A reader asks âHanggang kelan ka tutulong sa pamilya?â
\"It is always better to be on the giving than receiving end.\"
A reader asks ‘Hanggang kelan ka tutulong sa pamilya?’
RAISING CHILDREN WITH HIGH FQ - Rose Fres Fausto (Philstar.com) - March 4, 2020 - 12:00am

Reader’s question: 

Hello Miss Rose. Hingi lang po sana ako ng advice kung hanggang kelan ka tutulong sa pamilya mo na may sarili na ring pamilya at ikaw din may sarili ng pamilya.

Ang sitwasyon po kasi eh lahat po ng mga kapamilya ko, sa akin lumalapit pero ang pinakanahihirapan po ako ay yong isa kong kapatid na mula noong single sa akin na nakaasa, at hangang ngayong may anak na siya. Lagi po kasi nagkakasakit anak nya at na-oospital. So, malalaki rin po ang hospital bills. Maliit lang po sahod nya so ako ang lagi niyang takbuhan, kasi wala rin po syang maasahang iba. Hindi ko na rin po alam ang gagawin ko. Kasi po kada ma-oospital, ako ang nagbabayad. Wala naman po syang  nababayaran, binibigay ko na nga lang po, kaso ngayon po na-ospital na naman. Ang laki po bill at na-stress na rin po ako sa kanila. Kasi nga po wala rin silang mahiraman. Meron naman po ako, kaya lang po ipon ko po kasi yon. Lahat po kasi sa kanila na napupunta. Ano po ba ang dapat ko gawin? 

- From Chona via FB

My answer:

Hi Chona. Thank you for your letter and for allowing me to share your problem with our readers. I’m sure a lot of them were nodding their heads while reading your story, recalling their similar experience because this predicament is very common among Filipino families.

For the curious reader’s sake who might be wondering what happened to the hospitalized child, here’s the update from Chona a day after she sent her first message.

“In the end, I decided to help my brother pa rin po. Nakalabas na po sa ospital yong pamangkin ko.”

And because we all know that this incident is likely to happen again, I wish to share some pointers that Chona and anyone reading this in a similar situation can use. 

1. It is always better to be on the giving than receiving end. Let’s start with this mindset in order to have a more grateful perspective. 

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2. Look back at your childhood. How were you as children? Are you the panganay? Were you always expected to be the responsible one? The one to step up in the absence of your parents? How about your brother? Is he the bunso? You know, our position in the family usually dictates the roles we take during our childhood. 

3. How are you now as adults? Most of the time, our roles played in our childhood continues into our adult life. Are you the one who is the most financially comfortable? Does this situation make your family, especially your parents, expect that you should always help? Parents usually want to “equalize” the financial condition of their children. Sometimes they oblige those who are more comfortable to help the less fortunate siblings. If this matter is not discussed in an open healthy manner, it becomes the silent killer in family closeness and healthy relationship. It might be helpful for all family members to have a discussion about the matter. You know your family, figure out what method will be most effective in carrying out the conversation.

4. What habits of your brother do you think have put him in this situation? Try to observe and reflect on your brothers habits that might have caused him to become dependent on others. On the other hand, think of his positive traits that you think he can use to earn more and have a higher FQ. Try to feel how it is in the shoes of your brother. What would make him acquire the proper mindset and initiate the right behavior to get out of his financial misery?

5. Take the FQ Test and journey together. When in a light conversation with him, talk about the ways you have been trying to prepare for your own old age. Invite him to take the test with you. Discuss it and use it as a starting point of your journey together towards a healthy financial well-being. Share with him your own financial struggles and wins and use the positive traits you identified in no. 4 to encourage him and give him confidence to improve his lot.

6. Set aside your giving fund. Putting a monthly budget for your charity fund can help you create peace of mind and discipline in your funds allocation. As you mentioned, “Meron naman po ako, kaya lang ipon ko po yon. Lahat po kasi sa kanila na napupunta.” Try to set aside a certain amount every month as your help fund. Whether this is used or not, set it aside and treat it as something already expensed out. Let it accumulate. This will be your help fund. Any time a family asks for your financial help, and you think that it is worth giving to, get from this fund and it will not be as heavy anymore because it is not eating up into your own savings. This amount will be your limit in giving while you build your own YAGO (You Also Grow Old) Fund. This limit is not cast in stone such that hahayaan mo ng manigas yong pamilya mo but a guideline/reference point so you don’t do your future old self a disservice. 

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7. Heed my Mamang’s advice about utang. My mother used to tell me, “When a relative borrows money, lend what you can afford not to collect on.” In general this thing works, just give what you can afford to lose. But what if the amount needed is substantial and you would also want to help and collect? See next number. 

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8. Have a simple promissory note. Write out a simple loan agreement with the terms and conditions, including purpose of the loan, maturity, interest if any, and other important details of your agreement. Having things in writing is very helpful in recording and in clarifying money agreements. Be ready to be accused of “nagbibilangan” but explain the importance of having things in writing. I’ve heard too many stories of misunderstanding in “pahiram” such as, “Hanggang ngayon hindi pa bayad ang utang nya.” on the one side and “Lagpas-lagpas na inutang ko yong binayad ko sa kanya.” on the other side. And this misunderstanding could have been simply avoided with a clear-cut Amortization Schedule.

9. Remember that doing all the above is your duty; otherwise you are enabling their financial dependence on you. Yes Chona and the rest of those in the same predicament, you become an enabler when you allow them to perpetuate this financial dependence on you. It is a painful thing to do and nobody wants to be called madamot, mayabang, akala mo king sino, and other hurtful words, but not doing the above is actually delaying their recovery from financial dependence. This will be passed on to their children in two ways – their children will also grow up carrying this trait, or their children will carry the burden of fending for them, making it difficult for them to save for their own retirement; consequently, perpetuating the vicious cycle of financial dependence in the family.

10. You owe it to yourself to prepare for your own retirement. Because you can only count on yourself to prepare for a comfortable and happy old age, remember to protect your ability to save and invest now while you still have time. You wouldn’t want to be in a position of being the burden when the time comes, right?

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Chona, I hope the above pointers are helpful in facing your challenge with wanting to help your family and also taking care of your future old self. 

To the readers who are on the receiving end of the help, please try to understand and imagine yourself being on the giving end. Sometimes it’s hard to do this especially if you feel that you’re given the raw end of the deal when it comes to fortune, minamalas as you might say. Treat this as a temporary situation and work things out yourself to become more independent, and regain that self-respect back in the process. Remember that your more fortunate relative is also in a vulnerable position of being financially unprepared when she fails to save and invest now.

In the end, it’s more about discussing money in an open and healthy manner that can bring financial peace among family members.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. Watch our FQwentuhan with FMAP President Marvin Fausto about Timing vs. Time in the Market. Click here.

2. I invite you to join the Money and Family Summit on April 4 to 5, 2020 at SMX Aura. My entire family – Marvin, Martin, Enrique and Anton – will be there, plus a host of other great speakers like Francis Kong, Marvin Agustin, Edric Mendoza and many more will all be there. Register here: www.finlitsummit.ph.

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3. Understanding your relationship with money – A financial workshop by ATRAM, FQ Mom and The Rockwell Club. This will be held on March 25, 2020 at Rockwell Center Makati.

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4. Mom and Son Podcast – Year 2 Episode 9 (Time management with Enrique Fausto)

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There’s a reason why Anton calls his second brother Enrique a monk. From being a member of the football varsity team in Grade School to being part of the dance teams in High School and College, how does he manage his time and priorities while being an honor graduate from one of the most challenging courses in Ateneo with a balanced social life? We discuss his time management skills through his experiences such as studying and passing all three levels of the CFA test while working. Learn how to efficiently maximize your time by taking some time to listen to this episode!

#MomAndSonPodcast

Spotify
https://open.spotify.com/episode/01TtXUPBc7OASL8bsIgdM3?si=ERUoM56DR8OBR5_B9DYvyQ

YouTube
Originally uploaded on Anton Fausto’s YouTube channel https://youtu.be/bPkYNQMMjXo
FQ Mom Link: https://youtu.be/RDj8Bt7BhIw 

Buzzsprout
https://www.buzzsprout.com/241447/2889658

Apple iTunes
https://podcasts.apple.com/ph/podcast/mom-and-son-podcast/id1449688689?mt=2

Google Podcasts
https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5idXp6c3Byb3V0LmNvbS8yNDE0NDcucnNz

5. If you want to include better Financial Health for 2020 and the new decade, take the FQ Test now. Click link: http://rebrand.ly/FQTest.

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6. Have a healthy relationship with money, start by reading “FQ: The nth Intelligence” and sharing the lessons with your loved ones. 

You may purchase the book in major bookstores, or if you want autographed copies, please go to FQ Mom FB page (click SHOP), or FQMom.com (click BOOKS), or email us at FQMomm@gmail.com

Rose Fres Fausto is a speaker and author of bestselling books “Raising Pinoy Boys” and “The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon” (English and Filipino versions). Click this link to read samples – Books of FQ Mom. She is a behavioral economist, a certified Gallup strengths coach and the grand prize winner of the first Sinag Financial Literacy Digital Journalism Awards. Follow her on Facebook & YouTube as FQ Mom, and Twitter & Instagram as theFQMom. Her latest book is “FQ: The nth Intelligence.”

Attributions: Photos from freepik.com, modified and used to help deliver the message of the article.

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