Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Invisible Class

Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all enrolled in one huge classroom called 'the world' and we are all students of 'life'.

The young professional standing next to you waiting for the bus might be a 'classmate' learning how to commute around the city. On the other hand, the old lady vendor on the sidewalk who you discovered was able to send all her five kids to school because of small business may turn out to be your 'teacher'.

Not everything an individual knows is learned within the four walls of a classroom. Formal education offers only a partial view through the window of learning.

Geometry, Algebra, Trigonometry and Accounting are all good subjects involving numbers. In school, my classmates and I were taught how to compute whole numbers and decimals, solve mathematical problems, and analyze financial statements. However, we were never taught the practical hows and whys when it came to managing the coins and bills in our wallets or pockets.

I first learned the concept of money at home. Mom and Dad taught me the value of money and the importance of handling it well. They are good stewards of their finances and I consider them as role models.

My big break in actual, hands-on experience managing huge amounts of money was when I became the finance director (a.k.a. treasurer) of one of my college organizations, the UST Psychology Society. It was really serious business - a tremendous leap from budgeting just my allowance. I had to collect money by certain deadlines, allocate them in certain funds for different organization programs, file all receipts, record all transactions, and submit monthly financial statements to the dean's office. It was somewhat of a shock during my first few weeks in office because the Society had more or less a thousand members and, more importantly, I had other extracurricular activities and responsibilities as a student.

The challenges I went through during college definitely paid off because I have learned very valuable lessons that I know I wouldn't have learned elsewhere. I also knew that all of those were in preparation for other greater things after graduation.

From August to November of 2008, I attended Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University through The Bridge Church in Venice, Florida. FPU is "is a life-changing program that teaches you how to make the right decisions with your money." In the FPU classes, I learned more about how the financial system works. I gained more knowledge about cash flow planning, debt reduction, investments, savings, insurance, tithing, wealth building and much more. In FPU, truly "you'll be empowered with the practical skills and confidence needed to achieve your financial goals and experience true financial peace!"

Of course, everything is useless until they are applied in one's life.

Recently, one of my friends, a financial planner, invited me to a financial wake-up call seminar under the International Marketing Group (IMG), the company he works for.

International Marketing Group is one of the few companies of its kind in the industry today - a marketing company that is dedicated to serving the financial needs of individuals and families from all walks of life.
International Marketing Group's independent associates do not just work with clients who have large amounts of discretionary income - instead they work with everyday people helping them make critical financial decisions that help move them from where they are to where they want to be.
International Marketing Group is one of the biggest and fastest growing financial distribution companies in the US, Canada, Taiwan, Hongkong, Philippines and going worldwide.

What I like most about the seminar is that everything is within the Filipino context. Lifestyles here and abroad are different; taking context into consideration is very important. Nevertheless, sound financial CONCEPTS and PERSPECTIVES are evidently universal and I realized that by the end of the first lecture.

Here are some simple lessons that many people often forget:

1. Do not spend more than you earn.
2. Save first before you spend.
3. It is in giving that we receive.
4. "The borrower is servant to the lender." - Proverbs 22:7
5. "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;" - Matthew 6:19
6. "The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein." - Psalms 24:1

Understanding why you are here is the most important first step. We still have much to learn but knowing that we are here to know God, love God, and serve God - the rest will surely follow.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your thoughts. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...