Rising oil prices, now what?

Column box-Genesis Kelly S. Lontoc-RFP

ONE of the key challenges being faced by the Philippine economy in 2022 is inflation. Goods and services have become more expensive. Unfortunately, the light at the end of the tunnel cannot be seen yet.

One of the causes of inflation would be the surge in global oil prices. Adverse global developments have led to supply bottlenecks. Oil is a vital item in the economy as it is used by both individuals and organizations. In this light, it is important to practice prudence in managing personal finances to weather the storm.

Everything starts with the goal. It is the goal that dictates strategies and tactics. Plans are then developed to hopefully achieve the goals. Planning is very important. Developing a written weekly or written monthly itinerary will make trips more organized and more efficient.

Not all activities can be done in one trip. Activities can be prioritized according to their importance and urgency. Activities with proximate locations can be completed in a scheduled trip. Certain activities like meetings can also be facilitated virtually.

For purchases of gas and diesel, a survey of the market can be done to arrive at the best choice. For product, the driver can do research on what type of gas or diesel can give maximum performance to the vehicle. For pricing, the driver can scout for stations that have low prices.

For promotions, the driver can search for stations that have promotion partnerships via loyalty cards. The points of these loyalty cards can lead to big savings. For place, the driver can explore stations in both main roads and secondary roads.  

Commuting is a potential solution to rising oil prices. A comparison has to be made between the costs of using the vehicle and commuting. In the Philippines, transportation fares are monitored closely and so commuting costs can actually be cheaper. As more infrastructure projects are completed over time, there is potential for the country to further improve the public transportation system. What is important is the disciplined execution of health and safety protocols to ensure that commuting is not going to be risky.

Health is wealth. Riding a bicycle can be a solution to rising oil prices. Biking education is on the rise. More bike lanes are being built. Biking is a form of exercise that can lead to good health for the biker. Biking can also yield potential wins for the environment. If the point of destination is not that far, walking can be done.

As Filipinos bike more and walk more, the dual benefits of having a healthy citizenry and clean environment are supported. These conditions go a long way in supporting sustainable economic growth.

Rising oil prices can lead to rising prices of goods and services. One has to live within the means. Expenses must not exceed income to avoid debt traps. A listing of expenses will allow one to distinguish the needs from the wants.

A budgeting tool that can be applied is the “20-50-30” budget rule where 20 percent goes to the future in the form of saving and investing, 50 percent goes to needs and the remaining 30 percent can go to wants. One can try to negotiate for the best product, price, promo and place deals in order to stretch the Peso.

Inflation presents an opportunity for one to examine the saving and investment portfolio. At the end of the day, money growth must exceed price growth so that purchasing power increases. It may be possible that the generated return of the portfolio may be behind the inflation rate.

Adjustments to the selection and weight of every investment can be done in order to improve returns. Looking at the fundamental aspects and technical aspects along with the track record and future plans of investments will be handy.

Every economy goes through economic cycles. There are periods of growth and decline. Practicing sound personal financial management will allow one to navigate volatility, uncertainty, change and ambiguity better. It will allow one to bounce back stronger. Financially-free Filipinos help build a strong economy.

Gemmy Lontoc is a registered financial planner of RFP Philippines. To learn more about personal-financial planning, attend the 97th RFP program this August 2022. To inquire, e-mail info@rfp.ph or text at 0917-6248110.


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