7 Bad Money Habits That Pinoys Must Stop Doing

Updated: April 29, 2022

What you believe controls your thoughts, which then dictates your actions. And having unhealthy beliefs about money will definitely lead to bad financial habits.

Below are seven money mindsets that a lot of Filipinos have. And among the major reasons why a they’re financially poor.

Check yourself against them. Take action on eliminating and then replacing them with better and smarter money habits.

1. One Day Millionaire

When one has worked so hard to earn money, it’s easy to believe that they deserve a reward when their salary finally comes.

It’s not wrong to think this way. In fact, it’s okay to treat yourself once in a while. However, this often becomes a dangerous belief when one spends more than what they can afford.

2.Splurging on Pasalubong

This is common for OFWs — spending extravagant amounts on pasalubong whenever they come home. It’s mostly their guilt that’s making them do it, because they’re trying to make up for their absence.

Your presence is the best pasalubong you can give your loved ones, and what matters most to them is fulfilling your promise that you’ll come home for good soon. So work on that instead, and save your money.

Moreover, it’s not your obligation to bring home pasalubong or to treat the whole town and all your relatives when you’re back, so don’t. Never mind if they think you’re “kuripot” or “madamot”. Your loved ones are your priority, not them.

3. Celebration Mentality

Pinoys love having parties. From birthdays to town fiestas, from baptism to graduation — Filipinos believe that these occasions require lavish celebrations.

While these are meaningful moments, their significance won’t diminish if you choose to just have a simple celebration. Spending the day with your loved ones during these times is more important than the size of the party and the number of guests you have.

4. Spending Future Income Today

One of the reasons why a lot of Pinoys live from paycheck to paycheck is because they spend their salaries even before they receive it. Worse, they borrow money or use their credit cards, to spend on mostly unnecessary things.

They buy on impulse or spend on travel, believing that it’s okay because their salary is coming in a few days anyway. However, repeat this several times without proper budgeting, and they’ll soon find themselves deep in credit card debts.

5. Keeping Up With Friends and Trends

In general, we all want acceptance and that sense of belonging. Unfortunately, this can lead to unhealthy financial habits when we begin to think that we need to keep up if we want to maintain our friendships.

True friends will never judge nor take it against you if you’re not as financially capable as them. And they will never pressure you into spending on non-essential things. They’ll accept you for who you are, including your financial capacity.

If your friends make you feel unwelcome or less of a person if you can’t keep up with them, then it’s time for you to find a new set of friends.

6. I’m Poor in Math

“Hindi ako magaling sa Math” is a popular sentiment among Pinoys. I’ve heard it often, especially when I try to explain budgeting and investing to someone.

When it comes to personal finance, it’s a popular belief that you need to be good in Math to create and follow a budget. That you need to understand Economics to be able to invest successfully.

The truth is far from it. Just give it a little effort to understand, and avoid immediately dismissing such topics. You’ll discover that all it takes is simple Arithmetic and basic knowledge about money.

And just because you are not good in Math, Economics, or in any other financial subjects — it doesn’t mean you can’t do practical money management strategies.

7. “Okay Naman Kami” Attitude

Sometimes, when I try to encourage people to invest, I am met with a response that they don’t really want to because they’re doing good financially anyway.

“Hindi ko naman pinangarap yumaman. Basta nakakakain kami ng tatlong beses isang araw, okay na.”

That’s the line I would normally hear from them. Unfortunately, this belief comes from the misconception that investing is just for people who wants to become rich.

The truth is, investing is for everyone who wants to have financial security in the future. It’s not about accumulating a lot of wealth. Rather, it’s making sure that you will always have enough to live comfortably.

Anything you’d like to add to the list? Share them below in the comments section. Thanks and please don’t forget to subscribe.

What to do next: Click here to start your financial journey with IMG Wealth Academy


  1. Common in the provinces, generally in the three regions LuzViMin, is the “Abroad” mentality and the “OFW” mentality. This is aside from the seven bad habits mentioned above; and particularly true for those people who grew up in towns or barrio that belong to the economic class C, D, & E society. The parents groom their children that when they go to college they should have a mindset on a course that will give them the opportunity “to work abroad” so they can “earn in dollars”. And when they where able to make it abroad, they buy luxurious “pasalubongs” and a lot of electronic gadgetries that do not accumulate income or investments, just to be able to prove that they really earned enormous dollars. In some of the provinces, you’ll be looked up belonging to a high class of society if a member of a family is outside the country working abroad. Wow! What a mentality!

  2. I also wanted to add the mentality that an employee should file a loan in Pagibig/SSS whenever they have the chance at kahit wala namang importanteng paggagamitan. Kasi according to them its their money anyway and sayang kung hindi nila ito iloan.

  3. Filipinos love to spend lavishly on fiestas, birthdays and other occasions even if it means asking for a loan and then suffer later during the paying period. Well, it’s not bad to celebrate but we just have to make sure that it’s going to just be within our reach or scope of budget and not anymore file for a loan just to have money to be spent for an occasion. It’s good I’ve learned my lesson before I reached my 40’s at least I was still able to save for my future and enjoy a debt free life.

  4. In my 7 1/2 years in the Philippines, I have observed this spending behavior many, many times. It is nice to be able to treat family and friends but I absolutely agree that planning, saving and investing for the future should be everyone’s top priority.

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