MANILA, Philippines – Nine out of 10 Filipinos experienced being short of cash in the last 12 months, according to a survey conducted by Social Weather Stations (SWS) in partnership with Sun Life of Canada Philippines Inc.
Household needs, school fees, medical bills, and loan payments were the top expenses in which Filipinos felt “kapos,” or in need of more.
The questions on financial wellness were included in the 1st Quarter 2014 SWS survey and participated in by Filipino adults nationwide. Sun Life Financial will publish the full results in their own annual personal finance research dubbed the Study of Lifestyles, Attitudes, and Relationships (SOLAR).
When asked to identify the causes of the shortage, 7 out of 10 pointed to the rising prices of commodities, 4 out 10 said it was because they were earning less, and 3 out 10 cited emergency expenses. One out 10 acknowledged that the shortage was due to being unable to budget well.
How did Filipinos cope or plan to cope with the shortage? Seven of 10 said they controlled or will control their spending, 4 out of 10 are looking for additional sources of income, and the rest plan to address the problem by taking loans or selling, or mortgaging properties.
Sun Life’s SOLAR survey also indicated that the kapos experience was prevalent not just among the lower socio-economic classes, but also in the higher income brackets.
Some 39% of Filipinos try to save, but only 32% of Filipinos have an actual saving habit. Around 10% don’t bother trying to save since what they earn “is not enough anyway,” while 5% would save up only for things they want to buy.
Brighter side of things
On the brighter side, 49% of Filipinos are open to learning how to manage their finances better.
“It’s time to change money habits so we can all break free from the bondage of financial shortage, debt, worry, and the cycle of financial dependency,” said Sun Life’s Chief Marketing Officer Mylene Lopa.
Filipinos need to learn not just how to save, but how to include emergency expenses in their budget.
“Inflation occurs every year and is something we can anticipate, so we should prepare ahead of time as much as we can,” she said.
Lopa also recommended investing, which none of the survey respondents mentioned as their strategy to counter financial shortage.
“We’d like to see more Filipinos enjoy the benefits of having their money work harder for them. To counter the state of being kapos, saving, getting insured, and investing is a good way to go,” she added. – Rappler.com
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