How to Achieve Financial Independence for Pinoys

June 30, 2020
Financial Independence is such a broad
We may all aspire to one day become financially independent in one way or another.
I, for example always knew that I wanted financial independence. I want to live a life where I am entitled to more than I can actually afford. I want to live a life where I can pursue a career of my choice and still get a grip on my finances.
And that I want to live a life where I can easily give and share my blessings to others without worrying what will happen next to my funds.
A number of questions from curious readers whether financial freedom is really possible.  Today I'd like to give you a clear road map on how financial independence can be achieved and how it can be a doable goal.

The Journey to Financial Independence

Financial Independence is defined as a state of having sufficient personal wealth to live, without having to work actively for basic necessities.
It means you accumulate greater passive income that can cover your expenses even without you working for it.
Personal financial independence is a life long process. And it's something you can only achieve if you start now.
If you read my About Page you'll know that my magic number in terms of retirement and achieving total financial independence has been 30 years old. I know it sounds too ambitious and I am still currently far from that state to be honest.
But, I am working on it every day. 
Even if I don't hit my target retired at 30 know that everything I do today will help me be still in a way better financial life by that age rather than doing nothing at all.

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Is Financial Independence possible?

I've read countless of blogs and articles of people who have achieved financial freedom in life. They were able to create the life they want without stopping.
Below are the main factors that play a lot of role to make the impossible possible and one day be financially free:

First, You Need to Really Want It

Your desire to be financially free is important to help you go from zero to hero in less time. You can only do something you really want, right?


Spend a day to really sort things out in your financial life and set your heart, mind and soul to the idea of becoming financially independent. 


  • Create a personal definition of "financial independence" for you.
  • Find out your current financial status through calculating your net worth. 
  • List your goals that will help you achieve total financial independence.

Related links:

10 Smart Financial Goals to Set Next Year

Financial Goals I want to Hit before 30

How to Achieve your Travel Goals in 3 Steps


Next, You Have to Build Your Own System to Success

It is important to remember that only you can define whether the financial independence is really a realistic goal you can achieve in 10-20 years from now.
You need to establish the system that will get you there.
From what budget will enable you to so to what investment will give you the right number to retire at peace.
Everything starts with you and ends with you so only YOU have the power to change your current state.
Recognize the need to implement change in your habits and routines so you can start working on your financial freedom system.
I think what I notice the most is that people who want to retire young and achieve financial independence are reading and learning a lot but do not act. 


You have to build you own system to success. No self-help books can build the road for you. If you don't act on it then everything will be put to waste. So try to start and learn how… NOW.


Lastly, You Have To Continuously Work For It

Financial independence is the end-goal and it consists of short-term and long-term goals in between. This means you need to be ready to work hard for it to reach your overall freedom to money issues. 


10 Ways You Can Achieve Financial Independence


Here are ways you can achieve financial independence:


Stay on Top of Your Finances

The first sure way you can work on your financial independence is by being on top of how your money moves. From how much income comes to how much money goes out of your system. 


Become in a relationship with your finances. Find time to what works and what's not working. Resolve financial issues before it becomes resource. Make it a priority to fix your budget and track your expenses. Commit to your financial goals.


Determine your real earnings


Calculate how much money you really earn on a monthly basis. Most of us only know the salary we  have on paper but not the real salary we get after all the taxes and deductions.


Take a closer look at your expenses. Either write down everything in pen and paper or use free spending tracker apps you can find. Should you have other income sources, it's time to take note of them. 


Have a list of your monthly expenses


Make a list of the expenses you make on a monthly basis. Just having a breakdown of what you spend your money on is a huge part of proper budgeting.


Be real with with where you really spend your money on no matter how small, huge or insignificant you may think they may be.


Have a Budget

We often take budget for granted. We only create one once we are already running out of money to spend or we feel like something is wrong. 


Budgets comes as an option rather than a necessity.


This mindset should be changed.


A good budget can make you rich in the long run. It could give you a blueprint for a stronger financial foundation.


Creating a budget is important for it ensures positive cash flow for you and your family’s needs. Budget also makes you learn to live within your means keeping you out of debt.


Having a budget as a habit will enable you to understand your spending habits or how much you are making and spending. It will also help you stop living from paycheck to paycheck because you have exact allocation of your money.


Lastly, a budget will help you big time in building your savings whether for an emergency fund or retirement fund. 


The best time to take budget seriously is now. Do not wait for another end of the month or start of the month to create a spending plan.


It is also important to note that you are technically living on last month’s income every time you budget so you have to be able to control your spending wisely.


Do this every month:

1. At the beginning of the month, make a plan for how you will spend your money that month;

2. Write what your expected income and  the usual expenses you have based on the last three months;

3. Write down what you spend. Track every single peso that goes in and out of your pocket; 

4. Do this every day until a new month begins;

5. At the end of the month, see if you spent what you are able to follow your budget. Use the information to help you plan the next month’s budget.


Related reads:

Budgeting for Broke Millenials

Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions on Budgeting

How to Budget for Beginners


Maximize Your Income

Let's face it, more income means more money you can save, invest or use to sustain your living expenses.


Do not be satisfied with a single source of money try your very hard to open other income streams that will help you get to closer to your dream.

I always mention in this blog that we should never settle on just one source of income. Opening more than one income stream is important for the following reasons:

  • To prepare yourself for retirement.
  • To attend on your financial obligations.
  • To protect you and your family for emergency situations.
  • To diminish the risks that come from relying on just one source of income say your current job.
  • To accomplish your bigger goals in life.


Now that I have enlightened to the need on have other sources of Income, I know that you are pumped up to know how to achieve one.


Having multiple streams of income may be hard at first but I found simple ways that you can do today and will enable you to start increasing your monthly income like magic. 


The biggest key when it comes to financial independence will most probably be earning Passive Income.


Passive Income is a type of income wherein the money works for you instead of you working for the money.


You can do this by rental activity like an apartment or room for rent business, dividends through your investments, publishing royalties through ebooks and higher interest rates from stock investments.


Earning passive income is a total hard work so make sure that you strive hard to earn one.


Related reads:

Turning Your Salary to Income

How to Actually be Good with Money

Common Money Mistakes Pinoys Make and How to Fix Them


Be Debt-free

Debt will be a big hindrance for you to achieve financial independence.


As much as possible try to avoid debt or pay it off as early as possible.


There are two ways you can pay off debt – snowball method or focusing on the lowest debt firsts or avalanche method or those that have higher interest rate. Below is a before, during and after debt tip you can use:


Before making a debt

  • Assess whether it’s a need or a want. 

  • Find possible alternative that can cost you less.

  • Find possible creditor/loan solution have no/less interest rate.

  • Create an agreement (possibly written) on the payment method as well asthe deadline.


During the debt

  • Avoid making additional debt.

  • Create a good creditor-debtor relationship.

  • Have an open communication with your creditor.

  • Pay on time the whole amount with interest(if any).

  • If you can’t pay the debt on time, let the creditor know as soon as possible. Let him/her know the honest reason why and ask for an allowance.

  • If it’s a credit card delay then talk to your bank and ask for possible solution that you can pay. I know one who wrote a letter to the leading bank and was given a payment method that is so much easier to do thought takes longer time. Still he is responsible enough to pay.


After the debt

  • Appreciate your creditor by thanking him/her for the financial help.

  • Don’t make another debt just when your current debt ended.

  • Still have an open communication to your creditor.


Start saving money

The earlier you save money the better it would be for your finances. Make sure that you automatically save a portion of your income as cash reserve for future or emergency use.


How do you save money?


Start small

Do not over commit on the percentage of your income that goes to saving. If you still can't do the 50% of your salary on savings then don't. It is way better to start with 10% to 20% of your income then go higher as your source increases. What matters most is you save consistently.


Reduce your monthly bills 

Now, if you really want to save money each month then you need to reduce your monthly bills. A sudden decrease on your monthly bills give you the means to save automatically.

  • Cut back on your energy consumption. Unplug electronics not in use. Spend less time on watching TV or being on the computer. Turn-off the lights especially at night time. Find appliances that have energy-saving features.
  • Reduce monthly subscriptions from cable TV, Netflix, magazine, gym membership or beauty box. Just focus on what you truly need.
  • Focus in paying your debt. Debt hinders you in saving money each month. Pay-off high interest slowly but surely. Avoid using your credit card and being more in debt. For personal loans try to negotiate with a lower monthly pay so not all your money go in paying.


Think of your goals

I urge you to set your yearly and monthly financial goals now. Goals work as motivational tool that will keep you from building wealth instead of the other way around.


Once you have a set of clear financial goals it will be easier to you to assess your next action list. Here are sample goals that can give you the financial discipline to save each month:

1. Pay-off 50% of my credit card debt before the year ends.

2. Start a side-hustle and generate my first 10,000pesos extra income.

3. Put up an emergency fund with at least 60,000pesos by Month X.


Once you start thinking and remembering your goals you will be encouraged to save more.


Related reads:

Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions on How to Save Money

How to Save Money Each Month

I Live Paycheck to Paycheck, How can I save money?

Learn to Invest

Saving won't make your money work for you. That's why as early as today you need to learn how to invest.


There are a number of investment vehicles available for you to choose. Be wise on what vehicle will satisfy you as an investor. Why Should You Invest Your Money?


– If you care about your future then you should invest.

– If you want financial peace…invest.

– If you want your money to generate income to earn interest…invest.

– If you want your money to work for you aka passive income…invest.

– If you have long term goals that will need a higher amount of money…invest.

– If you want to amplify your current life…invest.

– If you want to learn more about how money how money works…invest.


Related reads:

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Invest in Stocks

How to Invest Your Money for the First Time

How to Invest your Php 5000





Final Notes from SavingsPinay


So if you ask me if Financial Independence a Realistic Goal for Pinoys, my answer is short and simple — YES!!!


As long as you want it, work for it and build a system that will work for you.


Again as I've always mentioned before it is indeed a life-long journey and everything you do today matter. Every decision you make can contribute to your financial success.


Is Financial Independence Your Goal Too?

What Age Do You Want to Achieve It?

Clariza Glino

Izza of SavingsPinay helps Filipinos bridge the financial literacy gap one content at a time by providing insights and tips on budgeting, saving, investing, side hustle and growing your net worth. Aside from this blog she also writes at, a beauty and lifestyle blog for frugal Pinays and manages,, a wedding and event business since 2011. For inquiries, topic suggestions or future collaborations email her at

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