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. 


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! 


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.