Friday, December 27, 2013

Short-term Goals 2014



•Read non-fiction book minimum of 2 books per month.

•Own 2,000 items including clothes and other knickknacks

•Have a one million peso cold hard cash in the bank. Cash, not paper assets

•Eat healthier. Have at least a cup of fruit or veggies a day. Control my sweet tooth

•Quit being an "OC" when it comes to finance. This would be hard!

•Use up all my skin care products and backups so I can switch to a natural skin care stuffs

And lastly,

• Pinas for good by September 2014


End of the Year Update: SHORT-TERM GOALS


This post is about my short-term goals.
For the list of my goals and wishlist, click here

I was debating if I should post my goal update coz part of my it is kind of like bragging. I made this blog and so far, I am anonymous so I went ahead and decided to post what have become of my goals.

  • Go home for good by September 2014
- The decision to go home for good is still on. Actually, I've got 3 boxes waiting for me in the Philippines and 1 box ready to ship. I am nervous and doubtful about my "for good" decision and I know that having doubts is part of the process. I acknowledged the feelings, but I don't overanalyzed it. I have been in this situation before. I decided to go home for good few times but doubts and "what ifs" scenarios played on my mind a lot of times too and I ended up not going home. That's why I made this blog so I can challenge myself to honor my words.  If I don't go home, I'll be too old to risk it all. I'll be too comfortable on my salary. Besides, I don't want to be an employee forever. After all, in our deathbeds, we would look back in our lives and regret the things we didn't do and the words we didn't say.

  • Have 2 million total paper assets investments by the end of 2013
-  Php 20,000 pesos short. I will go ahead and invest by first week of January. I consider this done coz I have the money available already.

  • Total net worth of 5 million by the end of the year
- Yehey, I'm worth 5 million. I calculate my net worth every 3 months by pen-and-paper. I'll show you how I do it next time. I know, I am kind of bragging and I know that my net worth is "pang burger lang ni Henry Sy" or "pang snacks lang ni JGS" but, I am proud of it. I surpassed the "ideal net worth" of a 27-years-old according to CNN despite my  odd job. So yay for me!
  • Exercise daily for 15-30 minutes
- I have been doing this religiously. It is part of my system.

  • Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily
- I have been so good with this. If I am at work, my trick is to put sugar sachet on my pocket every time I drink a glass. At the end of my workday, I count the sugar sachets and I make sure that its up to 8 then I put the sachets back to the coffee station. The only problem with this goal is I pee a lot.

  • Read 2 nonfiction books per week
- Failed. Who am I kidding? Even though I have an access to a vast selection of books at my local library, not to mentioned a great selection of e-books at just one click away, I don't have the time to read. I need to se a realistic goal next time.
  • Treat myself a sundae and a fries at the end of the month
- I made this goal because I am married to Mr. Scrooge. I have been so hard on myself. I still guilt trip myself once in awhile on this little wants, but I always explain to myself that I can spend for my few wants as long as I reached my monthly savings goal.

What's my 2014 goal going to be? Find out in my next post.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas 2013


I spent my Christmas Eve partying with Drs. Sheldon Cooper, Leonard Hoofstadter, Rajesh Ramayan Koothrappali, Howard Walowitz, Penny,Bernadette  and Amy Farah Fowler. The next day, I found myself in bed with a guy!! Yah, I am a party animal like that!

Hahaha! Bazinga! Not really..

Christmas Eve was spent in my bed watching Big Bang Theory. The guys I mentioned are Big Bang Theory cast. And oh, the guy I spent my night with is:


Rob Thomas! Yeeeeee..

Someone gifted me a picture with Rob Thomas' signature! OMG! I almost fainted! OMG! I mean, OMG!!! I literally put "him" beside me the whole night! I am a Matchbox 20 fan since I was 12! The best gift I've ever received!  I am still giddy til now! Eeeeeeeee! "Pogi points" for the guy who gifted me this one.

Christmas Day- December 25,2013

I woke up super late coz I was exited with the RT's signature. I ran for 4 miles and went to claim the free movie that my friend gave me. I saw Anchorman 2 and would you believe that Filipinos was mentioned. It said that we eat dogs and cats! Nope, we don't eat dogs, we eat human! 

Funny movie! Will Ferrell did it again.



The mall was so quiet. Few stores were open. Starbucks wasn't open and I didn't get to claim my giftcard. I opted to eat at Subway. 



Currently, I am taking a break from packing clothes and stuffs I am sending to the Philippines. One box for my personal stuffs with a strict instruction to my mom not to open it til I get home and one box for my mom.

Over all, I had a quiet and happy Christmas even though I am spending it alone. 

Christmas is almost over and the new year is upon us.

Have a blessed day, everyone!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My Employer Gave Me North Face Down Jacket And....


I can't bare to tell her that I won't be using it for a long time coz I won't renew my contract and I would go home for good in 9 months.


My employer also gave me Ugg boots  two Christmases ago and North Face fleece last Christmas. To tell you honestly, I didn't really invest in winter clothing coz my plan was "I won't be here for too long" plus, I can't wear North Face and Uggs in the Philippines so why the hell should I buy these popular, expensive winter outfits? Oh well,  At least I have a cold weather outfit ready for my Mt. Everest expedition and cold-weather country vacation,right? Haha!


15 more minutes and its Christmas and I am ultra sad. Here I am watching Big Bang Theory marathon. I miss my family so badly.

Virtual cheers to all OFWs out there who are spending Christmas Eve alone. May this time of year reminds us on what's important in our lives and may your dreams come true.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Exchange Traded Fund: Added to My Stock Portfolio


PERA Bill and Exchange-Traded Fund are two things I am looking forward in the local stock market.

PERA Bill has been sign into law but it isn't implemented yet. The big guys at PSE said that it will be finally be in the market by January 2014. This is kind of like the 4O1k in the USA. All your investment and the profit of your investment will be tax-free provided that the contributor won't pull out his or her investment before 55 years of age. I believe that there will also be tax deduction by at least 5% of your total investment.

PERA bill is not yet in the market scene but Exchange-Traded Fund is!

What is Exchange-Traded Fund?

According to Investopedia,  Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) is a security that tracks an index, a commodity or a basket of assets like an index fund, but trades like a stock on an exchange.

Put it this way, ETF is kind of like a mutual fund but behaves like a stock. No Net Asset Value (NAV) is calculated everyday but ETFs price change throughout the day as they are being bought and sold- kind of like a stock. 

What's amazing about ETF is you would pay the same amount of broker's commission and fee as you would with when you order regular stocks and you have the ability when to buy and when to sell those suckers. You are the boss and you are in control. In Mutual Funds, you have to pay for the manager's fee and you don't have the decision when to cut loss, sell or buy. I don't have to argue about " you are paying for the fund manager's expertise". Yah, I get that. I too have mutual funds but the bulk of my paper assets is not there. For me, 1.5 - 2 percent fee is huge.

First Metro Exchange Traded Fund (FMETF)
This is the Philippines very first ETF debuted last December 2, 2013. The opening net asset value per share was Php 99.20. It aims "to provide returns that would reflect the performance of the local equities market by investing in a basket of securities included in PSEi".

My Attempt to buy ETF

December 16, 2013 ( Monday)

I bid to buy FMETF with the price of Php 95.00 per share (1,250 shares) 

Verdict: FAILED

High: Php 96.95
Low: Php 95.05
Close: Php 95.80

Oh well, I'll try again tomorrow. 

December 17, 2013 (Tuesday)

Bid: Php 95.00 per share (1,250 shares)

High: Php 95.80
Low: Php 95.80
Close: Php 95.80

Verdict: FAILED


December 18, 2013 (Wednesday)

Bid: Php 95.00 per share (1,250 shares)

High: Php 96.00
Low: Php 95.80
Close: Php 96.00

Verdict: FAILED

December 19, 2013 (Thursday)

Bid: Php 95.80 per share . ( 1,250 shares)

Yah, I eventually gave in with the extra 80 cents. Haha!

Verdict: Officially added to my portfolio!

Here is hoping that there will be more introduction of different ETFs in the Philippine stock market. ETF in real state sector maybe or how about banks? Not bad! We will see! 


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Smaug Saturday


Smaug- the name of the dragon in The Hobbit movie

My last post was about the excitement I had been feeling prior to watching The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug. I already finished watching it yesterday and I just like to tell you guys what I did and how my day went. For a frugal/kuripot girl like me, mall is not really my kind of hangout. In fact, I avoid malls as much as possible. The crowd drives me nuts!

I started my day with a big breakfast so I don't have to buy food before and during the movie. For some weird reason, I don't like eating while watching the movie. I don't multitask. 

I was really excited that I forgot my reloadable card for public transportation. I thought I had prepared everything from last night! It turns out that I forgot an important thing! Things happen, oh well.

After the Movie: The Verdict

This is my own biased opinion,ok? Biased because I love the books, J.R.R Tolkien, Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro , so I need to love the movie. Haha.

But in all honesty, I freakin' love the movie! It is better than the first part. Smaug was dangerously and amazingly made. Kili was still handsome. Dwarves, wood elves and Gandalf are great actors. Bilbo is still funny. The movie is great and I really enjoyed it. A well-spent 3 dollars. 

Lunch

When I go for a movie, I always eat burger. And burger means Five Guys. My second Five Guys for this year. 

Bacon Burger All the way with Jalapeno and Sprite

Spending the Gift cards!

I feel like a millionaire without ever spending, thanks for the gift cards! I went to Old Navy and Gap and bought yoga pants and top. I also went to Sephora and bought my first ever high-end cosmetic. I have been meaning to buy this one for the longest time, and by longest time, I mean 2 years. It's not a need so it's not a priority, so it really took me a long time to buy this one. Having a Sephora gift card really gave a me a reason to splurge without even spending anything. This one will really minimize my make up collection.

My first high-end cosmetic
Urban Decay Naked Basics with the Gift Card

The last thing I bought yesterday was Starbucks' Caramel Frappe.

I am not ashamed to admit that Starbucks stores kinda intimidate me coz I don't know how to order. In my 28 years of existence, I've been to Starbucks six times. Most of the time, I got away from ordering by letting my friends order for me.

Friend: What do you want?
Me: Whatever you are having.

Haha. True story!

I also armed myself with Google information before marching to Starbucks. Complete with memorizing-before-ordering.  I don't ever spend my own money on Starbucks no matter how I consider myself a coffee kind of person.

This time, since I have a Starbucks gift card, I pester my friend to tell me what to order. My friend knows that I don't know how this whole-ordering-business-in-Starbucks go. My friend suggested to order Caramel Frappe Venti. I wrote it down and had to go over it few times in my head. haha. I am proud to admit that ordering coffee in Starbucks is one of my weaknesses. It goes to show how cheap I am and I am proud of it. Besides, I would rather suck at ordering in Starbucks but has money to buy thousands Starbucks coffee in one day than to be really good at ordering, goes to Starbucks regularly just to show off but don't really have the money for it.



My 6th Starbucks experience: Caramel Frappe Venti with the Gift Card.

That concludes my day alone in the mall. I just bought what I really want and quickly left the mall. The crowd gave me headache. For me, going to mall is a chore.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Middle Earth Addiction: Hobbit/ Lord of the Rings



Eeeekkk!! I am excited!

I just finished watching The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, prequel of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, which I will be watching tomorrow! Yay!! 

I am a Lord of the Rings fan, as I have mentioned in one of my posts. I can't believed I still get goosebumps while watching  even though I've watched the trilogy and the  Hobbit part 1 countless of times. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug will be my second movie that I will watch on big screen for this year. Believe me, trailers of this movie have been sprouting since  last year and I refused to watch it coz I would get a "psychological" itch I couldn't scratch. I actually just watch the trailers on You Tube less than a week ago! 

Lord of the Rings fueled my desire to visit New Zealand- one of the things I'd do before I die. I swear I'd go there and really spend money to see where they effin' shoot the movie no matter how much the cost. Yup, talk about bucket-list! I still got a lifetime to save eiy for this great adventure! When that day comes, I will say what Bilbo said: I'm going on an adventure! Haha!

Ahhhh, traveling and solo backpacking are my top-most desire! One of my goals  includes solo backpacking all over Southeast Asia before I turn 30! We'll see! We'll see! 

Special thanks for a good friend who gifted me this awesome Extended Edition  of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I am immensely enjoying it!

Eeeeeei, my clothes and my bag are ready for tomorrow. Yah, that's how excited I am! The movie will start around 9 AM so I need to leave the house by 7:40 AM. Early bird,yah? Hehe. It'll snow and it'll be cold tomorrow but that won't stop me from going. All for Smaug, all for Smaug! 
Just spent 3 dollars for the movie coz I still got leftover from the movie giftcard I received from last time. I ordered the ticket online so I'd get the best spot! H16! 

Excited! 





Thursday, December 12, 2013

Day 3: A Week of Giving Thanks


More reasons to believe that God is indeed playing favorites:


• As what Sirius Black said: "Judge a man not by how he treat his equal but by how he treats his inferior". I thank God for my employers. They are one of my mentors. They are an example that truly successful and truly rich people aren't snobs.

• I thank God for my friend who send me this coffee from the Philippines that I am enjoying now. A friend who cures my homesickness. My sidekick.

• The TV won't turn on. It says on the screen that I have to call Comcast but I won't call just yet. I thank God for the silence, I am enjoying it.

• The chilly morning air bites my exposed  skin. What a glory!

• A wet snow is here! First snow of the year! 

• Thank God for a debt-free life I am enjoying!

• Thank God for my big brother who is sober for a longest time. 

• Thank God for the food and the knowledge to cook.

• Thank God for today. Looking forward for tomorrow's blessings! 


Friday, December 6, 2013

OFWs: A Little Appreciation, Please?!


I am one of the millions who is sending remittance back home. When the Philippine economy crashes, remittances from OFWs keeps the economy afloat. According to World Bank Center, remittances from 10.5 million OFWs all over the world are equivalent to about 10 percent of  the gross domestics product. OFWs are called heroes, so they say.

Heroes? How can we be heroes, even our immediate family, who is directly receiving remittance, don't call us that?! Instead of saying "Salamat" (thank you), all they say is "Kagamay" ( this is too little). Really? Ouch! I mean, really?!

How many times I've been accused of being stingy towards my family. It does hurt that me supporting them financially is not being appreciated. They don't know that my expenses is not even 5 percent of what I have been sending to them despite high cost of living here. I am scrimping like crazy and all I hear is "this is too little". Really?!

I demand a thank you. I would "jokingly" ask for a "thank you" and I know I deserved a "thank you".

Maybe I gave them too little,maybe not. Maybe I am really a stingy, selfish b*t*h, but being selfish and not giving them "all" my money and all they want is a way of telling them that they should take responsibility. They should know how to learn to stand on their own feet. I don't want to steal their hunger to be successful. 

Selfishness is neither good or bad- it depends on the way we are selfish as to whether it nourishes or injures.
- Jean Chatzky ( Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security)

I am giving them a tough love.



Sunday, December 1, 2013

Day 7: A Week of Giving Thanks


It has been a seven days since I started the " A Week of Giving Thanks" as my way of celebrating Thanksgiving day. I gave you a glimpse of what usually goes on in my head. I am constantly thankful to the point of being childish.

When I practice a grateful heart, I became aware of the details that even seeing my breath on a cold day seems like an awesome sight. Solitude, silence and nature-walking excite me more than anything and I feel closer to The Creator when I am being grateful.

Instead of focusing on what I don't have, I focus on the blessings around me. When I start to drift away from not being able to thank even the littlest thing, I would stop myself and read my " Blessings Journal" (yep, I have a notebook where I put all the blessings. It is more detailed than the series of posts I made here).

Practicing gratitude is antidote to materialism.



Saturday, November 30, 2013

Day 6: Week Of Giving Thanks


Ahhhh, Saturday! 

• Run for 6 miles for 50 minutes today! I can't believed I am running 6 miles again. I had runner's knee problem and I thought I will not be able to run 6 miles ever again! Yay, Thank you Lord for giving me motivation and opportunity to run!

• IPod is an important part of my running. It keeps me pump up and it records my miles. Thanks for the IPod!

• Sweat + Cool air = ahhhhh

• Had a 1.50 miles walk after jogging! How intoxicating the sound of nature is!

• I have been running close to 3 years now and I am thankful I figure out what type of clothes to layer during cold season. Before,  I would bundle up before a run and I would stripped every layer I had on after covering a mile. Now, I perfectly figure out the "just-right-without-having-to-stop-because-it's-too-hot" layering.

•I am thankful for that water fountain nearby when I run. It promises energy when you needed it most. Thanks for the water.


• Apparently, IPod turns off on extremely cold or extremely hot weather. It was 25 degrees this morning and I accomplished 6 miles without it turning off on me! I wrapped it up with gloves and occasionally put it in my armpit to warm it up! Haha! True story! 

•  Thanks for the rock music that keeps me pump up. It sure did help me reached my 6-mile goal under an hour. 

• Thanks for the friendly runners that smile at me and greeted me good morning. They keep me motivated to run. Most of the runner I see are somewhat 50 years old or so. If they can do it, why not us, youngsters? 

• Stayed inside and I am having a Big Bang Theory marathon. I got the 5 seasons of BBT as a gift a year or so ago. What a cool way to spend Saturday.

My kind of Saturday. For this,  I am thankful.


Friday, November 29, 2013

Day 5 : A Week of Giving Thanks


Black Friday here and if you read my pledge, you might be thinking if I did it. Hmmm.

Things I am thankful:

• I didn't spend a single cent today! Two Black Fridays in a row,baby!

• Nothing beats the feeling of being productive.

• Thanks for the electricity. Like the Internet, this is a great invention,too. Imagine life without it. 

• Thank you Lord for making life comfortable.

• Thank you God for having more than enough. 

• Thanks for the gift of silence.

• Thanks for the sumptuous dinner.

• Ending my day watching Big Bang Theory and Dead Files. Nice to end my day with a laugh and and a scare. 


• Thank you for today, Lord. Thanks for the bed and the covers. I am looking forward for tomorrow. 


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Day 4 : A Week of Giving Thanks


Happy Thanksgiving!

• It so cold out that I could see my breath.  Sometimes, I pretend to be a steam train engine, Chugga Chugga cho cho, here I go! But for now, I am a fire-breathing dragon who is surveying the vastness of my kingdom. Haha!

• It's Thanksgiving and Hanukkah at the same time. This is a rare occurrence, once in a century or so.
 Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday. My employer is Jewish that's why I know these stuffs.

• This oatmeal sure is a nice food to have in this chilly morning.

• I thank the family I saw from my kitchen window while I was washing dishes. They seem to be enjoying their Thanksgiving dinner. The sight reminds me of my "for good" goal to be with my family. No amount of money can cure my homesickeness.

• Fish and rice for dinner. Nothing beats anything fried! Yum! 

• I thank God for knowing the difference between wants and needs. I don't need to wake up early tomorrow for Black Friday shopping. 

Chapstick for my dry lips and travel size lotion to prevent cracked hands-- must haves for cold weather. I forget things a lot but, surprisingly, I never fail to stick these two gems in my backpack. These are  little comforts in life I am surely thankful for.

• I thank God for this happy feeling I am enjoying at the moment despite me being alone this Thanksgiving.

• I constantly write my thoughts and what I learn on a notebook. Thank God for giving me a "forever-a-learner" attitude. 

• Thank God for people around me, both good and bad. Good people worth emulating and bad people is sort of like a reminder not to be like them.  

Happy Thanksgiving, America.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Day 2: A Week of Giving Thanks


A week of giving thanks, day two.

I am blessed. God is playing favorites!

• It has been cold outside lately. I thank God for the roof above my head. 

• I thank God for the heater that keeps me warm. I grew up in the tropics and without this, I'd be a mess.

• I thank God for the comforter. It's so comfy cozy when I'm in it.

• I thank God coz fever, runny nose and the likes haven't visited me since forever.

• I thank God for the water that keeps me hydrated and keeps me clean. I can't imagine life without it.

• I thank God for the Internet that keeps me connected to the world.  Such a great invention! 

• I thank God for my coat and boots. They sure are comfy! Bless the people who gifted this to me.

• It'll snow today! Yippee! 

• I thank God for the chirping of the birds! I see them in flocks travelling south for the winter. How amazing and magnificent sight to see! 

• The rain as of the moment reminds me of home.

• Thank God for the New York bagel and a free coffee I am having while typing this. What a treat! 



Monday, November 25, 2013

Day 1: A Week of Giving Thanks


This Thursday is Thanksgiving day! A day of lotsa eating for most people. A day of turkey and family gathering .

I would like to celebrate Thanksgiving 2013 by posting series of random stuffs I am grateful for.

And here it is:

• I thank God for keeping my family safe during typhoon Haiyan. They survived unscathed with just a minor roof problem. Thank God!

• I'd like to thank the Big Guy for the ability and the opportunity to do wealth. I thank God for my job.

• I thank God for my job that lets me read when it's not too busy. Reading honed my finance skill.

•I thank God for the free books-- library.

• I thank God for letting me meet people who have become my mentors. 

•I thank God that I discovered the value of saving and investing at an early age.

•I thank God for my low-maintenance mother who don't go into debt just to show off.

• I thank God for my shoes that takes me to places and makes me comfy while I run.

• I thank God for the place that I have been staying which is walking distance to  an acres of jogging trail.

• I thank God for my little brother for being patient when his ate goes on a death-rants about small stuffs. Note to self: Don't sweat the small stuffs.

• I thank God for my mom who keeps me grounded.

• I thank God for making me realized that no amount of money in the world that can fill the emptiness within me. 




Friday, November 8, 2013

So, What's my Investing Style?


A reader emailed me asking for my investment strategy and I realized it is a good topic to blog about.

Note: This is purely my own. This might not work for you. 


So, what's my investing strategy?

I am using Peso Cost Averaging or PCA

Peso Cost Averaging  is an investing strategy where in an investor invest a fix amount of money in a certain period of time on a giant company/companies. This kind of investor doesn't care if the market is bloody or if the market is green, they just keep on buying. They believed that these companies would still be thriving 20 years from now.

Yup, I am a proud PCA investor but I did bend the rule a little bit coz I didn't invest it all on the " giants" coz  I do have 3 "basura" stocks.

 I invest fix amount of money monthly. I invest one stock at a time then go on a cycle. I have a list of stocks I am eyeing and I consult my list everytime I buy.

So, how do I determine a good company to invest in? I do have an easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy strategy to share to you  and thinking about it makes me laugh. Is this even a strategy or what?

Okay, I regularly browse the list of stocks at PSE's website and when I read a stock that is somewhat familiar to me, and if I recall hearing it since I was younger, that's the major major reason I do Fundamental Analysis on that certain stock and invest all the way. Hearing from when I was younger and it's still around 'til now? Now, that is somewhat a stable company. Tested through time. Ang dami kasi ng publicly listed stocks and nakaka-intimidate masyado. Doing this strategy makes it easier for me to pick the best of the best.

Note: I don't solely rely on my easy-peasy strategy . I do use Fundamental analysis- a very important part. 


After I purchased a stock,I have a special notebook wherein I record my recent buy. Below is an example of my list:



First column : Date Purchased
Second column: Price of the stock per share
Third column: Shares own 

I do the exact same thing with my mutual funds.

On top of my fix amount invested every month, I do "reward" myself with stocks when there is a special occasion, like on my birthday or such. The biggest  I have "given" myself was the Php 60,000 worth of stocks on my 27th birthday last April. I was so proud of myself for buying stocks and not stuffs! 

I will be doing PCA until I get home and would take it from there. I am also saving and studying for business ventures for when I'll be in pinas for good.  I will be earning my first million peso profit from business (commitment 'yan ah! hihi). Wish me luck.

Watch out for my next post: So, What's My Trading Style?


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Giving In


I bought a pair of sneakers! I don't need to post this but for somewhat uncurable "kuripot" like me, this is a milestone!

I mentioned that I have enough Chucks to last me a lifetime but, I  found myself wanting to buy sneakers just because. I want to buy "something" that I know I would be guilty to see if setting aside money as a "Me Fund" works, and that "something" is anything Converse. Hey, I work to live and not live to work. I should enjoy these small pleasures, eiy

This purchase isn't helping with my minimalist journey but I heard a hardcore minimalist saying that find "something" you want to collect and just collect that "something" as much as you can. He even said that if you are into rainbow and unicorns then ,by all means, collect anything rainbow and unicorns but don't collect anything beyond that. That statement gave me a time to breath and it made me think of my love for sneakers so yay for me and minimalism! I would collect sneakers and nothing else.

The pair that I  just purchased reminded me so much of my first sneakers when I was in high school. I do have similar color of sneakers too when I was in college. Though I can't afford Chucks at that time but I was a sneaker-wearer even then.

I got this one 50 percent off, from 50 dollars to 25 dollars. It's a spring/summer color and it's fall/winter now so they need to let go of last season's sneakers so I guess it was a good deal. Surprisingly, I didn't have "buyer's remorse" afterwards! Does this mean that my addiction to saving money is now cured?!  If so, I'd like to thank my "Me Fund" for that! 





Yay, for my 10th pair. No buying remorse 'til now! Double yay!

Monday, November 4, 2013

PHONES: Switching to Prepaid Has Save Me Tons


Aaah, I remember my first phone. Nokia 3310. You know, that phone that dances when you stand it up.  I was proud of that phone. It was the product of summer job, handling fliers and being a watcher on an election day. It wasn't brand new but I was stoked beyond reasoning. Writing this up makes me remember the giddy feeling I felt at that very day... the day I sent my first text message.. ahhhhh, sweet!!!


When I first came here, I used roaming and I eventually ditched it. Not only that I am spending extra on keeping it active, it was also a way where my relative can "borrow" money from me. hehe.

Meet my recent phone:

My First Phone's Relative

I had an IPhone but I traded it with IPod Touch and I have never been happier! I was paying $50 monthly for minutes I am not using. You see, I am not really a cellphone addict. If not for my work then I would have gone phone-less.

How much I am paying for now? $10 every 2 months! That's right, $10 every 2 months! Far from my $50 monthly, huh? And I can't even finish that 10 dollars. As of now, I still have 100 plus extra minutes.


  • Why would I need an on-the-go cellphone plan? It's as if I have a multi-million peso business that needs constant monitoring.
  • Need to search something on the internet, I wait until I get home. Convenience comes with a price, you know?
  • Skype is my best friend when making long distance call to my family back home.

It's pretty basic, but switching to prepaid has really saved me a lot. I don't have internet on the go and I rely on wi-fi but I am pretty much happy with it. Nothing beats a 10 dollar every 2 months vs the 50 dollars monthly I have been paying before.

Switching to prepaid + taming the urge to surf the net most of the time has really save me a lot. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

25 Random Things About Me






I'm feeling narcissistic today and decided to post this. Hehe. These are random facts about me beyond anything finance:


  •  I am the only girl among 3 brothers. My "bothers" were the reason I love Chucks and rock music.
Sporting one of my everyday Chucks


  •  Huge fan of Matchbox 20 since Grade 6. At 15 years old, I decided to name my future son Rob Thomas, same name as the MB20's vocalist. Since I decided not to get married, I gave the name Rob Thomas to my nephew. Now I have a 3 year old nephew named Rob Thomas. 

  •  My playlists include all songs of Matchbox 20, Green Day (Dookie and Nimrod albums), Red Hot Chili Pepper.

  •  I don't own Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. I love blogging and blog-hopping, though.

  • There is only one person who knows my real identity so I'm kind of careless with what I'm posting here, but rest assured that I am telling the truth despite me being anonymous.

  •  I started Grade 1 when I was 6. Didn't go through kindergarten coz it wasn't mandatory. I graduated college and passed the boards when I was 19. No,  I'm not nerd,  just studious.

  •  Sucker for horror and anything paranormal. I put rosary in my doorknob coz I'd get super scared.

Down the Hill..
Skateboarding for the first time
  •  I sleep holding my rosary.

  •  Straight edge-  I don't  smoke, don't drink, don't do drugs. I am a celibate, too.

  •  I don't like going to mall or bar. I don't like crowd and I don't like the smell of smoke.

  • Tried skateboarding for the first time two years ago. 


  • Went to New York for the first time alone.

  •  Love Investigation Discovery - a channel devoted for anything crime and serial killers.

  • I am 5'2 1/2 tall.

  •  Bullied when I was in elementary. I didn't know how to fix myself. No female to look up to , that's why. Mom isn't the girly-girl type. 


Who wouldn't get bullied with this hair?! Geez!
Learned how to be presentable when I was sophomore in high school. Learned to apply make up after college.

  •  Had my first crush when I was Grade 5, but he was one of the bullies. Ouch!

• My elementary classmates think that I look so different when I reconnected with them through Facebook. How do you like me now, bullies?!
Late bloomer







• Used to run 6 miles straight until I got runner's knee problem. Now, I'm taking it easy.

  • Last time I had pedicure was 2002- 4th year High school. Never had my fingernails done, ever! I know, right?!

  •  Spicy food is yum!

  •  Received Beauty of the Year award when I was in high school. ahem!

  • Seeing the Pope and hearing a mass delivered by the Pope are one of the things I'll do before I die.
Yoda Man

  •  I think  Jedi Master Yoda is hot. Hot, he is

  • • Hopes to be a mountaineer and conquer tons of mountains all over the Philippines and beyond.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Frugal Tip: The Gift of Contentment


Contentment is hard to come by these days. The temptation to consume your way through life is great, that's why I consider contentment as a gift from the Big Guy up there. My daily  and breath prayers include : Lord, give me the gift of contentment.


Being contented with what you have is an important trait to be mastered coz if you don't have the sense of contentment, no matter how much you have, it would never be enough.  

I consider myself fairly frugal, but I still get tempted to spend. Though I always change my mind after thinking it through, it still leaves a hollow feeling inside- the feeling of deprivation. When this feeling of deprivation kicks in, I count my blessings and ask for the gift of contentment, and immediately, the feeling of deprivation dissipate and by then, I'll realize that I am blessed with more than enough. 

Sure, I can afford to buy a silk bed covers that I have been eyeing for the longest time but I chose not to, I'd make do with my cotton cover and I'm contented with it. Sure, I can afford to eat out all the time but I chose not to coz I am contented with my homecooked meals , plus cooking regularly adds to my not-so-good cooking skill.

To this very day, I always and often ask for the gift of contentment and immediately I'd feel a sense of peace and knowledge and I know that the Big Guy is listening. 

Lord, give me the gift of contentment each and everyday. Let me be constantly reminded that I'm blessed with more than enough. Thank you for the opportunity and the ability to do wealth.





Friday, October 25, 2013

Growing Up Poor Isn't Too Bad


Philippines is a developing country. The gap between rich and poor is so wide. Rich people are getting richer, poor people are getting poorer. 

I've mentioned in one of my posts that I grew up poor. When my father died, my sibs and I got sent to different relatives. I spent my teenage years wiping windows and cleaning before the crack of dawn. I spent my weekends hand-washing clothes. And ooooh,that darn heavy wedding gowns that I have to wash. I sometimes see myself crying, wishing that I could swap life with my cousin who wakes up late and with nothing to do but study while here I am, wet from head to toes, washing one of their clothes.

Now that I am blessed and I looked back, I thank God for letting me experience all of that. I repeat, I THANK GOD FOR ALL OF THAT,  it made me who I am.

Now that I am earning well enough and now that I have taken the road to financial independence, here are the list that I think growing up poor isn't too bad:

• Scrimping is easy

• Leftovers don't fazed me

• Hand-washing clothes? No problem, I grew up with that

• Resiliency 

• Walk everywhere like a boss is easy and now, it have become my pastime

• Fixing things

• Sewing clothes that has holes

Ukay-ukay don't give me the creeps as long as I disinfect it first

• Bad debt is a no-no

• Not picky with food. I eat anything as long as its edible

For the love of veggies- I love vegetables!

Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without mentality is here to stay

• Switch to saving mode is easy as ABC

• Daydreaming- hey, that's visualization there! ;)

• I take care of my stuffs

• Being bored is not in my vocab

• Doing things alone on a budget is my way

• I'm not maarte. I don't complain. I make do with what I have.

• I am your best guest. I can sleep in cupboard, no arte there! Cowboy all the way.

• Going under sun doesn't bother me

• Great admiration for simple and laid back life

The list goes on and on..

Growing up poor isn't too bad at all. It prepared me for my life now. I don't think I am able to survive with style  without my experiences.

When I face problems, I see it as a small dot of my life and that too shall pass. 

Hardships are God's way on preparing you for the life you will soon take. Be thankful for the hardships and pick a lesson or two along the way.





Monday, October 21, 2013

Life in a Day






I am a docu-addict! I've watched countless documentaries! I am into   old times like Medieval period, Renaissance,  knights and anything history related. I am also into travel documentaries, Egyptology ,Greek Mythology, and plagues that once hit humanity, stuffs like that.

I just finished Life in a Day, and I can't help but marvel on how beautiful this documentary is. It is a feature-length documentary shot on a single day- July 24, 2010 and people from around the world submitted their videos. 

This is different from any other documentaries I've watched that's why I am in awe. It's amazing to see different people from different places all over the world doing different activities in a day. It was beautifully edited,too.

One of the best documentaries I've seen so far.

Exhilarating and refreshing.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Frugal Tip : No Spending Day Habit








A day or a period of time set by you where you don't spend anything, not even a single centavo aka The Spending Fast.



I have been doing this for a quiet some time and I consider myself hardcore. I can go for weeks without spending. I can go for a month, but I regularly send money to my mom back home so I really can't do this, otherwise my mom would starve.

    Things I do prior to No Spending Day/s:

  • I plan for my meals. This is the time I go over my leftovers and rummage through my pantry.  Cook in bulk. Be creative and be open for substitute ingredients.

  • Transportation should be budgeted ahead. 

  • Plan for activities that don't cost a dime. Suggestions:
 
                       Run
                       Walk ( Leisurely or Brisk)
                       Read
                       Board game session with family
                       General cleaning/ de-clutter
                       Sleeping in
                       Gardening/yard work
                       Talk to family and bond with them
                       Etc.



I suggest you refrain from going online. Yes, you can check your email once in awhile, but don't be glued in the web unless you work online. Hey, going online cost electricity ,too. Read a book or listen to some podcast.

Take note: No binge-spending  before and after the No Spending Day.

Try this, it's just a day.. Come on now..


Good luck.

Photo Credit: talkingcents.consumercredit.com

                                    

Monday, October 14, 2013

Throwaway Thursday


Whew, it's been a while since I went over my stuffs and it's been a while since I gave away something. My stuffs are getting less and less but I need to ruthlessly edit more. Still a working progress minimalist here!

It's weird  finding useless stuffs that I have been holding on like a pair of stockings that has runs.  I bought  it for $18 dollars years ago coz I had to attend a formal gathering and it has tummy control thingamajiggy, I was in a heavier side at that time. I thought expensive stuff equals high quality and I thought this would be my go-to stocking for formal events forever and ever and I was so wrong. I used it for just a night and bam, it has long runs! I know I can't use it anymore but I held on to it coz hey, I bought it for $18! I thought I'd justify my spending by keeping it but I know in my heart of hearts that I should let this go.

Here are stuffs I am giving away for my 4th Throwaway Thursday:

•Make ups


•Sweaters:




• The 18 dollar stockings:


•Random personal care stuffs I am not using. These are still unopened.




• Hangers


Less stuff, less stress.

Good riddance.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Rainin' , Complainin' and Murphy's Law



It has been raining nonstop for 5 days now. I consider myself a positive person and I mostly look on the bright side of things , but people around me are complaining about the weather that it got into me and I found myself pouting and wishing that rain would stop soon.

Last week, it reached 90 degrees and people around me complained that "it's too hot and it doesn't feel like fall" yada yada. Now that rain is here to cool things down, people are still complaining. Yah,  crazy weather is so first world problem!



I worked until 11:00 pm last night and it took me a while to get a taxi.The storm was crazy and a lot of streets had been closed down because of  the fallen trees and strong winds.  I started to get worried but I was glad  that I got home safe and was tucked in and snoozing on my bed by 11:40 PM. 

I woke up ready to start my morning run and found out that it was still raining. I settled back on my bed while listening to a podcast and the lights went out. It was still raining and I decided to  walk  to the bank and swing by the  library to dropped off DVDs and book that I borrowed and to pick up Star Wars and Back to the Future DVDs that were put on hold but found out that library was closed coz the power was down. Hahai, talk about Murphy's Law  anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

I didn't let Murphy's Law get the best of me. I walked for 6 miles and ,when I saw that rain kind of stop, I hit the trail for a 3.5 mile run. I went home thankful that Mother Nature gave me time to run before it rained again. Alleluia!

I baked cookies and had a nice lunch. I am currently reading an ebook I borrowed from the library's website:

John C.  Maxwell
Ethics 101


Right now, as I am comfy cozy under the sheets, I realized that I should try and not listen to other people's negative views in life. I am blessed with more than enough,  I should be thankful always. Bad weather is not the end of things and Mr. Sun would be smiling on me before I know it.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Filipino Crab Mentality: My Fair Share


I still remember an ABS-CBN commercial long time ago  about a bucket of crabs wanting to escape but can't coz the the one from the bottom tries to pull the crab that's on top. The advertisement then showed that what if they'll rock the bucket back and forth together, they have a great chance of escaping.

People who have crab mentality attitude are all around us. We all go through this,  the gossip and backstabbing one way or the other. Cutting that kind of people in our lives proves to be a great solution.

Crab mentality is such a filipino trait that we hear that two words at our very young age. As the famous saying goes, "we all like to see our friends get ahead, but not too far ahead.” This is such a negative attitude and this, I think, is one of the reasons we remain poor. "Ay, she has a new car and a house, I bet she has a sugar daddy"


I was a victim of this not too long ago and I have no choice but to cut ties with them. And what hurts me the most are they are my relatives, a grandmother (sister of my mom's mom). I can't believe someone that old   can hurt someone who is 40 years younger than her. 'Diba, we should celebrate someone's success? Why are pulling them down? Why are jumping into conclusions without even knowing the whole story?


One day, my mother messaged me. She said to call right away. I called and she was crying, she told me that my grandmother was spreading rumors and confronted her that that's why I can afford to send my two nieces to a private school, put my brother to a drug rehab center, support my grandfather, mom and my brother, who is attending college at the moment, and bought a house and lot because I have an old guy who have been supporting me- in short, I have a sugar daddy! I was so pissed! SERIOUSLY?! THE NERVE TO SAY THAT? SHE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT I HAVE BEEN DOING TO SAVE MONEY! SHE DOESN'T KNOW I ATE INSTANT NOODLES MOST OF THE TIME  TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD ALL THAT! NOT TO MENTION THE MILES I WALKED JUST TO SAVE A $1.50 BUS FARE! THE NERVE! GRRRRRR. SHE KNOWS NOTHING AT ALL.

One of the dumbest thing I did was to post my whole ordeal in my Facebook status *facepalm*..Ultimate facepalm! Triple ultimate facepalm. I cringed when I looked back at that whole ordeal, I should have remained calm and not post stupid statuses like that for whole people to see! Gosh, but one thing that I think I did right was to cut ties and block that backstabber in my life. No nega people please!

What got me thinking to this very day is why is she doing it? She is currently abroad who has lots of real state investment back home, like a lot. Maybe 20+ at different locations all throughout Cebu City. Why would she pull someone like me, a small crab with big dreams? A small crab with high hopes to pull out my family from poverty? Why? 

She alone can answer that and for now, I continue to celebrate other's success. I make them as my inspiration. I don't go on their back and stab them. 

Let's end crab mentality attitude one person at a time and make Philippines a better nation.


Photo credits: www.ashtarcommandcrew.net