Many years ago, I was naive to the whole earning and spending cycle. Either I was too young to worry about it or didn’t really give a damn. Now, I belong to the millions of Filipinos who grind at least eight hours a day to not only provide for my family, but reap the fruits of my hard work for personal — often shallow — pleasures.
Even then, it seems how I spend my monthly expenses is far from that of the rest of the working Filipino community. In a Facebook post, TripZilla asked them where their monthly salary goes, and the answers couldn’t have been more interesting and relatable. And oh, it just wouldn’t be Filipino if they didn’t respond in weird online Filipino slang, either!
The Filipino monthly salary breakdown
Out of more than a hundred comments, one thing a few Filipinos online seem to agree on is a certain Judith, which I had the privilege of learning about after my colleagues explained the term. Apparently, Judith is a homonym for “due dates,” with a mind-blowingly localised twist.
The term has been around for quite some time. It even went viral in 2019 when a Filipino boy wore a Judith-inspired costume for a Halloween party. The costume was really just bills attached to his body, supposedly scaring off parents and other adults who fear paying their monthly expenses for rent, electricity, and water.
Aside from including these and similar utilities among their monthly expenses, some added bills for their credit card and housing or car loans. One Facebook user mentioned paying bills for four different cards. A lot of Filipinos also openly answered their essentials in the form of groceries for daily food, baby needs like milk and diaper, and pet necessities. Insurance, investments, healthcare, children’s tuition, and savings likewise came up in several of the responses.
Alongside these priorities, some have emphasised spending a portion of their monthly salary for personal expenses. One user said she likes to spend on clothing and accessories. A few others brought up travel, skincare, childhood toy collections, Japanese and Korean merchandise, and other online shopping purchases.
Saved by Filipino resourcefulness
Filipinos or those in the Philippines earn an average monthly salary of about ₱15,000, according to Picodi.com. This puts us on the list of countries with the lowest salaries in the world. That said, resourcefulness has never been a problem for many of us when it comes to monthly spending habits, as proven by the abovementioned insights.
Featured image credit: Satoshi-K via Canva Pro