Thursday, July 31, 2014

Piggybanking: My Style and Technique

I don't have an actual piggybank,but I have something that I consider my piggybank.Introducing....

.. my piggybank or shall I say my PiggyDarth?Waaaah.Hey,I grew up with three brothers.I know all about Star Wars.Can't help liking it specially  when Qui-Gon Jinn was in it.Shucks!Haha!

Anyway,my PiggyDarth is a tin can which,as you can probably tell, originally contains chocolates.I got it days after Valentines day coz  it was 75 percent off.I was drawn to the tin can,not the chocolates.For some weird reason,I don't crave for chocolates anymore.It's like "the" dessert I can live without.Too weird.Maybe because of the abundance of chocolates here that I've gone sick of it?Law of diminishing satisfaction?

How I Feed My PiggyDarth

I spend cash.No credit cards.I have debit card,but I still prefer paying with cash.

I always withdraw $50 every week from my debit card  as a "whatever-you-want-to-do-with-it" fund or,in short,"fun fund".Well,it is not purely fun fund coz I also get my transportation cost and some accidental groceries cost(accidental because I get meal stipend at work and whenever I go overboard,I take it from my "fun fund").I walk to work,but I do take the metro whenever the weather is bad.With this fund,I could eat out or buy that workout clothes I have been eyeing or whatever I can think of buying BUT,I regularly set Spending Fast or No Spending Day/Week/Weekend (I explained it here). I've gotten so good at it that my "no spending muscle" is now fully developed! 

So,whatever else is left in my fun fund or whenever I don't spend at all,I feed it to Darth Vader.Like for the month of July,I didn't spend any of my fun fund at all so Darth Vader is $200 richer!I can here him say "C,feed me more money" with that voice of his when he said "Luke,I am your father".  Ha!

I also challenge myself not to break the $50 into smaller bills by the end of the week. That also motivates me not to spend coz I don't like looking at smaller bills tucked in my wallet.I'll either lose it or spend it all.

Stacking some Ulysses Grant

So, there you have it. My own version of a piggybank. I hope you pick up a tip or two.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Individual Credit Score/History Ready to Be Implemented in the Philippines: What it Means and How We Should Prepare Ourselves for it

Credit Information System Act (CISA)- A law passed in 2008 creating CiC

Credit Information Corporation (CiC)-It is under Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It aims to collect basic credit data of an individual who may want an access to any loans, mortgage, credit line,etc. from government and private financial institutions. They are currently  in touch with SSS, GSIS and PAG-IBIG so that they too will be on board.


Below are the basic questions to ask yourself  in order to determine if you can/will have a positive or negative credit information:

-- Do you pay your bills ( utilities,phone bills, etc.)early or on time?
-- Do you handle your credit card wisely? 
-- Have you defaulted on any loans? Past due?
-- Foreclosures? 
-- Bounced checks? 
-- Cancelled credit cards? 
-- Court judgement relating to debts?

Note: Although,CiC keeps credit information for about 3 years,lenders can look back at your credit history as far as they want, but they rely heavily on that 3 years provided by CiC. If the lenders will reject your application for a loan, you have the right to know the reason for the rejection. You are also entitled 1 free credit report every year.


- No need for a collateral to be presented by an individual if he/she wants a loan from any submitting entity e.g banks or any other facility that legally provide loans.

- It is easier for small businesses to seek credit from any submitting entity thus helping small business owners and would-be entrepreneurs especially now that Asean integration is slowly becoming a reality. 

- It helps boost our economy allowing consumers an access to credit therefore increases spending. Spending drives our economy upwards, a hard pill to swallow for us who preaches frugality,huh? 

- When small businesses and corporation have easier access to loans and such, it speeds up their growth and expansion which helps create jobs.

- When you have positive credit information, you have an access to a good credit loans, speed the loans up and access to an even greater amount. You can also negotiate the terms,rates and interest.

- With proper education and proper dissemination of information about this certain topic by SEC, this could potentially eliminate those loan sharks who preys on low-income Filipinos.


Talks are it could be fully implemented by December this year or early 2015.


- Make sure you are paying your utilities on time,and they should be under your name.
-No bills under your name? Post-paid phone plans is the easiest thing you can prepare specially if you don't have SSS number or GSIS number.

Final Thoughts:

Now that a credit bureau is finally created in the Philippines, it could help or hurt us. Help is such a way that it drives our economy upwards,hurt in such a way that crooks will take advantage of our good name and credit identity theft crisis will fall upon us one way or the other. Protect your name. Take precautions when giving or advertising your full name and your birthday in the web.Identity theft is prevalent in America,it could happen in the Philippines,too. 

Again, it is not fully implemented and all these information could be obsolete by tomorrow. Keep your ears open. Be informed.

For more information, visit Credit Information Corporation's website.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Uh-oh, The Ipad "bug" is Here Again!

I  bought my first ever laptop almost 5 years ago (HP dv4-11nr),and it's about to give up on me. I bought it for about $700 so that's like saying I paid more or less $13 (Php 600) every month for the last 5 years. This analogy gives me a sense of satisfaction coz it means that my money was worth it,given the amount of time I have been using that certain product.

It has been causing me problems.I wanted to be good at looking at stock charts,but my laptop won't let me.I wanted to buy new one,but my cheapness won't let me. The questions are "should I buy new one while I am here,coz I know laptops are expensive in the Philippines? Or "should I just wait until I get home to repair it,coz I know it's cheaper there than here and just "settle" for an IPad for now?" 

In one of my posts, I mentioned a few attempts to finally buy an IPad,but in the end, when I finally "saved" up for it,I can't bring myself to buy one.The cheapness personality is to be blamed here, AND, the main reason is: IPad doesn't support Java and what does that mean? It means I can't view stock charts from the Ipad coz, as I said, it doesn't support Java and CitisecOnline's stock charts are in Java, so how can I be good at analyzing stock charts if I can't access it from the IPad?

So that, my friends, is why I can't seem to bring myself to buy an IPad.

So, what now?

I am stuck.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

On Consumerism: Is it Me or Am I Weird?

I am at a point in my life where watching haul videos on You Tube and reading reviews don't tempt me to buy, buy and buy anymore

I stopped watching You Tube videos for about a year coz I realized that it was a spending danger zone for me. Now, I can  watch without being tempted. This super power is a product of "knowing thyself", reading tons of frugal books and blogs, listening to a lot of personal finance podcasts and deciding to be a minimalist. 

For me, watching hauls gives me a dose of as-if-I-shopped-but-really-didn't without  having the need to deal with all crap the later.

A weird way to participate in consumerism, right? But it took me a while to develop this "super power" just like it took me a while to love my naturally tan skin color having been born and raised in a country where media is brainwashing people to be white,and a country where people think having fair skin is beautiful. 

I hope you'll find ways to develop your resistance to consumerism coz really, you either get broke chasing the latest trend or get buried by stuffs you don't even use just to impress people you don't even know or like. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Update on Goals 2014

July already? Geeez, how time flies so fast?

For list of goals for this year, click here.

For my very first update, click here.

Here's another update:

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

- Ummm, the keyword here is "non-fiction". Haven't keeping up with that. I finished Game of Thrones series, though (except for the two series that aren't available yet, obviously. Want some spoilers? 

Note to George R.R. Martin: please finish the whole series coz I wont be able to borrow it for free once I'm already in the Philippines). Haha! Talk about using and abusing my local library.

I am actually kinda on track with this goal. For July, I already finished reading one book which was Pocket Your Dollars by Carrie Rocha. Currently reading The Power to Prosper by Michelle Singletary. We'll see. We'll see.

  • Own 2,000 items including clothes and other knickknacks

- Thumbs up for this!I am on track.Currently in the process of minimizing my skin-care routine.I am so happy with my decision to be a minimalist.I am not a hardcore minimalist yet. It's a process, but I am getting there.

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

- Done. Done. Done. :)

  • Eat healthier. Have at least a cup of fruit or veggies a day. Control my sweet tooth
- I recently downloaded apps that  would hopefully help me with health stuff. I am freakin' enjoying it!

  • Quit being an "OC" when it comes to finance
- Ahhh,hello?! I bought Red, my baby!Priciest thing I bought for myself,and I am happy!

  • Use up all my skin care products and backups so I can switch to a natural skin care stuffs
- I sent boxes of stuffs and I inserted skin care and backups to be given to my mom and my nieces.I realized that there is no way I'd finished everything so,I gave 'em away.

Currently using Argan oil. Minimizes my skin-care and it's natural

  • Pinas for good by September 2014
- Hala!I am so scared already! Scared-excited,if that makes sense.Scared because it is so out of my comfort zone. Excited because another chapter of my life will unfold.I am scared and doubtful,but I know this is part of the process. I recognized the feeling of being scared and being doubtful,but I wont let it paralyze me. I haven't pass my resignation letter yet ( we are required to pass resignation letter a month before the quitting date). Planning to pass it by late this month or early August.

Wish me luck.