CEBU, Philippines - Becoming a millionaire is probably anyone's biggest dream in life. In fact, it is something that most ordinary Filipinos still aspire for.
But there are factors that actually prevent Filipinos from becoming a millionaire, said Tyrone Solee, a financial blogger and a self-made millionaire.
"A typical ordinary Filipino is someone who supports dependents, who is earning an average income and who is renting a place for residence. These expenses, coupled with social pressure, have certainly an effect on their saving capacity which impedes them from becoming a millionaire," Solee told The FREEMAN.
"Therefore, being a millionaire is perceived as an achievement," he said.
Solee said that anyone who wants to become a millionaire must first have the mindset and discipline of saving because "it is the foundation of wealth."
"Saving involves discipline as there will be a lot of temptations to spend with our consumer-driven society. To increase savings, one must learn how to budget and control expenses and to increase earnings by having multiple sources of income. This may involve getting a higher paying job, doing freelance jobs, or simply multiplying savings through investments," the Filipino financial blogger said.
But this seems to be contrary to how Filipinos perceive financial security as they are largely influenced by social pressures in the society.
"Filipinos love to show off things. We care about what others will say to us. We also want to be in the trend with the latest gadgets. We are easily swayed by social pressure because we always want to belong. We have a culture of 'inggit'," Solee further emphasized.
Solee quoted actor Will Smith in one of his famous quotes to best describe this mentality: “Too many people are buying things they cannot afford, with money they don’t have, to impress people they don’t like."
He stressed the need to stop the mentality of instant gratification among Filipinos.
"We are always accustomed to the idea of YOLO (You Only Live Once), of enjoying now because we only live once. We have one-day millionaire mindset. This mentality is very materialistic and consumer-centric which is why we always don’t have enough," Solee further emphasized.
"Instead, we must develop the mentality of delayed gratification that involves sacrificing now and enjoying it later. We must learn financial literacy. We must develop the mindset of saving and we must learn how to invest to grow our savings," he added.
Solee earned his first million by being so frugal, living below his means, having a sideline business, and of course investing in various financial investments such as bonds, equities and mutual funds.
Although he acknowledged that living on a delayed gratification is really hard but it's a matter of sacrifice.
It's a matter of mindset and setting one's goals to become the kind of millionaire a person wants.
For Solee, frugal saving and sound investments are also the key.
In 2008, Solee started a blog called “Millionaire Acts” to share his learning in money management and investments. His blog (millionaireacts.com) has become his way of inspiring and educating people on how to be financially literate.
He believes if more Filipinos are financially educated, poverty will definitely decrease.
"More Filipinos will be interested to become entrepreneurs and will set up their businesses. This will give more jobs to more people and in return, economy will improve," he said. (FREEMAN)