Today’s cost of living is certainly more expensive compared to the last five to 10 years. Many feel that even with a full time job, they still find it difficult to manage budgets, especially so for those raising children.
Apparently, it isn’t just everyday Filipinos who worry about the rising cost of basic necessities, especially in the years to come. Celebrity mother Bianca Gonzales—TV host, book author and social media personality—closely sees to putting her and husband PBA player JC Intal’s monthly earnings to good use in order to prepare for their two-year-old daughter Lucia’s future.
“My husband and I were looking at tuition fees and it’s sort of crazy how high they will be by the time our daughter enters university. It made us want to start saving and investing for her schooling right away,” Gonzalez told The Manila Times at the launch of insurance company Manulife’s GradMaker, a mobile application that offers flexible and convenient investing.
“It’s so hard to do because everything else is already so expensive now, which is why we decided to invest and save this early while JC and I are still aggressive with our respective careers. Of course, we don’t want to be working this aggressively 20 years from now and hope to slow down when that time comes. So since we’re both at our prime, it’s the best time to do these things now.”
Gonzalez—who has been happily married to Intal for three years now—further opened up about working in plans for having more children into their preparations, especially now that they have first hand experience of parenting.
“In my head before, I wanted three children, then my husband wanted four. But after having one, hanggang two na lang kami,” she laughed. “We thought of a lot of things, but mostly of course, it’s about costs, which is sad to say as the reason why we want to limit our number of children. We just want to make sure we are able to give them a good future so we figured having two children is already more than a blessing. We to have one again very soon because Lucia is two already,” the 34-year-old mom said.
According to Gonzalez, she and Intal are able to discuss these things since they both believe it is important to talk about finances unlike other couples. Otherwise, they agree it will be impossible to plan for future needs.
“My husband is best in handling our money. But I think we’re also still figuring it out our attack when it comes to budget, division, and the cap on things we spend because we’ve only been married for three years. But we know there’s a better way, and we’re working to figure it out,” she said.
Getting more specific, Gonzalez shared, “We have a joint account but we also have our separate bank accounts, but we’re very transparent of our earnings. We know each other’s finances, and our joint account is there because I learned that apparently in the event that one of us—knock on wood—passes away, he won’t be able to get my savings and it will be taxed heavily. We realize the need to have joint account because it’s what’s best for our daughter.”
Meanwhile, besides having to take advice from banks and insurance companies when it comes to dividing expenses, Gonzalez said it is also a lot of help when you ask for advice from other mothers who also have similar experiences in family finances.
“I take listen to a lot of my friends. It is great because this batch parang nagka baby boom these past two or three years so a lot of my friends are now parents also. So we’re constantly on chat groups to ask each other questions When it comes to celebrities, definitely Toni Gonzaga and Mariel Rodriguez are there for me.”
Finally, while Lucia is still in play school, the first-time mother revealed a very unique dream on what she wishes her daughter will be in the future.
“Of course when the time comes, she can be anything that she wants to be,” she clarified. “But if I could influence her, I want her to be a science technology genius like Tony Stark of ‘Iron Man’ or Shuri from ‘Black Panther’,” she laughs. “God gives Lucia the knowledge and talent like that, oh my God. Only because that’s where the future’s headed really and that’s where I feel she’ll flourish.”