Where do our salaries really go?
Every payday, we hold tightly on our salaries because we know it will somehow slip from our grip towards various expenditures.
Despite the regular bi-weekly salary, why do most of us feel that it is still not enough?
In Metro Manila, we see people breaking their backs to provide for their families, yet it is also not new to hear many individuals blame the government for such poor economy until the last election when President Rodrigo Duterte won by landslide victory.
After the elections, many Filipinos had raised their hopes that we even topped the Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index for the second quarter of 2016 ahead of the 62 other countries.
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NCR Current Minimum Wage
We work hard to get wage. While some are fortunate enough to work just because they wanted to, many of us will need to get money with dugo't pawis everyday to earn at least the minimum wage. Those who work in non-agricultural industries such as call center agents, nurses, sales crew, teachers, sales staff, and others can earn at least Php 491 a day.
Suppose you earn the minimum wage a day:
Php 491 x 20 days = Php 9,820
Then you must be earning around Php 10,000 a month, not including any bonus, holiday double pay and weekends.
Is the Php10,000 enough?Let’s follow the typical one month budget.
- For a food: Php 4,000
- House Rent: Php 1,400 for a one room apartment
- Health: Php900 this includes the daily hygienic necessities
- Communication: Php 200 for mobile load/data usage
- Child’s Education: Php 1,1000 for the allowance and possibly the child’s fare to school
(Your kid will have Php 55.00 a day)
- Transportation: Php 500
- Clothes: Php 500
- Others such as water and electricity: Php1,400
Unfortunately, if you have two or more children, you will need a side job and a tighter budget plan.
Let’s consider if you have a baby:
- Powdered milk: Php2,400
- 6mL Distilled drinking water: Php300
- Disposable Diaper: Php1,000
- Monthly checkup: Php300
- Others: Php1,000
Baby’s expenses: Php5,000 a month
Then a person earning the average wage here in Metro Manila will really have a hard time to survive paycheck to paycheck. Consider looking for a side job, involve your family members in a small home based business and create a feasible budget plan.
Usual Financial beliefs which could keep you poor:
- Investing is scary.
Less than 1% of Filipinos in Metro Manila invest in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.
Most Filipinos think that this is only for the millionaires. When they say investments, they are quick to think about stocks amounting from several hundred thousand to millions. COL Financial gives free seminars to Filipinos who want to learn at investing in stocks exchange. If you have at least Php5,000, you can already invest in certain stocks. It will take time, but patience, as they say, is a virtue.
Many people do not understand that investment does not only mean putting money in the stocks, it simply means spending money on something you think has financial gain. If you can’t invest on trading of stocks and funds yet, you can invest in your own small business for a while.
- Not enough knowledge on money management
Everyone deserves to be educated when it comes to money management. The danger for those who get instantly rich is not knowing how to use their money. Learn to prioritize and make savings as much as you can. Even now, you have to save even the loose change to keep the discipline of saving.
- Selling is not the solution to getting better financial status
‘Tindera lang ako.’Being a seller in sidewalks does not mean you are destined to stay there for the rest of your life. You will never hear an employee taking over the company, but you will hear a lot of stories wherein big companies started as small stalls. Of course, you have heard of Henry Sy, the famous owner of SM malls. He started as a shoe shop owner and now he owns the largest malls in the country which houses smaller shops.
- Being an OFW is an acceptable long-term financial solution.
One in five households receives financial assistance abroad. The figure gives you the idea of how many Filipinos braved working to foreign lands just to give a better future for their families. Homesickness is their worst enemy, but nevertheless, it pays the bills and the wants of the kids back home.
While many parents have pushed their children into a career they never wanted in exchange for a higher pay abroad, many still end up going home moneyless. OFWs left their kids thinking that their children will have a better future, yet their kids will also leave their families for the same reason: poverty. It is an endless cycle for many. The sad part is OFWs themselves failed to save up for their own retirement.
On the other hand, there are OFWs who got successful in their line of businesses. It took patience and a long time to study the industry they have ventured in. They did not earn just by being an OFW, they had chosen to earn more by starting a small business.
- Rich people are selfish
Most people say that the rich tramples on the poor. While there are indeed rude rich people, there are also rich people who indeed started from the rags and now advocate helping those who are also in need. Instead of thinking negatively on others, it will be helpful to focus on the positive side.
- Traditions are money well spent for
This is nothing new. A lot of Filipinos would rather go in debt than lose their face if they are not able to meet the visitor’s expectations. There is nothing wrong with a simple wedding, a simple birthday celebration and a simple christening. Many even make-do without these things, yet there are individuals who borrow money from Bombays with an interest rate of 20% just to show off.
- It is possible to get rich easily
Many Filipinos fall for scams. It is not surprising as many fall into the words: ‘bahay ka lang, kikita ka.’ We believe in easy money, yet we all know hard work will bear real cash if you are patient enough. Easy money is not real unless you are born with a silver spoon on your lips so to speak.
- Metro Manila is teeming with job opportunities
Opportunities are all over the country, not just in Manila. Manila is overcrowded with those who have ventured from the province only to find out the city is offering low paid jobs and a high cost of living. Many of us who live in Manila even prefer to get out of the city and live in nearby provinces such as Laguna, Batangas, and Cavite.
- It is fine to spend on wants as long as you are happy
Some working Filipinos will spend on high-end smartphones despite skipping meals for a month. It is better to invest on things that have increasing value rather than on things which will be outdated in a few months as another better upgrade comes up.
- The government is not doing enough action
Our government is clearly far from perfect, but instead of blaming politicians, we must realize that each one of us has the responsibility to be a hard working citizen. We are looking for a financial security for ourselves and our family that we tend to look up to those in positions to help us.
It will not be easy and it will take time, but it will be worth it. You can build a small home based business, invest with your small saving and diligently nurture it. You can even ask your family to help you out and have a small family business.