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Filipino Money Habits


We Filipinos are “known” for many things. We’re known as being warm, kind, and welcoming. We’re known as being positive, supportive, and always up for a little bit of fun. Is it any wonder that many foreign celebrities from Johnny Depp to Neil Gaiman, Quentin Tarantino to Rachel Weisz spout nothing but praise for our country and its people?

While there’s certainly much to be proud about when it comes to being Filipino, there are several money habits that we really need to shake off fast if we want to be more financially secure. Read through these. If you spot one that resonates with you, take heed and avoid repeating these habits in the future!

“Bahala na si Batman!”

When you spend the last days before the next payday barely subsisting on instant noodles and water, it’s understandable that, when you get your paycheck, you’d want to splurge a little. Notice that the emphasis was on “little” and not on “splurge”. Because that’s the problem with a lot of us, first smackings of cash and we start spending it all on what we feel we “deserve” and what will make us “happy” and entrusting our tomorrow to a fictional character who wasn’t even drawn in the same country as us.

Reality check, though, Batman isn’t gonna cover your tomorrows for you. You have to make the conscious choice to take control of your finances and be wise in your spending. Payday lunch out with the friends at that really cool new restaurant? Go for it! Three extra special fried rice and a million different little meryiendas? That’s going a little too far with the self-celebration. Unless you want to run out of cash again and have to survive on ramen again, leave the Caped Crusader to deal with Gotham, you handle your finances.

“Pakisama” and “Libre”

While no one likes someone who isn’t down for any crazy idea that the gang cooks up last minute or someone who isn’t willing to celebrate a little bit with friends, there are limits. Those limits are if said “pakisama” or “libre” means you’ll have to sell your liver to pay the bills or feed yourself until the next paycheck rolls around. Of course, that’s an exaggeration. But so is spending on things and friends when you have more important things to spend for!

It’s actually a cultural thing. Whether we admit it or not, when we’re goaded by friends to come along to their outings or we’re goaded to spring for a meal to celebrate , it makes us feel inwardly bad to say “no!” Even when we want to or at least acknowledge it’s the smarter course of action. There’s no secret trick to fighting this, really. Except maybe to remember that you might make everyone happy for a moment while YOU suffer much longer. Besides, any friend that stops being your friend because you had to say no wasn’t much of a friend, now were they?

“Puwede na Yan!

Granted, we actually tend to use this for many things as an almost perfunctory expression of control over things we actually don’t control (by giving up on them.) It’s very applicable to how we perceive finances too. This often gets spoken when one person realizes that whatever paycheck he or she has been toiling for for the past few years isn’t enough to meet their needs. A “helpful” friend ambles on over, mumbles something about contentment punctuated by the all-too-common “Puwede na yan!”

Don’t get us wrong, there isn’t anything at all wrong with being contented with what you have in life. In fact, contentment is one of the surest ways to being more financially smart and happy in life. The distinction has to be made between contentment and settling. Contentment is when you’re actually, really, no-lie totally happy with what you have right now. Settling is when you’re not the least bit happy about what you have right now but just shut up so you won’t hear your friend tell you that “puwede na yan!”

If you feel you’re not where you want to be financially, explore options beyond your comfort zone! Start a small business, pawn stuff you no longer use, work for charity! There are so many avenues to find a fresh start to life, or even just a fresh twist to the day-to-day. But it has to start with casting away the self-doubts and fears.

If you’re reading this and feeling a tiny tingling sensation in your cheeks as well as a sudden sense of self-awareness, then set down your bowl of pre-cooked ramen for a bit! There’s still hope! You just have to make the conscious choice to be more focused on the big picture. Look at what you really need to spend for in a month and set aside for that. Food, rent, utilities, transportation, medicine: these are the non-negotiables. Whatever money you set aside for them cannot be spent anywhere else. You can then spend what’s left however way you want, really. But, honestly? It’s always best to save. You never know when the next emergency will strike.

Ok, but what if an emergency does strike and you don’t have anything set aside? That’s where PawnHero comes in. There’s a certain safety in our loans where the only thing you lose is an item that you pawn. But the fact that you pawned whatever valuable item you had to deal with an emergency shows you have your priorities straight. With a PawnHero loan, there’s no risk of a continuously building and mounting debt or horrifyingly persistent collectors hounding you to repay.

Speaking of repay, PawnHero offers one of the lowest interest rates at a fixed 2.99% with no hidden charges. Because it’s wholly online and can be done via computer or Android smartphone, you save up on the cost of commuting to a traditional pawnshop. Our processes are all free and start with a just-as-free estimate. So visit our webpage today or download our app and give it a try. It’s the perfect secure option that you can count on when the money just doesn’t add up.

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