Saturday, April 30, 2011

Worst Sales Talk

I’ve been talking to a lot of sales person because I want to get the best deal. And you know what? It pays to speak to no less than 3 before deciding to purchase.

There are good sales persons and there are not so good ones also. One of the not so good experiences I had was when a sales person tries to lure me to having a credit card. I’ve been asked loads of times to have one but I refused because honestly I don’t use it.

The call center representative called my personal number and asked me a lot of questions confirming my identity. When he was satisfied he told me that I’ll be receiving a privilege card. I asked what a privilege card is and he told me that it’s actually a credit card. He told me that the first annual fee will be waived and nothing will be charged as long as I accept the offer. I rejected the offer and explained to him my reasons. He insisted the card but I patiently explained my side. The worst thing he told me, just so I’ll accept the card, is that I can use it as a decoration in my wallet. I wanted to laugh out loud but I couldn’t. I was inside the office. That’s the worst sales talk I’ve ever heard.

How about you? Do you have an experience similar to mine?

~Till then.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Taking Care of Things

We all know that a lot of money can be saved when we take care of our things. We don’t have to change appliances every now and then if we know how to maintain them.

Here are simple tips to follow for appliance care and maintenance.


  • Do not put the refrigerator too close to the wall. A 4 inches distance will be fine to allow heat release from the condenser coils.
  • Do not place your refrigerator near the stove.
  • Do not place your refrigerator in direct sunlight.
  • Do not place hot foods inside the refrigerator. Allow it to cool first. Preferably at room temperature.
  • Defrost regularly.
  • Open the refrigerator doors only when necessary.

Television Set

  • Switch off television set when no one is watching.
  • Do not place anything on top of the television set.
  • Unplug it.
  • Do not use standby mode because it uses 10% of the television consumption when it is turned on.

Microwave Oven

  • Make sure that the microwave is clean before and after using.
  • Make sure to set the proper time and temperature.
  • Uncover the food storage before putting it inside the oven.
  • Do not use foil or plastic as this may cause fire.
  • Use glass pans.

Rice Cooker

  • Cook just in time for meal time so to avoid prolonged usage of keep warm option.
  • Unplug the power cord when not in use.
  • Clean the heating element. Remove all foreign objects.


  • Maintain cleanliness of the stove.
  • Turn-off the gas tank after cooking.
  • When using electric stove, unplug it five minutes before the meal cooks. The heat from the coils is enough to cook it.

Personal Computer/laptop

  • Buy energy efficient computers and laptops.
  • Switch off the monitor of your computer when in standby mode. Computer monitors consume electricity while in standby mode.
  • Choose the right monitor size according to your need.
  • Unplug the unit when not in use.

Air Conditioner

  • Install air conditioners in a cool area.
  • Insulate your room.
  • Make sure that the thermostat is functioning correctly.
  • Check the filter once a month and replace it when needed.
  • Regularly clean the condenser of your unit.

Electric Fan

  • Clean your fans regularly as they tend to accumulate dust. Your fans will produce cooler air when clean.
  • Unplug when not in use.

Washing Machine

  • Maximize the use of your washing machine. Use proper amount of water corresponding to the volume of your clothes.
  • Use proper amount of detergent.
  • Wash and dry it every after use.

Clothes Iron

  • Iron clothes in batches.
  • Iron first your pants, then your blouses/shirts. The heat of the iron is enough to iron small pieces like handkerchiefs even if it is unplugged.
  • Do not overheat the iron.
  • It is better to iron at night or when the weather is cool. Irons are more efficient at this conditions.

~Till then

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Debt and the Worst Case Scenario

Have you ever experienced a time in your life where you are afraid of your ringtone or your doorbell? How about opening your credit card bills? If this is true then you definitely have a problem with debt.

Many people unknowingly dig themselves into deeper debt each day especially those who cannot control their purchasing. A good example is Rebecca Bloomwood in the movie “Confessions of a Shopaholic”. You may not have 12 credit cards in your wallet but maybe you have the same attitude. Rebecca simply doesn’t think of the future. She spends through her credit cards until there’s no more to swipe. And then here comes the collector whom she labelled as an “enemy”. She doesn’t answer his calls nor open her door when the collector comes to visit her. Worst thing, she doesn’t care how much she’s spending in spite the fact that she cannot pay her bills anymore.

How can someone realize she’s putting herself to jeopardy when she’s at the height of a spending frenzy? Will she realize it when the collector comes to her house because she’s not paying her bills? Will she realize it when her credit cards have been cut? Will she realize it when she cannot even pay for the minimum amount required? I don’t know. But one thing is for sure. She will be stressed and at times cannot sleep because of it. She will have an unpleasant life because she will hide from her creditors all the time. She may even hide from friends because of humiliation.

In order to address the problem she has to accept that she’s in deep trouble. A decision should be made and then action follows. It is indeed very difficult to accept, decide and act because she will be turning 180 degrees from what she has been doing. But she has to face that difficulty in order to succeed. She may seek counsel from a professional financial planner or a psychologist maybe to correct her notion about shopping and spending. She may even have to endure the stress of not swiping her cards and agree with saying “cash is king.” A lot of work to do and she better get started for time runs fast and doesn’t wait for anyone.

~Till then

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lessons from The Richest Man in Babylon

The book tells about the journey to success of the the richest man in Babylon named Arkad. His wealth principles are simple – so simple that anyone who doesn’t realize it’s simplicity can’t correctly build his foundation.

I am to share the seven lessons in the book which the author called the ‘Seven Cures for a Lean Purse.’ I hope we all learn from them.

1. Start thy purse to fattening

For every ten coins thou placest within thy purse take out far use but nine. Thy purse will start to fatten at once and its increasing weight will feel good in thy hand and bring satisfaction to thy soul.

2. Control thy expenditures

Budget thy expenses that thou mayest have coins to payfor thy necessities, to pay for thy enjoyments and to gratify thy worthwhile desires without spending more than nine tenths of thy earnings.

3. Make thy gold multiply

Put each coin to labouring that it may reproduce its kind even as the flocks of the field and help bring to thee income, a stream of wealth that shall flow constantly into thy purse.

4. Guard thy treasure from loss

Guard thy treasure from loss by investing only where thy principal is safe, where it may be reclaimed if desirable, and where thou will not fail to collect a fair rental. Consult with wise men. Secure the advise of those experienced in the profitable handling of gold. Let their wisdom protect thy treasure from unsafe investments.

5. Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment

Own thy home.

6. Insure a future income

Provide in advance for the needs of thy growing age and the protection of thy family.

7. Increase the ability to earn

Cultivate thy own powers, to study and become wiser, to become more skilful, to so act as to respect thyself.

~Till then.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

What to do with Your Mid-Year Bonus

A lot of employees will be receiving their mid-year bonuses this season. And I know a lot of employees already spent their bonuses even before they received it. But for those who are thinking what to do with their bonus, here are a few suggestions.

1. Put it in your savings account for emergency purposes.

2. Put it in your time deposit to grow a little bit.

3. Put them in your mutual fund and let it lay golden eggs.

4. Buy a stock you’ve been eyeing for the past few months.

5. Buy a term insurance.

6. Buy a healthcare (long-term or short-term)

7. Pay your credit card bill/s.

Material possessions will not bring you too far. Wealth is not about the things you have but actually the money you save.

~Till then.

Friday, April 22, 2011


It’s 7 in the morning; an old lady about 40 years old is looking for my mother to settle the payment of my mother’s debt. This is one of the scenarios I remember every time debt comes to my mind. There are times when my mother hid from her creditors because she did not have the money. Most of the time, my mother’s creditors went home without a dime. After the third try, they were already furious saying nasty words about my mom. If only I have a lot of money, I’ll pay my mother’s debt. But I don’t. (A story from a blog reader.)

A lot of Filipino families experience the same when it comes to debt and finances. More often than not, money is the main problem. Because of lack of money, families fall down, tear apart and separate. Some of my friends have the same fate as the blog reader. I hope the opposite is true for you.

~Till then

Thursday, April 21, 2011

BPI Thrills

Bank of the Philippine Island Thrills just got better! There giving away free DQ dilly bars, Pizza Hut Ceasar Salad, and Taco Bell Affordabells everytime you use your BPI debit card/credit card for a minimum single receipt purchase of 1500.00Php.

For more information please click here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Mind of a Champion

Everybody is a champion in their own right! But there are champions who become famous on their respective fields. The best example anyone could give is Manny Pacquiao.

Why is it important to be a champion? Well because God made us champions the moment we were conceived by our parents. In doing so, he passed us a responsibility to be the best that we can be. And being the best that we can be simply means we are blessings to the community and to the people around us.

To be a champion means you have to conquer your mind. Be very careful about the things that you think of and use your mind on things that are important to you.

According to studies, there are 6 things in the mind of every champion. In this blog, we will enumerate those 6 things.

1. Have the head and the heart of a champion

The head and the heart of the champion surpass all rivals. He knows that part of being a champion are failures. But it doesn’t matter to him how many times he fails. What matters most is how high he bounces after the fall.

A champion is mentally and emotionally tough. H

e always think he can do it. He thinks everything is possible. He never doubted himself. He competes with himself alone and no one else. He knows that excellence means exceeding what he can do not what others can do. He also knows that laziness is not good. Lazy people are those who compare themselves to others.

2. Strive to be the BEST not to be the better

Remember the story of Charice Pempengco? She was defeated in a nationwide talent search. But this defeat never pulled her down. She aspired to be an international singer and she became one. Her secret? She strived to be the BEST not to be the second best.

Build up your confidence. (But don’t be arrogant.) God made you perfect. Tell yourself each day, “I am a champion.” Internalize those words. The mind is very powerful and as a proof, Muhammad Ali once said, “I said that even before I knew I was.”

In order to be confident, face failures as a part of the challenge. But control your mind not to think about the failures. Don’t play not to lose, rather play to win. If your going to play a game or compete for a trophie, always think of winning. Don’t ever think of the “what if’s?” Just focus on the goal and you’ll get there.

3. Maintain your Composure

Challenges can be very frustrating at times. Don’t let yourself down. Maintain your composure. If a problem arises, just smile and say, “There are far worse things than this.” Stay cool and calm. Be very slow to anger and smile more often.

Practice your emotion. If you get angry easily, practice the art of counting to ten before reacting. This will keep you calm and be able to react to the situation accordingly.

4. Be focused

A champion is focused on what he wants and he is willing to go through extreme trials in order to get his goal. He knows that we are living in a world of distractions. Many will attempt to hinder him from achieving but he doesn’t mind them.

Focus results to excellence. Remember if you don’t stick to it and try, no one can measure yourself.

5. Develop your character

Life is not all about intelligence. It is not all about money either. It is all about your character. And character is most tested with money matters. Many fail this test but champions don’t.

Character is who you are in the dark - when no one else sees you. Never ever compromise your character. Skill will put you to the top but character will keep you there.

Always surround yourself with people who are good influence and of good character because they will keep you to the ground.

6. Be childlike

Champions know how to enjoy life. They know how to laugh out loud. They know how to love well and be loved well. They know that more than anything it is God that created everything. They appreciate the smallest things in life – even the tiniest gesture of hope.

It is the attitude that determines enjoyment. Remember, the happiest people don’t have the most expensive things in life. They are simply happy and contented with the things they have.

From a small talk of Ms Olive (one of the owners of WOW Magic Sing)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Your Spare Time Matters

Robert Kiyosaki, the best-selling author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, mentioned in his book that spare time matters when it comes to getting rich. What you do in your spare time will determine if you’ll end up wealthy or not.

What you do after office hours matters in building your financial foundation. Time is not a renewable resource that’s why it is the most expensive thing on earth. Time once lost is lost forever. So be careful about the things you do. If you have a goal, be very sure to do the necessary things to achieve it using your spare time.

~Till then.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Why We Buy?

One boring afternoon, Paul asked me why women cannot have too many shoes, bags and clothes. I looked at him with a question in my mind – Did I spend for clothing again? I can’t remember purchasing a thing in the past three months. And then I looked around and eventually understood the situation. We were in a mall. Obviously he saw a lot of women shopping. So I answered him, “To impress men and women as well.”

It has been proven that 80% of consumers are women that is why they are the easy targets of marketers.

Most of the times people buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like and end up broke because of it. This just doesn't make sense.

Controlling the emotion that drives a person to buy wants is actually harder than you imagine. Some things have to change. First is the mindset. She has to realize that the people she wants to impress don’t care about the things she has. It doesn’t matter to them who she wears, what she has and where she goes. It’s actually the character that matters. Who she when she’s alone. Second is the attitude when buying things. She needs to think first whether a thing is a need or a want and she has to align it with her budget. Third is the circle of friends. Yes it really matters. If you surround yourself with people who squander their money then most probably you will become one. I am not saying that you should not be friends with them. You can still be friends and actually you can learn important lessons from them. You will learn what not to do with money.

~Till then.

Just had My First Surgery

"There is always a first time" applies to me today. I just had my first surgery at Healthway Medical Greenbelt 5. It was a minor surgery on an epidermal cyst. My surgeon said it was not cancerous. Just to be sure the specimen has to undergo biopsy.

I had this cyst for more than six months already. At first I thought it was just mosquito bite. But then the lump on my left arm stayed longer than a mosquito bite does. I had an informal consultation from a friend (who is a doctor) and he told me not to worry about it. When I finally had the courage to go to a clinic and formally consult a surgeon, he told me the same thing. He suggested to perform an excision so as to ease my worries.

I went under a simple excision procedure. Paul was inside the room during the procedure which lasted for 30 minutes.

I did not pay any fee for the procedure since the company HMO took care of it.

I will be back next week to let my surgeon remove the thread on my left arm. I hope everything will be fine.

~Till then

Friday, April 8, 2011

I Owe Some Money, What Now?

It is uncommon for people who are into personal finance to talk about their debts. As much as possible, people from this field should look clean in the eyes of the people they deal with to gain a good reputation. But today, I have a confession to make. I owe money. It’s a big amount of money and it has interest.

I found a company that lends money for a minimum interest of 4% per annum. I grabbed the opportunity to borrow and put the money in my investment. What is 4% if it can give me a minimum of 12% in a year? That is still 8% gain.

Sometimes we miss opportunities because we fail to look into the possibilities. I am not really recommending what I did. A lot of you might have the wrong impression of borrowing money to invest. Let me reiterate. I borrowed money at 4% interest and put it at 12%. The gain on my investment is higher than the interest of my debt. I am a long term investor and I never trade. I don’t play it safe, I play it smart.

~Till then.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Common Excuses Why People Don’t Get Wealthy

I’ve decided to make a list on the common excuses people make why they aren’t wealthy. These statements are from my friends, officemates, acquaintances and even family members. Take a look. Maybe you’ll find something familiar.

1. My grandfather was poor, my father is poor, therefore I am poor.

I call this excuse “the history excuse”. People tend to think that if their family is poor, it is a deviation to be wealthy.

2. If only my employer pays me more.

You should not wait for your employer to pay you more. If you wait, it will never come.

3. Semiar on what? Uhm, I have to go somewhere else.

Hey, don’t underestimate seminars. You’ll learn a lot from them.

4. I don’t have the time.

Everybody has 24 hours a day. Maybe the people who usually tell this excuse should study time management.

5. God will always take care of those things.

God gave you the mind to think and the body to work. Use them.

6. If you have faith in God, He will provide.

God always provide to those who use their gifts.

7. Money is not the most important thing in this world.

Yes, definitely! But money can affect the most important things in your life. (from Brother Bo Sanchez)

8. Money is just temporary.

It is. But you should not treat it as if it’s nothing to be serious about.

9. You can’t bring money after life.

But maybe you can give inheritance to your family when you die.

10. My wealth are my friends.

How many of your friends will lend you a big amount of money when you need it?

11. The guy should take care of money matters. (from women)

Women are smarter than men when it comes to money. Trust me.

12. Can we just go shopping?

Need I say more?

13. I’m not good in math.

Square root, Laplace Transform, Matrix, Calculus and other advance math are not needed. Simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are the only things you need.

14. I’m afraid to look at my credit card bills.

Before anybody can solve a problem, one has to look at the problem first.

15. I’m still young.

Time fly so fast. Get into the habit of saving and investing before it’s too late.

16. I already have someone who takes care of money matters.

The best person to protect your wealth is you.

17. My mother takes care of the bills.

Your mother will not always be there for you.

18. My mother decides on those things.

Mother knows best. But if you’re grown up, decide for yourself.

19. I have a lot of things to do.

Like what?

20. I’m busy.

Be very busy on other things and you’ll find yourself in deep hole.

Any addition? Feel free to leave a note.

~Till then.

Monday, April 4, 2011

To Rent or To Own?

This has been a question to many especially young couples who want to have a life of their own. It’s not just an “American Dream” to own a house. It’s also a dream for many.

This topic has been argued about over the internet for quite a long time now. Experts have their own take on weather it is smarter to rent or to own a house. I am not going to argue to any of them. Rather, I’ll just present facts according to my point of view. I repeat, according to my point of view.

Let me introduce myself first so that you can place yourself on my shoe. I am a 26-year old lady who works in Quezon City, Philippines. My province is La Union, which is about 6 hour-drive away from my workplace. I cohabit with some friends and maintain a good attitude on saving and investing.

When is it advisable to rent?

For me, it is advisable to rent if your family house is away from your work like me. It will be impractical to drive all the way down to our house. I only have 24 hours a day and I can’t afford to waste my precious 12 hours just driving back and forth. Point taken? Good!

Another factor that can affect the decision is the amount of money I have. As of today, I don’t have the money to buy a house yet.

If I am going to buy a house I’ll see to it that it will be near my work place so as to avoid too much time on the road. Until today, I haven’t found one that suits my taste.

It is cheaper to rent than owning a house. We rent our house for 12,000Php (roughly 700USD) and we split it into 6. So that’s 2,000.00Php (roughly 45USD). Great deal for a house located inside a guarded community that is walking distance from the workplace. Unlike owning a house which will be mortgaged for 12,000.00PhP for a long period of time.

Aside from the convenience we get from our rented house, we are not worrying on repairs and association dues because our landlady takes care of them.

Renting with friends also lessen my expenses since we split our city services to six.

When is it advisable to own a house?

In my point of view, it is advisable to own a house if you have the money to pay. Oooops! I’m not talking about down payment here. I’m talking about the total cost of the house. But don’t get me wrong. I am not against the common house-purchasing scheme. I have just set my mind that I should pay my house (if ever) in cash so I can have that haggling power. Discounts discounts! Ching! Ching!

For me the right time to own a house is if you can see yourself living in that same house until you get old.

The biggest factor that I consider is LOCATION LOCATION and LOCATION.

It is also advisable to own a house if you are ready to take all the worries from your landlord/landlady regarding repairs, maintenance and other dues.

It is indeed an argument one should settle. It is confusing at first but when you try to discern all your objectives, at least you will have a vision of what you want.

In conclusion, renting is advantageous for me today since renting provides me more cash flow. This cash flow is put into a fund that will someday buy me a house of my own.

~Till then.