Friday, June 24, 2011

Filipinos are Cheap?

Few days ago we were invited to have lunch with the big boss in the company I am working for. We were glad because only few were invited to share a table him. It means that the team has done something great deserve a special treatment.

It’s normal for Filipinos to order the most expensive meal in a restaurant if someone is going to pay for it. I don’t see a problem in it. What I cannot accept is, the person ordered the most expensive meal but in the end he was not able to finish it.

I don’t like leftovers because I know it will end up in the trash. I hope people can see this fact.

Here are a few guidelines I am personally following when dining out.

  1. Order only what you can pay for even if it will be charged to the other person.
  2. Order only what you can finish.
  3. Don’t focus on the meal. Focus on the business.
  4. Listen attentively.
  5. Avoid commenting on the food unless asked by the host.

Always remember, practicing basic etiquette will leave a better impression.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Opening a Checking Account

I have decided to open a checking account to further automate my investments in my mutual fund accounts. It’s a lot easier to track and program my investments with this method.

With checking account, I can just issue post dated checks and transfer fund to this account. I can already pre-set how much I will invest in a particular year.

Once a person has a checking account he/she should be disciplined enough not to go below the minimum amount and fund the account if necessary. This will safeguard the person from the penalties that comes with it.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The State of Finances and Diet

People say that if your finance is at a mess you are expected to be malnourished. They connect money directly to the physical state of a person.

Does that mean that physically fit people are also financially fit?

I don’t think so.

I’ve been gaining weight rather than losing those extra pounds. But my finances are very much intact and I am very much into my goal of saving so much this year.

What happens is that, I am always in front of my computer writing-rewriting and editing blogs for this blog site. I am always accompanied by my faithful mug of chocolate drink or coffee.

I have to do something about this soon.

Time for a jog!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Eating what is in Season

I love Philippines because of its tropical weather. It’s always perfect for a vacation. People are warm and friendly and food is very cheap. That’s why I don’t want to leave this place to stay abroad and work there for a very long period of time.

Fruits are very abundant here in the Philippines that’s why they are cheap. There are also a lot of fresh vegetables to choose from.

Every time I go to the supermarket or the dry market, I take time to inspect and get loads of these foods in my basket. I choose foods that are in season to make sure that my healthy meal will still be within my budget.

In replacement to meat, I buy tofu. It’s cheaper yet gives me the protein I need. It is also in the market all year round.

I also eat a lot of fish. I eat fish when I crave for meat. It’s easier to digest and it also gives me protein and other vitamins. I just need to be very versatile with this since I tend to buy just two types – milkfish and tilapia. I think I need to explore more on squid and shrimp next time.

There are a lot of choices in the market. Just make sure that you will not get tired of what you are cooking. Try some healthy alternatives rather than buying something over the counter. Cooking is a great therapy. Enjoy it!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Time for Everything

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die;

A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal;

A time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;

A time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to seek, and a time to lose;

A time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to tear and a time to sew;

A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate;

A time for war, and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Sunday, June 12, 2011

9 Ways to Avoid Impulsive Buying

I’ve been eying that iPad 2 since it was launched few months back. I often go to the Apple Store to check out prices and new apps. I log on to to compare the price difference from buying it here in the Philippines versus buying it in the US. It’s really amazing how apple can catch my attention on their gadgets. Unfortunately I have a strict budget to follow and I know I cannot afford to lose any of my money right now because of a major change.

As of today I’m keeping my budget and staying on track avoiding the distraction on the gadget. I’ll share to you some of the steps I follow to avoid impulsive buying. I hope they can help you out as well.

1. Stay away from the Mall

This step is hard to follow because my route going to the office passes by a mall. Fortunately the apple store is out of my way. But for instance your addiction is not on the gadget but on the fashion items on stack please do follow this first step.

2. Have a solid budget

I mentioned earlier that what forbids me from buying iPad 2 is my strict budget. It doesn’t allow me to give money away that easily hence making it a lot difficult for me to splurge on other things.

3. Give it at least 6 months

A big purchase is a big purchase and it can change my financial life easily if I got caught red handed. I’m giving it at least 6 months. If I still want it after 6 months then I’ll really consider buying.

4. Make a budget for splurge

A budget for splurge is a nice way to make things balance. And I have just one rule on this budget. “If my budget cannot buy it at once, about face.”

5. Compare Prices

I went to different dealers to compare prices. Some offer discounts when the item is paid in cash while some don’t. It still pays to look around because a 5% discount is a 5% discount.

6. Stop

When I log on my computer the three most typed words are facebook, yahoo mail and amazon. I had to restrict myself from typing the last word if I want to keep my budget in tact. I’m still lucky because I don’t have a credit line that I could have used on purchasing some stuff.

7. Use cash

Credit cards are not necessarily evil but if I want to stay on budget I should use cash in all of my purchases. But if I want to help my boyfriend in accumulating reward points, I’ll give my cash and he’ll use the card. He’ll pay it off the next morning.

8. Consider second hand

I consider buying second hand gadget from a friend instead of buying it on new condition. A 6 months old iPad is not different with the new one. But the price difference is big.

9. Breath

I take a breather. Instead of buying things instantly, I go to the bookstore and read the synopsis of a good book on saving and investing. This reminds me that I should save more and I should have more discipline when it comes to handling my hard-earned money.

Friday, June 10, 2011

How Much is Enough to Start a Family?

When I was in my early 20’s (I’m just in my mid.) I thought having a family is just an easy thing. I saw a lot of not so well-off people who get married, rent a house and live a peaceful life.

Well that was what I thought.

Starting a family is not as easy as one – two – three. Both parties have to be ready physically, mentally, emotionally and of course financially.

Let’s talk about finances since my blog is for that purpose.

Few years back, I told myself I cannot marry my long time boyfriend unless I have a quarter million pesos under my name. That was when I was still new in the in the employment world. I thought if I have that amount I can already set up my dream wedding and have enough down-payment for a house.

I was wrong. I planned without considering facts and data.

Being a financially literate person, a quarter million Pesos is not enough to start a family.

My boyfriend and I want to buy our own house first before settling down. I told him we should at least have 75% of the total cost before buying a house. The remaining 25% can be paid in instalment basis for the least period of time. Obviously, the amount stated above is not enough for this goal. Moreover, we have to prepare for the education of our children to be, our own retirement fund and of course saving for a family car.

So how much then is enough?

It depends upon your priorities. We all have different needs to attend to. For me, as long as it will not put me in deep financial mess then it’s ok.

30 things to do before I hit 30

Yey! I finally have my own list of 30 things to do before I hit 30. Will be updating this list ever now and then and let’s see how many can I accomplish.

Here’s my list:

1. Own a house. (In progress. But we are going there.)
2. Travel to 3 places in a year.
3. Climb a mountain every year.
4. Teach 100 people more how to save and invest.
5. Publish 1000 blogs. (173 as of 12/25/2012)
6. Grow my hair until my waistline. 
7. And then curl it
8. Get an iPad.
9. Go to Batanes.
10. Learn how to apply make up.
11. Frame my best shot.
12. Get a body scrub from a spa. (Even for once.)
13. Write a book.
14. A career in organizing and planning.
15. Spend more time with my niece.
16. Ride a horse.
17. Ride a Japanese bike.
18. Drive a car in EDSA.
19. Surf in La Union/Baler.
20. Count 1000 blessings in my life.
21. Get more personal with God.
22. Buy Paul an expensive gift.
23. Donate blood every 4 months or every 6 months.
24. Shower under the rain.
25. Organize a wedding.
26. Cook 100 different dishes.
27. Read a hundred books.
28. Spend more time alone and reflect.
29. Get a checking account.
30. Get married.

Note: First published 6/10/11