What does “petsa de peligro” mean?
Well, this is a term that I have heard in the course of my professional life. Literally, it translates to “day of danger”. But it is not like danger as in danger in life that will eventually lead to pain, injury or death.
This phrase is commonly used during a period wherein your wallet or ATM or cash on hand is running low and payday seems so SO far away and it gets you wondering “how will get through?’. So you got it? I hope so.
I think almost every young professional at one point experienced petsa de peligro. Heck, I am still experiencing this even now that I’ve been working for more than 6 years now. I know what your thinking, I should have had some sort of savings from all those 6 years but unfortunately, I have nothing. I even have to make “katok sa ginintuan puso (knock on the golden hearts)” of my parents at times when all else fail. In short, I borrow money from them to be paid off or to be compensated by doing errands or helping them out for something they need. I know, I should be self sufficient by now. But like i said, I have nothing. Well, I think I’m richer in other aspects.
So what are the causes of petsa de peligro?
1. Spending beyond your means – Yup. You might have not budgeted your cash on hand well to a point that you over spend and leave nothing for your day to day spending.
2. Emergency cases – Well, there are things that happen unexpectedly that will mess with ones budget plan.
3. You got less than what you were expecting – What I mean by this is that what you saw in your pay slip was less than the usual you got for that cut off. Reasons may include deductions from tardiness, increase in taxes or monthly deductions.
4. Absence of Budget plan – Let’s face it, majority of us have no budget plan. Or rather, the discipline to stick to that plan. Am I right or am I right?
It is really not sure if I covered it all but am sure that I got the major ones.
So, can you relate?
You might be asking, how can we prevent entering petsa de peligro.
1. Be in the KNOW – Simply put you need to know the following things:
- What you EARN – know what is your income and how often it comes
- What you SPEND – daily, weekly and monthly spending is crucial. What I mean is daily is as in every thing you spend on a day: from a transpo expense, a pack of cigarettes, your snack. EVERYTHING. Tally everything up so you know where your money goes
- WANT or NEED – from your list of expenses, identify what is a necessity or luxury
2. PLAN – given the data that you have, you need to determine expense that you can afford to cut off or at the least, trim down.
3. Put SAVE in your equation – you can put money from the trimmed down or cut off expense into savings. I know finance people say that the proper equation is INCOME less SAVINGS is EXPENSE. But I think this only applies to people who have enough income to cover their expenses. Don’t you agree?
4. Stick to the PLAN – this is the difficult part honestly. Sticking to it. I have problems on this area. I always say ” Stick to the PLAN or the world will STICK you up”. I wouldn’t want that believe me.
But if you are already in the “petsa de peligro” phase, then here are the things that I recommend doing:
1. COUNT your pennies – I know it sucks but you got to know what you have remaining. So take a look at your last withdrawal slip. I would also recommend scouring your bags for spare change. It will help believe me.
2. PAY DAY – Oh yes! The much awaited day! One needs to know how may days left you have till your cup will be full again. Divide it with what you have to know how much you have to spend each day.
3. Know your OPTIONS – More often than not, the resulting everyday budget is a big STRETCH! So adjust your spending particularly on your necessities like food and transportation cigarettes (they’re one of mine). Go for the cheaper ones For example, food from a carinderia/ food stall/ jolly jeep (if you work in Makati) are cheap! Convenience store like 7-11 and Ministop have options too. Oh, and eat slowly. It will make you feel full longer. As for transportation, go public or if you can walk to your office, the better Just remember to adjust your time though to factor in.
4. Make and stick to the PLAN – this is really crucial. It is hard to do it but it is not impossible.
And if all else fail…
5. Borrow with the INTENTION to PAY – borrowing entails a responsibility. Make sure that you also plan for this and commit to settling it.
I’ve been through a number of petsa de peligro days myself and have no sufficient fingers to count for it. And to be honest. I’ve learned the hard way with the help of some of my friends’ and parents advice.
Yes, I acknowledge that it is a reality but it can be over come and ultimately preventable. I am still fighting to be debt free at the moment.
Now, I do take these steps to heart but have lapses of my own due to lack of discipline and that “bahala na si Batman” attitude. But at the end of the day, I always say to my self, Batman won’t pay for my dues as he is a fictional character. Plus I don’t want to live by the pay check.
I hope this was of help somehow.