5 ‘salawikain’ that reflect Filipino money values

Rienzie P. Biolena, RFP
5 ‘salawikain’ that reflect Filipino money values
Here are some proverbs that reflect most Filipino households' money management values

MANILA, Philippines – During a night reading session with my daughter, we came across a classic Filipino children’s book: Si Langgam at Si Tipaklong (The Ant and the Grasshopper).

Memories of my childhood years flooded back to me. I remember how the good old ant was stacking up grains in anticipation for the rainy days, while happy-go-lucky grasshopper was just playing around — even pulling in ant to join him. 

Soon thereafter, the rain came. 

The ant, who was snug and warm with plenty of food for himself, heard a knock on the door and found the grasshopper wet and hungry.

Most of us already know the moral of the story. The question is: have we become ants or grasshoppers?

It then dawned on me that Filipinos have their own set of values when it comes to money management. These values are found in these 5 salawikain (proverbs):

Kung ano ang itinanim, siyang aanihin (You reap what you sow)

How many Filipino households have established emergency funds? For a one-income family, funds for 6 months’ worth of expenses is recommended, while 3 months is enough for a two-income household. (READ: How the 80-20 saving formula works)

Filipinos should also allocate a portion of their present income for their future needs, such as their child’s college education, future vacations, and a retirement fund.

Kapag maikli ang kumot, matutong mamaluktot (When the blanket is short, learn to curl up)

Adjust your level of expenses to your level of income. Most Filipinos live beyond their means just to satisfy their wants and cravings. Filipinos want to increase their means; but until that time comes, they should be more conscious of their expenses. 

Record your expenses by creating a spreadsheet or using a money organizer application. This way, you will know where your money is going and see which expenses to adjust to fund your other goals in life.

Daig ng maagap ang masipag (Punctuality beats diligence)

If you want to make P1 million in 10 years’ time, invest P62,700 a year on an instrument giving 10% interest annually. Delay it by 3 years, then your annual investment will increase to P105,000 given the same return. (READ: The winning investments of 2015)

Alternatively, if you can afford P67,000 per year, look for an investment that gives 26.81% return for the next 7 years. This means you will be taking on more risk to achieve the same goal given a lesser time.

Had you started 5 years earlier, you would only need P31,500 a year to make the same amount of money in the same financial instrument.

The sooner and the younger you invest, the less money you will have to save up and more money you will eventually make.

Ubos-ubos biyaya, pagkatapos ay nakatunganga (Spend lavishly and you end up with nothing)

Being a one-day millionaire won’t cut it. Bonuses and salaries are your raw materials to build your future. I’m not saying you live a deprived Spartan life, but you should prioritize your goals diligently.

If your salary allocation goes off to paying your gadgets first before your child’s education fund, then there is something wrong with your priorities. (READ: A rough 2015 for PH stocks)

Nasa Diyos ang awa; nasa tao ang gawa (Mercy resides in God; deeds are in men)

Filipinos are predominantly God-fearing people, trusting in His provisions. But keep in mind that it takes two to tango, and we have to do our part as well.

We have to plan, study, execute, and review our finances with our family and with an expert.

You have known these all along. You may have lost sight of them or have forgotten them with the barrage of noises all around. It may be time to go back and rediscover how these sayings reflect our lives now. After all, we are Fillipinos, and these are part of our values. – Rappler.com

Got a question about personal finance? Tweet @rapplerdotcom or email us at business@rappler.com.

 Rienzie P. Biolena is a registered financial planner of RFP Philippines, a professional group of financial planners in the country. To learn more about RFP, you may email info@rfp.ph.

Rienzie is also an accredited investment fiduciary of Pennsylvania-based fi360 and an international member of the Financial Planning Association, the largest association of financial planners in the US. You may reach Rienzie at rienzie.biolena@gmail.com, his Facebook account or Twitter @rbiolena.

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