Today we will answer the question, “Why is it hard to Save Money as a Filipino?”
As we all know, saving money is an important lesson that we all must learn. Saving money, let us buy the things that we want to buy including the things that we need and we want.
We also save for future investments or for emergency purposes. Some people save money in order to have an emergency fund to use for unfortunate events like if someone in the family get hospitalized. Some people save money to invest in stock market or to start their own businesses.
Hard to Save Money
Despite the knowledge that saving money is important, a lot of people still find it hard to do. They blame a lot of things including their salary, the prices of goods and even the tax rates of the government.
However, they fail to acknowledge the fact that the only reason why they find saving money difficult is the fact that they cannot resist their temptations. In this article, we will discuss different reasons why Filipinos find it hard to save money.
The seven major reasons are:
- Mall Sales
- Afraid of Banks
- Want to Impress
- Food Lover
- Debt Lover
- Debt Giver
- Lack of Discipline
1. Mall Sales
Filipinos are addicted to mall sales. Do not deny it. I know that you’re guilty too. Once SM puts up an advertisement saying that they will have a sale, Filipinos will flood their malls. Traffic in EDSA? There might be a car crash, undisciplined drivers or a mall sale.
Filipinos flood the doors of malls every time there is a sale. Most of them think that these sales will help them save money. They rely on “huge discounts” to excuse their impulsive buying. However, these sales don’t actually help you save.
They are adding expenses.
Let’s say there is a pair of shoes that costs Php 1000. Are you going to buy it? No? Then, you will have no additional expenses for that month and you will be able to save. What if that pair of shoes is now Php 500. Are you going to buy it? Yes? Then that will be additional expenses.
See, you did not actually save since you added additional expenses to your budget. You were not able to save since a pair of shoes is not part of your monthly budget. If your electric bill last month is Php 1000 and now it’s just Php 500, that’s what we call savings. Your electric bill is part of your monthly budget and now that it is reduced to half, you actually save.
Buying things that you do not actually need is one of the main reasons why Filipinos find it hard to save money.
2. Afraid of Banks
According to some studies, only 1 in 8 Filipinos have bank accounts. This is surprising since most Filipinos still do not know the benefits of saving money in banks.
Most Filipinos prefer to save money in a jar or “garapon” while some people keep their money in socks inside their drawer. These methods of saving is not actually bad.
However, you will always be tempted to get money from your savings and buy some things that you want. This is where the bank becomes more beneficial.
Putting your money in banks will make it harder for you to use your money even though there are a lot of ATM nationwide. Also, some banks offer automatic deductions. Meaning, they will deduct a certain amount from your salary every time you get your salary.
This is good since you will not realize that you are actually saving money. This will also give you the opportunity to use all of your salary since the bank already deducted certain amount to be saved.
Here are other reasons why putting your money in banks is beneficial.
1. You will be able to help the economy.
2. Your savings will earn interests.
3. It is more secure.
To know more, read: “Why Filipinos Should Have Bank Accounts?’
3. Filipinos want to Impress
Most Filipinos nowadays are techie. Meaning, they follow the trend in latest gadgets and accessories. The problem with this is the fact that most Filipinos spend too much just to impress other people.
This problem is not just for those who constantly upgrade their phones but for those who constantly buy clothes and jewelries as well.
These people want to leave the impression that they are in. They want other people to compliment them for being in trend.
Following the trend in society is not necessarily bad since we are programmed to be like this. We are programmed to follow the trends in order to survive and adapt in our society.
The problem is that because we want to always impress the people around us, we tend to sacrifice our savings. Even if we know that we cannot afford the new thing in the market, we will still find a way to buy it no matter what.
To fix this problem, I suggest that you look around and reflect. I say this because, yes, you will be able to impress your officemates or classmates with your new IPhone or Samsung but is it something that you can impress them with every day.
They will be impressed that you have the latest gadget in the market but most of the times it will just last for a week or so. After that, no one will try to appreciate the fact that you own a high-end phone.
After all, the only thing that you get from being an impressionist is the bragging rights that you are following the trend.
4. Food Lover
I am guilty to this reason because love to eat a lot. A lot of people tend to go to malls and look for new places to eat. However, I still make it a point that I am not using my savings for these trips to the mall.
This reason is likely to be the culprit as to why many Filipinos find it hard to save. I know that it is hard to resist the temptation of eating when you are already in front of Jollibee or McDonalds.
Some people just enjoy, going to different places and trying different restaurants. For some people this is their hobby and their way to release their stress from work or from school.
Eating, as we all know, is not bad. Eating a lot is. In order to prevent this problem, the best way is to save money first before going out with your friends.
You can also reflect on the fact that you have to protect and take care of your body.
Eating a lot especially a lot of fast food or sweets is dangerous to your body since you will be prone to diabetes, heart problems and obesity.
Like when you’re drinking, eat in moderation. Eat only when you are actually hungry and make sure that you are not eating just because you are bored.
Trust, you will not just save a lot of money, you will also help your body to be healthy.
5. Debt Lover
Debt or Debt is not new to a lot of Filipinos. Personally, I do not know why a lot of Filipinos like to borrow money from their friend or relative.
Most people will blame their low salaries and point is as the main reason as to why they save. However, in my personal opinion, having no choice but to borrow money from someone is the product of poor money management.
Borrowing from someone is not just the problem. Some Filipinos actually use their credit cards a lot.
This is a huge disadvantage since, yes, you will be able to pay the things that you bought on a later time but the interest rates will skyrocket the prices of the goods that you bought.
This is the example of what I said earlier that some Filipinos buy the things that they want no matter what.
The problem is this, being in debt is a never-ending cycle. Let me explain:
Once you borrow money from someone, assuming that you no longer have any savings, you will have to pay them back as soon as possible. However, the mere fact that you borrow money means that you do not have enough money.
This will result to you having debt every time you pay your first debt. This is because once you pay your debt; the remaining amount of your salary will also not be enough leading you to borrow money again.
My tip is when you borrow money; make sure that your budget for the next month will be less that what you usually spend in order to settle your debt as soon as possible.
6. Debt Giver
When someone goes to my parents and ask to borrow money, they always lend them money. This is a fact. Most Filipinos are generous not because they are actually generous but because they do not want other people to have bad feelings towards them.
Helping people in need is not bad but using your savings to lend to other people is bad. This is because you will lose control to your money. Yes, the people who borrow money from you can promise to pay you back ASAP.
However, there will be no assurance. I explained in number 5 the debt cycle and your friend who borrowed money from you might be in this cycle. If he/she will not learn to budget his/her money well, then do not expect to be paid early.
Don’t get me wrong. What I’m telling you is not to use your savings to lend to other people. I am not saying that you should not help them at all.
If you have extra money from your monthly budget then go help them.
The number one reason why Filipinos find it hard to save money is:
7. Lack of Discipline
Yes, this is the sole reason why you can’t save money. You can blame how little your salary is or how expensive the goods are nowadays. One can blame the huge taxes of the government.
But the bottom line is, you are the only reason why you can’t save.
You lack the discipline to make it a point that you will save the 20% of your salary/allowance.
It is you who lack discipline when a sudden mall sale appears.
You lack discipline in controlling what you eat.
You lack discipline in managing your money.
Most Filipino lack the commitment to start saving money and actually continuing it for their own good.
For me, the best way to fix this problem is to have a clear vision. Every time you are tempted to use your savings, reflect on why you started saving money at all.
Imagine one of your family members being hospitalized. Think of that pair of shoes you really wanted to buy. Imagine the business that you have been dreaming of. Always have a vision of the reason why you are saving money.
The primary reason why I wrote this article is for you to reflect on the things that you are doing that prevent you from actually saving. Saving money is hard but always remember that you are doing it because of a reason.
Stay committed in saving money until it actually becomes a discipline. Learning to save money is not just for financial literacy. Trust me, when you learn how to save money, it will be easy to commit in other things in life.
If you are not convinced that you have to save money, read this article.
For money saving tips, read this article:
Continue saving money!
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