What are common savings mistakes of Filipinos?

Posted at 03/21/14 5:19 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Saving up for the future is not an alien concept for Filipinos, but there are still some saving mistakes that are commonly being committed.

Joanne Nocom, financial adviser at Sun Life Philippines, said one of these mistakes is the common Filipino’s formula for saving.

While those who are money-savvy use the “income - savings = expenses” formula, some are following the “income - expenses = savings.”

Nocom said this practice is risky because you may end up not saving anything at all.

“We have the tendency to just spend and whatever is left, we save. When there is nothing left, we don’t save. If you get an increase in salary, you increase your lifestyle also so you don’t increase your savings,” she said on ANC’s “On The Money.”

She said setting goals is important in saving because if you don’t know how much you need, you also won’t know how much you are going to spend.

Saving should be treated as a lifestyle, Nocom added.

Other mistakes that Filipinos make are not planning for retirement and not factoring in inflation.

“It’s very hard for others to think and focus on a goal. For me, I would suggest knowing a time frame and determining if the money will be enough considering inflation,” she said.

Nocom said it is important to maximize the value of money so that while you are saving it, it’s not losing value.

“Think of it this way: if I can buy a car for P600,000 five years ago, that’s a nice car already but now with your P600,000 you can’t even get the low-end,” she said.

To maximize your money, Nocom suggested shopping only during sale season, and joining travel expos for good deals and promos.

She also warned against the use of credit card, saying it is best not to use it if you don’t have the cash equivalent at hand.

“You should always have the cash. My strategy has always been if I don’t have the cash to spend, I will not buy. You have to be more frugal with spending,” she said.