Investing in Philippines: Ways To Be Debt-Free: You Cannot Give What You Don't Have


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ways To Be Debt-Free: You Cannot Give What You Don't Have

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These words have been one of my guiding posts in my life.

Kinda confused? Let me explain why this will help you in becoming debt-free.

Let me tell you a story (This is a true story but I have to make changes to make anonymity)

Once upon a time a friend complained why her daughter’s Catholic school always has this fund raising event for example to repaint the school or to add funds to the schools endowment fund. She argues that she pays the school tuition and other bunch of school fees which should cover all the school's operation. I told her that she is right.

Then why does the school board has to make such fund raising (because every parent is force to chunk out additional fund if they are not able to sell all the tickets etc.)? This is kinda true. Well I told her that if she can afford and generous why not. She says that she can but how about those who can't and are force to do because their child is in that school.

Again I do agree with her.

And since we are discussing some issue with a Catholic school, she questions if such act is in the commandments of God or in the Bible. To that I don't have all the answers. But I remembered this words and it does answer her question.

You cannot give what you don't have.

Very true.

If you look at it is in a negative. If you are a fan of "The Secret" you would remember that negative thoughts attract negative thoughts compounding the negativity. But why would a negative phrase be useful in making you debt-free?

I remember my Logic class in college. My brilliant professor asks us to go in the board and solve some of the syllogism in our textbooks. One rule in logic is that you won’t arrive at a conclusion from two negative premises but for the sake of logic it so happens that a syllogism with two negative premises was the one I was assigned. All my classmates were looking at me if I can pull this out (by the way not to brag I have a grade of 1.25 in Logic in which 1 being the highest).

I did look hard to solve the riddle, ran possible combinations in the back of my mind to figure out something from nothing. And then it came to me. I covered the "not" words in the premises and I came out with an answer. My brilliant professor nodded.

Now if we apply the same to the one we have it will run like this:


But I still go back to the negative, the positive will actually bring you to another topic but equally rightful.

So why does "YOU CANNOT GIVE WHAT YOU DON'T HAVE" help you to become debt-free?

If you look at most cultures it is normal for us to help out our family members. In the book "The Millionaire Next Door" it is always mentioned how parents would still help adult children who are with a good job in helping out in their expenses by giving money from time to time and if you are a fan of Eugenio Isabelo Tomas Reyes Sanchez Jr. more popularly known as Bro. Bo Sanchez you would read in his book "My Maids Invest in the Stock Market" that his "katulong" or house helper/maids sent their wages and sometimes even advance next month's wage in order to help out family members in the province.

People who earns becomes as the TV show, Seventh Heaven, Bank of Simon. If you are the bread winner of the family and if your family or your entire clan can depend on you they become lazy and always go to you for help. On your part you keep on giving thinking it is the right thing to do. But it should not be the case. 

If the people you love keeps on depending on you, they won't be able to develop self worth because they would always say they are just this or that and not worry about it because you are there to save them. In the end you are abused and eventually be buried in debt only to satisfy your love one's wants. Just like Bro. Bo's maids before they invested in the stock market you will “advance" by making a loan.

That is why you should stick to these words:


At times we can't seem to do it because we are ashamed or don't want to be called names or we don't want somebody who referred you be ashamed. You have to be truthful not only to these love ones of yours but also to yourself. You got to accept it yourself that you don't have money to give.

As they say the truth will set you free. As I have already mentioned in the Ways to be debt-free series the very first step to free oneself from debt is to accept that you are indeed buried in debt. Accept this fact or reality; don't deny it and don't be in denial mode by telling yourself that you can always use your credit card or making a loan to buy things now and pay for it later. Always remember that borrowed money makes you the slave of the lender.

So free yourself. You got to accept your limit. You got to tell yourself and the people you love that ask for money that you have none and that you yourself are in debt. It will be very painful to hear the harsh words from the very same people you have been helping out. They will call you names; brand you miser and selfish; and ostracized you. But it is the only way.

Again remember these words:

P.S.  Just to clarify. I have another upcoming post about the reverse of this negative phrase as I have told you which is itself equally powerful that is TO GIVE WHAT YOU HAVE because you have in your possession something that is more valuable than money like love, care, time, and a lot more.


allan said...

I like your points Louis.

As someone who have worked closely with Filipino Overseas Workers, I have seen quite a lot of dependency of beneficiaries in the Philippines on their relative working abroad.

It's really a pity.

The relatives here don't value the sacrifices that their breadwinner have to make just to support them. And once the come back, the money is all gone.

It's really about taking personal responsibility and NOT allowing your relatives to take advantage of you. You are not really helping them by answering their beck and call. One must set limits. It's the only way people appreciate what they have.

Investing in Philippines said...

Very true Allan. It is so sad to hear stories of OFW like the one I read froma forum where he work for nearly 5 years in KSA I think and since he is not yet married he sent his hard earned money to his siblings. When he finally returned and since he has no house of he has to stay with one of his siblings. For sometime he didn't have a job and his sibling started to complain but what can he do if he has become unemployable.

I hope Pinoys would truly be wiser in handling money.

Khoa said...

Great Post Louis! Truth is truth. The sooner you accept you are in debt the faster you can make changes instead of pretending everything is fine. There needs to be more financial education for Pinoys out there, it's great to see your sharing your wisdom and helping. Keep up the great work Louis.

Investing in Philippines said...

Thanks Khoa!! Yes we Pinoys need more financial education. There are those who are doing these already and I am there to support it and help out.