Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Goal


Sale season is upon us, but I haven't burned my credit card in Zara and Mango as I normally would for the simple reason that we have a goal.


The goal is to move to a bigger house in 2-3 years time. For G that house should have a garage where he can tinker with his automotive project du jour. And for me, that house should have lots of natural light (for product shots) and cross ventilation.


The Goal


Sale season is upon us, but I haven't burned my credit card in Zara and Mango as I normally would for the simple reason that we have a goal.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Stocks Update


After weeks of a sideways market leading to losses which reached -6% at some point, my stocks finally showed a profit at a solid 1.28%! Woohoo!:p

If I cash out now, I can buy myself a nice juicy burger or two, except that I don't eat fastfood anymore after my recent medical scare

Seriously though, it's great that my stocks are now on the upswing and one stock (MEG) is even slowly inching its way to the buy below price pegged by Bo Sanchez. If this trend continues, I can stop buying MEG in a few weeks and transfer my monthly budget to another stock.

Even CEB which dipped to -8% before is now at a more attractive -2.46% but it's still way under the Php90++ peg. 

My other stock was recommended by my insurance agent and it's sadly neither here nor there. Come on Mwide! Make me proud!

I know that long-term stock investing means that I shouldn't closely monitor my stocks because the daily performance won't really matter in, say, 5 years. But I just can't help logging in at CitiSec everyday to see my portfolio's performance at closing. I even jot down my stocks' performance on a small Post-It and then line these Post-Its on my filing cabinet for easy viewing.

Anyway, here's hoping that the upward trend continues but that a dip happens around the time I buy more stocks....hehehehe.

Stocks Update


After weeks of a sideways market leading to losses which reached -6% at some point, my stocks finally showed a profit at a solid 1.28%! Woohoo!:p

If I cash out now, I can buy myself a nice juicy burger or two, except that I don't eat fastfood anymore after my recent medical scare

Sunday, June 24, 2012

On Network Marketing


My first experience with network marketing or multi-level marketing was in the early 2000s when my mom put down money with the Mateo Management Group (MMG). That time, there were no products to be bought and sold because MMG supposedly used the members' money to finance their many businesses, but the emphasis on recruiting others in your downline and eventually not working at all because of commissions from your recruits, was also present.

I still recall my mom talking about how she only needed to recruit x number of people, and pretty soon, she'll just be sitting around collecting her monthly commissions. It seemed pretty shady to me and just plain too good to be true.

And true enough, MMG folded a few months later and the officers were slapped with numerous estafa charges. Thankfully, my mom got out in time and didn't lose any money, but my brother's experience is another story altogether.

Now, my friend is recruiting me to join the network marketing company he's affiliated with, starting his presentation with heady promises of wealth, freedom and the joys of passive income. The process seems fairly simple, it's either you buy or sell the products and monetize the points from your sales, or recruit enough people, who will in turn recruit more people creating a virtual forest of downlines. But of course, it goes without saying that recruiting people will make you more money than simply buying or selling the products.

Even if my family didn't have that unfortunate history with MMG in the past, I would still think twice about signing up for network marketing, mostly because I don't like selling stuff to other people. I know my strengths and talents, and sales isn't one of them. For all we know, I might have some hidden talent in sales and can actually sell ice to an eskimo, but really, at this point in my life, I am satisfied with my streams of income and would rather focus my attention on improving and expanding those streams on my own terms and for my own benefit, and not for some nameless few on my upline. 

I sincerely hope my friend doesn't get burnt over this.

On Network Marketing


My first experience with network marketing or multi-level marketing was in the early 2000s when my mom put down money with the Mateo Management Group (MMG). That time, there were no products to be bought and sold because MMG supposedly used the members' money to finance their many businesses, but the emphasis on recruiting others in your downline and eventually not working at all because of commissions from your recruits, was also present.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Circles

My mother probably earned ten times more than my dad during the peak of her career. She had her own lying-in clinic where she was on call 24/7, while she also made the rounds of the nearby hospitals. My father, on the other hand, worked at the same government agency for the last 30 years, where he climbed his way from being a medical officer to bureau director.

My mom used to say that what she earned fed, clothed, sheltered and put us to school, while my father's salary was used to buy Yakult. And she said this without bitterness or arrogance because it happened to be the truth. She provided for us financially, while my father gave us not only Yakult but also ice cream, bear hugs and checked up on us while our mother was out for another emergency call.

Marriage is a partnership and it was just by chance that the nature of my mom's occupation made her the family's main breadwinner, while my father, although not as flush with cash, was blessed with the time to attend to his children while pursuing a career in government.
I'm not really sure if they planned it that way, or if it just happened and they rode along with it, but that was the way it was. Now I find myself in the same situation, and although some well-meaning friends tell me that it is the husband's duty to provide for the family because having it the other way around will not only cause him to doubt himself, but will also go against God's plan, I only need to look at my own parents to know that that is a flat out lie.

Everyday, I am amazed at how similar my husband and father really are. They both do not subscribe to ridiculous macho ideals and are secure enough not to be affected with such an "abnormal" set-up.

We all have roles to play and now aside from looking like my mother, I also ended up picking up where she left off. I tried to deny it, but yes, I am my mother's daughter through and through. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

It might not be the norm, but this is our normal.

Circles

My mother probably earned ten times more than my dad during the peak of her career. She had her own lying-in clinic where she was on call 24/7, while she also made the rounds of the nearby hospitals. My father, on the other hand, worked at the same government agency for the last 30 years, where he climbed his way from being a medical officer to bureau director.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Looking Back

I remember when my sister was born, I was with my father when he paid the hospital bill. I remember looking up as my father looked into his wallet and realized that he didn't have enough money to settle the bill and asked the cashier if she would take some dollar bills instead.

I felt so guilty that time because the day before that, he bought me a pair of rubber shoes for PE class and I thought that he ran out of money because of my new shoes. I thought that because he couldn't pay the bill, my mom and new sister wouldn't be able to leave the hospital.

I was six years old when I realized that money wasn't something to take for granted or fritter away because my parents had to work for it.

It's funny how such a simple incident shaped my entire mindset about money.


Looking Back

I remember when my sister was born, I was with my father when he paid the hospital bill. I remember looking up as my father looked into his wallet and realized that he didn't have enough money to settle the bill and asked the cashier if she would take some dollar bills instead.

I felt so guilty that time because the day before that, he bought me a pair of rubber shoes for PE class and I thought that he ran out of money because of my new shoes. I thought that because he couldn't pay the bill, my mom and new sister wouldn't be able to leave the hospital.

I was six years old when I realized that money wasn't something to take for granted or fritter away because my parents had to work for it.

It's funny how such a simple incident shaped my entire mindset about money.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Stock Trading


I've been subscribed to Bo Sanchez's Truly Rich Club ever since the year started, and though the daily GodWhispers is nice, what I really look forward to is the monthly stocks update report. 

After months of reading about stocks and perusing the charts from the Truly Rich Club monthly reports, I finally decided to take the plunge, because I knew that I would be forced to study up on the matter more if I had something at stake. So for my birthday this year, I set aside Php10,000 to start an account with Citisec Online. Based on Bo's recommended stocks, I picked Cebu Pacific (for loyalty reasons) and Megaworld (because it just became part of the TRC at that time and I wanted to sync my stocks with the monthly chart. Does that even make sense?)

And in just two months, my Php10,000 has grown to Php9,500!! Ugh.

In April, I had earnings of 7.9%, but that was quickly wiped out in May and June and now I'm at a troubling -5.8%. But hey, that's how stocks roll I guess and in his last two newsletters, Bo did say that the next few weeks would be bearish, so I can't really say that I was caught off-guard.

In my almost three months of investing in stocks, I now know what board lot means, although I still had to google the difference between bear and bull markets. And I'm still confused what price to put down when making a bid, so I've been merely copying what the last successful bid was when making my offer.

I obviously still have a lot to learn and it's been pretty exciting. The geek in me is very, very happy.

I just funded my Citisec Online account and I plan on buying minimum board lots of Cebu Pac, Megaworld and Megawide (as recommended by my financial adviser) within the week. Thus, the game continues!

Stock Trading


I've been subscribed to Bo Sanchez's Truly Rich Club ever since the year started, and though the daily GodWhispers is nice, what I really look forward to is the monthly stocks update report. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Saying No

 What is it about deciding to be more frugal and money savvy that suddenly brings an onslaught of delicious (and expensive!) choices right at my doorstep?

First, the hubby's sister invited us to go with her and her kids to Vietnam. Halong Bay is right up there on my travel list, and traveling with my new family just makes the deal extra-sweet. And to top it off, my SIL was springing for accommodations!

It was almost perfect except for the fact that we don't have Php30,000 - Php40,000 just lying around to finance that trip. I could charge the tickets and borrow from my emergency fund, but really, I've had enough of charging trip expenses and then cursing myself for the next few months while trying to pay off everything. Besides, trips are not emergencies.

Same with the trip to New Zealand this December that my parents are planning for my sister's birthing (approximate expenses Php80,000 - Php100,000). It took me about half a year to wipe out all my 2011 NZ and Fiji expenses, and I don't even want to think about how much I spent in finance charges.

Aside from trips, there's also the Phantom of the Opera tickets that I'm lusting over. Non-nosebleed seats are at Php3,500, so that's Php7,000 for the hubby and me. Ulp.

As much as it pains me, I'm saying No to all of the above.

I know that the hubby and I will be able to go to Vietnam and New Zealand on our own dime, without stretching our budget. And as for the Phantom, we'll be seeing him in Broadway when we make our way to New York in the future.

I might miss out on some memories, but I know that memories that will not put me in debt are much, much sweeter in the long run.

Saying No

 What is it about deciding to be more frugal and money savvy that suddenly brings an onslaught of delicious (and expensive!) choices right at my doorstep?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Staggered Credit Card Payments


Aside from crowning myself as the Queen of Rakets, another thing that helped me wipe off my massive credit card bills was staggering my credit card payments through online banking.



It's really simple, I just take note of two things in my credit card statement: (1) the Payment Due Date; and (2) the Statement Date. By looking at my credit card statement, I can approximate my due date will fall on the 7th and the billing statement will issue on the 17th of every month.



It's imperative to pay at least the minimum before or on the payment due date in order to avoid nasty penalties. I find that because I use Metrobank Direct, payments made for my Metrobank credit card are credited in real time. But with other issuing banks, like my RCBC credit card, I have to give an allowance of 3-4 business days from the listed payment due date, in order to account for the transfer of funds from one bank to another.



Anyway, so you have to pay at least the minimum on or before the due date, and for this statement, I have already paid Php5,000.00, bringing down my outstanding balance to Php12,792.65.



Now from the time the payment becomes due to the time the next billing statement is issued (a period of about 9-10 days), your account is in some sort of limbo because the 3.5% monthly interest only gets tacked on with the next billing statement.  So take advantage of this by continuing with online payments in order to avoid that ridiculously high monthly interest rate.  I haven't confirmed it, but I have a strong feeling that you can't pay your overdue credit card bill over the counter, even if you have already paid the minimum and just want to make additional payments. And even if you can, it's so much more convenient to do it online.



So from the Php5,000 I've already paid, depending on how much cash I can cough up, I can pay an extra Php5,000 or wipe out my balance entirely, between June 7 to June 17.



While staggering your credit card payments online won't guarantee that you'll have enough cash to pay off your entire balance, at least it gives you an additional week or so to come up with cash to pay off as much as you can without incurring penalties. And that, is priceless.

Staggered Credit Card Payments


Aside from crowning myself as the Queen of Rakets, another thing that helped me wipe off my massive credit card bills was staggering my credit card payments through online banking.

It's really simple, I just take note of two things in my credit card statement: (1) the Payment Due Date; and (2) the Statement Date. By looking at my credit card statement, I can approximate my due date will fall on the 7th and the billing statement will issue on the 17th of every month.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

To inverter or not to inverter.


One of my mom's friends is thinking of buying the condo unit next to ours, so she dropped by our place to see how a dressed up unit would look. We started talking about the pros and cons of living in a condo unit, and eventually got to the topic of airconditioning and she was shocked at our electricity bill. She said that in her old clinic, they would have the AC on from 2pm to 9pm everyday and their usual electric bill amounted to less than Php1,500/mo.


To inverter or not to inverter.

One of my mom's friends is thinking of buying the condo unit next to ours, so she dropped by our place to see how a dressed up unit would look. We started talking about the pros and cons of living in a condo unit, and eventually got to the topic of airconditioning and she was shocked at our electricity bill. She said that in her old clinic, they would have the AC on from 2pm to 9pm everyday and their usual electric bill amounted to less than Php1,500/mo.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Bank on This



When it comes to opening a savings/ checking account, I only have 1 rule: I will go with the bank that won't make me line up.


Ok, so maybe that's oversimplification to the highest degree. Of course, it's also important to a choose a stable bank that will not go on a  bank holiday any time soon. But really, I want a bank that will not subject me to that arduous task of falling in line.


Bank on This


When it comes to opening a savings/ checking account, I only have 1 rule: I will go with the bank that won't make me line up.