Independence Day rolls around with a lot of fanfare, and there will be celebrations all across the country. On this day, it also adds that we honor those whose efforts and sacrifice contributed to our eventual liberation.
While the men and women we consider heroes set out only to fight for what was right, they also led lives similar to ours. Like us, they worked hard to earn money and found ways to make the most of their paychecks.
Like us, they also made good and not-so-good decisions with their money. Here are 5 lessons national heroes can teach us about money.
Dr. Jose Rizal – Investing and Debt Management
History describes Dr. Jose Rizal as someone who had a thirst for knowledge and as a man of many interests and talents. He was also a practical and frugal person. According to historians, he once won a lottery with friends. Rather than spend his share in one place, he used it to invest in property. The property was developed into a school and a hospital, with the proceeds going towards an abaca business on the same grounds.
Like a lot of people today, Rizal also had debts – acquired from when money was difficult to come by. The money he borrowed went towards paying his tuition fees. It’s said that he paid back the money he owed friends as quickly as possible, completely focused on eliminating his debt as soon as he could.
Andres Bonifacio – Have more than one income stream
In school, we learned how Andres Bonifacio and other like-minded people came together to establish the Katipunan
. One of the things that we might find surprising is that the Supremo
was the era-equivalent of a yuppie. He had a full-time job as a broker for a British trading company, and later as a grocer for a German firm called Fressell & Co.
He also had a part-time job acting in moro-moro
plays. The money he earned from both jobs went to caring for his siblings, owing to the untimely passing of his parents.
Marcella Agoncillo – Teach children about money early, be independent
The wife of diplomat Felipe Agoncillo, as we know, was the one to sew the Philippine Flag with the assistance of her daughter and one of Jose Rizal’s cousins. She did so on the request of Emilio Aguinaldo, while exiled in Hong Kong.
She also taught her children lessons on being independent when it comes to money, and to give back to the less fortunate when possible. She also advised her daughters to live honestly and not to rely on whatever wealth they may currently have.
While the standards of living have changed, these lessons still hold weight when it comes to how we spend, save, or invest. While we celebrate our freedom today, we must also remember that we can learn from the mistakes and the successes of the past.