personal finance tips

The 4 ‘deadliest’ combinations to lose money

Rienzie P. Biolena, RFP

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The 4 ‘deadliest’ combinations to lose money
It's the season of bonuses. Are you going to spend all of it right away?

MANILA, Philippines – We do not have to be victimized by thieves to lose money.  Sometimes, the thief is right in front of the mirror.

In personal finance, having a healthy cash flow is very important. Cash is the resource used to fund financial objectives such as children’s education, retirement, and insurance protection. Without cash, the goals cannot be funded.

That is why us financial planners stress the proper management of resources as a cornerstone of personal finance. But sometimes, undesirable behavior still get in the way, and before you know it, you have no money left.

So how do you lose money, fast? These are the “deadliest” combinations:

1. Spend uncontrollably.

Spend wantonly, uncontrollably, and without a plan.

Go to malls and sales, and buy things that look and feel nice. Use your credit cards for things you have no budget for.

Spend all bonuses and extra income on unnecessary things, too. Do not allocate them for hidden expenses such as license renewals, gifts, car stickers, or children’s tuition.

Spend even though emergency funds have not been built up. Spend even though insurance is still not adequate. Spend to the detriment of the future.

Life after all is meant to be lived and carpe diem is key: Let tomorrow worry about itself.

2. Invest mindlessly.

Invest in anything and everything. Chase returns, not mindful of the risk being taken.

Do not do research – just follow the herd and rely on “expert” advice.

Invest just for the sake of investing, take profit whenever possible and enjoy it, thinking that investing is a cash cow that is only meant to provide present needs and fund present wants, not future goals.  

Trust a relative/friend/neighbor whenever they invite you over to invest in a scheme – one that returns hefty profits in so short a time, “guaranteed.” Many have done it, and many have already profited from it so it cannot be so bad, after all.

Do not check if the proposed investment is a potential scam. As long as profits are made fast, then it is something worthy of putting in your hard-earned money.

3. Impress others.

Always try to look cool and fabulous.

Have the latest gadget, always. One gadget that is not the latest issue is one gadget too old already.

If “fashion is your passion,” always spend on the trend: the most fabulous clothes, bags, or shoes. Never mind if they go out of style fast – what is more important is how you look. 

A collection would be great, too – rubber shoes and watches, for instance.

Drink that expensive coffee daily and go to social media-worthy places, living “the life.” (READ: Why Filipinos spend so much to get the Starbucks planner)

Keeping up with, or best, being on top of everyone else, is much more important than allocating money for future needs.  

4. Live life unplanned.

Because planning takes time, effort and energy, just live life as it is. Go with the flow for tomorrow will take care of itself.

What is important is the here and now because #yolo (you only live once). Enjoy and live life without regard for the future.

Also, do not implement an investment program for goals like a child’s college fund or your own retirement. Ignore such and spend for things that makes one feel good. The future is still far, so  do not think about it, yet. Worry about it when it is already in the horizon.

Speaking of losing money, it is the season of 13th monthpay and other bonuses. Are you going to spend all of of it?

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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

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, his Facebook account or Twitter @rbiolena.


Cashless concept image from Shutterstock

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