Cost of Living = Quality of Life

Posted by Analyse at 7:02 PM

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Among the millions of differences I had to get used to in living in another country, I particularly had a hard time getting accustomed to… vacations! I never had a vacation plan. I was used to my Philippine life where ‘long’ vacations had rare apparitions, that is, twice a year – Christmas and Holy Week! Needless to say that I’d rather spend those precious vacations with my family and friends in my hometown than spending it elsewhere.

But on second thought, if I had real long vacations in the Philippines, will I have the means to have a luxurious vacation? Could a simple employee as I was afford such getaway? Let me analyse…

I was a simple employee with an average salary and with a good independent life. Considering that I was just starting my career at that time, though I had total financial independence, I also had limited access to financial freedom and luxury. I could afford vacations, of course, but in a not-so-expensive scenario. Like everybody else, I had moral obligations towards my family, so before burning those bucks out in some cozy bars in makati or manila or even farther, I had to give my share to my sisters/brother in Manila. I committed myself to such charity to lighten my parent’s financial burden – the monthly bills are deadly!

Let me compare it with what I enjoy now.

I’m still a simple employee with an average salary and with a good independent life, redundant isn’t it? But the ratio between the cost of living and my purchasing power has increased. In the Philippines, it is sad to say that this ratio is in total disequilibrium. There is no balance between what you earn and what you have to pay. It seems to me that it is calculated on a survival basis. We live to work, well, for most.

Dollar earners would say that life there is not expensive. Euro earners will surely have a grand time with their 1€ = P74. But in reality, the cost of living is high! Terribly high!

I had a brief discussion with my mom this weekend. Since my parents are both retired now, no more children in school, I was trying to persuade them to finally enjoy their life and stop thinking about finances. I may sound French this time, but I guess they have completed their mission and deserve a break. My dad continues with his insurance thing and ventured his retirement money on business. It’s a good move, but then, as I’ve said, what will they do with their money? Their monthly pension should be enough to live correctly. They could even afford to have a little leisure on the side. But they just refuse this idea. – I know I will never succeed to change their mind – it’s the mentality. they would work as long as they could!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

ana,

same as me, my ratio to purchasing power (its my new blog entry by the way lol) has increased here in NL.

well back in the philippines i had a really good income, i could afford to travel outside at least 2x in a year and have a good lifestyle with savings on the side... but the catch is i was single, i lived alone and i look carefully into my finances.

now earning in euros is something else... and i am just glad that i landed a good paying professional job here in europe. its not easy (for me language wise) and im glad we made it... though im thinking of looking into another type of job.

are u also being ripped off from ur pension premiums? i cant believe i am paying this large of a monthly premium! im actually shocked.

MissT

Analyse said...

coincidence! :)

good that you had holidays with your job in pinas. as for me, aside from not having enough fund, i didnt have vacations too!!! once i took 3 days (which was my right!) in addition to my holy week vacation to visit france, my boss refused to sign my leave form, he wanted me to get only 2 days! i said ok just to finish the negociation and didnt change my plane ticket dates. arriving in my office, i had my very first warning note! hated my boss!

taxes! 22% of my salary is being deducted even before i get hold of it! that's for medical, pension and other social blablas. im exempted to pay taxes on revenu this year but next year, oh my, i really have to be careful with my finances.

Dutched Pinay on Expatriation said...

ako mangiyak-ngiyak sa tax ko.... u will not believe how much i pay! u will be shocked. i hate this land!!! (gggr, lol) and on top of that i still have to pay my pension and health insurance.

haaaaaay. di tayo sanay, walang ganito sa pinas lol.

Analyse said...

ika nga, the more you earn, the more you pay. so better pay more than earn less.

s#&%^@! easy to say, sakit sa bulsa!

BatJay said...

next time, just buy your parents a trip somewhere, give them the tickets and don't take no for an answer.

Analyse said...

hehe, batjay, i'd probably do that...