Thursday, August 20, 2015

Some Other Options

I am happy to say that finally my parents have moved in the newly built house on May 2, 2015. A day earlier than what was planned. And I get to blog it just now. So this means that this is a long over due post. Hehehe.
Yet, nothing is more rewarding than seeing happy faces from my parents. Because truth is, we have lived in a house that has been patched all over with no rooms or divisions or whatever - just living room/dining area/sleeping area. Everything on it.
And I am grateful to the One up above for making it possible. Although, it has gone beyond the estimated budget, still He is able to provide us the needed extra cash to at least complete the basic concept of the house. Remember I borrow an amount from our Emergency Fund. Still missing bathroom, but we can still use the same old bathroom of the old house. When we have extra cash in the future, then we can build the bathroom area. For the meantime, it is use as storage area.
So, while saving for the bathroom area, I am looking for new income resources to augment our present cash flow. Or should I say investments. We've been living frugally, and I am not complaining at all. It takes a lot of discipline to do so, and incorporating it to our life style is even better. As we come to realize that we may have re-aligned some,  still there are more areas of financial handling that we need to polish.
While I am combing options for other income resources or investments, I should say, I came across so many options I can take on such as having a business. Unfortunately, from what I read, I still do not qualify specifically on any junior entrepreneur level just yet. I still have so many things to learn. But of course, I do wanted to have a diversified portfolio specially now that all my stocks portfolio are in red.

And since, I am not yet fully equipped to dive in to the traditional business level, I am slashing out for the meantime my goal to start a business this year. What I did is to look for more options on mutual funds and unit investment trust funds. At the moment, I do have the Sunlife Prosperity Fund equally divided into equity and balanced fund and the BDO Easy Investment Plan (Equity). For the joint account, we have the BPI High Dividend Equity Fund which was just started recently.

Since most of them are on the aggressive-investing-mode, we decided to place a part of our emergency part to the ALFM money market fund. Unfortunately, the bank personnel advise that at the moment, this is not being offered and are currently waiting for the go signal to proceed. The same is true with the ALFM growth fund. So, instead we got ourselves the BPI short term fund with monthly subscription. This is more of a conservative type and with no holding period which I think is perfect for the emergency fund. Liquidity is also fine.

While we are filling up the form the other day, an elderly woman just approached the bank personnel while we are still being catered. She looks a little tense so the bank personnel asked her what she needs. And directly she requested that she would like to withdraw a portion of her ALFM fund. I do not have so much details of it since, it is inappropriate to eavesdrop. The bank personnel handed her a form and she was able to sign it up as soon as I could process my thoughts.

Sayang. We didn't get the chance to open up an ALFM Fund. But I guess, that is intended for another time. Anyway, the money we have invested for this is the earnings we get from another source of income. Indeed, there is another option to save and invest despite the fact that we are on a tight budget with the husband in between jobs.
I am not losing hope though. We have options. And that matters. Because we can still  make a choice on what we want.

Just sharing. God Bless. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Bicol Trip

It's actually my first time in Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur. And so does my little girl. Honestly, it was a bit difficult having a one year old in our week-long out of town. Lalo na hindi naman talaga kami traveller. This was on the 3rd week of July pa where it was raining due to moonsoon rains in the north.
My little girl even travelled from the North up to Bicol. I just met them in Ayala Avenue Makati at around 11 o'clock in the morning and then drove off to Sta. Elena Camarines Norte on the first night. Yes, super layo pala talaga by land that we arrived at exactly 7 o'clock in the evening. Tahimik and peaceful even though we were at the town proper. Cellphone reception was weak nga lang but that was fine with me. 
I can't help but wonder how beautiful and simple their lifestyle is as we go town by town in the next few days. Staying over night in a house and on wheels again by the next day, off to another relatives' place. It reminds me of my childhood. I grew up in a small baranggay. Napakapayak. And truly a beauty to see the whole trip in green. Mountains. Twin Falls. We even stopped one time for a fresh buko juice along our way to Panganiban. Sarap ng fresh buko. At mura for 15 pesos each only. And 5 pesos naman ang dahon ng gabi for laing. Freshly picked pa.
Sabi ko nga, kaya kong tumira dito. Hahaha. Kahit na walang cellphone signal. Yes, there were so many dead spots. Hindi naman crowded. Halos wala ngang mga bahay.
I can retire in a place like that with a house in the middle of the fields, a little backyard to grow my veggies and herbs, and a dog as my pet. But of course, more than that, I still need a steady source of income for all the other needs. Hahaha. These are exactly my thoughts when I was there. Now I can fully understand those few individuals who decided to leave the city and live their lives outside of it. The air is fresher. Lifestyle is simple. Social lives is not based on Internet but by neighbors having a quick conversation while doing an errand. The bayanihan because a house is full of guest and needs all hands to cook, feed, dish out and clean the mess every now and then because kids just got to eat and eat and run around the place.
We've find our way too to Cagsawa to view the Mayon on one day, unfortunately since it was cloudy and drizzling, we haven't seen even a small portion of Mayon. We also have to squeeze our time to the hot spring at the foot of Mt. Isarog and the wakeboarding at the CWC. But of course, with my little girl in tow, my activities were very limited. My priority is still her. And yet, I am still the happiest during the trip because the vacation has given me more quality time with her.
There are still so many places to see but with only 5 days there it was not enough. Yes, 2 days was for travelling back and forth to the north. So we were planning that maybe by next visit, we will have to do it by air. It is just that the airport is in Naga. We will see.
Well, the trip was a refreshing one. Fun filled. Good natured. And lovely to bond with the whole family and the nature as well. On the side note, trips like this should be thought of carefully for itinerary, allotted some chunks of the budget for the entire family, and of course be on alert for anything that comes up just in case of changes with the plan. A checklist with the things brought is a must since we were moving from one place to another. And we do not want to leave a piece of our important items because the probability of going back is very small as the trip from one town to another will take another 2 hours with a zigzag road.
Nonetheless, it was all fun. Thank God for the safe trip and the wonderful experience.

Starter - How Is the Journey?

The journey to financial freedom has been both liberating and agonizing at the same time. More of difficult actually for a starter like me. Hahaha. I have been faced with so many situations wherein it is somewhat embarrassing, humbling, and sometimes mix with all emotions.
For several occasions, I come across with few acquaintances who would look down on the phone I used. Yes, one of the few experiences where I felt my face flushed in pink. Some would even suggest that I go buy a new phone. Others would flash their new phones and its features.
There are also times when I have to turn down some invites because basically I do not want to spend. Mind that those invites which I need to turn down are those which requires me to spend. Specially right now, that we are on a very tight budget. I wanted to but I have to think that I am going to ruin the allotted budget. And once it is ruin, it is very difficult to get back on track. Catching up is another process that I need to include in the daily routine and needs additional special attention.
I have to sacrifice a few things too. Like my favorite sansrival. Hahaha. Yes, the sweet tooth in me is enjoying this treat. But I have opted for more bananas and avocado since these are in season at this time.
Lately, I have been visiting a lot my meager closet possessions and I have noticed that I still have a few clothes I haven't worn since the time I bought them. Since I haven't bought anything new for me since 2014 with regards to blouses, pants, or dresses, these has given me a feeling of relief. Plus, it's a good thing that I am now able to wear some of my pre baby clothes. I still do not see in the very near future that I would go shopping for myself and splurging a little for myself. I still need to complete a few more goals for this year and we are about in the middle of third quarter. How time flies. Not yet, I am always reminding myself. Hey, I really do not mind wearing the same clothes over and over again as long as I am comfortable with it and looks decent to me.
And again, at the end of the day when I am left alone in my solitude, I am gratified with everything I have.  Not so much nor not so little. Just the basic I need on a daily basis. And I thank God for everything.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

July - Spending Less and Less

My schedule the past few weeks is as crazy as me. Been really rest less. Hahaha. And I am grabbing the time since it isn't everyday these things happen.
My Sister-in-Laws arrived the latter part of June as I mentioned in one post. And they only have a 45-day vacation annually. Every 10 months to be exact or when they decided to come home any time of the year. So every day with them should be well-spent. Plus, I still have a job to attend to and I am trying to squeeze their plan schedules with mine. Kaya yun, limited Internet time muna ako. And few tasks left hanging for the meantime.
They will be flying back again on the 13th this month.
With them around, we are out of the house most often than the usual. Trying something new, visiting relatives and friends out of town, going to church, attending events, and dining out. So yes, another epic fail of lessening our dining out. Honestly, this is the most difficult part. But I just hope that when we are left alone, we can keep our promise. We will see about that.
Everything is so refreshing for me and my little girl, noting that we don't have any so-called vacation na bongga before. Of course, she's a baby pa kasi kaya limited ang mga bagay na pwedeng gawin last year. And now that she's a little older and can keep up, it is way better. I thank God, that she is also on the go with us. We just keep in mind that she should be provided with enough rest during mga lakad. And vitamins. Since we go with them, husband and I can't help but to spend as well. Hahaha. On food mostly.
Anyway, I bought myself a locally made bag in one of our out of town. Woven in abaca for Php250 pesos only. Hehehe. Not bad I think. And of course, pasalubongs. Hindi naman mawawala yun eh specially when someone is out of town for quiet a longer time. So yeah. Yun ang mga pinagkagastusan ko sa sarili ko for the month of July. Of course, I remind myself a lot of times, when I am tempted to buy just as so many as I wanted that I have long term goals waiting for me and I can't just jeopardize it by buying on an impulse.
Overall, there are so many things that need to polish pa when it comes to spending. Both on our side (husband and I) and them. We have to device a plan on how to make it work pa. But at least in a few of our many conversations, the topic of savings and investments are always welcome and received with good feedback on both sides. Something for them to digest and us to think of carefully if we wanted to save and invest more.
Just coming back. God Bless. :)