USE money to live wisely and productively. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UNSPLASH/MICHAEL LONGMIRE
If there’s one thing I learned in my swinging 30s many years ago, it’s the value of money — not to be wealthy, but to prepare for when I’ll either be growing old alone or settling down and raising a kid of my own.
Our material needs definitely change through our decades. In one’s 20s during my time, the goal was simply to realize dreams of adventure — live independently in a nice rented place, have friends over for happy hours, and travel, travel, travel.
But there’s a crossroad that happened when I entered my big three-zero and started to look for the best personal finance advice to prepare for my life ahead. And one of the best advice I got was from a money expert who gave talks especially for women.
“Personal finance is like brushing your teeth. No one else will do it for you,” she said. And like sticky gum, it stuck in my head to this day.
The pandemic made us pray that something worse would never happen given the intense struggles that everyone’s been going through at various levels. But what if something does happen, like a medical emergency not necessarily COVID-19-related but, say, an accident or a member of the family suffers a stroke and has to be rushed to the hospital? Do you have the money to spend for it granting that many workplaces have made budget cuts or have had to close because the business can’t match the monetary demands anymore?
So we go back to the classic adage of saving for a rainy day and blessed are those who were able to do so before the coronavirus crisis happened. Money is indeed king, but one that should be earned decently and grown wisely for kind purposes.
In a sea of diverse financial products to choose from, it helps to start with the basics. Pay yourself first, rather than the other way around. When one’s salary comes in, instead of starting with expenses, experts advice to start with savings. Set aside an amount for that proverbial rainy day. And these may come in the form of a simple savings or checking account where you just automatically deposit X amount of pesos.
Or, perhaps invest in a health insurance which, not as bad as it really sounds, is meant for emergency situations. So, the earlier one invests in an insurance product the better the benefits could be, explains Karla Capili a unit manger for Philamlife. She says, “Insurance is something you get when you don’t need it yet. When you need it and get one only at that critical time then it may not be available for you anymore especially when you become uninsurable because of a pre-existing condition.
“In this case it becomes too late for someone to get a comprehensive insurance. Otherwise, options become limited. The best time to get insurance is when you are young and healthy, when you are really in the best of health and very much insurable.”
Money is indeed king but one that should be earned decently and grown wisely for kind purposes.
JAY DIRECTO/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
How to get started? Capili gives three simple tips on how to get one’s personal finance act together:
“First, know your goals and priorities,” she notes. “This way, you’ll be able to discern the right product and benefits for you and to help you achieve your goals in life. This isn’t a one-time thing but an ongoing process as your needs change in different stages of your life.
“Second, choose a life insurance company that has a track record of stability and a company that delivers promises to its policy holders. A company which understands the ever changing needs of its clientele and and is willing to support them through life’s challenges and opportunities.
“Third, partner with the right financial Advisor. Someone you can trust and partner with not just to achieve your current goals but your future goals as well. It is best that your financial advisor is there with you as you go through different life stages to make sure that you take action on your plans and that you are on track on your objectives and to help you make your dreams into reality,” she concludes.
Money changes everything, be it for one’s instant gratification or for times when life poses challenges. Nothing bad about growing one’s wealth especially if one worked hard for it. After all, use it to live wisely and productively, to care for one’s self and future, so that one may also be able to better help family and people who matter as well.
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