I recently received an email from an avid reader of this blog. He asked me one simple question. He said,
“I have an extra PhP50,000. I don’t know if I should invest it all in RTBs? What do you think? What is the best thing I can do with my money?”
I remember sending a quick note asking him more about his financial situation whether he has any existing debts he can pay off with the PhP50,000 or if he has saved up for an emergency fund. If he’s financially OK with both, I then asked him if he’s willing to leave his money in RTBs for the long term (at least 5 years)? If not, perhaps he can consider using the extra money to start a small business.
Upon reflecting on the question, I realized this is a question most of us will face at least once in our lifetime.
The key to taking control of your own money
If you really want to be rich, one question you’ll have to ask yourself more often than anything else is —
“What is the best thing I can do with my money?”
Do you remember the time you received your last 13th or 14th month bonus? Maybe, about 2 months ago? 🙂 Suddenly you had extra cash to do whatever you want. Or perhaps when one of your grandmother was so pleased with you receiving honors on your graduation, she gave you a $100 gift? Or when you recently got your first promotion as a Team Lead and got a whopping PhP 3,000 as bonus?
All of these brought you the same thing – the sudden problem of having “too much money”.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’d rather have the problem of having “too much money” than the problem of “not enough money.”
Why having too much money is a problem
As some of you may realize, having too much money is indeed a problem. Granted, not many people are currently facing this problem, especially in this time of recession. These days, people are more familiar with the problem of “not enough money”.
If you have this problem of having too much money, congratulations! You have the opportunity to face a different kind of challenge in your journey to financial freedom. The challenge is to fully utilize your extra money and ask yourself what is the best thing you can do with it.
How people try to solve having too much money
1) Spend it
For some, the answer is simple. Spend it. Spend it on something you want. You want that cool gadget they call the “iPad" or the earlier generation and wildly successful “iPhone 3Gs”? Now, you have the money to pay for it – in CASH!
Or how about the smooth talking salesman offering you a limited-time-only-special-edition watch for ONLY PhP50,000? He lets you hold the watch on your hand and shows you how it would perfectly fit into your tiny wrist. After a while, you start to convince yourself. You say “I deserve to have this gorgeous watch”. After all, you do deserve the reward after so many hours of working hard at the office.
This is the most common way people use their extra money. Unfortunately, the ultimate question still remains – “is that the best thing you can do with your money?”
2) Invest it
For others, it is more complicated than that. Their solution? Invest it! But how?
There are people who define their investments with what they can put under their name. Invest it in a car or a house, they say! It is an asset, right? Of course, it is an asset says your banker. Unfortunately, he doesn’t say whose asset it is. The truth is, it is the bank’s asset. When you pay your mortgage every month, or your car loan, the reality sinks in and you realize that the bank is making money from you.
Other people likes risky & highly leveraged investments. The truth-they are just plain gamblers and not investors. You will hear them say
“Never mind, give it to me. I’ll make your PhP50,000 into a hundred million in 3 days. I’ll buy a lotto ticket and when I win, I’ll split the money with you.”
The successful investors like Warren Buffet, on the other hand, live with a different mindset from the rest. They made their money through sheer hard work, a lot of financial intelligence, and allowing the system to work for them. Yes, they also lose money. But they have gained more – knowledge and experience. After many many years of ups and downs of the market, they still ended up making a lot of money in the process.
So, which investor are you?
3) Donate it
The 2 richest people in the world both donate to charities. Bill Gates donates some of his money through the Bill and Mellissa Gates Foundation. Warren Buffet is a big fan of tithing and in fact planning to donate most of his money as part of his last will.
When you donate, you are allowing yourself to believe that you CAN give. You allow yourself to believe that life’s blessing is so abundant that sharing it will make it even more meaningful. When you GIVE, you gain so much more.
Unfortunately, while we busily try to earn a living and make money, we tend to forget that money is a gift to bless yourself and others. A gift that reflects what is important to you and defines who you really are – God’s blessing to others.
In the end, deciding how to spend your extra money is all up to you. Anyone can advice paying off your debt, save for emergency, buy insurance, or any other advice that seem wise.
The reality is, I do not know your situation. We are all facing different circumstances. The advise to start a business may work wonders for some, while it may lead to bankruptcy for others.
It is only YOU who knows what’s the best thing you can with your money. Because it’s only YOU who knows what’s important to YOU.
So, what would you do with an extra P50,000?