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Where Should Women Begin Their FQ Journey?


    I hope I’ve convinced you from my previous article that it is indeed important for us women to take hold of our FQ (Financial Intelligence Quotient) because we are the bedrock of our society. We take care of everyone else, and for us to be able to do that well, we have to take care of ourselves first.

    I liken it to the instruction of the flight attendant with regard to the use of oxygen masks on the plane, “Put your oxygen mask on before assisting others.” For mothers traveling with children, this might not be the intuitive thing to do because they automatically attend to their children’s needs first.

    Thinking of yourself is not neglecting your duties as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, etc., but just a reminder to attend to yourself so that you can care for others better. If we further look into the reason for the oxygen mask instruction, it is so because it only takes a few seconds’ loss of oxygen before your brain suffers. In the same manner, if women allow their caring nature to over-extend themselves and fail to attend to their own needs, they run the risk of suffocating!

    First things first

    So what’s the first thing to do in honing your FQ? Before you even start choosing the right financial products for your life goals, there’s a first step that is not mathematical in nature. It involves emotions. Good! Because here’s one advantage we have over our male counterparts. We are more in touch with our emotions.

    The first step to having a high FQ is to understand our relationship with money. Understanding relationships, in general, is quite complicated. Go online and you will find dozens of relationship status options to choose from: single, in a relationship, engaged, married, in a civil union, in a domestic partnership, in an open relationship, it’s complicated, separated, divorced, widowed. Then there are interesting sub-categories: talking, kinda talking, something but nothing, confused, leading someone on, being led on by someone, homewrecker, mutual understanding, No BF/GF since birth, best friends with benefits, in a love triangle, exclusive dating, mistress, in love, broken-hearted, bitter, forever alone, and many more!

    Wow! Relationships can really be complicated these days.

    The same is true when it comes to our relationship with money. It can really be complicated, confusing, scary, broken, bitter and a bad one can indeed be a homewrecker!

    Money is the most misunderstood commodity in the world. It ranks high up there together with sex, religion, and politics. It is an emotionally charged subject because of the various meanings and feelings we attach to it. 

    There are many more beliefs and emotions about money. I’m sure your own family has its share of interesting beliefs. The truth is money is neither good nor bad. Money is just money. It is in how we relate to it that adds the dimension of good or bad.

    So try to observe yourself and figure out how you relate to money. Then understand why you relate with money the way you do today. This entails going down your childhood money memory lane. Did you grow up feeling that money was always lacking or did you grow up not worrying about money at all? What did you hear your parents say about money? Did they quarrel about money? Did you grow up hearing, “Money does not grow on trees!” or did they say, “If you’re willing to work hard, the money will follow!” Did you feel that your friends and relatives had more money than your family did, or was it the other way around?

    In order to build something long-lasting, make your foundation strong. The higher you want it, the deeper your foundation should be. To achieve a high FQ, it is important to go back and dig deep into your childhood money memory.

    This is always a very interesting part of my FQ workshops. I hope I will see you in one of the workshops I will be giving in line with the InLife Sheroes program. If not, you may get hold of my latest book FQ: The nth Intelligence. There is a chapter there that guides you through the exercises.

    You may also wish to visit the FQ Mom Youtube channel and watch the childhood money memories shared by the country’s leading finance and business people such as the late Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nesting Espenilla, Jr., former Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Ayala Corporation’s Fernando Zobel de Ayala, former president of the Philippine Stock Exchange Hans Sicat, popular lay minister Bo Sanchez, and many more. You can also watch the childhood money memories of celebrities such as Piolo Pascual, Judy Ann Santos, Matteo Guidicelli, Bianca Gonzales, and many more on the same channel.

    After watching some of the above, please go to a place where you can also think about your own childhood money memory. Write it down, do not censor yourself. This exercise will help you understand why you relate with money the way you do now.

    Your deeper understanding will help you get into the next steps in your FQ Journey. See you again in the next articles.

    Cheers to high FQ!


    Rose Fres Fausto is FQ Mom (FQ stands for Financial Intelligence Quotient). She was an investment banker turned full-time homemaker and now a writer and speaker on money and family. She’s a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and Behavioral Economist, having trained under Dan Ariely, the Father of B.E. Richard Thaler, and recently completed a B.E. course at the Harvard Business School. She wrote bestsellers Raising Pinoy Boys, The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon (English and Filipino versions), FQ: The nth Intelligence. She has a weekly column in PhilStar.com and regularly contributes to other magazines. 

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    AUTHOR BIO Rose Fres Fausto is FQ Mom. FQ stands for Financial Intelligence Quotient. Investment banker turned full-time homemaker, she is now a writer and speaker on money and family.

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