Saturday, December 26, 2015

2015 Reflections

Today is my last working day for the 2015. Finally, I am going home in a few hours.

Looking back for the whole of my work days for 2015, I am truly grateful. I am thankful I still have this job that provides everything for my little family and extended family. It has been a non-noticeable working days of 2015as the time flies so fast. I still vividly remember coming to work on January this year, hopeful that all my financial plans for this year will eventually be cross out from the list. But again, there are few of them which I need to carry over for the coming year - 2016. I will talk about those financial plans that materialize and some that did not on a separate year end blog.

This year was a little difficult financially than 2014 with our little family living on a single income. Yet, it teaches me so many lessons and I promise myself to strive learning more of the investment basics. I haven't gone that far from the starting line. Though I am proud to say that at least I am now a bit advance from the gun point. Our/My investments is on a steady manner. We/I did adjust to frugal living to sustain our/my little savings. The so called delayed gratification application.

Little business? This is currently the most challenging portion of my life this year. I am currently on the road to balancing life, work, and side lines. Learning the ins and outs of a business. Testing my limits. And learning what I can really give in the entrepreneurship world. The rice business in the province is being manage by my father so I do not exactly know how it runs. But with the online shop, I am the operator/owner/one-woman team. While I am dealing with so many things, from bogus buyers, online scammers, possible posers, courier's delays, supplier issues, legitimacy issues, slow Internet connections, buyer's expectations, and so many other distractions, the almost 2 months in operations have thought me a lot of how to be a businesswoman in the real sense. It is all hard work. And a great deal of patience. I just drafted new house rules from what I have learned to be able to improve my online service and manage the customer's expectations. After all, every successful and failed transactions I have noted one or two things I acquired from it. Innovations. Future forward thinking. Visions. I still have so much to learn.

Friendship goals-wise? I have parted with the so-called 'friends'. I come to understand that maybe, I will come to know some people, learn from them, and then they will eventually go away. I am being careful now to those I share my inner me. It's a lesson I learned the difficult way too. Some people pretend to be in good terms to me. Even gave a generous smile when we meet. But talks about me in social media with their rants. I know, I am not perfect. I also make mistakes. However, what I show to my 'friends' is the real sincere me. Maybe, a lot of times misinterpreted. But this is just me. So there, I am now making sure to stay away from the bullies. And to be very discerning to people's motives. Better than having another heartache.

Relationships? Thank God for uniting my immediate family again. I am thankful that all past differences has been resolved. I know, we will still meet a lot of bumps but I am positive that we become stronger than ever. I prayed so hard for an intact family after I exhausted all my humanly means to communicate with each and everyone and still so distant from unification. It is Him alone can make things turn around and possible when nothing else is left. I just witness His miracle happened to the family. God really answers prayers in His perfect timing.

Signing off for this year.

Enjoy the holidays! :)

God bless us all!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Filled With Gratitude

I am thankful for every seconds of my life. The joy I have for every moment captured of my presence to be just around those I love.

My precious little girl is growing so fast that I wish I am always by her side. Playing. Tickling her. Laughing with her. Watching her favorite cartoon "Home" movie. Walking. Running. Watering the plants. Hiding. Reading her favorite book about princesses. Watching her favorite 2D "Cinderella" movie. Cuddling with her before we sleep. Eating ice cream together. And her favorite porridge (Lugaw). I just love everything about her.

But mama has to work. For her. For our little family. And I guess, at her age, she understand a bit about it. Because when I asked her why mama needs to work, she would reply "Milk" or "Gatas" then followed by "Pa-pers" (diaper - mas sanay siya sa pampers na tawag...hahaha), and then "Pubig" (Tubig - mineral water). Like I often mentioned in my previous posts, every time I have to go back to the city, my heart aches a million times. And I just wish that I do not need to go. I wish that things are different. I have so many things circling my head from the time I step up to the car, close the door, and when the car start moving. I thought, I'll get used to it. Yet, nay.

Most of the times, I feel like I am about to give up my present job. And I have so many reasons to. The work place is far for almost 7 hours one way trip. I have to ride 5 times - tricycle/car, then bus, then MRT, then city bus, and then jeep again. EDSA traffic is horrible. It is exhausting that there are a lot of times, when all I wanted is to lie down and catch up on my much needed sleep/rest.

Today is the 25th of December 2015, 4:08 PM Philippine Standard Time.

I am on coffee break.

Yes, I am working on a legal holiday! Double pay it is. A sacrifice I have to make because I signed the contract more than 7 years ago. It couldn't be as lonely as it should be until I heard the sweet voice of my little girl after midnight, sniffing and about to cry. So I have to hang up before we could both be crying our heart out.

I just asked my husband to take some photos and send it to me via messenger. With tears flowing down continuously on both cheeks, I ran my fingers over her pictures. I terribly miss her. It's Christmas and I am not beside her.  And I thought, 2 more days and I am home. I can give her a hug. Kiss her.

My strong desire to become a stay at home wife enveloped me and prayed hard for it as I drift to sleep at 2:30 AM.

I woke up with a knock on the front door. My little sister came to visit me, coming from her night shift schedule at the hospital where she worked. I was filled with joy seeing her. Finally, an immediate family. We catch up on everything. Chat over breakfast before we headed to the closest mall for some last minute Christmas gifts.

For quiet a few hours, I forgot about my longing to go home straight and see my little girl. It is such a relief to bond with a sister.

We all have so many wishes and hopes in our hearts. Different to each individual. Unique we are. And to each his own.

I know in my heart, He has better plans for us. A better plan than I could master. I have faith for that. All I need to do is make every moment and action in accordance to His will. And for this I am thankful. I am grateful that I have something to look forward to.

Thank you Lord for everything!

Just sharing. Merry Christmas :)

Saturday, December 5, 2015

My December Thoughts

Do you easily gets upset when in the crowd?

Do you hate the traffic?

Do you prefer to be at home on rest days?

Okey, it is actually pertaining to myself. My answer to all 3 is a definite yes. To be honest, doing grocery after payday is the most 'painful' duty for me. Because of the crowd. But because some of my free days fall on these days, I do not have other options than to bear the long queues at the grocery shop.

How about this holiday blues? I am sure, you are all aware that every shopping place around the city is jam packed with people doing their own shopping list. And even if you just stand still in the middle, you will find yourself somewhere at the edge in no time because people will either unintentionally push you there or you go with the tide of people.

December is the busiest month for all these shopping malls, bazaar, and flee markets. This is mainly because most employees will be receiving their bonus.

If you are like me who have not found the time to shop for Christmas gift yet, why not share your talent in cooking or baking? Why not help preparing the noche buena instead? Gift is after all not just something wrapped in a fancy paper. But of us just being here. There.

Visit your loved one in your hometown. Your parents who have been wanting to see you but you are too busy working your way to the corporate world. Visit a friend you have lost touch. Catch up with a family abroad.

Offer food to a beggar you come across the street. Find time to share your blessings to an orphanage. These kids deserves more in life and you can make a difference.

Shop online. Though you have to be patient with the couriers. They are too busy as well. But at least you are only waiting for the item to arrive at your doorstep. Spell convenience.

Or you can just visit and shop at the market. Those street vendors who are trying to earn a decent living and trying to make a good sales for their Christmas. You help them in a form that is both fulfilling and rewarding. 

Stay calm these days. Bring out more of your patience. And enjoy the joy this season brings. Count your blessings. And be a blessing.

Just sharing. :)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

On Christmas Bonus and 13th Month Pay

Have you thought about what are you going to do with your extra money? If not yet, here are few list I could recommend.

1) Pay your debt. First and foremost, before showing off a new gadget to your friends/office mates, pay your outstanding debts. It is a step for lessening your burden when the new year comes. At least, allot an amount so that you can decrease your debt to someone, to your credit card, to your bank loan. Trust me, this is rewarding.

2) Open another account for your emergency fund if you still do not have one. A 500 peso as a start up for your emergency fund will make a difference. The thought that you started something towards financial awareness is already something to be proud of. And then continually automate it for the following months. By the year 2016 ends, you will be richer by 6500 pesos.

3) Invest. 1000 pesos is all you need to start with your investment. Yes. Check out the opportunities offered around you for investment in mutual funds and unit investment trust fund. BDO EIP offers an investment starting at 1000 pesos only. Shop around, compare, and learn all these investments vehicles. Do not be hesitant asking around. If you don't ask, the answer will always be a 'NO'. Stay away from get-rich schemes or any investment 'kuno' promising too good to be true returns in a very short span of time. Remember, that is your own hard earned money. Do not just give it away.

4) Tithe. Allot a portion to your church. Remember, everything you have comes from Him. This is all His. Give thanks. So you will endure another new year of abundance and prosperity.

5) Buy something for yourself. Yes, do not forget yourself. So won't feel neglected. Either by treating yourself for a fine dinner or the dress you have always wanted, this is for you. After all, you worked hard for it the whole year round.

6) Shop with a list on your hand. List all the people you wanted to give a Christmas gift this season. Allot a certain amount for each person or you can buy a general item for everyone such a coin purse and insert a bill or coins on it. Or maybe a printed t-shirt. Or a mug. Make sure that when you shop, you strictly follow your list. No more. Or else, you will end up swiping the plastic card again. You should also note that the item you bought for them will be usable for them. Remember that, it is the thought that counts.

Remind ourselves that the true meaning of Christmas are not just the fancy things around us or the sumptuous meals on our table, but of the birth of Jesus. Our Redeemer.

Share more love and pray.

Have a blessed Yuletide Season. :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


I am on face book for the longest time although my timeline is no longer updated with details of those recent happenings in my life. Unlike before, I often share my thoughts on everything and even post pictures of myself. GGSS lang. Hahaha.

Eventually, my face book using is mainly to keep up and catch up with long lost friends. Admittedly, face book covers really a wide network that almost every person in the whole world has an account and can get us connected to anywhere in the planet. Recently, my timeline (wall before) only contains those times which my friends/office mates/family and I tried something new or just eat out that they tagged me on their check-ins or pictures. Or when I share an article that interests me. Or when I share the page I am managing for online selling.

I have nothing against face book or any social media site. There was just a point in my life when I thought of deactivating the account in favor of a more lively, personal communications. I had given myself a time frame to shut it down. The only thing that prevented me to end it sooner and which gives me so much struggles are the contacts I have. To be honest, mahal pa rin kasi ang long distance call kapag ang friend/relative mo eh nasa abroad. Yun lang ang pinag iisipan kung mabuti nun. Until my online selling page was born.

Yes, it open a new door for me and my thoughts about discontinuing my face book account. Because, truth be told, people nowadays are on social media day in and day out. It is hard to imagine that even grade schools are on this platform. But it is a fact.

Now that I am still on face book, there is this feature that brings you back to an old memory way back the day you started posting something on face book. And a few days ago, (before November ends), face book asked me to share a memory which I posted over 5 years ago. The time when a friend of mine and I visited Singapore for the first time.

I relieve the moment I was at Singapore on a 4-day visit. The warmth feeling it enveloped me reminiscing those beautiful, carefree days I was there. I can still vividly remember the touch of the heat of the sun wondering over the zoo, the botanical garden, sentosa, and in the Universal Studio. The drizzling rains while we hopped over the next train, rode a double Decker bus, and cable rides. How we retired to bed at the end of day. A smile on our lips knowing that there were no alarm clocks the following morning. It was indeed a vacation. And I promised myself for another outside the country vacation like this such as in Thailand. And hoped to work in a country like Singapore.

What happened to my hope of working outside the Philippine territory? What happened to the another wishful vacation?

Those 2 did not happened. And as funny as it may sounds, after all that blast from the past, it left me wondering what has changed in 5 years of my life. Surely, I am older by 5 years. I am still in the same company. I just step up a notch in my job description. I got married. I have a 2 year old beautiful girl.  I made friends. I lost friends. My savings is a little over than what were in 2010. I became financially aware individual. And the lists go on.

He has the most perfect plan for me by giving me a wonderful and loving husband and a dear sweet girl. I could not ask for more for having a supportive in laws and family. Truly, if I go back my own time lines, there were things that I hoped for before that did not materialize but I had gotten better. And to this I am forever grateful.

For the next 5 more years? Drafting it with His guidance.

Just Sharing. :)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

On Blogging

I love reading blogs of other people and I keep on wondering how they actually sustain their blog entries for more than a couple of years. It was like, how come they have so much things to write and be able to keep their readers intact and even grow? While for me, it seems like I already wrote everything I know of how I am going to reach the much coveted financial freedom.

Hm. A few days, I became curious about Yaya Dub's blog and went on to read a few of her entries. And I am actually super impressed that she's actually just 20 years and can write so well. And even can write a short excerpt of a novel. Ang galing talaga!

Ever wondering why I look up for her blog? Well, a few weeks ago, while we were on a van with my little girl, she blurted out "Aldub" and pointed her finger to the car stereo. I was like a little bit of confused and turn my eyes to my husband who confirmed that it was actually the theme song from the "Aldub Kalyeserye" that was playing on the background. Hahaha. (Mas me alam pa ang 2 year old ko kesa sa akin.) And then I just saw my 2 year old danced with the upbeat song.

So, out of curiosity, I mentioned this instance to my office mate who confirmed that "super like nga ng masa si Maine".  And even added more details of her. What caught my attention was that Maine "Yaya Dub" Mendoza is actually in blogosphere.

True enough. When I look up for her blog. There it is. http://mainemendoza.com/

Unfortunately, it is not accessible at this time due to bandwidth limitation of the site owner which she actually mentioned beforehand, that she is about to reach her consumption of the data storage for her blog. Luckily, I was able to read few of her entries before this happened and I got a glimpse of her writing prowess. Wow, she is really a talented young woman.

Her blog inspired me to write just anything under the sun so long as I am not hurting anyone in any of my post. It's as if that after so many hesitations before, finally, I can give this blogging more about myself and my thoughts. Of course, what I am talking about are those beyond the scope of personal finance on which why this blog was originally born. So, if I added more topics on this blog, maybe I can sustain this blog for more years. Because admittedly, I am not keen in writing technical stuff of personal finance.

I am amazed on her writing prowess. I am inspired from where her writings are coming from. And in some instances, I feel her. Especially, those times when she distanced herself from her friends. Because I am like that. It is just that I am often misinterpreted and in the long run losses friends. Or maybe I am not actually a good friend. (Hehehe, hindi ko alam) At least, now I know I am not the only one who feels like that. (wink)

Now, when I look at her billboards in EDSA, I now know that she deserves everything she has right now. Because there is more to her than what we can see on national tv. A real fresh face in the industry who is not afraid to wrinkle her face because deep down her she knows she is a beautiful girl. Way to go, Maine.

And congrats to your achievements. (As if naman, mababasa pa niya ito, hehehe)

Hashtag fanmode. Hastag pagbigyan nyo na ako. It's Saturday and I am about to go home.

Happy weekend. God Bless! :)

Friday, November 27, 2015

Jus Wanted To Write This

From the very first day I started to publish this blog site up until this very moment, I know some of my perspective has changed. It is inevitable. And I know I have shifted in one or another topics beyond personal finance. Maybe one of the reason is my actual personality.

I fail.
I moved on.
I fail again.
Get up.
Moved on again.
Back again.
Get on.

Just like a normal other person, I think. It just that it's easily manifested with how I write. So basically for a few people who has been following my entries, you already know who I really am.

The way I think.
The way I act.
The way I react. 

Predictable right? Yes! A definite yes. Because this is just me. But when I embarked with my journey to financial freedom, I become obsess with the idea of it. I become more incline to learn more. I become more aggressive with slashing my goals - our financial goals as a family. Every day of my life, I start it with looking at the progress of my journey. How little I/We move, I rejoice. And I thank God all the time. It is a private victory I come to recognize.

There are quite days. There are disappointments. There are wonders. And yes, the struggles are real. But I am thankful for everything. I know there are more to come. I just need to focus more. Stay on track. And remind myself over and over again of my purpose.

I have big dreams. For myself. For my little girl. For our family. For my parents and siblings. For my in laws. For my community. For everyone. But I have to start with myself. And this is my start. This is where I am right now. And they are the future I am envisioning.

It has been almost 2 years, and I just only made a little difference. But I am glad I did. If not, I will still be the same employee struggling to make it to the next payday. Insurance has given me a little peace of mind knowing that if He decided to take me too soon, I will not left my little girl with nothing. The journey has opened so many doors for us. Such as finally dipping our toes in UITF, MF, stocks trading, farming, corporate bonds, treasury bonds, and cooperatives.

In all honesty, there are so many vehicles out there to grow your money. We just need to have our due diligence to distinguish something/someone who can be trusted and move away from something/someone who will vanish our hard earned money. Key there is to really study and learn. And not just go with the tide.

So let us keep on learning. God Bless. :)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Life's Update 11/26/2015

Alright, it has been days since I wrote something for this blog. To be honest, I am trying to learn how to write effectively. I know, I suck a lot on writing, no matter how I love expressing my thoughts, still the words just don't go out naturally. Smoothly.

I admire those who writes well. I basically love reading. And one thing or another, I take note of how writers used a word or two, even how they construct sentences for easy comprehension.

It's a continuous learning process, I guess, until I get the hang of it. For the meantime, let me just share how things are going on right now for me. (Ahahaha, about myself pala)

So far, I am busy studying how to write well, managing my online shop (I'll blog how I started and how it is going in the future), tracking my status on personal finance, studying how to be better in our finances as a family, experimenting on how to get by living on a single income and drafting our financial goals for 2016. These are of course, aside from me being a mom, a daughter, a wife, a sibling, a friend and so many other hats I have to wear.

The one that gets most of my time at the apartment is managing the online shop. But that is way good and better because I am enjoying every inch of it. Knowing how introvert I am and I am meeting people beyond my networks of friends is another me out of my comfort zone. Honestly, online shop is a hard work too. But like I said, I'll blog about it in the future.

It's been 5 months since my husband is out of work, and literally, we are so much on a very tight budget. Our savings/investments continuous to increase but on a slow pace. I think we are still doing good despite the fact that we are moving like a turtle. Now I understand that this is one phase of a married life we have to face strong. Everything just needs to be communicated.

And yes, November is about to end, and I can literally feel the cool breeze at night when I get out of the office, walking my way to our apartment, yet I haven't wrapped any Christmas presents for my family and friends. Truth be told that I do not have enough budget set aside for the gifts. So, I am considering of giving only to my immediate family and closest friends. And maybe, to hold another children Christmas Party in the province. Just like the one last year as a form of giving back to the society.

We are all blessed in one way or another and I am thankful for everything that we are going through right now. I have a full time job. I have an online shop. I have a roof above me. I have clothes to wear. I have food on my table. I have family backing me up. I have my husband. I have my little girl. And so many more to be thankful about.Things are a bit rough but I know He is preparing something better for us in the future. It teaches me lessons in my personal life and my married life. I just have to be patient dealing with things right now. Someday, I am going to read again this entry and wonder what brought me to write this things. (Totally unrelated to any finance entry). I can do this.

Anyway, happy Thursday payday! God Bless. :)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

October - Spending Less and Less

October is the birthday month of my husband. As a little celebration, we opt to eat out with my in laws. It wasn't that grand. What was more important was that we are together to celebrate his natal day. 

I haven't spend anything on other things too. It went more to the basic needs of our little girl like her milk, diaper and water. A chunk of my income went to the  quarterly SSS contribution of my husband and my father. Only a little portion of my salary went to our UITF. Okey na rin kesa walang kahit na konti sa salary ko ang mapunta sa investments.

Nonetheless, of all this little financial difficulties, I am grateful looking at the numbers of our goals. Kahit papano ay napagkakasya namin ang salary ko and me konting natatabi. Thank God for all the help.

When the husband completed all his plan transactions in the Metro, we decided that he stays in the province for the meantime while we are waiting for the approval of his papers. So I have been living alone in our little room for a couple of months now.

At nakakatipid na rin ako being solo at the moment. I cook my meals which is good for the day. Kasama na ang baon ko. Yung niluluto ko, mostly yung ingredients dala ko from the province pa. Proceeds ng little backyard garden. I walked pagkauwian na kahit mainit. Sayang din ang 7.50 pesos.

I read and learned during my free time. Anything that interest me. Until, I decided to put up the online shop with little capital. At least, I was busy promoting my website and page for the last two weeks of the month. So, it gave me something to work on during my free time na andito ako sa metro. When I am at home at kasama ko ang family, I spend a little time with the shop. But I try my best to answer inquiries the soonest time. Yun lang, my priority is to spend more time with my little girl who is growing so fast. And I am grateful to all buyers who trust my shop.

Just sharing. God Bless. :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Security Bank Transaction - At Last!

This blog entry was actually long overdue and I have to re write every corner of its contents since nothing in the original content are currently applicable. The original title also included the abbreviation UITF, however as the leaf of the month peels off, few changes were made from the initial financial plan. UITF was then dropped off. For the meantime.

While I was on a blogosphere hiatus last September and  have been most of the time reading financial sites and forums, I came across the Security Bank's offer for the DMCI Home Bonds. So, I went to do a further research on what is DMCI Homes, it's history and who are the persons behind this corporation. That is aside from the information provided on the Security Bank page.Of course, everything is in the Prospectus, including lawsuits and any other involvements.
The Prospectus also includes the Bond Offer.
When the time permits a few weeks ago, husband and I decided to visit the Security Bank nearest our place. Upon mentioned of the DMCI, the customer service representative provided additional information to us. Such that this is a tranche investments for as low as P5000 per month and multiples thereof for 3 years up to 5 years, depending on our choice. As well as there is a lump sum amount of P180,000 for 3 years.
The bank representative told us that the start will be on November 16, 2015. And the offering is open from September 28, 2015 at 9AM until November 5, 2015 at 5PM.

For us, it will be like saving for the next five years with the purpose of using it as a down payment for a house and lot or a condominium. And the purpose may change as time goes by. For now, we are parking 5000 pesos per month with fixed rate of 5% accrued annually, non-compounding, and expecting a credit bonus at the time of maturity.
Think Positive. God Bless. :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

On Christmas Shopping and Gifts

Last year, it was only October and I was already in Divisoria shopping for the Christmas gifts for family and friends. That is because I actually do not want any impromptu purchases and also to avoid the heavy crowds mall goers as the holiday season nears. In addition to that was, I wanted to have the luxury of time to find those items that are not just cheap but of good quality. If I am in hurry and hustled with the crowd, there is a tendency for me to be impulsive in buying.

However, for this year, October is about to end in 3 more days and I haven't have the schedule yet listed in my calendar when to visit the place. Truth is, there are so many choices in Divisoria. I just have to pick what I know is of good value to my money as well as what will suit the gift receiver.

My gift lists is ready. I will have to buy the 'ampao' for those who will receive monetary amount from me. In the past years, I am against giving money as Christmas presents but because I have been a little busy lately, I may no longer be able to find what will suit those inaanaks. Especially, hindi ko na rin sila lagi nakakasama and once in a while ko na lang sila makita, kaya hindi ko na rin alam kung anong ibibigay sa kanila. Maybe, my next relationship goals is connect with them again as regular as possible. Aja!

So, aside from the ampao, the other side of my lists, ito yung kailangan ko talaga paghanapan. And going to the Divisoria one of these days is an option I am thinking. Or kahit na yung pinakamalapit na mall na lang. Whichever will give me a little convenience of time.

Or I can always shop online. Shopping online seems to be another way of avoiding the crowd, the exhaustive traffic jam in the metro, and a cheaper way of buying items since I will no longer require a fare and merienda along the way.

There are so many shopping sites available for us. We just have to pick the one we trust with their brands as well as the credibility. Beware of  those scammers who promised one thing and left you hanging with your hard earned money gone with them. Always look for the best deal and always remember the value of your money.

And because I just recently set up these online shop, huwag na malungkot ang mga inaanak ko, hehehe. Well some can expect ready to wear items from me. 

It is always best to prepare the lists of your receivers earlier as possible as well as your intended gift for that person. Do the shopping earlier if the fund is available. Bring the list with you always so you will not be tempted to go over board in spending. If the fund is not fully available pa naman, you can always buy those na kaya na ng budget. By doing so, you can have ample time to wrap your gifts. I am not good at gift wrapping, but I find it so fulfilling to just wrap the item with the thought of that person opening the presents in my head.

If the fund is really not enough, gift giving naman can be in turns of helping a hand. Just be there. Spend time. Communicate. Put away your smart phone and just catch up. Or visit a charity institution. It is a meaningful way of spending the birth of Jesus. 

Just sharing. God Bless. :)

Photo Credit: dreamatico.com

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

All About SSS – Part 4 SSS Retirement Benefit - Pension

Now on the monetary part of the retirement benefit. I have been thinking how much nga ba ang magiging pension ng tatay ko? I know there is a news na magincrease ng 2000 across the board yung minimum na pension na nakukuha ngayon, which is from 1200. 

“House Bill 5842 seeks to amend Republic Act 1161, as amended by RA 8262, otherwise known as the “Social Security Act of 1997,” increasing the present minimum monthly pension of P1,200 to P3,200 for retirees with at least 10 years of credited service.”

Read more:

Although as of this writing, this bill is not yet implemented, I will be happy if this pushes through. Ano na lang ba kasi ang kayang bilhin ng 1200 per month na pension ng mga elderly di ba? 

Anyway, so ngayon pa lang nag iisip na rin ako kung magkano nga kaya ang pension ng tatay ko. Since, we will try to complete the120 contributions prior to the semester of his retirement, pwede siya dun sa monthly pension. Yung lumpsum amount kasi is only granted to a retiree who has not paid the required 120 monthly contributions. It is equal to the total contributions paid by the member and by the employer including interest.
Paano nga ba nacocompute ang monthly pension? Remember, I mentioned in one of the SSS blog that ang alam dati is that pwede kang magincrease ng contribution for the past 60 months prior to retirement para yun ang basis ng amount ng pension mo. Well, SSS has clarified that and been stricter to the rules since then.

The monthly pension depends on the member's paid contributions, his credited years of service (CYS), and the number of his dependent minor children that must not exceed five. Right now, wala na kaming minor siblings. 

Per SSS website, the monthly pension will be the highest amount resulting from either one of these three pension formulae:

1.the sum of P300 plus 20 percent of the average monthly salary credit plus two percent of the average monthly salary credit for each credited year of service (CYS) in excess of ten years; or
2.forty (40) percent of the average monthly salary credit; or
3.P1,200, if the CYS is at least 10 but less than 20; or P2,400, if the CYS is 20 or more.  

Computing the possible monthly pension ng tatay ko na ang average monthly salary credit is 9000 (Monthly Salary Credit) as of this writing:

  1. 300 + (20%*9000) + (2%*9000*(10-10) = 2100 ; Ten minus ten kasi 10 years lang yung contribution years if magretire siya at exactly 60 years old 
  2.      40%*9000 = 3600
  3. 1200
So from the above, and getting the highest amount, it looks like he will be getting the 3600 per month. Granted that this will be the average monthly salary credit by the time he retires. Yes, we are planning to increase the contribution before he actually retires. If the SSS bill will push through, adding the 2000, that will be 5600 per month. 

We have yet to know if this will be the case. For the meantime we are hoping that it is actually close to 3600 amount per month.

Source: https://www.sss.gov.ph/ 

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with SSS. For inquiries, please call their hotline 920-6446 to 55.
The SSS Customer Service Call Center is open from 7:00am on Monday all the way to 7:00am on Saturdays. It's closed during weekends and on holidays. SSS Email: member_relations@sss.gov.ph; SSS Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SSSPh

Monday, October 26, 2015

I Applied for Smart Money Master Card

Having a sideline online business means that providing your customers a hassle free payment to you. And smart money is one preferred mode of payment for most of the buyers. There are millions of smart subscribers out there and having a smart money is a very convenient way to transact business.

What is Smart Money? See the definition provided in the smart website


"SMART Money is an electronic wallet, similar to a bank account, that allows you to do bills payment, reload of airtime, and money transfers using a SMART Mobile phone. With the SMART Money MasterCard, you can also do ATM and debit card transactions."

I opted to apply for the instant card instead of the customize card which will take 2 to 3 weeks to claim. There are steps provided in the website on how to apply for Smart Money, but I went to Smart store nearest my place yesterday instead. My reason for doing so, is to further ask more information other than what were provided on the site.

I got there in the afternoon, and the store is actually jam packed with people queuing for customer service. It's Sunday, that is why. But, the good thing is that there is a separate representative who handles the processing of Smart Money application, so there is no need for me get in the long line.

I fill out the application form of the smart money in a short span. Submit it to the smart officer along with my one valid government issued ID and of course a SMART or TNT mobile number plus 100 pesos. Note that the name that should appear on the valid ID should be the same name you fill out the application form. This is because the women before me is presenting otherwise, and the officer in charge, requested for additional documents such as the marriage certificate.

My main purpose for the card is that for the buyers to be able to transfer their payments to me without the hassle of going through any 'padala' centers at a much lesser cost of transfer/padala. Also for me to be able to withdraw the payments made. With the master card, I can withdraw the available funds via BDO with only 5 pesos charge. For other ATM, the charge will be 15 pesos. Of course, the frugal in me will always choose the lesser charges.

For every fund transfer from the customer, I receive a message indicating that a fund has been transferred to my account. It is a good way to track immediately that payments were made so we can proceed with the packaging and shipment of the goods right away.

Just sharing. Happy Monday! :)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Where We At Financially This 10th Month Of 2015?

This is actually an overdue blog entry. Why? Because, honestly, I am not actually ecstatic sharing the 3rd quarter's numbers. With my stock picks still in bloody red, almost all our aggressive investments portfolio are way beyond expectations. And we are still below our target by 2.20%.

Nonetheless, fund withdrawals is not an option at the moment. We will just have to let them sit for a little longer than anticipated and tries to continue adding up more. It's been a little difficult second half of the year, with the husband currently out of job and we are trying to live on a single salary. I am grateful though because it teaches us more about patience on how to deal with family finances.

I borrowed an amount from the emergency fund, in order to fund the house renovation of my parents. And I thought we can no longer add something into it after everything that happened. However, looking at the pie graph right now, at least we are able to add a little on top of it. The retirement fund is on a steady up pace since I have 10% of my salary being deducted by the company itself so I do not have to handle the money at all. Also, we have the regular subscription funds on some accounts so the automation is doing its job well.

Truth be told, it is actually getting more difficult to have a cash on hand at this time of the year, since my head is messing with so many Christmas gifts I wanted to get for my godchildren and family. All these accounts getting automated is leaving me a small take home amount every payday. Not to mentioned the annualized tax scheme that gives a surge on our tax as we approach the year end, put us to be more creative with budgeting.

When my husband went to the medical emergency which leads to his resignation as an employee, I have so many fears to face. Paano namin mapapagkasya ang sahod ko? Paano na ang milk, diapers, at water ng anak namin di ba? Fortunately, God is good all the time. He made us run into this phase of family lives so we can determine how well we can stretch our little of what we have to meet ends meet. 

At first, it was really difficult until we put a resolve to talk everything about it. And come to an agreement that we need to stay focus with our goal despite our current unconventional situation. Kaya naman pala. At kakayanin.

I have learned that I can have a mindset to always stay frugal and avoid unnecessary expenses when I have a goal in mind. Yung kahit na mainit ang panahon, pero dahil nanghihinayang ako sa 7.50 na pamasahe at pwede naman lakarin eh nilalakad ko na lang. Nagbibitbit na lang ako ng payong lagi. Ganun din ang ginagawa ko sa inuming tubig ng sa ganun hindi na ako mapapabili. 

A lot of things has changed since we started working our way to being financially free. And the reality is that, first, we have a goal in mind. The driver which keeps us focus and helps sustain the stamina to get up when we feel at lost or when the dead end is in sight. Second, the willingness to learn from every steps. Third, the commitment to stay align and working out the dream. Fourth,  the mindset to stay positive all the time. Of course, above all these is the trust to our Creator that He is solely the master to all of our plans.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11

Happy Sunday! God Bless. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Birth of Sophia D

Oh no. I haven't given birth again. Hehehe. Sophia D is what keeping me a little busy these days. Sophia D is my newly created site for online shopping.

Yes, having a boutique was one of my child hood dreams. I love dressing dolls when I was a kid. I love dress making. I remember when I was in elementary I usually got the highest score in dressmaking. Sadly, I never push through making one again. The core reason was that I have failed with measurements for all the next items I tried. But it was never lost in me to have a boutique someday. I love to see those dresses in mannequins. And I wanted to put a shop when I have the capital.

Seeing the online shop up and happening right now is something I just can't explain enough in words how elated I am. Although, I do not have a physical store yet,I am positive of this new start and promise myself to sustain it to the best I could.

Time has passed but every women in the world just love fashion. It never ends. We all love new clothes to wear. New styles to flaunt. Following trends. It is the way we are.

I am frugal myself, and often window shopped. But, being frugal does not mean having cheap choices. All we have to be is be a smart shopper. Why buy a super expensive blouse when I can find the same style, the same clothing material in Baclaran? Yes, that is right. I am bringing Baclaran in online with my newly created site.

You can find as many choices to check from. From dresses, mini dresses, maxi dresses, blouses, pants, shorts, jumpsuits, pullovers, leggings, jeggings and so much more. And all these comes in a very low Baclaran prices.

Drop by my site and let me know your choices and will get back to you as soon as we can.

Site: http://sophiadclothing.retailorders.net/

Welcome to Sophia D Clothing.

Feel free to let me know any feedback as well. I'll appreciate it.

Cheers to happy online shopping!

God Bless. :)

All About SSS – Part 3 SSS Retirement Benefit Requirements for Self-Employed

Since my main objective is that my father should receive a pension once he files for retirement, I am also learning how to file and what are the retirement requirements as well. Hehehe. Kahit papano kasi malaki ang maitutulong nito sa parents ko. Sayang, my mother never had an SSS since in her early short years of employment, she was at a government agency. Sayang din kasi wala rin siyang GSIS. 

I called the SSS hotline for several times hoping to get a clearer picture of how to and what are we going to expect. Nung inayos kasi namin ang SSS ng father ko, hindi siya nakakuha ng SSS ID because ang nasa record ng SSS is middle initial lang ang nakaindicate sa full name ng father ko. Ang requirement ng SSS is to indicate the full middle name to avoid any issues with claiming. Kaya, after filling up forms, we were advised to call in or visit the nearest branch in 6 months to identify if the changes were reflected. If the changes were reflected, my father can now process his UMID ID. But then, until now, I haven’t had the chance to accompany him. I am a bit busy with other things pa. Eh ayaw naman niya na gawin mag isa. The usual reasons na madaming gagawin na hindi daw niya maintindihan. Okey, I do understand naman talaga. Because he is impatient na sa long lines and questions plus yung pupunta pupuntahang sections. Kaya I am hoping before the year ends I can make a time for this.

Anyway, so I have been researching how to file for retirement with SSS. For my father to qualify for the retirement benefit, he should be 60 years old, separated from employment or ceased to be self-employed, and has paid at least 120 monthly contributions prior to the semester of retirement. Right now, his total contribution is 109. That will be 11 contributions to go. However, he may continue to contribute until the age of 65. At age 65, a member is provided the SSS retirement benefit whether employed or not, and has paid at least 120 monthly contributions prior to the semester of retirement.
This retirement benefit is a cash benefit either in monthly pension or lump sum paid to a member who can no longer work due to old age.

Since, my father is categorized as Self-employed, we will be needing the following documents:

1. SSS Retirement Claim Application (SSS Form DDR-1) . Can be downloaded in the website or we can get the copy at the nearest branch.
2. SSS ID card and 2 valid IDs (at least one ID has photo), original and photocopy. We will process the UMID ID before the year ends.
3. If we are to process the retirement benefit before he turns 65, we will have to provide the following:
  - Certificate of Cessation of Business, issued by the barangay where his business is located or where he is residing
  - Notarized Affidavit of No Earnings from Self-Employment
  - or Notarized Affidavit of Cessation of Business
There is no need for all of this, if we are to process his retirement benefit by the time he is 65 years old – the mandatory age of retirement.
4. SSS DDR Signature Card
5. His passbook or ATM card with his name on the card, or copy of deposit slip with machine markings (original and photocopy)
6. His Latest 1x1 picture
8. SSS may require other documents. We will have to see for those other requirements.

And since, we can accompany him to file for this benefit, there is no need for Special Power of Attorney. Special Power of Attorney is needed if he will ask for someone who will process the retirement benefit in behalf of him. Nor there is a need for other documents since he is not residing abroad. 

Source: https://www.sss.gov.ph/
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with SSS. For inquiries, please call their hotline 920-6446 to 55.
The SSS Customer Service Call Center is open from 7:00am on Monday all the way to 7:00am on Saturdays. It's closed during weekends and on holidays. SSS Email: member_relations@sss.gov.ph; SSS Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SSSPh

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Renovation or Make Over In Order

I was on a deep thought for quiet sometime. And then I searched my own blog via google. It's url is freedom and self worth and it left me wondering how come a personal finance blog is entitled as such. And then I remember. When I started creating this blog, it was those times that I felt I have a lost a friend. An indeed I really lost her for life. I lost her because it is my fault. I came in one day, not in the best mode to speak nor chat. I just wanted silence because I have so many things swirling in my head. And then the same thing happened the next day. And then the following days. I could not just pull myself together and I was lost. I felt like I have lost my own self worth. I am in the lowest of lowest self esteem. Until, it became the usual instance that I never talk to her again. I diverted myself to writing, and thus this blog was born.

I have asked her an apology but maybe the impact was not just a crack that can be put back together. Maybe, it was chipped out and I can no longer find that piece. Anyway, I can see, she's happy now. And I am happier too even though she's no longer a part of my life but will forever be a part of who I am.

I can now look directly in her eyes after like an unending making ways of not crossing her path. And she smiles back once in a while. I guess it will be like this until we no longer see each other anymore.

So now, I am contemplating of completely renovating or doing a make over of this blog site to include more pieces of what I think. A portion to direct how things are outside of being walking the path to financially free, like simply enjoying something. And I guess I will need to learn some more tips on how to blog. I just love it. Writing my thoughts, how I feel, and just everything in my head. I love how I tap the keyboard and the sounds it makes when I tap.

It is refreshing to just release all the tensions and stresses of life. I thank God for everything. The way He made me realized how important 2014 was in terms of having to start the road to financial freedom. The thoughts of sustaining the real friendships this year. And the patience to understand how miracles keeps unfolding each day to my life and the lives of my loved ones.

It's amazing to just realize the beauty of what we have. Yes, we do not own a house yet for us to live as a little family. But I am thankful for our parents who are giving us the incredible support. We don't own a car yet, (I have a car, but I have given it to my parents), but I am hopeful that someday, we can have one. Besides, at least when I commute I just get to enjoy the green scenery of TPLEX.

I am giving myself the expectation that this blog site will turn into something new before the year ends. More to life. More to sharing random thoughts and happiness.

Cheers. God Bless. :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

All About SSS – Part 2 - Understanding Table of Contributions, Deadlines of Payment and Where to Pay

Here we go with the part 2 of all about SSS. Hm, I was trying to understand the contribution table for the longest time too. Hehehe. Pardon me, hindi naman po kasi talaga ako super into details na tao. I have always leave it to HR kasi I have been employed ever since. But then, there are twist and turns nga naman in each one of us. So when I have been faced to personally to learn the facts for my father's SSS, I dove in, in order to understand how things works with SSS. Ang dami ko palang hindi alam. Hehehe.

Buti na lang, internet forums and blogs are available. Plus, phone calls with SSS hotlines are very helpful to validate what I have just read. Yun lang mga ilang beses na validation. Hehehe.

1) I am employed for the longest time and did not even bother my contribution with SSS. I know that my employer deducts a portion of my salary na napupunta sa SSS. And that's it. Ni hindi ko na rin inaalam how much as long as nakikita ko na reflected yung monthly contributions sa SSS online. Until I need to determine kung magkano ang kailangan namin bayaran para sa contributions ng tatay ko. And the contribution actually depends dun sa salary bracket ng isang individual. 

Example, if I am receiving a monthly salary of 12,200 pesos, then I belong to the 12,000 pesos monthly salary credit (salary range is 11,750 up to 12,249 pesos) which means na ang contribution ko as an employee is 436pesos. At ang contribution ng employer ko sa SSS is 884 pesos. Kaya ang total contribution na makikita ko online as ‘my’contribution is 1320pesos. 

Eh paano kung ang salary ko is 15,800 per month? Ibig sabihin, I will belong to 16, 000 pesos monthly salary credit. Ito ay dahil over 15,750 pesos ang compensation ko. Ang monthly na deducted sa salary ko is 581.30 pesos. Ang contribution naman ng employer ko is 1,178.70 pesos. Kaya ang makikita ko online as ‘my’contribution is yung maximum na 1,760.00 pesos. Yung maximum contribution. 

This is actually based sa current SSS contribution rate which is 11% of the monthly salary credit not exceeding P16,000 and this is being shared by the employer (7.37%) and the employee (3.63%).

In one year, 21,120 pesos overall rin yun kung asa maximum na contributions. If voluntary, malaki na rin ang 21, 120 pesos na kailangan mo i-allot in a year for SSS, kaya depende na rin sa kakayanan ng individual ang pagbayad sa SSS. 

On my part, ang iniisip ko na lang are the benefits that comes with paying the SSS contributions.

2) If employed, there are no worries with paying the SSS contributions or loans, kasi ang gagawa na nun is ang employer. But if, self employed, voluntary, or OFW, kailangan natin malaman ang mga deadlines of payment for contributions or sa loans to avoid any penalties.

We will have to focus as a self employed or voluntary payee of SSS contributions muna since ito yung mas marami akong tanong dati while processing the SSS of my father. Payments can be done monthly or quarterly. Note that we are talking about the contributions. This is based on the prescribed schedule of payment depending on the 10th or the last digit of the SSS number.

Example: Ang
 last digit ko is 2 sa SSS number na 1234547502, ang deadline ng payment ko for the June contribution is the 10th day of July.

If 9 naman ang last digit ko sa SSS number 1234547509 and I am paying for the month of August, and deadline ko is the last day of September.

If I am not able to pay on the last day of September and decided to pay on October 1st for the month of August, hindi na siya makakasama. Malalaktawan na yung August ko. SSS do not accept retroactive payments.

For quarterly payment naman:


Thus it is very important to be mindful of the deadlines of schedules.

Sa loan payment naman monthly payment ang kailangan so as not to incur any penalties.

3) Iba rin ang schedule of payments for OFW. Payment of contributions for the months of January to December of a given year may be paid within the same year; contributions for the months of October to December of a given year may also be paid on or before the 31st of January of the succeeding year.
4) Payments can be made via the SSS branch mismo na malapit sa inyo. Or pwede rin via banks through e-payment. Or some institutions. Please see below po.
SSS Payment Facilities
  • SSS Main Office – Cashiering Department
  • SSS Branch Tellering Counters
  • CIS Bayad Centers
  • SM Business Centers
  • SSS-accredited Commercial Banks
For Members Abroad
  • I-Remit
  • PNB Overseas Payment System
  • Ventaja
For further inquiries, the SSS hotline is 920-6446 to 55.

The SSS Customer Service Call Center is open from 7:00am on Monday all the way to 7:00am on Saturdays. It's closed during weekends and on holidays. SSS Email: member_relations@sss.gov.ph; SSS Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SSSPh

Source: https://www.sss.gov.ph/ 

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with SSS.For further inquiries, the SSS hotline is 920-6446 to 55.Or you can visit your nearest branch.