Money matters

The poor spends. The rich saves. The wealthy invests.

That’s what Dianne said to me on her first night back in the country from a kingdom while we were eating at her favorite restaurant, Maru. That night, we promised ourselves we’d save and then, when there’s enough money, we’d invest.

From that day up to this point, we’ve gone on multiple food trips and went on a 10 day vacation in Mindanao. Our words were as good as the Mickey Mouse money during World War II.

Hmmm, I’d like to think I’m a rich poor wealthy girl. I like to save so I can spend it on investments. Labo. haha

Kidding aside, my financial situation had never been worse. I had more money when I was in college thanks to the weekly stipend my parents gave me. Plus, if ever that allowance was gone before the end of the week, I could always come up with some nonexistent school or project fees to extort a little more dough (sorry pangs and ma!). Even after graduating, my mom still gave me weekly allowance but it’s less than what I used to have and I developed a sense of guilt from all the ‘kickbaks’ so instead of demanding, I patiently wait for Mondays to come and make the best out of whatever amount was sent to me.

Despite that, people (except Dai because she sees my struggles firsthand) think I’m joking when I say I’m broke. I couldn’t really blame them because my Facebook pictures and WordPress posts say otherwise. When I told a friend I would not be able to attend our meetup because I ran out of money, he sarcastically said “Sus pero may 600 kang pang zipline”.

I am no different from other middle class citizens out there (I honestly sometimes think I’m below). Maybe I just have a different priority in terms of spending. I once read a statement saying that “Money has no value except what you can trade it for” and it couldn’t be truer. Some people trade their money for clothes or the newest gadget on the market. Others on food and books and school. I just prefer to invest in myself. To invest in memories I want to have. To invest in lots of pictures, too many, actually that a couple of people have called me vain (the hell. At least I’ll have files to browse and moments to relive in case my memory fails me). Sure, it’s expensive sometimes but worth it.

I prefer to spend money on experiences rather than things. Five hundred peso clothes are expensive for me but six hundred peso Ziplines aren’t. I’d rather spend all my money on a ten day vacation and then live frugally the next 20 days than 30 days of relatively mediocre comfort.

Of course I couldn’t live the way I do today for the rest of my life. I couldn’t splurge all of my future paychecks on travels and food. A few months from now there’d be responsibilities. In a few years, there’d be even more. I’d need to save for my family, for my future children’s education (naks), for healthcare (which I foresee is the worst thanks to my lifestyle and family history) and other things adults worry about.

I just hope that work will not turn me into one of its slaves, into another boring adult whose only goal is to earn more and merely ‘exist’ instead of ‘live’. I don’t want to be the old millionaire lady who leaves this life without exploring this awesome world. I don’t wanna be the financially successful parent who’s not close to his children. I don’t want to be the the person weighed down by mortgages and payments for things I actually could live without. That’s sad.

Before the worries of adulthood say hello though, I’ll enjoy my parent-dependence while it lasts.

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