As a millennial who's in the financial services industry, I constantly learn new things and gain a lot of useful new information. Learning too much wasn't always good; it got to a point where things got a bit confusing -- information overload as we call it, and that wasn't at all helpful. I realized that we can't just let the winds dictate where we're supposed to go -- that's why boats have sails.
I had to learn how to filter. After years of constant learning, unlearning, and re-learning, I'm now able to differentiate the noise from the truth, what's relevant and what isn't. Among the many things which I consider important about investing, I must say these are the top three most important information that a millennial has to keep in mind.
#1 YOU ARE NEVER TOO YOUNG TO INVEST
You've probably heard this before and you just couldn't care less, but really, the biggest asset when it comes to investing is TIME. The earlier you start, the more money you can accumulate. How is this possible? It's called compounding interest. You probably didn't understand how powerful this concept was when you were still taking up basic accounting but believe me, Albert Einstein wouldn't say “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world” for no reason, right?
Now, let me illustrate the magic of compounding interest, let's say you invest P 1,000.00 every month over 10 years, without investing you will be able to accumulate P 120,000, but let's see how much your money can grow if you invest it.
Remember, you only invested P 120,000 for 10 years but that amount has grown to P 214, 578 -- that's the power of Compound Interest. The earlier and longer you invest, the more time you give it to work its magic. You can see from the visual above the huge opportunity that you miss if you just leave your money in your wallet or in your savings account. Apart from the fact that it won't grow as much as what you've seen, you'll also just probably end up spending it.
If you want to know more about compound interest, I suggest that you read this article posted by CNN: The 1 thing Millennials need to know about investing
Bottomline: Start investing as soon as you start earning, or as soon as you can even when you're only getting an allowance. Just like my sister who started investing even while she was still in college. There's magic when you start early. Believe me. You won't just build your wealth, you will also be able to build good money habits, and of course, the earlier you start the faster you'll be able to achieve your financial goals.
#2 YOU ONLY NEED 20% OF YOUR INCOME TO START AND KEEP THE BALL ROLLING
We've established that it's important to start early. The next question is, how much should you invest and where should you allocate this part of your money? Let's answer the first and most fundamental part of investing first. How much should we set aside for our investments? I personally follow the principle that Bo Sanchez teaches, the 10-20-70 Rule which says: 10% should be allocated on tithes, 20% on your investments, and 70% goes to your expenses. CNBC gives emphasis to this principle in their article 11 Signs You Will Be A Millionaire: "On average, millionaires invest 20 percent of their household income each year. Their wealth isn't measured by the amount they make each year, but by how they've saved and invested over time."
"Where do I put this amount?". To keep it simple, let's focus on growth and protection.
Protection - for your life & health
For protection, there are a whole lot of options available in the market right now. You just have to be very wise in picking the best one for you. Just make sure that it will give enough coverage for your:
1. Long-term Healthcare needs (for your medical expenses when you're old), and
2. Income Replacement (in case of death or accident).
Growth - for your #goals
For growth, I would suggest that you go for Stock Market Investments or Mutual Funds. By doing so you could maximize the earning potential of your money. Guess what? Contrary to popular beliefs, you don't have to be filthy rich for you to be able to participate in the stock market since you only need P5,000 to open an account. Woohoo! You have two options to get started with this: there are direct platforms like COL Financial where you can manage your money yourself, or you can invest through Mutual Fund Companies where an expert will do the investing for you. Either way, if you consistently invest for the long-term you can earn an average compounded interest of 12% annually.
I won't dig deeper into the details for now, but you can definitely message me for your inquiries.
Bottomline: Financial Freedom can only be achieved if we allocate the right amount in the right investment vehicles. Learn how to choose the right investment vehicles where you can maximize the growth of your money without compromising your protection.
#3 YOU NEED NOT TO BE AN EXPERT BEFORE YOU CAN START INVESTING
As millennials, sometimes we have the tendency to delay something especially when we think it's too complicated or nakakatamad intindihin. Believe me, I know how that feels. Sure, you could read countless articles online -- that's a good start. You have to put your learnings into action though, and that's where people like me are helpful. You don't have to have it all figured out. Financial Coaches/Advisers are here to guide you and help you assess what's best for you. We can even help you create a clearer vision and sustainable goals and action steps that will really secure your future. You just need to take a leap of faith and find that person that you think you can trust.
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Let's just have a quick recap:
1. You're not getting any younger ergo the best time to start is now.
2. You can start just by simply setting aside 20% of your income.
3. To get started find yourself a financial mentor/coach/adviser.
Now that you know all these things, it's time to put your learnings into action! Feel free to connect with me via my email I would love to journey with you.
Go for your goals!
P.S. I hope that you find this article helpful and relevant and if you do please hit the like button below and share this to your friends.
P.P.S. If you wanna learn more attend our FREE Basics of Investing Class by clicking the register button below.
"ANG KWENTO NI PETRA THE PROCRASTINATOR"
Gusto kong gawing part ng New Year's Resolution ko yung mag save and invest.
Sisimulan ko na talaga. Bayaran ko lang lahat ng mga natirang utang
from December tapos mag simula na ako.
Pasensya na di ako nakasimula last month.
Try ko this month kaso siguro after Valentine's Day.
I'm sorry, di parin ako nakakasimula. Graduation season.
Nag promise kasi ako sa kapatid ko na bibigyan ko siya ng regalo.
Next month, push na!
Sorry, may out of town trip kasi next month.
After that I'll start investing na talaga.
Naparami yung gastos sa out of town trip last month e. T_T
Wala ng matitira sa akin if invest ko pa. Maybe by June, I can start.
Nakalimutan ko, meron nga pala kaming mid year event sa company.
May mga kailangan bayaran. Hindi parin ako makakapag save.
It's the start of the rainy season! Kailangan ko muna mag tabi for emergencies.
Maybe by next month, I'll start saving.
I heard it's ghost month so it's probably not a good time to invest?
Hala! It's my dad's birthday. We're planning to surprise him
with a simple birthday celebration. Hmm, maybe by October. Bonus na!
Friend, sorry. Alam ko matatapos na yung taon.
Pero gusto ko kasi sana muna bayaran yung mga utang ko pa.
Baka by November mas makaluwag na konti.
Kailangan ko sana yunng pera pang bili ng mga regalo e.
After Christmas na siguro.
UHMM, December na. Alam mo namang maraming gastos.
By January na lang siguro ako mag start
In one of the financial books that I've read, the author mentioned "Procrastination is the worst enemy of investing." (Isa-al, 2016) I couldn't agree more with what she said. It has become a norm for people to put off different life goals, and more so, their financial goals. The funny thing is, I am pretty sure we all have this nagging little voice that reminds us of the important tasks we’ve been postponing but no matter how loud that voice gets, we just shut it off completely. To be fair, I’m sure most of us are eager to improve our financial situation but the problem is our lack of action -- we just end up doing nothing about it.
Friends, don’t let your excuses be bigger than your desire to achieve your financial goals.
Let’s have a quick reality check: How many 13th month pays, bonuses, incentives, 15th and 30th's, or maybe even weekly commissions have already passed through your fingers, and still you haven't done anything about your plan to invest? How long has it been like that? Have you tried computing the total amount of money that has come and gone in your bank account?
Let me shake you a little more: your capacity to save and invest does not depend on the amount of income that you receive each month (if you think it's not enough), nor on the ‘right time’ (it isn't like Mr. or Ms. Right). It does not depend on your hopes of receiving a windfall or some sort of instant money. More importantly, it does not depend on your 'extra' or tira-tira. Saving and investing must be intentional. It's a choice that you make and an action that you take.
Whenever I conduct financial literacy classes I always remind people of this:
"Financial independence is not a dream but a priority."
If you want something to happen in your life, you must decide to work on it on a daily basis. By making something a priority that means you’re deciding to put more effort, time, and value into that particular thing that you'd call your 'priority'. In essence, if financial independence is your priority, you’d let all your excuses take the back seat and work your butt off towards achieving your financial goals. You won't let any temporary pleasures get in the way of your permanent security.
I don't really plan to make this article long - my message for you is simple: if you think your financial independence is important to you, I urge you to make saving and investing a part of your plan. Easier said than done, sure. It requires discipline - absolutely. But much like becoming physically fit and healthy, financial fitness is a daily decision. You can only get there if and when you work hard for it - every single day.
Now, when’s the best time to invest? I say NOW. We’re all running out of time, and today is the youngest you’ll ever be. You can get more money but you can never get more time. The question is: how will you best use it?
P.S. Clueless on where or how to start? Financial Independence starts with proper financial education. Make time for it! Feel free to attend our regular Financial Literacy Classes. :)
Isa-al, G. (2016). Home At Last: How Migrant Workers Can Retire Rich and Worry Free. Black Card Books: Ontario.
Woohoo! “Sweldo day is finally here. What to do? What to do? You're probably thinking, "I've got to pay for my bills!" Your credit card bills, phone bills, rent, utility bills, all of those. When you're done paying them and you realize that you have some more money left, you might think to try out that restaurant you saw on a friend's Instagram feed, or do a little shopping, or maybe even book a ticket to someplace because there's a seat sale.
Before you know it, your hard-earned money's all gone and you're left with just enough money to get through day by day until the next payday. When you're asked, "were you even able to save?", you think to yourself, "where'd all my money go?"
Does that sound familiar? You've been working for quite some time now yet you still find yourself in the same situation. You might’ve even asked yourself this: How will I get out of this cycle and finally start saving?
You're not alone. Majority of the Filipino people, regardless of salary/income, are stuck in that same cycle, but there's a way out of that! You have the power to take control of your finances and you can start right now.
Let me share with you five simple ways to get out of your money woes.
1. START A BUDGET AND MONITOR IT
The very first thing that you can do to break the paycheck-to-paycheck routine is by creating a budget and making sure that you follow it. This is basic. The good thing is, budgeting isn’t at all complicated! A simple formula that you can use (as I've mentioned in a previous blog) is this:
The Abundance Formula: Income (100%) - Tithes (10%) - Savings (20%) = Expenses (70%).
Your 10% and 20% are non-negotiable, untouchable, and sacred, it shouldn't go anywhere else other than on your tithes (the church) and on your savings respectively. As Warren Buffet said "Do not save what is left after spending but spend what is left after saving." I repeat, save first before you spend. A lot of people do it the other way around so they usually end up not having enough. Practice paying yourself first and learn how to live within your means (70%). If there's a part of your budget that you need to adjust, it should be on how you spend your 70%. That's why it's very important that you understand your spending habits. Where does the bulk of your money go? Track every expense - even the small ones. Create a list of your monthly expenses - your fixed expenses (bills, transportation, rent), flexible expenses and all other discretionary expenses and then compare them to your monthly income and find ways by which you can keep your expenditures within or below your 70%.
Again, let’s keep this simple, this is the order that your budget should follow: tithe - save - spend.
2. ELIMINATE UNNECESSARY EXPENSES
Now that you already know how to budget, it’s time to understand how you spend your 70%. Learn how to distinguish your needs from your wants. Think of the things that you can't live without and the ones that you can do away with. A simple way to assess your needs from your wants is by asking yourself "Purpose o porma?" Try this: think of the clothes that you buy, the restaurants you eat at, the mode of transportation that you take, the frequency of your travels, your postpaid plan, the coffee that you buy, your grocery list (if you even have one), the number of times that you go out to watch a movie -- are you really being practical about your spending or do you just ignore them and think to yourself, 'minsan lang naman' or 'maliit lang naman'. You'll be surprised how much the little here and there can add up and actually cost a lot.
One more tip: try self-improvement. What do I mean? Quit a vice. Not only will you be able to save money over the course of a year but you will also improve your health.
Last tip on eliminating unnecessary expenses, avoid going to SALES! The thing is, when you put yourself in a place where you will only be tempted to spend, the chances are you will just end up buying something that you don't really need. You'll start to rationalize that there's no harm done since you got it on sale but the truth is, you just spent on something that you don't really need in the first place.
Be wise with your spending. Learn how to live simply. Notice that the wealthiest people in the world are the simplest. If you wanna be wealthy start by spending wisely.
3. LOOK FOR OTHER SOURCES OF INCOME
This comes in when you really can't seem to fit all your responsibilities and lifestyle in your income. Kulang talaga? Now, if you really want to get out of your tight situation I dare you to stretch your earning capabilities. Start exploring ways to supplement your regular income. There are a lot of ways to get some extra money these days - especially online. You could try being a home based English Teacher, a Virtual Assistant, or a web developer. Try exploring UpWork or OnlineJobsPh for a wider selection of online freelance jobs. You may also try to offer your services at a cost. If you're into arts and crafts you can also try selling them online. Or you might want to consider getting into a part time teaching job. In case you want to try a part-time career in the Financial Industry you may also feel free to message me.
Whatever extra income you earn, make sure that you add it to your savings, or use it to pay off your bills. Make sure that as you earn more, you don't end up spending more - that would be pointless.
4. CREATE AN EMERGENCY FUND
Avoid having to spend beyond your budget by actually having a budget for emergencies. The formula is simple, you should have at least 3 to 6 months worth of your monthly income for your emergency funds. Please take note that your emergency fund is intended for unexpected expenses - not for an emergency shopping, or an emergency getaway.
Some of the things that we would like to prepare for are the following:
Building your emergency fund prepares you for all the unwanted uncertainties of life. It gives you a sense of security. Think of it as your buffer – something that softens the impact of any unpredicted situations, without resorting into debts nor touching your investments.
Here's a tip, treat your emergency fund as a regular expense item in your budget. By doing so you ensure that you are able to save a portion of your monthly income for emergencies instead of just spending every centavo frivolously.
5. FIND AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER OR A FINANCIAL COACH
Successful people have one thing in common: a mentor. So if you really want to be successful in your financial life find someone who has more experience than you and ideally someone who’s already living the life that you want to live.
Your Financial Mentor should be someone who will walk with you on your journey towards Financial Independence. I recommend that you find someone whom you can trust, who will constantly encourage you and reminds you of your financial goals, who can share wisdom from previous financial mistakes, and someone who can be honest enough to correct you when you lose your way and celebrates with you for every milestone that you achieve.
It would also be great if you can get yourself to be part of a community or a group of investors. Investing will be made easier if you surround yourself with people who has the right money mindset so that they can also support you on your financial goals. Your real #financialgoal for now is to transform yourself from being a spender to an saver and then later on an investor.
Personally, I am blessed to have parents who taught me the value of saving and investing. Not only that, I am also part of an organization who really imbibes the life of simple living. As the famous saying goes, “Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are.” If you're determined to get your money mindset fixed start spending more time with the right crowd and ideally bring your friends along with you too! Wouldn't it be nice if you all made your journey to financial freedom together?
Ultimately, the decision to get out of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle is in your hands. It’s up to you. It all depends on how big your desires are. Do you really want to get out of debt? To provide more for your family? To fulfill your dreams? To achieve your goals? To help more? To live and love more?
Again, it's your choice! The decision to live a happy and prosperous life is in your hands! The question is, what will you do if you knew exactly how to get there?
Let me leave you with this famous Filipino saying:
(If you want it something so badly, you’ll find a way, else, you’ll find excuses.)
If you have questions, clarifications, violent reactions (which I hope you don't), happy thoughts, or any message at all just feel free to comment below.
Happy sweldo day, friends!
P.S. Saving isn't your problem and you already want to start investing but you just don't know how? Feel free to attend our FREE Financial Literacy Class . To know more about it, click the button below.
About the Author
Chai Santiago is a graduate of Manufacturing Engineering and Management from De La Salle University who later on found her passion and purpose in the Financial Education industry. She is a Certified Financial Educator® (CFEd®) under Heartland Institute of Financial Education (HIFE) and a Financial Coach at International Marketing Group (IMG).