Thursday, July 21, 2011

Reasons Why I Don’t Have A Credit Card

Not having a credit card is not an issue for me. Aside from the incident that happened to me years ago, which will be written in due time, I have 11 reasons why I don’t have one.

1. Cash is King

There are more freebies when you buy things in cash. I get 10% discount on some items if I use cash instead of card. Just talk to the customer relations officer and I’m sure he’ll be giving you favorable discounts.

2. For Security Reasons

Identity theft is rampant in credit cards - unlike in debit cards. Just look at what happened to me.

3. I don’t want to complicate things

I go to the store where I want to buy some clothes and some shoes. I pick up some items, proceed to the counter, get some cash in my wallet and leave the store. I don’t have to compute how much I charged myself moreover I don’t have to wait for my billing statement before paying.

4. It’s easier to budget with cash

I think this is plain english. No need to expound.

5. Spend less

I can track everything with cash. And I can easily down size if necessary.

6. Maintain my investment amount

The effect of spending less is maintaining my investment amount. I am happier with this set up.

7. I am not a fan of credit card perks

I often see people go after the credit card perks like free food, free travel etc. If I may compute, I can have those freebies at a cheaper price without charging my card over my intended limit.

8. I can still book for travels

Most of my travel were booked via credit cards of office mates. They get to have the points while I get to have my tickets. Fair enough for me.

9. No debt = No hassle

10. Donations are easily done with cash

Although donations via credit is now acceptable, I still want my donations in cash. Less hassle to the organizations I support. Less processing more time on other things.

11. I don’t treat credit card as an emergency fund

People mistakenly treat credit card as their emergency fund. Well I don’t. I have a healthy sum of money in my bank account labeled as “For Emergency Use Only!”

There you go. I hope you picked up some really good tips.

~Till next time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Common Money Mistakes in your 20’s

1. Not saving at all

Most young adult will delay savings especially when they are still enjoying the fruits of their first job. Not realizing that they have financial obligations in the future is dangerous. The earlier someone realizes the better his goals will be.

2. Not saving enough

The enlightened young adult will save some cash but most probably they don’t know how much is enough.

3. Not having a goal with your money

A hard-earned money without a goal is useless. Most often than not it will go to unnecessary things.

4. Spending beyond your limit

Over spending is the most common problem people make. Even people in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s over spend. If this practice is not addressed in the early years it will become a habit and will certainly ruin one’s finances.

5. Getting into deep debt

Excited with their powerful plastics, the swipers will never be contented. If you are not smart enough to pay everything at cut-off I’m sure you’ll be having trouble with your magic plastic.

6. Not paying your credit

Do you think you can get out of your debt so easily? Changing of address and contact details are not the solution. Your name will be in their block list and you might not be able to borrow money from any bank again.

7. Not giving back

It is in the power of giving that we receive. Giving a portion of your income to the needy will multiply the blessings that you will be receiving.

8. Developing unhealthy attitude towards money

Money is just a tool. It is not a god. Focusing on money alone is unhealthy. You got to have a balance.

9. Not studying investments

Investments are great tools designed to amass wealth. Poor people don’t know it. The reason a 20 something is poor is because he has not met investment yet.

10. Not studying Taxation in the Philippines

Taxation is a thing that you cannot live without. You eat, they tax you. You travel, they tax you. You die, they tax you. Learn how to do away with taxes and you will have a better footing. (No I am not encouraging you to falsify documents!)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

25 Ways to Reduce Spending without Feeling Miserable

Hello dear readers. I have been compiling tips that think are worth sharing. These are practical and easy to apply in our day to day lives. Hope you'll have time evaluating them and pick up lessons from the long list.

1. Dining out? Ditch that Soda!
If you are fond of dining out you better ditch that soda. Why? Because it increases the value of the food up to 25%. You don’t want to pay 30bucks for sugar and water, do you?

2. Single and renting? Have a housemate!
Renting a house is good as long as you keep the rent to a minimum. How to do so? Have a housemate/housemates. City services will also be divided when you do so.

3. Rent that dress or better Borrow that Dress
Who says going to a party is expensive? Renting is cheaper than owning that dress which you will only use once.

4. Rent that bag
Here’s a tip for a savvy party-goer who doesn’t want to bring the same old bag, rent it. And here’s another tip: Limit the party!

5. Buy in bulk
There are a lot of things that can be bought in bulk. Like those that are not perishable. But don’t overdo it. You don’t want loads of tissue papers in your storage room.

6. Shop less
Make grocery trips once a month or once every two weeks. Make your budget work.

7. Walk more
The minute your feet feels sore you’ll stop shopping for more. It’s a fun way to exercise also.

8. Carpool
Talk to your neighbor who owns a car. Negotiate the price and agree with the time. Less hassle compared to commuting.

9. Cell phone load? Try my 150php per month recommendation
I changed my service provider with a new one. It’s cheap at 150Php per month. Whenever someone text me using a different provider, I usually email them or Facebook them.

10. Cut internet connection (unless your job depends on it)
You don’t really need internet connection unless of course your job depends on it. You’ll be amazed by how much you can save by staying disconnected.

11. Traveling? DIY!
I have a supportive team when it comes to travel and leisure. We do it on our own and set our own budget. Great opportunity to explore the wonders of nature at a fraction of the cost.

12. Switch off
Switch off those appliances. Unplug them when not in use specifically television sets, radio and cellular phone chargers. They still consume electricity even at stand by mode.

13. Apply for a loyalty card
I have loyalty cards from SM and Shopwise. Who could have imagined that I can accumulate hundred of points with them. Points can be used to purchase anything inside their stores.

14. Cook
I love cooking but i don’t know if cooking loves me. I just serve what I eat and eat what I serve.

15. Don’t chase fashion
Chasing what’s fashionable can make you poor. Just stick with the basics and you’re good to go. No need to keep up with the Joneses.

16. Need to unwind? Park it up!
At this age of the malls, seldom do we see people go to the park. Well actually going to the park is a lot cheaper than staying at the malls. Try visiting the Eco Park in Quezon City. You will have a nice view of the La Mesa Dam there.

17. Run rather than pay a gym.
Few years back I sold my gym membership and ran on the streets. The calories I shed were the same but it’s a lot cheaper. Actually it’s free. I just need to buy a reliable pair of shoes to prevent my feet from getting hurt.

18. Haggle
When I am at the market I haggle. Sometimes it’s okay with the sellers sometimes it’s not. That’s okay with me. As long as I get what my money’s worth then haggling will never become an issue with me.

19. Buy used
Inspect when buying used items. If you are buying a used car make sure you have an expert accompanying you. They will make a good resource person.

20. It’s the thought that counts
Giving gifts doesn’t really need to be expensive. You have to understand your budget and work from it. Do not go overboard.

21. Trade
I like it when I can trade some of my things with my friends. It makes recycling easy.

22. Life is simple. Don’t complicate it!
Sometimes people complicate things. They buy things to impress people they don’t like. Most of the times bragging will put you down. Live a simple life. The happiest people don’t have the latest fashion or the latest technology. They simply are contented with what they have and focus on what is important.

23. You can survive without it!’ attitude
Yes! I can survive without the latest gadgets. I am more focused on the personal relationship I have with other people. Just always put this in mind and you'll be guided.

24. Treat savings as expenses
After receiving my salary, I put constant amount on my mutual funds. Then I allot money for the rent and city services. Constant amount saved each month can translate to millions after a few years.

25. Join a thrift group
It’s the friends that influence you. If you have thrifty friends, you will most likely become one. Choose your friends.

Friday, July 15, 2011

How to Organize

The best way to make everything work is to organize things before it happens. That’s the reason why we have wedding organizers, event coordinators and career planners.
Today we will talk about organizing our lives through organizing small details in it. The technique written here is not only applicable to finances but also to everything.
6S Technique
Popularized by the Japanese

1. Sorting

Distinguish between those things that are needed and not needed. Keep only needed materials and throw away all unnecessary items immediately and properly.
Another thing is to donate the things that are not needed.

2. Set to Order

Put things in right order in designated areas with labels. Use the right storage facility for the materials involved and organize according to frequency.

3. Shine (Cleanliness)

Problems are more visible when everything is neat and clean. Clean as you go.

4. Standardize

Follow standards in lay-out and purchase of any furniture and accessories.

5. Sustain

Ensure that gains are held and continue to be made.

6. Safety

Follow safety procedures at all times. Report any unsafe conditions immediately. Make safety a priority at all times.

Image Sources:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My Laptop Turns Four

I’m really happy my laptop turns 4 years old. It still runs, not as fast as the latest, but still can do what I want it to do.

Paul and I bought it when I was studying for a post graduate degree.

I told myself few years back that my laptop will be replaced after 5 years. But now I am changing my mind. I will use the same laptop until its tenth year or until it cannot function properly whichever comes first.

Today I need to replace the keyboard because a panel has not been working for months already. It’s quite expensive but can be done.

Six years is a very long time to save for a more powerful replacement. I am foretelling that laptops will not be a hit anymore. We will all be invaded by tablets. And I am starting to save for it as early as today.

~Till next time.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Credit Card Debt

You might wonder why I don’t discuss much about credit card debt in my blogs. That’s because I don’t really have anything to discuss about it. As much as possible I don’t want readers to incur credit card debts.
But still I feel the urge of giving something to you regarding this matter.
I have lots of friends who are digging themselves into credit card debt. They treat it as an easy way to get money. They have the motto “I want it NOW!”
But then one will realize that getting yourself in deep debt is a burden physically, emotionally and psychologically.
Here are a few steps to follow to avoid irresponsible consumer debt.
1. Do not use cash advance
The cash advance is there to mindset people that they have cash and it's ready to be splurged. Once you get the cash advance, the interest starts to tick.
2. Do not max out your credit limit if you cannot pay it in full on cut-off date
Use your card good as cash. Pay everything on or before the cut off date.
3. Avoid unnecessary expenses
4. Do not carry your credit card when you intend to shop
Most of the times people overcharge themselves because plastic is convenient. Oftentimes they miscalculate.
5. If you have an outstanding credit card debt, DO NOT borrow anymore.
Settle your debt first. Stop the urge.
6. Compute
Oftentimes people forget to compute. Your cellular phone has a calculator. Use it.
7. Pay On-time

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Saving Effectively: Pretend You are Paying for a House and Lot

If you have problems in saving money, here’s a tip: pretend you are paying for a house and lot or a car.

Many people are more effective when they are paying for a loan or a mortgage when saving money. It makes them more disciplined.

Applying it to the concept of saving money, pretend you have a mortgage amounting to 1M. This becomes your target savings. Then decide how many years to pay. Of course the longer the period you pay the smaller the monthly amortization but the higher the interest rate. Luckily in saving money the higher the interest rate the better.

Let’s pretend you don’t have any money to start with. But you plan to have a house and lot after 10 years. To start with you are required to give a down payment amounting to at least 10 percent payable within a year with no interest. Then the succeeding payments will be distributed over the remaining 9 year period at an interest rate of 6% (per annum).

Selling Price


Down Payment


Monthly Down Payment


Remaining Balance


Monthly Amortization


You may think that the computation is crazy because the monthly amortization is lower than what it should be. Actually it is. The difference of the monthly amortization presented to you by your real estate agent and my computation is their gain which translates to money working against you.

Now you can foresee that it is easy to accumulate one million Pesos in a matter of 10 years.

~Till then

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mid-Year Review on Finances

I made it this far. I am congratulating myself for a job well done. I really am doing very well and I think I deserve a pat on my back.
I was inspired by an article sent by Paul when we were still starting to manage our finances. The guy in the article saved 180,000Php in a matter of 9 months. He was just starting from work then. This guy really has discipline when it comes to handling his finances.
I am just your average employee. I earn what an average employee earns. I was not promoted nor had a big bonus recently. I made it possible through properly saving and investing my money. I stayed motivated and stayed focused on what I had to achieve this 2011. I didn’t have to go abroad to have this much in so little time.
No I was not penny pinching. Actually I had a total of 3 out of town trips already which includes a Mt. Pulag climb, a trip to Sagada and a camp-out in Calaguas.
I also have to pay my house rent and the city services.
What’s most exciting was the recognition I received from Paul when he found out how much I saved. A treat awaits, I think.
Now I can easily say, “Hello house and lot.”
This mini success I offer to the Great Lord for blessing me and my family good health and wealth. If you do good to other people, you will really be rewarded. Proven!
~Till then.