Friday, August 31, 2012

How to pay your PAG-IBIG mortgage online



I'm on my fourth or fifth year into my 30 year PAG-IBIG mortgage. The first three years, our unit was a dormitory for some students in the nearby college and my mom played landlady, paying the mortgage from the rental income.


 When I took over the mortgage, I was honestly too lazy to go all the way to the PAG-IBIG Makati office to tender PDCs for the next year and lining up monthly to remit my mortgage payment was also a no-no, besides, my PAG-IBIG statement of account always arrived late, if it even arrived at all. Some googling action revealed that yes, I can actually pay my PAG-IBIG mortgage online! Huzzah!


 Here's how to do it.


How to pay your PAG-IBIG mortgage online


I'm on my fourth or fifth year into my 30 year PAG-IBIG mortgage. The first three years, our unit was a dormitory for some students in the nearby college and my mom played landlady, paying the mortgage from the rental income.

When I took over the mortgage, I was honestly too lazy to go all the way to the PAG-IBIG Makati office to tender PDCs for the next year and lining up monthly to remit my mortgage payment was also a no-no, besides, my PAG-IBIG statement of account always arrived late, if it even arrived at all. Some googling action revealed that yes, I can actually pay my PAG-IBIG mortgage online! Huzzah!

Here's how to do it.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Why, hello there!

I was aimlessly browsing around the internet, when I suddenly remembered that I hadn't checked into Sun Life's It's Time webpage for the longest time ever. And guess what I saw when I dropped by the It's Time page...

Hello me!

This interview was conducted about 2 years ago so I was surprised why it was still up, then I saw that the It's Time page hadn't been updated for over a year and a half :(

If you want to read the full interview, please click here.

Why, hello there!

I was aimlessly browsing around the internet, when I suddenly remembered that I hadn't checked into Sun Life's It's Time webpage for the longest time ever. And guess what I saw when I dropped by the It's Time page...

Friday, August 24, 2012

Top Blogs PH


I removed my blog Kikay Exchange from Top Blogs about 2 years ago, because I was becoming too obsessed with ranking and I didn't like the pettiness it brought out in me. Also, but to a lesser degree, I was trying to limit the sponsored products sent my way for review because my face can only take so much before it declares a revolution on me. Most PR companies and brand managers don't scour the internet for bloggers and merely rely on Top Blogs for their listing, so I knew that removing Kikay Exchange from the listing will significantly lessen the product avalanche.*

But here I am again, joining the rabble at Top Blogs, but this time, it's not Kikay Exchange that's up for scrutiny, instead I submitted my personal finance blog, Frugal Honey.

I started Frugal Honey because there was a significant dearth of personal finance blogs ran by women in the local blogosphere. I appreciated Randell Tiongson and Fitz Villafuerte's blogs, but aside from Melissa Briones, there seemed to be no other female voice in the personal finance category. And when you come to think of it, aren't the moms/wives supposed to hold the budgeting power in their households? So why weren't they speaking up? That's why I decided to make my voice heard. Sure, it's squeaky and small, but it's still a voice nonetheless.

As I type this, Frugal Honey is now ranked 97 (page 2 baby!), rising slowly from its initial standing of 106. I looked at the Top 50 blogs at the Business & Finance and the unique hits ranged from 25,000++ (Pinoy Money Talk) to 226 (Hot Fun Stuffs). For now, to be able to make it to the Top 50, I need to generate unique hits of at least 45 per day. How do I this? Hmmm....maybe I should post naked pictures of Prince Harry?:p

Seriously though, I feel strongly about including Frugal Honey in Top Blogs because I want women to also talk about personal finance, financial freedom etc., in between conversations revolving around chismis, makeup, clothes and shoes. And this time around, I want to be noticed and I want to be quoted because I want more women to take control of their finances and shed their "bahala na si God/ boyfriend/ husband" mentality.

While we have more than enough fashion and beauty blogs floating around in the interwebs, there are sadly not enough well-written blogs on personal finance (really? Hot Fun Stuffs under the Business & Finance category?). So ladies, what are we going to do about that?



*I know that I could have easily said no to the requests but I really did like reviewing products, there just came a time when I had too much backlog and the PRs would constantly follow up/ hound me and I was tired of snapping at dealing with another fresh out of college young 'un. I don't want to generalize, but it always appeared to me as if those who merely relied on Top Blogs were the amateurs and newbies in the PR biz, while those who knew what they were doing would make their own search and respected boundaries (i.e. hindi nangungulit).

Top Blogs PH


I removed my blog Kikay Exchange from Top Blogs about 2 years ago, because I was becoming too obsessed with ranking and I didn't like the pettiness it brought out in me. Also, but to a lesser degree, I was trying to limit the sponsored products sent my way for review because my face can only take so much before it declares a revolution on me. Most PR companies and brand managers don't scour the internet for bloggers and merely rely on Top Blogs for their listing, so I knew that removing Kikay Exchange from the listing will significantly lessen the product avalanche.*

But here I am again, joining the rabble at Top Blogs, but this time, it's not Kikay Exchange that's up for scrutiny, instead I submitted my personal finance blog, Frugal Honey.

Monday, August 20, 2012

How do I choose stocks to invest in?

To date, I pick stocks based on Bo Sanchez' recommendations and tips from my financial adviser. But from what I've been reading online, it seems as if there really is no guarantee when it comes to buying stocks. So in order to minimize risks, it pays to study the company, history, financial statements etc. etc., or sign up with the Truly Rich Club and have everything spoonfed to you:p

SmartMoney.com says: Buy what you know. Start with an industry or a company that's familiar to you. 

That's precisely the reason why among all the recommended stocks in the Truly Rich Club, I gravitated towards Cebu Air, Inc. (CEB). Even if I only stayed a few months with Cebu Pacific, I was still impressed with Lance Gokongwei's vision for the company and the map they plotted to get there. Sadly though, despite this vision, my CEB stocks have been consistently in the red since I bought in last April. Let's go Papa Lance!

Another company that intrigues me is Manny Villar's Vista Land and Lifescapes (VLL). It's not part of the Truly Rich Club stock list, but there was a time in my professional life that I desperately wanted to be affiliated with Manny Villar (yes, I voted for him). When I was still with my old law firm, we handled one of Manny Villar's land cases and I got to chat with his accountant who had nothing but good things to say about his work ethics and how he treated his employees. I guess I just needed to be inspired at that time (still do actually), and he seemed to be the real deal for me.

Anyway, I will probably buy some VLL stocks soon because Manny Villar's in his last term as a senator, so of course he'll be focusing on his business and making money after that.

I know that there's a more scientific way of picking stocks, but as it is at the moment, I seem to veer towards stocks with charismatic leaders, essentially bringing out my fangirl side.

How do I choose stocks to invest in?

To date, I pick stocks based on Bo Sanchez' recommendations and tips from my financial adviser. But from what I've been reading online, it seems as if there really is no guarantee when it comes to buying stocks. So in order to minimize risks, it pays to study the company, history, financial statements etc. etc., or sign up with the Truly Rich Club and have everything spoonfed to you:p

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Question: Should I continue making extra home mortgage payments?

About three years ago, my mom bought three condo units and took out a PAG-IBIG loan under my name to fund one of the units (for the other 2 units, she used my sister and dad's PAG-IBIG benefits). The units were leased as dormitories to the students in the nearby school, and the rent payments used to pay the monthly mortgage.

Two years later, my husband and I moved out of our rental in Sta. Rosa, Laguna and moved into "my" unit. I took over mortgage payments and am currently repaying my mom what she paid for the equity. The original loan from PAG-IBIG was Php750,000 with a 30 year fixed interest rate, and the mortgage is pegged at Php5,600/mo. After two years of payments, my mom remitted about Php130,000 to PAG-IBIG, but the balance still stood at Php720,000. After 24 months of payment, only Php30,000 or so of the Php130,000 was applied to the principal, the rest went to interest payment.

And that's why when I assumed paying the loan, I decided to pay an extra Php5,000 on top of the monthly mortgage, since the extra would be automatically applied to the loan balance, thus considerably shortening the mortgage period.

But my husband and I want to move to a house in about 2 years time, and we intend to sell our present condo unit to add to our house fund. Considering that, I'm now thinking twice about paying extra every month because obviously, shortening the mortgage period is no longer a priority.

Our loan balance is now at Php670,000++ and if I continue paying an extra Php5,000 to our mortgage for the next two years, an extra Php120,000 will be deducted from the balance. While if I only pay the mortgage, the bulk of my payments go to interest payment and only about a fourth or a fifth go to the principal.

Here's the scenario:

With extra payments= Php670,000 - Php120,000 - Php30,000= Php520,000
W/o extra payments= Php670,000 - Php30,000= Php640,000

So should I continue paying extra every month, or should I just take that money and add it to my monthly stock/mutual fund budget or emergency funds? Our condo unit is currently priced at Php1.2M and in two years time, it will probably be at Php1.3M-Php1.4M, so the Php80,000 savings seem minimal.

What do you think?


Question: Should I continue making extra home mortgage payments?

About three years ago, my mom bought three condo units and took out a PAG-IBIG loan under my name to fund one of the units (for the other 2 units, she used my sister and dad's PAG-IBIG benefits). The units were leased as dormitories to the students in the nearby school, and the rent payments used to pay the monthly mortgage.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Addicted to Traveling


We have reworked our food budget, ditched our non-energy efficient A/C, regularly sock cash away in our emergency fund and have turned my our back on impulse shopping. But in spite of all that, we still have a long way to go in improving our personal finances, simply because we still haven't owned up to our biggest vice: Traveling.

We don't have a lot of luxuries, but we are not deprived either, so I don't understand why my hubby and I always feel like we deserve to go out of town every other month or so. It's like we have programmed ourselves to believe that we owe it to ourselves to pack our bags and jump in a plane or go on a road trip every chance we can get.

Just this year alone, we went to Biliran, Baguio, Sagada, Cebu, Dumaguete and in a few days, we're off to Puerto Princesa Palawan. Every trip costs us around Php5,000-Php15,000, and that's already a very rough estimate because I would conveniently forget to remember how much we spent on eating out, souvenirs etc. etc. and so forth. I would say that we've spent at least Php60,000 on traveling for the first three quarters of 2012.
That Php60,000 could have been funneled towards our emergency fund, or part of it invested in stocks or mutual funds. Instead, we spent it all on traveling. But do I regret splurging on trips with my hubby? Absolutely not.

Lianne over at Wise Living said it well when she wrote that we should spend not just time, but also money, on our relationships. Traveling and spending time with my hubby will always be worth every peso spent. However, considering our financial goals, I think it's time we re-evaluate our spending, while still satisfying our wanderlust tendencies.

We've been looking at group deals for hotels and we decided that next time we'll try spending a weekend at a hotel within the city for a change (no plane fare to contend with!). After all, our idea of a vacation is a pool, a buffet and lots of sloth-like behavior. Leave the touristy photo-ops to some other couple.

And so while it hurts me to not take advantage of KLM's $888 all-in European promo, I know that all these financial decisions will result to us developing better financial know-how and all that jazz. Besides, I have a feeling that this isn't a one-time offer from KLM (crossing fingers!)

Addicted to Traveling


We have reworked our food budget, ditched our non-energy efficient A/C, regularly sock cash away in our emergency fund and have turned my our back on impulse shopping. But in spite of all that, we still have a long way to go in improving our personal finances, simply because we still haven't owned up to our biggest vice: Traveling.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Rainy Day Funds




I think it's apt to start talking about our emergency funds today because they're supposed to be our buffer against the proverbial rainy day, and look, it's been raining incessantly for the past few days!


Rainy Day Funds


I think it's apt to start talking about our emergency funds today because they're supposed to be our buffer against the proverbial rainy day, and look, it's been raining incessantly for the past few days!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Go Getz It!


My first job was logistically ideal. It was so near my house that I only had to take a tricycle to the highway and then walk to our office. When I passed the bar exams, I had to attend hearings and the like and so I would borrow my mom's car every now and then as needed.

I don't know if she got tired of me borrowing her car, or got fed up with my sister and I squabbling over who would use the car (FYI my sister worked in a pre-school near our house and she could have easily commuted there too, but for some reason, she refused to commute!), or perhaps she saw how my salary went mostly to important stuff like shoes and clothes, but one day, out of the blue, my parents decided to buy me a car.

Just like that, I suddenly had my own car. 

But the story doesn't end there, because my parents only shouldered the downpayment while I was expected to cough up the monthly amortization. So there I was, barely making Php19,000/mo. before taxes, and had to pay Php10,000 monthly for the next 3 years. Eh?

And before you could say goodbye impulse shopping at Alabang Town Center, I had to suddenly become fiscally responsible for my first ever dependent, Toyang the Hyundai Getz starter car. I racked my brains to think of how I could come up with extra income to fund my little gas guzzler, and wouldn't you know it, a few weeks later, a friend came to me with a legal emergency that needed mending ASAP. Of course I charged her the "presyong kaibigan rates" of our law firm, but even with that, I had more than enough to cover the amortization for the next few months.



When the case was finally settled amicably (you're welcome!), I was happy for my friend but honestly dreaded the loss of commission from her account. And then with almost comically perfect timing, I got tapped for a writing job, also with my law firm, which I gamely sunk my teeth into. I made my last car payment around this time last year, which made me sentimental enough to write this post.

While it might seem as if the extra income were gifts handed down by the Universe, they weren't. To be honest, I've always had job offers in one way or another that could have easily augmented my income, but because I was happy where I was and with the little I was earning (simple girls don't need much), I didn't think it was worth the stress to take on a sideline. But having Toyang to feed and look after, made me put on my racket girl outfit and forced me to make things happen.

And that's how life rolls. You're forced out of your comfort zone kicking and screaming and then you get creative because you have to, discovering facets in your personality that you never even knew existed (Aba, masipag pala ako?!). There's nothing quite like the thought of having your car repossessed that can move anyone to action:p 

So while it would be easy to trade up and buy something prettier, I will always look at Toyang the Getz with fondness because she helped to mould me into the fabulous woman I am today. Without Toyang the Getz, I would probably still be spending hours in front of the TV, frying my brain with too much CSI, NCIS and The Food Network. But as it is, I now have to work, work, work, and I must admit, that's the way I have come to like it.

Go Getz It!


My first job was logistically ideal. It was so near my house that I only had to take a tricycle to the highway and then walk to our office. When I passed the bar exams, I had to attend hearings and the like and so I would borrow my mom's car every now and then as needed.

I don't know if she got tired of me borrowing her car, or got fed up with my sister and I squabbling over who would use the car (FYI my sister worked in a pre-school near our house and she could have easily commuted there too, but for some reason, she refused to commute!), or perhaps she saw how my salary went mostly to important stuff like shoes and clothes, but one day, out of the blue, my parents decided to buy me a car.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sun Shorts: 1945

Set in war ravaged Manila, 1945 is a moving tale of survival and how the war drastically affected lives, to put it mildly. This is actually based on real-life events and towards the end, it tells of Sun Life's efforts at locating the beneficiaries of those who perished in the war.

I got teary-eyed while watching the short film. My lolo was part of the guerilla forces during the war and I'm sure my lola felt the same way as Angel Aquino did while waiting for him to come back.


There are no ifs and buts about it, if you have people who depend on you for financial support, life insurance is a must.

Sun Shorts: 1945

Set in war ravaged Manila, 1945 is a moving tale of survival and how the war drastically affected lives, to put it mildly. This is actually based on real-life events and towards the end, it tells of Sun Life's efforts at locating the beneficiaries of those who perished in the war.
 
I got teary-eyed while watching the short film. My lolo was part of the guerilla forces during the war and I'm sure my lola felt the same way as Angel Aquino did while waiting for him to come back.

There are no ifs and buts about it, if you have people who depend on you for financial support, life insurance is a must.