Savings is for everyone. You don’t have to have big money to start saving. What is important is to get started and do it regularly. Doing it every day, every week or every month makes it a part of your regular living. Before you know, it will become a habit and this makes you a sure winner. The opposite is also true. Not saving also becomes a habit if you do not save because you will always spend everything you earn. This will definitely make you a loser.
So how do you get started? Simple…just look at how your cash flows everyday. Each time you need to spend, ask yourself: “Is this expense really something that I need? Or is this something I can live without?” If you answer that you will not die without that expense, then set the item aside and save the money. As you are able to save more money, you can start investing in an option that will grow. Never ever consider One Peso as “nothing.” You can never reach One Million Pesos if you don’t start with One Peso.
The next question is where to invest what you save. Here are a few reminders. The value of money changes over time. What used to cost One Peso many years ago may cost Two Pesos today. This increase in cost is called “inflation.” Inflation is a universal phenomenon that happens in all countries and economies. The rate of inflation depends on the country’s economic situation. The lower the inflation, the more stable the economic factors are.
We need to understand why our savings should earn at a rate higher than inflation. If you leave your money in a savings deposit where the interest is lower than inflation, your money is losing value every year. For example, today inflation is running at about 4% but if your money is earning only 1-3% per annum in your savings or time deposit, the value of your money is going down by 1-3% (4% minus the rate that you earn from your deposit) every year. In this case, the amount that you have saved will buy less and less over the years. Therefore, when you invest your money, you must remember that you must earn more than the inflation rate.
So now you want to know where you can invest your savings to earn more than inflation. There are many options nowadays. One option is lending to the Government through the purchase of Promissory notes that are called “Treasury Bills (TBills) or Treasury Bonds (TBonds).” Usually, the interest paid by the government for long term issues is only equal to inflation or maybe just slightly more than inflation. In general, the longer the term of the TBonds, the higher its interest rate. Also, TBills and TBonds are mostly available only for a minimum of PhP100,000 to PhP200,000. You can buy TBills and TBonds from authorized dealers, mostly banks.
There are Retail Treasury Bills (Retail TBills) or Retail Treasury Bonds (Retail TBonds) that have a minimum investment value of PhP5,000. However, these are limited and are usually quickly “sold out.”
Since Retail TBills and TBonds for the smaller investors are not always available, there are other possible investment options whereby the money of many investors are pooled together. With the bigger amount put together, it becomes possible for these smaller investors to avail of the other types of investment instruments that are usually only available to bigger investors.