Bad Habits That Drain Pockets of Breadwinners

I recently published in my Pinoybreadwinners Facebook page these 8 bad habits that drain pockets. Let me share them with you here.

Work on killing these bad habits that drain your pockets! Photo source: Pexels

“I’ll do it tomorrow.”

Sinasabi ko sayo, tomorrow never comes!

Procrastination does not give results. Kabubukas mo, next week, or mamaya na, nawala na ang opportunity sayo.

“It will work out on itself.”

Sinasabi ko sayo, there is no such thing as magic!

If you will not act today, the things you want to happen will not just turn out magically. Gusto mo ng retirement fund na 10 million after 20 years, simulan mo mag-ipon. Gusto mong pumayat, mag-exercise ka. Gusto mo syang ligawan, makipagkaibigan ka na. 😜

“It’s not my fault.”

Sinasabi ko sayo, blame game will not take you to success!

If you will not be accountable and take responsibility for your actions and results, no one else will. Kailangan mong matutunan ang lessons sa bawat failures mo, so take responsibility.

“I already know that.”

Sinasabi ko sayo, you cannot eat pride!

Be a lifelong learner. You can learn from many people. Minsan, new learning will ignite new opportunities. Makinig ka and acknowledge that you don’t know everything.

“I won’t ask because it makes me look stupid.”

Sinasabi ko sayo, wag mahihiyang magtanong 🎶🎶

Mas magmumukha kang stupid if you assume you know the answers when you really don’t. Listen. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. When you ask questions, you answer your own doubts and you gain wisdom. Life is a series of questions. Help each other by asking sensible questions and learn much.

“I can’t do it.”

Sinasabi ko sayo, it’s not easy but it’s possible.

Wala namang large feat in life na madali eh. Pero possible sya for people who are not afraid to try. If it makes you afraid, then do it afraid and you’ll discover that the first step to success is being courageous first.

“I might lose if I try.”

Sinasabi ko sayo, take risks!

Not all opportunities are created equal. Mamimili ka rin dapat. Pero it is better to try and risk than not doing anything. If you don’t try, you don’t risk anything pero you lose possible opportunities na makikita mo lang when you try.

“I will just save money.”

Sinasabi ko sayo, saving is not the end goal! 

You will save money for bigger reasons: retirement, comfortable life, travel, helping out others. Hindi nagtatapos ang success kapag nagsave ka lang ng pera. Financial success involves managing your spending, protecting yourself and investing. One good start in doing all these is investing in a VUL policy. #AskMeHow

Need inspiration? Here is something to motivate you, Pinoy breadwinner!

5 Businesses Pinoy Breadwinners Can Start for Less Than P5,000

I always receive questions from Pinoy breadwinners on what are businesses that they can start with a small capital. Starting a business is a serious task. But with proper planning and execution, you can easily start you own business and scale it online. 

A business requires planning and courage. Photo source: Image by rawpixel from Pixabay 

In this article, I will share with you 5 businesses that Pinoy breadwinners can start for less than P5,000. Before starting on anything, make sure you research and plan well. 

Printing Business

If you have a quality printer at home, you can start a printing business at a low cost. You only need to invest in quality paper and ink. There are many local suppliers for good quality paper and ink so it is easy to start and scale up.

Many printing businesses cater printing of calling cards, PISO print for students, and photo printing. Make sure you make your printing business known in your neighborhood. 

Packaged Food

This is a very profitable business today since more people are getting busier everyday. You can cater to office employees who have no time to prepare their baon and do not want to line up long in fast food restaurants every lunch time. 

Pastries and Desserts

There are many pastries and desserts that you can do for a small capital. If you got the talent in baking, then pursue this. You may also consider reselling pastries and desserts made by local home bakers too. Invest in locally sourced ingredients and reliable oven and freezer.

Social media marketing can also help a lot in scaling up your business. Promote your baked goods to friends and relatives. 

Web Designing 

Many people have found their talent for creating and designing websites to be very profitable for them. Why? Because you only need less than P5,000 capital to start! What you need is a reliable Internet connection and your skills.

If you’d like to learn more about web designing, there are many courses being offered today to learn this in-demand skill. 

Perfume Making

Yes, you read it right! Perfume making is making a noise now as an easy startup business. If you will learn how to mix your own perfume, buy your own bottles and brand it as your own, then you are good to start! It is very easy to sell and resell even in online marketplaces such as Facebook and Instagram. 

Now, all these business ideas may excite you so much. But always remember that before you start something, research well on your target market. Is there a demand for what you will sell? If you could confidently answer yes, then go for it. Save up for that initial P5,000 capital and plan out.

Do you know how to write? Maybe you can also earn from it! Check how I earned extra cash by writing online here.

10 Inspiring Quotes for Breadwinners Working Hard

Breadwinners are modern day heroes. They work very diligently to provide an abundant life to their families. They think about their loved ones’ needs before themselves. Pinoy breadwinners are often the least understood and least thought of.

Being a breadwinner is hard. If you resonate with any of these, we compiled 15 quotes that will inspire breadwinners working hard today. 

Keep going, breadwinners! Photo by Lukas from Pexels

Nothing worth having comes easy.

How much is your family’s dreams worth to you? How much is your children’s education worth to you? Remember this: nothing worth having comes easy. You always have to work for it. Even winning the lotto requires effort. 

All roads that lead to success have to pass through hard work boulevard at some point.

There is no success without hard work. So, if you think that you are working hard now, keep going. But remember to work smart also. Working hard, paired with working smart, will make you closer to your dreams and goals faster. Be willing to get dirt on your hands. 

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. (Tim Notke)

Would you agree that not all talented people succeed in life? I believe in this. I have seen many Pinoy breadwinners who have average skills and talents but have succeeded in building their wealth. Their secret? Hard work. It pays off. 

You can’t cheat the grind, it knows how much you have invested, it won’t give you anything you haven’t worked for. 

You cannot grow a mango tree if you have not planted a seed to the ground. Same it goes for working hard, saving and investing. You will never experience the rewards of your hard work if you have not exerted the effort in the first place. Embrace the grind. It is a part of life. 

Dream big, work hard, stay focused and surround yourself with good people.

How large is your dream for yourself? For your family? Think about it every time you are hustling and working. Stay focused on your goals. Do not be sidetracked by problems. Also, surround yourself with people who will push you to be stronger. Either you run away from hard work or you run towards it and come out stronger and wiser than before. You choose. 

Be thankful for what you have. Work hard for what you don’t have.

I have heard many Pinoys said this before: “Kaya ako mahirap kasi mahirap ang pamilya namin.” Well, being born in a poor family is not your fault. But, it will be your fault if you die and leave your family still poor. You have all the power to change your situation.

Be grateful for the blessings you have now. Then work hard for the things you don’t have, especially if it is for your loved ones. 

Hard work is what separates the winners from the losers.

There is a reason why you are called a breadwinner. You are a winner. Never settle becoming a loser. Work hard. You will amaze yourself one day. 

Don’t give up. The beginning is always the hardest. Life rewards those who work hard at it.

Everything is hard at the start. But with pushing further and never quitting, you will be rewarded by life itself for your efforts. Keep going. 

A dream does not become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work. (Colin Powell)

Do not be like Juan Tamad. Your dreams will not be served to you on a plate. Success is not gained by magic. So is saving, building your wealth and investing. Dreams require work. Be willing to work hard for them. 

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle. (Abraham Lincoln)

Do not just passively wait for opportunities to come to you. Go out. Seek for opportunities. Those who hustle smartly work their way to their goals faster than those passive dreamers. 

How I Earned Extra By Writing Online

Are you a writer?

Or you may not call yourself a writer but if you are confident in writing and researching especially in English format, then this extra income opportunity is for you. 

This is one of the early privileges my email subscribers at PinoyBreadwinners had. I am able to share to them firsthand actual income opportunities, case studies and investing insights through my core values of Earn-Save-Protect-Invest. If you are a Filipino breadwinner, join our community at PinoyBreadwinners.

My Story

I will share a quick story first. Last year, I stumbled upon the word “freelancing”. I thought then of many ways of how I can use my skills and talents to earn extra income.

I am still employed full-time as an auditor in public practice. But because I am also my family’s breadwinner, I ventured so heavily to side hustling. That was when I came across Wordmasters

Since I am able to write well in simple and understandable English, I thought of venturing to use my writing skills to use.

Why not?!

So I signed up easily, took some tests online and I was able to get several writing projects immediately. 

Writing projects were priced from as low as P50 to P900. It can even go up, depending on the topic, word count, length, SEO requirement, etc.

Quick story again… Last year, I badly wanted to have funds so I can bring my whole family to a vacation in our home province in Bicol. Because we were five (5) in the family, it was quite costly to do this. So, I made a decision to try writing online.

All extra income I earned from writing online helped me to increase my family’s travel fund. I just started writing online on February 2018. My family traveled to Bicol on April 2018.

You can, too!

Look at the screenshot of my profile above. You can see my withdrawal history of all my earnings from writing online, even for a short period of time.

I did all this side hustle writing gigs in my spare time. Sometimes, when I get stuck in traffic, I grab projects and write drafts. As they say, if there’s a will, there’s a way!

Now, imagine if you can surpass me! You may even be more efficient in writing and researching. You can earn more than what I got. In fact, there are writers who earn 6-figure income already. 

All these just by harnessing the power of online.

If you wanted to save up for something too, why not use your writing skill as your money-making machine? If you want to try this gig and earn extra cash, head over this link:

Earn extra by writing online.

Financial Literacy Is A Miracle

When you enter a large conference room full of people, how do you know who is rich or poor? Some of us might say, “Mayaman yung naka-Rolex watch sa kanan!” or “Mahirap yung babaeng hindi rebonded ang buhok.

But, as quickly as we judge easily based on looks, we can be found mistaken when we try to ask each person’s lifestyle and financial health. That person wearing a Rolex watch might be hounded by many credit card companies calling him for his payment dues. Or, that woman whose hair is simple and not styled by salons is actually an entrepreneur and is building her own empire.

Using this simple question, we can agree and conclude on 3 things:

  1. Many people equate “being rich” with physical appearance.
  2. Many people put value on a person based on the price tags of his belongings.
  3. You cannot easily identify who is rich or poor.

 

Of Poverty and Unemployment

Did you know that according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), there are 1 out of every 5 Filipinos who are considered poor in 2015. This is considering the family income as well as annual income and expenditures.

Surprisingly, the unemployment rate in the Philippines dropped from 5.6% to 5.4% in 3rd quarter of 2017 to 2018. This means that the number of Filipinos who are unemployed decreased by 50,000 to 2,320,000. However, while the Philippines have observed this good indicator, still the poverty reduction level in the country slackens. In 2018 alone, one-fifth or 20% of Filipinos live below the national poverty line.

Bill Gates once said, “If you are born poor, it’s not your fault. But if you die poor, it’s your fault.”  I totally agree with him, 100%.

What contributes to this imbalance between rich and poor?

As a licensed financial consultant, I came to realize that financial literacy plays a major role in this setup.

Financial Literacy in the Philippines

Historically, financial literacy is not taught in basic education. Financial literacy, or otherwise known as money management, is not given that much importance and emphasis in the education system of our country.

What majority of our schools teach revolves around in answering these questions only:

  1. What is money?Answer: Money is needed to be successful and to provide for basic needs and wants.
  2. Where to get the money?Answer: Money can be earned through employment. To be able to earn more money, students must aim to study hard so they can land on good-paying jobs in the future. 

While the statistics remain true, still 1 in every 5 Filipinos are poor. If we say that our educational system is at par with other wealthy and progressive countries, why do most Filipinos remain poor? Not taking into account political lapses, ineffective fiscal policies and programs, the root cause of the problem lies in the illiteracy of many towards handling their money.

 

Why Financial Literacy?

Is financial literacy a solution towards diminishing the number of Filipinos living below, at and a little higher than the national poverty line?

As schools fail to teach the value of money, how to accumulate it over time and manage it well, many financial literacy advocates and finance educators will answer a resounding

YES!!!

A person does not need to have a college degree, a doctorate or masters degree or even a professional license to even be considered financially literate!

Financial literacy encompasses 3 aspects of money management. Master these 3 and one will eventually see himself richer than he is before.

 

3 Aspects of Financial Literacy

  1. Deeper reasons of why money is needed
  2. How to accumulate money over time
  3. How to manage accumulated wealth as it grows

 

What are the Miracles of Financial Literacy?

While we can discuss so many benefits of financial literacy to any person, as a licensed financial consultant, I have discovered miracles of which financial literacy can be credited for.

 

QUALITY OF LIFE

Financially literate people are generally not the innately and necessarily wealthy portion of our society. Instead, these people are the “wise and rich” ones who have learned how to raise their quality of life through proper money management.

 

ECONOMIC IMPACT

With more Filipinos who understand how to make money work for their good, the economic standing of the Philippines will improve. Financial literacy can result to more economic gains to the country, more opportunities for investments, new investors and general improvement of the welfare of the Filipinos.

 

HEDGE AGAINST INFLATION AND RISKS

Financially literate Filipinos know 3 basic things about their money: WHAT, WHY and HOW. As such, they know how to protect their hard-earned income and investments against risks of loss of money and inflation. Among the most popular risks affecting the financial health of any person are:

  1. Death
  2. Loss of income
  3. Disability due from accidents
  4. Disability due from critical illnesses

A financially literate person knows that these risks, though cannot be totally prevented or eliminated from their lives, can be hedged by a well-protected financial plan.

The miracle of Financial Literacy is found in looking at Filipino lives that have changed for the better.

Why Female Breadwinners Have Tough Romantic Relationships

I know you clicked on this article because the title caught you. Apektado ka, diba? Ako rin eh! In this article, we will boldly discuss this very interesting topic kung bakit karamihan sa mga female breadwinners experience tough romantic relationships.

Hindi na tayo lalayo, even if we just limit our discussion sa mga Pinay breadwinners, many will agree to this:

Why do female breadwinners have tough romantic relationships?

Who are the female breadwinners

In our context, i-define muna natin ang “breadwinners” in general.

Breadwinners are people who earn money to support a family. A person may be earning money but support no one but himself.

Para mas maganda ang usapan, let us classify these female breadwinners who are in relationships:

  1. Those single or not yet married who have boyfriends or engaged already
  2. Those married and are still heavily supporting their extended families
  3. Those married and the female breadwinner is the primary provider of the family

Sa bawat klase ng female breadwinner, we will discuss ang mga posibleng dahilan kung bakit romantic relationships appear to be challenging or difficult for them.

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The single or not-yet-married female breadwinners

Maraming female breadwinners belong in this category. Kadalasan sa kanila ay mga panganay sa pamilya. Yung iba naman, even though hindi sila ang panganay, sila naman ay may maayos na trabaho or business.

Most of the struggles of these single female breadwinners come when they wanted to be in a romantic relationship already but their family wouldn’t allow it. Have you heard these lines in a Filipino household:

“Hindi pa tapos mga kapatid mo sa pag-aaral. Wag ka munang mag-aasawa.”

“Ikaw lang ang inaasahan namin.”

Because Filipino families have deep familial ties, this overflows even to the aspect of financial support. While hindi masama that Pinoy breadwinners ay tumulong sa pamilya nila, there have to be boundaries.

Personally, I encountered these issues in my previous relationship. Because I am the family’s breadwinner, I support my whole family. We were already making plans of getting married soon but my family issues got in the way. My family still does not want to let go of me. My ex was not able to wait any longer.

Here are some advice for female breadwinners in this category:

  • Teach your other family members how to value money. Ika nga, hindi natin pinupulot ang pera.
  • Hindi masama to give financial support to your parents lalo na kapag matanda na sila and hindi sila nakapaghanda for retirement (we will have a separate discussion about this soon). But if you have siblings who are able but are still depending on your support, that is a different case.
  • If you have other family members who earn money also, ask help in carrying the burdens.
  • It is also helpful if you establish a family household budget, aside from budgeting for your own personal needs. In this budget, list down monthly all sources of income and where it will come from (from you, your other family members, etc.). List down also all your household expenses. In this way, you are able to instill the value of money and budgeting it.
  • Be able to diplomatically relate to your family that, sooner, you will also have your own family. Make it known to them that you are also preparing for your own future family. This is where getting insured and invested as early as today comes in handy. (If you like to get started on this, I can help you. Just sign up in our website!)
  • If you are in a romantic relationship now, it is very helpful if your partner fully understands your situation. Better if he understands your struggles and helps you achieve financial independence, not just for you, but for your family as well.

The married female breadwinners supporting heavily their extended families

Ito ang isa sa mga madalas simulan ng misunderstanding and issues sa isang mag-asawa: Yung may binubuo na kayong sariling pamilya but one of the partners is still supporting their extended families heavily.

We want to emphasize the word “heavily” here dahil our concern to our parents and siblings does not end as soon as we get married and start our own families. Ang issue dito is yung frequency.

Everything must be done in moderation and reasonableness.

That is why the tips in the previous section (single female breadwinners) before become very useful. It is better if before a female breadwinner starts her own family, she was able to help her own family stand on their own and not fully depend to her.

Here are some tips to help female breadwinners in this category:

  • It is better to make sure that even before you leave your family and start your own, you were able to create a form of livelihood for them. Personally, ginagawa ko na ito ngayon because I learned so much from my failed relationship as a single. I am starting side businesses that I involve my family members.
  • Learn to say no at times. Hindi naman sa lahat ng oras ay ikaw pa rin ang aasahan nila. Hindi masamang tumulong pa rin pero moderation is the key.
  • It is better if this issue is also talked about by the couple. Ask your partner his perspective on helping your own families and be able to compromise.

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The married female breadwinners who are the family’s primary provider

Women in our time and generation have arrived to the age where the stereotype that married women become housewives only has been broken already.

Many married women today are also working now, whether full-time or home-based, to help provide for their family needs. The concept that the men alone must work to provide for the family is not generally accepted now.

So where do issues arise for these class of female breadwinners? That is when these married female breadwinners become the primary, if not only, breadwinner in the family.

Sinabi natin na “primary” dahil there maybe 2 scenarios here:

  1. The female breadwinner or si misis ay mas kumikita ng malaki kaysa kay mister
  2. The female breadwinner is the only one earning in the family

In the case of married female breadwinners who earn much than their husbands or partners, the issue arise if merong competition between them. Lalong lalo na kapag natatamaan na ang ego ng lalaki. Accept it or not, there are men who hold on to the “macho” image that they feel inferior kapag mas malaki ang kinikita ng mga misis nila kaysa sa kanila.

In the second case naman, hindi talaga maiiwasang magkaroon ng issues between husband and wife lalo na kapag nararamdaman ng female breadwinner that she alone carries the burden.

Here are tips of advice that can help female breadwinners in this category:

  • If the wife earns much than her husband, it is important that they discuss openly about it. Make sure that it is agreed that even though ganun ang situation nila, it will never be an issue sa marriage nila. Learn to meet halfway.
  • You are never a competitor to your partner. You are meant to be helpmates of each other.
  • For female breadwinners na sila lang ang nagtratrabaho, discuss the reasons why ganito ang setup ninyong mag-asawa. Openly discuss how each of you can help carry the burden.

How has this article helped you? Let us know in the comments below! Share with us your struggles and tips as a female breadwinner!

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Top 3 Secrets To Building Wealth

Many books, blogs or finance coaches will tell you many tips on how to EFFECTIVELY BUILD WEALTH. The list can be endless dahil totoo namang napakaraming magagandang tips and techniques kung paano magiging successful in handling our personal finances.

Usual questions

Nandyan yung mga usual na tanong such as:

“How can I start saving when my income is small?”

“How can I budget my money?”

“Where should I start investing my money?”

“How can I be sure that my investments are legitimate and safe?”

“How will I know if my investments are earning?”

“How can I increase my income?”

All these questions and many more plague the minds of many Pinoys today, lalo na ang mga millenials. In fact, if you try to do a quick Google search, you will realize na napakaraming tao na ngayon ang interested to learn more how to manage their money and make it grow.

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The secrets are out!

But I will tell you a secret! All those tips can actually be summarized into 3 secrets only. In this article, I will share with you the TOP 3 SECRETS to building wealth effectively. Manage these and your will see a big positive difference in your personal financial life sooner.

1. MANAGE SPENDING.

Earning money is one thing but teaching and directing yourself how to spend money is a totally different thing.

The #1 factor that makes a person rich is not how much he earns. It is in how he spends his money.

Alin ba ang mas kaya mong ma-control, ang kinikita mo o ang paggastos mo? Majority of Pinoy breadwinners ay merong isa or dalawang source of income. Kadalasan pa dito ay steady income lang gaya ng sahod bilang empleyado. Kung sidelines naman ito, usually ay hindi mo controlled ang pwede mong kitain dahil sa variability of many factors.

Start saving by spending lesser on unnecessary things today. You must teach yourself where your money will go bago mo pa man ito mahawakan. Kadalasang sitwasyon kasi ng mga Pinoy breadwinners ay naghihintay ng petsa de peligro, at bago pa man mahawakan ang sweldo ay ubos na ito! Minsan ay kulang pa nga.

To give you an idea how managing your spending can really help, read this related article of how a Pinay breadwinner was able to save more than 10K in a month.

2. EARN MORE.

When you have a steady habit of saving even in small amounts by cutting on your unnecessary spending, it is time to ACCELERATE YOUR SAVINGS. One idea na nakakalimutan ng mga Pinoy is that savings are done over time.

There is no such thing as an overnight savings! Yung tipong nag-ipon ka ngayon ng 100 pesos tapos paggising mo bukas ay 200 pesos na! Ang sabi nga, saving is very much like farming. The day you planted the seed is not the day you will harvest and eat the fruit. 

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Saving takes time. What you do in between the planting and harvesting is what will make you succeed in your personal finance journey.

So, how do you accelerate your savings? Get a side hustle!

Do you have a skill from which you can earn on the side? Is there a skill that people refer to you for help most of the time? Maybe you can count on that skill to earn money as a side gig!

Be creative and invest in knowledge that will help you earn more. From your extra earnings, separate a portion for savings.

3. INVEST WISELY.

Once you have developed the discipline of spending wisely and consistent saving, it is time to invest.

Investing is what will make your money and savings grow and multiply. The goal of investing is also to be able to protect yourself and your money from the effects of inflation.

Ika nga, kung may naipon ka na 100,000 pesos for 2 years of saving, anong gagawin mo dito? Tandaan na ang 100,000 pesos mo ngayon could have a value of lesser than 100,000 pesos one or two years from now because of inflation.

Investing is putting a hedge of protection around your hard-earned savings and at the same time, maximizing your money’s potential to grow. It is making your money work for you, instead of the other way around.

Investing wisely means knowing where, when and how much to invest. Not all investment opportunities will fit a person. It takes proper knowledge to be able to MULTIPLY YOUR SAVINGS INTO WEALTH.

Not all investment opportunities are created equal. Merong risks and potential returns involved. Before leaping into the ocean of investments, make sure you study first how to swim. Dahil kung hindi, baka tangayin lang ng mga alon ang lahat ng perang pinaghirapan mo.

Which step are you in? Share with us in the comment box below! Let me help you plan your personal finance success. Learn more inside information! Join the PinoybreadWINNERS Generation

How I Saved 10 Thousand Pesos In 1 Month

Ever wanted to travel with your family pero wala kang ipon? I want to share with you my personal story last 2018 when I wanted to travel with my whole family to Bicol, our province.

The desire

As a breadwinner in the family, with all my family members heavily depending on me (all my siblings are still in school that time), this desire to spend our Holy Week 2018 in Camarines Sur is a daunting dream. I wanted to do this because my father is already growing old and I know he misses our other relatives in the province too. Sobrang tagal na rin kasi nung huli kaming nakauwi na sama-sama. I think it was many years back nung buhay pa si Mama ko.

So, it was in January 2018 that I had this desire na makauwi kami ng province for Holy Week on April. In our church prayer and fasting last January, isa ito sa mga pinagpray ko rin talaga that God would provide for this travel.

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A little background story: I was in law school during this time also. So, aside from supporting my family, I was also supporting my own education that time. So, it was really a challenging task.

My eureka moment

Then, after the fasting week, an idea struck me. I suddenly realized how great of a spender I was. Hindi naman ako yung tipo na laging laman ng mga sale sa malls or suki ng mga sale sa online shops. Pero I have my own versions of guilty spending: FOOD. 😁

Yeah, I am the type of person who’d rather spend a hundred bucks for lots of food than to spend it on makeup or new clothes. I realized that though hindi masama ang pagkain and ito ay isa sa mga basic needs natin bilang tao, I was excessive when it comes to my spending sa food. I spent heavily on eating out in fastfoods and restaurants. I also spent heavily on luxury beverages like coffee frappe and milktea!

This guilty spending applied not only with my own food but also in how I spend my money during grocery shopping for my family. Many times, I buy groceries and food too much that some just go to waste.

So, I was faced with two things: my plan for family travel and my guilty spending. How was I able to reconcile these?

1 – Where did all my money go?

Sabi ko nga, I assessed my spending. Saan ko ba mostly ginagastos ang pera ko kada buwan?

I listed everything in a piece of paper, up to the last detail. Among the expenses I listed were:

  • House amortization
  • Family groceries
  • Personal food
  • Personal transportation
  • Family eat-outs weekly
  • Utilities
  • Prepaid load
  • Leisure
  • Baon ng mga kapatid
  • Medications

2 – What can I cut down?

Using the simple list I made, I drilled down each item by marking each expense as either “reasonable” or “excessive”.

In my own terms, reasonable expenses are those which I spent an amount that is justifiable sa pangangailangan ko. Excessive expenses are those na alam kong sobra ang nailalaan kong pera compared sa ibang expenses of the same importance. Halimbawa, normal na maggrocery ako for our family weekly pero yun bang pinamimili ko ay sapat for the week or I buy too much food, only to end up in waste or sobrang katakawan? Things like that made me decide.

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In my assessment, the following were my reasonable expenses:

  • House amortization
  • Utilities
  • Baon ng mga kapatid
  • Medications

And then, these were my excessive expenses:

  • Family groceries
  • Personal food
  • Personal transportation
  • Family eat-outs weekly
  • Prepaid load
  • Leisure

All those listed expenses, whether reasonable or excessive, I assessed kung magkano ang pwede kong i-cut down to the point that I and my family will not starve or become too inconvenient. Questions like, “Do we really need to eat meat everyday or baka pwede namang maggulay?” or “Will taking the jeep instead of Grab be still convenient yet cheaper?” helped.

So sa bawat expense, I was able to compute magkano ang kaya kong ibawas sa budget ko.

3 – What can I forego?

After classifying all these, I then specifically identified anong mga bagay ang pwede kong i-forego or ipagpaliban.

Alin sa mga expenses ko ang pwedeng hindi ko talaga muna paglaanan?

Alin ang hindi ko naman talaga kailangan?

These must usually be items na luxurious or mga luho lang. Among the items na nilista ka dito ay:

  • Lessen fastfood and restaurant eat-outs. Instead, I opted to eat healthier and to cut down on my food. Papayat rin tayo! Ha ha.
  • Forego spending on expensive coffee, frappe and milktea. Instead, I will drink more water.
  • When doing my grocery shopping for my family, I will list down first what we really needed and what supplies we ran out of. In this way, I will avoid buying things we don’t need or buying things na marami pa pala sa bahay namin.
  • When doing grocery shopping, I will opt to buy the fresh items like meat, fruits and vegetables from the palengke mismo instead from the large supermarkets. Medyo inconvenient lang, pero mas malaki talaga ang difference ng mga presyo, lalo na sa gulay.
  • I also asked my siblings to be conscious of their baon since I told them na nag-iipon rin ako for our travel.

Marami pa akong inilistang mga bagay na pwedeng ipagpaliban. At sa bawat items na ito, I was able to compute how much ang pwede kong matipid by not spending on these unnecessary items.

4 – Where will I get my income?

Next, I assessed all my income sources. In this area, I realized that it really help if you have a side hustle aside from a usual 9am to 6pm job.

I was also into online selling and other side gigs which helped me earn money aside from my usual salary. Marami sa side gigs na ito ay even though hindi kalakihan but at least helped me augment my financial needs that time.

Among these income sources were:

  • Corporate job
  • Online selling of various items
  • Baking pastries
  • Writing gigs

In my quest para makaipon for our travel, I dedicated all my profits from side gigs as ipon. Automatic ko na syang tinatabi.

5 – What will I do with all the savings?

So after all that, I was able to identify that the sources of my savings would come from:

  • Those few hundred pesos I can save from cutting down on several expenses na excessive
  • Those few thousand pesos I can save from foregoing some expenses na luho lang naman at unnecessary
  • Those I earned from my side gigs

I kept a small piggy bank where all money that I should have spent for unnecessary expenses are being stacked away. It went on for a month. Halos hindi ko sya naramdaman dahil I made it a practice at may end goal ako: makaipon for our travel.

Success!

After a month, when I opened my piggy bank, to my surprise, I was able to save approximately 12 thousand pesos! Imagine that!

This experience taught me few valuable things:

  • There are many expenses to which we spend on pero hindi naman talaga natin kailangan.
  • Living simply is very fulfilling.
  • If you have an end in mind and a plan, you can achieve your goals whatever it is.
  • Sacrifice is needed if you want to achieve a goal.
  • Saving is possible whatever financial you are in. Discipline is needed.
  • Start small in saving. Hindi mo mapapansing nakakaipon ka na pala.

I am proud to say that through this simple exercise of saving, I was able to finance our whole family’s vacation in Bicol last April 2018! Sharing with you some of our photos! 😁

Let me know how this story inspired you! If you’d like someone to journey with you on your personal finance success, comment down below! 

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10 Things To Do After You Get Your First Job

So you graduated fresh from college! Armed with your sobrang pinaghirapang diploma, you set your foot towards the intimidating corporate world para maghanap ng trabaho. And, voila! You just got hired!

What now?

As a young professional now, let me share with you 10 things to do after you get your first job. I was able to make this list not because lahat ito ay nagawa ko na; some items dito are things I wished I could tell my younger self to do as early as before.

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1 – Complete your valid IDs.

You will know that a person has really passed on from student to adulting stage by checking her wallet! Bukod sa kung dati ay wala pang masyadong lamang pera, you will notice that aside from bills and coins ay puro identification cards ang laman nito.

When you get your first job, make sure na makakuha ka ng as many valid IDs as you can. You may not use all of them immediately but it is better to have them as early as now. Among these IDs that you can start securing for yourself are:

  • SSS
  • Philhealth
  • TIN
  • Passport

2 – Set your goals.

As early as getting your first job, make sure that you set your goals straight. Yes, these goals might change over the years habang mas nakikilala mo pa ang sarili mo and your strengths. But, to give you direction for “why you do things”, a simple goal-setting can help.

It depends on you on how you will identify these goals. What is also important is to make it clear and write it down. There is something in writing goals in paper and pen that makes these future goals look real and tangible in the present.

Pwede mong hatiin ang goal-setting mo into aspects such as:

  • Career
  • Personal
  • Financial

Or you may also categorize your goals into short-term, medium or long-term.

3 – Decide on what kind of lifestyle you want to live.

It may appear na OA pero looking back, this has proven to be a common struggle by new members of the earning sector ng ating bansa. Default kasi sa ating mga Pinoy na todo-waldas, lalo na kapag nakahawak ng pera. Hindi pa kasi deeply engraved culture sa atin to think many times before spending on something.

I have seen this typical story happen to many of my colleagues before: Si Juan ay lumaki sa isang middle class na family na nabibili lang yung sapat na needs ng family. When Juan graduated from college, he immediately got hired. At dahil earning na si Juan, his thinking that he has “more money than before so I can spend more than before” ay pwede nyang ikapahamak.

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Sabi nga, it is not bad to enjoy the fruits of your hard work. Pinaghirapan mo ‘yun eh! Pero dapat, your lifestyle will depend on your earning capability and your spending habits. In choosing your lifestyle, make sure that these factors are present:

  • Income source
  • Spending habits
  • Hobbies
  • Sustainability

4 – Pay yourself first.

Yehey! May trabaho ka na, it is not bad to deprive yourself of experiencing the joys of being able to step out of poverty. Ilibre mo ang sarili mo sa unang sweldo mo. Also, don’t forget to treat the people who helped you get to where you are. They may be your parents, your uncles or any others who helped you finish your school. A simple treat will count.

5 – Get yourself a planner.

Yes, even a simple yearly planner! Discipline yourself to planning out your week, listing things to do and marking out appointments. In this way, you will see how productively you are using your time, which is your most costly resource.

6 – Find a mentor.

Since you are starting out on your career, it is best if you can find a trusted and credible person who can mentor you. Your mentor must be someone you respect. It must be someone who you look up to or plan to emulate.

If you cannot find one, try at least to look for reliable people who you can pattern your habits, beliefs and convictions.

7 – Pay off any debts.

When I got my first official job (I had so many side jobs before while studying), our family had incurred debts that were related to my school expenses. If you got the same situation like mine, pay off these debts immediately and as you are able. Or maybe, you may have incurred debts related to your job hunting conquest and requirements.

It is better to start off your financial life as a young professional with a clean credit standing.

8 – Plan and setup your emergency fund.

This is one of the things na usually ay nakakalimutan ngayon, especially millenials. Setting up your emergency fund is one of the wisest things you can do for yourself financially.

An emergency fund will serve as your financial safety net for immediate emergency needs in the future. Many fall into the thinking trap na mag-iipon sila for emergency kapag malaki na ang salary nila. But, saving starts even small.

There are others naman who overlook the value of having an emergency fund at dumidiretso agad into investing into stock markets or VUL. Plan and setup your emergency fund first, saka ka mag-explore.

9 – Protect your income.

Next to setting up your emergency fund, the next wise thing you may want to do is to protect your income. How will you do this? Simply by protecting yourself through life insurance.

If kagaya kita na breadwinner rin sa family and many family members depend on me and my income, it is very important that you make yourself protected from certain events na out of your control. Among these events are:

  • Death
  • Accident
  • Illness

Your life insurance will cover these uncontrollable events in life to ensure na yung mga nakadepende sa iyo ay hindi mahihirapan financially, in case anything happens to you. Ang kagandahan ngayon ng most insurances ay may kasama na itong investment portion so protected ka na, lumalago pa ang pera mo.

If you are in this stage already and you think you are ready, I can help you in your journey towards protecting your income as a licensed financial consultant.

10 – Grow your money.

So you have your emergency fund already and you have made plans already to protect your income. The next thing you can do is to grow your money. There are so many ways with which you can grow your money:

  • Stock investing and trading
  • Mutual funds
  • UITF
  • Real estate
  • Businesses

Ang mahalaga lang ay before you venture into growing your money, you grow first your knowledge about personal finance.

Which of these tips have helped you so far? Have you done any of them already? Let us know in the comments below! 

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