If you want to be a smarter money manager (and truly an ace budget boss), make a habit even with just three to five tips from five women -- an entrepreneur, insurance professional, housewife, and corporate executive. They are not only realistic, you can start on it any time (just remember to be consistent!). You migt surprise and have a sizeable travel fund to spend by the end of the year.
1. Listen to parental advice. Entrepreneur Lorraine Cuyegkeng, who had once brought a teahouse franchise she saw in New York to the country, credits her dad for teaching her everything she knows about money. “My dad has always explained how he makes, spends and invests his money. It’s not taboo to ask what we can or can’t afford at home.”
2. Don’t see your parents’ money as your own. At some point, you need know how to stand on your own two feet. Lorraine points out, “We learned how to build our wealth. We had to stand up for myself.”
3. Be smart about your cash flow. Lorraine says it’s easy to amass money in the bank. “But the real secret is spending less than you make.”
4. Find joy in your work. Marivi Aragon Bacuyag once earned herself a place in the "Million Dollar Round Table," a global association composed of around 38,000 of the world’s best life insurance and financial services professionals. She said the path to financial independence lies in “making money work for you.”
Marivi was already a national sales manager for a book publishing company when she helped a friend who eventually convinced her to work in the insurance industry. “It gave me the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives by securing not just their future but their families’ as well.”
5. Know where your money should go. Marivi advises, “Set aside 20 percent of your earnings regularly. Don’t think of life insurance as merely protection for your family. It can also be a means to achieve goals,”
6 Trust your gut. Jill Gerodias-Borja was content to work for the family business, but after she got married and had a child, she felt differently. “I wanted to do something that I could call my own.” She saw that she could capitalize on the family’s closely guarded recipe for fried chicken. Soon, she was renting a food stall at a weekend market at The Fort and by June 2011, Manang’s Chicken opened its first restaurant branch in Ortigas.
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The scariest thing about business is the risk of losing money. It’s when you need to rely on what your gut tells you. But at the same time, Jill says, “you need to plan and know how to adjust and adapt quickly to changes.”
7. Do your research. Financial independence requires strategy, persistence, and perseverance. Jill shares, “The biggest money-related mistake I made was investing in something that I didn’t thoroughly study. Before committing, you should find out if you’re comfortable with the level of risk involved.”
8. Check track records. With the help of her husband, a pilot who was into investing, and a broker/money manager who became a family friend, Helna Grant discovered the wonders of investing in the stock market -- and the right timing. With retirement on her mind, the stock market was a means to grow her savings and leave a legacy for her family.
“With technology, it’s easy and convenient to monitor a company’s performance and your investments. I go online at least twice a week to check statements and market updates. If your goal is growth, then go for the long-term and conservative choices.”
9. Save, save, save Helna stresses the importance of having an emergency fund. “It was one of the hardest lessons I learned. With this fund, I will not be as guilty when I spend because I know I have set aside some money to earn income.”
10. Rely and improve your skills. Siu Ping Par made the transition from housewife to company president who has helped grow PR Gaz, an LPG distribution business that her husband started in 2001.
Siu Ping already had the foundation when it came to managing a company -- she was running a household efficiently for years. She knew, however, that it wasn’t enough. She learned on the job and went back to school and completed the Executive Master of Business Administration program at Asian Institute of Management.
11. Know your strengths and weaknesses. As Siu Ping says, “Women can stay for hours in a supermarket aisle to compare prices and then decide which product offers value for money. Men just don’t have the patience for that.”
A version of this article appeared in the September 2013 issue of Good Housekeeping Philippines. Edits have been made by SmartParenting.com.ph editors.