Friday, March 14, 2008

Money Sense

My father, when he was still around, would always remind me: "Start saving now, hija." I would always say "Yes" but kept postponing. I saved, who didn't, at least I tried to, and if I may add, very, very hard, but only enough for a day or two, just in case.
Then children came. With a growing family, the more we saved the more we spent so the money that came in went out as fast like sand pouring through a sieve. Friends and relatives always tell us that with the amount we're earning we shouldn't be worried about money anymore. I know we shouldn't but, as I kept telling our cousin accountant who helps us with our annual income tax returns: "Where did the money go?"
One problem with me, I know, is I don't do any accounting at all. I simply convince myself that this is what I have to buy because this is what I expect to come. Wrong attitude towards money. Also, as my friend Gloria keeps reminding me - the two of us wouldn't get rich because even when we know that we have only 50 cents in our purse, if someone needed a dollar, we would search for the extra 50 cents to help, even if it meant borrowing from others, which was often the case.
Then, reawakening arrived. Our first house wasn't so "friendly" (that is another story) so we got deeper into debt. That's when we realized we should have really put more into our savings. But it was too late. As the saying goes, no use crying over spilled milk. We looked for resources we could find to tide us up. We borrowed, and borrowed and borrowed more, hoping and praying that something better would come our way and we could get off of our debts. Wrong hopes. Unanswered prayers. What we were hoping and praying for never came. Because we had to pay our debtors almost simultaneously, we got even deeper until we had no choice but to dip into what our parents had left us.
Looking back, if there was a then, maybe we wouldn't get too deep into our financial trouble. We would have had the chance to have someone assess our situation and give us the advantages and disadvantages of borrowing. Then we could decide the best plan for us. We would know what we could afford to get and to pay back.
To those who may be in the same predicament we were in, don't shy away from credit counseling agencies or financial services providers. They may be able to offer you the help you need.

No comments: