Money. The fuel that powers all of our needs and wants in life and in travel. Cold cash that could bring you from one destination to the next. Money transforming into signed cheques, shiny, plastic cards with your name in all caps, and practically hiding behind the bytes shared in the whole realm of the internet through online banking. Enough said, it is definitely Money. I took a few days to unwind, see the beach, feel the tiny pebbles on my feet, and stare at the beautiful sun. The funny thing about unwinding is that your mind is in constant relaxation, constant balance that somehow several “unexpected” thoughts tend to invade and disturb your chi.
“Philippines to Fiji Islands with a connecting flight in South Korea will cost about [insert estimated dollar amount here], are you prepared to shoulder the other fees aside from that? Are you really concerned about your future since all of your money is poured on travel fees, plane tickets, hostels? Why on Earth don’t you have a Retirement Account set up? Do you want to starve and be homeless when you retire?” – Yes. These guilt-inducing questions gave me chills. 🙁
So? Why am I boggled with these self-depreciating questions? I’m guilty, that’s why. I am too attached to the present that I neglected the thought of my life after 40 years. And yes, I am in a state of panic – though I’m exaggerating a bit. 🙂
That would be me holding a paper with a huge red F marked with red ink. Financial Illiteracy – the state of a person who has no idea, clue, or knowledge about the basics of Finance. Of course, as kids, we were taught about the benefits of “Saving,” right? Your mom gave you Php20 and you save Php5 so that by the end of the week, you could purchase a double-scoop ice cream from the canteen. Right? Saving. But I’m not a kid anymore. The mindset that I have for so many years about Saving remained the same. I’m not saving enough. I’m not financially educated enough. I’m lost. Why am I reacting this way?
- I lack financial habits
- I lack knowledge about the concepts of financial planning, setting aside emergency funds, retirement accounts, etc.
- I don’t know anything about the basics of spending plan or terms such as “tax deferred savings”
- I have a slight idea about Taxes in general but I don’t know a thing or two about “gross income,” “taxable income,” and “taxes due”
- I have little knowledge about investing and the stock market only because I forced myself to learn about these things.
- I just hate myself for not asking all of these when I was in college.
Knowing the tiny details about saving is not enough to propel you to your life (my life) most especially to a life with your soon-to-be-husband-and-kids. Long term? Saving will not be the only item of your list. How are we to implement our financial goals? Should I just save and not splurge myself into life’s pleasures? Should I invest my money in stocks? Should I dwell into other businesses? Should I just join online poker games and maybe even head to Cheekybingo to test my luck and win me millions? Should I just wait for the fat nimbus cloud to drop rolled bills from the sky? I guess the only resort for me now is to supply answers to my own questions. 🙁 Financial decisions in whatever scope should be governed by a good rationale.
FACT: Only 10% of Filipinos are consciously saving up for retirement.