7 Bad Financial Habits Pinoy Should Quit

WHAT you think controls your thoughts, which then dictate your actions. And unhealthy ideas about money are bound to lead to bad financial habits.

Below are seven monetary attitudes that many Filipinos have and among the top reasons for their financial poverty.

Check yourself with them. Take action to eliminate and then replace them with better and smarter money habits.


1. One-day millionaire.

When someone has worked so hard to earn money, it’s easy to believe they deserve a reward when their paycheck finally arrives.

It’s not wrong to think so. In fact, sometimes you can treat yourself. However, this often becomes a dangerous belief when a person spends more than they can afford.


2. Waste of money pasalubong.

This is typical of Filipino workers working abroad – they spend extravagant amounts on pasalubong (souvenir) whenever they come home. It’s mostly their fault that makes them do it; because they are trying to make up for their absence.

Your presence is the best pasalubong you can give to your loved ones, and the most important thing for them is to fulfill your promise that you will soon return home forever. So work on that instead and save your money.

Moreover, you are not required to bring home pasalubong or treat the whole city and all the relatives when you return: it’s not necessary. It doesn’t matter if they think you arekuripot“(Mean) or”madamoth“(Selfish). Your loved ones are your priority, not them.


3. Celebration mentality.

Pinoi love to party. From birthdays to city holidays, from baptism to graduation; Filipinos believe that such occasions call for lavish celebrations.

While these are significant moments, their significance will not be diminished if you choose to simply celebrate. Spending the day with your loved ones during this time is more important than the size of the party and the number of guests.


4. Spend future income today.

One of the reasons many Filipinos live paycheck to paycheck is because they spend their paycheck before they get it. Worse, they borrow money or use their credit cards to spend mostly on unnecessary things.

They buy on impulse or spend on travel, believing it’s okay because their paycheck will come in a few days anyway. However, repeating this without a proper budget will soon find them head over heels in credit card debt.

In short, we all want acceptance and that sense of belonging. Unfortunately, this can lead to unhealthy financial habits where we start to think we need to keep up if we want to keep our friendship.

True friends will never judge or accept you if you are not as financially secure as they are. And they will never force you to spend money on non-essential things. They will accept you for who you are, including your financial capabilities.

If your friends make you feel unwanted or less important if you can’t keep up with them, then it’s time to find a new group of friends.


6. I’m bad at math.

“Hindi ako magaling sa Math” is a popular opinion among Filipinos. I hear this a lot, especially when I’m trying to explain budgeting and investing to someone.

When it comes to personal finance, the common misconception is that you need to be good at math to create and follow a budget, and that you need to understand economics to be able to invest successfully.

The truth is far from it. Just make a little effort to understand it, and don’t immediately ignore such topics. You will find that all it takes is simple arithmetic and a basic knowledge of money.

And just because you’re bad at math, economics, or any other financial subject doesn’t mean you can’t apply practical money management strategies.


7. Position “Okay naman kami.”

Sometimes when I try to get people to invest, I get the answer that they don’t really want to because they’re doing well financially anyway.

“Hindi ko naman pinangarap yumaman. Basta nakakakain kami ng tatlong beses isang araw, ok na.” [I never dreamed of getting rich. It’s enough that we eat three times a day.]

This is the phrase I usually hear from them. Unfortunately, this belief comes from the misconception that investing is only for people who want to get rich.

The truth is that investing is for everyone who wants to have financial security in the future. It’s not about amassing great wealth. Rather, it is a guarantee that you will always have enough for a comfortable life.


Fitz Villafuerte is a Registered RFP Financial Planner in the Philippines. To learn more about personal financial planning, visit the 97th RFP this August. To find out, please email info@rfp.ph or text to 0917-6248110.