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They were like this then, they’re still like this now! Will they ever change?
Do you know someone whose life hasn’t changed in the past years? Their lives are still the same compared to many years ago. The same things keep on happening and nothing changes! What mistakes have they done for them to be in the same situation for many years?
I lived in Tondo for around 23 years. We had a lot of neighbors and I was always at a neighbor’s house. We used to have this neighbor who caught my attention.
Let’s call them Mr. and Mrs. Jose. They had four kids. Mr. Jose had a steady job, in fact he was earning more than the common employee. He worked as a supervisor in a big company.
They didn’t look like they spend a lot. They had common household appliances such as TV, refrigerator, washing machine, etc. Yet they were drowning in debt. Mrs. Jose owed money from several people, not just one. Sometimes she hid in our house when people visited their house to collect the money they borrowed. There were times when their electricity and water lines got cut off. When Christmas season came, they barely had enough because their loans had been deducted from their bonus. Even Mr. Jose’s ATM card was pawned several times.
Why was their situation like this? Mrs. Jose was buried in debt left and right. She even went as far as borrowing from loan sharks also known as 5-6 and the “bombays.”
I didn’t see any change in their situation with each passing year. Even now, they’re still buried in debt. That’s why I had to ask, “What did this couple do wrong? Will they still be like this tomorrow? How will they get out of this situation? How can we help them?”
I made an analysis based on what I know, and this is what I found out.
1. What is Mrs. Jose’s problem?
What I noticed is that Mrs. Jose has no self-control. She likes buying things that aren’t so important (e.g. beautiful curtains or items on sale). She keeps on buying jewelry even if it doesn’t fit her budget.
Then she ends up getting everything on loan. These are the things that left her in debt. Her expenses were mostly WANTS and not NEEDS.
Know your PRIORITY in life. Focus on the NEEDS and not the WANTS. Look away from the material things that you want but don’t really need. Learn to keep a portion of your spouse’s salary for more important things.
2. In your opinion, is Mr. Jose also at fault in this situation?
Mr. Jose was not firm. If he knew that Mrs. Jose had self-control and discipline problems, why did he let her spend so much? There are two kinds of sins in life: The sin of COMMISSION and the sin of OMISSION. Commission is something that you did. Omission is something that you should have done, but didn’t.
Mr. Jose is a kind husband. So kind, in fact, that he follows and says yes to everything his wife says. However, this kindness and his unwillingness to say something was a big mistake. Mr. Jose was earning more than enough for their needs, yet they still ended up in debt.
Mr. Jose has to make a choice and be firm about it. The question is, “Should Mr. Jose do something about the problem or should he leave his wife alone?”
Mothers are called the light of the household while fathers are the pillars. Men should be take a stand and be firm about their decisions. God ordained men to lead women. When it comes to making choices, men should listen and respect the opinions of their wives, and then make the final decision.
Should men get the final say all the time? Of course not. Not all the time. The final decision in any situation is whatever the right, logical, and rational option is.
Should you even argue about buying a new television if it means loaning money again just to get it? How about getting that vacation using a credit card because you don’t have money on hand to pay? Will you still buy your relative a gift even if you have to borrow cash first?
I hope you understand. This is not an issue of gender or male machismo. This is an issue of what is right and wrong, as simple as that.
I hope you learned something from this couple’s story. Let us not repeat the mistakes of other people.
THINK. REFLECT. APPLY.
Have you also lost control and self-discipline in your financial life? Have you allowed yourself to be in debt? Will you change your lifestyle of loaning money? (Chinkee Tan)