10 steps to financial independence in 2016


Posted at Dec 31 2015 04:21 PM | Updated as of Oct 26 2016 04:32 PM

MANILA - As 2016 kicks off, strengthen your resolve for financial independence and long-term success.

Businessman, college professor, and real estate entrepreneur Wilson Lee Flores shared the following tips in developing wiser spending habits:

1. Avoid excessive debt.

Flores said consumers should use their credit card to save rather than make unnecessary purchases. He also warned credit card holders with high-interest loans or other schemes by loan sharks.

"Kahit malakas ka kumita, kung sobra kang dami sa utang, lagot ka. Kaya kung pwede, i-limit natin iyung mga utang natin sa importante lang," he cautioned.

He also advised the public to borrow money only for sound investments, and immediately pay off credit card or pawnshop loans.

2. Delay purchases.

Flores said delaying purchases is the one of the best ways to minimize spending. He said this gives one enough time to think whether an item is want or a need, and allows one to compare other sellers, brands, and options.

3. Don't compare yourself to others.

Trying to keep up with others' lifestyles is a negative habit that should be avoided, Flores said. Do not compare yourself to your neighbors, relatives, friends, or colleagues.

4. Spend less than what you earn.

Never spend more than what you earn or spend money that you have yet to hold. Instead, think of creative or resourceful ways to increase your income, said Flores.

"Every month, kung magkano ang sweldo natin, saka iyung asawa o pamilya, i-compute natin. Huwag tayong gumastos ng problema. Kasi ang problema, maraming offers ng mga hulugan, loan, akala natin kaya natin. Nagiging parang trap financially iyan e," he said.

5. Save before splurging.

Set aside first a portion of your income for savings, then leave the balance for your expenses, not the other way around.

6. Don't just save; invest.

Flores said savings alone won't generate additional earnings. Seek sound financial advice, and invest in good stocks, real estate, bonds.

He added: "Start small. Ibang tao kasi malaki agad-agad ang ginagastos... Kailangan steady and okay muna ang business bago maging too aggressive."

7. Keep track of all your expenses.

List down each expense and sum it regularly. Keeping receipts can also help prevent overspending.

8. Buy insurance for car, home, and your life.

Nothing is certain, so always buy non-life insurance for cars or realty properties. Buy from a good, hardworking and patient insurance agent.

9. Analyze and plan your taxes.

Flores shared that with careful planning ang analysis, there are many ways to minimize taxes. "Magtanong tayo sa accountant, magtanong tayo sa mga eksperto. May paraan para mag-minimize ng taxes," he said.

10. Rely on a spouse who won't overspend.

Flores said a good spouse is very important for a person to achieve financial independence. Do not marry based on good looks or wealth; look for character, a good temperament, and shared values.

"Kailangan pag-usapan ng mag-asawa ang financial discipline," Flores added.