Reasons You're Still Not Saving Up
Millennials in the Philippines and other emerging markets are some of the most ambitious when it comes to career and leadership goals, according to Deloitte's 2015 Millennial survey.
Many of us have a decent job, if not a great one, but too much ambition might be getting us nowhere, especially since a lot of us don't know how to handle even the most basic of things: finances.
At the end of the month, our sweldo often cannot stretch as far as we want it to, and ends never quite seem to meet. We know that this early on in life, as young professionals, we should be saving more and spending less, yet we never manage to do either. Trust us, bro, we know the feeling.
As much as it's hard to take in, it's probably our own doing. Here are some common yet oft-ignored reasons we're still going broke.
1. You're Keeping Up with Whoever
Your boss wears Armani, your officemate drives to the office in a new Chevy Cruze or the All-New Ford Mustang, and your apartment neighbor just moved into their new condo. If they can make it, you feel entitled to it, too. But is it a top priority this early in your career?
Keeping up with whoever-be it the Joneses, the Ayalas, or the Sys-is a trap that's easy to get caught in. Simply put, overspending is never a good idea.
To paraphrase Knight Kiplinger, the biggest hurdle to becoming rich is living like one before you are.
So, how much of your paycheck should go to savings? "As much as you can" is the best option, but 10-20% should do just fine, too. More on this on our previous post, Surviving Life in the Metro.
2. You Barely Work
It's not just about going to work and completing assigned tasks. It's also about going one step further. An it's-not-in-the-job-description attitude (or refusing to excel in the office) will limit you to small paychecks and fewer career growth opportunities.
Don't just do your job-do it well. Do it so well that you grow and learn different skills not often related to your position. Nothing says "you're worth it" like consistently producing quality work and continuously growing your skill set. Pile up your successes and when the time comes, use it to make a case for a promotion, a raise, or for when you plan to work for another company.
3. Your Money is Always There
Whenever we get a little extra on our savings or payroll account, a lot of us would promptly buy something unnecessary, just because. Our money being too accessible is always going to be a temptation.
Instead of just a savings account that's easily accessible, why not try a time deposit account or even an investment-any way you can store your money safely and keep it growing without it tempting you to use it each time a push notification of a sale comes up on your phone.
4. You're with the Wrong Crowd
Back when we were kids, our parents, lolas, and titas warned us about hanging with the wrong people, as this doesn't lead to anything good. This advice still applies to us as adults.
It's difficult to get ahead financially if we hang out with people who have bad financial habits. We're less inclined to save or change our ways when those around us are encouraging us to do the opposite. Sure, that Friday night clubbing and partying is harmless (and worth it) every now and then, but do it regularly and you'll be stretching your budget for the rest of the month.
Lifestyle inflation is a real hurdle for yuppies. A previous post can help you jump over this hurdle.
5. You Have No Goals
It's natural for us to wish to be rich. But, there's a big difference between a wish and a goal.
A goal needs you to do something to achieve it.
Don't work just to have something to spend every weekend or for the month; work towards achieving a goal. Be as specific and realistic as you can be in setting these financial objectives.
Don't give yourself the vague goal or dream of saving up for a down payment for a condo or a car. Do it. Commit to saving part of your monthly salary, which you can achieve by spending wisely.
'Bahala na si Batman', as we like to say. Batman, however, can only do so much (he still has Wayne Enterprises to worry about, money-wise). It's time to be the responsible adults that we are and be wiser with our finances-start by breaking away from these habits and attitudes.
Prove to others that millennials aren't just the group that's young, broke, and always spending on luxuries we can barely afford.