ROI of Financial Education

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful – that’s what matters to me.” – Steve Jobs

One reason I quit my IT profession early this year was because I felt I was just working for the money and nothing more. For the past 2 years I’ve been in search for a job that would give me a sense of purpose and in those years I came across  the Registered Financial Planners Program.Though I’ve been able to read several blogs about personal finance, there’s nothing like making a significant investment to be able to learn more. So for the money I invested for my financial education, here are 5 major returns I got out of it.

  1. It’s not about making money, it’s about making meaning. We want to financially plan because we want our lives to be free of worries. It’s the same reason why we want to make sure we budget our cash and anticipate our expenses, the same reason why we want to pay off our debts as soon as possible, the same reason why we want to insure ourselves for our loved ones and the same reason why we want to plan for our retirement and our child’s education. We can have as much money as we want, but if we don’t why we want that money or how we want to spend the money and make our lives more meaningful, then that money would not seem to worth much.
  2. Personal financial planning is summed up in 4 things: cash flow management, debt management, protection analysis and investment management. It doesn’t have to be complicated. If we can ensure we are able to save and earn more than we spend, eliminate our debts, ensure we are protected from life’s risk and eventually build our wealth, then we’re on the right track to having a financially worry-less life.
  3. Your P100.00 now is worth just P70.00 ten years from now. The value of our money now will become less and less as years go by. Though personal finance may be about meaning, the fact still remains that money is an important tool for everyone to be able to achieve dreams and goals. Being able to strategize and plan for the inevitability of ereeinflation takes a step closer towards financial peace.
  4. The value of protection/insurance. To be honest, I never really appreciated insurance until I had my own family. I realize that working hard for my family’s future is not enough. If I don’t plan and prepare, then what happens to them if something unexpectedly bad happens to me that forces me out of work or worse if I face the inevitable death. Insurance is our safety net towards living a meaningful life. It is a tool that allows us to worry less about the future of our family and enjoy each day with them to the fullest.
  5. Why are you investing? The common answer to this question is “to make money”. There’s more to life than just money right? So why do we want to make money? Do we want it for travel, for our kids’ education, for my eventual retirement, or for my medical fund? Many invests because they want to make money (I, myself thought that was the sole purpose of investing). But I realize that once my investment earns, what now? In every investment I make, I have got to plan what they are for (retirement, education, travel, etc.). Set goals as they say, otherwise, these investments won’t really mean anything.

Educating myself on the value of financial planning gave me a different perspective about money. It thaught me how to be rich, not in monetary terms, but to be rich in life. If you’d ask me if it was worth the investment, well, for a life that is more meaningful and less worries financially, I’d say it was a bargain.

*Published in Business Mirror – August 19, 2013

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