Wednesday, July 4, 2007

How to be financially secure?

The literacy rate in the Philippines is listed at 92.6% by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. This rate is one of the highest in Southeast Asia, higher than that of Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Singapore. But why Filipinos did not economically prosper when they have high literacy rate? If you ask someone why? They usually point three major points: martial law, massive graft and corruption of the government leaders and long term poverty. While these three do really contribute to financial instability of the Filipino people the root causes still lies in the following; inadequate mental maturity, wrong use of one’s own earnings, self-inflicted debts and gambling. Poverty can be minimize by changing our mindset and by avoiding our own created financial hardships. How? A former professor of mine Fr. Michael Gimarino shared to us in one of his lecture the “Seven Practical Strategies to Solve Poverty”. This is where education enters and as described by Fr. Gimarino, this is the mindset that leads to financial security and independence:

  1. Live within your means. Do not spend more than what you earn. Be frugal. Lucio Tan a well known businessman in the Philippines still uses his old cell phone while most of his friends keep up with the latest model. When he was asked why? He simply answered “it serves the purpose”. Do not keep up with the Jone’s Family, do not keep up with what your neighbors have. In short do not envy what others have. If you want to buy something save first
  2. Save for future needs. . Save like the ants. Your saving does not depend on your income but on self-discipline. Make a list of what you would buy and buy only those that are necessary. Do not buy those that are not in your list. Save money in stable insurance and investment companies. If you own a land then plant trees or make use of it. Hard work, perseverance and diligence are the key to successful future.
  3. Avoid Penalties. . Avoid penalties. You are usually penalized if you do not pay on time. Be cautious in using ATM cards make withdrawals at ATM counters that do not make deductions. Avoid using credit cards for unnecessary purchases. Lastly, avoid making loans.

  1. Increase your assets and decrease your liabilities
  2. Spend your money wisely
  3. Produce some of your food. Cook your own meal. Do not eat often outside. Plant your own vegetables, corn or rice if you own a land.
  4. Don’t waste your resources. Save water, save food, save electricity. Be frugal in almost everything except for love.

I am not looking for a foreign power for us to challenge. But we have a real and insidious enemy that we must vanquish, and this enemy is worse than the intransigence of any foreign power. We are our own enemy. And we must have the courage, the will, to change ourselves. F. Sionil Jose

1 comment:

Tingog said...

Inspiring, thought-provoking! This reminds me of my classmate in Philosophy of Education. He said, another reason why we remain poor is because, in school, we teach students to become employee not to become entrepreneur. I think he is right. It is not on literacy alone. Its on culture.