If there is one thing I regret doing when I started working, it is that I did not save money right after I started earning money through my job. If you are about to start your first job, take note of these simple lessons in managing your money.
- Start saving as early as you can. How much should you save? At least 10% of your income. It doesn’t matter if you are receiving P8,000 or P100,000. Ten percent is the baseline to build that habit. I know that 10% of 8,000 is P800 and you may feel the pinch. But if you can survive when your pay is low, you will reap the benefits of your habit when your pay increases.
- Build your Emergency Fund right away. There will always be an emergency — you or your family members may need medical attention, or your TV, cellphone, or washing machine breaks down. It would be nice to have your expenses covered for at least 3 months just in case something happens.
- Discipline your desires and your wants. Spend on your needs reasonably. It’s okay to spend your money. After all, you worked hard for that. But don’t be the One-day millionaire, who spends everything he has today, and does not worry about tomorrow. Evaluate the things you want to buy. Are they really needs? Or are they simply wants and desires because you want to keep up? Avoid keeping up with the Joneses. Don’t buy a gadget or clothes, or anything just because they are cool, trendy, or everyone in your office has it.
- Have a financial goal. It doesn’t to be for yourself only. A lot of young professionals desire to help their family get out of poverty. That is a really great goal. So, write down your goal and remind yourself often.
The following books, blogs, and websites are great starting points to learn how to invest.
Kasusweldo Pa Lang, Ubos Na? by Vic & Avelyn Garcia
No-Nonsense Personal Finance by Randell Tiongson
My Maid Invests in the Stock Market and Why You Should, Too by Bo Sanchez
Till Debt Do Us Part by Chinkee Ta
Pwede Na! The Complete Pinoy Guide to Personal Finance by Efren Cruz