4 Millennial Pinays Get Real About Their Incomes

Read about the lives they can afford.

Whether we admit it or not, money really does make the world go 'round. Don't we all count the days until our next payday? Let's get in the minds of millennials from different industries to hear them talk about their relationship with money. 



Name: Rizzie

Age: 21

Occupation: Assistant Brand Manager

Industry: Retail Industry

Monthly income range: P20,000 - P25,000

Is this your first job? Yes!

How long have you been working? I've been working for around five months.

Do you worry about money? 
Yes, but not excessively. I'm more worried about the transition, about the being able to ask for extra money and "adulting" completely. Part of adulting means making sure I'm never short on cash. 

Do you have an emergency fund? 
Yes! I started one right after getting my first paycheck. So far, I've been able to put aside 20% of every paycheck I've gotten. 

Are you a good saver? If so, what's your #1 saving tip? 
I don't think I can call myself a "good" saver yet, but I'm working on it! My #1 saving tip is to write down your expenses at the end of the day. It really helps when you get a feel of your spending habits—that way you can monitor the items you overspend on, so you can do something about curbing those expenses. Personally, I monitor my expenses using an app called AndroMoney

Do you live alone? Nope! 

If not, do you contribute to your family's household expenses?
I don't contribute to the household expenses, but I've been treating my family a lot (particularly my three siblings since I'm the eldest). Last minute food deliveries and lunch dates are usually on me. 

What does financial independence mean to you?
You achieve financial independence when (1) your income is able to sufficiently support your lifestyle and (2) you have enough to support yourself for a prolonged period of time in the event that your paychecks suddenly stop coming.  

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Think about the industry you’re in and the amount of work that you do. Do you think you’re being compensated fairly? 
Apart from the salary and benefits that come with landing any job, I think fresh grads are more concerned about getting a job in the industry that they want to progress in. It really doesn't matter if the pay is initially unimpressive as long as your first job can pave the way for a promising future in that industry. But considering that most fresh grads get a starting salary of P15,000 to P18,000, I'm pretty happy with my current salary. Also, depending on their performance, it's a policy for people in my division get an increase upon regularization (once they hit the 6-month mark), so I'm looking forward to that. 


Do you feel any pressure to live or spend a certain way?
Not really. As someone involved in brand marketing, it is essential for me to be familiar with A LOT of products. I've gotten to try several new products ever since I started working in retail. Some of them have admittedly won me over—but that has nothing do with feeling pressured.  

What are your financial goals by the time you’re 30?
To be honest, I don't even know where I'll be in three years. I don't want to set fixed goals yet since I'm still so new to the work force. But if there's one thing I'm sure of, it's that I want to be self-reliant before I hit 30. I want to be able to pay my own bills and have my own place. 

Is retirement something you worry about right now? Why or why not?
I don't exactly worry about it since it's not in the near future, but I also know it's never too early to plan for your retirement. I know I should start planning for it while time is still on my side. No concrete plans yet, though. Note to self: you need to work on that. 

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Up Next: Brie, 26. Monthly income range: P26,000 - P30,000.

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Name: Brie

Age: 26

Occupation: Researcher

Industry: Local Retail Industry

Monthly income range: P26,000 - P30,000

Is this your first job? Yup, down from the hill into the mill (it’s an Ateneo thing).

How long have you been working? Four years last Saturday!

Do you worry about money? 
Not really, not unless I have to pay for something. 

Do you have an emergency fund? 
No, I have no savings at all. I’m working on it though. The goal is to have at least P20,000 saved by December 10 (excluding my 13th month and other bonuses). I know that for the veterans of the art of saving, P20,000 is nothing, but for me, it would be a big deal. 

Are you a good saver? If so, what's your #1 saving tip? 
Well...no. I’ve read a lot of saving tips, but none of them work for me if I can get to my money. I know there are ways to do it where you won’t be able to get to your money, but I can never seem to bring myself to commit to those. I never thought I’d be so into shopping. 

Do you live alone? Nope! 

If not, do you contribute to your family's household expenses?
The only expense I contribute to is the monthly electric bill. Apart from that, my other monthly expenses include my phone bill, gas, groceries, and gym membership. I live with my family so there’s no rent and they feed me. But the only meals I eat at home, if at all, are dinner on weekdays and lunch and dinner on weekends. 

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What does financial independence mean to you?
Financial independence would mean not living paycheck to paycheck. Honestly, when I started working, I thought I’d be there by now. You would think so too, because it’s not like I have a lot of financial obligations. I essentially spend all my money on myself, 50% of which goes into my tummy. In the case of some people, I think they would see financial independence as living alone, entirely independent of others, living solely off of what you make. For me, it’s not so much that, but more just knowing how to manage your money better, making better decisions about expenses, and having savings or emergency cash. What I lack is control. If I don’t spend on me, I’ll spend on you. Seriously, if I can afford it, I burn that paper like global warming isn’t a thing. I’m working toward a certain level of maturity and discipline with my money that I believe is what I need to be financially independent. 

Think about the industry you’re in and the amount of work that you do. Do you think you’re being compensated fairly? 
There are times I actually feel guilty about the compensation when I don’t do that much on a regular basis. I’m not saying I don’t do anything; it’s just that my work is very seasonal. If we have a research project or reports to churn out, sometimes it can take away my weekends consecutively or have me working over 12-hour work days. But there are also days like today, where I have so much time, I’ve binge watched 2 seasons of FRIENDS
Also, we don’t get overtime pay; we offset all our overtime, even the ones rendered on weekends and holidays. So when I feel guilty, I just remember all that stuff and we call it even. 

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Do you feel any pressure to live or spend a certain way?
The only financial pressures I feel are from myself. I don’t worry about money a lot, I don’t think about it a lot either, but when I do, I feel disappointed in myself. When I first started working, I had relatives come up and ask during gatherings if I’d been saving and stuff, but these questions have since stopped. 

What are your financial goals by the time you’re 30?
I believe I’m going to the States in 2020, so the goal would be to be financially stable enough that I’d be granted a visa before then and have enough money to spend for the period of time that I’m there, that won’t leave me broke AF when I get back. 

Is retirement something you worry about right now? Why or why not?
No, retirement is not something I worried about up until before I was asked this question. Should I be worrying about retirement? Somebody explain this to me. 

Up Next: Amy, 26. Monthly income range: P12,000 - P13,000.

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Name: Amy

Age: 26

Occupation: Interior Designer

Industry: Interior Design

Monthly income range: P12,000 - P13,000

Is this your first job? No, I used to work in a different industry for a short period of time before I decided I wanted to switch careers.

How long have you been working? In my current industry? Six months!

Do you worry about money? 
ALL THE TIME. 

Do you have an emergency fund? 
Kind of, but I'm still trying to build that up. 

Are you a good saver? If so, what's your #1 saving tip? 
I’m not sure actually. I never really go on shopping sprees all that often and I’m pretty frugal. But I do tend to be a little lenient when it comes to food so I try to limit dining out. I bring baon and try not to grab take out for dinner. As much as possible, I eat home-cooked meals.

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Do you live alone? No.

If not, do you contribute to your family's household expenses?
I live with family and they haven’t asked me to contribute anything yet. But I do plan on paying for my share for water, electricity, internet, and my dog.

What does financial independence mean to you? 
Financial independence is when I don’t have to ask my parents for gas money. LOL! Total idependence is when I can live on my own, pay my own bills (and gas!), and if money allows—travel!


Think about the industry you’re in and the amount of work that you do. Do you think you’re being compensated fairly? 
HELL. NO. The hours can get pretty long and my workload is heavy. In our company, you do everything from working on the techincal aspect to dealing with clients, contractors, suppliers—on top of the actual implementation. But it’s not uncommon in this industry to be paid minimum wage, which is kind of sad because architecture and design are part of the everyday experience—even if a lot of people don’t really notice. It can affect people’s behavior, mood, and just the flow of movement in spaces. Money only really comes in when you run your own business, I think. But for everyone else under the principal architect or designer, not a lot goes around.

Do you feel any pressure to live or spend a certain way?
I grew up traveling a lot, so I do want to continue going on trips (both locally and internationally). Other than that, I’m not really into spending. 

What are your financial goals by the time you’re 30? 
I want to save up enough by this time to be able to live abroad. I want to try living and working in Japan or Australia for a year or two!

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Is retirement something you worry about right now? Why or why not?
I think I should be thinking about this more and I should be putting aside money for this. It’s not a top priority though...at least not yet! I have other financial goals I want to reach before I start seriously saving up for my retirement. 

Up Next: Ashley, 25. Monthly income: P50,000

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Name: Ashley

Age: 25

Occupation: IT Analyst

Industry: Information Technology

Monthly income: P50,000

Is this your first job? Yes!

How long have you been working? Four years this August! :)

Do you worry about money? 
Not really, I have enough to fund my wants and needs at the moment while still having some money allotted for savings.

Do you have an emergency fund? 
Yes, I opened my emergency account around 6 months after I started working.

Are you a good saver? If so, what's your #1 saving tip? 
Just recently, yes. Open a lot of accounts, if needed, to help you allot your money (to pay bills, for operational expenses, etc.) and make sure you have one for your savings that you will absolutely not get from. Puro deposit lang dapat; no withdrawing money!

Do you live alone? Nope!

If not, do you contribute to your family's household expenses?
I live with my family and I pay all of the bills at home, except for electricity.

What does financial independence mean to you? 
It's having enough to split between my responsibilities, my day to day spending, and my wants from time to time—all of these with my savings never being compromised.

Think about the industry you’re in and the amount of work that you do. Do you think you’re being compensated fairly? 
Nope! I have a technical role in a really fast-paced, high-risk team. I don't take breaks. I work 12 hours a day on average and I'm already taking on a bit of a managerial role as well.

Continue reading below ↓

Do you feel any pressure to live or spend a certain way?
Yes. My sister does a very good job at managing her finances and I think she expects me to be doing the same, if not doing better than her. Also, there are moments when I see my friends buy a car or a house or get married and I'm always left wondering how they can afford that at our age now.

What are your financial goals by the time you’re 30? 
I want to have enough savings to be able to settle down and start a family and provide a comfortable life for us.

Is retirement something you worry about right now? Why or why not?
Not at all, I still have a lot of goals in my career and I still have a lot of energy to keep on going.

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