Saturday, August 30, 2014

Personal Finance Books I Recommend ( Filipino Author)

If you happen to read my post about how  I started on this whole investing thing, I talked about  the very first personal finance book that my mentor recommended which was The Richest Man in Babylon. I really love and highly recommend that book. As OA as it sounds, it really change my financial life. I also said that I got to download the "My Maid Invests in the Stock Market and Why You Should, Too" by Bo Sanchez for free. I highly recommend that book,too. Easy to read, no jargon at all.

When I become super interested with personal finance, I really went out of my way to let my cousin find this certain book and send it to me. It was written by a Cebuano. It is a compact book that promises to be "your bible on personal money management and wealth building". Written in taglish to cater to every Filipino, it is easy to understand. I highly recommend this book: Kaya Mo, Pinoy! 12 STEPS TO BUILD WEALTH ON ANY INCOME by Alvin T. TabaƱag, RFP.

Price: Php 345.00 (I kept the tag. Bought it with my own money)
Bought by my cousin at Powerbooks Cebu, and she sent it all the way here.

Best part of the book:
  • Want to know how much to save monthly, what percentage you need to target and how many years you to need to reach Php 1 Million? The book has it:

  • Want to know the future equivalent of your current expenses? For all those people who doesn't like math calculations, rejoice! The book has it:

  • Want to know how much retirement fund needed with the current expenses you have by the time you'll retire?? 5 percent inflation were taken into consideration:

I must have read 10 personal finance books after this, borrowed from the library and to tell you honestly, I was sick of it after. The information were all the same. I actually bought Colayco's 2 books (ebooks for $20) and I didn't enjoy it. Not because the books were no good, but because, as I said, I read tons of personal books before reading Colayco's book and information were all the same. Law of diminishing satisfaction here. I know, in my heart of hearts, that I surely would love Colayco's books had I read it prior to my binge-personal-finance-book-reading-phase.

How about you? If someone will ask you what personal finance book you recommend to a newbie , what answer would you give?

EconoME and You: About Economics, A New Part of this Site

As an investor, it is important to learn about economy. What drives or stimulate an economy, it's components, factors to consider, etc.- things that affects the stock prices.

I am beginning to shift my focus on the subject of economy. Maybe because I am bored with personal finance, saving tips and tricks and all (hey, I am doing all the frugality tips out there). I need a new branch to focus on. Economy directly mirrors the stock prices so here I am, trying to learn the basic economy.

Note: I am not, in any way, trying to be "know-it-all" when it comes to the economy subject. I am just trying to learn and, the best way to learn is to teach. How do I teach? Through blogging about it. When you teach what you learn, the information sticks better and longer.

To tell you honestly, I am currently reading about economics ( The Little Book of Economics by Greg Ip, borrowed from the library). I am taking notes and all and, I have been stuck with the same book for over a month now! That's how I know that I am not good at it. Most of the time, I have to reread a certain page coz the terms and explanations are kind of vague.

It is frustrating when I don't understand something in the book. I take notes and all and, would you believe when I tell you I have 15 pages back to back notes about this book?! And they said it's a "a little book about economics" haha! It so frustrating sometimes but, I always remind myself this is how I got started with the whole investing thing. I take notes, reread the pages, get frustrated coz I was too dumb about investing but, since I love to learn, I'll do it anyway. Now, I can easily read and understand stock investing books without having to linger too much on a certain page. It is my utmost hope that someday, I could read and understand an economics book without having to reread pages after pages.

Forever student

It is also a promise that as a beginner, I would try my best to explain something about economics in a plain language. Something  that you and me can understand. Hey, we are all learning here. 

I wanted to name the series MonkeyNomics but when I "googled"  it, it is already taken so I settled with this: EconoME and You coz, we are in this together. Haha!  

Come learn economics with me.

Cheers to learning! 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

From a Bank Robber to Debt-Free? Amazing Story!

You all know I listen to podcasts coz I posted about it earlier this week. The other day, while listening to a podcast by Dave Ramsey, I heard an amazing debt-free story from Clay. It really proves how powerful it is to man up, own your fault and just start digging a hole to get out from any circumstances you are in. As soon as I saw that they posted it on You Tube, I can't help but share with you guys.

According to Dave Ramsey, after the show, the Twitter was buzzing with "marriage proposals" for Clay!

Inspiring, right?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Podcasts I Listen to ( Personal Finance, etc.)

I have been listening to Podcasts way before I started blogging. For a person like me who loves to walk, listening to something while I'm at it keeps me entertain, and it is also a way for me to learn something. Sometimes, when I get so bored with my running playlists, I listen to some podcasts while running. 

We should squeeze in some learning time no matter how busy we are. Saying "I don't have time to read" is not an excuse anymore. There are audiobooks, iTunes U and Podcasts to listen to. Stuck in a traffic jam? Listen to some podcasts. It keeps your mind occupied, thus preventing you to constantly complain, plus you can learn a thing or two ( provided you are in your own car (Philippines). Mind the snatchers, ok?)

What is a Podcast?

- Podcast is kind of like a radio. I'd like to call it "audio blogging" wherein you can "Subscribe" to a Podcaster you like and you get to download and listen to the content they publish.

 What I like about listening to podcasts is I can clean, do laundry, wash dishes, walk or do any mundane, automatic activities that don't  require my full attention. This is the only time I multitask coz as much as possible, I avoid multitasking. Plus, IT'S FREE!

How do you get it?

I am using iPod Touch (4th gen? I am not sure). I searched and downloaded an app in the App Store called "Podcast". For some, the app might be in your device already. By the way, this is only for Apple users. The Android version is Stitcher.

Podcasts I am listening to:

  • The Dave Ramsey Show: Take Control of Your Money
 "Debt is dumb; cash is king
...and the paid off home mortgage has taken the place of the BMW as the status symbol of choice

- This is my favorite podcast ever! Although there is a new episode five days a week, I get so sad whenever I finished listening to one. :( That's how I love it! Dave Ramsey advocates "paying off mortgage, becoming debt-free, having no credit card, etc", things that I have been doing. Though I'm debt-free, it is inspiring to listen to people who wants to be one, their struggles and all. The best part of the show? The DEBT-FREE SCREAM wherein debt-free couples get interviewed by Dave Ramsey then they do the " WE ARE DEBT-FREEEEE!!!!" scream. I still get goosebumps listening to each and every couple who participates in it!

If you are a person who want to get out of debt and is stuck coz you don't know what to do or just simply looking for some inspiration, I highly suggest you listen to this podcast. I can guarantee that you will get inspired!

Note: I learn from this podcasts how it is so possible to get a mortgage or a car without "credit score" coz, as you may or may not know, people in this country worship the "credit score goddess" and most people thought that you can't live the American Dream without a credit score.

  • Stacking Benjamins
" Earn, Save and Spend with a plan"

- This is the podcast I don't listen to while I am in a public place coz, out of the blue, while listening to it, I'll suddenly burst out laughing!

The hosts Joe Saul-Sehy (Average Joe) and OG (the Other Guy) are so funny, they insert a humor or two and I'll end up laughing,  making me look like a crazy person. They  said that they "operate their super secret podcast live from Joe's Mom's basement" which I think is a joke. The podcast features daily top headlines and their comments about it, round table gang where guests are invited and they talk about the certain topic of the day, There is also PK's or the Evil HR Lady's episode, there is also some trivia and movie reviews right at the end. Laid-back, fun podcast to listen to.

  • The Suze Orman Show
-Whenever I miss the Saturday shows, I listen to it here. Exact same thing except, of course, it's all in audio. My favorite part: Approve or Deny- wherein the viewers ask if they can afford certain thing, then Suze Orman inspect their financial status to see if they can or cannot afford it.

    "People first, then money, then things"

  • Money Plan SOS

"Helping you pay attention, not interest"

- A follower of Dave Ramsey, he focuses about debt-free life. He is almost done with his mortgage payment.

  • Listen Money Matters

- Another funny, laid-back podcast. The hosts Matt, who is a newbie on the financial world which many can relate, and Andrew, the finance nerd who used to work for the now-bankrupt Lehman brothers. They talk finance over beer and they cuss a lot, so for those of you who doesn't mind those beer talks and cuss words, go ahead and listen to it. You'll get entertain.

  • Happy Yuppie Podcast
- I learned about this podcast over at Randell Tiongson's site few months ago. I love that the host, Mighty Rasing, is a Filipino coz, there are only a handful pinoy podcaster. This podcast keeps me updated with the job market and behavior of the young professionals in the Philippines. Recently, he interviewed an OFW and two of his companion who were a personal finance advocates. I enjoyed it a lot. Right up my alley!

  • Create My Independence

- The host, a young man who saved a sizable amount of money then quit his job to pursue other interests. If you want to know how he did it, then listen to his podcasts.

  • Minimalism for the Rest of Us

- Coz I am a wannabe minimalist. The host interviews people who live and breath minimalism. Inspiring and motivating me to get rid of my crap.

  • The KickAss Life

- When I want to take break from anything finance, I listen to this. Inspiring podcast.

  • The Entre Leadership Podcast

- Want to be an effective business leader? Then you got to listen to this podcast. It tackles about entrepreneurship and how to be good at it. For budding entrepreneurs, aspiring leaders old and new.

How about you? Do you listen to Podcasts? Let me know if you do and recommend some for me.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Men Who Drives Flashy Cars/ Display Their Wealth Not the Marrying Kind?

University of Texas-San Antonio and  University of Minnesota conducted a series of study entitled  “Peacocks, Porsches and Thorstein Veblen: Conspicuous Consumption as a Sexual Signaling System,” . The result was published in  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology last 2011.

With neary 1,000 test subjects, the research revealed that "conspicous products can serve as the same function for some men that large and brilliant feathers serve for peacocks". It also suggested that "some men are like peacocks", they flaunt flashy products to attract potential dates.

Peacocks shows-off their tails to a potential mate, men also do the same by showing off flashy products to charm future and potential dates- those are men who are interested only in short-term, sexual relationship with women.

According to the research, a woman can feel an initial attraction to a man who buys/drives luxury cars, but they don't consider them as a potential marriage partner. Women thinks that man's flashy spending is equal to being only interested in short-term, uncommited relationship.

According to Prof. Daniel Beal, a co-author of the research, "When women considered him for a long-term relationship, owning the sports car held no advantage relative to owning an economy car... People may feel that owning flashy things makes them more attractive as a relationship partner, but in truth, many men might be sending women the wrong message"

The research suggest that women do buy expensive things but not to attract mate. Jill Sundie, co-author of the research said "Obviously, women also spend plenty of money on expensive things, but the anticipation of romance doesn’t trigger flashy spending as it does with some men.”


Interesting study, huh? As a woman, it really hit it right on the spot! I thought I was being weird for not finding "men with wheels" attractive, even when I was in college. I consider them "babaero"

Now, what's the real chick magnet?  A man who owns their wheels outright!

For more information about this research, click here:

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Reveal: My Income and Expenses

I got an e-mail from Honey O., ( hey, girl! ) an OFW currently based in the Middle East. Her actual message is copy pasted below minus her last name:


Hello PinasforGood,

I'm one of the many readers of your blog and this is my first time to send you a message to thank you for being such a great inspiration to us. Your story gives me hope that one day, I too, can become like you. :)

I am writing because I have one question. May I know which industry you're working on (nursing/customer service/IT, etc) or, if you don't mind, your salary range per hour or per year? (Emphasis added)

If my questions are too personal, it's ok if you don't want to answer them :) 

I am also an OFW for 3 years here in the Middle East and I am trying to follow your style in saving. Like you, I have been frugal most of my life. But I haven't gone far saving as much as you have. So, I'm sure I am doing something wrong.

I just want to be able to compare your income and expenses versus mine and see where I can improve :)

Thank you for your time and I would appreciate any response from you. 

May you continue to write and sharing your story to inspire people. :) May God bless you on your plans in the future.


Honey O

I have been debating for the longest time if it is appropriate to post my numbers or not. Since I remained anonymous, sige na ngaI want to post what I am earning not to brag but to give inspiration that no matter how little you are earning, you too can save.

To tell you honestly, my salary isn't much. Maybe in the Philippine standard it's huge, but in American standard, not really! For those who are working in America, you'd be shocked on how meager my salary is, but I still am able to save. 

 May I know which industry you're working on (nursing/customer service/IT, etc) or, if you don't mind, your salary range per hour or per year?- Honey O.

- For those of you who have been visiting this site since I first started blogging, you would know what kind of work I do coz I posted it in my About Me section, but I changed it to "Overseas Filipino Worker". So for those of you who doesn't know , I take care of old people. I am a caregiver.

- When I first started, I only earned $1,420 (more or less Php 60,000) per month but, I was lucky that my employer let me do overtime coz:

  • I want to buy a house. My brother was going to college and I want a place somewhere close to his school. (Php1.3 M). Click here for details.

  • Sending my brother to college

  • Helping my two nieces  with school. I already saved up Php 200k for my niece who is currently in college. When she was in high school and her sister was in elementary, I spend around Php 10,000 per school year for their tuition fees and books.

  • I was helping my brother who wants to go through drug rehabilitation program: cost Php 200k+

You see, while I was doing all of those, I was working like a carabao and earning as much as $4,000 (more or less Php 160,000). Though it really sped up my savings, I rarely slept. I felt like a zombie. I was spreading myself too thin, I HATED every moment of it. I kept telling myself that it was just temporary. I'm glad it was all over. I don't do overtime anymore. I value my time off from work more than anything.

One thing I was fired up to work at that time was  because of the recession. Companies have been firing left and right. Although healthcare was not affected, I was just saving up and working like a madwoman just in case things don't go well coz we never know.

You know how much I am earning now? I am just earning $2,000 (more or less Php 85k) coz,as I have mentioned, I don't do overtime anymore. Despite my meager salary, I am happy. I don't feel like a zombie anymore. I get to read. I get to run. I get to take long walks. I get to bike. I get to hang out in the library. 

Yah, I don't earn much in American standard. In fact, maybe to you, my life is boring but, it fits me just fine. I don't go to fancy restaurant partly because I don't know how tipping works. Haha! I don't travel partly because, I am saving up for my one year round the Philippine backpacking adventure. I don't earn much, but I am contented coz I get to do a lot of things outside work that nourishes my soul and makes me feel alive. Life is all about balance, right?

How much do I spend?

Despite my meager salary, I am happy to tell you that I don't spend much because:

  •  Housing is covered. I used to live in my employer's other house. I was kind of like a caretaker coz it was a recession and housing market crashed so she was waiting for the market to recover. She is currently renovating it and I am also crashing at her house. All is good.

  • I have $100 meal stipend from work,

  • I walk/bike to work except when the weather is bad or if it's snowing out. More or less, I spend $20 of transportation cost for the whole year.

  •  Since my brother is done with school,  I am breathing a big sigh of relief now. That was a big dent on my salary. 

  •  I already saved up Php 200k for my niece's college education. I spend 20k-25k per semester for her tuition fee (7 semesters to go!) and my other niece's tuition fee is just 3k per school year.

  • My brother, who went through drug rehab program, is all okay. I am so glad I made the decision to let him go through the program. He is a change man. The two nieces that I am helping are actually his daughters.

  •  I remit more or less Php 10,000 every month for my Mama. (PHP 2,000 every week and the rest is for utilities such as water and electricity bills.) I don't give them much. Just enough for their month to month expenses.

  • I also donate a portion of my salary to an organization which I am supporting. I won't tell you the name of the organization but it's Philippine-based. (Php 5,000)

  • I am training myself to "waste not, want not". Well, except for an occasional workout outfit that motivates me to hit the road and run more. Running=getting fit and getting fit=being healthy.

  • I am also training myself to have give thanks all the time coz I feel blessed when I do that. Even little things like warm shower. Whenever I take a hot shower, I thank God for the nice and warm water that feels sooo good against my skin. I thank God for the bed and the pillows whenever I go to sleep,etc. It might sound o.a. to you but for me, having a thankful heart makes me realized how blessed I am. Click here to know more about it.

Over all, I am saving more or less 70 percent of my salary. 

There you have it. Income and expenses part of me is revealed. 

Okay lang if maliit ang sweldo coz the experienced I gained and the lesson I keep on learning far outweighed my meager salary. The independence I gained while working away from home is priceless. 

Were you shocked or what? :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Culture of Financial Dependency: My Family is a Part of it and How I'm Starting to Eradicate it

I came from a family of I-put-you-to-school-now-and-once-you-graduate-you-should-help-out . A typical  Filipino family, I should say. And I thought that it was normal. I mean, they helped you pay for school, isn't it right to give back after? 

It is typical, too that once somebody in the family goes abroad, that OFW would become the cash cow, the breadwinner. It's as if the family suddenly hit a jackpot. 

I used to agree with them but now that I've become financially literate, I flushed  those poverty mentality down the drain. Suddenly, I have to rewire my brain. Suddenly, I have to stand my ground and tell them "NO" to all there financial request. Coz I now know that I am not helping them by giving them money, I am hurting them big time.

I put my brother to school and he graduated from college recently but, I didn't tell him to pay me back by helping me financially when I become old- I believed that,by this, I am starting to wipe out the financial dependency in my family. I am helping my two nieces, one is in Grade 6 and one is in first year college but, I didn't  tell them to pay me back as well. I believed that , through this, I am starting to wipe out the financial dependency in my family.

Fellow Filipinos, let's not put someone to school and expect them to help us out after. It feels good to help without expecting anything in return. It feels good to know that we can take care of our old age without relying on somebody  financially coz, we now know how to grow our money through investing.

Let's not make our children or our relatives as our retirement plan. The end of the financial dependency culture ends with this generation. Let's make this happen. Let's do this!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August is a Ghost Month in Investing: So what?

"In the world of finance, when you do everything correct right off the bat, everything else is just an unwanted noise"

When you live way below your means,save money,invest it regularly in a legit investment instrument that beats inflation, news about "August being a ghost a month" is just one of those unpleasant noise you just have to ignore.

Do you fear the ghost month? Or is it business as usual? 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

25 (More) Random Facts About Me

Since my first 25 Random Things About Me post became one of the popular posts,I thought it would be a good idea to share random information about me,so you can paint a picture or two about the author of this site,who wants to remain anonymous for the time being.

  • Yah,I post my pictures of myself and all but I am pretty confident that people would have a hard time knowing who I really am coz I have "one of those faces". A face you thought you knew coz I kind of like resembles somebody you know.My friends from college calls me "chameleon". Some say I look like a certain artista daw! Haha!In fact,while in college,I share the same facial features with 2 of my batchmates.One was one of my barkadas and,whenever we were together,people ask if we were sisters coz we look a like.We have a scripted answer which goes like this :We are sisters but with different fathers. This explains why we have different last name. Haha!Swear,it's a true story! 

  • I got my first ever cellphone (Nokia 3310) when I was turning 18.It was a product of a summer job,distributing flyers and being a watcher for a certain mayoral candidate during an election. 

  • I use to be extrovert while I was in college and now,I became introvert. Is that even possible? Nowadays,I love being alone.

  • I have been to clubs 3 times my whole life.The first time was for an experience sake.The second time was kind of like "trying to decide if I like it".The third time?I concluded that I really don't like being in clubs.I can't stand the crowd and the smell of smoke. Eeeeek.By the way, it was all for free.I was with my cousins and that was way back in college.

  • My first official relationship was a relationship I had after college.Official because both of our family knew we are in a relationship. He courted me for a year. We have been officially together for 6 months before going abroad.It didn't work out for both of us since LDR rarely work. I don't have boyfriend right now not because I am not over him yet but because it is hard for me to fall in love. It takes effort from the guy.Yah,the probinsyana in me,I guess. If I still keep this up, I definitely will be saying hello to "single blessedness".

  • I didn't have any boyfriend while I was college coz I totally believed that college=temptation and temptation=getting pregnant.I swore that I would kill myself if I get pregnant while I am still at school. That tactic really work for me.I didn't turn out pregnant and the major reason why will be explain below.

  • I was predicted that I will get pregnant among my cousins coz I always talk to guys daw according to my nasty uncle and a nasty family friend.They thought I was a slut and that family friend warned her daughter not to get too closed to me.Guess who got pregnant at 18? Her daughter and not me!  Bitter much?! I want to prove them wrong thus that "pact" I made for myself, which I stated above. In my defense, I am comfortable talking to boys coz I grew up with boys.Hearing those predictions from them hurt me so much that I still carry bitterness after all these years. I would never forget those words that left a scar within me.Now you know why. What the pact, right?

  • My father was a swimming coach,but I don't know how to swim!It's just that when he died,I avoided the beach and pools coz it reminded me of him.I was taught by him how to float though so I know how to float.

  • Around birth to when I was about 6 years old, we had an aspin named Happy. She was brown and whenever we call her name,she would wag her tail profusely.

  • I grew up hearing that I am "a wish granted from God" by my Papa coz he really wanted a daughter.

  • I used to be super addicted to

  • I don't like going to restaurants coz the tipping system here confuses me. Pang fastfood lang talaga ako. Haha!

  • I am a sleep-talker. It's genetics,from my mom's side.

  • I don't multitask.

  • I'm so horrible in math,I can't even memorize the multiplication table!I "survived" and passed math subjects by being present all the time. Like,I literally sit in front of the class coz I want the teacher to know that I am paying close attention to what she was teaching even though it was boring. If I could turn back time, I would tell my 4th-grade-self to try and force myself to memorize the multiplication table.

  • Celebrity crushes: Aside from Rob Thomas and John Frusciante, I am crushing on Anthony Bourdain, Owen Wilson, Randy Orton, Steven Colbert and Jon Stewart.

  • If I have a super power, I would like to have a power of invisibility. That was my fantasy during elementary so that I can go sneak at my classmates house so I know what's her secret for being so pretty. LOL! A product of being bullied when I was elementary.

  • I can totally rap. I had my rapping days when I was in highschool. I got over it pretty quickly.

  • My first ever doll was a plastic doll named Chiquitita. I wanted it so badly that I bugged my father to buy me one. It wasn't really a cuddly type. It was hard and made of plastic. After months of bugging my dad, he finally gave up. It was like around 20 pesos.

  • I have my secret special dance moves whenever I drink coffee.I am limiting my caffeine intake.I use to drink 8-12 cups of coffee everyday and now I am down to 2-3!That's why every cup deserves a celebration. 

  • My favorite single movie is Book Of Eli.That was the first movie I watched alone.It signifies a new whole phase in my life: independence. It also made me realized how I enjoy being alone.

  • When I was still living in Cebu, I saw a real turtle that got washed away by the heavy rains. I decided to keep it. I put it in an empty aquarium and feed it bananas everyday despite everybody's objection. They said it's bad luck to have a turtle in the house coz turtle's way of walking means we will be on the ground,forever crawling (poverty).The fifth-grade kid that was me won't listen but, coincidentally, around that time, my maternal grandmother died and we lost everything ( I explained everything in  one of my posts). Months after my grandmother died, I blamed my pet turtle for all the bad luck it brought us. I let it go with a tear in my eye.

  • I always daydream of solo backpacking all over the Philippines for a year with Red. I would daydream of staying in hostels without a care in the world with just a backpack in hand and Red beside me.

  • I love anything spicy. I got it from my dad's side. I had sili-eating contest with my friend once. Of course,I won! She got to treat for a liter of Coke.

  • I was a Papa's girl. I always wanted to be with him coz mama always said no with a pinch in the ear. My mama once rubbed sili on my lips coz I was being so stubborned and I was talking back to her. When Papa arrived from work,I ran to him and they had a big fight. Whenever I made a mistake,my Papa always blamed my brothers and not me.While my brothers received few spanking from him, he never laid hands on me.Mom always spank me though. Haha!

Monday, August 4, 2014

COL Mobile App is Now Here!

I received an email this morning from COL:

Actual Email

I am excited coz I have been waiting for an app by COL, so I can access my portfolio easily. Finally! Finally! 


  • Log-on to your COL account using your iPhone or,in my case, an iPod. Click  the DOWNLOAD tab on your Homepage and an instruction will pop that look exactly like this:

Note: Android version to be released soon.

Conclusion: I'm stoked! Let me play with it and, I'll let you know how I like it.