Last Updated on August 18, 2022
For many Filipinos, we don’t ever want to be called kuripot because of the negative impression that it gives. However, this fear of being labeled as one often causes many people to spend more than they can or should.
They spend much more than they save because they want to have or maintain a facade of abundance, even if it secretly puts them into financial difficulties, such as debts.
Some would even take out loans to spend lavishly on birthdays, holidays, fiestas, weddings, and other special occasions, even unnecessarily or in excess, thinking that it is only once a year or once (wedding).
But this mindset is dangerous because it is only a band-aid solution. It is still important to spend within your means.
What’s wrong with being kuripot?
When I was still in the corporate world, I was privileged to have worked with some Ilocanos who are often stereotyped as kuripot. However, I can attest that they were not. Instead, I think the proper adjective to describe them is masinop or frugal.
They would often prioritize their family’s needs or other financial goals than spend on overpriced coffees and ice-covered milk teas or going out every weekend.
From what I observed, I realized that I would rather choose to be called “kuripot” any time of the day when in reality, I am being “masinop.”
Being Frugal is Great!
Being frugal is knowing where and when to spend your money. Frugal people think twice before spending their hard-earned money on something that does not add value to their or other people’s lives.
It is also essential to understand that money should never be earned just to show that you are “successful.”
Instead, the money you earned should be made on expenses that significantly impact your life and others. Frugality also gives way to a more intentional living that material possessions cannot measure.
Masinop (Frugal) vs. Madamot (Stingy)
We need to understand that people usually identify frugality as stinginess, but this is not entirely true.
A frugal person just knows where and when to spend their money. They will give generously on expenses that truly matter, especially when it comes to life and death.
On the other hand, a stingy person may not even bat an eye if they saw someone in need unless they could get something from it.
Once we know the difference between the two, it is just a matter of change of perspective from an individualistic point of view to be the more generous viewpoint.
Frugality Leads To Intentionality
Since I started living with more intentionality by reducing my stuff, I realized that there are so many more important things that we can spend on, even if I may appear to be a kuripot.
Frugality also does not mean being cheap. Living with intentionality means that the things that we buy add value to our life. Even if something costs more, as long as it is durable, it is an easy buying decision.
There is nothing to worry about when someone calls us a “kuripot.” How other people perceive us is none of our business, especially when it comes to financial aspects that can affect our future.
Personally, I would always choose to be called a kuripot and live below my means than to be perceived as a “galante” while making questionable expenses while compromising my future.
How we spend our money is a direct translation of how we spend our time, and in effect, how we spend our life. So don’t be too obsessed with impressing other people while secretly being knee-deep in debt.
Try frugality. It is awesome and can be life-changing.
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