I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth though I wish I was. I started from scratch with literally nothing; no money and even no financial guru to guide me. I’m not good at Math and I didn’t major in Economics or Finance. I didn’t also learn money in school because that is a topic not being taught to students despite over 15 years of education and I don’t know why.
My journey to seek for Financial Literacy started when I saw how people work hard all their life then spend the money they work hard for just for one day like a millionaire, and then do the same thing over and over again until their last breath. Moreover, I fully understand that in the society whoever has the gold has the power. Poor people are always prone to injustice, inequality and unfair treatment because they lack money. I also have a lot of friends who wants to travel, buy the things they want but the cant because they are financially restraint.
Personally, I easily get bored doing routine tasks and I don’t want to spend the rest of my life doing the things I don’t like because I need to work hard for money. I’m not a pro when it comes to money management or investments; everything is just a product of my desire not to be in a rat race. I made a lot of mistakes, the good side is I found a lot of things that didn’t work and wont do it again, repeating the same mistakes. Truths about money I wish I learned earlier:
Don’t save money!
Are you a kind of person who lives frugally just to save money? You control your spending, you discipline yourself to only buy what you ‘need’ and not what you ‘desire’. But after all, you still find yourself not hitting your goal and you’re still not reaching the place where you really want to be financially? Well, the truth is it’s not about how much money you save, but how much money you invest. The goal is to beat the inflation. If you save your money by putting it in your saving account or by stuffing it under your bed mattress or in your piggy bank, you will lose to inflation because the cost of living grows while the value of your money does not. The value of 500 pesos 5 years ago is not the same today. If before you can buy a lot of things with that amount, now you will find yourself struggling to budget it because the value of your money depreciate.
What to do?
Don’t save money! Invest! Look for different platforms to grow your money. Invest in stock market, mutual fund or start a small business. Just let your money moving so it won’t lose its value.
Make the best use of your limited money
Maybe you have already tried several investment platforms that didn’t work. Congratulations! Way to go! As much as it hurts to admit it, it much more consoling to say Experience is your best teacher. A good friend of mine advised me that since I don’t have much money because I’m just starting, it’s very important that I fully understand the investments I will get in. Don’t be afraid to take risk is not literally interpreted as don’t to use your head and just push for any investment that is offer to you. Do your research, study it first before you say yes. Don’t be impulsive or be driven by emotion.
What to do?
Before you say yes to any investment or any business opportunities, it’s very important that you fully understand it. You have very limited money, don’t just throw it away. Consider the risk, the length of time when you will get your return of investment, the details and the contract.
Avoid Bad debt, desire Good debt
Hearing the word debt instantly put a bad impression in our mind. Debt is an amount of money borrowed by one party from another. But debt has two faces; good and bad. If you will spend the money you borrow to buy expensive things and signature clothes to show off to your friends that you’re rich and better than them, well you’re losing a chance to make it a good debt. Good debt helps you generate income and increases you net worth. As the old adage goes “it takes money to make money”.
What to do?
As much as possible avoid bad debt. Don’t spend what you couldn’t afford. The danger of investing your money on things is that their value depreciates overtime. Make it a good debt to grow your money, build an empire from nothing to something. Borrow money to support your dream to have a start up business.
Money is just a point of view
Money can be whatever you want it to be. Don’t be afraid to take risk; don’t cling too much on your money. Turn your hard earned income to passive income.
What to do?
Don’t miss great opportunities by being so afraid to take risk. Money is just a point of view.
Money is important but time is more important
People say you can’t have the best of both worlds; both time and financial freedom. Not unless you’re born as heiress to big empires or from very rich family. If not this fate as what Annette Gulick said will happen to you “When you’re young you have time and energy but no money. When you get older you have money and energy but no time. And later when you finally have time and money, you no longer have energy.” Don’t restraint yourself from doing what you love to do just because you’re money bound. If you don’t realized now that time is more important than money, then when? You will live your life exchanging your precious time for a minimum salary.
What to do?
Is the money you’re getting from your job worthy of your precious time? Desire time and financial freedom, do what you love to do. Follow your passion. Make money out of it. Spend time with your family; the priceless moment you spend with your family is more important than the time you spend working making sure that you can provide well for them.
The lack and the love money are the cost of evil
Money is money but it’s not everything. It’s not your whole life. Money is just a way for you to enjoy life. But don’t focus your entire life to it. As the lack of money is the cost of all evil what more the too much love of money can ruin your entire life and your relationships.
What to do?
Let money just be money. Let make other things as it. No overstepping. Give you 100% to whatever you do.