As the eldest, only girl and the breadwinner in the family, it has basically been my life-long responsibility to be careful with money, finances, savings and expenses. Over the years, I have learned which investment works, where to put my savings, how to pay conveniently (and earn cashback, save energy, time and gas in the process!) and other tricks that could help me be wiser with money.
I still have a long way to go to feel absolutely financially comfortable in life but here’s one thing that I’m sure can help all of us in our kuwarta goals: to be champions (and implementers) of financial literacy. Financial literacy is key!
Now you might be thinking – but why is financial literacy crucial? Aren’t we just supposed to save and maybe leave everything up to the bank?
First off, financial literacy is not just an individual responsibility. It is OUR responsibility. Here’s a sad fact: In one of the surveys conducted by S&P, an international credit rating agency, they found out that only 25 percent of adult Filipinos are literate on the basics of finance. But we can change that, can’t we? Again, financial literacy should be OUR responsibility.
I’m sure there are lots of advantages when we become adept with financial literacy but let me break down 3:
- Financial literacy helps people make informed financial decisions. We learn, understand and value the power budgeting, saving, investing, and managing debt. When we know more about these concepts of finance, we can then make better decisions that can help us achieve our kuwarta goals. Financial literacy helps us build a culture of savings! Let’s stop that “may pera ngayon, puwede na itong gastusin agad” thinking. Please save for rainy days!
- Financial literacy helps us recognize and avoid frauds and scams. When we are more equipped with knowledge, we know how to avoid becoming preys to unscrupulous individuals and offers. We can also help our loved ones, too!
- Financial literacy helps promote entrepreneurship and economic growth. When we know how and where to access financial services that can help kickstart our businesses, we can also help create jobs and improve our quality of life.
So exactly how do we start our financial literacy journey?
Here’s a tried-and-tested approach: to wisely choose a financial institution like BDO that champions not only education but technology, accessibility and innovation as well.
Ever since BDO introduced their Cash Agad service which allows clients to withdraw up to Php 10,000 and do balance inquiries (with no service fee, mind you) in far flung areas or in areas where there are no ATM machines (there are many of these here in Mindanao), I have become extra curious with their many ways to help bridge the gap.
Here are just a few of my favorite BDO resources:
Secure website and app
First off, I like that BDO has a secure website where you can do digital banking and find out more information about their many other services. Their app is also available on both iOS and Google Play stores. This means convenience especially when you’re on the go. For stock trading aficionados, they have also made online trading easier with BDO Securities. On top of the speedy 5-minute onboarding process, investors can perform real-time funding and withdrawals.
Thousands of ATMs and branches
BDO does not only have over 1,000 branches and over 4,000 ATM machines across the Philippines but it has acquired rural banks (One Network Bank, for instance). Plus their Cash Agad program has included 10,000 partners to the system – from water refilling stations to sari-sari stores to our suking bigasan, clients can withdraw especially if there’s no ATM machine nearby. Just look for the Cash Agad banner!
BDO Pay allows clients to pay bills, buy goods, pay for services and even transfer money. This is really cool especially since you can even earn cashback, reward points and avail of discounts. And – get this – if you’re a BDO cash cardholder, you can even withdraw at any BDO ATM machine without the need for initial deposit or maintaining balance. Now that’s service!
Hats off to BDO for truly finding ways to help uplift the lives of many Filipinos not only through innovation and technology but via financial literacy, too. Knowledge, combined with secure and accessible world-class services, will be our superpower as we achieve our kuwarta goals.
Mindanaoan is a multi-awarded blogger, content creator, seasoned social media strategist and publicist with undeniably successful track record. 2012 International Visitor Leadership Program (for global leaders) alumnus and O visa grantee (for people with extraordinary skills and who have risen to the top of their field). Avid traveler and a proud relief operations volunteer. Regular resource person for social media, blogging and content creation. Available for work and travel – [email protected]