Getting Help

By Randell Tiongson on April 15th, 2010

One of those things us Pinoy find difficult to do is to get help. Many drivers, myself included, find it difficult to ask for directions – never mind that we run the risk of getting lost. I remember as students, we seldom approach our teachers for help, even at the risk of failing the subject. As married couples, the idea of getting counseling seems to be very alien to us even if we are at the brink of separation. In my younger years, the idea of self-help was always the best way to go and the concept of asking, let alone getting help, was too much for my pride to handle. At times when we do get help, we are very selective as to who to seek out help from – usually just very close relatives only or very good friends even if they are not really qualified to help. Somehow, our egos are bruised whenever we get help. In many instances, by the time we do get help, we are already in a desperate situation.

In the area of personal finance, many of us bring about the same disdain for getting help. Somehow we chose to ignore the many writings on the wall that becomes evident, until it’s too late. Logic dictates that when we can’t do things for ourselves, we should seek help. However, human beings are not always known to follow logic, this writer included. Just like refusing to get help when we are into substance abuse, we also refuse to get help when we are losing control over our financial future. The same results will always be guaranteed, a lot of stress that are really going to consume us.

Take the case of excessive borrowing – even if we are buried in debt, it takes us a long time to get help and in most cases, our situation is so desperate, there are very few who can help us. We feel that we can solve our own problems and that they are temporary but in most cases, we can’t solve our problems and they are not temporary.  We have this belief that getting help is a sign of weakness and that foolish belief has blinded us from being delivered from our folly sooner than later. When we do get help, our actions may already be too late and we find ourselves in despair and our self-worth beyond redemption. Some of us have become cynical because we feel that others will not help us and on the extreme, some feels that being helped is the obligation of others. Here’s my view, it is because of our own actions that we are where we are — in trouble. Therefore, we ought to get help so we have a better chance of improving our situation.

Help isn’t always an outright dole-out. In many cases, sound, objective and sensible advice are all we need. If our problems are financial in nature, it is best to seek out the help and counsel of someone who you know is financially responsible and adequate. You wouldn’t get marital advice from someone who has a failed marriage right? Same with help that is financial in nature.

When you get help, make sure that the person you approach is credible and objective; otherwise your situation might even be compromised. Just like seeking a doctor for your medical concern, you may also seek financial professionals to help you. There are credible financial planners today who are more than capable to help you by giving you sound advice – and you’d be surprise that they would not charge you an arm and a leg for their services. My tip is to look for independent financial planners who are charges a fee as against financial planners who sell financial products as buying financial products may not be in your best interest until your situation improves. You can also get help from non-financial people – those who have a good command of their finances, their real-life experiences makes them very qualified.

You may also want to start listening to people who can help you – responsible friends, church leaders, superiors at work or your HR Department (if you are employed). Reading books and attending seminars are also forms of getting help.

Don’t try to delay your act of getting help as your situation will not get any better unless you are proactive about it – these are one of those things that “the sooner, the better”.

“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. – Proverbs 15:22, NIV”

Catch Chinkee Tan, Cito Beltran and myself at a life-changing event entitled “All About Money: Living the Life You Can Afford” on April 24, 2010 (Saturday) from 9am to 1pm at the Victory Ortigas Center, 4th Level, West Wing, Robinsons Galleria. Tickets are only at P400.00. For ticket inquiries, call or text Jenny Ignacio – Magalong at 09391177856 or send email to [email protected].

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Getting Help