Financial Wellness

6 Types Of Savings We Recommend You Should Have

We all know that it’s important to save money for the future. Surprisingly, the easiest way to accomplish this is to actually split up your savings into different accounts instead of just maintaining a single one. 

“By opening multiple savings accounts, it becomes easier for you to identify financial goals and make sure you are on track to achieving them,” says Mariel Bitanga, financial advisor and founder of Simply Finance, a boutique financial planning firm committed to empowering Filipinos. 

While managing more than one account may seem time-consuming, Mariel assures that the benefits outweigh the extra work required. Splitting up your money into different categories makes you more aware of where your salary is going. “When you know what’s happening to your money, you make better purchasing decisions and can adjust your financial goals accordingly.” 

Mariel adds that people now have the benefit of living in the Digital Age. “Opening a bank account is much easier to do now than before,” she explains. “There are so many digital banks now where you can open an account online without even having to talk to anyone. Most banks even have a feature where you can open sub-accounts under one account, so you can manage your money conveniently.”

Small earnings should not be a deterrent either; you can still split up your savings. “Put in small amounts here and there just to get started,” Mariel advises. “When your money is small, it’s easier for you to keep track of them and manage them; the key is to build the habit so that when you have more money, you’re still able to budget wisely.” 

When your financial life becomes more organized, you will become less anxious about your personal finances, make better money decisions, and enjoy better health.

“When you know what’s happening to your money, you make better purchasing decisions and can adjust your financial goals accordingly.” 

Mariel Bitanga, Financial Advisor and Founder of Simply Finance

Types of savings

There is no hard rule about how many accounts a person should have. “It depends on your personal situation, so always reflect on what’s suitable for your lifestyle and what you want to achieve,” Mariel points out. That being said, here are the six types of savings that she recommends:

  1. Emergency fund

As the name suggests, you only touch this money when a true emergency arises, such as job losses or other disasters that you need a lot of money to cover like major home repairs, car repairs, or even pet-related emergencies.

If you have dipped into your emergency fund because of the COVID-19 pandemic and do not have the income to replenish it yet, it may be time to think of ways to cover the loss. “Consider other ways you can make more money, such as taking on a second job or starting a side business, so that you do not deplete your emergency fund,” Mariel advises. 

  1. Retirement fund

This ensures that you will still have enough money to pay for your bills and expenses when you are no longer working. Start putting money into this fund even when you are still young; the earlier you start, the more opportunities you will have to grow those savings through investments. Consult a financial advisor on what opportunities are available for you.

  1.  Personal savings for day to day and regular expenses
    Since you can’t touch your emergency or retirement funds, this is where you should get your cash for your food, utility bills, and other essentials. 

As with the other types of savings on this list, the amount you should have in your personal savings depends on your lifestyle and needs. You can calculate this by adding up your monthly contribution to your retirement and emergency fund, and then subtracting these from your income. From what remains, make a commitment to set aside a reasonable amount that still allows you to have enough to meet your daily expenses. 

  1. Expenses for short-term goals

This is for expenses that require you to save up a little more than usual before you can spend them, such as a wedding, a downpayment for a car or gadget, or a vacation. 

  1. Hospital and medical expenses

This is money intended to cover a medical emergency, specifically something that might not be covered by health insurance. Even if you are young and at the peak of health, it would be wise to start setting aside money for this fund now. “We need to approach things responsibly especially now that we are in a pandemic,” Mariel says. “As human beings, it is inevitable that we or our loved ones will encounter medical emergencies or expenses at some point in our lives, so the smart thing to do is to have money set aside to cover those because they are really one of the first things that can deplete our investments and savings.”

  1. Optional: A fund for hobbies and other “wants.”
    “Wants” are defined as things that you buy for fun or leisure; you could live without them, but you enjoy your life more when you have them. These include expenses such as collectibles, games, or beauty treatments. If you see that you regularly spend a considerable amount on these items, consider setting aside money to exclusively fund these so you still spend with care.

How to get started

This is definitely not an exhaustive list of all the types of savings accounts that you could set up, but it is a great starting point. When you are ready, Mariel suggests that you start by making a list of all the categories mentioned above, as well as other categories that you think you need to budget for. After that, check all your current bank accounts and tally them up so see how much money you have to start with. Finally, start allocating to the various funds. Financial advisors can also help in this regard. 

For those still feeling unsure and overwhelmed, MindNation WellBeing Coaches are also available 24/7 to help you build better money habits.  Book a session now through or email [email protected].

Financial Wellness

6 Ways To Help Someone Struggling Financially During The Pandemic

Money concerns are one of the main causes of stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the results of a 2020 Pulse Survey conducted among 6,085 employees by MindNation’s Consumer Insights Team, nearly half (46%) of respondents listed financial pressures as their source of mental health problems. 

“Financial security is really uncertain right now,” says Mariel Bitanga, a financial planner and founder of Simply Finance, a boutique financial planning firm committed to empowering Filipino women. “So many have been retrenched or furloughed, and even those who are lucky enough to still be employed are always worrying that their company will go under at any moment.” 

This constant threat of ongoing debt or insufficient income can result in feelings of loss of control, anxiety, and other mental health challenges. If you are in a position to ease the financial stress of a loved one, know that even the smallest acts of care can make a difference. Mariel suggests the following simple and concrete ways you can support someone who is struggling with money:

  1. Offer emotional support. Start by simply reaching out to let them know that you’ll be there for them in any way you can. “This lets the person know that they are not alone and eases their anxiety,” says Mariel. 

    Also, because people tend to anchor their identities and self-worth with their work and income, emphasize to your loved ones that they are cherished and valuable no matter what. Remind them of their core strengths and highlight the small things they do each day to contribute to their family and the community. 
  1. Help them come up with a money-making gameplan. “Sit down with them and brainstorm ways they can earn extra money or manage their existing finances,” Mariel suggests.
  2. Utilize your connections. If you have another friend whose business is stable or thriving, ask if they have job openings, or if they would be willing to hire your friend on a freelance basis. “But if you’re unsure about the financial state of your friend’s business, best not to bring it up,” cautions Mariel.
  3. For those who have put up businesses, support them through social media. This past year has seen many people turning to home-based side businesses to augment their income. While the pressure to buy their products can be strong, Mariel assures that there are other ways to show support. “One of the most powerful ways you can help their business grow is to spread the word on social media. Be deliberate in tagging them on online marketplaces, sharing their posts, and leaving glowing reviews,” Mariel says. “Doing these won’t even cost you anything.”  

    In the event that you disagree with your friend’s business plan (i.e. you feel the product is too expensive), be careful in voicing your opinion. “Just express it subtly, like ‘Hey, I saw another person selling the same thing as you but at a lower price, and it’s doing very well; maybe you can try doing the same?’” advises Mariel. “Always make sure that feedback is constructive, not solely critical.”

“One of the most powerful ways you can help their business grow is to spread the word on social media. Be deliberate in tagging them on online marketplaces, sharing their posts, and leaving glowing reviews,”

Mariel Bitanga, SimplyFinance (on supporting your loved one’s business for free)
  1. Help them find local resources. “Good financial planners don’t just help with money management, we can also sit down with them and strategize how to earn extra money,” explains Mariel. 

    When choosing a financial planner, make sure they have legitimate credentials and offer a holistic program. This means that instead of just focusing on a specific area of a person’s finances (i.e. insurance or investments), the financial planner considers all aspects of the client’s personal circumstances and financial position to identify the actions that need to be taken to meet their goals for the future. 

    Finally, Mariel adds that there is also a wealth of credible and free financial planning resources available online. She recommends the following:
  • Chinkee Tan’s “Chink Positive” (available on YouTube and Spotify) 
  • Thea Sy Bautista (available on YouTube)
  • Marvin Germo (available on YouTube)
  • Vince Rapisura (available on YouTube)
  • Simply Finance TV (available on YouTube)
  1. As a last resort, you may offer a cash gift or loan — but tread lightly. Only offer to lend or give money if you have a close relationship with the other person. “Otherwise, you risk hurting their pride or making them feel beholden to you,” explains Mariel. 

    When you do decide to offer financial assistance, do so without expectations of repayment. “When you put conditions on your assistance, you put an additional burden on the other person. So make sure your offer is an amount that you are comfortable letting go of,” Mariel advises. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic showing no signs of slowing down, your loved ones may truly need your financial assistance. Before you commit to helping, be sure to think through what you can and can’t afford to do. Remember that if your own resources are limited, there are meaningful, effective, and creative ways to help others.

If someone you know needs help managing their financial worries, MindNation’s WellBeing Coaches are available 24/7 for teletherapy sessions in the PH and in the Middle East and North Africa Region. Book a slot now on FB Messenger or email [email protected].