Chinese and Filipinos had been trading ever since the 7th century. For more than a millennium, our cultural ties with China had been strong, bringing forth products that carry on the flavorful mixture of the two countries – including its people.
Money is a topic rarely discussed under a positive light among Filipinos. It is usually taken with sensitivity and care when being talked about. Seeing it as a necessity (not an evil) and looking at it as a neutral tool that can be used for both good and evil depending on the actions we take is something we could take from them.
Lesson: The more you could be honest on your financial status, the greater the chances you could handle it better.
Tsinoys running their business with their families usually train their children to handle their business early in life. The lesson of hard work and responsibility on handling money is invaluable as they grow up in life. They know that a great working ethic pays well whether they’re working for somebody or running their own business. Simply put, prevention is better than cure.
Lesson: It’s never too late to learn. Seeking financial knowledge from books or online beats learning nothing at all. Asking advice/tips from your financially wise friends over lunch or reading this post is helpful as well.
Frugality is something we could learn from the Chinese. They spend things as they need it. Their purchases might be more expensive than usual but they know they could depend on its long-term survival. It’s always quality over quantity.
Lesson: Buying quality products might be heavy on the short-term but you’ll end up saving more in the long run. Expensive products also decrease their prices minimally compared to cheap products, making it a sound investment if you plan to dispose it later or needed the cash for an emergency.
Have you ever encountered running out of cash before payday? Budgets are hard to control especially if you don’t allocate a portion for your savings. Chinese would usually save over half (or even more than it) to prepare for a rainy day or when they want to purchase something.
Lesson: Discipline is the name of the game. It might be hard to do it at first, but you could start saving on a small percentage and increase your savings per month.
Paying for things in cash is impossible without your savings. In these modern times, a debit card is a great way to store your savings safely while keeping track of it on a budget. It also helps you from accumulating debt, especially if you have spent it on high but quality investments.
Lesson: It helps to save well.
There are a lot of ways to get loan but it usually puts you at a disadvantage with high interest rates and only short periods of payment. Before accepting a loan, make sure that you and the loan giver are at an equal footing.
Lesson: Take a look at the numbers before taking the plunge. It pays to look for a better loan offer.
A value of a certain object might be higher or lower than the price indicated on the price tag. Negotiating well with the seller of the product for a fair deal is an art that could be learned with practice. Chinese who run their businesses are willing to do it for the good of both parties. Why not practice it?
Lesson: A better understanding of the value of the objects and great communication with the seller is a must on buying/selling your things.
Ampao or red money envelopes are usually given as gifts to children at Chinese New Year. This only represents one of the ways the Chinese teach their children responsibility on handling money. Other gifts may be great for this occasion but ampao is a gift that comes with a lesson.
Lesson: The best way to learn how to handle money is to practice it with your own.
Our spending and saving habits are the lifeblood of our finances. Learning from mistakes is a great way to achieve wisdom but so is learning to prevent ourselves from committing it. With the start of the Chinese New Year, we can take a fresh start for our money habits by applying these lessons from their financial successes.
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