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It’s a question we all get every once in a while (especially as we get older):
“How do you manage your money?”
And like most “Adulting 101”-related stuff we strive to get a grip of, there is no perfect answer. Things like income, lifestyle, a person’s psychology about money, priorities, and other aspects vary from one person to the next — and these significantly affect how each of us manages our finances.
So to get a better idea of how Filipinos nowadays manage finances, we asked our readers a couple of questions — and more than a thousand of them responded.
Here’s a glimpse of personal finance in the Philippines, along with a few important tips to better handle your money.
What is Personal Finance?
In a nutshell, Personal Finance is all about the plans and ways we manage our money for both short-term and long-term needs.
It’s essentially all the money-related stuff we do on a regular basis — how we budget, save, invest, plan our cash flow, and more.
So whether it’s allocating our income for monthly expenses, paying for our child’s education, putting money in investments, paying off debt, saving for retirement, etc., — all these are linked to Personal Finance.
Why is Personal Finance Important?
Practicing the most effective and efficient ways to manage our finances affects the quality of our lives today and in the future.
Without a clear understanding of our financial situation, we’re exposed to greater risk should any unexpected money obligations or problems pop up today or in the future (which almost always happens) and miss out on the strategies and ways we can use to leverage our income and savings now to improve our financial status in the future.
Think of personal finance as a system, a basic set of rules and methods that we implement so we can achieve our current and future financial needs.
We learn all sorts of things in school, but sadly, almost none of it is about how we manage our finances.
And that’s why it’s very important for us to learn about personal finance, as it will help us understand both basic and advanced principles (along with actionable steps) that we can implement for achieving both our current and future financial aspirations.
Personal Finance Stats in the Philippines
The following answers are from respondents who have internet access (the survey was conducted online) so the data is not a perfect reflection of the country’s entire population.
It does, however, give us a unique glimpse into how some of our fellow Filipinos manage their finances. And their answers give us a better picture of how some of us will answer the question, “How do you manage your money?”
Ultimately, our goal is to provide data (and tips) that will be of use to you and anyone looking to get a better understanding of personal finance. And we hope this helps improve your own methods so you can reach your personal financial goals today and in the future.
Key stats and takeaways from our Personal Finance Survey
- 64.4% of Filipino netizens consider themselves financially literate.
- Our study shows that more than half (57.2%) are able to save 10% or more of their monthly income.
- 75.8% of our respondents don’t have an emergency fund with more than P50,000 in it.
- The research also revealed that 60.7% of respondents don’t have enough cash to cover a P20,000 emergency (or any kind of unexpected expense).
- Most of Filipino netizens (62.5%) follow a tight monthly budget for various recurring expenses.
- Only about a quarter of the respondents (24.8%) shared having a debt amounting to more than P20,000.
- 31.3% revealed having investments through various financial instruments (stocks, mutual funds, real estate, etc.,).
- About a third of the total respondents (32.2%) have life insurance.
- 40.2% of respondents have some form of health insurance package or HMO.
- 37.2% of our survey respondents are saving for retirement.
- Only 32.2% share having some form of a written financial plan.
- The survey results also showed that more than half of Filipino netizens (59.1%) have an active e-wallet or digital wallet account.
- Almost half of our respondents (45.7%) revealed that they manage more than 1 bank account – while the rest (54.3%) either have one only or are yet to open a bank account.
- The majority of our respondents (77.8%) do not own a credit card.
- Only a small portion of our respondents (14.1%) revealed spending more than P10,000 for shopping or entertainment per month.
- Almost half of our respondents (44.6%) shared that they have run out of money at some point during the last 12 months.
- Yet, most of our respondents (79.8%) didn’t borrow money from banks or financial institutions in the last 12 months.
- Most Filipinos (62.4%) spend their money on Food & Groceries.
Age and Gender
Out of 1,036 responses (at the time of this writing), the majority of respondents are women (more than 60%) and most are from the age group of between 18-25 years old (38.9%).
Would you consider yourself financially literate?
The majority of the respondents (64.4%) consider themselves financially literate. Financial literacy mainly refers to a person’s ability to understand their finances and effectively use various skills like saving, budgeting, and investing to meet their financial goals.
Do you save 10% (or more) of your income every month?
Data reveals that more than half of the respondents (57.2%) tuck away 10 percent or more of their earnings every month while the others (42.8%) don’t.
Do you have an emergency fund with more than P50,000 in it?
Do you have enough cash to cover a P20,000 emergency? (from your own savings/emergency fund)
For covering a P20,000 emergency expense, the numbers improved for those who have it, albeit not by much at 39%. The number of respondents who reveal not having a Php20k emergency fund is significantly larger at 60.7%.
Do you maintain a strict/formal monthly budget (for daily expenses, monthly bills, etc…)?
Most of the respondents (62.5%) follow a tight monthly budget for various recurring expenses.
Do you have debt amounting to more than P20,000? (credit card, personal loan, car loan, etc…)
Only about a quarter of the respondents (24.8%) shared having a debt amounting to more than 20,000 pesos.
Do you have investments? (ie: real estate, stocks, mutual funds, time deposits, business, etc…)
Some of the respondents (31.3%) revealed having investments through various financial instruments (stocks, mutual funds, real estate, etc.,)
Are you insured (life insurance)?
About a third of the total respondents (32.2%) have life insurance.
Do you have health insurance or HMO?
About 40% of respondents have some form of health insurance package or HMO.
Are you saving for retirement?
Retirement planning funds take a portion of savings of 37.2% of the respondents.
Do you have some kind of a written financial plan?
About a third of our respondents (32.2%) share having some form of a written financial plan.
Do you have an active e-wallet or digital wallet (ie: Gcash, PayMaya, Coins.ph, etc…)?
More than half of the respondents (59.1%) shared having an active e-wallet or digital wallet account.
Do you maintain more than 1 bank account?
Almost half of our respondents (45.7%) revealed that they own more than 1 bank account while the rest (54.3%) either have one only or are yet to open a bank account.
Do you have a credit card?
The majority of our respondents (77.8%) do not own a credit card.
Do you spend more than P10,000 on shopping or entertainment every month?
Only a small portion of our respondents (14.1%) revealed spending more than 10,000 pesos for shopping or entertainment on a monthly basis.
Have you run out of money in the last 12 months?
Almost half of our respondents (44.6%) shared that they have run out of money at some point during the last 12 months.
Did you borrow money (from banks or other financial institutions) in the last 12 months?
Most of our respondents (79.8%) didn’t borrow money from banks or financial institutions in the last 12 months.
Where do you spend the most money every month?
When asked which segment of their expenses receives the bulk of their budget, the majority of our respondents answered Food & Groceries (62.4%).
Utility expenses and education come in a distant second (8.5%) and third (8.1%) spots, respectively.
Personal Finance Tips for Filipinos
Personal finance comprises 5 main categories. Each one plays an important role in ensuring a balanced approach towards hitting your financial goals.
How you understand them and leverage your options will be crucial in your financial growth and success.
It refers to the source of money that you receive on a regular basis through employment or your business/services. Your salary, bonus, side hustle earnings, are examples of income.
How much income you make plays a big role in determining the amount of flexibility you’ll have in other areas. Here are a couple of tips for building your income:
1. Track (and increase!) your net worth
It all begins with a quick and personal financial audit. Net worth is essentially how much you’ll have left if you subtract everything you owe/pay for from everything valuable you own.
Knowing how you’re faring financially will help you lay the right plans and goals. Because once you become financially self-aware, you’ll be keener in thinking of ways and open-minded to do stuff that will help you increase your net worth.
2. Invest in yourself
Learn new skills, improve existing ones, enroll in courses/training in a niche that interests you, double-down on the things that help you develop a wider or more focused-skill set that you can leverage to get paid more or increase your cash flow.
With a better and wider skill set, you’ll have more options in generating additional income (see below).
3. Build multiple income streams
Need more income? Look beyond your current job and think of ways you can generate extra cash. The following suggestions might just land you that perfect extra income source to boost your cash flow.
- Start a side hustle – A.K.A “sideline” in Pinoy parlance, leveraging your extra time and effort for additional income is a good way to increase your cash flow. Here’s a list of side hustle ideas you can start now.
- Freelance – Freelancing is similar to side hustle, but mainly relies on your most often-used skills (usually related to your job or hobbies) and offer it as a paid service to clients. Our in-depth guide shares tips and recommendations on making money freelancing.
- Small business – You probably had a business idea or two before, why not give it a try? It doesn’t have to require a large capital. As we’ve shared in this article, there are plenty of small-scale businesses out there that you can start with little capital.
- Make money online – Love to write? You can blog and publish your content (and earn from it via ads or affiliate commissions). Set up a dropshipping or e-commerce store. Buy and sell websites. Set-up a YouTube channel and start producing videos. There’s a long list of potential money-making ideas you can do online. With the right skills and diligence, you can turn a passion project, hobby, or interest into something that can generate extra income.
4. Stay out of debt
Debt is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, it’s a necessary “move” depending on your financial situation (or strategy).
In general, however, accumulating a lot of debt is not a good idea, as interest rates can quickly turn a reasonable amount of debt into a massive snowball of a headache.
Not to mention the psychological toll it brings (constantly being worried about it is bad for you both mentally and physically).
As most people will tell you, the first step to solving debt problems is to stop borrowing more. Choose a strategy for paying off your debt, be more disciplined in managing your money, then set goals.
The next main area in personal finance is Spending. It refers to the act of paying for various goods or services that we need through cash or credit. For some people, this is the most difficult aspect to control.
However, personal finance experts posit that the secret to “winning” in this category is being conscious of how you spend and developing a simple system for allocating your expenses that aligns with your short and long term goals. Here are a few helpful tips:
- Write a personal financial plan
- Stick to a budget
- Automate how your money gets spent
- Keep expenses low
- Use apps that help you manage your finances
How consistently you allocate your savings will be a key determinant to achieving success in other areas of personal finance.
As the famed author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki said:
“It’s not about how much money you make, but how much money you keep.”
Consider the following suggestions to help you save more efficiently and meaningfully.
- Pick a savings technique that works for you
- Open a savings account
- Automate your saving process
- Build an Emergency fund
- Consider a Time Deposit account
- Leverage digital bank options for hassle-free saving
Investing (in the context of personal finance) is the allocation of money with the expectation of generating an income or profit.
Saving money isn’t the only way to build your assets. In fact, it’s considered a “slow” method when compared to investing if we take interest rates and compounding into consideration.
There’s a wide array of investment options you can choose from that matches your risk tolerance and overall financial strategy.
Here’s a list of investment options you may want to consider (click on each link for a comprehensive guide).
- Stock investing
- Mutual Funds & UITF
- Real Estate
- Microlending or P2P lending
- VUL Insurance
- Fixed Income Securities
- PAGIBIG MP2
- Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
Refers to various services or products that act as a financial safety net for you and your family during unforeseen events. Whether it’s having money for hospital bills, car repairs, medical check-ups and treatment, and in the worst-case scenario (knock-on-wood), death.
Preparing for such events is a lot more important than most people think. Having that financial hedge against such expenses not only saves us from a ton of potential debt, it also gives us the peace of mind that we won’t be caught by surprise should the unfortunate thing happen.
Here are some of the most common services and products specifically made to protect you and your loved ones.
Personal Finance Fundamentals
Despite its importance, personal finance is not taught in school. This is why many people don’t have enough knowledge when it comes to managing their money, investing, managing debt, and preparing for their future.
To help you make more informed decisions and take control of your personal finance, we’ve compiled this guide for you.
Savings is the money you have left after paying all your bills using your disposable income. This money is idle and is not spent on consumption, or used for investments.
Why is it important?
Saving money is one of the most useful financial habits you should master. When you have savings, you will get through financial emergencies such as sudden job loss without going into debt.
More than that, savings will enable you to enjoy long-term security so you can pursue a career you love, among other things. When you have enough money saved, you won’t be ridden with constant financial stress.
Best Tips on Saving
The hardest part about saving is getting started. Use these actionable tips below to help you reach your savings goal.
1. Treat savings as a monthly expense
When you make your monthly budget, allot a certain amount to go to savings. This way, you’ll be saving a consistent amount each month.
2. Avoid situations that make you spend money
Be more conscious about your spending pattern. For example, if your friends invite you to dine out in an upscale restaurant you can’t afford, opt to say no.
3. Cut your unnecessary spending
Unnecessary spending can have different meanings for each person. For instance, it can include:
- Refusing to buy generic
- Paying for subscriptions you don’t use
- Not paying your credit card on time
4. Set realistic savings goals
Your savings goals could either be long term such as:
- Getting out of debt
- Saving for retirement
- Building a house
It could also be short term such as:
- Taking a weekend vacation
- Buying a new appliance
- Paying your credit card bills
5. Automate savings
When you automate your savings, you don’t have to worry about “forgetting” to put money in your savings fund. It is also recommended to automatically save unexpected income such as:
- 13th-month pay
- Monetary gifts
6. Get rid of your debt
Do not make huge savings contributions while you’re still in debt. When you are not burdened by debt, you can start to seriously build your savings.
Learn More: How to Save More Money
Budgeting involves creating a clear plan on how to spend your money. This will help you determine the things you will pay for in advance.
Why is it important?
Although budgeting takes hard work, it will pay off when you experience these benefits.
When you have a budget, you know exactly where your money is going. Therefore, it will be easier to make ends meet.
You know where your money is going
People who budget their income know how much money is coming in, and how much is going out. This way, there won’t be any questions about where money is being spent.
It will help you save more
One key part of budgeting is eliminating all unnecessary spending. This will help your savings add up over time.
Budgeting is for everyone
Whether you are making a lot of money, or you’re working with limited resources, budgeting will help you stop bad spending habits.
Best tips for Budgeting
We’ve rounded up some expert tips that will help you budget like a pro.
1. Keep it simple
If it’s your first time budgeting, do not try to overcomplicate it. One good technique is to follow the 50-30-20 rule.
Fifty percent of your budget should go to your needs, 30% for wants, and 20% to pay debts or to save.
2. Base it on your income
If you get paid every month, create a monthly budget. If you get paid every week, it will be easier to follow a weekly format.
3. Consider your financial goals
Aside from your income, your budget should align with your financial goals. Think of it as your north star to guide you.
When you have clear financial goals, it’s also easier to hold yourself accountable.
Learn More: How to Budget your Income & Expenses
If you don’t have enough money left each month after paying your bills, it will be hard to reach your financial goals. Thankfully, there are many ways to increase your income.
Why is it important?
Here are some reasons why you should make an effort to increase your income.
You can get rid of debt
If you are earning more money, you can get rid of your debt faster.
You can save more
Even having an extra Php5,000 on top of your regular income will give you a chance to save more money.
You can enjoy more opportunities
Whether you want to save to start a side business, or eventually resign from your work in a year to pursue another career, having more income will grant you a much-needed financial cushion.
Best tips to increase your income
Follow these tips below to increase your income.
1. Get a side hustle
Side hustles include the jobs you do outside your regular employment. You have the luxury to decide how much time you will dedicate to it. Some examples include:
- Buying and selling
- Becoming a financial advisor or real estate agent
2. Ask for a raise
If you’ve been performing well at work, you can ask your boss for a promotion or a raise. However, make sure you back this up with facts to prove you are outperforming your peers.
3. Have passive income streams
This will allow you to make money even when you sleep. It can include:
- P2P lending
- Selling digital courses
Learn More: 10 Ways to Increase your Income
An emergency fund refers to the money you stash away to use in case you encounter financial distress. This safety net will ensure that your financial security won’t be affected by unexpected situations such as:
- Major home or car repairs
- Job loss or unemployment
How much do you need to save?
There are no hard rules when it comes to how much you need to save. However, a good rule of thumb is to save at least three months’ worth of salary.
Best Tips on Building an Emergency Fund
You never know when the rain will come so here are some ways you can build an emergency fund.
1. Pay yourself first
The best trick to building your emergency fund is to always pay yourself first.
Regardless of how much you are earning, put aside a certain amount to your emergency fund. This way, you won’t be tempted to spend it on other things.
2. Don’t spend extra money
It can be very tempting to splurge your 13th-month pay on new clothes, or a fancy night out.
While there is nothing wrong with treating yourself, the best thing to do is to immediately put it in your emergency fund. It’s not part of your regular monthly income anyway so you won’t even feel the loss.
3. Increase savings
Always look for ways to increase how much money you are saving.
For example, if you are saving Php3,000 per month, consider making it PHP3,500 by slashing minor expenses.
Best places to keep your Emergency Fund
Every peso counts so make sure you let your money work for you by storing it in these places:
High-yield bank account
This is one of the best places to keep your money because you’ll be able to earn high annual interest on your deposits. When choosing a bank, factor in these elements:
- Monthly fees
- Balance requirements
- Competitive interest rates
- Welcome bonuses
Certificate of deposits
CDs offer a fixed return rate for a specific period. Because the return is guaranteed, it’s a great way to earn a big interest in your emergency fund.
However, keep in mind that CDs will tie up your money, and you need to pay a penalty to be granted early access.
Money market fund
This is a low-risk and short-term mutual fund that is a great option for those who have already saved enough money and want to earn from it.
Money market funds are highly liquid and offer short holding periods and low fees.
Learn More: How to Build an Emergency Fund
Income protection will give you regular income replacement if you cannot work due to injury or illness. Even if you’re unable to work, you can cover expenses such as:
- Utility bills
Income protection can be a separate insurance plan, but it can also be covered by your health or life insurance so make sure to double-check with your provider.
Why is it important?
Losing your ability to earn money can cause plenty of problems even if you already have savings. Here’s why you should have income protection.
You can still pay your bills
Your bills and debts won’t disappear when you get sick. The sad reality is most people accumulate even more debt while in recovery.
Thankfully, income protection can help you manage your bills.
It will save your family from debt
You wouldn’t want your family to go into debt just to pay your medical expenses. With income protection, you can enjoy peace of mind that you can shoulder your bills even without help from others.
Maintain your quality of life
Even if you have to change your routine due to an injury, you can still enjoy the benefits your old income has granted you.
You can focus on recovery
When you’re recovering from an injury or illness, you shouldn’t feel stressed since it can affect your healing.
Thanks to income protection, all you need to worry about is getting back to optimal health again.
Best Tips to Protect your Income
Everybody wishes to have a smooth life ahead of them, but emergencies can strike at the most unexpected time whether it may be job loss, business closure, or injury.
Protecting your income should be a major priority. Here’s how you can do it.
1. Save money
Everyone must get into the habit of saving. This way, you will not put yourself at risk of drowning in debt due to unexpected events.
2. Invest in income protection insurance
This insurance designed to replace the majority of your monthly income when you’re unable to work is a must-have. With this type of insurance, you and your family can enjoy peace of mind.
3. Stay healthy
When you treat your body like a machine that doesn’t need rest or proper care, you will face major consequences. No matter how old you are, take care of your body by doing activities like:
- Eating healthy
In today’s hypercompetitive professional landscape, you need to diversify your skills.
Even when you lose your job, it will be easy for you to find another one because your talents will open doors for you.
5. Invest in building passive income
Passive income refers to money that is earned in a way that does not require much effort from you. When you have passive income, you can earn more money on top of your full-time job.
There are many ways you can earn passive income. Some of the most common ones include:
- Build or buy websites
- Offer storage
- Rent out items
- Cryptocurrency mining
- Real estate
Learn More: How to Protect your Income in Uncertain Times
Improve Credit Score
Contrary to what many people believe, credit scores are not just important for loans. This financial tool can be used to leverage great deals when it comes to insurance premiums, credit cards, and many more.
What is Credit Score?
The credit score is the number that determines your ability to pay off your debt. This is measured by companies through factors like:
- Credit payment history
- Types of credit used
- New credit
- Credit utilization ratio
- Length of credit history
The Philippines does not follow a unified credit reporting system unlike Canada and the US.
Although there is no standard system in the country, the job can be assigned to Credit Information Corporation. Many banks also use private credit report providers.
Ways to Maintain & Improve your Credit Score in the Philippines
Below are some ways to maintain or improve your credit score.
1. Pay off debts on time
Having credit cards will prove to banks that you are responsible for paying bills. If they see that you’re always late in making payments, that will hurt your credit score.
2. Use your credit card responsibly
If you can’t settle all your debts at once, try to keep them to a minimum. Remember that when it comes to debts, it’s not just about the amount you owe, but how it compares to your credit limit.
For instance, if you have a balance of Php13,000 from a Php15,000 credit limit, your credit utilization is still high at 86%. It is recommended to stay within 30% less than your credit card limit.
3. Pay twice a month
Paying twice a month instead of once will boost your credit rating since it will prove that you can manage your finances well. Even small payments matter. To make it easier, automate your payments.
4. Don’t make multiple loan applications
Every time you apply for credit, your information is recorded so your credit rating may plummet if you apply for multiple loans at once. Instead, simply research the best rates and only apply when you’re satisfied with the deal.
Benefits of a Good Credit Score
We’ve outlined the benefits of having a good credit score below.
You can enjoy lower loan interest rates
A good credit score will improve your likelihood of getting approved when applying for a loan. Providers use credit scores to determine interest rates. When you have a high score, you can enjoy low rates.
You can have more negotiating power
You can use your good credit score to negotiate a lower interest for loans. This is impossible to do with people who have a low score since most providers won’t budge on their set terms.
You’ll be qualified for larger loans
Aside from a lower interest rate, you can also apply for a larger loan. This is essential if you are planning to take a business or house construction loan.
Unless you have billions in the bank, you need to set aside money for your retirement fund. This way, you can live comfortably when you’re older.
Why is it important?
The benefits of saving for retirement are not just financial, but also psychological and physical. Here are some reasons why you should plan your retirement.
It will give you peace of mind
Planning your retirement out while you are young will greatly decrease your stress when you get old. When you don’t prioritize this, your life will be shrouded by a cloud of uncertainty which can lead to stress.
You can make better decisions for your life
As you get older, you will understand which aspects of your life you want to keep.
For instance, should you stay with your company until you retire or build your own business? Is it worth it to pursue another degree? Do you want to get a vacation house in the province?
With a retirement fund, you can make major decisions with confidence.
You won’t be a burden to your family
In the Philippines, “utang ng loob” is common. Multiple generations have normalized children taking care of their parents as they get older.
When you have a retirement fund, you can have money to shoulder your medical costs, your daily needs, and other expenses so you won’t have to rely on your kids.
More than that, you will have the resources to spoil your grandchildren.
Best Tips in Building your Retirement Fund
Consider these tips to boost your retirement fund.
1. Start today
Whatever your financial state is, you can start saving for retirement. It’s better to start while you’re young so you can let compound interest do the work for you.
2. Take advantage of other contributions
As you age, do your research about other contributions that will help you live a better retirement life. This can include:
- health insurance
- traditional pensions
- life insurance plans
3. Set a goal
When saving for retirement, you should have a specific goal in mind. Answer questions like:
- Where do you want to retire?
- At what age do you want to retire?
- How much money do you plan on saving for retirement?
If you can’t figure out the answers, seek help from an advisor.
All these will enable you to understand your motivation. This will also make saving money more rewarding.
Ways to Build a Retirement Fund in the Philippines
The ultimate way to save up for your retirement fund is not to let your money sit idly in the bank because the interest rates are very low.
Variable universal life insurance or VUL is an insurance plan that includes an investment component. Therefore, you can stay financially protected while letting your money work for you.
Investing in mutual funds is a great method to build your retirement fund because it has high long-term growth potential.
It also offers lower risk compared to the stock market. Just make sure to diversify your portfolio.
The Philippine real estate market is booming and this growth is expected to continue in the coming years.
Investing in real estate will allow you to gain a sizable profit from homes, condominiums, and buildings.
Learn More: How to Build a Retirement Fund
If you want to achieve financial stability, investing is key. There are hundreds of benefits investments can bring that it makes no sense to not do it.
Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know where to start.
How much do you need to get started?
One of the biggest misconceptions is you need millions to start investing. However, even high school students can afford to start investing using their allowance.
There are low-range investments that fall between Php25 to Php5,000. All you need to do is figure out where you want to put your money.
Types of Investing Strategies
Here are the different investment strategies you can use.
Try to examine what the “next big thing” will be, but don’t be reckless. Put into consideration the current health of the stock, and correlate it with its growth potential.
This investment focuses on low-cost deals. Try to see which stocks are undervalued and use it as an opportunity to buy them at a discounted price. This way, you can make more money in the future.
This strategy refers to riding the wave and capitalizing on undervalued and overvalued equities. For this strategy to be successful, all your decisions need to be data-driven
Investors who follow this strategy buy and hold on to their portfolio for a long time, instead of constantly trading. Therefore, this strategy is perfect for investors who want something less complex.
Best Assets to Invest in Today
Curious about the best assets to invest in today? Here are some ideas.
Minimum investment: Php5,000
Stocks are assets that can give you a predictable income source. It also usually requires no work.
Mutual Funds & UITFs
Minimum investment: Php1,000
Mutual funds are companies that are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The goal of mutual funds is to gather money from investors like you so they can fund a specific objective.
Minimum investment: Php2,000/month
There are many types of real estate investments. For instance, you can own a house through installment for as low as Php2,000 per month.
You can also buy foreclosed properties at a low price starting from Php30,000.
Minimum investment: Php5,000
Bonds are like loans, but the only difference is who borrows money. For instance, a company may need Php10 million to open more locations.
They can issue bonds to the public and other investors. These bonds have an annual interest rate, and they can also be traded similar to stocks.
Minimum investment: Php2,000
Exchange-Traded Fund is a type of fund that owns stocks, bonds, and other assets. The ownership is divided into shares that can be traded in the market.
Compared to mutual funds, it has a lower operating cost.
Minimum investment: Php5,000
Real Estate Investment Trust are companies that operate commercial properties like buildings, malls, and hotels. REITs collect money from their tenants.
When you invest in REIT, you can earn money through real estate without managing physical property.
Minimum investment: Php100
Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that use cryptography for security. There are many cryptocurrencies but the most popular ones include:
- Binance coin
Minimum investment: Php1,000
Peer-to-peer lending involves an online platform that brings together borrowers who need help, and lenders who want to invest and earn interest rates.
This way, both parties can enjoy better deals since there is no involvement of traditional third-party institutions like banks.
Best Tips for Investing
Investing can be very intimidating for first-timers. By following the tips listed above, you can make more informed decisions.
The best time to invest was yesterday. The second best time to invest is today.
The earlier you start investing, the less time you will need to achieve your goals because your money will compound more.
Include investing in your budget
Every time you get your monthly paycheck, set a certain amount of money to invest in different brokerage services.
This way, you will be more consistent.
Don’t stop learning
Don’t invest in something you don’t understand. Use your spare time to learn about different types of investments, and how to optimize your portfolio.
Understand the risk
Your risk tolerance refers to how you would feel and react when you lose a portion of the money you have invested.
One of the most common beginner mistakes of investors is they think they are tolerant to loss, but they panic and sell when their investment value declines.
When you understand the risks involved in your investments, you can make more calculated decisions and reap greater long-term rewards.
Diversification is key
The market is constantly fluctuating. To avoid losing money, take time to develop a diverse portfolio that involves different asset classes, sectors, and regions.
This way, you can mitigate loss when the value of other investments fluctuates.
Learn More: How to Invest & Grow your Money
If your debts are accumulating or have gotten out of control, you need to follow a debt management plan to keep up with your bills.
Debt management involves going through careful financial planning to lower your current debt, and in time, eliminate it.
Why is it important?
Debt management will enable you to clear your debts at your own pace. We’ve rounded up why you should consider debt management below.
You won’t have to remember multiple due dates
When you follow a debt management plan, you won’t have to worry about keeping track of multiple payments each month.
You only need to take care of one payment to your debt management plan provider who will make the payments on your behalf.
You can enjoy lower interest rates
One major benefit of debt management plans is you can get the help of negotiators who will try to get banks to lower your interest rates. This means your monthly payments will decrease.
You can pay off your debt faster
People who follow a debt management plan can pay their commitments a lot faster thanks to the more streamlined process, and lower interest rates.
Your credit score will increase
Because your debt management plan will force you to become more consistent in paying your debt, your credit score will rise over time.
Best Tips for Managing your Debt
Here are some tips to help you juggle your debts well.
1. Know exactly how much you owe
To start, make a list of all the debts you owe. Include critical information such as:
- Total amount
- Interest rate
- Due date
2. Pay bills on time
When you pay your credit card bills late, you need to cover the late fee. To avoid this, speak to your debt management advisor about collating all your debts into one due date.
If you’re following a DIY debt management plan, set up reminders on your phone or enable autopay.
3. See which bills need to be prioritized
You have two choices when it comes to paying debts.
First, you can prioritize paying debts with huge interests like credit cards, or you can pay off your low-balance debts first.
4. Don’t forget your emergency fund
Do not use all your money to pay your debts. Allot money for your emergency fund. This way, you won’t spiral into more debt when emergencies arise.
Learn More: How to Get Out of Debt
Big Life Purchases
While you may have splurged on a prime-cut steak or a really good bottle of wine, those expenses still pale in comparison to your potential big life purchases.
Take a look at some of the major expenses you need to plan for.
Average cost: Over 1 million pesos
If you want to get a car but can’t pay cash, take time to research the best auto loan options available in your area.
Average cost: At least Php350,000 for church weddings
Although you can get married in a civil wedding for less than Php10,000, a huge expense awaits you if you plan on going for a traditional church wedding.
Money is one of the most challenging topics to discuss in a relationship. However, don’t hesitate to address money matters with your spouse so you can save towards the same goal.
Average cost: At least Php15,000 per square meter
Whether you want to get a house built or buy a house, this is a huge investment. Before you take the leap, make sure you are ready.
If you plan on taking out a loan, take time to fully understand its terms.
Starting a business
Average cost: At least Php100,000
- Save up
- Bank loan
- P2B lending
- Liquidate your assets
- Government-backed loan or grants
Average cost: At least Php25,000 for grade school, up to Php250,000 for college
Whether you are saving for your master’s or doctorate education or the education of your kids, there’s no denying you need to prepare for it.
This expense can drag on for years so make sure you have your finances in order if you don’t want to drown in debt.
Average cost: $3,251 (or PHP 167,209) for a 12-day international trip, and $581 (or close to PHP 30,000) for a 4-day domestic trip.
Learning about different cultures and visiting popular destinations and sites is one of the most popular items in every Filipino’s bucket list.
Plus, science proves that it’s good for mental growth and human happiness. But it’s also an expensive endeavor, so preparing for it is also crucial.
Why is it important?
Whether you plan on making all of those big purchases or not, here’s why it’s important.
It can give you a sense of independence
As you grow older, you will naturally develop your independence, especially after you move away from your parents.
Purchasing a car or a house on your own will give you a sense of accomplishment money can’t buy.
You will be less reliant on others
Having the financial means to fund big purchases will help you make decisions without relying on other people.
This means you don’t have to answer to anybody because you control your own money.
It helps you improve yourself
Setting major purchase goals will allow you to improve yourself, and bring out the best in your skills.
It will give you more confidence
Being able to afford major purchases will allow you to feel confident that you can do things on your own, and work towards what makes you happy instead of what people expect from you.
Best Tips for Spending on Big Purchases
Read on for useful tips on major purchases.
1. Compare prices
Whatever major purchase you plan on making, do not decide after just seeing one option. By exploring different choices, you can get the best deal and see which one will fit your needs best.
2. Make a savings timeline
You can’t possibly cover for a major purchase in a few weeks. To help you become more focused, make a savings timeline and put away a certain amount of money per month until you reach your goal.
3. Don’t spend money you don’t have
Unless your life depends on making that huge purchase, it’s not worth it to be neck-deep in debt just to have it. Instead, just pay for what you can afford.
Preparing for the Future
Whether you’re still a college student, working towards career progress in your 30s, or on the verge of retirement, you need to think about your future.
Doing this will enable you to have better clarity and direction.
Why is it important?
Planning for your future will enable you to identify short and long-term goals, and plan how to achieve them. Planning for your future must include the following elements:
Your goal should be to increase your income and cash flow. This could be done by:
- Getting a new source of income
- Monitoring your spending patterns
- Starting a business
Family security should also be considered in your planning. Make sure you have insurance coverage that will give you and your loved ones peace of mind.
Standard of living
Whether you like to live big or not, you need to plan how you can continue your quality of life in case emergencies happen.
No matter where you are in your financial journey, you need to have certain assets that have value. This way, you can enjoy having a financial cushion. This could be:
- Mutual funds
- Valuable art pieces
- Real estate property
Unexpected expenses can throw you off track and keep you in debt. Make sure you have enough savings that will save you on rainy days.
Best Tips on Preparing for a Financially Independent Future
Here are some things to keep in mind when planning for the future.
1. Long term financial planning
Long-term financial planning is more than just setting a savings amount and working towards that goal. It involves developing saving and investment habits throughout your journey.
For instance, your early 20s are the best time to build your savings. Meanwhile, your 30s and 40s may involve making big purchases or paying off debt.
In your 50s, it’s the best time to ensure you will be financially stable for life.
2. Educational fund
Considering the high cost of tuition fees, books, and allowances, education expenses can immediately pile up.
Getting an educational plan will enable you to save up for your child’s college fund so their education can be guaranteed.
3. Track your Net worth
Your net worth is the result when you subtract everything you owe from all your assets.
This includes the liabilities that you are still paying for such as credit card bills, and stuff that you’ve already paid for in full such as your car or house. Tracking your net worth will help you know your current financial status.
4. Wealth management
Wealth management is offered by different banks and investment firms to people who want to build, manage, and preserve their wealth so it aligns with their financial goals. Wealth management includes
- Trust fund
- Investment advice
- Retirement planning
- Estate management
5. Opening a trust fund
A trust fund holds properties and assets for an organization or person, such as your children or grandchildren. It can include:
- Real estate properties
- Art and other material things with value
6. Inheritance / Last will and testament
The goal of a last will and testament is to lay out who will receive your properties and belongings upon your passing.
It also involves naming an executor who will be tasked with distributing your assets to your loved ones, and identifying guardians for your minor children or pets.
7. Keep liquid assets and/or savings
This integral part of wealth management highlights the importance of having liquid assets so you can have cash whenever you need it.
Having savings and liquid assets is less risky since it can be quickly sold at full value.