Show me the money

Learning good financial habits

Show me the money

You know what I learned from my Auntie Rita? How to make amazing fried chips. The really yummy kind that sells.

But I learned something else from her: how to earn and how to save.

The first thing she told me was this: it’s NOT easy to earn. For real. That’s why, every day, I should look at my earnings and look back on what I did to earn this. Serious hard work! And if I spend, then it’s all gone. There goes all my hard work!

That’s Lesson Number 1.

Lesson Number 2: Give each day a thought, particularly where all your efforts would go to. Aunt Rita started selling chips in the market. She’d make just enough to send my cousins to school. But of course, she’d always be tired and she knew this wouldn’t be a long-term solution. So she started saving, even when she had only a little she saved every single coin she could. And there! She and my Uncle Rey were able to put up a restaurant after three years.

I’m so inspired by this! They’re not rich, but my Auntie and cousins are really hardworking. They know how to save. They always think about the future and don’t spend unnecessarily. They know how to budget.

Make Your Own Budget
“Budget” sounds like a scary word. But it isn’t. It’s actually simple. Let’s say you earn money from selling bracelets you made. Save that! And think about what you can do with it: help your parents out, or use it to pay for school fees or your sibling’s tuition.

A simple way to start budgeting is to set aside three different jars or envelopes: one called “save”, one called “spend”, and one called “share”. The “save” one should help you work toward a certain goal. Is it a certain amount? Or to save up for a new phone? The “spend” one could be for your day-to-day spending, like an ice cream. The “share” one could be for things like helping with your brother’s tuition, or donating to the church.

Doing things like this will really help stretch your money. Unlike other people who spend right away, just as soon as they get money. They buy clothes or a new cellphone. But this will become a habit in the long run: always spending impulsively instead of saving.

So if I think about spending, I think about Auntie first. I don’t want to be selling chips for the rest of my life! That’s why I take inspiration from her and I try to save up for my future.