Saving is a tall order

(Photo credit:
(Photo credit:
(Photo credit:

When my friend Jomarie and I saw each other for the first time in 10 years, he asked me how much I am making in my job and whether I already have “investments.”

Jomarie is practically 10 years my senior and had already been leading a family of his own when he moved out of our neighborhood.

“No matter what you do or how much money you’ve got, make it a point to set aside something for emergency, or for your retirement,” he said.

Jomarie could sometimes sound a little bit creepy, but he obviously had a point to make: That life is a bitch and then you die, and you die because you’re broke and don’t have a life insurance. And retirement is far from my mind basically because I’m almost just fresh out of college and, at 22, I’m young and energetic and my mindset is that I’m supposed to party.

When once upon a time I finally have managed to set aside, I barely succeeded in keeping my hands off a stash of cash I had saved in months worth of scrimping.

“No. Matter. What. Keep your filthy hands off the goddamn money.” I was drooling over a ’54 convertible and I signed it myself that, if I could skimp hard enough, I would be off to buy the car in two years.

Tell you what, I managed to buy the car in just shy of half a year and still had a sizable spare change I simply could not resist shelling out piecemeal on sundries. In other words, I bought a ’54 convertible matchbox car. It was a matchbox car, but, still, it was a car.

Truth is, financially, I could either be extremely broke or have an imaginary Swiss bank account at my disposal. My cheapskate girlfriend very well knows this and told me (as if I didn’t know already) that if I have the cash to burn, I’d burn it in white heat and dance ‘til kingdom come with who knows whom like merry Indians prancing around the campfire.

Stingy, my girlfriend knows just about every place where things are on sale and she audits every expense she makes as attested to by a bag full of receipts. She said that, if only I could be as “financially literate” and as “madiskarte” as she is, 10 years from now I could have a new flat.

Financial literacy? Is there a school for that?

“As a matter of fact, there is,” she said. So I was informally forced-enrolled to her imaginary Money Matters Institute so that I learn how to handle my paycheck, only that I was obliged to pay her real P1,000 a month. “Tuition,” she said, “talent fee.”

So that’s the diskarte she was talking about and she said that, if anything, “I would save this for you for ‘emergency purposes.’”

About vernonvelasco

I do things like roll around the house singing in front of a moving electric fan, play with the hair curler and flush the toilet bowl over and over. The cutest thing about toilet bowls is that they burp.