Managing Your Hard-Earned Money


“If you wish to get rich, save what you get. A fool can earn money; but it takes a wise man to save and dispose of it to his own advantage.” – Brigham Young

By Henrylito D. Tacio

Work, Voltaire once said, keeps people from three great evils: boredom, vice, and poverty. To which Thomas Alva Edison also pointed out: “There is no substitute for hard work. Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” And Richard Cumberland used to say, “It is better to wear out than to rust out.”

Bottom line: “Unless you work, you will miss out on many of the joys and benefits of life itself. So concentrate on the thing you like about your job and its benefits. Give your job that extra burst of energy you always have on the day before vacation. Not only will you enjoy your work more, but also raise and praise will both come your way.” That’s from Zig Ziglar, the man who wrote, “Something to Smile About.”

You work hard and you get your wage. Once you get your money, where does it go? Remember, money is hard to earn yet easy to spend. It is how you handle your money well that will shape you of what you will be in the future.

Okay, let’s assume you love your job. But do you see yourself growing old with what you are doing now. Do you see yourself doing the same thing for the rest of your life? The money you earn today should be your stepping stone, so to speak, for the next level of your life.

Before you know it, retirement is just around the corner. And you look back and what have you done through all those years? In order for you to be at par with other successful people is to manage your hard-earned money well. Here are some timely tips:

Make a budget. Even before you receive your salary, you should have a plan on where your money goes. That way, you get the most out of it. This can be attained only if you have a budget. How much should be allotted for the following: allowance, food, other needs, leisure, etc. When you have all this figure out, then you can never go wrong.

Stick with your budget. Don’t go beyond what you have already planned out. When you do it, everything goes wrong. Each items you have listed have been given specific budget and so when you overspend in one item, the other items suffer as some percentage will be taken out from them.

Live within your means. Don’t compare yourself with other people. You are you and they are they. Even twin themselves do not do the same things. You do your own way. So, if your salary is only good for something don’t go beyond. Why buy a car when you cannot afford it?

Buy only those you really need and not what you want. Among the items you really need are food, clothing, and medicines. There are somethings that you may want like a new cellular phone, a new pair of shoes, a new watch, etc. But the question is: can you live without them?

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people that they don’t like,” Will Rogers once reminded. And Epictetus also said, “Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”

Pay in cash when buying things. Credit is good but we need cash, so goes a saying. There are people who love to get things in credit. The only thing with credits is that you have to pay a certain percentage for the item you are getting. And if you are hard on cash later on, there is a tendency that you may not be able to pay your credit on time. Remember, there is always a corresponding interest if you pay late.

When I was in the United States, I visited my sister who lives in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Every time, she goes to supermarket or malls, she always paid the items she purchased with a check. So, when we got home, I asked her why?

Manoy,” she told me, “I want to know where our money goes. By issuing a check, I can track all our records and see how much we spent for a month.”

That’s not the only thing I learned from her. In most instances, couples fight each other because of money. In order to avoid such annoyance, they decided that whenever they buy items worth a hundred dollars or more, they have to inform each other whether the other one will approve or not.

Spend on something that benefit you in the future. Now, if you can’t avoid to buy in credits, try to use it on things that appreciate than depreciate. For instance, you can loan from a bank when buying a house and lot or farm land. As years go by, the value of both go up. Unlike a car whose value goes down each year.

Plan on saving money. I was still a little boy when my mother gave me an “alkansiya” (a handmade piggy bank). Every time, I was given a “baon,” I usually saved some coins which I put inside my “alkansiya.” When I grew up, I learned the value of saving. It was only during my college days that I finally opened my first bank account.

Today, I have two bank accounts, where I deposit 5-10% of my salary. The longer your money remains in the savings account, the more interest you accumulate. Start saving while you are still young.

T.T. Munger was right when he said: “The habit of saving is itself an education: it fosters every virtue, teaches self-denial, cultivates the sense of order, trains to forethought and so broadens the mind.”

Invest your money. Most Filipinos, studies show, are non-investors. They would rather have cash than invest their hard-earned income. Some prefer to just place them in a bank. But bank deposit rates ranges from 1 to 4 percent per annum. Stock yields are higher than that.

Listen to one who tried to invest his money: “I have learned a simple lesson when it comes to managing income. I put my petty cash funds for house, little business and other recurring errands in the bank. The extra money on investments.

“Experience taught me that because I know too little of how to invest where, when and how and I get scared and panic each time the stock goes down; I trust my investment plan to a financial advisor. They know how to place my money in balance funds.

“I learned later that when one strategic placement is down, the loss is covered by the blue chips. On an annual basis, your money earns at least 9%. Your best chance is when your strategic placements make it good and you gain 25-30 plus percent.”

Plan your vacation well. All work and no play make you exhausted at the end of the year. Give yourself a break. The best thing is to have a vacation. But don’t it abruptly. Plan it out: where to go, when to go, and where to stay. By doing it ahead of time, you can get some discounts and promos. If you don’t plan at all, there’s a tendency that you will spend more than what you have allocated for the trip.

Give others. It is blessed to give than to receive. The Holy Bible stated that we need to give at least 10 percent of what we receive (called tithes). If you do so, you will get more blessings from Him because that what He promises to all people who do it. “I will open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it,” the Lord said in Malachi 3:10.

If ever you have debts, be it in the form of gratitude. “A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received.”

In other words, we are indebted to our parents (who were responsible for bringing us into this world), the people who assessed our mothers in making our arrival safe and healthy, our teachers, authors of the textbooks and our editors or managers. The list is endless. It is from them that we learn how to work, to know our values, and to earn a living.

Pray for the government. We live in a country runs by the government which we have chosen during elections. They need our prayers for guidance, honesty and integrity. What they do definitely affect us all. So, we need to pray without ceasing for our leaders.

I was reminded of a story penned by Don Reber which appeared in Times of Pennsylvania. A man was talking to his friend. “I figured out why inflation is here,” he said. “Everybody’s earning money five days a week, but the government is spending it seven days a week.”

To end this piece, the statement of Ziglar comes in handy: “Most of us are not interested in doing anything spectacular, but it’s safe to say that if we’re going to accomplish anything of significance, and particularly if we’re going to maintain that significance, long hours of planning and even more hours of hard work are required. It’s also safe to say it’s worth it because the effort is temporary, but the satisfaction are rewards can be long-lasting.”

That’s true even for your hard-earned money!

July 2018 Health and Lifestyle

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