Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Better Plan

We’ve been through a lot of changes this 2014 and I know there will be more to come on 2015.

First, our house helper will be coming on March (I hope) and I need to review the kasambahay law. I surely want to pay my kasambahay the right compensation and give her the right benefits so I am studying the law in order to give her what is due. On top of that, I also need to set up house rules for her to follow. I am not an expert on house rules because my husband and I live under unspoken house rules. If I am going to cook he will wash the dishes. If he did the cooking then I’ll be cleaning up. There’s this unspoken rule inside the house on what tasks belong to whom. That will change a little bit because of the house helper but definitely I am not going to leave all the chores to her. She’ll just be there to help us and not take over all the tasks.

Second, our little angel will be born on March. That being said spells a lot of adjustment in our time. Husband and wife time will be “child time” for a couple of months. Most of our friends (even my sister) told us that our sleeping patterns will change so better get lots of sleep while we can. We can’t actually do that today because we were used to sleeping late and me waking up early to prepare food for the day. Our weekends will be focused on Pediatrician schedule for check-ups, vaccinations etc. I just hope we can still go to nearby parks and UP grounds to get some fresh air.

Third, we are planning to breastfeed our baby because of the many benefits that it can give. Most of the testimonies say that breastfed babies have stronger immune system. Breastfeeding is a tough task for a working mom to be just like me. But it is tolerable since there is a Diana Room in our office where I can express milk and store in freezer. I will try to ask more questions when we attend a breastfeeding seminar in Medical City on the coming months.

Fourth, our priorities will change forever. It will not be just the two of us. Every decision will be towards the goodness of our family. Everything should consider the welfare of our child may it be vacation plans, travel plans, financial plans, career plans, etc.

With the guidance of the Lord, I know we can do it.

Merry Christmas everyone. J

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Seeing the Fruits of our Labor

I have set up a personal fund (intended for educational fund for my future child) way back in 2009 when my salary was meager and just enough to get by. I am really happy I did because looking at the statement of account that was delivered to me last month (Yep! I just opened the mail today.) I am really delighted to see that my money produced money after 6 years.

Imagine, I started with 9Php per share and now it’s at 37Php. I am estimating an increase of 68% after 6 years. Banks could never beat that. Thank you so much PhilEquity. J


How I/we started
If I remember correctly, the last recession was 2008 and I started investing March 2009. Frankly speaking I am not a disciplined saver that time yet and I was just adding 1000Php every time I have extra. Would you believe until 2014 I did not put a regular amount on my PhilEquity account? Silly me.

For the past couple of years we put most of our hard-earned money in FAMI-SALEF. We withdrew some shares to fund our wedding and after that we began rebuilding the fund again. As of today I can say that we are almost at the same level as before (the wedding.) It’s not yet celebration time but we know we are getting there. ^_^

For 2015, we are planning to put more money on PhilEquity since according to our review it has the best performance among other mutual fund companies. And also, this is the fund dedicated for the education of our child and children to be (if we are that blessed) so we need to beef it up.

I will try my best to put a constant amount beginning January of 2015. All I need is a little dedication and an effective plan. I’ll just need to find the balance especially because we are going to have our little angel soon.

Till then. ^_^

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Garlic Challenge

Remember the time when the garlic price shot up 300%? I was really devastated that time. I love cooking and I love putting lots of garlics and onions whenever I sauté so it was really upsetting when the price went up.

I challenged myself to plant some garlic starting with a few cloves. I planted last Sept 27, 2014 and waited patiently for sprouts.

It took the garlic two weeks before I saw something green protruding.

I was really happy when the shoot came out! 

This is how it looks now. (After 3 days.)

Happy planting! J

We were really into gardening lately...

I don’t usually complain about things but our backyard is really upsetting me lately. I told Paul about this few weeks ago and he agreed that we need to do something about it. So we scheduled a weekend to work on it.

Last weekend we bought some pole bamboos, some Bermuda grass and ornamental plants. We worked in the backyard all day just to finish the first phase. (Actually majority of the work was done by husband because I am not allowed to work much.)  Although we still have a long way to go, we are really pleased with what we see in our backyard today compared to how it was.

No Photo yet. Will update once backyard is okay.  J

My husband wants to have a zen inspired garden. And because of that I don’t have enough space to plant my herbs and vegetables. So the plan is to plant in containers/pots. I’ve read about container gardening in other blogs and I am really excited about the idea.

As of writing I have 2 pots of ginger, 1 pot of onions, 4 pots of onion leaves and 1 pot of dill (needs to be replanted). I also have pandan planted on the ground. I am looking forward to planting some pepper, potatoes, sweet potatoes and other vegetables.



Onion Leaves

It is really a challenge having so little space for planting. But I am grateful because with the space that we have we are learning how to manage everything. We keep things simpler today and we try to learn about plants every day.

That’s it for today. We will share more about our progress on the next coming weeks. J

Saturday, October 4, 2014

On Marriage, Being a Wife and Having a Child

More than a year ago I married my beloved man, my best friend my confidant and my everything. It was such a wonderful day attended by the most important people in our lives.

Together as one we started a life. We moved to a house far away from the city. Every day we commute to work.  As much as possible we don’t want to waste money on gas. Our commute from house to work is much more bearable than the ones taking MRT every day at the same time traffic is not very good for the health of the driver.

As much as possible I would want us to have packed foods not only because it is cheaper but they are healthier. During the weekdays I would wake up few hours earlier than my husband to prepare for the day’s food. In return my husband would prepare sumptuous meals during the weekends. Mind you my husband is way much better than me when it comes to cooking. So I guess I am lucky! J

Every day he had to endure the grueling hours I spend on work. Oh my work! But he never forced or imposed anything on me. He wants me to go on with my career and explore more in the corporate world. On the other hand I never objected on the decisions he made on his career either. We just supported each other.

My husband is a very simple man. We never splurged much on date nights or movie nights. Most of the times, movie night means watching TV together in our humble abode. We would go out to buy some snacks before turning the TV on and switching the lights off. We would go on a road trip from time to time to just get out of our usual routine.

We would always touch base with our friends. We know how important it is to have our own circle but we are no strangers to each other’s friends. Recently we’ve been spending much more time with his former officemates because the activities they want are simpler. Well I cannot hike with my condition right now so I am contenting myself with afternoon walks with our trusted “Tsa-tsa.”

And now we are blessed with our own child. We are so excited with the news at the same time scared. Questions like “Are we ready to become parents?”, “Can we really raise this child?”, “What does future hold?” and many more are turning in our heads. But what the heck! We’ve been praying for our child - our very own child. So I guess no matter what the future holds we can make it through especially because we have very supportive families and friends.

Now we are excited to arrange the house to become baby friendly! So help us God. J

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A New Fund to Try - Soldivo

I’ve received a text message from my Mutual Fund broker about the opening of Soldivo Funds on October 8, 2014. At first I was just thinking “Okay another fund to try.” But then it gets serious when one of my friends is willing to try it also. So we decided to place a small amount of money for the initial investment. I also plan to put additional investments monthly to take advantage of the peso cost averaging.

Anyway the fund we are going to open an account with is the SOLDIVO Strategic Growth Fund. Before deciding to put our money in it, I talked to my broker and asked questions below:

Minimum Initial Amount = P5000.00
Minimum additional = P1000.00
How much is the Entry Fee? Not more than 3.36%
How much is the Exit Fee? 1.12%
How long is the holding period? 6 Months
Partner bank for deposits or bills payment? BPI

They don’t have the online payment facility yet but I am hoping and praying and I am positive about it that they will make this improvement since it is easier for investors to just transfer funds online.

For now I am going to issue post-dated checks for my succeeding deposits. It’s much easier that way and of course this method forces me to set aside money.

For more information you can download the Prospectus of SOLDIVO Strategic Growth Fund here.

Happy Investing! J

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Everyday Struggle

It is really a struggle to keep up with my personal budget especially because I’ve been craving for a lot of food lately. So I’ve been spending over the top of my personal budget. Even though we’ve been married for over a year now, we want to keep a personal budget. It’s what we call personal allowance.

Now, keeping a personal budget is similar to keeping a family budget. But family budgets are more tedious to do. They require more diligence and effort. I’ve been practicing family budget since January of this year and I must admit that there were months where I was not able to religiously list down everything. They were the months of January, April and May.

I simplified our family budget to only contain 7 items namely Electric Bill, Water Bill, Internet and Cable, Food and Groceries, Leisure, Car related expenses and Savings/Investments. I also set limits on everything except for the savings/investment part. Well I talked to my husband about the limits. Every end of month I send an email to him detailing about our month’s finances. I also include there if we’ve gone over budget, under budget or just break even.

I think this system works for us because I’ve been able to track down our family expenses (religiously I mean) since June. So we will keep on doing this until it is applicable. I hope it will not be an everyday struggle moving forward. J

Sunday, April 13, 2014

How much is quality education in the Philippines?

My cute niece is turning 4 this year and she’s getting ready to go to school. Her mom and dad found a good pre-school near their place and they are gearing up towards sending my niece to a brighter future through good education. Of course everything goes with a price tag.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to talk to a colleague who is sending his daughter to a primary school. He told me that his daughter’s tuition fee was 30 thousand pesos plus uniform and books. On top of that he also gives his daughter a daily allowance.

I was dumbfounded when my sister told me that my niece’s tuition fee is at 50 thousand pesos. This amount does not include uniforms and other miscellaneous expenses. At the back of my mind I was thinking, “So how much would it cost us if we are going to send our child to school?”

Raising a child is no easy task. I’ve seen my sister’s struggles (and also my brother in law) to provide better life for my niece. I also commend our parents for raising us well.

Well, according to the law it is the parent’s obligation to provide education to their children. In order to do so, proper financial planning is a must. Parents need to know how to project how much college education will be. They must plan and create a strategy in order to give what they are obliged to provide (according to the law.) The 50 thousand I was referring to is still for pre-school. How much more for college education?

To clarify a point, our views and perspectives about quality education are different. For some parents, it may mean sending their children to expensive and reputable schools. Other may prefer not so expensive ones. For me, as long as my child to be is equipped with proper knowledge in order for him/her to succeed in life then I will be satisfied. J

Click here for more tips on saving up for your kid's education.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Health Insurance is Love

No I am not sickly and I don’t like going to the clinic or hospital. But of course there will be times when we need to see a doctor or health specialist for our health concerns.

Two weeks ago Paul and I went to the hospital to seek medical help. I was 2 weeks delayed. However I told him not to get too excited because I was not feeling anything of the early signs of pregnancy. No morning sickness, no sensitive nose, nothing at all. I took a home pregnancy test and it came out negative. I read lots of articles in google about ‘’negative HPT; late period” but they only add to my anxiety. I also consulted my good friend who is in the medical field and told me to consult my OB.

Paul and I went to a hospital for the consultation. The OB told me to undergo TVS. It is a kind of ultrasound by the way. After securing approval from the medical provider, we immediately went to the ultrasound room and had me checked.

The initial diagnosis was polyps however the OB who conducted the ultrasound was not sure. So she told me to go back and undergo the same procedure again.

After my second test, the result came out normal. Thank God!

On the financial side: If I don’t have a medical card, I would have paid the consultation fee which is I think from 500Php – 1500Php per consultation. On top of that I should have paid roughly 2500Php for the ultrasound procedure per session. In a span of 1 week I should have paid roughly 8000Php for the consultation and lab tests. What more if I was really ill? How much would I need in order to get well?

Medical coverage is really an important aspect of financial foundation. Without it, our money that is saved or invested can be drained in just a few days.

Also, take note that the best time to get medical coverage/medical insurance is while you are healthy. No medical insurance will cover you when you are already sick as to no insurance company will cover you when you are already dying.

My tip: While employed, take advantage of the medical coverage provided by your employer. But take note that the policy is not yours to keep. Upon leaving the company you are automatically deleted from the list of members with medical coverage.

To secure a good future, make sure to talk to your insurance provider/agent and discuss the possibilities of owning a medical coverage even after you reach the retirement age. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

How much does your Hobbies Cost You?

Few days ago I came across a TV program that discussed about hobbies and their cost. In my own personal belief people need hobbies to take away stress. It may be painting, watching movies, traveling, cooking, baking, gardening, etc. (Yes, include shopping!)

Asking yourself how much it cost you on a monthly basis is a really tough question especially when you are enjoying the hobby and not minding how much money you put into it.

As far as my hobbies are concerned, I managed to put up a not so definite fund for each. For instance, my husband and I love traveling. Since I am in charge of our monthly expenses, I am setting aside a few thousand pesos each month for this hobby. Whenever we (I) feel the urge to travel, I usually look at our Leisure Fund and plan according to the amount indicated there. Sometimes we would join a bike ride, sometimes we would climb mountains or sometimes just chill out at the park. Traveling to us doesn’t necessarily mean boarding a plane or going to a place 3-4 hours from our house. For us, traveling means “going out.”

Other times I would try to cook a special dish. (Yes I love cooking!) If the dish is expensive then I can schedule it on a special occasion then adjust the budget for other dishes within the week. We have this mentality that we cannot just get what we want all at the same time. Sometimes we have to do some tradeoffs. For example we will buy tuna/salmon and cook it for lunch or dinner; we would have ginisang sitaw at kalabasa for the next day just to balance the cost. Of course my husband would not feel that I am getting stingy because I would serve generous portions of ginisang gulay.

Sometimes we will be spending more on our hobbies. But the thing is we know how to adjust. If we cannot afford it at the moment then we will probably save for it.

Maintaining our sanity is one reason why we have hobbies. But always bear in mind that our hobbies should not be the reason why we will put ourselves in difficult financial situations. Let’s have a sense of consciousness/awareness on things that are important and are more important. Setting priorities and smart goals will help us get into a healthier financial shape.

Till next time.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Funding the Wedding

It’s wedding season once again and I think it’s high time I discuss about wedding related expenses and how you can fund them.

Less than a year ago, Paul and I got married in a small church in Baguio City (Philippines) surrounded by selected family members and friends. The wedding was so small that everybody can fit in a single snapshot. J

The wedding was paid in full before the day of the event. Except for the photographers since I told them that full payment will be made after the event. Mind you, weddings should be paid in full before the wedding itself. That’s how it is in the wedding business.

I personally like the idea of a small wedding. I only want the most important people in our lives surrounding us when we say our vows. I don’t fancy large crowds because it seems so chaotic. I want a peaceful and meaningful wedding and I don’t think inviting a few hundred people will fulfill that dream.

When Paul popped “the question” we didn't talk about the wedding budget or how many guests we are going to invite. We just enjoyed our engagement and saved for the wedding. It was few months after the engagement when we decided to finally settle things. We both wanted a church wedding in Baguio so we decided to book a church and a reception area there.

After booking the church and the restaurant in Baguio City preparations were put on hold because we were both busy with our jobs. It was February 2013 when we decided to carry on and finish everything.
During this time we were giving out money to suppliers. I myself controlled my expenses just so everything will be funded.

 It is a well-known cliche that “Wedding is just a day while marriage is a lifetime commitment.” Well we probably went on that train for the wedding expenses. We don’t really like spending too much on a single day event so we put all our best efforts to minimize cost but still have a wonderful banquet. Here’s how we did it.

First quantify your expenses.
The one and only golden rule we followed: Get local suppliers!
Church – Look for a church that suits you and book it early. We booked ours 9 months before our wedding day.
Reception Venue – I showed Paul this nice restaurant along upper Session Road and I had him approve the idea. After his approval we booked the date and gave 50% advance. We booked the restaurant 9 months before our wedding day.
Wedding dress (Includes my gown and my entourage’s dresses) – I have a schoolmate way back in high school who is into dress making nowadays. I contacted her and she gave me a fair price. We contacted her few months before the wedding. And she pulled it off. J
Photographer – We have a classmate in college who is now one of the best wedding photographers in Baguio City. We contacted him several months before the wedding and we were lucky his schedule was okay with our date. J
Make-up artist – The person who made my dress was the one who suggested my make-up artist. He is one of the finest I suppose. I was with Paul when I did the trial and he loved the look. So we booked him 2 weeks before the wedding. :D
Other wedding effects – Who needs professionals if you have friends who are willing to help? J I am forever indebted to my friends. J

Second, set your expectations.
Setting our expectations mean that we should be realistic with respect to our budget. We need to tell ourselves that we are going to have a small gathering and only the most important people can attend. Although we would like to invite more, we were bound by our wedding budget and we should only spend according to our spending plan.

Third, set your budget.
One thing I realized while preparing a wedding on a budget is not exposing me to the sellers out there. I did not attend any wedding expo for my own wedding. I just sorted out my own list and focused with my local suppliers. That way I controlled the wedding expenses and kept my wedding preparation from scrutiny.  

Fourth, fund the wedding.
It was a blessing that we had ample time to fund the wedding. We saved most of our salaries to create a wedding fund in order to avoid borrowing for wedding-related expenses. We disciplined ourselves to save more and spend less. We made sure that there is ample amount saved for some extras and surprises along the way. An extra 20% of the total amount will be enough to cover.

Paul and I are disciplined savers. We have lots of friends who are willing to extend help (as in labor) and we really appreciate what they did to us. We really saved up for our wedding because we like to have it our way. I think the most important lessons I got before, during and after the wedding were the following
1. Spend only what you can afford to lose. Do not expect so much from the wedding so treat it as an expense.
2. Give importance to people who are dear to you.
3. Borrowing for wedding related expenses is not an option. If it’s not in the budget then don’t.
4. Spend money on more important things. For us it’s the food that we serve during the reception.
5. Prepare for the married life.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Preparing for your Kid’s Education through Mutual Funds

Every parent aims to provide quality education for his/her kids. And of course it takes a lot of effort to produce such a huge amount if you are not going to prepare for it early on. Taking into consideration the current situation in the Philippines, the tuition fee for college students are growing steadily for the past years. Please see link here and here

So in order to address the ever inflating cost of education, I will show you how you can fund your child’s college education through the help of Mutual Funds. 

For example you have a child who is turning 1 this year. You decided to make monthly investment of 2000Php (24000Php/year) in an Equity Fund that earns 12% interest per year. How much would you have after 15 years?

So for the next 15 years, parents would save and invest a total of 360,000Php. Before the child’s first year in college the fund would have accumulated a total of 1,000,000Php which accounts to almost 300% gain.

Now you ask me, “Is that possible?”

Let me show you the historical performance of a Mutual Fund Company named PhilEquity Fund Inc. Click here to know more about PhilEquity.

This shows that for the past 10 years the compounded annual growth rate of the fund is at 19.49%. So the computation above is very much possible based from the past performance.

Now here’s a tip

It’s always good to prepare ahead of time. The earlier you prepare the smaller the amount you need to save and invest every month.

Let’s say for example you have a child who is now 5 years old. You would like to have at least 1Million by the time he goes to college. Question, how much should you save and invest in order to do so? Answer, that would be 43500Php per year or 3625Php per month for the next 11 years.

If you delay further, say for example you are going to prepare for your child’s education by the time he is already 10 years old, you will need to save and invest 112,000Php every year or 9345Php per month for the next 6 years.

So you can now see the importance of starting early. The earlier the better.

Here’s another tip

For instance you would like to prepare for your child’s education early on but would only want to save for 5 years. Your target amount is the same 1Million pesos. Simple analysis would tell us that because we would only want to save for 5 years for the college fund, we should increase the amount to be saved and invested per month.

Table above shows that you need to save and invest 46,000Php per year or 3850Php per month in order to do so.

For complete list of Mutual Fund companies, please click here.

Please note:  Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Mutual Fund investing involves risks.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Relearning the Basics

I thought I was good at handling money. Until one day Paul asked me how much was our surplus last January. It was like I was punched on the face! I could not produce the exact amount.

Yep! I was humiliated with myself. I was disappointed. I thought I had it all planned out. I didn't notice that I was too lax with our money.

But mind you, I never missed a single bill. I was also able to deposit for our savings/investments.

This February I am happy to say that I monitored my expenses on a daily basis and am able to produce the exact amounts.

So at any time of the day Paul can easily see where our money is going and how much we are spending on a particular commodity.

Electric bill

no bill yet

Water bill

Cable and Internet

no bill yet

on track


on track

Car Expenditure
on track
That’s it! That’s our budget for the whole month. Believe it or not we are able to simplify our budget and make it work for us.

It has become a rule in the house that we both have our allowances/play money that we could spend even without the knowledge of the partner. The strategy gives us freedom to move around. It’s also empowers each of us that even though we are saving for more important things, we are not forgetting the present.

Till next time. ^_^

Saturday, January 11, 2014


I was excited when finally the Department of Education is noticing the lack of financial literacy on Filipinos. They actually launched a program to address the issue but since then I have not heard anything about it (even from the media).

Well I hope the program is still there and the Department of Education is doing its part to instill financial literacy in high school students. But I think before they can do that, they should conduct different seminars and workshops to empower high school teachers about the subject matter.

It’s a well known fact that (public or private) teachers are suffering from various forms of financial problems. A few teachers whom I talked to say they only have enough salary for their day-to-day expenses. They don’t have savings nor have any savings account from a bank. What saddened me more is the fact that most of them are buried in deep (as in deep) debt and their only way to make it through the month is to borrow more. That’s why in my hometown there are a lot of lenders commonly known as 5-6.

I’d like to present a few facts to help all the teachers there especially the Filipino ones. I always believe that we should improve the financial literacy of our teachers first before they can impart the knowledge to their students. J

Note: You need NOT be a Registered Financial Planner to understand the basics.

Having more money (promotion/dagdag-sahod) is not the only solution to financial problems. More often this signals the brain to spend more because it assumes that there will be more surplus. Moreover, this signals others that it’s ok to borrow more because there will be money at the end of the month to cover it.
  • The Solution: Always treat extra pay as extra savings. For example, when the government gives bonus to teachers for a job well done they should (right away) go to the bank and open a savings account. I think there are banks that require 1000Php initial deposit to open a bank account.
Save a (constant) portion of your take home salary and put it in your savings account. It doesn’t matter how much as long as it is constant. Say for example you are receiving 15000Php after tax every month but cannot afford to save a constant 10% of it. Then start small. Save 500 every month. Immediately after receiving your salary go directly to the bank and deposit it. That way you can train yourself and your family to live within 14500 per month. Then as time passes by you can add 100 every month.
  • The Solution: I usually tell my friends to force their savings so might as well tell the teachers to do the same. 
Put on a life goal of becoming financially independent. I have read from Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad Poor Dad” that teachers (generally) don’t want to be rich. They just want to teach. It’s ok if that’s your principle BUT bear in mind that during your sunset days you might be neglected by your love ones (just because you are a pabigat.) Please do not attack me on this issue. I know for a fact that Filipinos have close family ties and the children will never neglect their parents. But of course this is not always the case.
  • The Solution: Always aim for financial independence. You yourself should take care of your future.
Do not rely solely on Government Managed retirement fund. Have you seen this news [link of the news here]? Are you like him/her? Are you contributing solely on government managed retirement funds and relying to have enough money when you are old? As for many teachers, my guess would be a 99% YES! Although some teachers have accounting subjects during their tertiary education, they often missed out what the accounting subject is teaching them. They just know there are numbers and a balance sheet and a problem that they need to solve but never (in most cases) focus on the message of the subject. If you apply basic economy or accounting in real life do you think government pension will suffice?
  • The Solution: Expose yourselves in other investment strategies. No, I am not talking about 5-6. I am talking about legit investment strategies. If it is difficult for you to reach investment facilities then better drop Facebook and learn the basics through youtube and informative blogs. We are now in a digital world so make use of it and “connect” instantly with other people.
Do not rely on your children for future needs. This is a typical Filipino family situation wherein the parents rely solely on their children to take care of them after retirement. Please, if you can change the situation then do so. Your children have a life of their own. The best thing that you can give your children (if you do not have money) is the assurance that you can take care of your future and not bother them just because you need money. Your children can of course voluntarily give money/allowance from time to time BUT do not assume that this will also be your case.
  • The Solution: Spend some time to strategize your retirement plan. Do it as early as possible and make use of the power of compounding interest. If you are in your 50’s and still have no means of funding your retirement then you might want to consider taking up another job or making money out of your hobby to buff your savings.
Avoid scams. Unfortunately a lot of people are lured to get rich quick scheme because people want to be rich but they do not want it the hard way. There is no such thing as getting rich as quickly as possible. If someone told you that he/she can double your money in a month or two then turn away. He/She is just fooling you. Always remember that legit investments will NOT give you GUARANTEED returns.
  • The Solution: Make it a habit to check investments that come your way. This is a very good strategy because you will be more familiar with it and be able to assess if it is jut a scam or a legit one.
Lessen your debt intake. Oh sure easier said than done. BUT everything is possible if you have the will. Start by realizing how much your take home pay is and budget within that amount. No more, better if less. Remember that some sacrifices have to be done in order to get where you want. If you want a promotion then you have to work harder and smarter. You have to take several subjects and pursue a master’s degree. If you want to be fit and healthy then make it a habit to eat healthy and exercise. You see, you have to work your ass out. Same with being financially free. You can’t be financially free if you have debts till your neck and paying 20% per month just to get by. Change something from your routine if you have to.
  • The Solution: Pay up your debts as early as possible and do not borrow anymore. Live within your means.
Let go of your vices. A big portion of our money goes to vices. Those sticks of cigarette or those bottles of beer. How about those sweet tooth cravings? How much are you really spending for those vices? A normal person can live without vices. The good news is, and so can you.
  • The Solution: If you are to choose between your vices or your financial freedom, please choose the later one. Vices can actually do you worse than you imagine. Collect the money you should have spent on your vices and add that to your savings. Not only you will become healthier but also a step forward to your financial goals.
Stop saying “Hindi ko kaya.” or “Ang hirap.” or “Ayoko na.” Remember that law of attraction, What you think, what you say you will attract – no doubt.
  • The Solution: Start a positive mantra in your life. “Kayak o to.” “Gagawin ko ang lahat.” “Hindi ako susuko.” Those are better to hink than their negative counterparts.
Get the family in the bandwagon. It is always best to talk to your family about finances. Let them understand that you yourself have a lifelong dream of becoming financially independent. Let your children understand that if you will not do this today they will also suffer in the future because you will be relying on them during your old age.
  • The Solution: Make financial planning a normal topic at home so that family members can communicate freely about the topic. It is best to understand the views of everybody in order to have an orderly and peaceful family finance. You can actually involve the children on goal setting activities and let them do their part also.

I hope I am able to open the minds of the teachers out there. Feel free to PM me for suggestions and queries.

Till next time.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 and Beyond

We see 2014 as another blessed year full of unknown adventures, overflowing surprises and fulfilled aspirations. And I see my bucket list as a day-to-day guide and a reminder of my life’s purpose. For a life without purpose is not living, but walking dead. ^_^

I’m sharing with you my updated bucket list for 2014 and beyond. I hope it inspires you to make your list also and together let’s cross out the items one by one as we say “achievement unlocked!”

On Spirituality:
  1. Count thy blessings
  2. Pray more often
  3. Attend services regularly
  4. Always be thankful
  5. Celebrate life like there's no tomorrow
On Personal Order:
  1. Smile often
  2. Laugh more
  3. Think positive
  4. Read more books
  5. Spend lesser time on social media
  6. Care more
  7. Connect with family and friends as often as possible
  8. Meditate more
  9. Spend more time on self improvement
  10. Be more organized
On Health and wellness:
  1. Sleep early
  2. Exercise everyday
  3. Eat more fruits
  4. Drink more water
  5. Go outdoors
  6. Less on meat
  7. More on veggies
  8. Live simply
  9. Use time wisely
  10. Boost the energy
  11. Push thy self to exercise as often.
On Finance
  1. Set SMART goals
  2. Plan according to the goals (and achieve them)
  3. Be mindful
  4. Never stress thy self because of money
  5. Remember: A good relationship with peers is more important than having all the riches in the world
  6. Be considerate
  7. Have the "Every problem in the world has a solution" mentality

And to be able to achieve the things listed above, I have enumerated specific things that I will be crossing out as days pass by. Good luck to me. ^_^

1. Climb Philippines’ 5 peaks (Done with the following: 1. Mt Pulag 2. Mt. Apo 3. Mt Kitanglad)
2. Read 20 books in 1 year
3. Ride a Japanese bike
4. Frame my best shot
5. Go to Batanes
6. Go to Cagbalete
7. Go to Burot Beach
8. Update my ID’s and passport
9. Run 50Kms every month
10. Pedal 20Kms every month
11. Bake a cake/cupcake
12. Be able to plank for 60 seconds every other day
13. Loose 10lbs in 1 year
14. Experience a new culture
15. Witness a miracle
16. Cliff jump again and again
17. Learn a new language (basic “Hi” and “Hello” and “Good morning” etc)
18. Buy one high-end hand bag
19. Have a kitchen ala Master Chef
20. Experience a cruise
21. Record life events through blogging
22. Reconnect with old friends
23. Buy a brand new car
24. Learn a new dish every month
25. Drive from Manila to La Union
26. Get a facial every other month
27. File a vacation leave every 2 months
28. Rest adequately
29. Participate in an outreach every year
30. Survive a week without spending too much
31. Develop a new skill
32. Grow an herb every year and give as gift to friends (I currently have basil, rosemary, onion leaves and pandan)
33. Buy a new phone
34. Monitor our expenses on a daily basis
35. Start a business good enough for retirement
36. Donate blood
37. Enrol my child to be in a Medical Card.
38. Attend a breastfeeding seminar.
The following items were ideas picked from belle de jour 2014 planner. It’s such a cute idea to mark the things that are accomplished.

39. Give a beggar some food and smile at him.
40. Open a new Mutual Fund account and religiously put a constant amount for the next 12 months
41. List big goals you want to achieve in life
42. Dance in the rain with a joyful heart
43. Go parasailing
44. Sleep under a tree
45. Make special photo album of best memories
46. Take a birthday leave
47. Spend less time in facebook
48. Make my greeting cards and send them to love ones
49. Finish another 21km run

Since 2015 is already approaching, I copied some ideas from my belle de jour 2015 planner.

50. Take a workshop you've always wanted.
51. Eat vegetables with every meal.
52. Sponsor a child's tuition fee for a semester.
53. Send someone a postcard.
54. Tour an underground river.

I hope I can accomplish most of my goals this year. So help me God. ^_^

Things I have accomplished:
1. Travel to 3 different places in a year [a. Benguet b. La Union c. Bicol]
2. Pedal all the way to Jala-jala (from Taytay to Jala-jala)
3. Save and invest at least 50000 this year
4. Create ample amount of Emergency fund [A standby 50,000Php cash is a great start]
5. Go to Bicol
6. Learn how to drive – seriously
7. Get a driver’s license
8. Swim with a whale shark
9. See a sunflower plantation
10. Undergo a classroom training once a year.
11. Revisit the place where Paul and I got engaged
12. Donate old clothes to charity
13. Go on a joyride
14. Plant a vegetable in your backyard
15. Drink more water
16. Reduce my sugar intake