Saturday, November 4, 2017

What to do with your (championship) bonus

Bonus season is coming. 

The thirteenth month (or 14th and even 15th if you're lucky) is something that employees with regular jobs look forward to come November or December. Unfortunately, once the money is there, most people will spend it on expenses, paying back debts or bills, or worst, living large. Before you know it, it's all gone. Or as one saying goes: "Dumaan lang sa palad," or "Nahawakan ko lang sandali, wala na agad." 

Yes, the 13th month is mandated by law. But if you're a "service provider" or "contractor," then that extra money is dependent on the largesse of those we work for. 

Similar to gig workers, athletes are notorious for having boom and bust careers. At their peak, they can command super high salaries. It’s easy to live large if you’re also earning outstanding sums of money. The wear and tear on the body is just too much, that by age forty, it’s time to consider retirement. But they are also prone to injuries. And all it takes is one misstep, one moment before the sport you love leaves you debilitated, in pain, and worse, bankrupt. 

In the Philippines, we see this fate in our athletes. Item: At 63 years old, Efren “Bata” Reyes is still playing the rounds because he can’t afford to retire yet although he already wants to. In his heyday, a championship could get him $100k. Competing in tournaments abroad cost a lot of money now. Expenses could be as high at $5,000 and you need to place at least third to break even. These days, he admits things have changed. After an eye operation in 2005 and an unsteady wrist and tiring easily, Reyes cut short his stay in the US , citing fatigue. 

Item: Then there's Rolando Navarrete, former boxing champ who went on a drug addiction down spiral and is now broke

It’s just sad to see them like this. At their peak, with all their money, there will be entourages and people who ask for a little help. But one should also think about the future. 

I don’t follow basketball as much. But I’m glad to come across this piece of news: the bonus received by Scottie Thompson of the Gin Kings was enough to open “three, four” franchise branches of a barbershop. What’s better: the article from Spin reveals that the business was his own. With a capital of nearly 1 million pesos, Scottie debuted Thompson’s Sports Hair Shop in his hometown of Digos in Davao in late 2016 and now has a franchise out in Paranaque. He’s also gotten some more inquiries about opening up branches in other places. His shop’s signature service, the Thompson’s Cut is relatively affordable at Php120, but also has a student friendly rate of Php99. He’s even thinking of learning the trade himself. So it’s not farfetched that you will have a PBA player cutting a customer’s hair. 

All in all, it’s good that he was already thinking ahead. At 23, he’s only going into his third year playing professionally in the PBA. But he knew that he wasn’t going to be in the game forever, and it was never too early to plan for the future. 

So if you get a windfall or receive your 13th month pay, don't spend it all. Be like Scottie: enjoy some of it, and then save and invest the rest of it. 

Good job to that and congratulations on the championship, Scottie Thompson. 


Jillsabs said...

I pass by Thompson's barber shop regularly! I didn't know it had such an inspiring story behind it. Galing naman! So young but so financially savvy. Lodi.

Sera Que said...

Yes, super petmalu sa (financial and sporting) life.

Also, congrats and welcome to your new bundle of joy. :)