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Wealth can be yours even if you are an ordinary employee with a minimum salary wage. Colayco says that all you have to do is to “Pay Yourself First,” the first commandment in his book, Wealth within Reach.

Branded clothes, high-end gadgets and other premium items are forever tempting us to loosen our purse strings. We see them everywhere—on television, the internet, and on people we look up to. But the truth is, having these items are not the true measure of wealth.

Aside from being a well-known financial expert, Francisco J. Colayco is Chairman of the Colayco Foundation for Education and has published numerous books on investment and financial planning. He advocates that the accumulation of wealth is a daily commitment that can be taken on by Filipinos from all walks of life.

His financial recommendations can be succinctly stated into three main points:

Tip #1: Start small, save big.

To build your wealth, follow the 80/20 formula. This means living within 80% of your income while 20% will go directly to savings. That’s Income – Savings = Expenses.

To grow your savings, it pays to research on the various investment schemes so your money can grow at a higher rate than the inflation. Colayco adds that Mutual Funds are a good option to jumpstart your investments.

Tip #2: Learn to differentiate needs from wants.
So you won’t overspend your monthly budget, there are ways to minimize expenses and maximize savings.

Once you have set aside your savings, live within the amount of the money left for spending. Understand the difference between your needs and wants. Remember that your spending budget should only be for needs. The amount saved after covering your needs may be used for occasional wants or better yet, added to your savings.

Don’t fall into the trap of having to keep up with your peers with the latest gadgets and wardrobe. It is only you who has the greatest ability to grow your money.

Ponder this: If you saved P33 a day in your 20s and invested it wisely, by the time you’re 40, you would have billions!

Tip # 3: You’re never too young to be financially stable.

Being financially stable may not be an immediate goal for a twenty-something employee. But wealth can be enjoyed earlier if accumulated earlier.

First off, make your Personal Financial Plan by drafting your Statement of Assets and Liabilities and your Projected Income-Savings-Expenses.

Know your financial goals at the different stages of life. Set a specific amount to be accumulated for a specific time frame for a particular purpose. Are you saving for a car? When do you plan to buy it? How much will you need?

Earn both active and passive incomes. Active incomes are those that you earn from your work while passive incomes come from your investments. Colayco suggests using passive incomes for your wants.

Following all these tips may be a challenge, but so is everything worth doing. Wealth may not come easy, but with discipline, you will find that Colayco’s nuggets of financial wisdom are literally worth more than a million.