ONE reason employees get financially stressed is their failure to develop the habit of personal saving, a personal finance adviser said last week.

“Saving doesn’t only help you prepare early on for retirement but this would help you address situations like emergencies,” said Efren Cruz, chairman and chief executive officer of Personal Finance Advisers Philippines Corp., in an interview last week.

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Cruz came to Cebu to give a talk on personal finance.

“This is actually the 5th seminar but this is the first time that we are conducting it here in Cebu under the EnRich brand.

Our advocacy is to promote financial awareness,” he said.

Cruz said that in a study conducted during seminars they facilitated, 68 percent of the employees suffer from one form of financial stress or another with 32 percent being highly-stressed.

Not suitable

“There are many reasons why they get financially-stressed. They spend much rather than save. They even buy investments not suitable for them. But the most basic reason is the choices in life made from improper beliefs about happiness and contentment,” he said.

Cruz stressed that employees should manage their cash well.

“Practice the habit on saving, cut expensive debts, understand interest rates and study investments well before buying them,” he said.

Employers, he added, should also guide their employees on how to save and invest. They can let employees go to seminars that would develop their mindset on saving and investing and provide tools for implementing personal financial plans.

Cruz also stressed that employers should not be too paternalistic by extending all sorts of loans and benefits to their employees.

“There is an optimum level of benefits that should be provided.

Anything in excess will only create financial crutches for employees,” he said.

To further help individuals manage their finances well, Cruz said that they will hold EnRich talks every month. The team is scheduled to visit Cebu next month.