How to Gain Financial Independence in the Philippines

Cash on hand
March 25, 2023

If we want to achieve financial freedom, we need to have a solid plan and discipline. And most of all, we know how to execute our plan to make it happen. Here are some things we can do to be financially free.

Many people know that the Philippines is a third-world country and people here can find it extremely difficult to attain financial independence. If you don't have a strategy in life or surprises come up, you can find yourself drowning in debt.

No matter which country you are in, if you don't have a plan and a good financial in life, you may look back one day and wonder where all your money went.

I have observed that the key to financial independence is having the right mindset. I hear a lot from people who say that their life is difficult because they are in a poor country, or that their life is difficult because the government is corrupt.

People also say that their life is difficult because their parents did not support them, but the truth is that they do not really have a strategy for life. People need to take ownership of their lives and not blame others for whatever misfortunes come. 

Growing up, I always heard this from my parents' friends and various people I met, "Why would you need wealth if you can't bring it to the afterlife?" If you have this mindset, expect to work until you can barely walk. Expect that every time someone in your family gets sick, you will be in big debt.

When a storm comes, you can't be reassured because you don't know where to get food since you may not have the money or means to do so. 

Is that the same mindset you have now? If yes, you should work to change it. You can also consider these tips on how you can gain financial independence in the Philippines or anywhere in the world.

1) Avoid High-Interest Loans

If you have a loan with high interest, I advise you to pay it off immediately if possible because that will sink you and it will be difficult for you to pay it off, unless you have a business that gets you the payment.

Here in the Philippines, what is called 'lending' is very common. These are the companies that can lend a small amount but the interest is high. People like it because there aren't many requirements like in the bank.

The program of these companies is good because they help small entrepreneurs, like sari-sari stores. But because of the ease of borrowing money, even people who don't have a business or a job can get into debt.

But when it comes to paying the debt, they can't pay it because they have no income and what happens is they borrow money everywhere to pay the interest on their debt and that's when their problem starts because their debts will pile up and they will be in trouble.

I know some people who borrowed from lending and have no repayments. And because sometimes the sales at the store were slow or the income was low, he sold almost all of his appliances just to pay his interest.

We can borrow money but we must have a plan. We should not borrow because we just want to or because we just want to buy something. Most people, even if their lives are not that rich, they want to follow the trend which is not good if you really want to progress financially.

Because of the trend and our desire to appear rich, we are drowning in debt without realizing it. So don't be trendy. Let's try to live or spend according to the budget we have.

2) Work Hard and Don’t Rely on Luck 

Many people want to get rich but the funny thing is they don't do anything to achieve it. Your retirement plan can’t just be banking on the lottery. If we want to progress we have to work hard in life. We need to learn different skills to use when needed and not just rely on the skills we already have.

As others say, “You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone, change begins at the end of your comfort zone”.

Work smart! That's why I'm saying that you should learn new skills if you have access because instead of working in the fields where the salary is only 350 for 8 hours, you can work in call centers.

The salary is higher and you’ll be able to save more for the future. You can work to be a Virtual assistant like me. You can be a freelancer. You can be a driver and many other jobs that are lighter but pay more. I don't look down on farmers, but from my observation, almost all farmers here in the Philippines are poor and in debt.

They are not like farmers in other countries who are respected or quite well off. So why waste your time on something you won't make progress on?

Bill gates once said, “If you are born poor, it's not your fault but if you die poor it's your fault'. So, if you get old and you're still poor, don't blame others. Don't say that because our country is poor that's why I'm suffering. Don’t say because the government is corrupt, I am poor.

Don’t say I'm poor because my parents didn't teach me. Remember that there are many millionaires who didn't finish school, and their stories of how they worked hard to achieve where they are inspiring. You can do something similar. Just work to be a little better each and every day.

3) Start Your Own Business

Others say, 'if you don't make money while you are sleeping, you're going to work all your life'. Will you work for other people all your life or will you create a business that you can grow and help other people through it?

While it’s not easy, starting and growing a business is one of the best ways to achieve financial independence. There are many businesses we can enter here in the Philippines. It's really up to us how to start and grow it.

This year my partner and I started our little trucking business. We partnered with Shoppee and it was really difficult to get started, especially when it comes to applying and handling documents.

But with the grace of God, we have already started and we have started making money here even if it's just a small amount. One of my favorite sayings says, 'profit is still sweeter no matter how small it is than your salary for working for other people’.

truck for passive income business
Here's our truck that we use for our side delivery business.

That's so true. We hired a driver for our business so that even though I'm not the one working there, I can still earn while doing other things. My wife and I are thinking of expanding the business next year and we are excited for it because we don't have to work in this business but we have some income from it.

Passive income is what you need if you don't want to work all your life. If you want to be rich, start thinking like rich people. Now think about what steps you will take. You just need to learn how to start and grow it. Starting is the hardest part. 

In life we just need a goal with a plan to execute it. Dream big, aim high. Jump out of your comfort zone and do things that you have never tried before. I know that when we have these qualities we can achieve financial freedom with God's help.