“Live below your means but within your needs. If you do not have money for your future and you have all these things around you, what does that say about you?”
This was one of the statements given by Suze Orman, a famous financial guru during her talk in the Philippines. I was not able to watch the show on TV but my parents did and my mom shared this statement to me.
My dad has taught us this principle ever since I can remember. I think me and my siblings have somehow adapted this way of thinking. Living below our means and knowing our financial priorities. Now that I am married, my dad still continues to give me and my husband financial advises.
My husband and I formed the habit of setting aside our money every month for different uses. We have seven envelopes labelled “Savings, Baby, Light and Power, Credit Card, Nanny, Groceries, Bills, and Wants”. Every month, we set aside money to these envelopes and would only use the money for its specific purpose. There are times that our allowance for 15 days would only be 500 pesos and we would stick to our budget. We learned this practice from our parents because they did the “envelope” thing when they were just starting out. You would be amazed that in spite our average salaries, we still have savings. Setting our money aside for its specific use really help us strengthen our financial control. As long as our needs are being met and be happy in even in small things, saving will not be that difficult.
When my dad was still working, he told us that he saved all of his bonuses. He only spent his salary for our needs. Aside from his savings from bonuses, he also saved from his salary. He invested his savings in mutual funds, insurance, and bank investments. When he retired, he also ventured into agricultural business. We seldom ate out when we were young. Vacations had to be planned way ahead. We did not go out much and we were not given big allowances. We were taught not to love material things early on.
Saving is a habit and financial freedom starts from savings. Of course it does not end in savings. Achieving financial freedom requires knowledge and wisdom. One can go into business and investing. Prayer MUST always be in the equation. My dad always credited his financial decisions to God. He said that God must have provided him wisdom where to invest his money.
I hope that we can also achieve financial freedom in the future.