Is being 'kuripot' a bad thing?

Posted at 07/26/14 12:43 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Is being "kuripot" or stingy a bad thing?

ANC On The Money's resident financial advisor Salve Duplito noted that most Filipinos in general could use a bit of "kuripot" smarts.

"However, there is a good and bad way to be kuripot and this is something you should consider when dealing with situations when you are criticized for being stingy," she said.

She quoted personal finance guru Suze Orman: "People are more important than things."

"This means that certain situations warrant that you give money to others at the expense of your savings goals. For me, perfect examples would be saving a loved one for a threatening medical problem or saving a child from a lifetime of ignorance and keeping him in school, or other similar situations," Duplito said.

Duplito recommends including a budget for charity in your savings goals.

"I would dip into my savings and investment pool, if I know that I am saving another person from illness or ignorance. I believe that strategic investment in people give more returns than any investment instrument in any financial market," Duplito said.

Duplito gave some reminders:

Do proper due diligence when helping others to avoid being used and abused.

When someone receives money from you, they give you the right to influence the way they use the money.

"Generosity should inspire responsibility and accountability in the recipient. The dark side of our culture dictates that givers should give money with no strings attached. That's utter nonsense. The least that recipients can do is to accept the money as well as the wisdom that comes with it," Duplito said.

For instance, if you provide tuition money to a relative or friend, you should ask them to give you regular reports of their grades in school.

Or if you are helping a loved one with debt payments, they should open their books to you at the very least.

Duplito said being stingy, on the whole, is good especially when you want to be a beacon of lifestyle prudence.

"The greatest act of love you can do for your parents and relatives is to show them how bieng 'kuripot' in the end puts you on higher ground, not just financially, but in life," she said.

She said there is nothing wrong with refusing to treat everyone to a meal when it is not in your budget or not buying pasalubong for everyone.

"What someone says about you should not determine how you feel about yourself, even if it's using the big "K" word -- kuripot," she said.