Mayaman ka ba? (Are you rich?)
Regardless of how much money you have, let’s talk about money and related words.
Firstly, money in Tagalog is pera. If you speak Spanish, do not be fooled that this means “pear”, which in Tagalog is peras. Do you see what they did there?
E.g. May pera ka ba? Kailangan ko ang pera para bumili ng peras.
(Have you got money? I need money to buy pears.)
As demonstrated above, to buy in Tagalog is bili.
e.g. Bumili ako ng kotse. (I bought a car.)
e.g. Bumibili ako ng kotse. (I am buying a car.)
e.g. Bibili ako ng kotse. (I will buy a car.)
To pay for something in Tagalog is bayad.
e.g. Nagbayad na ako. (I’ve paid.)
e.g. Nagbabayad na ako. (I am paying.)
e.g. Magbabayad na ako. (I will pay.)
You got change?
After you pay for something not in the exact amount, you expect to receive change or sukli from the shopkeeper.
E.g. May sukli ba ako? (Is there change?) lit. (Have I got change?)
E.g. ‘Eto po ang sukli mo. (Here is your change.)
Loose change or coins in Tagalog is barya. If you are paying with a note for something of low price, you’ll be asked if you have smaller notes, coins or barya.
E.g. May barya ka ba? (Have you got loose change?)
E.g. Pasensya na po. Wala akong barya. (Sorry, sir/ma’am. I haven’t got loose change.)
When you have work and it’s pay day, you will receive your salary called either suweldo or sahod (pron. SAAH-hod). The two words are interchangeable.
E.g. May sahod/suweldo ka ba? (Have you been paid?) or (Have you got your salary?)
E.g. Meron. Bibili na tayo ng alak. (Yes. Let’s got buy drinks.)
Save. Save. Save.
Or instead of spending your salary by going out for drinks, you want to put it in a savings account. There are two similar phrases but still different in their own way.
ipon – to open a bank account and save money
impok – to deposit money (into an existing bank account)
E.g. Kailangan akong mag-ipon (I need to save money (by opening a bank account))
E.g. Kailangan akong mag-impok ng sahod ko. (I need to deposit my salary (into a bank account))
The Price is Right
When going shopping, you will check for prices. You will think the item is either expensive (mahal) or cheap (mura).
The Tagalog word for “budget” is badyet.
“To budget” can be either is either mag-bagyet or magtipid.
Mag-badyet mainly means to create a budget for a specific event or duty.
E.g. Mag-babadyet ako para sa birthday party (I will make a budget for the birthday party)
Magtipid is the one that means to be mindful of your expenses and trying to spend less.
If you’re like me, someone who doesn’t like to spend a lot, your (Filipino) friends would probably call you a cheapskate also known as kuripot or madamot as a joke.
E.g. 150 pesos na iyan? Mahal naman ‘yan ! Eh, ito na lang. 50 pesos lang.
(150 pesos for that? That’s so expensive! Just this one. Only 50 pesos.)
Ano ka ba? Madamot/kuripot ka talaga!
(What’s with you? You’re really a cheapskate!)
Pero kailangan akong magtipid! Kaunti na lang ang pera ko, eh.
(But I need to budget! I only have little money (to spend), eh.)
‘Cos you’re worth it
Here are some Tagalog marketing buzzwords you will probably see on posters and advertisements relating to items that are low on cost, yet high in value.
sulit – to be worth the price
abot-kaya – affordable
You will find that in some eateries and restaurants there are menu items known as “sulit meals” or “tipid meals”. These sulit meals usually can go as low as P25 depending on the establishment itself.
These are all some of the most common words relating to money. When you go shopping in one of the largest malls in the Philippines, hopefully knowing these words will come in handy.