Double Duty: Maximizing Savings for the Filipino Sandwich Generation
Picture this: You're in your late 20s or early 40s, and you're caught in the middle of two generations. You have your own kids to take care of, but you're also responsible for your aging parents. Welcome to the Sandwich Generation--a unique position that more and more Filipinos are finding themselves in. Providing for your extended family is already hard. And having savings in the Philippines as part of this generation can get even harder. If this is something you can relate to, we see you. We hear you. We feel you, luv.
We know that it’s incredibly rewarding to give back to our parents who raised us and who did their best to give us the life we enjoy today. It’s also a great way to teach your own children about the importance of family and community.
But let’s be real. Being part of the sandwich generation is hard, especially for our wallets! Many Filipinos who belong to the Sandwich Generation find themselves stretching every peso just to make ends meet. And that’s not something we want you to experience, luv. That’s why in this article, we’re going to share practical tips on how you can start your savings in the Philippines—even as a member of the sandwich generation. Our goal is to help you fulfill their double duty of helping your aging parents and raising your children… all while having enough to lead a happy life.
Defining the Sandwich Generation
Family is the most important thing for most Filipinos. In fact, a 2021 primer released by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) said that "Family" is the be-all-end-all or the primordial purpose of being for Filipinos. It's no secret that Filipino culture revolves around the family. We hold our family dear to our hearts.
But with the so-called Sandwich Generation, fulfilling this value can become a daunting task. It requires a lot of sacrifices, such as putting your own needs and wants on hold to prioritize the needs of your loved ones. It also means making tough decisions and dealing with the challenges that come with aging parents and raising children simultaneously.
Now, to be perfectly clear, being in the Sandwich Generation is not just because of the Filipino family values or the concept of utang na loob. This is also largely due to other factors, such as longer life expectancies and rising healthcare and living expenses.
That being said, it's important to recognize the challenges that come with this role. You see, those who belong in the Sandwich Generation often face financial strain. That’s because they need to balance the cost of caring for both of their children and their parents. This can be especially difficult here in the Philippines, where healthcare costs are high and there is limited support for caregivers.
Super Saving Tips for the Filipino Sandwich Generation
Tip #1: A budget is a must
Creating a budget is the first step to take control of your finances and start your savings in the Philippines. As a member of the Sandwich Generation, it’s important to set aside a specific amount for expenses, such as groceries, bills, and other necessities. By doing this, you can monitor your expenses and see where your money goes. It will help you identify where you need to make adjustments to save money.
Tip #2: Be a smart spender
Being a smart spender is crucial for maximizing your savings. This is especially true when you’re supporting both your parents and children. Thankfully, there are many ways you can do this.
One way to be a smart spender is to look for deals and discounts. Nowadays, online shopping platforms offer plenty of deals, so make sure to take advantage of them. Hunt loyalty offers, too! If you’re buying from a store frequently, ask if they offer a loyalty program that can give you discounts or rewards.
Another great way to save money is by buying in bulk. If you have to, you can join forces with friends or other members of the Sandwich Generation to buy in bulk. By purchasing items together, you can unlock wholesale prices and share the savings. This is especially useful for items like groceries or household items that you know you will use frequently.
But do keep in mind, luv… while saving money is essential, you should still make sure to enjoy your life. Don’t deprive yourself of the little things that bring you joy. Just make sure to strike a balance between saving and enjoying yourself.
Tip #3: Put your savings in the right place
If you’re saving your money, make sure to put it in the right place. As we all know, putting money under your mattress isn't the safest or most efficient way to save. Traditional bank savings isn’t your best bet either. You can opt for high-interest savings offered by online banks, like our Stashes and Time Deposit to help your savings grow faster.
Another important thing to consider is making sure that your children break free from the cycle of being in the Sandwich Generation. You don't want them to be in the same situation as you when they grow older. Consider setting up a college fund or investment plan for them, so they can have a secure future without having to worry about supporting you. Oh, and be sure to save up for your retirement, too!
Tip #4: Increase your income
If it’s hard for you to stash money away for savings, then you might be stretching yourself too thin. There’s only so much that you can save when you have fixed expenses. Explore opportunities for a side hustle or part-time job that aligns with your skills and interests. It can provide an extra source of income to support your financial goals and help you save more. If that’s not an option, then seek a promotion or seek a higher-paying job. With your skills and expertise, I’m sure you can do it, luv!
Tip #5: Involve the whole family
Being the breadwinner for your parents and your children doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. Managing your family’s finances should be a shared responsibility. Make sure your family members know where you stand and encourage open communication when it comes to financial matters. Emphasize the importance of saving and sticking to a budget.
It's also important to involve your children in the discussion. Teach them about financial responsibility, so they can learn the value of money at an early age and help them start their savings in the Philippines.
You are Not Alone
Being in the Sandwich Generation is not an easy task, but there are ways to make it work. By following these tips, you can maximize your savings and provide a better future for yourself, your parents, and your children. Remember, every little bit counts, so start saving now.
- The 'sandwich' generation: adult children of the aging - https://www.jstor.org/stable/23712207
- Utang Na Loob: A System of Contractual Obligation among Tagalogs - https://www.jstor.org/stable/3629045
- A Study on Filipino Values (A Primer) – https://ncca.gov.ph/2021/04/21/filipino-values-primer/