Money Relationship Status: It’s Complicated


Money is a topic that people avoid talking about and the most misunderstood. For Filipinos, starting an argument about money is like discussing sex, politics, or religion. Each person carries a strong belief and follow practices that hinder proper money management. We often hear the phrases “money is the root of all evil”, “God will provide”, and “malas ako sa pera” to justify one’s financial status or inaction. People use these excuses to not exert an effort to change their money relationship status from “it’s complicated” to “happily financially literate”. 

Just like any other relationship, a strong foundation is necessary to build something that is long-lasting. How we deal with money matters goes down to how we first understand it as a child. Revisiting my childhood memory, I remember that my mom always tagged me along whenever she goes to the bank. When I was old enough to understand, she showed me my bank passbook. She told me that she has been depositing the gift money I received every Christmas. I grew up with the habit of trying to save as much money as I could from my school allowance. 

The basic formula 

My first job after college was as an investment / accounting assistant in a bank. It should have made saving money easier for me. But earning my own money, I was tricked to believe that I am entitled to spend and pamper myself for working hard. 

income – expenses = savings 

Following the basic formula “income – expenses = savings” that most of us are familiar with, I noticed that I only save what’s left after splurging on things I don’t really need. Having a salary increase didn’t make me save more. It only made me spend more. While my mom taught me the value of saving, I was never given the responsibility of budgeting. 

income – savings = expenses 

It was only when I attended a workshop on financial literacy that I got introduced to a goal-oriented formula. The speaker said that we should set a long-term financial goal, make short-term sacrifices, and reward the self appropriately.

Whether you want to save 10% of your monthly income or P1,000 every payday, the challenge is to have the discipline to save. Limit your expenses, make small sacrifices (honestly, you don’t need to drink milk tea every single day!) to achieve your desired financial status. 

How about trying the Bente Bente? 

BDO Foundation’s Financial Literacy Campaign 

I was fortunate to be invited to a webisode taping on financial education as part of BDO ‘s efforts to support the financial inclusion advocacy of BSP. Watch this video with Ms. Ali Sotto interviewing BDO Foundation President Mario Deriquito.

BDO Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of BDO Unibank Inc. promotes financial education as a means to financial inclusion. In partnership with BSP, BDO Foundation produced financial education videos for the teaching and non-teaching personnel of DepEd, K-12 students in public schools, members of the Philippine Army, as well as OFWs and their beneficiaries. These videos aim to educate each member of these key sectors on how to properly manage their hard-earned money through saving, wise spending, investing, even avoiding scams and borrowing money from unauthorized lenders like 5-6.