You Become What You Always Do

What are you building on? A dream house, gadgets, cars, jewelries that later on are sold or pawned due to illiquidity, to pay off credit cards on default? Are you building on debts for hospital bills to save life due to health failure? Are you taking out loans for house repainting, home improvements, fly now pay later promos to satisfy whims and caprices? Better put on financial disciplines before you find yourself in a hole that you yourself have dug. Amelia is a mother of 7. She became a widow at age 44. Her eldest then was a newly graduate nurse and working in a government hospital on probation. Her youngest were twins both aged 14 and were in second year high school at that time. Her husband who was a tentmaker (a pastor who supports his ministry and family as a life insurance agent and manager) left her with a modest insurance proceeds of P20,000 enough for a month’s subsistence with monthly apartment rental of P6,000, P120 daily food budget, 6 children schooling, a fly now pay later scheme repayments, and a car with 2 more years of amortization.

Amelia, on the other hand, have good financial disciplines even while her husband was still living. She would put in a used baby powder case all the coins she would save from the marketing budget her husband was giving her. She would save P1 a day to pay for the electric and water bill when the collector comes which she will replenish when her husband gives her the money when he comes home.

Amelia, a housewife of 24 years, loves beautiful things and she loves decorating their house especially during Christmas. She would paint white a tree branch and adorn it with Christmas balls she and her children made. She would make Christmas wreaths out of cigarette foil wraps and poinsettia from crepe papers. Those days when ladies’ skirt fashion were 3 yards, after a long while, Amelia will convert it to curtains, and after some time, turn them into pillow cases. She would even use the sanitized colorful sack cloth of chicken feeds into her children’s caftans and swimsuits!

30 years after becoming a widow, Amelia is now retired at age 74. By God’s amazing grace and daily miracles, her children are now all professionals and most of them are immigrants to Canada and the USA. She may not be the ultra rich everyone of us would want to be when we retire but definitely, Amelia is not poor. She now owns a house and lot in an executive subdivision, 2 vehicles, a ministry home in Pangasinan which she frequently goes to every other week as she faithfully carries on the ministry she promised to continue on her husband’s death bed, and most of all, the bountiful and overflowing love of her children, her relatives, and church members.

Dreams don’t happen overnight. Your future will depend on the financial disciplines you are willing to embark on to attain your financial dreams. Mind how you spend. Pay-off debts. Make saving a habit and not an option. Life is not a hit or miss.

What are you building on? Remember, you become what you always do!

Grace Escobar
IARFC Philippines