5 Pinoy Fathers With Different Incomes Reveal Surprising Truths About Life

11 min. read By eCompareMo on
5 Pinoy Fathers With Different Incomes Reveal Surprising Truths About Life

Does a higher income always equate to happiness? Inspired by an article by Esquire US, we asked five Filipino fathers in their 40s, with very different incomes and different needs, about expenses, debts, savings, money problems, and retirement, and asked them to rate their overall quality of life.

Paul Chua, 46, businessman

5


Homeowner, Makati City
Kids: 1 daughter, age 13
Educational attainment: College graduate
Gross annual income (GAI): P3,600,000

Monthly expenses:
Usually 25% of my monthly income goes to utilities, and P20,000 goes to my daughter for her allowances, including miscellaneous expenses.

What do you currently need but can’t afford?
For me, I do not need anything right now that I can’t afford. I usually save 10% to 15% from my income every month. When I’ve saved enough money, then that’s the time I think of what I need that I can afford, depending on the amount that I have saved. It’s not what you earn that’s important. It’s what you keep.

How do you save money?
I control myself not to overspend. I research, canvass, and negotiate, so I can always get the best deal. I have several bank accounts, but I’ve always believed that if you have money in the bank, you’re not using your potential. You should always, make your money work for you. How well you can save depends on your character. On how you can control yourself to not overspend and use your money only for what you really need.

College or educational plans for your kid(s)?
Yes, just one college plan.

Do you have any debts?
I have debts, but only for tax and business expansion purposes. Having a debt doesn’t always lead to setbacks. Sometimes it means you’re making money work to your advantage.

How often do you worry about money?
Each time I use it. If I spend more than I can afford, then that will be a problem. You should know how to use money and make it work for you.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest, how confident are you with your current quality of life?
Nine. Because I’m in control. The discipline to control oneself when it comes to money cannot be taught in schools. It was taught to me by my parents. That’s how I was raised.

How much money do you need right now to live the quality of life you want?
Right now, I’m okay with what I have. If you’re asking if I want more money, I do. But I don’t want to put myself under so much stress just to earn so much money.

At what age do you plan to retire?
I will not retire. Retirement is not an option for me. If I retire, I will be redundant. I will retire only if my body cannot take it anymore. Right now I’m guiding my daughter to be her own person. I don’t want her to feel the pressure of inheriting the business. I let her make mistakes. It’s important that she learns from her mistakes and not do it again.

Any mistakes you’ve done that cost you a lot of money?
Trusting friends. I lent them money, but they did not pay me back. It ended some friendships, but I know that it is their loss.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned about life and money?
Time is the most important thing in this world because you can never turn it back. It’s the common denominator of all individuals. It is the most important factor in life, and it should be valued. Other people are not valuing their time because they are desperate. You need to have time and a set of goals. Even if you’re a minimum-wage earner, you still have to be smart in managing your time and in finding ways to earn a better living. We are all given all this time, but our output—what we are doing with our time, that will make a difference.

Andrew Marquez, 46, Application Developer

4


Homeowner (Pasig City) and renting in Las Piñas
Kids: 3 children, ages 5, 3, and 8 months
Educational attainment: College graduate
Gross annual income: P1,500,000

Monthly expenses:
Definitely everything related to kids: groceries, tuition, and school-related fees; milk, diapers, vaccinations for three kids, etc. P50,000 to P70,000 monthly. I pay for mortgage monthly, P30,000; and rent and utilities, P40,000.

What do you currently need but can’t afford?
A house big enough for three children with rooms for helpers and yayas. Probably a car, though we’re currently using the cars of my father-in-law.

How do you save money?
My extra money goes to stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, variable unit linked (VUL) insurance, time deposits, and savings accounts.

College or educational plans for your kid(s)?
None. I stay away from them because of what happened to CAP and Prudential.

Do you have any debts?
Yes. Long-term is the mortgage that I’m currently paying every month, P2 million. Then I also pay for my credit card, which is about P60,000 to P70,000 every month.

How often do you worry about money?
I try my best not to, so I don’t. But I know I should.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest, how confident are you with your current quality of life?
With regards to confidence with finances, 5. The cash from my previous savings has been decreasing for the past several years, and I find that my salary is way less than my expenses. For quality of life, 6. I would like to provide more for my family. I envisioned a big green garden for my kids before I got married, and I don’t see that garden right now.

How much money do you need right now to live the quality of life you want?
I think it would be P5.5 million for a house big enough for three kids and yayas (helpers).

At what age do you plan to retire?
By retire as in stop working or be involved with any business, when I’m 80-something, or for as long as I can. To retire as in reach the point of not needing to work anymore, 60.

Any mistakes you’ve done that cost you a lot of money?
None so far, other than letting BIR know that I exist.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned about life and money?
My life is much better than the lives of kings and queens during the middle ages. Poverty is subjective and relative.

Romulo Cruz, 45, Insurance and Claims Manager

1


Homeowner, Marikina City
Kids: Two children, 21-year-old son and 18-year-old daughter
Educational attainment: College graduate
Gross annual income: P600,000

Monthly expenses:
P10,000 for groceries, P10,000 utilities, P10,000 school allowances, P7,500 for car amortization, and P5,000 for motorcycle amortization.

What do you currently need but can’t afford?
Right now I want to have my house renovated and some areas need to be repaired but it’s not yet feasible.

How do you save money?
I deposit my extra funds to my bank account.

College or educational plans for your kid(s)?
None.

Do you have any debt(s)?
Yes. P50,000 for my credit card.

How often do you worry about money?
Every time, most especially during the school season.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you with your current quality of life?
Seven. I need more money to support my kids and worry less about their future.

How much money do you need right now to live the quality of life you want?
I want to earn P100,000 net income a month so I can provide more for my family.

At what age do you plan to retire?
I want to retire now and put up my own business.

Any mistakes you’ve done that cost you a lot of money?
Yes, not being able pay my credit card bills on time.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned about life and money?
You really have to save, and you should ask yourself before buying something if it is a need or a want.

Miguel Villaserran, 45, aluminum installer

2


Homeowner, Quezon City
Kids: Four children, two in custody; 9-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son
Educational attainment: College undergraduate
Gross annual income: P144,000

Monthly expenses: My monthly budget goes to food, payment for debt, and allowance for my two kids. Now that there’s school again, we give them P20 each every day.

What do you currently need but can’t afford?
I need a motorcycle so I can save money going to work or run errands.

How do you save money?
Right now I can’t save because the budget is not enough even if we’re trying to be as thrifty as possible.

College or educational plans for your kid(s)?
No, but I would want to of course.

Do you have any debt(s)?
I owe someone P10,000 from a five-six lending scheme.

How often do you worry about money?
I think about it before I go to sleep. Where I can borrow money next, and sometimes I also worry about the health of my kids. I want them to stay healthy because we don’t have money for medical expenses.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you with your current quality of life?
Seven. I am content with my life as long as we are all healthy and we can eat well three times a day. And also because I am able to send my kids to school.

How much money do you need right now to live the quality of life you want?
Maybe about P1 million so I can start a business of glass and aluminum. I want to make that money work for me.

At what age do you plan to retire?
At 50 years old because I want to put up my own business. I am tired of working with a boss.

Any mistakes you’ve done that cost you a lot of money?
When I separated with my ex-wife, I got into gambling and drugs. So I spent a lot of money and sold all my stuff to support my vices. I even took money from our helper so I could buy drugs. But at one point, I overdosed and got hospitalized, and that made me stop my vices including drugs. After that I realized I never should have done all of that. Now I’m working hard every day to make up for everything I’ve lost.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned about life and money?
When you have money, you need to save up for your family. I still regret spending all my money to drugs and gambling. You need to save what you can, even if it’s just a small amount, so you have money for emergencies. Now I’m always thinking of the possibility that my kids might get sick. It’s hard because I haven’t saved any money.

Noel Panglao, 47, executive driver

3


Homeowner, Bacolod
Kids: Two children; 27-year-old son and 30-year-old daughter
Educational attainment: Vocational course graduate
Gross annual income: P96,000

Monthly expenses:
Groceries, Medicines for my son, allowance, electric and water bills.

What do you currently need but can’t afford?
A car, preferably a Suzuki Multicab so I can use it as a service vehicle and earn more money.

How do you save money?
I keep a penny bank and save some spare cash or coins there.

College or educational plans for your kid(s)?
None. Both of them are already working.

Do you have any debt?
Yes. I still need to pay the P7,000 that I’d loaned.

How often do you worry about money?
Every day. Before going to sleep and waking up in the morning.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you with your current quality of life?
Six. I pay a lot of bills every month, and since my wife passed away last February, that has got us financially strained because now, I’m the only one who has to provide for the family. My daughter started working abroad last February, but she’s not financially stable yet. My son is working part-time, but his income is not enough to cover for our expenses at home. He just recovered from tuberculosis and we still need to go to the hospital for check-ups and make sure that he takes his medicines for his full recovery.

How much money do you need right now to live the quality of life you want?
P300,000. I want to own a talyer (auto repair shop), and not be able to worry about my son’s medical expenses.

At what age do you plan to retire?
When I’m 60, because I’ll only get lazy if I don’t work and I need to save money.

Any mistakes you’ve done that cost you a lot of money?
None.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned about life and money?
The importance of budgeting—always try to save some money especially for emergencies and unexpected expenses. —Kristel Serran

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