Your presence is the best pasalubong you can give your loved ones, and what matters most to them is fulfilling your promise that you’ll come home for good soon. So work on that instead, and save your money.
Moreover, it’s not your obligation to bring home pasalubong or to treat the whole town and all your relatives when you’re back: so don’t. Never mind if they think you’re “kuripot” (stingy) or “madamot” (selfish). Your loved ones are your priority, not them.
3. Celebration mentality.
Pinoys love having parties. From birthdays to town fiestas, from baptism to graduation; Filipinos believe these occasions require lavish celebrations.
While these are meaningful moments, their significance won’t diminish if you choose to just have a simple celebration. Spending the day with your loved ones during these times is more important than the size of the party and the number of guests you have.
4. Spending future income today.
One of the reasons why a lot of Filipinos live from paycheck to paycheck is because they spend their salaries even before they receive it. Worse, they borrow money or use their credit cards, to spend on mostly unnecessary things.
They buy on impulse or spend on travel, believing that it’s okay because their salary is coming in a few days anyway. However, repeating this without proper budgeting, and soon they’ll find themselves deep in credit card debts.
5. Keeping up with friends and trends.
In general, we all want acceptance and that sense of belonging. Unfortunately, this can lead to unhealthy financial habits when we begin to think that we need to keep up if we want to maintain our friendships.
True friends will never judge nor take it against you if you’re not as financially capable as them. And they will never pressure you into spending on non-essential things. They’ll accept you for who you are, including your financial capacity.
If your friends make you feel unwelcome or less of a person if you can’t keep up with them, then it’s time for you to find a new set of friends.
6. I’m poor in Math.
“Hindi ako magaling sa Math” is a popular sentiment among Filipinos. I’ve heard it often, especially when I try to explain budgeting and investing to someone.
When it comes to personal finance, it’s a popular belief that you need to be good in mathematics to create and follow a budget and that you need to understand Economics to be able to invest successfully.
The truth is far from it. Just give it a little effort to understand, and avoid immediately dismissing such topics. You’ll discover that all it takes is simple Arithmetic and basic knowledge about money.
And just because you are not good in Math, Economics, or in any other financial subjects, it doesn’t mean you can’t do practical money management strategies.
7. “Okay naman kami” attitude.
Sometimes, when I try to encourage people to invest, I am met with a response that they don’t really want to because they’re doing good financially anyway.
“Hindi ko naman pinangarap yumaman. Basta nakakakain kami ng tatlong beses isang araw, okay na.” [I never dreamed of getting rich. It’s enough that we eat three times a day.]
That’s the line I would normally hear from them. Unfortunately, this belief comes from the misconception that investing is just for people who want to become rich.
The truth is, investing is for everyone who wants to have financial security in the future. It’s not about accumulating a lot of wealth. Rather, it’s making sure that you will always have enough to live comfortably.
Fitz Villafuerte is a registered financial planner of RFP Philippines. To learn more about personal-financial planning, attend the 97th RFP program this August. To inquire, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or text at 0917-6248110.