What you are going to read is based from a true to life story. Names have been changed to protect the identity of the people involved.
Andrea is a successful accountant has a lot of ambition in life. She supports he family quiet well and saves enough for her future. Being an accountant opens her mind to the wonders of money-management and is determined to put the knowledge in practice not only in her professional life but also in her personal financial life. She is a God-fearing person and loves her family so much.
One time her aunt came to their house and talked to her mom. She asked her mom if she could borrow a certain amount to pay off a debt. Her mom talked to her about the matter and pleads. Being a loving daughter, Andrea agreed to shoulder the debt of her mom’s sister. She did not mind how much it was because she was able to set aside some extra cash. She just wants to please her mom and unload the burden from her.
The borrowing did not end there. A lot of times relatives come to her mom. And she already felt the burden of having too much debt to settle. Their relatives did not pay back her money. She is having a lot of trouble meeting her financial goals because of those unexpected relative debts. She started asking herself about the matter and decides to seek professional help.
How many of us are like Andrea? How many of us are blinded by emotion when dealing with money matters? How many of us seek financial help when needed?
Andrea’s story is common to Filipino families because we have these great family ties. We tend to bond with our family more than our counterparts in the United States or in any other countries. As much as possible we don’t want any of our family members in trouble. We are very close to each other and help one another the best way we could.
In Andrea’s case, “helping the best way we could” doesn’t mean paying off other person’s debt. What Andrea did was baby sit her relatives. They now know that anything happens Andrea will never let them down because she loves her mom so much and she doesn’t want to disappoint her. The end result, she found her self not meeting her needs and goals because she is taking care of other people’s dilemmas.
Here are some suggestions so that you can avoid similar situation as Andrea.
1. Don’t use your emotion when dealing with money matters. People who are blinded by emotion usually make wrong financial decisions. Always think logically, not emotionally.
2. Make the family and relatives understand your goals in life so that they can help you achieve it. Discuss to them why you can’t give them what they want. Instead, give only what you can afford to lose. Family/relatives who borrow money seldom pay back what they owe. Don’t mix relatives and money. They simply don’t go together.
3. Helping out family members is a good practice but making them get used to it is not healthy at all. Remember that people should be responsible of themselves.
4. Teach the family and relatives good money habits. Discuss to them that the only thing that can solve their recurring problem is through savings.
5. Focus on your goal. Nobody will help you achieve your goal but yourself. Always focus on them and don’t let anything hinder you.