Saturday, February 22, 2014

Life without Debts

I am a proud debt-free for the longest time! Woohoo!

• While a lot of people buy stuffs left and right, I "use it up,wear it out, make it do or do without"

• While a number of people eat out most of the time, I enjoy a home-cooked  meals made by yours truly. Saves me tons plus it improves my cooking skill.

• While most youngsters sleep late maintaining their social media sites, posting statuses,commenting and all, I read books until super-sleepy. Deactivating my Facebook is one of the best decisions I've made. It tamed my " Oh, she has it, why can't I buy one?" 

• While most people would drool and would go into debt just to buy the newest gadget, I am contented with my Nokia phone and my iPod. 

• While most people dream of a huge house, I dream of a "bahay kubo" in a province with a vegetable garden that I will be tending.
• While most people go to malls for entertainment, nature-walking is my form of entertainment.

You see, there is a good debt and a bad debt. I don't have bad debt and I want to keep it at that. I don't have a good debt either but, I am waiting for the right opportunity before dipping my toes in to that.

Knowing the difference between good and bad debt is important.

 Now here is the challenge:

Do you have what it takes to be debt-free?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

How Personal Finance Erased My Fear of Marriage

If you ask me if I want to get married 7 or 8 years ago, you would have gotten a stern " Hell, No!!" The thought of marriage and having children sent a chill down my spine. Hey,  I don't hate marriage,I respect the Sacrament of Matrimony but my bitter experience gave me a lot of fear for it here's why:

My Mama came from a well-to-do family. My maternal grandparents owned several business in Cebu. In fact, Mama had a nanny until she got married and move to the province. My Papa was from Pagadian City, he went to Cebu to study and rented a room . The owner of the boarding house where my Papa stayed was my maternal grandparents. They met, fell in love and you know what happen next.

Mama got pregnant and they got married. My grandparents were dismayed but they accepted Papa coz they saw that my Papa put an effort, he helped in my grandparents' businesses for a while until he decided that they would move to Pagadian and live there for good. Mama learned housework the hard way. I know it wasn't easy for her coz she wasn't use to doing housework being that she was sheltered from the harsh way of life by her parents.I don't know if she like our life in the province or not. (See our old house here)

When I was in 3rd Grade, my Papa died. We transferred to Cebu to live with my maternal grandparents. We were spoiled to the core by them. I got to eat bacon every morning. We got our own help and I was sent to a private school with huge money as my ba-on and was dropped off and picked up by a driver. What I want, expect Lola to give it right away.  In short, it wasn't the bamboo-and-nipa-hut kind of life until the day my Lola died. You see, she was the business-minded one and when she died, their businesses collapsed. My grandparents didn't teach their children the ins and outs of their businesses ( a typical Filipino trait) and my siblings and I got sent to Pagadian to live with my paternal grandparents with my aunt and her two children.

Life there was tough. It was far from the life back with my other grandparents. I woke up super-early to clean (they have business and I have to clean the whole place). Money as my ba-on was so little it was enough to go to school and go back home. I slept with the the house-help. I do tons of laundry while my cousins were just sleeping. I was accused of taking 500 pesos! God knows how much I shed a lot of tears and God knows how I wish my Papa was still alive so he can say something to my aunt  ( she was the mean one, my lola isn't) or so I don't have to live with them. (Read my little rant here and in the end, I am thankful for the hardships I experienced)

There in Pagadian, I vowed not to get married coz I don't my future children to experience what I experienced. I don't want to get married coz I am afraid I'd end up like my mom ridiculed by my aunts and uncles (dad's side). The hardest part was them ridiculing my mom in front of us ( Mom was living in Cebu ) and I couldn't say something to defend her coz we are at their mercy. 

Life now is different. I am not afraid of marriage coz I know that when I get married and if my partner dies, I won't end up in the mercy of other people coz I have prepared for it. I won't end up sending my children to relatives and they won't end up like me and my siblings.

I'm not afraid of marriage anymore but, it doesn't mean I am looking for it. It's just that when someone super-special comes, I won't have to fret about and run away from it like I always did in the past. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Stock Investing: My Facepalm Moment

Those who are involve in the stock market would  seem to only mention and exaggerate their winnings and would downplay or wont tell you how much they've actually lost.

I, on the other hand, has a facepalm moment which I will share with you so you guys can hopefully pick up a lesson or two. I look back ,shaking my head and say "What was I thinking?!"

As you may or may not know, I am paying for my younger bro's college education (he will graduate next month so yay!).

One day,I was browsing the stock listing and I saw my bro's school and I was like "hey, I should invest in this stock coz I am paying for his education therefore,my money goes here"

I did invest and guess what happened? It dropped and dropped and I haven't gotten a single positive sign since then. Ouch!

Actual stock not shown

My mistake? Not doing a single fundamental analysis in it.Every time I invest in a particular stock, no matter how popular that stock is, I always do some FA but weirdly, I didn't dig much deeper in this stock and the result was devastating.I was thinking  "I should patronized the product where  money is going" and I was wrong, so wrong. 

My defense is "oh well, I'm glad it's just Php 20,000". Hey, I used "just" not because Php 20,000 is nothing to me ( heck,  I beat myself up for spending $5 McDonald's meal how much more $500?!) but because  this is the lowest price I invested in a single stock.

Learn from my mistake.