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Navigate Financial Journey with a Guide

Can an ordinary Juan in the Philippines achieve financial freedom? The answer is yes. If our goal is to harvest the fruits of a fruit bearing tree in 25 years, can we all agree that its best to start planting a tree today?

Before we get there on how to reach that goal of having money for life?
Here are the most common barriers that can prevent Juan from investing:

The Debt, Debt and Debt

If we get into high-interest debt, this takes a big scoop on our income. It will be difficult to save and invest when a portion of our earnings slides towards debt payments. Let’s not forget the bits of money we have borrowed from our family members, friends and co-workers. If we sum those up it becomes harder to face them (people we owe) again.

Living Beyond our Means

We make the mistake of spending too much and living beyond our means to keep up with the latest trends or catch up with friends to discover new places. These things can distract us from saving and investing.

Family Responsibilities

The breadwinner, a person who provides support towards family members, may it be our parents, siblings and the child/ren or furbabies. These can affect the provider’s ability to save and invest to himself or herself.

Low income

This means Juan doesn’t have or make a lot of money. Therefore, it is challenging to save and invest enough that Juan becomes helpless.

The Fear of Investing that leads to Procrastination

Having anxiety and self doubt can affect our financial planning and decision making. We become hesitant to invest our hard earned money in fear of losing it. When the truth about investment there are risks. More to that as we read on.

Financial Emergencies

The unexpected expenses, we aren't anticipating it to happen but it did. May it be medical bills, job loss or urgent material items that needs to repair. This sudden shift in our financial situation causing us stress and feeling helpless.

External Economic Factors

In any country we are residing in, there will be economic downturns, inflation and market volatility that can impact investment returns and disrupt our financial plans.

Lack of Financial Education

Without knowledge, we don’t have the power to control (our money). We struggle to make mindful decisions and we’re missing out on opportunities to grow our money.

With the given obstacles of every Juan, we must have a strong will to make necessary changes in our habits and lifestyle. It doesn’t happen overnight - it requires planning, discipline, perseverance and commitment. To be able to recognize these problems and navigate our money management, it’s highly advantageous if we seek guidance from a financial advisor or a mentor. They are trained and equipped with experience to aid us in our financial journey and they will always say it’s never too late to start saving and investing for our future.

Education Will Set Us Free

Every Juan must possess financial literacy to break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck. We must be willing to understand money management and investments. There are e-books, educational videos, online seminars and social media pages that connect us to financial advisors or mentors who can offer us online assistance or help us to get started. Wouldn't it be nice if we have one-on-one sessions?

Creating a Better Budget

We now understand the value of keeping track of our earnings and expenses. We revisit and create a better budget that accounts for every peso (currency in the Philippines) that are coming in and going out. We get an overview of which expenses need to be cut out and transferred to savings, emergency funds and investments.

Building an Emergency Fund

Let this be our top priority, saving for an emergency fund in order to protect ourselves against unforeseen financial setbacks. Have a separate account or have a safe place to practice setting aside a portion of our earnings every month. Traditionally, we build enough money to cover our living expenses for three to six months. For our grander goal, we want to have enough money to support our loved ones and ourselves for a lifetime.

Settling Debts to Make Room for Savings

We look on the list of credit card balances or personal loans, and we should prioritize paying off high-interest debts. As a result, we carry less debt and have more money for savings and investments.

Increasing Our Income

When we reach the stage where our present income may have limitations against external economic factors, we look up freelancing and side hustles that are relevant to our current skill set. Be bolder to start a small business when we have enough experience, have done our research and have sufficient savings. This requires patience and time.

Surround Ourselves With The Right People

There will be non-believers and self-doubts that will challenge us again, but this time we have found fellow Juans who encourage us to be better and celebrate our big and small winnings. We’re not only investing our money to our goal but to ourselves and the people who are there with our journey. This will erase our worries and fear of uncertainties. The road to financial independence is clear.

We (Juans) are known for our big hearts for our loved ones and ensure they’re protected. Through commitment to financial education and continuous self-improvement, disciplined saving practices and investment, a bright future for ourselves and for loved ones is achievable regardless of one’s background. May the Juans who read our financial journey be motivated to work on their goals. It will be easier if we have a partner, financial advisor or mentor who will guide our way there.