There are many ways how to spend your salary and pamper yourself.

You can order  a barbecue chicken at Mang Inasal worth 300 to 500 hundred pesos. If you prefer eating in a fast food you might try to order Bucket Treats A at Jollibee for 200 to 400 pesos. With this you can have six  pieces of chicken joy, rice, mango pie, soda, and spaghetti.

Pwede ka ring manood ng sine sa SM cinema sa halagang 200-500 pesos. I think your preference to watch in a big screen would certainly give you a priceless entertainment compared with a small screen TV. What do you think?

Pwede ka ring magpa-rebond ng buhok for 800-1,500 pesos while waiting for your friend. O kaya naman ay bumili ng lotto ticket  baka sakaling tatama ka ng one milyon!

In other words you can spend your money in many ways. At ang good news pa, madali lang i-spend ang pera, di ba? Walang kahirap hirap.  I think in less than an hour eh parang bulang naglaho! Ang bilis di ba?! Lalo pa ngayon ang mahal-mahal ng bilihin eh sa’n pa kaya makakarating ang 5,000 pesos mo. Inflation rate in the Philippines is about 4 percent every year.

Let’s be clear. I am not saying you don’t have to spend money. My point is, sa bilis gastusin ng pera you have to be very careful how you spend our hard-earned money.

Let me share with you the 7 principles to handle your finances:

  1. Live with your income

If your husband from Singapore is sending you 30,000 pesos every month and your monthly expenses is 45,000 pesos, eh talagang babaon ka sa utang, di ba? (eh di wow!).  Last week lang nakakita ka ng sales ng Gucci bag sa Robinson tapos binili mo kahit sangkaterbang shoulder bag na ang nasa locker mo.

Moreover, you decided to upgrade your mobile phone from iphone 5 to iphone 6 plus. Practically speaking, if you have problem with managing your finances, chances are marital problems are inevitable, right? Para lang si Popoy and Basha na laging nag-aaway sa pera, di ba? But when you live with your income you will  avoid unnecessary expenses or debts in the future.

  1. Create a budget plan

Have you heard this statement: “San na nga ba napunta ang sweldo ko?” or  “Akinse pa lang pero bakit ang bilis naubos ng sweldo ko!”  I think one of the main reasons why you spend more than your income is that you don’t have a concrete budgeting plan. When you write down your monthly expenses in a budget plan like rentals and utilities, you will be able to manage your money wisely.

How do you create a budget plan? Make an excel file of your monthly expenses and track where your money goes. Some mobile phone has application about budgeting. If you’re using Samsung mobile you can download apps  like My Budget Plan, Spending Tracker, and Daily Expenses or other related application. When you create a budget plan you will avoid buying unnecessary stuffs, thus helping you to manage your finances efficiently.

  1. Set money for emergency fund

Emergency fund is important. Even tiny insects like ants remind us how to save for rainy seasons (Proverbs 6.6). Pano kung nagkasakit ka o nawalan ka ng work unexpectedly? Ang hirap mangutang at manghagilap ng pera kung wala kang naitatabi, di ba?

How much money you should set aside for the emergency fund? Good question. Financial advisor usually suggests that emergency fund must be about three to six  months of your monthly expenses which is readily available in case you need them. You can keep them in the bank. Kung 10,000 pesos ang monthly expenses mo, that means 30-60,000 pesos dapat ang emergency fund mo. Siguro naman in three months time or at least before 6 months eh nakahanap ka na uli ng work o kaya magaling ka na sa sakit mo.

  1. Get life or health insurance

Hold on. Is getting an insurance means you don’t trust the providence of God? Of course not. I know that as long as your relationship with God is growing, you are insured in heaven. But that is beside the point. Insurance will not just protect yourself but also your family.

I was in Grade 5 when my father died. My mother is receiving monthly pension aside from a lump sum  few months after my father died. I couldn’t imagine a breadwinner of the family passes away and leaving his children and wife penniless! With life insurance, your family will be protected.

There are four general types of insurance:

Insurance that offers a combination of protection and investment or we call it variable universal life (VUL) is a good choice.  Ngayon kung wala namang masamang nangyari sa ‘yo and you live a little longer,  you can withdraw your funds. The good thing about insurance is that it is non-taxable. That means the government will not get portion of your investment.

  1. Set long-term goals

Why long term? Kasi may mga bagay na with your limited fund eh takes time talaga bago mo mabili. Like buying a house and lot which usually amounting to more than 1 million pesos. Better to invest early. Educational fund is also an important thing you have to consider. Habang nasa grade 2 pa lang anak mo, better to sets an investment early like in mutual funds, stocks, bonds, and other investment instrument depending on your risk appetite.

Remember, your greatest asset in investing is not your neighbor who gives you “pautang” but TIME. So, invest early.

  1. Plan for your retirement

Ang retirement fund ay perang itinatabi natin every month para sa ating pag reretiro. Why? Gusto mo bang mamasada pa ng jeep kahit sisenta ka na?  O kaya magtrabaho sa Saudi o Dubai kahit singkwenta anyos ka na? Syempre hindi di ba? You will not be working for the rest of your life! Find an investment vehicle which gives you investment opportunities for retirement. Some of these are investing in mutual funds, cooperatives, stock markets, insurance, and others.

You’re thinking of retiring at age 55 or 60 and enjoying time with your family and grandchildren. Perhaps traveling with your husband in Maldives and doing noble endeavors  charity work.

  1. Find ways how to use your God-given talent or skills

Remember the story about multiplying our talents (Matthew 25:14-30)? The  Master said I will give you talents (or money) to manage and I will be back after 5 years. Interestingly, iba iba ang amount or value ng talent: yung isa 5 talent, yung isa 2, then another one is just 1 talent. The implication is that  God gave us different talent according to our ability.

Pwedeng teacher ka sa Thailand, o kaya engineer sa Dubai, or caregiver sa Canada. Iba-iba ang skills at ability natin. Yung dalawang  servants tumubo ang pera nila kasi ginamit nila ang talent nila wisely. But the other one  buried his talent kasi natakot sya baka malugi.

The point is with God-given talent you can used them to earn more or multiply your cash flow and be effective in your ministry. Your full potential in teaching, writing, drawing, dancing, web designing, and computer programming will be a source of income if you used them wisely. With your money I’m sure your thinking of not just about eating at Mang Inasal but how to grow your money. And oh! By the way, remember to return your tithes and offering.

Again, san naman kaya pupunta ang sunod na sweldo mo?

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Jun Amparo

Jun Amparo

JUN AMPARO is the author of two inspirational books about personal finance and marriage.  He is nominated as Huwarang OFW 2019 organized by The 700 Club Asia and is pursuing his doctoral study in education. Presently, he is working as a university counselor and lecturer at Asia-Pacific International University in Thailand.