I remembered many years ago, I borrowed from my cousin a pair of jeans, a white shirt, and a pair of white sneakers for our CAT class. It was because I didn’t ask my mother to buy me any. That time, she often worries about our food for the day, and it would be too much to burden her about my CAT uniform.
We were renting then a small house with a sari-sari store. My mother resigned from work to tend to her store. I didn’t know if it was a wise decision as the rumble of emptiness from my stomach became frequent. The squeaky springs of our bed all the more hurt my back.
However, I didn’t know we were poor then. I was enrolled in an exclusive school where the tuition fee was way too high compared to other schools within the area. But there were many times we couldn’t afford to pay for electricity and water. And that perhaps is what I am most thankful for my mother — Ginapang nya talaga ang aking pag-aaral.
Through the years, I have seen how my mother endured hardship and struggles. She eventually gave up our store and started a small buy and sell business. My mother traveled to places and sold her great finds to friends and relatives. She also started her non-life insurance agency, reinvested her funds, and slowly built her million Peso fortune.
This kind of discipline is what I grew up in. My mother focused on building wealth, and only when she was sure that she plunged into building our house, investing in a car, and renting an office space.
She also always remind me to save money from the monthly paycheck I receive. And from her example, I learned to value money. The following are the things I do to save and the same lessons I impart to my kids. Because from experience, youngsters with higher financial literacy are more prepared to become adults who can handle financial tasks and obligations better.
Spend, Save, Give
A piggy bank is not enough to encourage the kids to save. At home, we gave each of our boys three jars: spend, save, and give. The idea is to let them budget their allowance, not forgetting that they need to save and give, too. Budgeting their allowance then becomes more inspiring because though small, they can keep an amount for gift giving. They also get to save money for things they want to buy.
Our Firstborn loves shoes. And those rubber shoes are pretty expensive. To teach him to take care of his shoes and at the same time know what it takes to save for something one likes, we encourage him to keep a portion of his baon to save for his goal. We also advise him to write down his savings goals. Writing down a specific goal will help him keep track of his savings and see how much closer he is to his purpose.
Inspire with your story
I resigned from work about five years ago and started blogging. I retained my payroll account and deposited all my blogging pay there. I haven’t touched my blogging earnings since I launched my site and social media accounts. And it inspires me to continue this career as I see the money grow. I plan to use the money saved from blogging for my retirement.
I once told this story to our boys with hopes that they will be inspired. Seeing the smiles from their faces, I would want to believe that I achieved that purpose.
I may say then that for us to encourage our kids to save and spend wisely, it helps that we show them how to do it. Letting them read stories about financial literacy is another way to educate and inspire them to keep saving.
Financial literacy guide for youngsters
A good financial habit that begins early can lead children to a more secure future. It helps that we start our kids early to know more about the advantages of saving and spending right. More than assisting them to be financially stable years from now, we are helping ourselves more from the burden whenever our children come to us for financial help. Financial education begins at home. And let us start with ourselves, and our youngsters would surely follow.
Relative to that, I am also happy to learn that BDO Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of BDO Unibank Inc., has partnered with the Department of Education (DepEd) and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). The partnership aims to promote financial literacy among students from kindergarten all the way to senior high school.
Catch these two videos; first is the video sample of BDOF-DEPED-BSP Project and the second one is the overview of the impressive advocacy of BDO Foundation with Sir Mario Deriquito being interviewed by Ms. Ali Sotto.