Finance Made Fun

DSC_0455.jpg As twentysomething Enrique Fausto talked about how he and his older brother Martin scrimped and saved to buy a Game Boy Color gadget, the audience listened with rapt attention. The parents were thrilled to hear youngsters saving up for something they really wanted. The children were inspired and empowered. True, their playmates also had the exact same gadget, but as Enrique pointed out: “We bought ours. They had their parents buy theirs. It filled us with pride!”

At the Family FQ Workshop by the Faustos last May 9, 2015 at the SMX Convention Center of SM Aura in Taguig City, participants saw how making sound money decisions can help families achieve financial security.

The Faustos are led by father Marvin, who is founding president of the Fund Managers Association of the Philippines; mother Rose, who is a financial literacy advocate, a columnist at, and publishes a couple of websites; and their three sons Martin, Enrique, and Anton, who all started investing at a young age.

By presenting saving and investing through the perspective of each family member, financial concepts were made easy to understand. Here are the salient points raised during the workshop. These would help get your family on the road to financial security.

DSC_0435 The stage is set for an afternoon of fun and learning. #1 Base your relationship with money on your core values. After a rousing dance number by the Fausto brothers, who are all accomplished dancers by the way, their mom Rose Fres Fausto started the workshop by encouraging participants to recall their childhood money memory. We often associate all sorts of emotions with money, says Rose. If we are to have a good relationship with money, it must be based on our core values, whether it's family, health, and security or freedom and integrity. Money is an enabler. Money is an exaggerator. So what you do with money, Rose says, should be aligned with your core values. Otherwise, you will feel empty and unsatisfied.

DSC_0455 The workshop started off with each member of the Fausto family taking the stage and dancing. #2 Pay yourself first. Martin Fausto, a brand assistant at a multinational food company and the eldest of the Fausto brothers, reminded everyone in the audience that a part of all their earnings is theirs to keep. All too often, we pay others first before we pay ourselves, he says. We pay for rent, utility, and transportation, among others. And whatever's left, we save for ourselves. This shouldn't be the case, says Martin. Our money equation should be income less savings equals expense, instead of income less expense equals savings.

DSC_0508 The talks were interspersed with games. #3 Make saving and investing regular and automatic. Becoming wealthy is quite simple, says Enrique Fausto, who just graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University. Form the habit of saving and investing, he says. This you can do by following these steps. First, save at least 20 percent of your income. Track your savings by keeping a detailed record of it. This way, you'll be able to see it grow and you'll be more motivated to save. Second, live within your means but treat yourself occasionally. Saving is going to be boring if you don't get to enjoy the fruits of your labor once in awhile. Lastly, create passive income by investing your savings in fixed income facilities like time deposit accounts, money markets funds, and bonds and by playing the stock market.

DSC_0438 Participants were given activity sheets and a notebook. #4 Make and maintain your balance sheet. The youngest of the Fausto brothers, Anton, exhorted everyone to make their balance sheet ASAP. A balance sheet is a listing of all your assets, which is the stuff you own, against all your liabilities, which is the stuff you owe, to come up with your total value. It is a snapshot, Anton says, of how rich or poor you are at any given time. This will motivate you into doing all you can to increase your total value.

#5 Invest now! Finally, Marvin Fausto, the head of the family, says that the right time to start investing is now! The Philippines, he says, is about to reach a demographic sweet spot, a point in time when 50 percent of a country's population is below 25 years old. This means that in the next few years, the country will enter its most productive phase as more and more young people enter the job market. So if you want to build wealth, the best time to start investing is today!

Want to learn more about managing family finances? Check out Rose's blog FQMom at She's also on Twitter and Instagram. Follow @TheFQMom.