Saturday, October 30, 2010

Personal Order (Being good stewards of God’s Gifts)

A lecture/kwentuhan with Lingkodmates.

Everybody has a role to play.

  • You are a sister or a brother in a community.
  • You are a daughter or a son and/or a sibling of your family.
  • You are a worker in an organization.
  • And of course you are a child of God.

What do these four roles have in common? Have you taught about it?Okay, enough of the guessing game. The answer is RELATIONSHIP.

We build relationship in a community, in the family, in the organization/workplace and of course with God. More than anything else, we should build these relationships for the betterment of our totality as a person and as a child of God.

What does my introduction have to do with personal order?

Before that we should define what an ORDER is.

Order is a condition wherein there is a place for everything and everything is in its proper place. It is a condition, which there is a methodical, proper and harmonious arrangement of disposition of a thing.

Imagine your cabinet/closet. Is it in order or not? Are your clothes arranged properly or not? How do you arrange it? Is it arranged by color or by size? Are the shirts neatly folded-up or not? Are the socks in proper place? Are those belts hanging loosely from the pants you wore the day before? Are the shoes neatly placed on the shoe rack? Can you find something quickly? If somebody opens your cabinet, will he/she be able to find something quickly?

My friend, that is one way of defining personal order.

But why do we need order?

We need order so that we can perform to the fullest and we can do what God wanted us to do in life. Order is reflective of God’s character. God is a God of Order. God created us in an orderly manner. He created our eyes on top of the head so that our vision is not hindered. He created our nose on top of our mouth so we can smell the food before we eat it. He created our ears in a manner where we can hear on both sides, left and right.

If you want something to happen but did not happen as you wished it to be is because you are pertaining to YOUR time and not in God’s time. There is always time for everything…(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

We need order because we want to grow in three (3) Christian qualities.

  • Generosity
  • Faithfulness
  • Peace

Generosity means we are able to give to the needy.

Faithfulness means we are trustworthy servants of God.

Peace means we are able to live not of disorder.

What are the important areas to put order in?

  • Time and relationship
  • Treasure, Money and Things
  • Talents

Time and Relationship

Time is gold. No human being can ever bring back lost time. So be careful on how you spend it. Relationship is associated with time because relationship grows with time. You need to spend sometime with those persons you want to have relationship with. You also need to spend time with God so that you can reflect on what your true purpose is.

Treasure, Money and Things

Everything in this world is from God. He owns it. We are just borrowing it. So be careful on how you handle your finances because when judgement day comes you are accountable on how you spend the gifts he gave you.

Talents

Show your talents because they are gifts from God. Nurture and hone them for the glory of the Creator. He gave you talents to share it with other people so don’t hide them.

Here are the principles I learned from my friend’s talk:

  • We are merely stewards of our resources. Be very careful on how you handle resources.
  • We must seek God’s wisdom and timing in all our work. All in God’s time
  • We must trust God and see Him work. Be a faithful servant of God.
  • Seek advise from elders. A very good sign of humility is seeking for advice if you really can’t handle the situation any longer.
  • Learn from mistakes, be patient and willing to do it over again. Your emotional intelligence is put to test in this principle.
  • Be simple in priorities, take away the clutter. Set your priorities, focus on them and drop those nonsense.
  • Be hardworking but know your limits. Give your best in everything you do.

Here are some practical tips you can apply.

On Time and Relationship

  • Buy a planner and actually USE IT!
  • Schedule the important things before they become urgent.
  • Live one square at a time. Don’t overstress yourself on your upcoming schedules. Focus on “today” but plan for tomorrow.

On Treasure, Money and Things

  • Use the 10-10-10 Principle. (10% tithes, 10% savings and 10% emergency fund)
  • Always remember this, “The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess.”
  • If you have two (2) coats, one of them belongs to the poor.

On Talents

  • Discover your talents.
  • Do not be afraid of failure.
  • Ask God to let you see where to serve Him.

As a conclusion, everything that we have comes from God. We are responsible to whatever He gives us properly and accordingly to his will. We must be patient; wait for the Lord. We must NOT go ahead of Him. He is faithful and He will fulfill our heart’s desire.


~till then


On Credit Card

A certain employee of a bank once sent me a text message saying they will send me a pre-approved credit card. All I have to do is send them my personal details thruogh the same number or go to any branch of that bank and update my details. I was confused because it was Sunday and I was about to hear the mass when I got a message like that. Do they need to do this on a Sunday afternoon? But I politely replied because I am a depositor of that particular bank and I don’t want them to brand me as a snob client. My text message goes like this, “Hi Ms. 'Jane Doe'. I don’t think I need a credit card. Please don’t send it to me. Thanks for the info anyway.” True enough, I did not receive a card.

Almost everybody wants a credit card because it can give you a better purchasing power. But, If not managed well, it can give you headache. No doubt I can manage a credit card but I don’t see the need right now. Who doesn’t want freebies or perks? Of coure I do. But to have those freebies I should spend more. That doesn’t work for me.

What do I miss in life not having a credit card? Actually, nothing. I have my debit card and a good bank standing and those are the things that matter to me the most. ;)


~till then


Compounding Interest - What is it and how does it work?

Many people do not know that time and money have a deep relationship.

Time is gold, isn’t it? There is no time machine. It is just a fiction we see in movies and sci-fis. That is why we have “if only”. Value time because you can never bring it back. A time spent is a time lost.

Money is a tool we use in our day-to-day life. We use money to buy our food, rent/buy a house and buy clothings. We work hard for the money. We spend 8-12 hours (or more) working in the office/workplace just to have money. But never people will study how money works.

Why do we need to know how money works?

Because of the following.

Money does not get sick.

Money does not stop working.

Money does not complain.

Money does not go on vacation.

Money works 24 hours a day.

Money works even on holidays.

Money is loyal to its boss. (And the great part of it? The boss is YOU.)

Unfortunately, only few understand these facts.

I’ll give you an example. If paycheck comes, what comes to your mind first? Is it your savings/investments (I mean investments on mutual funds/stocks, insurance coverages, health coverages and emergency fund.) or the latest gadget/jacket/shoes/shirt/toy in the mall? One of the differences of the poor and the rich is the mindset. If you think first of the latest gadget, cool jacket, fancy shoes, trendy shirt or awsome toy then I am sorry to say but you have a poor mindset. You may have lots of money right now to buy those things but time will come you will lose every peso you have because you have not developed the value of saving and investing.

Here are some manifestations of a poor mindset.

If the paycheck comes, it’s a signal for them to spend.

They value comfort over success.

They want instant gratification.

They are afraid to take risk.

They think they know it all.

Question: Are you one of them?

Now, if you are NOT willing to take the plunge then stop reading. Otherwise continue.

I’ll give you a detailed discussion on how money works and how you can achieve your dream using this concept.

The Rule of 72.

The Rule of Compounding Interest or Rule of 72 is said to be the greatest mathematical discovery of all times. This was formulated by Albert Einstein. This rule simply shows us how long our money will double given a specified interest rate. 72 is a constant number divided by the interest rate will give the number of years the money will double.

If you have 100 thousand pesos in a bank right now, how long will it take your money to double itself? (Without you adding a single peso to that account.) Now here is the tricky part and I’ll try my very best to discuss it in the simplest way I can. Determine the interest rate of your bank. (As I write this article the interest rate of the bank is 0.75% - not considering tax) But let us simplify it. We will compute with 1% interest rate. Let us now divide 72 by 1. The answer will be 72, meaning it will take 72 years more before our money will double. If you are 25 years old right now and you have 100 thousand pesos in a bank right now then your money will be 200 thousand when you reach the age of 97. Apply it to any interest rate and you will have an idea of what I am saying.

For Example: At 4% interest rate per annum your money will double every 18 years.

If you are 29 years old right now and you have 100 thousand pesos in a facility earning 4% per annum your money will be 400 thousand when you reach 65.

What if you put your money in a facility which earns 8% per annum? Using the rule of 72, your money will double every 9 years. If you have 100 thousand right now, assuming you are 29 years old, your money will become 1.6M.

What if you know 12%? Then your 100 thousand will become 6.4M after 36 years.


~till then

Boracay Helmet Diving/ Reef Walking!


This was our first water activity in Boracay. While we were strolling at Station 1 a lady (ate Diding) approached us and asked us if we want to have some water activities. She quoted us 400php each for the helmet diving. She told us it's the lowest we can get since it is already high season since normally it is priced at 500php. Paul and I tested our haggling skills and luckily won the battle of prices. (Yeah we won!) We got the activity at 300php each. Sweet huh!


We walked from Station 1 to Bulabog beach where the activity will take place. Upon arrival we paid for the fee and rode a motorized banca going to a bigger banca where divers await to accompany us. There was a short briefing on what to do and what not to do during the activity. I was scared since it's my first time to submerge in water. I mean really submerge. I never took a diving class nor a swimming class before going to Boracay. I wish i did. What if something goes wrong and the hose that supplies my oxygen is accidentally cut? But what the heck, that's what insurance is for!


We wore a heavy helmet while inside the water. The divers gave us some bread to feed the school of fish. The underwater world is trully amazing it makes me wanna go back to Coron!



Fifteen minutes inside the water felt hours. There was one time when I already want to go up and breathe normally. Nevertheless the experience was great and I will highly recommend this activity to my friends!



~till then

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Boracay Puka Beach!


Puka beach is located at the northern tip of Boracay island. From here you can already see the famous Carabao island of Romblon.


Puka beach is the opposite of White Beach in terms of crowd and business establishments. The sand is not as fine as the White Beach but the waters are better. (I think!)



One can get to Puka beach by boat or by land through a tricycle. We opted for the second since it is cheaper.


Puka beach became famous because of the rare Puka shells that can be found here.






~till then

Boracay Diniwid Beach!




Heading north of White Beach Station 1, we arrived at Diniwid Beach. It is a small beach roughly 200 meters long. If you want a peaceful and tranquil place to stay while in Boracay then I highly recommend this place.




~till then

Boracay Bulabog Beach!

Bulabog beach became famous because of wind surfing and kite surfing activities. It is also the jump off point for the reef walking (helmet diving), snorkling and island tour. It is smaller than white beach but also boasts great accomodations like The Sitio and Monaco Suites de Boracay.



~till then

Boracay White Beach!


The famous white beach in Boracay is an almost four kilometer stretch of white sand lined up with coconut trees and resorts. It is divided into three stations namely Station 1, Station 2 and Station 3.


Station 1 boasts of the prime hotels situated in the area – Fridays, Discovery Shores and Ambassador’s to name a few.



Station 2 is where the party people flock at night because of the bars and eat-all-you-can restaurants.



Station 3 is the homey place in White Beach. Far from the noisy and crowded Station 2. It also houses the cheapest hotels and resorts in the island.




~till then

Boracay Baby!


I’ve been wanting to go to Boracay since I knew it but expenses kept me at bay. Hotel accomodations are sky rocketing and seems to me overpriced. Even the air fare did not catch my attention since it will cost anyone from 2000php to 7000php just to go there. So I patiently waited for seat sales.


When Philippine Airlines (PAL) offered a seat sale to Kalibo (Klo), I grabbed the opportunity and bought two tickets. The tickets were, I think, cheap.


The next thing we have to settle is the accomodation. I was googling and googling and googling for more for cheap accomodations. If it’s a thousand pesos or more then it will not make into my list. Location doesn’t matter to me anymore. What matters most is the price. The cheapest we can get.


The last thing we need to prepare is the itinerary. What we should do in Boracay. There are a lot of options and we need to qualify each option if it is worth the money. If you are not frugal Boracay will burn your cash in an instant. I was never so lax in my itineraries. I always want it full-packed. But Paul requested a different theme this time. He wanted to feel that he is on vacation and not bother about my “places-to-visit” things. He wanted a relaxation, not an amazing race boracay edition. So, I arranged a very simple itinerary. Most of the time it will allow us to relax and enjoy the place. Anyway, best things in life are free.



~till then

Monday, October 25, 2010

KFC Chicken Reinvented


Ingredients:

Cooking oil

Onion

Garlic

Tomatoes

KFC Spicy Chicken

Cooked rice (1 cup)


Instructions:

Debone the chicken and then set aside.


In a pan heat the cooking oil.

Saute garlic, onion ang tomato.

Once the tomato is cooked put the chicken strips.

Then add the cooked rice.

Cook for a while and then serve hot.



~till then


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Garden Salad with Chicken Strips


Ingredients:

Lettuce

Pear

Carrots

Spicy Chiken (left-over)

Bun (for garnish)


Instructions:

Sauce:

Mayonaise and Ketchup (mixed together)


Mix all ingredients in a plate.

Garnish with a bun and then serve.



~till then


Friday, October 22, 2010

On Decluttering

I have noticed myself, for the past two weeks, that I have been accumulating papers on my desk. Loads of paper works pile up every single day. So I want to go back to the basics of decluttering which include 6 simple steps most commonly known as 6S.

1. Sort

There are only two things to consider when sorting. The “I need it box” and the “I don’t need it box.” Everything that needs to go should go. Everything that needs to stay should be checked twice because sometimes we put things there that are not supposed to be there. Always remember that simplicity is the key.

2. Stabilize

Invest on a paper tray. The paper tray should have two levels labeled IN and OUT. The IN should be at the bottom while the OUT should be on top to easily get out-going paper works. For me, OUT tray consists of receipts and presentations that need to be distributed.

3. Shine

Clean up the workplace. Make sure there are no smudges on your desk. It is easier and more pleasant to work when the work area is clean. The mind is at peace and your body is relaxed. Make it a habit to wipe your desk every Friday so that when you go to work the following week you will see a neat place ready to take on the week’s load.

4. Standardize

If you can go color coordinated then it is ok - as long as your office allows it. What am I telling? If you want that your things will have the shade of blue, then do so. That is one way of standardizing things. Another way is to have envelopes in one size and in one color. Label them appropriately and arrange them in alphabetical order. That way you can increase the chance of getting things quick and easy.

5. Sustain

Decluttering is not just for a day. It is a lifestyle. You can also do once a month general cleaning to sustain a clutter free environment.

6. Safety

Make sure that your files are in order and are not blocking any passage. As the saying goes, “Safety first”.

I hope this simple blog inspires you and me on becoming clutter free and organized.


~till then.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Adobo Pasta


Ingredients:

Olive oil

Garlic

Salt

Pepper

Pasta (Fettuccini)

Left-over chicken adobo



Instructions:

Cook pasta according to instruction and set aside.


In a pan heat olive oil and saute garlic.

Put the left-over chicken adobo. Cook for a while.

Put pasta.

Add salt and pepper to taste.



~till then


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

On Income Replacement

Let me ask you. What usually comes in to your mind when you hear the phrase income replacement? Do you think of another work to replace your current job? Do you think of other person to replace you? Or do you think of a magic pot full of gold?

Income replacement is more than those. Actually, income replacement is what we usually term as insurance.

Accept it. DEATH is the most certain event in life. It is not a question of "What if I die?" but a question of "When am I going to die?"

You don't have to fear death. It is just our gateway to be with God in eternal life. The only time you fear death is when you are not able to live by God's law. Many will rebut about my discussion on wealth and God's law. But let e ask you, "Is your misery caused by God? Do you think God wants you to become miserable? Do you think God doesn't want you to become wealthy and to enjoy life?"

Here is a trivia. Did you know that leaving an inheritance to your family is a responsibility? "If anyone does not take care of his own relatives, especially his immediate family, he denied the Christian faith and is worse than an unbeliever." - 1 Timothy 5:8 God also wants you to take care of our family. And taking care doesn't only mean while you are still alive. The best care you can give your family is when they can feel your presence even if you are physically absent.

Always remember this. "The amount of insurance coverage you have simply reflects your love and affection for your family."


~till then

Garden Salad



Ingredients:

Lettuce

Carrots cut into strips

Tomatoes

Croutons

Balsamic Vinegar

Olive Oil


Instruction:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl or a plate, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and then serve.



~till then

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Yellow Salad


Ingredients:

Lettuce

Papaya

Pineapple chunks

Crouton


Instruction:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl or a plate and serve.



~till then

Monday, October 18, 2010

Insurance as seen by Filipinos

Many Filipinos are philosophers when they talk about income replacement.

A driver may say, "Insurance? Meron na ako nun sa TODA namin. Ok na yun. Gastusin pa yan e."

A new college graduate may say. "Kailangan ba nun?"

An employee may say, "Ahente ka? Takot ako sa mga ahente e. Tsaka meron na kami niyan sa kumpanya bakit ko kailangan ng isa pa? Gastos lang yan."

It really makes me sad every time I hear those comments. Common Filipinos are really illiterate on wealth building. Sorry to say but it's true.

Insurance is a thing that you buy when you don't need it. It is not a right but rather a privilege.

I'll tell you one story. Sir Joen dela Penas, my mentor, once courted a friend to buy insurance. Almost everyday he called his friend reminding him that insurance is a great investment facility. The friend refused every time. Then suddenly the friend was hospitalized because of stroke. Luckily he survived. Upon release from the hospital he called sir Joen begging him for insurance coverage. Did sir Joen give him? Actually, NO! Because his friend is no longer insurable.

If you have one study your policy again. Do you understand it fully? Do you know how much you are covered?

Sometimes people are arrogant. (Sorry for emotional outbursts.) If you talk to them about insurance they will shrug you off and say "I have already." But when you ask them how much coverage they have, they will tell you that they don't know because it is a company benefit. They don't fully understand the terms and conditions of the policy. Others will tell, "I have 100,000 insurance coverage. I'm fine with that."

Let us analyze your income replacement. When you die you will be replaced by 100,000pesos. Teach your family to invest and put the money on an investment facility earning 10 percent each year. 10 percent of 100,000 is 10,000pesos every year income replacement. Divide it by 12 (we have 12 months in a year) then your family will receive 833.33pesos every month. This illustration is true provided that your family knows how to invest and where to invest. What if they don't? 100,000 pesos will be soon a history.

The right way

Here is how we compute income replacement or insurance coverage.

Annual income times 10.

Example, you are earning 10,000pesos per month. Your annual income is 120,000pesos. Multiply it by 10 to get the insurance coverage you need. What is the logic? The answer in the example is 1.2M. Your family should learn how to invest it in a 10 percent facility that will allow the principal to earn 120,000pesos per year. divide it by 12 and get 10,000pesos income replacement.

NOTE: 1Million coverage is leInsurance as seen by Filipinos tha 10,000 pesos per year. Just to give you an idea on the price. :)


~till then

Cream Dory in Butter and Lemon Juice


This recipe was just an experiment but it was perfect. Paul requested another round after eating the first.


Ingredients:

Cream Dory

Butter

Lemon

Salt

Pepper


Instructions:

Sprinkle cream dory with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

In a pan, melt a chunk of butter.

Put cream dory in the pan.

Cook the dory 1 minute on both sides.

Serve with lemon slices.



~till then

Caught in a Rat Race


What is a rat race?

According to wikipedia rat race used for an endless, self-defeating or pointless pursuit. In programming, it is like an infinite loop. To illustrate it further it is waking up in the morning going to work then pay the bills.


Here are 5 simple ways on how to get out of this rat race.


Decide

Your success in getting out of the rat race depends on how strong you have decided to get out of it. Everything begins with a decision. Even the simplest thing like waking up in the morning is a decision. As early as this stage you have to decide. Don’t procrastinate. Decide now!


Make a financial plan

If you don’t know how to make a financial plan then sit with a financial planner to guide you through your way.


Set-up a budget and live within that budget

Save at least 20% of your income.

Invest money in higher earning facilities.

Forsee unpredictable events


Implement the plan

Planning is easy but implementing the plan is not. It always entails extra effort and extra patience to implement the plan. Implementing a plan is like planting a tree. You cannot see the result right there and then. It takes time to grow and bear fruit. Patience is always a virtue.


Review the plan regularly

Your plan today may not suit your future goals. Be pro-active in evaluating your plan. Then do the necessary measures to align the plan to achieve what you want. Prevention is always better than cure.


Be open to changes

The only permanent thing here on earth is change. See changes as opportunities. Always have a positive outlook on changes.





Link on Images:

http://www.clipartguide.com/_named_clipart_images/0511-0809-2414-2252_Cartoon_Man_Drinking_Coffee_Trying_to_Wake_Up_clipart_image.jpg


http://www.clipartguide.com/_named_clipart_images/0511-0907-1220-3960_Cartoon_of_a_Guy_Sleeping_at_Work_clipart_image.jpg


http://images.clipartof.com/small/5722-Man-With-Bills-And-Past-Due-Notices-Clipart-Illustration.jpg


http://www.clipartguide.com/_named_clipart_images/0511-0907-1220-3971_Cartoon_of_a_Man_Sleep_Walking_clipart_image.jpg



~till then


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Time and Money Relationship

Many are asking me, Millette how can I become a millionaire? At my rate of saving right now, when can I become a millionaire?

I always say, let’s put it in Math. Hey, everybody can do math. If you can’t then you will not become a millionaire.

I prepared a simple presentation on how we can relate money with time.

I can’t do X-Y analysis here cause readers will flood me with those “what-is-she-talking-about” comments.

Here it is:

In the presentation above, I assumed that you want to retire by the age of 60 (But you can retire earlier if you wish to.) and that you are saving in a facility which earns 12% per annum.

If you are 25 years old right now and wants to have 10Million by the age of 60, you should be saving 24000 pesos per year or 2000 pesos per month or 67 pesos per day.

If you are 55 years old right now and doesn’t have savings at all then FREAK OUT! Cause you nees to save and invest 4500 pesos every day or 134000 pesos every month or 1.6 Million every year.

You see. If you are going to procrastinate saving and investing then you’ll end up saving more per month. So why procrastinate? Save now!


~till then

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Credit Card as Emergency Fund?

Most of the people I have talked to consider credit card as an emergency fund. They will always tell me, “At least if an emergency, like hospitalization occurs, we have something to present at the hospital.” And I always tell them, "Can’t you make it with your cash?” Then they will reply, “Well, you know what, we have no cash at the moment that is why we need credit cards.”

Emergency funds and credit cards are two different things. You cannot treat the two as synonymous and similar.

Emergency fund is a part of our financial foundation. This is like a solid wall you can lean on. Why? Because it will act like a cushion if an emergency situation occurs. Imagine you are a bird and then a hunter came, aimed towards you and “Bang!” Your right wing was shot. You don’t have an option but to go down. You panicked. You didn’t know what to do. You are not prepared for this. You were going down so fast that you hit the ground head first. Then you died. What if this happens to your finances? You are a happy go lucky man. You live your life each day like there is no tomorrow. You shop too much, play so hard and eat like a king. Because of your lifestyle you got sick. You don’t have an emergency fund and nothing to present to the hospital.

Let’s go back to the story and pretend that you have a credit card as your emergency fund. If you get sick you charge the fees to the card. Yes you will be treated. Yes you can go out of the hospital. But because you don’t have spare cash you are forced to pay every payday depending on the amount. What if your 15-day salary can’t cover for the expenses? What if your 1 month salary can’t cover for it? Worst, what if your 2 month salary can’t? That will be the time your hospital debt will incur charges and fees. Instead of paying for the principal alone you are forced to pay for the interests and charges.

Imagine you saved three to six times of your monthly income and put it in a bank? You got sick and was charged 4 times of your monthly salary. Will you not be able to pay for it right away? Will you be happy to go out of the hospital, treated and free of debt?

Emergency funds are not just for hospital bills. They are for emergency situations. Like a sudden flood, house repair and most of all job loss. Can your credit card cover for your needs when you lose your job? For a month maybe but not for three months.


~till then