This week I will have to skip my regular posts as per planned schedule, instead, I will come up with only one but encompassing all three – parenthood, money matters, and my own random musings. Hehe. Let’s begin!
One of our major responsibility as a parent is to provide for our children – food, clothing, shelter, education, medical attention, experience, entertainment and so on and so forth. It can be endless! And, not to say, overwhelming! For a working-class family like ours, we could provide, yes, but can we secure a better future for them?
We knew we had to ante up the game with three kids on our boat. Years ago, my husband and I agreed not to leave anything behind for our children, no inheritance from us. Lots of families were divided because of inheritance conflicts. We thought they should work hard on their own to get what they want and not depend on what they would hopefully inherit. As parents, our only job is to ensure that they will get the best possible education and adult life preparation. However, later on, our perspective changed, we decided to at least leave a property in their names, where they could build their homes someday if they wish to. It’s because we realized that without capital, it’ll be harder for them to start and follow their calling in life. Now, after giving it some more thought and thorough analysis (rooted from the parking space fiasco), we also realized that we, as working-class, are having a hard time to climb up in the socio-economic ladder because we had nothing in the start and we both support our parents/families. Take for example my case, I already had a vision ten years ago that parking spaces for rent would be a big thing in the coming years. I could have bought vacant lots not only in commercial districts but even in residential communities. However, ten years ago, I had no money. No bank would ever loan me that amount of money either. I had no capital or property to mortgage.
You know, I admire our legendary businessmen who started their empires from nothing too. They only had hard work, perseverance, and the right attitude. But, I must admit that times have changed already. Inflation, congestion, population, technology, banking rules, what else didn’t change except human’s innate greed, discontentment, and envy? I mean, look at the bank requirements just to open an ATM savings account! Things do get better but, in some ways, harder.
Before we get too overwhelmed, know that we can take baby steps in building a better future for our children. You need not eagerly (and carelessly!) head on to your bank and apply for a home mortgage for your kids’ future homes. Believe me, every step counts and a great way to start.
Health is wealth. Many parents try their best to save money for their kids’ future, but these savings could easily be swept by a medical emergency. Even simple illnesses like flu or UTI could make you touch your savings for check-ups, laboratory tests, and medicines. Aside from doing what it takes for your kids to be on top of their health always, it’s also better if the family is protected by health insurances. I really hope that Philhealth improves in its services and coverage. Invest in child immunizations too! They not only spare you from medical costs, but it could also save your child’s life and spare others from contamination.
Education. It’s a basic, I know. But, try to choose the best education you could afford as these are the kind of expenses that do not really go to waste. It is something that can last and that they can bank on when the time comes. It can be considered as an investment that if the kids play wisely, they’ll reap the good fruits one day. I’m not really a believer of the insurance industry here in the Philippines, especially of the pre-need, but, it won’t hurt to explore the idea. Remember that education is not contained in the four walls of the classroom. By engaging them in different activities and experiences in the outside world, you are also educating them. So, yes to a once or twice a year family vacation! Education comes in pockets of opportunities. Grab one every now and then.
Holiday money. Monetary gifts received by your children from their baptismal to first birthdays and Christmases thereafter make good of an initial investment strictly for your kids’ future. After all, it’s their money! Besides, once the first investment is already in place it will be easier to add on to it and make it grow.
Develop their entrepreneurial skills. I suck at this one, mommies. I need help on this!!! It is because I am not an entrepreneur myself. *sniff* Other than theoretical seminars and feasibility studies in school, I know it’s best if they see it on us, which I don’t know how to do. In the meantime, I show them how much I like reading books to encourage them to do the same. There is power in applied knowledge and knowledge (plus brain capacity) can be enhanced through reading. Well, there’s nothing wrong about being employed. Not everyone is cut out to be a businessman, right? We can’t all be bosses at the same time. But, I’d like them to know that if they want, they can and they should not be scared to try. They can be their own persons. They do not need to follow in our footsteps.
Money lessons. If you think they are ready, teach them how to handle money responsibly. Open them a kiddie account if you think an ATM or passbook with their names on it will excite them to spend money carefully and save up. Introduce them to personalities worth emulating and tell them inspiring stories. Slowly, I’m giving my eldest the idea of the stock market. For example, I tell him we could buy a tiny part of their favorite fast food restaurant with this amount of money instead of a new toy which he already has.
With health, education, first investment, and learning enthusiasm, you (unknowingly) have taken the first important steps towards your kids’ brighter future. Slowly but surely, mommies and daddies. Along these steps, please do not forget to nurture their emotional and spiritual needs. Nourish them with lotsa tender love and care. It makes them happy. Happy kids are more likely to be successful and less troubled as adults.