These ‘Lower Middle’ Income People Share Their Thoughts on Money
by Anne Marielle Eugenio, April 22, 2020 11:02am
Art by Dani Elevazo
When it comes to money, we don’t have equal resources. There are people who can spend money on traveling while others would prefer it to their basic monthly expenses. The lower middle income people prefer to do the latter. They are not “isang kahig, isang tuka” but a large part of their income are alloted more on basic necessities than luxuries.
Here are some of their thoughts on money and income.
Best advice I’ve ever received was “don’t spend beyond your means.” The worst advice was “get a credit card.” Bilang isang “lower middle income” person, usually break even lang. Walang kita. Nasu-survive lang ‘yung araw.
- Marcy, Self-employed
I allot percentage bago gumastos pagkatanggap ng salary—20% savings, 50% needs etc. and bad advice ‘yung “Marupok tayo” “YOLO” “Di mo madadala sa hukay pera mo.” Mahirap 'yung paycheck to paycheck lalo sa mga hindi masyadong aware sa “financial literacy”. Kapag may emergency na dapat gastusan, most likely, magre-result sa utang muna.
- Nikki, Engineer
People assume, especially sa mga single na lower mid, na sobra sobra pa 'yung sahod mo para sa sarili mo or 'yung sahod mo ay sa 'yo lang. May mga hindi nakakaisip na may mga sole provider for the family. Aside sa they are all supporting their family, they also have bills to pay for themselves, lalo na kapag dayo ka lang sa Maynila or kung saan ka man nagtatrabaho.
- Camille, Teacher
Even if we budget everything, there are other things that occur, especially when the next paycheck is near. Emergency funds are usually drained, that’s why most of the lower middle income people have no enough funds when a real emergency happens. Most of them happen to ignore simple illnesses due to the fact that they don’t want to spend a lot for the medications and hospital bills. Health is greatly compromised.
- Ron, Tech Engineer
People think that as long as you earn money, you can live comfortably. You always hear the words "may pera ka naman". Oftentimes, your relatives or friends expect you to treat them just because you are earning na. Self-pity is part of the mix as well in situations where you really want to donate, go to comfortable vacations, you want to give the best gifts to your loved ones, when you see your batchmates buying cars/condos of their own, but you just don't have the financial resources.
It is also mostly difficult, if you have family members who are dependent on your earning dahil utang na loob mong inalagaan kanila. Madaling sabihin na maghigpit ng sinturon, pero paano kung wala ng maiihigpit pa?
- Karen, Office clerk
As I approach near quarter life, I had realizations on the things I should have accomplished by then. Now that I have a new job, I now know how to value my finances more and to save and invest on things that really matter: my family and my future family. My finances aren't just for me anymore so now I keep that in mind and think twice on how I spend. Save and invest for your future, but don't miss out on things that really matter.
- Aldrin, Accounting Assistant
You have to be disciplined. Spend it [money] wisely, budgeting [is key]. Know what you need and buy only those and 'wag na maluho muna especially if you are fully aware you don't have much until the next payroll. Also, important din to save. If you have more than enough, then be generous to help others.
Worst advice money advice I’ve received… Someone told me to "spend lang nang spend". Buy what you want anytime. After all, pinaghirapan mo 'yan and it is your money. Lol, she must be rich af.
- Sab, Service Officer
Even though some of us work hard, it still isn’t easy to earn enough for ourselves and our families. It’s the daily dilemma of those living paycheck to paycheck, but this lifestyle also teaches us to strive for more and invest in things and people that really matter.
Edits have been made for clarity and brevity.