Avoid living from paycheck-to-paycheck

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In the Philippines it is common to hear employees saying “nagtitipid” or “wag muna ngayon” when they are ask for a lunch out or any activity that would require cash outlay when it is just a week after the usual 15th and 30th payday. I overheard my co-workers that they will just buy a drink in 7/11 rather than in their usual high-end tea drink in our block because they are “poor” at the moment. At times also they make fun of me saying that I am “sosyal” because I will be going to this artisanal coffee shop  after work and adding that I am rich enough that I don’t need to wait for payday for any “wants” I may indulge myself with.

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Such remarks are indicative of living from paycheck-to-paycheck and it is sad to know that most Pinoys are like this.

Every pay day they indulge and spend much and end up having nothing for the rest of the 2 week period until payday. Even worst are parents who have to squeeze in their several expenses including previous loans and revolving loans just to finance their family’s life. At times it is depressing to listen to their stories already. You will also hear the saying that when people are asking for loan they are so humble and meek but when payment time comes you won’t even see their shadows and worst is that you are a cruel person for demanding payment.

As I remember “the borrower is a slave of the lender”. Being a slave is not a good description. That means you owe so much that you have to be at the mercy of somebody else. But besides the lender being the master in this slave-master relationship there are two other masters that people who borrow have: themselves and their dependents.

They often say they need a break or they deserved it thus  they don’t save even a small part of their take home pay on payday. Worst is they plan out of town trips in advance hoping that their salary would be able to accommodate the expense and advancing airfare ticket in their credit cards. After enjoying all of it and credit card bills come they complain that they are broke or buried in debt when in the first place they themselves are their own slave masters. In Pinoy lingo we call it “ubos biyaya” or another term is “one-day millinaire”. It is good to reward oneself from time to time but not to the extent that you will be broke and be buried in debt for the next two weeks.

Another slave master would be once’s dependent. Often times this is the case. I remember a co-worker before who would bother co-employees to lend her money to buy his sons a Gameboy because it is her son’s birthday gift request. People become slave of their love ones when they can’t say no. One classic scenario is the one bread winner story. The worst case would be the typical eldest brother or sister not getting married because his parents, siblings, siblings spouses and children all depend on him to live. And again worse is a sibling’s wife asks money for your nephews birthday party without considering the already the piling up bills at home. We often call these people “martir” and “dakilang kapatid” but they never know that they are being abused even by their love ones. Often times these love ones wont talk to them and throw tantrums when such wishes are not granted.

At all cost avoid living from paycheck-to-paycheck. You deserve a better life. Say no when you have to. Set aside something for your future self because when you get to your old age no one will help you since in the very beginning everyone relies on you.

About the blogger

Louis Delos Angeles is a Certified Public Accountant, blogger behind Investing in Philippines, and author of Investing in Stocks: Preparing for the future small amount at a time. Check him out in Google+ Learn more about Louis and his financial freedom advocacy here.

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