Four ways to grow savings
Question: I want to grow my savings so that I can also start investing for my family’s future. What are the better ways of saving? – asked at “Ask a friend, ask Efren” free service available at www.personalfinance.ph and Facebook.
Answer: I will share with you the four ways of boosting savings based on the very first book I read on financial planning. The book was authored by Dan Benson.
Give first—You will have to think out of the box to comprehend that one of the best ways of saving is through giving first, cheerfully, faithfully, wisely and quietly. Money is KSP (“kulang sa pansin”) or is always in need of attention. If you run after it, the more it will run away from you. Try this, turn around and run away from money. In practical terms, this means not making money the center of your being. Then you will see money chasing after you.
The foundation of giving first lies in Luke 6:38, which reads, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” I have been a fund manager for a very long time and I have seen all sorts of investments. What is common among them is that there is no investment that is without risk, even government bonds.
By giving first, cheerfully, faithfully, wisely and quietly, you can be sure that returns will come, in His own way. Now the returns may take a while. But rest assured that they will come in His own time. To better appreciate this good measure, say it in Pilipino, “siniksik, niliglig at umaapaw ang ibubuhos sa iyo!”
Collect loose change—A lot of people will say that change is powerful. But what is more powerful than change? That would be loose change. Loose change is like the drops of rain. Individually they seem to be so small. But collectively, rain fills the rivers, lakes and oceans of the world. “Pondo Pinoy” of the Catholic church was able to collect P90 million in only two years after it was launched; and that is just from asking people to donate their twenty-five centavo coins. If you want more on the power of loose change, search the Inquirer site for my article entitled “Take the P3.50 challenge.”
Collecting loose change is easier said than done. People have a tendency to look at the denomination of money instead of their collective value. As such, a twenty-five centavo coin, on its own, would be seen as hardly of any value. It is one of those coins that are simply tossed into the collection basket during worship days. But guess how beautiful churches are made; from accumulation of these seemingly low value coins.
Collecting loose change does not only come in the form of saving actual money. It can also come in the form of simple cost cutting measures like turning off the fan or light when you are the last person to leave the room, fixing a leaking faucet, cutting your use of air conditioner by even just one hour and many others.
Pay yourself first—Paying yourself first simply means budgeting savings first before expenses. If you budget expenses first, there is typically nothing left in the end. Follow what companies do when they are preparing their annual budgets. They do not target expenses. Instead, they target earnings based on a particular growth rate and determine how much they should work on revenues and expenses.
Even if you are an employee with a fixed salary or wage, you know that you will be able to target a certain level of savings if you just operate on a corresponding level of expenses. If you live a lifestyle based on somebody else’s higher income level then do not be surprised if you end up with debt instead of savings. To know more about the subject, search the Inquirer site for my article entitled, “Pay yourself second.”
READ: Pay yourself second
Manage debts—As I wrote in my first book, debt is death to those who abuse it. Managing debts is closely tied to managing expenses. But if you are drowning in debt, do not be afraid. Take a deep breath and smile! When you smile with your eye and mouth muscles and bundle it with laughter, you produce endorphins, the body’s muscle relaxant. Endorphins will lower your stress level and make you ready to ask for refinancing, restructuring or even debt condonation from creditors. Check out my Inquirer article entitled, “Three-step approach to solving debt problems” for more on managing debts.
To learn more about saving the right way, please visit www.personalfinance.ph. There is a plethora of free tools there for you to use. You can also attend our EnRich™ Wealth Creation and Preservation training or our Financial Planner’s Training program for the cities of Mandaluyong, Zamboanga, Baguio, Iloilo, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and Cebu. Check our website for the details.
(Efren Ll. Cruz is a Registered Financial Planner of RFP Philippines, personal finance coach, seasoned investment adviser and bestselling author. Questions about the article may be sent by SMS to 0917-505-0709 or emailed to [email protected] To learn more about value investing strategies, attend FREE personal finance talk on September 3, 7pm at PSE Center. For more details, inquire at [email protected] or text <name><email><RFP> at 0917-9689774
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