MANILA – We know Kim Henares as a strict tax collector as Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) commissioner, but how does she handle her own finances?
Henares grew up in a conservative family, and she was taught by her father, a businessman, early on about the value of working hard for your money.
She said she learned from his father’s life that you can make something out of yourself through hard work, and not relying on others.
“The main lesson from my parents is that you do not spend anything that you do not have,” she said on ANC’s “On The Money.” “In our family, we do not believe in borrowing money to do something. It’s either you have it, or you don’t have it.”
As a student, Henares helped with the numbers side of their family business, which led her to pursue a career in accounting.
She advised parents who wish to pass on a business to their children to start them young.
“You should actually be involving them in your business when they’re young so they acquire the interest in wanting to help you,” she said.
She said that because she was exposed to the business early, she developed an interest in it and it taught her lessons in accountability and responsibility.
“It’s like government, if the head makes kupit, everyone down the line will make kupit because you cannot control anyone anymore,” she said.
In handling her own money, Henares picks banks deposits, interest-bearing instruments, and a bit of the stock market.
“I believe in the economy, but I don’t really believe in the capital market because the capital market is very thin,” she said.
Henares also said she doesn’t believe in investing in real estate because it is not the best strategy if you need liquidity. It may also add worry about people fighting over it when you die.
“If you invest in it and you need money, and you sell it, you can’t really sell it at the amount that you want to. It’s the hardest thing to dispose,” she said.
The tax chief said she does not have expensive hobbies, and she does not spend a lot on material things.
“I don’t have big needs and I don’t have big wants. I just want to live a simple life, nothing ostentatious,” she said.
Henares shared these insights on money:
1) Money is never the end.
She said money should never be the objective, and should be treated as just the means toward having a comfortable life.
2) Don’t let money rule your life.
“Do something that you love and the money will follow. If you do something because of the money, at the end of the day, you will get burned out and nothing will happen,” she said.
3) Teach their children to look at inheritance as ‘gravy’
Henares said parents should first take care of themselves before others, and that children should not rely on their parents’ inheritance to help in their finances.
4) Never lend people money.
Henares said lending people money and expecting them to pay it back immediately is the best way to create an enemy.
“If you want to create enemy, the best way to do that is to lend somebody money. If somebody asks for help, you help them. But if you want to lend, make sure it’s something you can do without,” she said.
5) Be disciplined
Henares said if you are disciplined in other aspects of your life, it will also reflect on how you handle your finances.
“It’s really putting your life in order, knowing what is right and wrong and it will translate when handling money, whether big or small, you will know what to do,” she said.