What do personal finance experts splurge on?


Posted at Dec 25 2014 02:06 PM | Updated as of Dec 25 2014 10:06 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Being a personal finance expert doesn't mean you don't spend your money at all.

ANC On The Money recently talked to a few personal finance experts about what their guilty pleasures, and their answers would surprise you.

For instance, Michaelangelo Oyson, CEO and managing director of BPI Trade, admitted his guilty pleasure is spending money on horses.

Oyson competes internationally in equestrian sports, which is not a cheap sport. Transporting a horse from the Philippines to a country like China can cost $20,000, and that doesn't even include the cost of a good horse.

"Horses are much more expensive than cars, and there's an upkeep for horses. The only way I can compete at the international level is basically having the right horse and properly training for this sport," he said.

Oyson lives by the adage, "work hard, play hard." "We only live once. The most important thing is if we are called to our next life, we really have been able to enjoy life. We work hard, we play hard," he said.

Bangko Sentral Assistant Governor Johnny Noe Ravalo revealed his guilty pleasure is computers.

"My guilty pleasure is really electronic gadgets. Computers, basically. It started as a need when I was in grad school in US, I needed extra money for my day-to-day living and I became a programmer, I became a technician. I can put together and assemble computers and related stuff. Ever since those days, I've always tried to follow what would be the lightest ultrabook or the tablet . Technology, gadgets, computers and phones, it has become must-haves, not just nice-to-haves," he said.

Ravalo doesn't splurge on new laptops every year, but he doesn't mind spending between $3,000 to $4,000 on a laptop.

"A lightweight computer is very important to me. My job takes me to a lot of travels, even a 2 kilo or 3 pound notebook can feel like 10 pounds when you're lugging it along airports and opening it up to X-rays. I'm very particular about weight. My sister-in-law in the US would always wonder how come I am willing to spend $3,000 to $4,000, when the latest price would be $300 to $400," he said.

Carlo Ocampo, a partner at Ocampo and Manalo law firm, said his guilty pleasure started with a sip of wine.

"It started about 10 years ago. I drink it every night, and aside from the way it tastes, I like the intellectual side of it. I learn about the regions, varieties and when I travel, I also get to see how they do it in different parts of the world... I find it a very interesting guilty pleasure/ hobby," he said.

Ocampo started with a threshold of a few thousands of pesos for a bottle of wine.

"But when I got into it, I got a small wine chiller and now it's a bigger wine chiller that can hold up to a hundred bottles. I have books, all the paraphernalia you can think of... different gadgets and wine openers, decanters," he said.

Chartered financial analyst Vandermir Say, on the other hand, is caught by the travel bug during the holidays.

"Once in a while, when the opportunity is there... We can spend thousands of dollars to travel quite a distance but it's worth it if we get the family together," Say said.

Learning Curve owners Heinz and Ambie Bulos have a different kind of guilty pleasure -- dessert and air conditioning.

"I have to eat dessert once a day," Ambie said.

"I am willing to have arguments with her every night just to make sure my aircon is on," Heinz said.

Ambie said she wished her guilty pleasure is a designer bag, but until now she couldn't make herself get one.

"Is it because we disciplined ourselves so much? The biggest would be electricity, that's his guilty pleasure not mine," she said.

ANC On The Money's resident financial adviser Salve Duplito gave some tips on how to enjoy your guilty pleasure without breaking the bank.

Duplito suggested creating a "fun money fund," which can be anywhere from 5 percent to 10 percent of your monthly salary, or a set amount like P500 to P1,000 monthly.

"What this fund allow you to do is to spend without guilt, but caps that spending so you don't spend more than you can afford," she said.