MANILA, Philippines - Nine of 10 Filipino adults experienced being short of funds in the last 12 months, due mainly to rising basic living expenses such as food and shelter and the increasing cost of their children's education, according to a survey conducted by Social Weather Stations (SWS) in partnership with insurance firm Sun Life of Canada (Philippines) Inc.
When asked to identify the major expenses that led to their financial shortage in the past 12 months, 74 per cent cited household expenses, such as rent, utility bills and food, while 41 per cent cited school expenses for their children.
Twenty-five per cent pointed to expenses for medical treatment, and another 25 per cent encountered difficulties due to debt servicing or loan payments.
Seven of 10 Filipinos also noted the rising prices of commodity prices as the culprit behind their financial woes, while two of five respondents blamed their reduced earnings. Three out of 10 blamed unexpected expenses.
The survey results presented Thursday also revealed that financial difficulties were felt not just by the lower-income segments but also by the upper-income classes, suggesting the lack of financial planning across the population.
The survey was conducted with the First Quarter 2014 Social Weather Survey of SWS, which was based on face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide from March 27 to March 30 this year. It is part of Sun Life's annual personal finance research called Study of Lifestyles, Attitudes and Relationships (Solar), which analyzes how Filipinos handle money.
Based on the 2014 Solar survey, one of five Filipinos said that what he or she earned was not enough to cover expenses, said Sun Life Financial Philippines president Riza Mantaring.
Based on the latest Solar results, 39 per cent of Filipino adults said they were trying to save regularly but only 32 per cent of respondents actually stuck to the habit.
On the other hand, 10 per cent saw no need to save at all since their income was "not enough anyway" while 5 per cent would save up only for things they wanted to buy.