MANILA, Philippines – If you were to live your life all over again, what wouldn’t you buy with your money?
Financial adviser Salve Duplito asked this question to viewers of ANC’s “On The Money,” to identify the most common mistakes of Filipino consumers.
Duplito said topping the list based from her survey are purchases involving ab exercise machines, treadmills, and home gym equipment.
These equipment can cost between P1,500 and P40,000.
“Any exercise buff will tell you that they don’t do anything to tighten your midsection. Cardio exercises work better than crunches,” Duplito said.
She advised those thinking of buying exercise machines to instead consider running on a track or around the village.
“[Running] releases more endorphins than a treadmill and they don’t cost anything,” she said.
Another common mistake is buying “miracle” products sold on TV shopping networks like stain removers, ab machines, slimming teas and car wax.
Duplito said buyers should not give in by basing their decision on testimonials, celebrity endorsements or freebies.
Most Filipinos also fall victim to buying gadgets and gadget innovations that don’t work as advertised.
Duplito said a respondent said one gadget worth P3,000 was supposed to turn a laptop into a television set, but it only caught one channel.
Another said that he bought solar-powered outdoor garden light, but it didn’t emit much light.
Fashion and lifestyle purchases are also among the common mistakes of Filipino buyers, who are lured into buying expensive designer bags, overpriced coffee mugs and wine bottles just for show.
Duplito said buyers should think about lifestyle inflation by reviewing purchases in the last 12 months and learn from mistakes.
“Tracking expenses carefully will allow you to look back and learn from the mistakes,” she said.
Buying items just because they’re on sale is also a common mistake, Duplito’s poll revealed.
“It’s easy to make the mistake of thinking that cheap is always better,” she said.
Gym membership, vacation and time shares, and country club shares that are not used at all are also worthless purchases made by most Filipinos.
“Buy time shares, gym memberships, or country club golf memberships only if you can take the time to use them and do due diligence on the company carefully. If these don’t siphon money from your financial goals, they are better purchases because they provide lasting happy memories compared with stuff that break down over time,” said Duplito.
Another common mistake is buying vehicles that are substandard.
Duplito advised buyers who find themselves with new yet faulty vehicles to go back to the car dealer and demand that it be fixed as soon as possible before the warranty expires, or ask for a replacement.