MANILA, Philippines - Most Filipino children save half of their allowance, but "saving" only means getting enough money to buy the latest gadgets, clothes and toys, according to a survey by independent research firm Cimigo.
Based on the survey conducted last August, most Filipino children (aged 7-12) say they spend half of their pocket money, while saving the rest. Pinoy kids get an average of P157.60 in pocket money every week.
College of the Immaculate Conception (CIC) Cabanatuan grade 2 students learn about money management under the Pru Life UK’s Cha-Ching Financial Literacy for the Youth Program. Courtesy of Pru Life UK
The survey, which was conducted for Pru Life UK's regional headquarters Prudential Corp. Asia, covered 211 children from different income classes in Metro Manila and Cebu.
"Filipino children save up but not for the rainy day but because they want to buy gadgets like PSP... 70% plan ahead in terms of how much they want to save and spend. Another 67% save to buy the things they want, while 88% want to buy computer related products, shoes, clothes and bags," Pru Life UK senior vice president and chief marketing officer Belle Tiongco said in a press briefing on Wednesday.
The results of the Cimigo survey, Tiongco said, showed there is a lot of room for Filipino children to improve their money management skills. Even parents acknowledge there is a need for their children to learn about saving, budgeting and investing.
She noted majority of Filipino children perceive their parents to be rich, and believe family members are likely to fulfill their requests when they want to buy certain things.
Lotto, Monopoly as investment tools?
The survey also showed Filipino children did not understand credit cards, online transactions and investments.
"Kids are uncertain about the concept of credit cards. 63% don’t know what happens after a credit card transaction is made," Tiongco said.
Almost a fourth (23%) of the Filipino children have a false perception that buying lottery tickets is a form of investment, and 19% say playing the Monopoly board game is an investment tool.
"Maybe it’s because parents sometimes say ‘pag nanalo tayo sa Lotto,’ so children get that wrong impression," Tiongco said.
Half of the Pinoy children have thought about making more money with their existing savings, but 50% do not have any idea how to do this.
Pru Life UK president and CEO Antonio Manuel De Rosas said the survey results highlight the importance of teaching children about the value of money.
"In this age when money comes in many forms and may be used in different ways, it is important to make children understand at an early age the value of using money wisely – that budgeting, ‘invisible money’ or cashless transactions and investing all play a role in managing finances well,” he said.
Expanding Cha-Ching in PH
Based on the results of the survey, Pru Life UK is expanding its financial education program for children "Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids," which introduced the concepts of: earning, saving, spending and donating.
"We use animation and music so that learning becomes effortless… Even the adults learn about money management from Cha-Ching. Money smart kids grow up to be money smart adults, who are the foundation of a progressive and rich country," Tiongco said.
The second season of the musical "edu-tainment" cartoons, which will air on Cartoon Network, will tackle new concepts of money management such as budgeting, credit cards and investing. A new online game, Cha-Ching Saver World Tour, was launched on the website to encourage kids to learn through playing.
The Philippines is the first country to integrate Cha-Ching in the grade school curriculum, as part of its agreement with the Department of Education (DepEd). The financial literacy program is being implemented in two pilot public schools Tagaytay Central School and Upper Bicutan Elementary School, as well as private schools College of the Immaculate Conception in Cabanatuan, Makati Hope Christian School and Montessori Integrated School in Antipolo.