Ain’t Got No Money

My thoughts after reading the book Ang Pera na Hindi Bitin (Money that is Never Short) by: Eduardo O. Roberto, Jr. Published by: OMF Literature http://www.omflit.com/home/catalog.php?c=8&i=601

I am a licensed Pharmacist but sadly, my salary is never enough (I am the breadwinner of our family and my sister is studying in a private school but she is going to transfer next school year—since my salary is never enough. My father is sick and is taking a lot of medications.) I have been working since I passed the licensure examination with only few days of vacation and since then, I never had one. Some of my colleagues thought my salary is already high since I have worked for more than three years already. It’s such a shame but the highest increase of my salary is only 500php (yes, that’s true!). I was planning of applying for another job but I do enjoy my current work and my only complaint is our salary. I hope within this year, they will increase. I do know some sidelines but I don’t think they are good =D.

Now a terrible problem struck our family. My father (who has a little sideline which is enough for his daily expenses and monthly medication) is about to lose his little income. The pressure of providing for them greatly increases for me that shook me to the core. Our previous house in Tondo, Manila—which is pawned for 600k— is about to reach its five-year maturity. How in the world am I going to pay that???

Upon discussing our grave problem, my father and I had a heart-to-heart talk (or rather brain-to-brain), giving me some lessons in life. He’s already 68 and somehow is ready to go to the higher level of our soul’s existence. He told me that people—yes, all of us—are no longer fit to work to earn money once they reached their senior citizen age. People should work hard and started investing for their future during the prime of their lives, during their twenties to thirties, and at forties, they should have investments or going strong business already and by fifties, they should have saved enough for their family and retirement.

His statement awakened me. I am already at my mid-twenties and I haven’t even saved a single dime. I have few hundreds in my already ruined wallet but I happen to spend them somehow. In short, I am just broke.

I am in this situation not because I spend a lot but because I gave 80-90% of my whole salary to my ever beloved mother to pay our daily expenses plus my sister’s tuition and other miscellaneous-the-hell-I-know-what-for fees. The remaining 10-20% remains with me (only few hundreds) and half of it go to my daily transportation.

I do regret some of my happy-spending-moments during college (I even fooled my mother that we were doing our thesis but actually, we were drinking and dancing in some bar in Malate). Somehow, our downfall is my fault. Somehow, it was all our fault. But I want to change it.

Then in our clinic, our dentist has this book—which caught my attention. I have seen it before but I did not bother open it, thinking I would just be wasting my time. But when I started reading it, I realized I could do a lot with my 10-20% of salary.

I never wanted to be rich (what a hypocrite I am not to want that) but really, that’s true. I want material things—but only those I need. Some people even tell me to change my cellphone  since it is already out of uso na. I can call and text, watch videos and listen to my fave songs with it so why change it for something more high-tech? I am not fond of following what’s in like the high-tech gadgets with applications you don’t even need. I am not against it, though. All I am saying is buy what you need, not what you want. I can live without internet (for more or less a year, I’ve been offline to Facebook J because I do not want to spend money doing useless things. I am online now because it’s free WiFi access). I often dreamt of living back to the days where technology is not a necessity, wherein people are always on time because they do not have the means to communicate if ever they will be late.

There are ways I can improve my life. I do not spend a lot, only sometimes, and I also forgot to save—I used to when I was a little younger.

The seven strategies in this book are like the little answer of God to my heavy financial problems. I don’t know how to start but yes I will. From now on, I will:

  1. SAVE:

I will no longer buy unnecessary books, drink Starbucks (unless it is freeJ), and treat other people when I barely have money at all. Instead, I will save, even just a hundred until it will be enough for me to open a bank account (yes, I don’t have one except for the ATM where my salary is being deposited). Small it may seem but there’s a saying: “Great things start from small beginnings.”

  1. GIVE:

I give most to my family and some coins to the (I’m not sure if it’s Redcross) cans at MRT station where you will be ashamed not to give (peace men!).

  1. GET OUT OF THE DEBT AND STOP BORROWING:

(Sigh) My beloved mother is. I am still lecturing her that borrowing money will only make us broke. Thank God I have no credit card, although I have been tempted to apply for many times already. If so, I don’t know what is going to happen to us because of debt. It’s been only a year since we were freed from bombay’s 5/6 (our maximum daily hulog is 4k!). But later on, I learned my mother still borrow money from other sources. I hope she will listen to me.

  1. LIVE SIMPLY:

I do, we already do but my sister is not. I am still going to lecture her about it. I prefer walking from EDSA to clinic than ride a jeep which is sometimes greedy for passengers—somehow the cause of being late to work. And it is even healthier, a daily exercise for me. I am afraid of getting fat.

  1. MAGSIPAG, MAGNEGOSYO :

I could not say I am lazy (although I must admit, I love dreaming and sleeping that I could spend one whole day by just sleeping instead of doing other productive things). Business used to be out of my vocabulary but now, I am thinking of reviving my loading station. Direct selling has also come across my mind.

  1. MAG-INVEST:

I am yet to find out about this. First I am thinking of saving in a time deposit account. The money I will deposit there is soon to come.

  1. EDUCATE YOURSELF:

I am fond of reading a lot of things so this is not really a problem to me. But I’m still thinking of enrolling for post-graduate education so I could elevate my profession more. I will, if I have enough money for it. But first, my priority is my family.

Somehow, God has His own mysterious ways. My problems are slowly being lifted out of me. I pray a lot although I could not say I’m really a good follower of church. I will improve my life. With this book, slowly but surely, I will find contentment with this life.

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