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Alkansya: Learn from Filipinos About What to do with Spare Cash

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“Alkansya” is Filipino for “coin bank” and it is a critical part of the upbringing of children in the Phillippines. It’s very similar to what Nigerian children have as “kolo” or piggybank.

You probably already know where this post is going. What you don’t know, however, is how this applies to you considering that you likely don’t have a kolo anymore.

This post is considered a Filipino reminder that spare cash should not be treated as money for frivolities. It should be seen as an opportunity to reach your financial goals faster.

Growing up, remember how excited we were to put money inside our kolo, and shaking it to reassure ourselves that all the money was still there? That is the same energy Filipinos have in aggressively treating spare cash in their alkansya.

Many people don’t use a kolo anymore, because we have replaced it with digital platforms like Cowrywise, but the same energy should be replicated on these platforms.

In this context, “spare cash” refers to money you were not expecting – cash gifts, loan refunds, etc

Here are 4 things you can do with spare cash.

Repay your Debt

This one is quite straightforward and is only wise. It would be irresponsible of anyone who is in debt to spend spare cash recklessly. Spare cash should be used to first pay off any outstanding debt or loans.

Start an Emergency Fund

If you don’t already have one, this is a good opportunity to create one. Emergency funds are even more important these days with how volatile the economy is. People lose their jobs in minutes and are left stranded because they did not have emergency funds. Spare cash is a good opportunity to create one or top it up.

Top Up your Long-Term Savings Plan

Considering that you were not expecting the money, it follows to tuck it away safely in a long-term savings plan. Children break their alkansya at the end of the year and are filled with so much joy at how much they have been able to save. You get the same feeling when your maturity date reaches and you either withdraw or rollover.

Buy More Units of Mutual Funds

Spare cash, like I said earlier should be seen as an opportunity to reach your financial goals faster. Buying more units of mutual funds is a good way to go when you receive cash gifts. You can even decide to invest in higher-risk funds since you weren’t expecting the money in the first place.

In summary

  • Repay any debts you might have
  • Start an Emergency Fund or top up your existing one
  • Top up your long term savings plan
  • Buy more units of mutual funds

Filipinos are very strict about their children each having an alkansya, and is a very good way to inculcate good money habits in them from the onset. As adults, it would then be a lot easier to transfer these habits to the digital platforms we use today.

In this #MoneyMap series, we would be travelling around the world to show you how different countries and cultures handle cash. Catch up on the previous episodes here.

Can you guess the next country we would be visiting?

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