“Needs muna bago wants.”
That’s the simple mantra of Sunshine Cruz as far as managing her finances is concerned.
Hence, before she indulges in a shopping spree, she sees to it that there is an extra income.
“Ang tawag ko diyan, bonus. Kasi siyempre, when you earn and napagkakasya mo yung needs, masaya ka na dun, di ba?
“Pag sumobra, parang you deserve a reward. Kaya yung shopping ay kapag may extra lang.
“Kapag bumili ako ng mahal, ibig sabihin, may bonus or pera na hindi ko inasahan,” she told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) during her house shoot.
But even her wants are not that expensive.
“Siguro yung travel. Yun na yung masasabi nating expensive.
“Pero hindi rin ako yung mahilig sa mamahalin. Yung para sa daily wear ko, they are brands that are not so pricey pero swak sa katawan—mga Zara, H&M, at Topshop.
“Hindi rin ako yung maramihan kung bumili.
“Naranasan ko nga dati, when I was still married, dalawa lang yung rubber shoes. Pero di naman ako naghahangad kasi lagi lang akong nasa loob ng bahay.”
Sunshine sets aside a fixed amount for the “hulog sa house,” bills, and salaries of her staff—composed of two helpers, a personal assistant, and two drivers.
“Untouchable yun,” she said.
Her savings are usually intended for something.
“I was able to purchase two cars, cash, ‘tapos eto, konti na lang kulang ko dito sa house, mababayaran ko na si Mama.”
When Sunshine bought the house in 2013, she borrowed money from her mom Alma.
Being “masinop” is a trait which she passes on to her three daughters: Angelina, Angeline, and Chesca.
“Ever since, yung mga anak ko hindi sila natuto na maging magarbo, kasi lagi ko sinasabi sa kanila na laging unahin natin yung needs kesa yung wants.
“Ngayon kung meron tayong extra, e, di for special occasion—birthday niyo, Christmas or magandang grades niyo—then that is only the time na ibibigay ko sa inyo yung like niyo.
“So sanay naman sila, napaka-simple din naman.”
Her daughters get to hold money because of their baon—the amount of which is fixed.
Angelina said, “Our baon, every day for school is for us to buy food… Sometimes, we save naman po if ever we don’t get to spend the whole thing in a day.
“We get to save, and we know how to save naman kasi mom taught us, that we don’t spend everything on wants, that we should spend wisely.”
This writer asked: What do you usually buy with the extra money?
It was Sunshine who answered the question.
“Starbucks, mga ganun nila, clothes.
“Kasi ako yung bumibili sa kanila. Though meron silang pera minsan, may mga gusto silang gamit, bumibili sila ng sarili nila. Pero sasabihin ko, kapag medyo kulang yung budget nila, ako na lang magdadagdag. Ganun na lang.”
The Kapuso actress said she is more generous when there is a cause for celebration.
“Pero may time na talagang, birthday or kapag mataas yung mga grade, ‘Halika punta tayo ng mall. Pili talaga sila.”
Smiling, Sunshine added, “Sasabihin ko ilang pieces. Minsan eight, minsan two, depende sa budget.”
Among the three girls, the eldest—a budding singer—is the one who has already experienced what it is like to have an income.
She said, “I want to save up for my own car.”
What if her mom gives her a car for her 18th birthday next year—September 24?
Angelina answered, “I don’t really want to let mommy spend on, you know, something that… much as I wanna like, you know, help also.
“I want to spend on my own things as well.”
Most likely, the future debutante will not be having a grand celebration.
The mom said, “Sabi ko nga, ‘Let’s spend your birthday sa charity ‘tapos if you want, let’s go to Paris. Sabi ko, pasyal kita… Hindi naman kelangan ng big party.”
Sunshine said she is grateful to have daughters whose idea of fun is lounging around the house.
“Pag walang trabaho, dito lang ako sa bahay hangga’t maaari or kung lalabas, kasama ko sila.
“Pero most of the time, pag wala rin, pag nandito ako sa bahay, they would text me, ‘Can we sleep in your room?’ So magkakasama kami.
“Minsan, may toka-toka sila kung sinong kasama ko muna sa bedroom, alternate sila with our dog, si Sparkle.”
They are not magimik?
The youngest, Chesca, replied, “Nope. She allows sleepovers, but it’s not like we go out and party.”
Sunshine threw in, “Pag nakikita ko na may extra income na or mas dumadami yung taping or meron akong events, ‘Halika, kain tayo sa labas' or nag-aabot pa ako ng extra sa kanila, gano’n yung nagyayari.”
The 41-year-old mom feels “blessed” to have Tres Marias who are “masunurin at hindi maluho.”
She ended, “And I just hope ganyan-ganyan lang sila, yung masaya sila na magkakasama kami at kasama nila ako at dito lang sila sa house.
“Mahirap maging single mom, pero having mga mababait na anak na naa-aapreciate nila yung ginagawa mo for them, nakakawala ng pagod.”