Thursday, May 30, 2013

Delayed Gratification

To buy or not to buy?

Spendthrift me :  Ohh, I really need an IPad!

Tightwad me:  Do you really need it, or do you want  it? What are you going to use an IPad for anyway? As if you are an on-the-go business woman who has business that needs constant monitoring. YOU DON'T REALLY NEED IT!

Spendthrift me : Buuuuuut....... I haven't spend anything for myself for a long time! I'm entitled for little luxuries in life such as this, right?!

          Do you find yourself in a situation like this? Congratulations, you aren't an impulse buyer! Controlling your impulse to buy expensive stuffs is a part of financial literacy. The need to examine yourself before buying is crucial step to financial independence. You can't get rich by buying and accumulating stuffs that don't put meaning to your life. By practicing delayed gratification, you become thankful with what you have or what you will have. Everything you will acquire through delayed gratification has meaning because you did the effort and discipline. You will take care and respect your stuffs more.

          A year ago, a mental conversation like the one above happened to me. Being a frugal person, I stopped and gave myself a time and decided to save, even though I can afford and buy it right away. So, I labelled "IPad" on an empty jar, and I committed myself in putting $50 every two weeks. Six months later, with $600 in hand, I was ready to buy an IPad.... So, did I buy it? Naaaaaah, I realized that I don't really want it.  Do you know what I did with the $600? I added it to my stock investment in the Philippines. I bought myself a gift for my future! I'll be Php 360,000 richer 30 years from now! Yay!
           One thing that I've been doing to keep my material desire at bay is to have a grateful heart. Saying thank you to even the smallest things that I have makes me realized that I am blessed with more than enough. Instead of complaining about my heavy and slow laptop, I'm saying thanks cause even though my laptop is slow and heavy, it still works! Then I think about the people who made my laptop, I asked God to blessed them. I think of my ability to buy a laptop, I thank God for my work.

There's a lot to be thankful for. Just say thank you to the littlest stuffs and you will realized how blessed your life is. Try this, it works!

Everything takes time.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What's Your First Money Memory?

Knowing your first money memory maybe the key to know your current relationship with money, and why you are behaving a certain way around money. It might help you explain why you are a spender or a saver. It might help you understand or improve your financial powerhouse.

Whether you believe in this theory or not, it's still fun  to think about your first money memory.

There is no right or wrong way to do this little exercise. Just think of your earliest memory that involves money.

Mine was:

I grew up in a family that doesn't have much. What my father earned was given directly to my mother, and we made do with it. That explains my strength in setting up and analyzing a budget. When I was nine, I remember collecting  centavo and put it in  a secret place. I just put it in there and kept adding to my stash 'til it reaches 1 peso, so I can buy something. That explains why I'm good at delayed gratification.

What's your first money memory?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My First Million in Stocks

A month or so ago, I reached my first million pesos stock investment!!! I only invest in blue chip stocks, so this is for long-term. It wasn't easy, though. A lot of noodle diet a long the way before reaching that! For tips and tricks on how I've been saving money, click here.

A pat in my back.:)

Long-term goals

  • Bring my mother on a trip abroad

  • Extend my house

  • Visit the 7,107 island of the Philippines

  • Climb a mountain

  • Run a marathon

  • Solo backpacking all over Southeast Asia

  • Become a Catholic Lay Missionary

  • Live in a province then build a bamboo and nipa type of house, just like what my father built for our first house. To know more, click here

  • Become a minimalist

  • Learn how to swim

  • Teach

  • Work in a bank for experience sake 

  • Take a second course for the enjoyment of it

  • Go to Middle Earth coz I'm a Lord of the Ring fan

  • Skydive

  • Climb Mt. Apo

  • Climb Mt. Everest

  • Snorkel

Short-term goals

  • Go home for good by September 2014

  • Have 2 million total paper assets investments by the end of 2013

  • Total net worth of 5 million by the end of the year 

  • Exercise daily for 15-30 minutes

  • Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily

  • Read 2 nonfiction books per week

  • Treat myself a sundae and a fries at the end of the month

Penny-pinching tips for OFW

One thing I regret is not setting a goal prior to going abroad.  All I was thinking  were the nice gadgets I'd purchased and the nice stuffs I can afford because "I WILL EARN DOLLARS!" Had I set goals earlier, I would have been home by now, but it's not too late, right?

I have been practicing frugality for four years now and its been hard at the beginning, but totally worth it. 

Here are some "frugal" stuffs I've been doing:

  • Public transportation. No taxi. Bus and trains are way to go. Walk whenever you can, it's good for your health. 

  • Pack lunch. Don't eat out a lot. I only eat out once a month to treat myself. (To know what my cheat meal is, click here.)

  • Find out if there is a public library near you. Library saves me a lot of money entertainment wise. I borrow DVDs, books and burn my time there. I swear by it.

  • Don't go to malls to past time. Even if you go there to just hang out, you cannot help but buy something. A pretzel here, a soda there, those will add up. Read a book instead.

  • Go for a "No Spending Day" habit or "No Spending Weekend", and if you feel like you are a hardcore frugalista, go for "No Spending Month". ( I went for 2 months without spending anything for myself. It's doable. For tips and tricks, click here.)

  • Don't post pictures to impress your Facebook friends. It's too costly. 

  • And if you are one if those people who can't help but post pictures on Facebook, you don't have to freakin' buy new clothes for every darn picture session. Your friends don't care if you are wearing same clothes two posts ago, and if they say something, give them your middle finger. Haha.

  • Don't buy every new gadget that comes out. Think long term; OFW life isn't forever

  • Don't hang out with friends who enable you to spend. "Sis, sayang 'yan. Bilhin mo na, bagay sa 'yo. On sale pa naman." Hang out with a like-minded friends, or just enjoy yourself solo. You will have time to know yourself more.

  • Don't give every salary to your family back home. Just please don't do that!

  • Don't keep on giving your family impression that life abroad is great. You know it's not, don't kid yourself.

  • Buying gift for yourself coz you have been working hard? Don't reward yourself with material stuffs and gadgets, buy stocks instead, a gift for your future.

  • Off from work? Bored? Lay in your bed then envisioned your life in the future. You are exercising your brain and practicing the power of visualization.

  • If possible,buy used.

  • Ask God for the gift of contentment.

  • No to credit card. It's a trap. 

  • Learn how to cut your own hair. To know how I have been doing mine, click here.

Those are pretty much what I've been doing to save money.  

We are given opportunity to earn so much than what we earn back home, don't waste it. We won't be OFWs forever. 

My First Million

"Gusto ko ng bagong bahay na nakatitolo sa aking pangalan. Ano'ng masama don? Hindi masama ang mangarap."

Above is from an OPM song "Kayod". I don't know if that's the title of that song but KAYOD was repeated numerous times, so I assumed that that was the title. I use to hear that in the radio and sing a long with it. Yup, I'm "promdi" like that. Haha.

For a typical OFW, one of our dreams is to buy and own a home. Four years ago, I spent 1.3M for a tinsy townhouse in Mactan, Cebu. I was 23 years old back then. It was a big deal for me and I was so excited. It wasn't easy for me to save that amount of money.I was in an instant noodle diet for a longest time prior to buying a house. This house isn't big but the important thing is it's mine.

Thank God for the ability and the opportunity to do wealth.

Pictures during construction. Excuse the mess.

Ano 'yon?

Two weeks ago, I called Bank of the Philippine Island- New York where I opened my BPI account a year or so ago. I was asking if they could assist me in opening a Unit Trust Investment Fund (UITF) coz, according to the application form, a bank officer needs to sign prior to sending to their Makati branch. Guess what the woman I talked to told me?...... "Ano 'yon?"  I was shocked. UITF is a basic kind of investment and a banker doesn't know what I'm talking about? How can financial literacy reach millions of Filipinos? Even the people who works in the bank doesn't know what UITF is!

I wanted to put a part of my emergency fund in a UITF but I guess it won't be possible

Oh well.

Friday, May 24, 2013

A dream or a goal?


  Going home for good, a dream or a goal?

      Dreaming of going home has always been one of the fantasies of an OFW who has been working away from his native country, but is it enough to just dream?

      What's the difference between a dream and a goal? For me, the big difference between the two is knowing how and when to get there.

      Yes, you can dream all you want on becoming rich or losing weight but, if you don't have a plan on how to get there or if you don't have a timeline on when to get there, it would really be hard to get started.

      My goal is to go home for good in 14 months. No, I'm not going home to retire and sit my ass off until I'd  get pressure sores for the rest of my life. I'd still work but not because I have to, regardless of the pay.

      Putting a timeline in my goal helps me plan step-by-step on how to achieve it. I'm driving myself nuts with computations and penny-pinching galore to help me attain my goal.

      That said, I can say that my goal of going back home is not just a mindless fantasy. I am carefully and meticulously planning for it.

      Pinas, see you soon! :)

Thursday, May 23, 2013


This blog chronicles the crazy stuffs , finance wise, that the author has  been doing prior to going  to her native country, the Philippines. She isn't a professional financial planner and readers should take in consideration the information found in this blog before applying it to their lives.

She considers herself financial literate through self-education by reading finance books, finance blogs and anything in between.

She loves to experiment on tips and tricks to save money and consider herself frugal-boarder line-cheap.

This blogs also chronicles the way to much more simple, minimalist lifestyle. The author coin the word Throwaway Thursday where she post pictures of stuffs she is letting go and publish it on Thursdays.

She also post random everyday stuffs to ward off boredom and homesickness.

The author is an avid runner , a coffee drinker and loves her laid-back Chuck Taylor Converse shoes a lot. 

Her favorite tan Chuck Taylor shoes

Join her as she take baby steps and big leaps towards financial freedom and early retirement, so she can pursue what makes her happy without worrying about how to fund old age.

Contact Me

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email me.