Written by Raphael Pehipol
I first realized the need for financial wellness when I was in my later years of college. Our family was above average during the time I entered the university. However, it was a different story when I transferred to another school. I had to live in an apartment far away from home and manage my limited allowance well.
From 2010 to 2011, I experienced the difficulty of having very little resources to use. The family resorted into cutting all unnecessary expenses and sticking with the very basic of things. It hurt to see ourselves debate over expenses, misaligned investments, and debts. That was when it hit me – I wouldn’t want to be like this when the time came. I needed to be financially literate in order to handle everything about money and investments.
You don’t have to repeat what others have already experienced. That is a waste of time. Learning from others when it comes to financial matters, here are the top five tips I can leave you:
1. Invest in yourself.
Derek Bok said: “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” Take time to read financial, leadership, or business books. Ask around. Learn and try new things. Poverty or the lack of resources should not hamper your desire to learn. I remember way back in 2012, I often went to bookstores to read already-opened books. I liked “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki for advocating about financial literacy, the key ingredient if you want to be financially well. Always remember that the best kind of investment in life is the one invested in oneself – experiences, learning, realizations, etc.
2. Manage priorities.
If you want to be financially well, then you have to have focus. Set your goals for the next 2 years, next 5 years, and even the next decade. Manage your activities and priorities, so that everything you do will be at the direction of your life goals. I also believe that it’s more rewarding to practice delayed gratification. If you really want to be financially well in the future, you have to prioritize the hard things now. Always remember that if you do the easy things now, your life will eventually be hard. If you do the hard things now, your life will eventually be easy.
3. Start something.
Increase your income potential. Don’t strap yourself up in life because your current income is not that high compared to others. Look for or create other streams of income. I have friends who entered the insurance and direct-selling industries, set up photography and video-editing businesses, and even baked cupcakes and pastries as sidelines. There are many opportunities for you to check out and they don’t have to be your passion right away. Someone once said, “Passion without profit is called pasyon!” Just remember that whatever you choose to do, it has to be sustainable and rewarding at the same time. You don’t have to spend a fortune in starting up something, but you just got to have the guts to try. You don’t have to be good before you get started; you just have to start in order for you to be good at whatever you choose to do.
4. Invest your profits.
Jim Rohn once said, “Profits are better than wages.” I started investing in 2013 using my salary from work. However, I realized that putting your hard-earned money into investments immediately somehow limits your capacity to live a regular lifestyle. Market risk affects your money as well, so many people get emotional whenever they see markets going down. When you get to increase your income potential, then profits from whatever you do may now be placed into investments or added more to your current portfolio. Your profits can augment a portion of your salary that you’ve used for your investments. The great thing about profits is its potential to grow faster than your monthly salary, giving you more resources for your investments without limiting yourself too much.
5. Help others.
“We rise by lifting others.” If you follow this mantra, I’m sure you’ll be on your way to financial wellness. Teach other people what you’ve learned and what you’ve experienced. Someone once said that if you help as many people to get what they want, you’ll eventually end up getting what you want. If you help others with what they need, show them how you’re doing it and let them have their own money milestones in life. You’ll notice shortly thereafter that you’re reaping your own financial wellness as well.