We have that experience when somebody would come to us and try to borrow money for various reasons. It is one of those moments when I used to impulsively say YES because I did not know how to say no.
Honestly, this has been my problem. There were times when I lent money and I did not get it back. And there were times that there were repeat borrowers.
I tried to overcome this by researching on the web the different ways that I can say no. It was not easy to do this. And it wasn’t an overnight process. I would actually practice mentally the line that I was going to say. I know some people were probably surprised when I started saying no without saying no.
A good friend suggested to me that I shouldn’t give details on why I am saying no. It turns out she was right.
Here are the lines that I used to politely refuse lending money to people.
- “Pasensya na, madaming gastos.”
- “I’m sorry but I value our friendship.”
- “Madami akong bayarin.”
- “Pasensya na.”
Ever since I started to say no without saying no, I eventually became used to it. In fact, I would consciously remind or ask myself if I am in a position to lend money. This is because I live on a budget.
This new habit has certainly empowered me. Everytime I politely refused, I was in fact saying YES to myself and to my financial well being. At the end of the day, it is just me fending for myself and my daughter.
There are things I wish that were taught in college. One of it is personal finance. I admit that I knew nothing about investments when I started working. All I knew was that I need to save. I have experienced saving when I was young and still studying. My dad encouraged us to save. Whatever we saved, he would double it. I was addicted to saving because of the interest that I would get from my dad.
Finishing college education and working opened a whole new world to me. Real life education started. Yes, I had a job. I did account for where my money went and I tried to save. I started working as a Programmer in one of the software companies in Ortigas Center. I managed to save especially when I rented bed space in Pasig.
I got married and had a family of my own. Due to unfortunate circumstances, I became a single mom by choice. Another unfortunate event happened in my life and I found myself leaving my parents’ house. I found a one-bedroom condominium unit to rent and started raising my daughter all on my own way back in 2008.
Yes, there was child support. It did help. I was lucky I got a stint to become an independent Oracle DBA consultant which allowed me to work from home and earn in US dollars. Full of ambition to give my daughter a good life, I vowed to myself that I had to make it all on my own.
The journey wasn’t smooth. I started reading blogs on personal finance and educated myself. I bought personal finance books and devoured the knowledge I gained from it.
I just did not read these books. I started applying what I learned from it. Slowly, I zeroed out my debt. I finished paying my housing loan back in 2014.
I did not have the time to attend seminars because of the nature of my work. But it did not stop me to learn. I still continuously invest on my knowledge by buying personal finance books and educating myself on best practices.
It has been almost a decade since I left my parents’ house. It was a blessing in disguise. I am still living independently from them as a single mom and raising my daughter all on my own.