I was born poor and life for me was not easy. My father is from Bicol and my mother is from the Visayas. They met in a bag factory in Angono,Rizal. My father lost his job when he was like 55 years old because the factory he was working at closed down and my mother did not work since they got married. It was a very difficult situation for my brother and my three sisters because we struggled financially. Luckily, I had a punk rock attitude. Punk is a mentality. It is represented by one who does not swallow outright what people tell them or people normally do. Just like punk rock music that I can relate to my attitude on how I practice personal finance.
I never had qualms about working hard. I had to do odd jobs before just to save money while studying in UP. I had jobs like a bagger in a grocery store, store assistant in a video shop, and a waiter in a Hotel. I’m blessed that my family and relatives supported me during those times to finish my studies. I am thankful because of that experience, I realized the value of personal finance so that I will not be forever poor in my entire life. As Bill Gates say, if you were born poor,it is not your mistake,but if you die poor,it is your mistake.
Let me share with you some Punk Rock Personal Finance Habits that I practice that I believe can benefit you as well. (Warning: Some of these habits not be for you.)
1. Pay your debts as fast as you can.
2.Do not borrow money to buy things just to impress other people or just to be in. Keeping up with the Joneses is a big bullshit.
3. Cut your credit cards if you plan to pay it in installment. It is a negative compounding interest.
4. Buy more assets than liabilities.
5. Learn to save first before you spend. Do not just save and then you will spend it all afterwards. Set goals for short term, mid term and long term needs. Know your reasons why you need to save.
6. Do not buy things that are not well thought of. Practice delayed gratification.
7. Learn to say “No” to unnecessary expenses that your relatives, friends or officemates offer you. Example: Unplanned activities like travel, dining out, drinking,partying and et cetera.
8. Give up vices like drinking alcohol and smoking. If you cannot quit, minimize it. You can be healthier and you can save money.
9. Bring packed food at work as much as possible.
10. Look for a clean carinderia near from your office rather than buy food from fast food restaurant.
11. If you plan to get into a relationship,look for someone who knows how to save money. If you are already in a relationship to someone who does not save money, you need to change your BF/GF soon.
12. Learn to allocate your income into different categories, use clear book to allocate it. Ex: Savings,Insurance,Investment, Grocery,Tuition Fees, Transportation/Gas Expenses,Loans, Giving, et cetera.
13. Change your money to hundreds from your favorite bank so that you will not be tempted to buy something just to break down your Ph1,000 and you can easily allocate your funds.
14. Practice charity. Help your church or help someone in need.
15. Have an emergency fund. Have at least 6 months of your monthly salary and open a bank account for it.
16. Get life insurance so if death comes your family will be financially stable without you.
17. Get health cards so that if you will get sick you will not have to shell out cash.
18. Get dread disease insurance for you to be protected from Cancer, Heart Attack, Diabetes which you will need money if these dread diseases happen to you.
19. Insure your non-life assets like your car/s and properties.
20. Minimize taking a cab or uber/grab. If it will not cause you harm, use Jeepney,MRT,LRT,Bus going to work. Leave early from your house to go to work so that you will not be in a hurry and you will not take the cab.
21. Learn to invest be it in stocks,pooled funds,bonds,money markets and real estate. Make it a habit to invest.
22. Do not believe everything you see in social media about seemingly successful life of people, you might not know that they are full of debts already. You will be tempted to copy their lifestyle but your budget will not allow it.Fake news are everywhere, how much more fake people.
23. Buy sale items.
24. Live within your daily budget. Let us say your allowance is Ph200 a day,do not overspend.
25. Learn to enjoy your income as well but not splurging. You set a budget for it like dining out,vacation, travel and many more.
26. Pratice Kurot Principle. If you want to buy worth Ph40k cellphone, you should have earned at least 400k.
27. Read books,attend seminars, talk to professionals and study about Personal Finance.
28. Choose your friends wisely. Avoid people who are pessimistic, spender, and do not take actions of their goals in life.
29. Learn to have extra income aside from your job. Learn to sell. Do multiple sources of income either active income or passive income.
30. Pray for the success of other people.
It does not matter if how much you earn but it is how much you can save and invest. I do not care if people will think of me as so frugal but what is important for me is my financial goals for my family.If I will not practice Personal Finance now, most likely I will be part of the 63% of Filipinos who will be broke at age 60 and I do not want that. Majority of people will not do Financial Planning that is why we need to change our attitude when it comes to handling our finances.
I do like to live a simple life that I do not want to lease my lifestyle today just to look glamorous for other people. I do not want to pretend that I only look rich but I do not have savings, life insurance and investments. It is priceless for me to have a peace of mind that I do not have any worries about paying bills for the things that I borrowed from the bank which are unplanned. What is important for me is even though I am not earning big yet but I can manage it to grow because of these habits. I look forward that you also practice some of my Punk Rock Personal Finance Habits and we will be part of the Filipinos will achieve Financial Independence in the future.