In an era of instant gratification, when we have access to everything fast—food, entertainment, travel, information, and comfort, it’s so easy to give in to temptation and spend money freely and extravagantly more than we earn them if we don’t have self-control.
According to a survey by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, 52.8 million Filipino adults do not own bank accounts. Of this number, 60% say they don’t have enough money to open one.
This is an anomaly if you would look at the spending habits of Filipinos. Data show that consumer spending in the Philippines was at an all-time high in 2018.
Now, we wonder what are we spending on lavishly that eat up our savings?
GCash’s #PlsSaveMe campaign, which was launched, may give us some of the answers. Under this campaign, Filipinos are sharing their financial struggles on social media, coming clean about the things they compulsively buy that push them towards a debt trap: trendy clothes, online games, food trips, coffee, K-pop concert tickets, and albums, among others.
One netizen admitted that keeping up with the latest fashion trends and the endless seasonal sales in shopping malls were drying up her savings. Another one said she was having a hard time saving because she always turned to retail therapy to cope with stress.
“Add to cart” always won over adding money to her savings, confessed another shopaholic.
Meanwhile, a fangirl revealed that K-pop concerts and albums beat her desire to save for “adulting responsibilities.” An events organizer and blogger, on the other hand, blamed her addiction to otomo (romance) games and Japanese voice actor and singer Takuya Sato for her zero savings.
More netizens admitted that they were spending extra on food, food, and more food! A student, for example, revealed that he took a loan worth P10,000 and spent all of it in three days on food trips on top of his household expenses.
The #PlsSaveMe campaign also revealed that some Filipinos splurge their money on hobbies—like this doctor who spends her earnings on her watch and perfume collections—and yes, on love.
A 60-year-old single lady disclosed that an online romance gone wrong wreaked havoc on her savings: an American she thought she was dating managed to cart off with her P50,000 in an online dating scam.
What have you been spending extravagantly on that bleeds your funds dry? Isn’t it time you thought about the future, stopped waiting for someone to save you, and started saving?