They say you can’t expect different results if you do the same thing over and over again. It the point licensed stockbroker, registered financial planner, and investment advocate Aya Laraya made when he spoke to moms gathered at Smart Parenting’s "Money Strategies for SmartMoms" at Discovery Suites in partnership with Insular Life.
“Beliefs shape actions. What do you actually do with your money?” Laraya asked the audience. He further notes that Filipinos are good at making excuses. “We put off saving, and we always say, next month na lang until we notice that the whole year has gone by, and we didn’t save anything.”
So how do we change this typical Filipino mindset? We need to stop making and believing the following mistakes and misconceptions:
Don’t think that saving is enough.
Most families think that if they set aside money in the bank, it’s enough. Laraya points out that although that’s good, you need to have a concrete plan, too. Ask yourself: what are you saving for? What is your goal for your money? Do you invest it in a business or do you put it in the stock market? When you have a concrete picture of what you want to achieve, you can make a clear plan on how to solve it.
According to Laraya's point of view, you may be waiting for an opportunity that may not happen, so why not pursue it instead? “Rich people did not get rich, waiting to be rich. They worked hard to get rich,” Laraya shared, and every mom in the audience laughed because it’s true.
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How many times did a financial advisor contact you only to have you tell him that you will invest only when you have “spare money”? Laraya said you should invest to be rich, not the other way around. Investing doesn’t have to be expensive, too. A financial advisor can help you figure out how much you’ll earn from investments based on how much you can afford — and it doesn’t have to be a lot at first.
Stop going to Facebook University.
How many of us are guilty with the fact that we listen more to the advice of the people we see on social media over the opinion that comes from professionals who actually took the time to study what they’re sharing. Your knowledge about finance and how to properly handle your money should come from reliable people and online sources. It’s also essential that you don’t believe everything you see on Facebook unless you’ve verified the sources and double-checked the information with experts and professionals.
Filipinos are naturally helpful and hospitable — it’s part of our culture. But that doesn’t mean you would work for free. It’s not to say you have to charge your boss for every small thing you do. But balance what you do to help and what you do to earn money. Without a stable income, you won’t be able to save and invest. At the end of the day, what’s the point of working really hard if you can’t enjoy your earnings responsibly?
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“Saka na ‘yan, may panahon pa naman.”
The truth is you don’t have a lot of time, not when it's about making money grow. Don’t wait until you’re in desperate need of money before you make a move. Laraya shares that he has spoken to old investors, and they’ve told him how they wish they’d done it earlier in their lives.
Laraya advised the moms to set a yearly goal. He said the closer your target date is, the more concrete and achievable the goal would be. Ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve financially in a year?”
Discuss it with your husband and the entire family, which brings us to Laraya’s final point. “The thing is, Filipinos don’t talk about money in the family.”
There’s something about talking about money that makes us cringe. But to be able to save and earn from investments, you need to get past that trait and speak to your husband about money. It is an excellent way to teach your kids not to fear money conversations, too, so by the time they grow up, they’re not afraid to talk about their finances. After all, raising money-savvy kids starts with being a money-savvy parent.
Ana Leah dela Cruz is a web content writer with excellent babysitting skills and a knack for making mug cakes. She spends her free time feeding stray cats and badgering her mommy friends for article ideas.