Adulting can be tough. It’s a critical phase of trials and errors where young people get to taste the harsh realities of life — especially when it is time to pay the bills. It is also a point in time when this YouTuber got knocked down and was financially drained helping out a friend. But this just made her stronger and wiser as she managed to bounce back now teaching her followers how to be responsible adults based on real-life experiences.
Thea Sy Bautista, one of the most sought-after finance content creators, has had her fair share of mishaps in managing her personal finances. She found herself wiped out when she was just 26 years old after signing an agreement to be her friend’s co-maker. “I was forced to save more than Php 1M to pay for my friend’s debt and coming from a middle-class family, saving this much money is no easy feat. But looking back, if that did not happen, I wouldn’t be able to grow my net worth in a short period of time. I was hungry for improvement so I got creative and made personal sacrifices on how to reboot my finances”, Bautista said.
And reboot she did. Aside from her day job she turned to her passion for teaching by tutoring high school students after work. She taught Calculus, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Physics. “I just posted my UP grad pic on OLX and charged Php 400 per hour, minimum of 2 hours per subject. To my surprise, I checked how much other tutors were charging and discovered I was charging 3x the standard rate.” Bautista said. To be able to earn more and achieve her target faster, she discovered that positioning is key.
She also saw the potential of earning from YouTube back then and started uploading videos in 2018. “Only a few know about this but I did not intend my channel to be about personal finances. I am obsessed with makeup and I envisioned myself to be a beauty vlogger,” Bautista said. But one fateful day, a follower slid into her DMs seeking for financial advice on credit cards knowing she has worked in a bank before. So she posted her video “credit card 101: for beginners (basic pros + cons)” and now has raked in half a million views and counting. She then dropped her makeup kit and focused on her newfound content.
Strike while the iron is hot, as they say, so she followed it up with videos documenting how to be a responsible tita in this day and age where she shared wise financial investments, different life hacks, and occasional #titafinds that piqued the interest of many.
With her video “real estate investments in your 20s to 30s”, she highlighted the importance of starting at an early age. “Instead of spending for my travels, shopping, and other leisure items, I saved my excess disposable income to purchase my first real estate property in my 20s”, Bautista said. Practicing delayed gratification can be challenging when shopping can be done at your fingertips. “But I always remind my ka-titas and ka-titos that it is okay to spend for as long as they are intentional with their purchases,” Bautista added.
While she’s at it, Thea also gave a rundown on her learnings and realizations in her video “saved 1M in a year” in 2021 proving that anyone can do it. “Earning a million in a year is achievable because there are a lot of opportunities out there for you to earn. It all depends on what you will do with those opportunities,” Bautista said. This video was well-received by her followers so she is currently producing another “my first million” series teaching how to be more self-sufficient and be responsible adults when it comes to managing personal finances.
Some may find it daunting to face the music of adulting. But this soon-to-be Registerd Financial Planner stresses the importance of always thinking ahead. “Adulting can be fun. It is just a matter of changing your mindset and making wise decisions in life. There will come a time that you will be thanking your 20-year-old self later,” Bautista said.
Thea Sy Bautista is part of Unbox Creator Network’s Finance Gurus, which is composed of the top and up-and-coming finance content creators in the Philippines. To watch her videos, check out her channel at Thea Sy Bautista – YouTube.