Saturday, September 1, 2018

Life's Update 09/01/2018

I have been working for almost 10 years now in my present company. The length of years didn't bother me at all nor I have gone tired of it. Unlike in my previous company where towards the end of my 4th year, I was literally dragging myself to go to work in the morning. I remember dreading to wake up each morning because I could almost taste my disdain to work.

The shifting schedule, I think help me get through the years to sustain my drive to work.

To be honest though, this few weeks, have me a little feeling of getting tired. I think, my mind is feeding me to get a rest and spend. Hahaha.

But, this is not yet the time. I have just finished paying the appliances we acquired because we've just move in to a new apartment. Aha! Finally, a solo family life alone in the apartment.

I could say, that it is expensive to have our own. And 4 months in the new apartment is something we wanted to be able to know our own exact bills and other expenses.

There were talks of getting our own house, but were all dismissed. First, we still do not know where exactly to settle. Second, we do not want to have a mortgage of more than 20 years. So, at the moment we continue to save and invest. Third, I know having our own house will save us big time in the future but having a mortgage and at the same time budgeting for the family's expenses is another thing to consider.

Also, with the recent development in our group at work, I am having second thought of continuing my service. Or maybe I'd be out of work sooner than I can think. Whichever comes first which is the reason behind I have fear of getting something this big and then come a time, the house will be foreclose.

Well, I am no longer incline to moving up. That's the truth. I wanted to spend more time doing something I wanted. But the bills are really getting in. Sigh.

We are currently living on a single household income. Though my husband finds time to sell. Also, I have few side income streams but the income is seasonal on these small time businesses.

I have been on a series of online job hunting, too, looking for some stable income online at home. To start my online income streams, this will require me a lot more time for internet to feel my presence. I know it is saturated right now with millions of people around the globe trying to enter the online world.

I know it isn't easy but might as well try my luck.:)

Saturday, August 4, 2018

New Indulgence: Leche Flan

Life is in indeed a journey. As we go through life, we constantly look for ways to fulfill our childhood dreams. This time, let me tell you the dream of my husband. He wanted to take Hotel And Restaurant Management (HRM)before going to college. But due to some circumstance, he took an IT course instead. He landed an IT job before and then entered BPO afterward.

Now that we have a 4-year old and no one is available to take care of her, we decided for him to stay at home. It was a tough decision we made in 2017. The most difficult one that there was not one discussion we won't not argue about it. I think, I mentioned before, I would cry every single day. And at this time, we now knew that that decision was worth every inch of it.

Facing the reality of a single income household is another story. With this set up, I was force to look for ways and means to augment the family's income. At first, my husband was hesitant about the thought of it. Moreover the thought of selling.

Then one day, I just woke up he wanted to do it. I was joyful and supported his plans. So he ventured into selling relyenong bangus (de-boned, flake and stuffed milk fish), boneless bangus (de-boned milk fish and marinated), tapa and longanisa (sausage. He is happy for the sales. But due to the recent bad weather conditions, the supplies were not that good plus the prices also went up. He resulted to experimenting and cooking leche flan (caramel custard) while trying to check other products to sell.

Since I am known online as a seller, they took my post of it as that we are selling the leche flan. We made a few pre-order online. I have learn the fact that although leche flan has always be known as a desert, yet it is not readily available anywhere unless pre - order. These dessert was as simple and easy to prepare.

Preparing and cooking these dessert has become a family bonding for us. We all take part in the preparation. My little girl just love it, especially the dessert itself. :)

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Shopee: A New Online Shopping Market

I have always been asked if I have a shopee account before. Primarily the reason behind was that online customers are looking for either a low shipping fee or a free shipping fee at all.

At first, I decline opening a new one since I already have a carousell account where I sell brand new, hand mades, and preloved items I found at home. But then, some few months ago, I decided to open one.

And that is the birth of my shopee account.  From there, I buy and sell items for my online shop.

I could say my over all experience with shopee is wonderful. Shipping fee is lower, other times it is free. The notification is on time and selling is as smooth as ever. There are times, I do not necessarily have to speak with the customer. Once, the customers place an order line, I booked a pick up with the courier, and wait for the courier rider the following day to pick up the item. Hassle free. Specially, nowadays that online customers prefer Cash On Delivery.

Buying is the same. I just checked the status every now and then to know if my items will be delivered and prepare the cash for payment.

Check out my shop:

By the way, this is my post after so many months in hiatus. :) My hiatus has nothing to do with the time to blog but merely because I do not have an access to Internet. Now that I am finally back, I will be posting regular information on what has kept me busy for the past months. 

This is it for now. :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Time Deposits ~ Review and Our Take

Today is the maturity of our first bank peso time deposit as a couple. It has been locked for 5 years with 3.5% interest and exempted of  withholding tax. We didn't actually have second thoughts of withdrawing the full amount of P59,389.45. Our P50,000 has earned a whooping P9,389.45 in 5 long years. :)

To give you a background, it was the money we have earned on our wedding day. You probably have an idea why we are so clingy to it. Yes, the earning was a miniature compared to having it invested in the higher risk investment. However, at that time, we are still too afraid to test the waters with both our feet. Thinking that we would eventually lost it. More so, our knowledge on handling money and personal finance was limited. 5 years seems too long to keep the money, at that time, but we dove into it nonetheless. As we go along, we have learn that of the same amount, there are better ways to earn  greater than just putting it in the bank. But like, anyone else, we made mistakes and continue to try to be better.

These bank time deposits are basically for conservative investors, where you wanted to keep the capital and earn small amount ranging from 1 to 3.5% annually. It is one of the safest form of 'keeping' your money. However, with the current inflation rate, our money is losing its value over time. Of course, we do not want that to happen.

If you still wanted to have this type of 'investment', you can check each banks to determine which give the highest interest rate for a certain period of time. Also, look for those with tax exemption. Remember to read the papers.

I am pretty sure, we won't do this anymore in the future, unless for the Emergency Funds. In a shorter period of time.

Take note that IN the emergency fund, there should be an amount which is readily accessible. We all know, that savings account alone is barely earning. Mostly, it has 0.25% less 20% of withholding tax. Yet, we really need it to be liquid.

Next to savings account, you can always tier it with time deposits which has only a month lock in or two. Yes, there are banks which offer this. Eastwest Bank is an example. They have terms ranging from 30, 60, 90, 180, 360 days, up to 5 years.

The problem with having to tier it, is monitoring. Tedious. But, of course, the bank can just roll it over on the next month, if you do not want to be bothered going to the bank. This will still serve its purpose as Emergency Fund.

Why? For sure, the amount you have put in the savings account as an emergency fund covers at least 3 months of your living expenses. The standard, well, there is really no standard when it comes to Emergency Fund, but more often, the book will tell you it should be equal to 6 months worth of expenditures. There are some, who goes up to the extent of one year. By the time, your liquid money was exhausted, your time deposits which was lock in for 1 or 2 month/s can now readily be withdrawn without any pre termination fee. Sounds good, right?

This may work to some. To others, it won't. Different strokes for different folks. Find strategies which works for you. Don't give up if it is difficult at first. Continue working on it until it is already part of your system. And don't forget to continue educating yourself.

For now, we have put the amount in our joint savings account and waiting for the next opportunity to invest it. Maybe, on a corporate bonds, an RTB, or on a Cooperative which we have been studying since 3rd quarter of 2017. I'll keep you posted. :)

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Don't Forget To Have Cheat Days

Our first quarter of the year, saw us with lots of spending. Literally.

January. My birthday month.

February. Bonding with my brother and her family and bringing my family to Tagaytay for the first time. We don't usually go out of town so this was a treat in over a long period of time. No regret anyway.

March. Step up ceremony of my little girl from Nursery to Kinder. Well, the spending in this month was unexpected. I'll probably blog about it separately because right now I am still in cloud 9.

The good thing all through out these, was that I received a good amount of windfall at the end of February, which has covered the expenses and left the savings untouched. Thank God for all these abundance.

Anyway, we have been debt free since November, but having that mindset has somehow clouded my judgment these early months of the year. This actually is, bringing me back to the old self of having-money-enough-to-spend. I have to set up reminders to myself for this, 'hey, if I continue doing this, I might end up in debt again by the end of the year'.

Holding myself was difficult even though I have managed for a long time to somehow live frugally as I can. I think, the idea of being penny pinching for such a long time has taken a toll on me and my spender-natural-self is kicking in.

I just hope that I would be better again in our finances this second quarter.

Just like any subject or journey we embarked, there will be this time, when you have to let loose. I think, that I missed that when I was starting up. I was so fire up in achieving something big, that while I am travelling I forgot to give in to my cravings or in diet program - the cheat days.

But then, these are the lessons I am about to learn while working on those dreams. Yes, I have read about all these but experiencing it personally is way different. They would say that all questions pops up when you are already on it. I guessed, I belong to that group of people. And I need to develop that trait, that when I am presented with an idea, I have already put myself on that shoe before it even started.

It's a long way to go.

There are still a lot to learn. I should start with refreshing myself on why I have chosen to work on my finances back in 2014. For now, let me reflect again. :)

Saturday, February 24, 2018

WARNING: Overdue Post, Publishing It Anyway

WARNING: Overdue post from the draft. Posting it just now. :)

The intention to write is overwhelming especially when I am idle on something. But, the thing is, I am having difficulty gathering the idea I wanted to share. My 2017 personal finance goals achievement were not impressive and what I had hope it to be. I am prolonging the idea to write about this, but, because I am accountable to this own blog and to myself, I have to. Other than that, I am not comfortable sitting with no output at all.

I am not into crocheting this week, because I wanted my hands and eyes to rest. I mentioned this on the other blog.

Yes, I was able to pay the consumer debts last year and I was expecting that freeing those amount of money could give way to saving more. Yet, it actually confuse me now, how on earth am I not fast growing my savings?

The reality is that when I get a hand with my payday money, it seems like it is evaporating in seconds I could not even get a grip of it. This January saw how I went back to over spending with dining out more often with friends and family. The imminent price increase on necessities and commodities hit my money to a lesser value.

This change is inevitable though. With the new tax law implemented the first of day of this year, it follows this price increases on every item we use. A chain of reaction.

However, our bimonthly pays haven't coped up yet with the new tax law. And it left me now, trying to discern, how else can we make ends meet.

I wanted our family of three to eat healthy, enjoy weekends, paid the bills on time , and still have something added in our meager passbook accounts. With the rate of things going, I really need to device more ways to earn, live simply without sacrificing the quality of food intakes, and enjoyment on a much rather free entertainment.

Okay, I hope that this February, there is no much eating out. This is doable since this is no longer my birth month.

I will have to practice saying 'NO' again. It is not because I do not want to be with the friends but because, my friends are mostly single and I have a family to take care of.
The loyalty cards we have from a local grocery has already 400 points equivalent to Php400 pesos which we have redeemed on Sunday for our grocery this week. Our viand for the week is now free.
I don't cut back on food. So maybe, we will go back with more home cooking this month and limits our dining out as a family.

There is a free shuttle to office and I will have to take advantage of it this time. I just need to go out early from home so I can make it to the shuttle on time.
Coffee is still free at the office. I have to remind myself of that.
I think I will have to accept orders for handmade crochet starting next week. But I will have to make sure to take it easy this time.

I have to cross my fingers that hopefully by next payday, the new tax decrease is already reflected in our income.

This will pass. As long as we are not actually dipping in a portion of our paper investments and no additional debt incurred, I think we are still good. Hoping, the coming months saw a gradual development if not drastic progress on our savings.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

What Is a Better Way of Living?

The idea of retiring early is not yet included in our topic as husband and wife. Although,  I often mentioned that I wanted to become a stay at home wife to my husband. Yet our wavelength is not yet in sync with the end results.

I am thinking that if I can prove that we can live on 50% of my current salary right now, then maybe, I can sway him a bit. I have been sending him the blogs I've been reading but his idea is for both of us to continue working so we can have a better life.

While I was walking after work yesterday, it dawned me then, what is a better life for us? And I wonder if I can bring the idea to him and define the better life he wanted for us.

Because for me, I am looking into defining it with being able to be free from stress on bills, having more quality time with them, nurturing the friendship with what were left, cultivating and learning new skills, spending less, more functional home items, personal development, and only working when I wanted.
Lately, I know I do not want a bigger house because if I have then definitely I will be filling it up with more furniture and so many things which in the long run were no longer of use. This explains why I am giving up some more of my closet items. Once I get the chance I will be opening up a couple more bags of these clothes and will finally had to let go.

Since 2015, I had been very conscious in buying new apparels although I sell clothes as a side hustle. If there are added new blouse or pants, that is because they were gifts. I try in as much as possible to be conscious with my weight so that I will not find the need to buy bigger clothes sizes. So far, I am getting used to it. If you know me, what I wore in 2010, still fits until today. Some clothes already shows its age but I really do not mind as long as it is still presentable to me. I am glad I love loose clothes before thus explaining why it still fits until these days. That's 7 years already and I could say that they are now more than worth the amount I had used to buy them.

Being not shown with new clothes on every occasion, I guess that helps build that I do not need something new every time someone invited me out on a dinner. If you will check my Facebook, you will probably be able to identify how many times I wore a t-shirt on any gatherings I have attended. But like I said, I do not mind.

I can eat scrambled egg or boiled egg for lunch. Even steam okra or eggplant and fish sauce. Even it is a repetitive choice of meals, I am fine with it.

I think I can live with less. But then, how will I know? Maybe, if I can convince the husband that this is a better way of living than almost always conforming with the current flow, I can have it. Right now, this is one of my dreams.

Right now, I have to be contented with what I have and focus on improving and developing ways to accomplish that. I have to live one day at a time.

In the future, my estimate is 9 years from now, that dream is already into fruition. I wish to go back to this entry and edit with see the outcome.