Are you still banking on your parents?

Coco Quizon (The Philippine Star) - November 28, 2014 - 12:00am

If your monthly net pay is less than 10K, do not Net-a-Porter.

MANILA, Philippines - Financial freedom is a very tricky subject. The circumstances are different for everybody but generally, there are three types of people in the world. First, you have those for whom everything comes easy. The silver spoons in their mouths were probably first generation Tiffany & Co. handed down from generations, just like their net worth. Second, you have those who have parents who made it for themselves sufficiently, such that they now live comfortably. Third, you are the future parent of either of the two previously mentioned, and are making it for yourself and have reached the pinnacle of financial freedom all on your own. Congratulatory drinks are in order and you can probably buy a good bottle for yourself. But if you are either Person One or Two and are feeling the stresses involved with keeping the financial umbilical cord attached, worry not. You are not alone. I am here with you, and not just in the “ironically quoting a Michael Jackson song” kind of way but in the “I am typing an article on when to cut your financial ties to your parents on a laptop I bought with my parents’ money” type of way. So what do we all do now?

We should realize that there are a lot of factors that play into why it is very difficult to cut our money ties with Mom and Dad as young, upstart little millennials living in the Philippines. A cold, harsh truth on why we can’t start living away from our beloved parents is because someone else’s beloved parents aren’t paying us enough at our jobs to enable us to do so. A lot of people who are of age still live at home for this very reason but this is not an excuse to keep siphoning funds from your parents any longer. It’s just a setback we all have to deal with when it comes to our efforts in trying to fly from the financial coop.

As life would have it, especially for girls like me, being broke with expensive taste is a very real thing. It’s not bad. We’ve grown up around people whose tastes are expensive because they have gotten to a point where they can afford their taste, or we can go with the basic excuse of “It’s all in what we see in the media.” Either way, it’s why we like the finer things in life and the goal now is to work towards that without sacrificing all the stuff we actually need. But in the quest to emancipate ourselves from the grip of our family’s net worth, we must live as if “broke with expensive taste” is just the name of Azealia Banks’ new album and not our life mantra.     

If you have a job, the least you can do on the road to financial freedom is pay for all the small things you find necessary to have. If you must still live at home because your bank account can’t support getting you a place of your own, try contributing a little: pick up a bill or two, kick in some gas money. Live as if you have no house help, or if you still want to be cleaned up after, help pay for that too. Otherwise, that is a luxury reserved for your parents and not you. Vice-wise, pay for anything you want on the need versus want spectrum — pay for your own cigarettes, don’t charge dinners out to your mom’s credit card, and for the love of God, if you’re going to get one of those delivered pre-prepared diet meals, set aside a budget for it from your paycheck and maybe it’ll taste a whole lot better. There is also room for adjusting your expectations so your bank account can grow alongside your journey to self-actualization. A phrase I always repeat to myself goes thusly:

“If your monthly net pay is less than 10K, do not Net-a-Porter.”

If your monthly net pay is 10K that means you don’t earn enough to be approved for a credit card, so that card you’d use online probably isn’t your own. In my case, I have a debit card that’s worse for wear but my money on that card has no place migrating to Net-a-Porter’s revenue; it should buy me groceries. Life, along with its many instances of fun, also brings with it some growing pains. For most, it’s just that weird feeling of falling when you’re safely in bed but for others it can also include replacing that Dad-funded chic brunch you’re used to with Chic-Boy. It can sound silly to most, but to those with First World problems in a Third World country, it feels very real.

Separation is always hard. Financial separation can be worse. But, it’s not the end of the world. The path to a self-sustaining bank account is long and arduous but there is always some catchy financial advice that’s here to help. Don’t be flash if you don’t have the cash. And while getting rich is the truest representation of tiis ganda, with the amount of work you have to put in, motivate yourself with the thought daily that pag walang tiyaga, walang Balenciaga.

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