I wrote this article solely from my experience. I am sharing this not to ridicule myself and let you make fun of my stupid mistake about handling finances before or whatsoever negative reaction you will have for this but to let you take the lessons and learn from it.
I never thought before that ignorance in money is expensive,not until I had my first vacation after a year of working overseas.
Year 2015, month of October. I went abroad hoping for a better opportunity. I was optimistic thinking that with a higher pay and no tax I would be able to save more. I was hopeful during that time that someday I will be able to fulfill my plans (like helping my family for their needs, buying my own iPhone, buying own car and most of all build my own house). Month after month I was able to send money to my family as support for them at the same time I was able to keep some amount for my savings. That was the routine until the day of my annual vacation came.
On that particular time, I was so happy to check that my savings went up to 160,000+ pesos. Who could have imagined, I was an employee before in the Philippines working for at least 500+ pesos a day and the largest amount I was able to save was 14,000+ pesos except for my bonus which I can remember, around 18,000+ pesos.
As a first timer to have that amount of money, I was so excited to go for my vacation. More plans have been made.
During my vacation, I was literally spending like a millionaire. I spent money here and there. So to cut the long story short, just one week before the end of my 35 days annual vacation, I am already penniless. Guess what? I can’t remember where the money went. Oh my gulay!!! When I checked my savings account the remaining balance is 1,300+ pesos. I don’t know what happened. I think that was the saddest moment during my vacation.
With desperation, for at least a week before my flight going back abroad, I searched for some ways wherein I can generate an income to sustain the expenses for the remaining days of my vacation. Fortunately, I was able to find one, I closed a deal for 6,000 pesos project (Simple automated system for a spa). And that’s not yet the end of the story, when I’ve got the additional money to my 1,300+ pesos left in my savings, suddenly, my parents called me and they needed some amount. I was able to provide them the money, but me, I was totally penniless. I was so poor! Damn! I don’t know why and what have had happened. At the day of my flight, the only money left in me is the 550 pesos balik mangagawa refund at the airport.
At that time, when I came back here in abroad. I told myself, that I will never ever want to experience it again, that I don’t want to be poor, to be ignorant about money, to be financially illiterate. I was so determined. It’s like I was tremendously hurt and was forcefully changed with that experience.
So, I searched for some groups/communities who offer a financial literacy training. What happened next, one of the pastors of the church where I was attending is a financial advocate. I was so blessed to see his post about the financial literacy seminar he organized. Immediately, I registered and eventually attended the seminar.
On my journey to be financially literate, I found out that “financial ignorance is expensive” and it will definitely make you poor. I could have not experienced those things if I know already how to tell my money where to go instead of asking where they went. I would like to tell you also that as early as now, especially to the young professionals, it is essential that we must learn to manage our finances, we must be financially educated. It takes time, dedication and effort but it’s worth it.
Today, I am persistent in learning about money by reading books, blogs, attending webinar, asking questions to experts on finances and trying out things through applying what I have learned.
I hope you have learned with my story.
Remember that the true purpose of wealth is to love.