In Filipino culture, the family is the most important thing. The concept of filial piety is strong in the Philippines, and unlike in the West, most families would rather support aging parents than let them stay in a home for the elderly. Many of the decisions you make will have to be for the good of your household, and that especially includes decisions about finances and budgeting.
An SWS survey conducted in 2018 found that the outlook of Filipinos on their quality of life and the economy has dropped to record lows, and it’s no wonder. With prices rising all the time and an uncertain economy, money troubles loom large in people’s minds. If you’re worried about your family’s financial stability in the future, then here are five things you can do to help ease your mind.
Budget It Out
Whether it’s set for the next month or the next five years, it’s always important to keep track of your expenses. A study by the World Bank found that Filipinos who planned their finances were more likely to have funds left over after paying for basic necessities. Knowing how much money you have and where it’s going will make it easier for you to keep track of your spending, and to save a bit for future emergencies.
Saving is always easier said than done, and when you’re struggling to make ends meet it might seem impossible. You don’t have to save Php 10,000 all at once, but if you set a minimum per month and simply add to it when you have the extra cash, you’ll definitely be better off in the long run. Setting aside a percentage of your income before spending for necessities may seem difficult now, but when an emergency comes along— such as an accident or sudden illness— you’ll be happy to have the extra cash.
Keep An Eye On Your Credit
Having a credit card can be a double-edged sword, so be sure to use yours wisely. Credit scorer TransUnion found that debt payment delinquencies in the Philippines were likely to remain low, but that doesn’t mean that families can’t fall into the trap of credit card debt. Try to make sure that you only use your card in times of emergencies, and make sure that you have enough money in the bank to pay at least half of what you’re buying right away. This way, you can avoid falling into debt, and are less likely to be hurt by interest rates and hidden fees.
Invest in Insurance
Insurance payments might feel heavy on the paycheck every month, but in times of emergency, you’ll be grateful that you invested. Many families might find looking at insurance plans intimidating, but luckily not all are so unforgiving. Paramount Direct’s PrimeCare Cash Plan has premiums as low as Php 212.95 per month, and you can pick coverage that’s specific to your needs. Reading up on the right insurance may take a while, but it’s definitely one of the best investments you can make for your family.
Set Your Goals
By simply setting a goal, you can also create a structure that will help you go about achieving that. If you’re struggling one month, you can simply save a little more later on when you’re in a better state. This is also something you can teach your children, who can have their own small financial goals per month, which will help them become more fiscally responsible. Also, not all goals have to be money-based— you can aim for a house, a car, or a college fund. Just pick what’s best for your family, and be sure to include them in the journey.
For more fun planning with your family, check out this article on planning a road trip on All Around Mom!