How motherhood, marriage changed Anne’s spending habits
Anne Curtis doesn’t need a lot of words to describe how motherhood has changed her. In fact, in a recent virtual roundtable chat with the press as Manulife Philippines’ latest brand ambassador, it didn’t take long before the lovely actress’ catchy laughter was replaced by happy tears — a disarming display of vulnerability that quickly bubbled to the surface when she began talking about the selfless nature of parenting.
Don’t get her wrong. Even before COVID-19 stopped the whole world in its tracks, Anne knew the importance of saving for a rainy day. But her recent time away from the limelight brought realizations that would otherwise have come later for many career women of her stature.
Anne explained, “What happened was, when I became a mother during the pandemic, I was given precious time to relax and take a step back [from my busy schedule]. Being a workaholic, I used to work every day—there was ‘Showtime,’ making movies, appearing in mall shows, doing concerts, etc. I was focused on the entertainer’s lifestyle.
“So, when I was thrust into that unexpected time to rest, I suddenly had time to focus on my other passions, like putting up businesses with friends and co-founders. With [my sister-in-law] Solenn Heussaff, I put up the baby clothing brand Tili Dahli because we became mothers of newborns during the pandemic. “
“Then, there’s Recess, the active wear brand for women [with Isabelle Daza], and the BLK makeup line that I started before the lockdowns.
“Time really gave me an opportunity to discover and explore this other side of me. But aside from just mere passion, it’s also about working hard to realize your vision and seeking professional advice from people who know better.”
During the interview, Anne also shared her secrets in managing finances, running a business, securing her family’s future and taking care of her own needs.
But picking up where she left off didn’t turn out to be as easy as she thought, Anne admitted: “After that long break, I began cohosting ‘It’s Showtime’ again, but once a week muna. I was out of the limelight for almost two years, so I didn’t know if I still had it in me to keep up with the witty, wacky exchanges among the hosts … hindi madali ‘yung batuhan ng linya. You have to be quick on your feet to keep up.
“Then, I built up enough confidence to do it twice a week. And now, they’re asking me to do it thrice a week. But I also have to manage my time being a mother and a wife, and running my businesses at the same time. So, from baby steps, I’ve taken a huge stride to get back into the swing of things. Hopefully, I can do a film or a TV series next year.”
Indeed, motherhood or raising a family has changed Anne’s mindset about what needs to be prioritized in life.
“First and foremost, I’m no longer thinking about myself (laughs)! I now make plans for the future, specifically where my daughter Dahlia’s education is concerned. You just want to set all of that in stone because now, there’s another life that you have to think about. Honestly, everything I do now is all about her.
Highs and lows
“Ever since I became her mom, I realized that I have become selfless. Wait… bakit ba ako umiiyak (wipes off tears)? I’m just talking about her (laughs)…! So, now, every time I accept a project or I see that there’s a new policy that has to do with education or life or health or travel, I’m like, ‘I need that for Dahlia’… so that I can secure her future for her. That in itself is a huge change for me.”
Asked what she found most challenging about motherhood, Anne said, “Being a first-time mom, there are so many challenges to deal with. But each one is a learning experience, like when Dahlia’s sick. I noticed how praning I can get as a mom.
“There are highs and lows, like how it is to take that first step to go back to work or to send your kid off to school. Having said that, I super enjoyed hurdling the challenging parts of it.”
What’s one financial advice she’d give Dahlia when she comes of age?
Anne quipped, “Huwag kang gumastos at mag-shopping (laughs)! Seriously, I will encourage her to work hard for her money and save. Learn to value what you earn.”
We asked Anne how she had “adjusted” her spending habits when she got married. She answered, “Well, I don’t live the same lifestyle that I had when I was a single woman. But even when Erwan (Heussaff, her husband) and I just got married, hindi pa rin nagbago ang spending habits ko (laughs)!”
We ribbed her, “So, you just kept spending … because back then, you were Erwan’s baby?”
“Yes!,” she replied, laughing. “But the shift did come. It happened when I became a mom. You just start realizing the value of what you have and the important things that you should be spending on. And even more so when I stopped working … you realize that what you earn doesn’t grow on trees. So you have to be careful about how you’re going to invest or spend your money.”
Anne’s career started taking off when she was very young. Any tips for young adults who are just starting to earn?
Anne recalled, “From the get-go, I saved! My very first paycheck was P1,250—I’ll never forget that. Uy, malaki ‘yan noon (laughs)! But that’s one thing that my dad and mom instilled in me, even when we were still living in Australia. They had those kiddie bank accounts where you could deposit $1 or $2.
“When I moved here, they still encouraged me to continue saving. My mom taught me the importance of working hard for something that you want.
“As for the young people who are just starting to earn, their spending and saving habits could be affected by the ease with which we get a hold of our money these days. Now, we want to immediately buy so many things that we see online—it’s a totally different generation!
“When I was a kid in the ϣ90s, you couldn’t get anything you want immediately. Now, it’s so easy to shop and pay online, whereas during my time, you had to save muna and buy stuff with cash (laughs)! With online payments these days, hindi mo na nahahawakan ang pera mo! I think that’s the huge difference.
“But I hope that we’re able to encourage people at such a young age to set those goals and save their money, so they can prepare for the future. I mean, huwag munang masilaw sa mga nakikita nila online, even when they have the money! Save it for something that is truly important.”