As per Wikipedia, a millionaire is “an individual whose net worth or wealth is equal to or exceeds one million units of currency.” Because I only started getting really serious about my finances in 2013, I only began keeping tabs of my net worth the year after that. You see, I’m a government employee and we, in government service, are required to submit our SAL-N annually. Prior to 2013, though, I was not minding the numbers there. I knew I was making some money from my job but the net amount (assets minus liabilities) I didn’t care much about.
To be very honest, I was able to reach the one-million mark only in 2015 at age 32. But, it should be noted for transparency purposes, that I started working formally as a civil servant in 2005 and that this figure included my GSIS and Provident Fund shares already (which I could only claim once I resign or retire from government service!). I have recently reviewed the hubby’s SAL-N submissions and found out he became a millionaire earlier than I did…how fortunate for someone who’s not so keen about his finances! In fairness to him, though, he became a government employee in 2003 and he’s four years older than me. He also religiously pays his mortgage loans so he’s able to build his non-liquid assets without his fully knowing about it.
Back to the time when I gained my first million with mostly “untouchable” assets (read: GSIS and Provident Fund shares), I felt giddy and proud but I was not bold enough to share it on this blog for fear that I would be labeled as boastful or too ambitious for my own good. Obviously, it’s out in the open now so feel free to judge me (and I will understand). With a considerable portion of this blog dedicated to personal finance, I thought sharing more about my financial state while encouraging the exchange of thoughts and experiences on finance-related topics such as this was a great idea.
Actually, aside from thinking about what it is like to be called a millionaire, I wrote this post because I wanted to send a message to my fellow Filipinos that becoming a millionaire is doable, regardless of your economic condition at present. As they say, it’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep. It’s really up to you if you want to secure your financial future or let your bad money habits lead you to a life of despair and misery.
Personally, after securing my first million, I feel like I am still starting on my FI journey and I still have a lot of saving up to do to increase my net worth further. And just because I can now be called a millionaire doesn’t mean I have to maintain a certain lifestyle. I am still the simple Edel who happens to be working hard to have a better life and achieve financial freedom when the right time comes.
Looking at the individual net worth of anonymous personal finance bloggers here in the Philippines who share the improvements on their wealth regularly on their blogs has made me more inspired to manage my finances well. Most of these millionaires belong to the same age group (early 30’s) as I do. Some are just in their late 20’s pa nga! Isn’t it awesome? Isn’t it a good sign? It affirms the fact that more and more young people (they call themselves “millennials” nowadays!) are taking control of their finances and their future which could have a positive impact to our economy and to our society in general in the long run.
So, what is it like to be a millionaire? You may be a millionaire yourself and you just haven’t added up your numbers yet to confirm it. You may be a millionaire yourself and is just playing coy about it. Ask me and I will tell you without batting an eyelash that I feel just the same. I see it more as a motivation to do better. I am wondering myself how these millionaires feel about themselves, especially those that are liquid enough to have millions (the more s, the better, haha) sitting in their bank accounts. It must be liberating and requires prudence and mindfulness at the same time. Liberating because unlike the majority of the population, you now have more choices and more means to live a better life. And because money loses its value over time, you need to be prudent and mindful of your financial situation. You know you have to be smart in managing your finances to make sure your net worth is going up (remember, there’s no other way but up!).
Being a millionaire is a responsibility in itself. It gives you something to be proud of and happy about and at the same time, it requires you to be more hardworking and disciplined than ever. It gives you peace of mind and at the same time, it inspires you to be a better person, not just financially but also emotionally and spiritually because when you have money, you can do more good things for yourself, for your family, and for other people, too.
Are you ready to admit to the world that you’re also a millionaire? How does it feel? Go ahead and comment away to let me know about it! 🙂
May you choose happiness always,