Deciding to live the rest of your life with your significant other is one of the biggest decisions you will have to make in your life—one that requires commitment not only to your partner, but to a slew of other responsibilities.
Fully committing to the married life, therefore, means letting go of some baggage—more specifically, those habits that might have been cool to do when you were single, but not when you already have a family to raise. You may barely notice the effects of your spending habits as a bachelor/bachelorette, but once you start a family, even the slightest financial setbacks can have big repercussions on your future financial standing.
To provide for the family better, you need to learn how to be smarter with your finances. Start by controlling your spending over things that could be negatively affecting not only your economic standing but your overall health, as well. Ultimately, choosing to cut unhealthy money habits for the sake of your family will all depend on you.
Here are a few practices that you need to be mindful of in order to better prepare for a married life.
This habit is one that can impact both your physical and financial health. According to studies, smoking just one cigarette stick can cut your life by 11 minutes, and puts you you at risk of cancer, heart and lung diseases, and many other problems. About 23% of deaths in the country every year is due to smoking.
The same goes for second-hand smoking. If your better half is pregnant, her chances of having a miscarriage, premature birth, or even infant death increase if she is exposed to cigarette smoke.
Being a smoker is also quite an expensive vice. In June 2019, Senate passed Bill 2233 that approved a starting tax rate of P45 for tobacco products starting 2020. An annual P5 increase will follow this until it reaches P60 in 2023. This means that, aside from the actual cost of the cigarette, you’ll have to pay between P35 to P60 worth of tax per pack.
Another cost you’d have to worry about is healthcare. According to reports, the Philippines spends around P269 million in smoking-related healthcare costs, including loss of productivity from deaths and illnesses. Lastly, there’s the Tobacco Regulation Act that bans smoking in many public areas. Being caught red-handed can incur you fines of up to P10,000.
Much like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption is dangerous to your health. According to experts, alcohol consumption at any level exposes one to cancer, including cancer of the gut. It has also been reported that every year, more than 37,000 deaths can be attributed to it.
The prices of alcoholic drinks are expected to increase, too. In 2018, a Lower House committee approved higher excise taxes for such drinks—with the ad valorem tax rate for distilled spirits increased to 22%, and specific tax rates of between P30 to P45 depending on proof liter. Fermented liquor will also see a hike of P28 in 2019 plus P4 every year until 2022.
These numbers may change in the coming years, but the point stays the same: buying alcohol too often takes away money you could invest on things that allow your family to have a healthier, better life.
- Eating fast-food
According to a 2018 survey, 45.88% of Filipinos enjoy eating fast food one to three times per week. Any type of convenience—whether it’s food that can be served in a matter of seconds or a cab-hailing service—can significantly affect your budget. Sometimes, it’s not the quality of the product that you’re paying for, but the handiness. The question is if it’s really worth spending too much for convenience.
Instead of eating out and paying too much, opt to buy fresh produce and cook at home. Not only can you save more bucks, but you can also share your food with your loved ones and not put everyone’s health at risk for eating junk.
- Compulsive buying
Statistics show that e-commerce in the Philippines grew to about P44 trillion in revenue in 2018 from 2017’s P36 trillion.
It’s bad enough that some people can’t stop themselves from buying clothes, gadgets, and other things they don’t really need for the moment, but the advent of online shopping has made this habit worse. With items going straight to their doorsteps, sometimes within 24 hours of purchase, innovations have allowed compulsive shoppers to overspend even more.
While there is nothing wrong with spending your hard-earned money on things you want and need, you’ll also have to consider your loved ones before you make any purchases, especially if you plan on getting married. Maybe you can buy those shoes some other time, or your smartphone is still in good condition—it’s a matter of being content with what you have for now.
Avoid spur-of-the-moment purchases for the sake of your future. Additionally, you can fund a “pocket money” budget to use for whatever you want to buy, may it be impulsively or not.
Preparing for the Future Today
In a relationship, commitment is essential; but this is also vital in achieving good financial well-being. If you want to live worry-free in the future with your significant other, you need to learn how to manage your money as early as now. Understand that the monetary decisions you make today can greatly affect your standing tomorrow.
Prepare for the married life by educating yourself on how you can invest and grow your money for your family’s future. A Bancassurance Sales Executive is available for consultation—just visit any of BPI’s 900 branches nationwide.