Have you ever wondered why when you were still earning small, it was just enough? But when you got a salary increase, it was no longer enough?
Budgeting. The most underrated skill in getting wealthy.
It is so easy to earn, because we Filipinos are so resourceful or madiskarte. However, getting wealthy is not just about earning, it is also about the keeping and growing money.
One scratch, one peck (isang kahig, isang tuka) is an idiomatic expression for the poor. But I think I was worse than that when I was in a financial abyss, I was more of a peck first, then scratch for food. So what happened? Here are 3 steps that I followed.
1. Change mindset. I have learned that if I want to change something, it has to start from my own thinking. Changing mindset will not change the situation right away, but it will change one’s direction and inner self. Einstein once said, “You can’t solve a problem with the same intelligence that created it”. Once you change your perception about money, the way you manage it, will also change gradually. Unfortunately, most of us Filipinos have so many money beliefs and practices that are not helping us financially. Examples: “Bahala na (Come what may)”, that is why we don’t normally make financial plans, because it is easier to say bahala na that we don’t the legwork of planning, pasalubong (a Filipino tradition of travellers bringing gifts from their destination to people back home) most of the time even if it is not in the budget, we still buy gifts for them, kapag maliit ang kumot, matutong mamaluktot (when the blanket is short, learn to curl up) for me, it is a good one but for a certain period of time only, of course we should also THINK OF WAYS on how to make that blanket bigger and enjoy life), misinterpreted na “Huwag pag-awayan ang pera” (Do not fight over money), sometimes, for the reason that you don’t want to fight over money, a lot of Filipino couples just don’t talk about it, hence causing more problems. Money is the root of all evil, that’s making us feel like being wealthy/rich is sinful. In short, feed your mind with RIGHT knowledge. Invest in yourself.
In my case, when I was still in debt, I borrowed books from friends, went to bookstores and read for free. If you dislike reading, there’s audio books, seminars or youtube as alternatives. Always remember, it is vital to invest in knowledge, and more importantly, don’t forget to use it.
2. Face the reality.
Being a co-breadwinner of my single-mother in the family of 5 with 2 college students, budgeting was an arduous task. My head bleeds when I was starting to do it. Know where you are financially. List all your INCOME, FIXED EXPENSES, DISCRETIONARY EXPENSES and DEBTS if there’s any.
If short, adjust the discretionary expenses or make ways on how to earn more money by another source of income or do well to get promoted/ get performance incentives.
3. Make a plan & stick with it.
My salary was 10,000 per pay day back in 2009 or 2011. How did I stick with my budget? On my payday, I go to ATM, withdraw everything, then go inside the bank and save the 1,000 to a different bank account. Asked the bank teller to change the remaining 9K into, 50’s and 100’s. After that, I pull out all my labeled brown envelopes and comparmentalized my expenses below.
1500 150 per day allowance in 10 days
1500 house rental (3,000 was the house rental, I just split it into 2 paydays)
1000 electric bill
1000 For God’s Business
1000 100 per day sister’s allowance
1000 (family unexpected expenses)
1000 reward for myself
1000 sister’s tuition fee
Envelope system is one of the most effective budgeting plans for a newbie. I also remember that I have to say no to some of my friend’s invites like weddings, dine out, movie dates for me to be able to stick to my budget. Please note that budgeting has to be REALISTIC & REVIEWED monthly to be effective. If you are still new to this, do not expect that you will be able to do it in one try. I assure you will not succeed. Just keep on trying. Progress is always better than perfection.
Cashflow is the lifeblood of any successful personal finance. I used to skip this skill when I was starting to improve my finances, but I didn’t succeed. I may not emphasize the importance of it enough but here’s the question that I can leave the readers. If you can’t manage your funds, on a personal level, what makes you think you can do it in a business level?
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.” Luke 16:10
Thank you rawpixel for the image and thank for your time reading. 🙂