Sunday, October 28, 2012

Planning and Plotting


 
My due date is around middle of May next year and I'm seriously toying with the idea of taking a prolonged maternity leave, as in to take the rest of the year off and just tend to the baby.



Obviously, this leads to a lot of financial issues, first and foremost being, can we survive on a single income? My hubby freelances as a website developer and runs an advertising network. Just like most freelancers, his income teeters between feast and famine. When the projects are bountiful and the payment orders come on time, then we're awash in cash. But on the flipside, delayed payments are also common in his line of work, so when I make our budget, I rely mostly on my income and treat his income as windfall, characterizing it as fun money or something to add to our emergency fund.


It's not difficult to see why I'm hesitant to let go of my stable and regular paying job. However, the thought of spending time with my child seems to make it all worth it.


The way I see it, if I can build up 6 months worth of expenses in our emergency fund, keep my current writing jobs, accept some legal consultation gigs and rework our monthly fun fund to actually pay for bills and their ilk, then this half a year maternity leave might just work, without us having to sell our kidneys in order to pay our mortgage.


In the next few posts I will try to be ruthless in analyzing our spending patterns and see where we can save, because with my prolonged maternity leave, every peso saved will really help.


Wish us luck!

Planning and Plotting


My due date is around middle of May next year and I'm seriously toying with the idea of taking a prolonged maternity leave, as in to take the rest of the year off and just tend to the baby.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Stocks Update: Getting There


This week's stock market performance may have been generally meh, but my personal portfolio was pretty exciting as 2 stocks inched closer towards their buy below price.

SMPH actually surpassed its 14.48 buy below price earlier this week, I think it even reached 14.55 at some point, but then slipped back to 14.24 by the time the market closed for the week.

My hero stock, MEG, on the other hand is slowly but surely making its way towards the 2.50 buy below price, closing at 2.40 for the week.

The thought of actually selling at a profit is giving me chills of excitement! Huzzah!

Bo also issued a buy order for Ayala Corp (AC) and because AC costs Php430++ per share (mahalia!), I advanced my November budget just to be able to buy the minimum board lot of 10 shares. But it was a good move because I bought in at 434.3/share and now it's up to 439/share. I wonder if the buy order was triggered by AC's successful bid over the FTI property? Feel ko yun  yon.

Anyway, I hope either SMPH or MEG reaches its sell price soon because I'm feeling the AC loving and want to scoop up more shares. And by "more" what I really mean is merely 10-20 shares. Hello Ms. Moneybags!

Stocks Update: Getting There


This week's stock market performance may have been generally meh, but my personal portfolio was pretty exciting as 2 stocks inched closer towards their buy below price.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Guest Post on The Wise Living


Last week, I published Lianne's post on a ridiculously simple way to curb spending, now it's my turn to guest post on Lianne blog. Read about the book that set me on the path towards financial independence and hopefully it will inspire you as well.

Guest Post on The Wise Living


Last week, I published Lianne's post on a ridiculously simple way to curb spending, now it's my turn to guest post on Lianne blog. Read about the book that set me on the path towards financial independence and hopefully it will inspire you as well.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

How to Start a FAMI Individual Account (and some thoughts on the Colayco Foundation)



I first learned about First Metro Asset Management Inc. (FAMI) when I attended a half-day seminar conducted by the Colayco Foundation. The speaker said that FAMI-SALEF (Save and Learn Equity Fund) was his mutual funds of choice and we would all do very well to open accounts there as well and take advantage of the high returns. However, he also emphasized how inconvenient it was to open a FAMI-SALEF account. How you'll have to go to the FAMI office in Makati to fill out forms and the same goes if you want to make additional investments. According to him, you'll have to take a day off from work and go to Makati, while you also have to factor in your commuting expenses and how much you will spend for your lunch or dinner during the day, double or triple this if you're bringing someone else with you.


Whew! He almost sold me on joining the Colayco cooperative, since the cooperative will do everything for you, and all you need to do is pay their yearly membership fee. However, a quick check with the FAMI website showed that it was very easy to open an account and make additional investments. It was so easy and the information was available in the website for everyone to access, that I had to wonder how the speaker could lie with impunity. Seriously, if you're going to lie about something, you better make sure that you won't get caught with a quick Google search. And that's why I don't trust the Colayco group anymore.


How to Start a FAMI Individual Account (and some thoughts on the Colayco Foundation)


I first learned about First Metro Asset Management Inc. (FAMI) when I attended a half-day seminar conducted by the Colayco Foundation. The speaker said that FAMI-SALEF (Save and Learn Equity Fund) was his mutual funds of choice and we would all do very well to open accounts there as well and take advantage of the high returns. However, he also emphasized how inconvenient it was to open a FAMI-SALEF account. How you'll have to go to the FAMI office in Makati to fill out forms and the same goes if you want to make additional investments. According to him, you'll have to take a day off from work and go to Makati, while you also have to factor in your commuting expenses and how much you will spend for your lunch or dinner during the day, double or triple this if you're bringing someone else with you.

Whew! He almost sold me on joining the Colayco cooperative, since the cooperative will do everything for you, and all you need to do is pay their yearly membership fee. However, a quick check with the FAMI website showed that it was very easy to open an account and make additional investments. It was so easy and the information was available in the website for everyone to access, that I had to wonder how the speaker could lie with impunity. Seriously, if you're going to lie about something, you better make sure that you won't get caught with a quick Google search. And that's why I don't trust the Colayco group anymore.

Anyway, without any BS, here's how to open a FAMI account

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Spend Less: Calculate Your Salary per Hour






This steak is worth 10 working hours of my salary?!


How often were you plagued with the urge to do impulse shopping?


Or with the sudden call to order for impulse delivery?


How about impulse flight-booking? Have you done this?


Impulse spending is nothing more but a trick done by marketers to trigger your subconscious need for instant gratification. These marketers place signs like “Buy NOW and get one free!”, “Limited offer ONLY!” and the ever-famous “Sale for today ONLY!”


Do you see what these signs have in common? They urge you to buy NOW. Pay TODAY. Pull out your hard-earned cash and give it to them WITHOUT THINKING.


Spend Less: Calculate Your Salary per Hour

 This steak is worth 10 working hours of my salary?!


How often were you plagued with the urge to do impulse shopping?

Or with the sudden call to order for impulse delivery?

How about impulse flight-booking? Have you done this?

Impulse spending is nothing more but a trick done by marketers to trigger your subconscious need for instant gratification. These marketers place signs like “Buy NOW and get one free!”, “Limited offer ONLY!” and the ever-famous “Sale for today ONLY!”

Do you see what these signs have in common? They urge you to buy NOW. Pay TODAY. Pull out your hard-earned cash and give it to them WITHOUT THINKING.

My friend, I understand your woe. I know how you feel! I’ve been a victim of these deceptive tactics before. But those days of playing victim are over. We can stop our impulse spending. We can tame the lion within. We can be the masters of our own souls.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Growing Up Rich


My two grandmothers and grandfather were public school teachers, while my other grandfather was a fiscal (or public prosecutor as we call them now). For the life of me, although they never went on lavish vacations abroad or carried around designer items, I was always under the impression that my grandparents were rich. Money was never an issue with them, except for my Lola Teresa who was an amazing spendthrift and who would seriously consider every purchase she made, from bulbs of onion to ship fares, although I later on found out that this was partly due to her OCD.

We usually never talked about money, probably because there was barely just enough of it to go by. But I never ever felt poor or deprived when I was with them. Maybe it's because I always felt loved and was raised in the "let kids run wild until they get tired enough to drop straight into bed" school of thinking.

My Lolo Ange's generosity knew no bounds and we would run to him when Lola Teresa refused to give us 5p for candy. And instead of 5p, he would brandish a 20p bill and give it to us with much pomp and pageantry. Oh the riches!

I also thought that my paternal grandparents were rich because of the fact that they had a beach resort. But that beach resort was really just a few cottages and rooms for rent which provided work for whoever wanted work and acted as a venue for our family reunions. I guess I thought they were loaded because they sold ice cream and we could get as much popsicles and pints as we wanted with Lolo Mesyong's permission, as long as Lola Pesing wasn't looking.

Suffice to say that that beach resort wasn't raking in loads of money either:p

So why did I grow up thinking that my grandparents were rich? Simply because they were happy and content, and in my young mind, I thought that you needed to be rich in order to attain happiness. But clearly that wasn't so. My grandparents lived on government pensions but were the happiest people I knew, and it's probably because they lived their lives well with honesty and integrity, trusting in the innate goodness of man and in God's wisdom. 

From them, I learned that your name is the only thing of value that you can pass on to your descendants. That respect is currency that not even MVP's billions can buy. Though they are gone, I continue to follow Lolo Mesyong when he told us to do what you say you will do. I will always remember Lola Teresa for continuing to make empanada even if her fingers ached from arthritis, simply because we begged her to make them. I pluck courage from Lolo Ange's constant pronouncements that I was the "Pinaka bright! Pinaka maganda!" of all (even if this was also his constant spiel with my other cousins:p). And I am inspired by Lola Pesing's quiet strength and unwavering faith.

Happy teachers day Lolo and Lola (times two)! Please put in a good word for us up there.

Growing Up Rich


My two grandmothers and grandfather were public school teachers, while my other grandfather was a fiscal (or public prosecutor as we call them now). For the life of me, although they never went on lavish vacations abroad or carried around designer items, I was always under the impression that my grandparents were rich. Money was never an issue with them, except for my Lola Teresa who was an amazing spendthrift and who would seriously consider every purchase she made, from bulbs of onion to ship fares, although I later on found out that this was partly due to her OCD.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Frugal Honey on ANC On the Money


When Salve Duplito tweeted a question about lending money to friends or family, I responded by saying that it was usually a big mistake and look, I even wrote about it here and sent her a link to this post (epal much?). A few hours later, ANC On the Money asked if they could quote portions of my post in their show. I asked for the terms of the exposure and my talent fee, oh what the heck, I said yes in a heartbeat!

We don't get ANC on our cable and so I had no clue if the episode actually aired until a reader sent me a link to the episode.


That day's guest said that the odds of only 1 out of 3 paying a debt is fairly normal and my mistake was in failing to conduct due diligence before lending money to my friends. I actually  didn't know what to make of that because how exactly do you conduct a due diligence study on your friends?

With the one who lost her job, I really had no inkling that she would renege on her debt. She would always pay her share of the tab during our night outs and never tried to mooch money off me, so I honestly had no clue that that would happen. But looking back now, maybe I should have made them sign an undertaking, even a one pager, just to make the deal more official.

As for the other one, he really was just forgetful and in fairness, he did pay me when I demanded the whole amount.

Anyway, lessons have been learned and I am still not convinced that being a guarantor is a good idea.

Frugal Honey on ANC On the Money


When Salve Duplito tweeted a question about lending money to friends or family, I responded by saying that it was usually a big mistake and look, I even wrote about it here and sent her a link to this post (epal much?). A few hours later, ANC On the Money asked if they could quote portions of my post in their show. I asked for the terms of the exposure and my talent fee, oh what the heck, I said yes in a heartbeat!