This article helps in bringing awareness to the public and helps in promoting the importance of healthy financial habits. Unfortunately, financial literacy has not been prioritized in the country as an essential topic of learning in both Public K-12 or higher education. Too many are left to fend for themselves when it comes to managing their own finances. Below are top reasons why Filipinos avoid financial literacy.
What do you think holds us back from being ‘truly rich’?
“Two things: a lack of financial literacy and a lack of the right financial mindset. Filipinos don’t know how to save and invest their money. Worse, they have a poverty mindset that traps them from learning new financial habits.”
Bo Sanchez, Founder, Truly Rich Club
“College graduates spent 16 years gaining skills that will help them command a higher salary; yet little or no time is spent helping them save, invest and grow their money.”
Vince Shorb, CEO, National Financial Educators Council
WHY FILIPINOS AVOID FINANCIAL LITERACY?
ONE | I’M NOT A MATH PERSON
MYTH: Personal finance is all about
FACT: Personal finance is all about habits and behaviors.
Most of our habits are learned when we were still young. Our parents, uncles and aunties and older family members usually serve as our models. If we grew up in a household of spenders or thrifty people, we usually carry if not all, at least some of their habits until today. We can’t change these habits unless we inform ourselves through requisite knowledge of proper finance management. That’s why financial literacy is essential. But of course, knowledge won’t be enough. Making the changes in our behavior will lead to consistent habits that will make difference.
TWO | IT IS NOT MY PRIORITY
MYTH: We can deal with the financial stuff when we are older.
FACT: We make some of the most important financial decisions when we are younger.
Let us not make mistake of waiting until we are already “grown-up” before we decide to take responsibility of our finances. This is another reason why Filipinos avoid financial literacy. Right now, we are already making financial decisions that will have serious impact on our long-term finances. These decisions range from our completed education level to financing post-graduate education, career choice, marriage, children, house and lot purchase, and life insurance purchase.
THREE | WE HAVE FEAR OF BEING SCAMMED.
OOPS! Scams are everywhere. This is another reason why Filipinos avoid financial literacy. But, here’s the good news: we can avoid these scams and improve our investments if we are financially literate. Also on a larger scale, it can increase our savings rates and helps us shift from being consumption-driven to becoming an investment-driven person. Aside from this, it will also facilitate longer-term thinking that will help us improve on life insurance, retirement planning and pension funds.
FOUR | WE ARE FOND OF SPENDING MONEY WE DON’T HAVE.
Nowadays, it is really easy to spend money we do not have. We currently in a culture of consumerism and it is our natural inclination to acquire more stuff. Credit cards, payday loans, student loans, and personal loans are all products which allow more and more people access to credit. The downside of having access to credit is that if we don’t use it responsibly, it will reduce the ability to save and will lead us down to crushing debt.
Again, financial literacy is important but this is just the first step. We can’t achieve success in financial matters if we don’t apply requisite knowledge. We must first change our mindset and behaviors to become truly successful. Financial literacy isn’t just one course. It is a process – a life-long process.
Why you should start to learn?
Financial literacy helps us to make sound decisions in terms of credit usage, budgeting, saving and investing wisely, and establishing financial goals. It will also teach us about risk management, taxes and real estate planning.
Your Financial Advisor
Luckily, we are here to promote financial literacy especially to young Filipino adults. We share and provide tips and solutions on how to manage and protect your wealth.
While you may already have some ideas about what types of investments you are going to own, a financial advisor can offer you professional expertise and insights which you may not have.
Choosing the right financial advisor is crucial to the success of your financial plan.
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littlemisadvencha is a Filipino Civil Engineer, M.S. student in Structural Engineering and a fur mom of four-legged babies. She writes about her experiences to inspire and educate.