March 14, 2018

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“Bakit ka nag-teacher, eh walang yumayaman dyan”

T1: “Taga-Loandon Bridge ka ka ba?” 

T2: “Huh? Bakit naman?”

T1: “Eh, kasi puro ka LOAN dito at LOAN doon”

T2: “Wehh”

These are just some of the few stereotypes or mga nakadikit nang jokes towards us teachers. And will you believe me that one of the reasons of the decline in the enrollment in the School of Education in many universities and colleges is the notion that teachers don’t get rich?

Why did you become a teacher? Was it your dream to become one?

My personal journey of becoming one of the dedicated educators in the Philippines and abroad (wink) didn’t take take a straight path. Instead I took a detour because I was misled by this financial stereotypes towards teachers like us.


Was it my dream to become a teacher

Maybe yes, but I was on denial.

My mom is a retired classroom teacher, so it follows that I’ve been surrounded with teachers as I grow up into adulthood. So, deep inside me, I wanted to be an educator.

But something bothered me…

As I was growing up, I often hear na wala daw yumayamang teacher. And looking at our family as a child, proves that stereotype. We didn’t have the comfort that other students, whose parents’ aren’t teachers, had.

And even when I was in high school, I witnessed how difficult it was to stretch the monthly salary of a teacher by then. I watched how my mom and her co-teachers met-up and altogether marched to the GSIS office to apply for loans.

So when I was about to go to college, I decided to take dentistry.

Unfortunately, my parents told me that we couldn’t afford it. For the fear that I may not have the opportunity to finish college if I insist, I chose to study Computer Science. Way back in 1998, the IT industry was starting to boom.

But then, my desire and joy to teach, being with children, with students, haunted me until I shifted to BEED. And that’s the beginning of my teaching life.

What’s my money story as a teacher

As I started to teach and earn my own money in 2002, I struggled to make ends meet. I started to be the teacher people used to describe – “walang pera and puro utang”.

So, when I had an opportunity to teach in China, I grabbed it immediately, thinking that my financial life will be better.

But that was all just a dream…because…as my salary in China increased, and so did my expenses.

The stereotype “na walang yumayamang teacher” has been inculcated in my mind until it became a reality because of my wrong practices about money.

Then, I realized that there’s something wrong, why I wasn’t able to save any single penny.

Then, my father passed away, nagising ako sa katotohanan na hindi dapat forever ang lack of money.

How did I improve my financial situation

I started to become wiser.

I reviewed how I spent my money and read books and learn how to make it grow.

I started it with just listing the things I usually buy, the things I usually do that I spend money on.

I eliminated the things that aren’t necessary, cut down on my expenses and applied what I’ve been reading about the rule of saving which is separate your savings before you start spending.

I realized that no matter how little your salary is, if you practice to save a little amount of it before starting to spend the rest is worth it.

Is it Really Impossible For Teachers To Be Rich

That’s a BIG FAT LIE. Teachers can be rich even though we are too busy in our classrooms, completing our paper works until midnight at home, and we can start it by shifting our paradigms.

We need to slowly change the way we think of ourselves and the way we think about money.

How am I growing my regular small savings

At first, I thought of starting a business which I started but eventually failed. It was buying and selling goods. It failed because of the lack of experience and most especially lack of time. As a teacher, I spend most of my time at school.

Then, I came across with stock market investing

At first I was skeptical, overwhelmed, kasi parang pang millionaire ang dating. But, I keep reading through, consumed knowledge, attended webinars until I finally got it that teachers can also actually invest in the stock market and we can do it painlessly and worry free.

The good thing about stock market investing is I can do the buying and selling of stocks anytime and anywhere as long as the market is open and that I am connected with the internet.

What’s Your Money Story

Will you also challenge the notion that teachers never get rich or will you continue to live by it?


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