Fast Facts on Filipino Money Habits

I received this very interesting infographic on Filipino money and spending habits from Pawn Hero a few weeks ago. I took the bits that caught my interest but you can see the full infographic here. The sources are the World Bank, Master Intelligence and Nielsen and they are written in tiny print at the bottom of the infographic. As with anything you read on the internet, please take the facts presented with a grain of salt.

The survey says that 20% of Filipinos save money but only 10% save money in banks.


One out of five is not bad but it seriously needs improvement. Also, related to how many people save money is an estimate of their savings rate.* This world map shows the household savings rate around the world and Switzerland dominates the savings rate game with 17.8% with Luxembourg coming a close second with 17.3%.


On a good month, I can set aside 25% - 30% of my take-home pay as savings/investments, but on average I only manage to bank 15% - 20% month, which, like the statistics on Filipinos who save, is not bad but still needs improvement . My dream is to save/invest AT LEAST 50% of my pay, admittedly though, that is still quite a long way from happening. Maybe when I've paid off both my mortgages.

The infographic also gave the reasons why Filipinos don't have bank accounts. The top reason is understandable (i.e. don't have money so don't need a bank account), however, some of the reasons cited show that banks need to step up and improve their image/ how people perceive them.


The infographic says that 17% do not trust the banks, 16% do not have a bank account because there are no banks near them, 9% think banks are mean and 9% bewail the high cost of bank account maintenance.

I wonder why banks have this snooty/mean girl image. Is it the imposing facade? The unapproachable tellers? Seriously, banks should do something about how the public perceives them. Maybe they should get Yaya Dub or PNP Chief Bato to endorse them, since everybody seems to like those two.

Filipinos might not be saving enough, but they are certainly spending a lot and over the internet at that!


I'm glad that Filipinos are finally discovering the convenience of online shopping since this supports small or budding entrepreneurs who would never have had the chance to flourish in a brick and mortar environment. But it's disconcerting to see how much we shop online versus how little we save.


The infographic still contains more facts and figures that I wasn't able to discuss in this post so just click here if you want to read it in its entirety. Again, thanks to Pawn Hero for sharing the infographic!

*Savings rate - the amount of money, expressed as a percentage or ratio, that a person deducts from his disposable personal income to set aside as a nest egg or for retirement.

** Additional image from

***Disclaimer: I am not connected with Pawn Hero. 


  1. I think it is unfair to compare the Philippines to more well off countries, especially the economic status of majority of the people. The infographic reflects it. Pay check to pay check just to take care of needs? I am trying to look more into studies on this, but in my quick Googling, I haven't found any.

    Perhaps also lack of education and the culture, which are the bigger challenges I think. Hopefully people like you could help plant seeds of financial literacy

  2. Hi Didi,

    Yeah, we still have a long road ahead when it comes to financial literacy. But it's heartening to see groups like The Global Filipino Investors and people like Randell Tiongson and Bo Sanchez who have made financial literacy their advocacy.

  3. Yes to having relatable and familiar people as bank 'endorsers'! I hope they have them talk about money, too. Kahit sa 30 second commercial pwedeng banggitin nila na mag-impok, tapos punta kayo sa pinakamalapit na branch at magtanong. For example, someone like Melai encouraging people to save money.

    Although, from experience, minsan yung nasa customer service counter ng banks, they're not that knowledgeable with the investment products that their bank offers. Some seem to only know about the products in theory.

  4. I think well-off countries have nothing to do with saving money. Saving money requires discipline and majority of Filipinos don't have that. Sorry for being blunt, but this is true. Even other pinoys living in poor communities still can afford to smoke and drink despite their living conditions.

    Financial literacy is very uncommon in the Philippines. Other pinoys don't even know what an emergency fund is. I guess others have to change their mindset and attitude towards money.

    "Wealth is not the same as money, if you are earning high income every year and spend it all, you are not getting wealthier, you are just living high. Wealth is something you accumulate, not what you spend."

    From a book, The Millionaire Next Door

  5. Hi Gary,

    You're right, discipline is one of the key components in saving money.

    Thanks for dropping by!


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