Before anyone deals with moolah matters, you first have to figure out a way to make money. For most people, it’s to go out there and simply get a job. I have never subscribed to this dogma and have encouraged everyone I know to find their passion.
In honor of the greatest innovator and visionary of our generation, here, in Steve Jobs’ words, is what I live by:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
My last post on this blog was almost four years ago. Practically a lifetime away.
I started this blog when I was in the middle of what in my mind was severe financial crisis and sort of stopped when I graduated from it. But once in a while, I get surprised by notifications in my inbox of new comments on old posts, thanking me for sharing or for the advice. I am humbled and grateful that this little blog, my experiences as a financially irresponsible yuppie, has in some way helped others.
I am now no longer in my 20s, no longer freelancing and am gainfully employed, no longer based in the Philippines even. I am happy to say no longer in debt, with some savings and investments. But I believe moolah issues will still matter regardless of where you are in your life. And so I’ve decided to start posting again — of how I got here, how I intend to stay here, marital financial issues, savings and investments, financial planning, budgeting and more. Hopefully, whatever I publish into the vast void that the world wide web is would find its way to the browser of someone who needs it.
MANILA, Philippines — The peso breached the crucial 43:$1 barrier on Friday on strong foreign exchange inflows and growing expectations of another interest rate cut by the United States Federal Reserve.
The local currency hit an intra-day high of 42.73 against the US dollar in morning trade, its strongest level since touching 42.63 on June 21, 2000.
“We’re looking at 42.50:$1 next week,” said Jonathan Ravelas, chief strategist at Banco de Oro–EPCI.
The fourth quarter is seasonally a strong season for overseas remittance inflows ahead of the Christmas season. On top of these remittances, the market is benefiting from a resurgence of foreign portfolio investments into the stock market.
A potential cut in interest rates by the US Fed in December is also expected to make high-yielding assets from emerging markets like the Philippines more attractive to offshore investors.
The peso, Asia’s best performing currency so far this year next to the Indian rupee, has so far gained by over 12 percent this year.
Sorry, I’ve been a delinquent blogger the past couple of weeks. I was working way too much. I hope I can also say that working 16 hours a day brought in an avalanche of moolah, but I’ve just again proven the title of one of my early posts:
“You have to spend to earn”
- The past three weeks, I have been going to the office almost everyday, which meant transportation and food expenses. Since I was in the office for extended periods of time, it also meant having breakfast, lunch, and dinner outside. I was spending almost P500 a day! Ag!
- Because of all the stress, at one point, I had to a quick massage over lunch at a nearby spa to remove a pain in my neck. Easy way to burn P750.
- Two weekends were spent “working” for Mabuhay Magazine–yep, I got to travel for free, but I pretty much spent my salary from those two gigs for pasalubongs and for the people I brought along with me.
- Since I was getting too stressed out, I had to hire someone to take care of administrative/coordinating tasks in one of the publications I handle. That meant cutting to almost half what I earn from that project.
So yes, I did earn more over the past three weeks, but I also spent more. Bottomline, my net earnings are practically the same.
I see how people often forget this, quickly jumping at a job that offers higher pay, but forgetting to factor in the costs related to working. I remember my sister (who’s a work-at-home-mom) pointing out to me a study that shows double income families are not necessarily financially better off that single income families, because the former incur twice the work-related expenses (food, transpo, office clothes), and have to hire household help.
I suppose it’s just about finding a balance. However, I’ve always maintained that salary should not be your main consideration in looking for a job; if you’re happy with the work, by all means go do it. You’ll find a way to make the money be enough. But if you’re not happy with the work, no amount of salary will ever be enough.
MoneySmarts talks about a survey that shows income and financial security are only fifth on the list of what makes Filipinos happy. That should tell those of us–who devote all our time for work, sacrificing time for family and friends and rest–something.
I guess what I’m trying to say is: if we work too hard to earn more, it’s not always worth it because (1) you end up spending more anyway, and (2) it won’t even make you that happy.
I watched Avenue Q last Saturday and had a blast 🙂 It was worth the hefty P1,250 ticket, and we we’re rolling in laughter in things like Trekkie Monster insisting that the Internet is primarily for porn, and then a punchline like the one below:
What you say?
Kate wants to open a school for Monsters.
School for Monsters? Me never hear of that!
School for Monsters!
School for lonely little Monsters!
When me little,
going to school,
think me not cool,
poking and pulling
at me fur…
Now we have therapist,
and work on this with her.
But me no need me therapy
if Monster School a reality!
Here! Me give you ten million dollars!
Trekkie! Where did you get all that money?!
In volatile market, only stable investment is porn!
On Tuesday, what with all the jitters over the announcement of Estrada’s verdict, the peso hit a low of P47.12=$1.
On Wednesday, as soon as I heard that Estrada was pronounced guilty and that the economy was starting to react positively, i went to the bank and withdrew all the dollars I can. Hehe. Used it to pay large chunks off my two remaining cards.
Turned out to be a good decision because the peso was downhill from then on.
I love Boracay. My boyfriend loves Boracay. My mom and my sister have been wanting to go to Boracay for as long as I can remember.
And so when I saw a dirt cheap Boracay promo at the Philippine Travel Mart – P3,500 for an all-inclusive 3 day, 2 night trip (airfare, transfers, accommodations, breakfasts) – I was all set to whip out my credit card and book a trip for 4.
You can’t get any cheaper than that. A decent trip would normally cost P6,000-P8,000 per person.
But thank God my boyfriend managed to stop me. And thank God my mom agreed with him.
Considering I’m currently somewhat broke, with tens of thousands of credit card debt remaining, booking that trip would have been the height of impulsive buying. Granted that it was cheap, it’s still something I can’t afford right now.
Right now, I have to remain focused on my 2 main financial goals:
1. Paying off my debts
2. Saving up a decent “buffer” and emergency fund.
Boracay will always be there, and there will be more travel marts and cheap promos in the future.