Friday, December 27, 2013

My 2014 Goals


In no particular order whatsoever, this is my to-do list for 2014:
  • Reduce mortgage by at least Php100,000.00 (current amount is Php629,406.89)
  • Start a travel fund for our 5th wedding anniversary trip to Italy (goal is Php80,000)
  • Become a registered financial planner
  • Finish a 5k race
  • Finish a 10k race
  • Be more consistent in using social media to promote blogs
And that's that. Nothing like coming up with a short and doable list to start the year right.

Please be nice to all of us 2014! No more Yolandas and Janets thankyouverymuch.

My 2014 Goals


In no particular order whatsoever, this is my to-do list for 2014:
  • Reduce mortgage by at least Php100,000.00 (current amount is Php629,406.89)
  • Start a travel fund for our 5th wedding anniversary trip to Italy (goal is Php80,000)
  • Become a registered financial planner
  • Finish a 5k race
  • Finish a 10k race
  • Be more consistent in using social media to promote blogs
And that's that. Nothing like coming up with a short and doable list to start the year right.

Please be nice to all of us 2014! No more Yolandas and Janets thankyouverymuch.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Looking Back on My 2013 Financial Resolutions


To be perfectly honest, I almost forgot that I made financial resolutions for 2013 (read post here), but I'm happy to say that despite my forgetfulness, I accomplished all of my resolutions for the year... to some degree.


Here are the resolutions I wrote almost a year ago vis-a-vis my notes on their status:


Looking Back on My 2013 Financial Resolutions


To be perfectly honest, I almost forgot that I made financial resolutions for 2013 (read post here), but I'm happy to say that despite my forgetfulness, I accomplished all of my resolutions for the year... to some degree.

Here are the resolutions I wrote almost a year ago vis-a-vis my notes on their status:

Friday, December 20, 2013

How I Demolished My Credit Card Debt




I've talked in passing about paying off my credit card debt a few years back, but now it's time to get to the nitty-gritty, to spill the details on how I said sayonara to debt once and for all. Let's talk numbers:




  • Number of credit cards = 3

  • Total amount of debt = Php150,000 more or less

  • Total amount paid = Php200,000 more or less

  • Time it took = 5-6 months


How I Demolished My Credit Card Debt


I've talked in passing about paying off my credit card debt a few years back, but now it's time to get to the nitty-gritty, to spill the details on how I said sayonara to debt once and for all. Let's talk numbers:
  • Number of credit cards = 3
  • Total amount of debt = Php150,000 more or less
  • Total amount paid = Php200,000 more or less
  • Time it took = 5-6 months

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My Financial Blueprint


I read somewhere that 90% of our values are shaped by our environment, with 99% of that 90% shaped by our parents. So you know how the whiners keep pointing to their parents as the source of their misery? They do have a point to some extent, but once you get past a certain age, whining about your lot in life without doing anything to change it will no longer cut it. Suck it up and accept the hand you've been dealt with and then use that as your ground zero to create the life you want.


My financial education was very typical Pinoy, with some minor exceptions. My parents were not born into riches, had to work for a living but enjoyed some perks that they were always thankful and gracious with. They never really lectured us on money or talked about it in passing, unless it was my mom worrying out loud like clockwork on how she was going to come up with the cash to pay our tuition fee, the two mortgages on the house, car payments etc. etc. And although they never said anything, when it comes to money matters, these are what I picked up from my parents.



My Financial Blueprint


I read somewhere that 90% of our values are shaped by our environment, with 99% of that 90% shaped by our parents. So you know how the whiners keep  pointing to their parents as the source of their misery? They do have a point to some extent, but once you get past a certain age, whining about your lot in life without doing anything to change it will no longer cut it. Suck it up and accept the hand you've been dealt with and then use that as your ground zero to create the life you want.

My financial education was very typical Pinoy, with some minor exceptions. My parents were not born into riches, had to work for a living but enjoyed some perks that they were always thankful and gracious with. They never really lectured us on money or talked about it in passing, unless it was my mom worrying out loud like clockwork on how she was going to come up with the cash to pay our tuition fee, the two mortgages on the house, car payments etc. etc.  And although they never said anything, when it comes to money matters, these are what I picked up from my parents.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Status and the Credit Card


My credit card company (RCBC) surprised me with a new gold Visa card a few weeks back just because. Not only is the card prettier than my drab, blue classic Mastercard, it also supposedly has a higher status associated with it.

Today, I received notice that my fogey, run of the mill Mastercard can be upgraded to a gold Mastercard because I'm such a swell person. And just to entice me to make the switch, the gold Mastercard has the following features and benefits:

  1. Flexible Rewards Program
  2. Spend Monitor
  3. Spend Analyzer
  4. eStatement via Email Facility
  5. Dining-on-Demand Food Delivery Service
And the best part is that I will be paying the same annual membership fee that I have been paying for my classic card for three (3) years! The note also emphasized that the gold card has a higher status than my existing, boring classic Mastercard.

Three things:

First, I already enjoy all those enumerated advantages with my classic Mastercard. They're not actually exclusive to a gold card.

Second, I have never paid an annual membership in the six years or so that I've had a credit card. The two surefire ways to having the fee waived is to call your bank and: (1) Threaten to have the card canceled (but this will only work if you don't have an existing balance); or (2) Charge the agreed upon amount the following month (in my experience it's usually Php3,000, or twice the amount of the annual fee).

Third, since when is buying things on credit considered a status symbol?

As always, the marketing mavens and spin doctors weaved their magic to transform what is essentially debt into something to aspire for.

Aspirational.* I first heard of it when I did support work for a brand and I was instructed to craft copies that were aspirational. I was basically tasked to create a hunger for the brand by implying a lifestyle associated with it. It was BS really.

So to my dear, dear bank. Thank you very much for the offer, but I'm perfectly happy with my classic Mastercard. However, I would appreciate a higher credit limit to accommodate that round trip ticket to Europe that I've been dreaming about. Thanks in advance!



*In consumer marketing, an aspirational brand (or product) means a large segment of its exposure audience wishes to own it, but for economical reasons cannot. (source)

Status and the Credit Card


My credit card company (RCBC) surprised me with a new gold Visa card a few weeks back just because. Not only is the card prettier than my drab, blue classic Mastercard, it also supposedly has a higher status associated with it.

Today, I received notice that my fogey, run of the mill Mastercard can be upgraded to a gold Mastercard because I'm such a swell person. And just to entice me to make the switch, the gold Mastercard has the following features and benefits:

Friday, November 15, 2013

Regrouping

I received news today that my freelance writing gig might be scrapped, it's not yet definite but my editor gave me the heads up, just so that I won't be caught unaware.



The income from that gig is where I source my investment and travel funds from. It's essentially a healthy buffer that allows me the freedom to not account for every little item bought and even splurge on a fancy meal or a new pair of shoes every now and then. But it also takes a lot of time, time that I would rather now spend with my son or puttering around the house and kitchen.




My income from my day job accounts for 100% of our expenses, with still a little wiggle room leftover because we don't really have a champagne and caviar lifestyle, while my husband's earnings as a freelance web developer is added to our savings and investments. With my writing gig gone, we have to be more careful with our spending and impulse purchases have to be a thing of the past. Challenge accepted!



I'm also now thinking twice about getting my brother's unit because I expected my writing gig to cover that extra expense (i.e. monthly amortization and installment payment of the lump sum to my parents). Besides, the extra space will just seem like a curse if we're always overdrawn every month trying to pay for it.



And so what I thought were concrete plans are now up in the air once again. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother making plans when something always happens to shake them up. I think it's because I just like making checklists. Yeah, that's it. Checklists rule!

Regrouping

I received news today that my freelance writing gig might be scrapped, it's not yet definite but my editor gave me the heads up, just so that I won't be caught unaware.

The income from that gig is where I source my investment and travel funds from. It's essentially a healthy buffer that allows me the freedom to not account for every little item bought and even splurge on a fancy meal or a new pair of shoes every now and then. But it also takes a lot of time, time that I would rather now spend with my son or puttering around the house and kitchen.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Reader Question: What Investment Product Do You Recommend?

Hi Atty. Jill!


I stumbled upon your blog through Lianne's blog, and I've been backreading through your blog. Your journey to financial stability and freedom is truly inspiring. You present the struggles and rewards of frugality and investing in a very relatable manner.


I am a 20-something government employee, and I would like to start investing, but I don't know where to start, or which investment product is right for me. Right now, I am thinking of two options: (1) opening an EIP account at CitiSecOnline, and (2) opening a balanced fund from a reputable bank (BPI probably, because that's where I bank, but I'm also trying to explore BDO's EIP). I am also considering FAMI-SALEF since I read it in your blog. Which can you recommend? I hope you can help me. I don't have the technical knowledge for trading, but I have a bit of an idea about financial management through online articles and free seminars.


Kth


Reader Question: What Investment Product Do You Recommend?

Hi Atty. Jill!

I stumbled upon your blog through Lianne's blog, and I've been backreading through your blog. Your journey to financial stability and freedom is truly inspiring. You present the struggles and rewards of frugality and investing in a very relatable manner.

I am a 20-something government employee, and I would like to start investing, but I don't know where to start, or which investment product is right for me. Right now, I am thinking of two options: (1) opening an EIP account at CitiSecOnline, and (2) opening a balanced fund from a reputable bank (BPI probably, because that's where I bank, but I'm also trying to explore BDO's EIP). I am also considering FAMI-SALEF since I read it in your blog. Which can you recommend? I hope you can help me. I don't have the technical knowledge for trading, but I have a bit of an idea about financial management through online articles and free seminars.

Thanks in advance and more power.

Regards,
Kth

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Honing your Skillset

A few days ago, I was asked if I wanted to handle the online marketing for a new local skin care brand. The caller said that the duties and expectation were pretty much what I used to do when I handled the Facebook account of a different brand, except that this time, instead of just Facebook, I was also expected to handle the Twitter and Instagram accounts, create memes, come up with periodic content plans and brainstorm on different marketing campaigns.

Whoa! Talk about a changing landscape!

I remember when I had that Facebook gig about two years ago, Twitter as a marketing tool was just gaining ground and Facebook was the way to go. Now, it seems as if Facebook is becoming a place where your parents and grandparents hang out, and Instagram and Twitter are where the cool kids congregate. All of this happened in less than two years, which, when you think about it, is considered a lifetime in the fast moving internet world.

This had me thinking about how important it is to keep on educating yourself, to learn a new skill or hone an existing one that will significantly ramp up your desirability as an employee or pave the way to becoming your own boss.

If I were to pursue a career in the judiciary, there are regular mandatory seminars that ensure that you are aware of the new laws, jurisprudence etc. Same goes if I pursue private practice, with our Mandatory Continuing Legal Education requirement every two years.

But if I switch to Plan B, my legal background becomes a mere asterisk and I'll have to arm myself with a whole new different skillset. There's also the possibility of setting up shop for myself and leaving the comforts of being employed. 

It's just too much excitement for my brain (and heart!) to process at the moment, so I continue to plan and work at my dreams, taking baby steps to ensure that I'll be suitably ready to make the jump, if I do make the jump.

Honing your Skillset

A few days ago, I was asked if I wanted to handle the online marketing for a new local skin care brand. The caller said that the duties and expectation were pretty much what I used to do when I handled the Facebook account of a different brand, except that this time, instead of just Facebook, I was also expected to handle the Twitter and Instagram accounts, create memes, come up with periodic content plans and brainstorm on different marketing campaigns.

Whoa! Talk about a changing landscape!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Freedom to be Inspired

Aside from financial security and the perks attendant to it, one of the reasons I strive for financial independence is so that I can finally be inspired. 

Right now, I can say that I like what I do and I like how it gives me the freedom to pursue my other passions, but it just doesn't inspire me. I've always wanted a mentor, someone to look up to and be my peg for my career path and, unfortunately, I have yet to encounter that person. Or maybe it's because I grew up surrounded with exemplary public servants (i.e. my lolo the public prosecutor/ default mayor, my ninong the judge, my grandparents the public school teachers and my father the bureau director) who took to heart their vows of honest and capable service, that I find myself dismayed that I haven't found anyone similar in six years of working.


I want to be inspired and so in my next career move, I will take my time in looking for an organization that will have me jumping out of bed every morning, raring to go to work and face the challenges ahead. I want to learn from someone who walks the walk and talks the talk, someone who gets things done and done splendidly.


I want to be inspired and I am making myself financially secure so that I don't have to pounce on the next job opportunity just because of monetary considerations. When I move on career-wise, you can bet that it's because I want and I choose to be there.


That's why it's important for me to be financially secure.

But rereading what I wrote, I just realized that I've had more than enough inspiration than most. After all, not a lot of people have had the privilege of growing up surrounded with stellar examples. I remember a professor in law school telling the class about my uncle, who used to be his classmate: "Sandy is a great lawyer, but an even greater human being."

:)

And so maybe I should stop actively looking for inspiration and let things be, as my quest for perfection might just end up disappointing me. Basta, a job being just a job is no longer acceptable. I don't want a job, I want a vocation.

Freedom to be Inspired

Aside from financial security and the perks attendant to it, one of the reasons I strive for financial independence is so that I can finally be inspired. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Parking Woes

A car is not just a car, it is a gas-guzzling, maintenance requiring and insurance needing thing that is sadly essential in my day to day existence. Living in a condominium complex, our car needs a parking space and that also brings forth its own set of expenses.

When we moved to our condominium unit almost three years ago, we rented a parking space right outside the complex and paid Php3,500/mo for a six month contract. We were then able to rent a slot inside the covered parking area for Php4,000/mo for a one year contract. After one year, we moved to another parking slot, and are now paying Php3,000/mo., again for a one year contract.

When I inquired about a parking slot at the then newly opened parking building, I was aghast at the prices. Seriously, Php475,000 for a parking slot?! I expressed my surprise in Facebook and almost everyone else reacted the same way, except my real estate agent friends who remarked that it was normal for parking slots to be priced that high and Php475,000 was even a steal, considering how much other condominium developers price their own parking slots.

Our developer put up a five story parking building almost two years ago and up to now, only the second floor is occupied with the other three floors still vacant. It actually makes sense since a good chunk of the condo owners rent out their units as boarding houses for the students in the nearby school and thus don't see the need to buy a parking slot. I don't know what the exact statistic is, but every weekend or holidays, the whole place becomes practically deserted with all the students gone.

So now my issue is, do we continue renting a parking slot or do we cough up the cash and buy a slot? With the upcoming renovations, we'll be staying here for at least another five years and if we continue renting a parking slot at our current rate, we'd be spending Php180,000 plus the Php84,000 we already spent for the last two years of renting a parking slot. Basically, for 7 years of renting a parking slot, we'd be spending  Php264,000. If we continue renting a parking slot at the same rate, we would be paying more or less Php475,000 after 13 years. 

I don't think we'll be staying here for 13 years, so maybe renting is the best alternative after all. Besides, all of our extra cash is targeted towards buying out my brother's share of the next door unit and the upcoming renovations. Thus, all this talk about buying a parking slot is purely speculative.

Writing that out and crunching the numbers made me realize that our status quo is still the best option for now.

Parking Woes

A car is not just a car, it is a gas-guzzling, maintenance requiring and insurance needing thing that is sadly essential in my day to day existence. Living in a condominium complex, our car needs a parking space and that also brings forth its own set of expenses.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

How to Reactivate your PAG-IBIG Membership

My husband recently emailed PAG-IBIG to inquire about reactivating his membership since he stopped his contributions years ago when he ceased to become an employee. I honestly didn't expect anything to come out of it since, you know, this was a government agency, but I had to swallow my skepticism because PAG-IBIG replied not just once, but both times my husband sent it an email!


Amazing!


Kudos to the present CEO Atty. Darlene Berberabe (who was my professor back in law school) for whipping this agency back in shape and also for initiating the case against the mega estafador- hiding because he's hella guilty-Delfin Lee.


Anyway, I have pasted the email response to my husband and it contains the different documentary requirements for membership and reactivating your PAG-IBIG membership.


You're welcome :)


How to Reactivate your PAG-IBIG Membership

My husband recently emailed PAG-IBIG to inquire about reactivating his membership since he stopped his contributions years ago when he ceased to become an employee. I honestly didn't expect anything to come out of it since, you know, this was a government agency, but I had to swallow my skepticism because PAG-IBIG replied not just once, but both times my husband sent it an email!

Amazing!

Kudos to the present CEO Atty. Darlene Berberabe (who was my professor back in law school) for whipping this agency back in shape and also for initiating the case against the mega estafador- hiding because he's hella guilty-Delfin Lee.

Anyway, I have pasted the email response to my husband and it contains the different documentary requirements for membership and reactivating your PAG-IBIG membership.

You're welcome :)

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Necessity of Taking Out a GSIS Loan

Ok, so there's really no need to get a GSIS loan, or any loan for that matter, especially if you don't need it. But more than half a dozen people have prodded me to take out a GSIS loan because if I don't, someone else will supposedly take one out in my name! How true is that? The fact that more than one person has told me the same thing means that there must be some grain of truth there right? Or maybe it's just a case of double (or triple) hearsay perpetuated into a truth because it's been repeated over and over again?


So confusing.


The Necessity of Taking Out a GSIS Loan

Ok, so there's really no need to get a GSIS loan, or any loan for that matter, specially if you don't need it. But more than half a dozen people have prodded me to take out a GSIS loan because if I don't, someone else will supposedly take one out in my name! How true is that? The fact that more than one person has told me the same thing means that there must be some grain of truth there right? Or maybe it's just a case of double (or triple) hearsay perpetuated into a truth because it's been repeated over and over again?

So confusing.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Some Stock Updates

Things have been pretty exciting in the local stock market, with a bear entrenched firmly in our midst. My personal portfolio has been nothing but red for the past few weeks, so much so that I've become desensitized to seeing the decimation of my profits. I no longer get teary eyed when I look at my portfolio and am just happy to have my capital relatively intact.


Some Stock Updates

Things have been pretty exciting in the local stock market, with a bear entrenched firmly in our midst. My personal portfolio has been nothing but red for the past few weeks, so much so that I've become desensitized to seeing the decimation of my profits. I no longer get teary eyed when I look at my portfolio and am just happy to have my capital relatively intact. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

BPI More Fun Prepaid Card

I signed up for a BPI Visa More Fun card because it was cute and I needed a visa card to buy tickets to Wicked, which I planned on paying by installment. Unfortunately, in my happiness at getting my hands on a Visa card, I neglected to see that it was a prepaid card or a debit card. Goodbye paying for tickets on installment basis!


Now I'm thinking twice about picking up the card because I really don't need a debit card or clutter up my wallet with another card, besides, the prepaid card costs Php250 and that's Php250 too much for something I won't be using.


Anyway, while I don't need a prepaid card in my life, I can imagine that it would be useful in the following instances:


BPI More Fun Prepaid Card


I signed up for a BPI Visa More Fun card because it was cute and I needed a visa card to buy tickets to Wicked, which I planned on paying by installment. Unfortunately, in my happiness at getting my hands on a Visa card, I neglected to see that it was a prepaid card or a debit card. Goodbye paying for tickets on installment basis!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pause

I couldn't sleep once I settled back in bed at 1am, after puttering around to do some chores while the baby slept through what remained of his midnight feed. I found myself lying on my side just staring at the baby while he slept, with my hubby snoring at my back.


I took in how his stick-straight lashes rested on his cheeks and how he had one chubby clenched fist under his chin, and I knew then that I would do anything for my little man.


This time last year, I was barely a month pregnant and still couldn't quite believe that it was finally happening. Fast forward to today and I have a drooling, smiling and kicking baby to wrestle with.


I don't really know where this post is going or if it has anything to do with personal finance, but for what it's worth, I never felt richer than I did last night.

Pause

I couldn't sleep once I settled back in bed at 1am, after puttering around to do some chores while the baby slept through what remained of his midnight feed. I found myself lying on my side just staring at the baby while he slept, with my hubby snoring at my back.

I took in how his stick-straight lashes rested on his cheeks and how he had one chubby clenched fist under his chin, and I knew then that I would do anything for my little man.

This time last year, I was barely a month pregnant and still couldn't quite believe that it was finally happening. Fast forward to today and I have a drooling, smiling and kicking baby to wrestle with.

I don't really know where this post is going or if it has anything to do with personal finance, but for what it's worth, I never felt richer than I did last night.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Momma Needs a Home Makeover!


 For the record, this is not a sponsored post, but I couldn't help but write about RCBC's ongoing "Making Your Life Better" campaign because one of the grand prizes* is a home makeover with Real Living's Hannah Acab Faustino herself designing the makeover! Ack. Let me just die in sheer ecstasy right now.

I want. I want. I want.

The mechanics are really simple too because every single receipt purchase of Php1,500 or US$40 is equivalent to one raffle entry. More often than not, I really do charge our grocery and gas expenses to my credit card since it's more convenient than carrying around cash. I reckon that I'll be eligible for 5-6 raffle entries every month with our current spending history and maybe 1-2 more extra raffle entries from other expenses. That home makeover is definitely mine.

Promo period is from September 02 to December 31, 2013 and is open to pre-selected existing Principal and Supplementary cardholders of RCBC Bankard, whose accounts are active and in good credit standing. 


* The other grand prize is a Dubai vacation (whut?!) and the minor prizes are 20 designer watches 

Momma Needs a Home Makeover!


 For the record, this is not a sponsored post, but I couldn't help but write about RCBC's ongoing "Making Your Life Better" campaign because one of the grand prizes* is a home makeover with Real Living's Hannah Acab Faustino herself designing the makeover! Ack. Let me just die in sheer ecstasy right now.

I want. I want. I want.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wedding Talk

My second post is up on the Brighter Life website! This time around, I wrote about my takeaways on our many wedding planning booboos. Read about it here and please don't judge me based on my confessions, I promise that I'm no longer as naive and/or financially reckless as I used to be back then.


A very pleasant surprise that landed in my inbox the other day was seeing my name among Brighter Life's must-read personal finance blogs! I swear I was so thrilled to be included in that post that I showed it right away to my husband but I haven't announced it on Facebook yet, kasi baka magpalibre lang ang friends ko...


Just kidding!


Honestly, I suddenly got shy about this little blog being a must-read because people might start expecting relevant posts from this side of the interweb, when all it's really good for is my random musings on all things money related.


Anyway, I'll try not to let fame affect me...nuhks naman!


Thanks to the Brighter Life Team for believing in whatever it is I'm doing with this blog!



Wedding Talk

My second post is up on the Brighter Life website! This time around, I wrote about my takeaways on our many wedding planning booboos. Read about it here and please don't judge me based on my confessions, I promise that I'm no longer as naive and/or financially reckless as I used to be back then.

A very pleasant surprise that landed in my inbox the other day was seeing my name among Brighter Life's must-read personal finance blogs! I swear I was so thrilled to be included in that post that I showed it right away to my husband but I haven't announced it on Facebook yet, kasi baka magpalibre lang ang friends ko...

Just kidding!

Honestly, I suddenly got shy about this little blog being a must-read because people might start expecting relevant posts from this side of the interweb, when all it's really good for is my random musings on all things money related.

Anyway, I'll try not to let fame affect me...nuhks naman!

Thanks to the Brighter Life Team for believing in whatever it is I'm doing with this blog!


Sunday, August 25, 2013

52 Week Money Challenge

I loved the idea of the 52 week saving challenge when I first read about it over at Pinas for Good. I liked the concept of saving small amounts each week and then using the amount collected at the end of 52 weeks to buy something for yourself. The deal is to spend your stash at something undeniably non-essential and irresponsible, as your reward for being good and practical the whole year long (or at least that's the rule I'm following for myself).


It took me a week or two to kickstart my 52 week challenge because I was looking for the right motivation. And I have finally found my motivation in a personalized necklace from Three Sisters Jewelry.




52 Week Money Challenge

I loved the idea of the 52 week saving challenge when I first read about it over at Pinas for Good. I liked the concept of saving small amounts each week and then using the amount collected at the end of 52 weeks to buy something for yourself. The deal is to spend your stash at something undeniably non-essential and irresponsible, as your reward for being good and practical the whole year long (or at least that's the rule I'm following for myself).

It took me a week or two to kickstart my 52 week challenge because I was looking for the right motivation. And I have finally found my motivation in a personalized necklace from Three Sisters Jewelry.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Relief

My three month old son can now lift his head a little longer everyday and I joyfully lap up his every coo, marveling at how such a little person can bring so much happiness by just being, so watching the news these past two days has been nothing short of heartbreaking.

It seems as if we've had nothing but tragedy visit our country since the weekend rolled in, what with Typhoon Maring and the collision of two boats in Cebu. While being in the Philippines means weathering countless typhoons and, sadly, maritime disasters, this is the first time that I'm experiencing these as a parent. And as I watch mothers and fathers searching desperately for their children in their submerged houses or claiming a small wrapped body from a row of body bags, I hug my Ace a little tighter and say a prayer for those who can no longer do the same with their child.

But feeling lucky is not enough. This is the time to lend a hand and bring out your wallet to help those who were not as fortunate.



The Typhoon Maring victims need our help now. Please click on the link above the photo for the different ways on how you can send your donations to those who need it. Or in case you missed the link, here it is again.

Stay safe everyone! The rain hasn't let up, so if you don't really need to be at work, best to stay indoors.

* P.S. The Marshmallow Baby Online Store giveaway is still ongoing! Be sure to send in your entry to get a chance to win a Php1,000 GC.

Relief

My three month old son can now lift his head a little longer everyday and I joyfully lap up his every coo, marveling at how such a little person can bring so much happiness by just being, so watching the news these past two days has been nothing short of heartbreaking.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Goal Keeping

I'm not sure if anybody noticed but I decided to do away with publishing our monthly household budget altogether. First, it was getting to be too tedious to come up with a chart and second, the months of keeping tabs has revealed that our restaurant expenses is what sorely needs improvement, while all the other categories are fairly predictable. Besides, there was really no ultimate goal like paying off debts that kept me motivated enough to continue the monthly budget (what a problem to have no?).


What I do want to add to the site though is a counter of some kind to track our progress with building up our emergency and house equity funds. Maybe I'll get those thermometer looking counters? What exactly are those called anyway?


So far I have squirreled away 68.5% of our target amount for our emergency fund, while the house equity fund is still at a paltry 6%. We want to move to a bigger place in 2-3 years time so I guess there goes my Italian honeymoon fantasy for our fifth wedding anniversary? Oh well, moving into a new house is also a great anniversary gift :)

 

Goal Keeping

I'm not sure if anybody noticed but I decided to do away with publishing our monthly household budget altogether. First, it was getting to be too tedious to come up with a chart and second, the months of keeping tabs has revealed that our restaurant expenses is what sorely needs improvement, while all the other categories are fairly predictable. Besides, there was really no ultimate goal like paying off debts that kept me motivated enough to continue the monthly budget (what a problem to have no?).

What I do want to add to the site though is a counter of some kind to track our progress with building up our emergency and house equity funds. Maybe I'll get those thermometer looking counters? What exactly are those called anyway?

So far I have squirreled away 68.5% of our target amount for our emergency fund, while the house equity fund is still at a paltry 6%. We want to move to a bigger place in 2-3 years time so I guess there goes my Italian honeymoon fantasy for our fifth wedding anniversary? Oh well, moving into a new house is also a great anniversary gift :)


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Marriage & Money


Saturday is usually my day for sleeping in and puttering around the house, but last Saturday saw the hubs and I making a quick dash to my parents' place to drop off the baby with Yaya Sheila and then heading off to BGC Taguig (or Makati?:p) for the Sun Life sponsored seminar Marriage & Money.


It was my first time to attend a seminar by Chinkee Tan and let me tell you that that guy is fuhneee! Truth be told, his material wasn't exactly groundbreaking stuff and you can easily find the same information anywhere, but his delivery was so entertaining. Must have been from his Hawi Boys training during his younger years.



I don't have the complete list because I misplaced my notes (naks, serious!), but I think every couple should heed Chinkee's simple money rules for husbands and wives. The rules as I remember them are: (1) Do not hide extra income from your spouse; (2) Do not hide debt from your spouse; (3) Consult with each other on money matters etc. These are actually very basic precepts that stem from respecting your spouse, yet a lot of us forget these and that's when trouble ensues. 


The quadrant of wealth is also something that deserves attention. The quadrant goes: Create -> Handle -> Grow -> Protect. First step is to create money. Second is to handle money (sorry but I can't remember now how Chinkee explained that part). Afterwards, grow your money through investments and then protect yourself and your family with life and health insurance. Easy-peasy.



My hubby was there primarily to indulge me, since he knows I like this kind of stuff, but after the seminar, I was surprised when he suggested that we sign up for one of Chinkee Tan's full day seminar! Looks like somebody really enjoyed himself and wanted some more.


The good news is, Marriage & Money will have a repeat on September 28, 2013, same time (10am to 12 noon) and same venue, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Net Lima Building 26th St, BGC Taguig City. You can register through brighterlifeph@eventbrite.com. Seats are limited so be smart and act now. I promise you won't be disappointed and you'll get a free breakfast set pa with your choice of coffee! Yum.


Thanks Sun Life!

Marriage & Money


Saturday is usually my day for sleeping in and puttering around the house, but last Saturday saw the hubs and I making a quick dash to my parents' place to drop off the baby with Yaya Sheila and then heading off to BGC Taguig (or Makati?:p) for the Sun Life sponsored seminar Marriage & Money.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Of PDCs and Unsuccesful Sales

My mother has been trying to sell her condo unit beside ours for the past few months and there have been several inquiries but no serious buyers, until recently when I met with a newly married couple who had to move out ASAP from their rented place.


The couple liked the unit and requested that I furnish them a copy of the condo title to facilitate their bank loan. However, the bank would only loan them 80% of the assessed value, so they requested if they could just turn over the loan proceeds to my mother and then pay off the 20% directly to her through installment.


I said that this was not possible because the only way that the bank would release the loan was if the title was turned over to the couple and the property mortgaged to the bank, no way would my mom agree to the transfer of ownership if the property has not been fully paid. I mean really, who would agree to that right?


Of PDCs and Unsuccesful Sales

My mother has been trying to sell her condo unit beside ours for the past few months and there have been several inquiries but no serious buyers, until recently when I met with a newly married couple who had to move out ASAP from their rented place. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Kilig!

I couldn't stop grinning like a ninny when I saw Brighter Life's Contributors page, because I was on the same page with my local personal finance heroes! Fitz Villafuerte and Randell Tiongson have helped and educated so many Filipinos with their blogs and seminars, and they seem like genuinely nice guys as well.

And I'm not just saying this because I'm a contributor, but I really do enjoy reading Brighter Life's articles. I know the hard work that went into the site (Hi Tara!) and I'm happy that it all paid off in the end, resulting in an easy to navigate and interesting site that will definitely help a lot of people who want to know more about personal finance.

I'm so glad that talking about money is no longer frowned upon.

Kilig!

I couldn't stop grinning like a ninny when I saw Brighter Life's Contributors page, because I was on the same page with my local personal finance heroes! Fitz Villafuerte and Randell Tiongson have helped and educated so many Filipinos with their blogs and seminars, and they seem like genuinely nice guys as well.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I'm Part of Brighter Life!



So now I can finally announce that I was tapped to be part of Sun Life's writers for their blog Brighter Life. My first post (Pregnant Pause: How I Knew We Were Ready to Get Pregnant) came out recently and you can read it here. Click! Click!

I'm Part of Brighter Life!



So now I can finally announce that I was tapped to be part of Sun Life's writers for their blog Brighter Life. My first post (Pregnant Pause: How I Knew We Were Ready to Get Pregnant) came out recently and you can read it here. Click! Click!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Emergency Fund = Hello Cebu!

Our July budget is pretty much shot with our surprise Cebu trip to visit my ninong in the hospital, but thank goodness that those expenses are covered by either our emergency funds or the cash in my work ATM which I never got around to withdrawing during my maternity leave.

I remember when my lolo died two years ago. It was a few days before holy week and so ticket prices were astronomical! As in a round-trip ticket to Tacloban was Php8,000 from the usual Php3,000-Php4,000. We didn't have Php16,000 lying around that time and I was wary about incurring credit card debt after just wiping them out, so Gary ended up staying in Manila while I went to Biliran with my family for my lolo's burial.

Fast forward to recent times and I didn't think twice about charging our tickets to Cebu because I knew that we had it covered. For the nth time, thank goodness for emergency funds.

Friday, July 12, 2013

July Budget and Goals



It's now safe to talk about last month's mysterious Miscellaneous expense because the party we were planning for my mom's 60th birthday is no longer pushing through.



For the past two months or so, my family has been putting together a surprise party for my mom. Every sib, save for the youngest, was to contribute Php10,000 for the party expenses and my share was supposed to be June's miscellaneous expense. Unfortunately, my mom's brother-in-law suffered a heart attack two days ago so the Cebu peeps will no longer be able to come. And knowing that my mom might go to Cebu if his condition worsens, my dad decided to just scrap the party since if her sisters won't be able to make it, then there's no reason to hold the party.


True enough,  my mom's in Cebu now to visit her sister and brother-in-law, and the hubby and I are also going to Cebu on Monday after our son's baptism on Sunday. Incidentally, Ace's baptism costs will be lumped under this month's Miscellaneous expense together with the furniture and bedsheet we bought last week, while the airline tickets will be settled on August since I charged them to my credit card.


Back to the party. My sister and I paid Php20,000 as downpayment and we will be able to get Php10,000 of that back since the cancellation was done more than three days before the party. The remaining Php10,000 will be considered as some sort of deposit and can still be used on any party or gathering until the end of the year. We've asked if we can use the Php10,000 in the clubhouse restaurant instead and hopefully the management agrees.


Moving forward, this month's goals are:


  • Find a yaya for the baby.

  • Comply with the Kasambahay Law requirements.

  • Start a travel fund for Project Tuscany.

  • Lose 5 lbs.


 

July Budget and Goals


It's now safe to talk about last month's mysterious Miscellaneous expense because the party we were planning for my mom's 60th birthday is no longer pushing through.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The State of Filipino Finances

I always look forward to receiving Sun Life's financial literacy report or the Study of Lifestyles Attitudes and Relationships Financial Literacy Report (SOLAR FLARe), as it pretty much sums up our financial quotient as a country. It also helps that the report is presented in a very easy to comprehend slideshow (much appreciated!).

For the recent SOLAR FLARe, Sun Life interviewed 1,100 respondents from the middle to upper income segments and here are the factoids that struck me:
  • Filipinos are optimistic- 87% expect their financial situation to go up.
  • Filipinos define financial security as having enough savings in the bank (!!)
  • Most Filipinos are confident about how they manage their finances, with 20% claiming to be experts, but only 8% scored above 80% in a basic financial literacy test.
  • The Philippines has a higher rate of insurance penetration than the United States.
I am not surprised with the news on Filipino optimism, after all it seems to be deeply rooted in our psyche. But this time around, the optimism seems to be misplaced because how can you be optimistic about your financial security if you only have your bank savings to fall back on? Talk about blind optimism.

The good news is that more Filipinos are getting themselves financially educated and are looking beyond bank savings. The bad news is, not enough Filipinos are doing so. 

For now, I'd like to focus on the good and contribute to increasing the average by continuing with my personal mission to educate as much of my friends on personal finance and investments.

These are definitely exciting times to be a financial nerd :)

The State of Filipino Finances

I always look forward to receiving Sun Life's financial literacy report or the Study of Lifestyles Attitudes and Relationships Financial Literacy Report (SOLAR FLARe), as it pretty much sums up our financial quotient as a country. It also helps that the report is presented in a very easy to comprehend slideshow (much appreciated!).

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Round-up of June Budget and Goals

 



For the first time ever, we went below our monthly restaurant budget. Don't think for a moment though that we suddenly developed tremendous self-control and discipline though, hell to the no. This sudden restraint when it comes to eating out was brought about by taking care of our son and the hassle that bringing him outside entails, specially since his poop sometimes seeps out of his diaper (TMI) and the probability of seepage seems to increase when we're outside.






My husband also seems to have rediscovered his love for cooking, I don't know if this was brought about by being housebound or he just got his cooking mojo back, whatever it is, I'm liking the home cooked meals and the savings these bring.



The mysterious miscellaneous category will still have to remain shrouded in mystery for now. You never know who might find their way into my blog.



Now on to last month's goals:



  • Breastfeed exclusively- Done.

  • Store breastmilk - Done. But I'm not storing as much as I would like and the way it's turning out, I only have 2-3 days worth of milk for Ace when I go back to work on the 15th. I've been pumping more per day and am considering supplementing with formula if my stored breastmilk runs out. After all, formula is not the enemy. The real enemy is the sneaky way it is marketed.

  • Blog regularly again for my 3 sites- Done.

  • Resume freelance work- Done.

  • Get back on the couch to 5k program- Nope. But I resumed running yesterday, so I guess that's substantial compliance? Exercise is just amazing. I'm already feeling more energetic and more like myself with just a simple 20 minute walk/run around the condo compound.



The middle of July marks the end of my maternity leave and I'm honestly looking forward to dressing up and going back tow work again. I'm just worried about how Ace will react when someone other than his mom feeds him, and with a bottle pa and not the boob he's grown accustomed to. Anyway, it's a good thing he'll be at my mom's house while I'm at work, so I know he'll be in good hands.

Round-up of June Budget and Goals


For the first time ever, we went below our monthly restaurant budget. Don't think for a moment though that we suddenly developed tremendous self-control and discipline though, hell to the no. This sudden restraint when it comes to eating out was brought about by taking care of our son and the hassle that bringing him outside entails, specially since his poop sometimes seeps out of his diaper (TMI) and the probability of seepage seems to increase when we're outside.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Anne Curtis for PS Bank

I really love these PS Bank commercials starring Anne Curtis!
 





The comments are kind of disturbing though because instead of focusing on the message to save money, the commenters point out that the first video was "copied" from Taylor Swift's music video. Talk about not getting the point :( 


Anyway, I'm still hoping that with someone as popular as Anne Curtis talking about saving money and subtly poking fun at the flashy and glitzy lifestyle, the gospel of savings, and hopefully investing, will be embraced by our youth.

Anne Curtis for PS Bank

I really love these PS Bank commercials starring Anne Curtis!
 


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mind Over Gut

I am a stock investor. That means I'm a long-term investor and do not care about the dips and dives of the market because all that action won't matter 10 or 20 years from now.



So why does my heart go to my throat every time I see all the red in my COL portfolio? Why is my instinctive reaction to cut my losses and try to rescue what's left of my capital?



Clearly there's a disconnect between my instinct and intellect.



Maybe I shouldn't open my COL account for the next few weeks or so huh?



Sige lang. Deadma lang.

Mind Over Gut

I am a stock investor. That means I'm a long-term investor and do not care about the dips and dives of the market because all that action won't matter 10 or 20 years from now.

So why does my heart go to my throat every time I see all the red in my COL portfolio? Why is my instinctive reaction to cut my losses and try to rescue what's left of my capital?

Clearly there's a disconnect between my instinct and intellect.

Maybe I shouldn't open my COL account for the next few weeks or so huh?

Sige lang. Deadma lang.

Friday, June 21, 2013

June 2013 Budget and Goals


Ok, so it seems a little anti-climactic to publish this month's budget and goals with only 9 days left to go before the next month kicks in, but humor me will 'ya?

For this month's budget I did not have to set aside money for hospital and household expenses. The hospital expense is pretty obvious but for the household expense, I decided to do away with the category altogether because it's quite vague to be honest. I don't really know what it constitutes, so off it goes.

I'll talk about the Php10,000 miscellaneous expense soon because it's best if I shut my trap for now.

This month's goals, some of which I have already accomplished:
  • Breastfeed exclusively
  • Store breastmilk
  • Blog regularly again for my 3 sites
  • Resume freelance work
  • Get back on the couch to 5k program
Three weeks left before I go back to work. Ayoko :(

June 2013 Budget and Goals


Ok, so it seems a little anti-climactic to publish this month's budget and goals with only 9 days left to go before the next month kicks in, but humor me will 'ya?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Round-up of May Budget and Financial Goals


 I was dreading coming up with last month's budget report, but it actually didn't turn out as bad as I thought it would. Yay!

The hubs and I stayed at my parents' house about a week before I gave birth because my mom wanted to monitor my diet as I had already put on 40lbs by then, 5lbs above the maximum allowed weight gain (and perhaps she saw our usual monthly restaurant expenses?:p). This accounted for the lower grocery and gas expenses. As always, we went over budget with our restaurant expenses but notice that it was only by Php1,130 and that's because I gave birth on May 15 and was under house arrest for the rest of the month and even for the first few weeks of June. Simply stated, it was because of a circumstance beyond our control that gave us our first acceptable restaurant expense.

We stayed rent-free at my parents' but we gave extra to the helpers, a bonus for the additional work because of our presence. I placed that expense under miscellaneous. Also under miscellaneous was our share in the electricity bill and the lunch we sponsored for the doctors and hospital staff who looked after me and Ace a.k.a. Bean.

Speaking of doctors, we paid absolutely nada as doctors fees when I gave birth last month. However, I did end up delivering Ace via caesarian section, so instead of the Php10,000 projected by my OB-mom, we ended up paying Php17,000. That Php17,000 represents the hospital fees net of Philhealth subsidy. With the doctors' fees, we probably would have paid an additional Php50,000. Once again, hooray for being a doctor's kid!

I already foresee that this month's budget will be our best ever, this time because I'm exclusively breastfeeding Ace and am basically tethered to him day and night, so goodbye to eating out as often and to mall runs.

As for last month's goals, this was how they panned out:

  • Give birth- Check!
  • Breastfeed- Check! Although we had a tumultuous start, I am now exclusively breastfeeding my baby. Oh the savings that the boob juice brings (approximate Php4,000- Php5,000 per month. Formula is very, very expensive!)
  • Use cloth diapers- Nope. After about a week of using cloth diapers (although not exclusively) I had to use disposable diapers because I have absolutely no time to wash cloth diapers. When we get a yaya for Ace by next month, I'll bring out the cloth diapers once again. Diaper expenses are Php240 for 5-6 days.
  • Find a stay-out nanny for when we go back to the condo in June- Nope. But we do have a yaya lined up for July, although she'll be living in my parents' house and the hubby will bring Ace there everyday while I'm at work.
  • Open a savings account for our house renovation fund- Check! But the house renovation plan keeps on changing! I swear it's so frustrating. Now, the hubby doesn't want to get the next door unit anymore and just wants to fix up our current unit. I'm through making renovation plans. The house renovation fund will now be named as the house equity fund, to be used when we move to a bigger place, whenever that may be.
  • Go back to my original monthly investing budget- Check!

Round-up of May Budget and Financial Goals


 I was dreading coming up with last month's budget report, but it actually didn't turn out as bad as I thought it would. Yay!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Updates

 

So it's been almost two weeks since I last posted here and for that I have no one to blame but my son. That's right, you with the numerous feedings, nappy changes and incessant need to be carried every waking and half-waking moment. Being a parent surely has its bright spots, but anyone who says that it's happiness and sunshine all the time is lying. I love my son, but I have to admit that I never imagined that being a parent would entail this much sacrifice, and it's really just beginning. These days, I'm avoiding ambitious to-do lists and mid-term or long-term plans, and in their stead, I focus on little victories, such as being able to take a long shower everyday while the baby sleeps.


Updates

 

So it's been almost two weeks since I last posted here and for that I have no one to blame but my son. That's right, you with the numerous feedings, nappy changes and incessant need to be carried every waking and half-waking moment. Being a parent surely has its bright spots, but anyone who says that it's happiness and sunshine all the time is lying. I love my son, but I have to admit that I never imagined that being a parent would entail this much sacrifice, and it's really just beginning. These days, I'm avoiding ambitious to-do lists and mid-term or long-term plans, and in their stead, I focus on little victories, such as being able to take a long shower everyday while the baby sleeps.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Suze Orman on ANC



Takeaways from Suze Orman's interview:

  1. It's easy to pay off credit card debt, the real question is why did you get into debt in the first place.
  2. Normally, when you feel less than, you spend more than. Don't spend money you don't have to impress people you don't even know or like girlfriend!
  3. Know the difference between a need and a want. Before buying anything, ask yourself if this is a need or a want, if it's a want, walk away.
  4. If you don't have enough money to pay your daily necessities, then you shouldn't even think of investing yet. Find a way to make more money or to spend less. That could mean getting a second job or freelancing or doing with less, whatever it takes, just do it.
There are so much more nuggets of everyday wisdom in the interview so do take the time to watch it in its entirety.

I love you Suze! You're my hero.

Suze Orman on ANC



Takeaways from Suze Orman's interview:

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Suze Says

This simple rule from Suze Orman pretty much sums up how I want to live my life: Live below your means but within your needs, and get as much joy out of saving as you do spending. 

The living below your means part is de riguer in any personal finance discussion, but the "within your needs" aspect is something that got me thinking. There is a marked difference between a "need" and a "want", and anyone who can't tell one from the other is probably deeply mired in debt because of it. But I believe that treating yourself to a little piece of luxury every now and then can likewise be categorized as a need, otherwise, you'll only be existing and not living.

I think that little luxuries can be seen as soul food, it might not be something that your corporeal self needs to survive, but they do keep your spirit going, giving you inspiration when you need it.

Am I making any sense? Or am I just justifying my planned purchase of a new pair of Havaianas slippers when I still have a perfectly serviceable pair?

Anyhoo, as always Suze Orman hit it right out of the ballpark when she urged Filipinos to save more and to start investing. So while I will buy a new pair of Havaianas slippers as a replacement to my 5 year old (!!) pair, I will forego those Goose Station coupons since not only do I need to lose my pregnancy paunch stat, I can also think of so many uses for the Php3,000 that those 2 coupons will cost us. Between a Php700 and Php3,000 luxury, I think I'm better off with the former.

Alright, will stop rambling now. I'm just waiting for the baby to wake up so I can give him his bath. Wake up babycakes!

Suze Says

This simple rule from Suze Orman pretty much sums up how I want to live my life: Live below your means but within your needs, and get as much joy out of saving as you do spending. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Introductions



The reason for my absence from the blogosphere is that tiny guy up there.


Meet my son :)


Introductions


The reason for my absence from the blogosphere is that tiny guy up there.

Meet my son :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Phrase to Save



Aside from becoming full-fledged parents any time soon, we also have big plans for our little abode this year. Those plans involve buying the next door unit from my brother and then fixing it up to create more space for our growing family.

I know the plan by heart, but I still find myself being not as responsible as I should with spending money (case in point, spending for last night's pizza dinner for the fambam because it makes me happy to be around my nieces and nephews and pizza makes them happy, so... :p). This article from Learnvest thus pressed all the right buttons and made me come up with my own Phrase to Save.

To date, the budget for the renovation is about Php150,000 to Php175,000 and that includes breaking down a piece of the wall to join the 2 units (Php25,000), having a new kitchen area with island set up (Php50,000?), buying a new oven/ gas range (Php30,000?) and installing 2 sets of storage areas (bookshelf and cabinet). 

Our Phrase to Save comes in during our daily life, and pretty much compels us to rethink our purchase to see if it is more important than our planned renovation, because every purchase made will inevitably be a step back from our renovation goal.

How do you wrap your head around a number that big when you’re thinking about your daily expenses? Is my $20 savings at the grocery store really going to impact a number that big? It doesn’t seem likely. And because of that disconnect it was hard to see how our daily activities impacted our long-term dream. It wasn’t until we made the connection about comparing what we wanted to do on a day in our dream life to what we were currently spending that it finally clicked.
 Our Phrase to Save will basically go like this: "Is eating out at our favorite Italian restaurant worth more than adding to our kitchen unit budget?"

Or it can also go: "Do I need this new pair of shoes enough to take it out of my floor to ceiling bookshelf budget?"

Something like that.

So there, having a set goal will hopefully make us accountable for our every financial action and limit mindless spending.

Phrase to Save



Aside from becoming full-fledged parents any time soon, we also have big plans for our little abode this year. Those plans involve buying the next door unit from my brother and then fixing it up to create more space for our growing family.

I know the plan by heart, but I still find myself being not as responsible as I should with spending money (case in point, spending for last night's pizza dinner for the fambam because it makes me happy to be around my nieces and nephews and pizza makes them happy, so... :p). This article from Learnvest thus pressed all the right buttons and made me come up with my own Phrase to Save.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Suze Orman Back in Manila!


I love, love, love Suze Orman! In fact, it was her Ask Suze show that began my journey towards learning more about and taking control of my personal finances. 

 I remember channel surfing and seeing this woman taking a call about whether or not it was a wise decision for this pregnant lady to buy an orthopedic mattress. The woman, who turned out to be Suze, went over the lady's numbers and concluded that she had way too much debt, did not have enough liquid savings and was already into her 8th month of pregnancy so not only could she not afford the mattress, she also didn't need it anymore, since she used her pregnancy as an excuse to justify purchasing the mattress. I was hooked.

Suze Orman's coming back to Manila next week thanks to BPI! I would love to go but (1) that's my 40th week and would probably be up to my elbows tending to Bean by then and (2) I'm not invited. You can actually try to score invites by sending an email to BPI, but I don't think that will guarantee a seat since I'm sure tons of people would love to go. I left the newspaper ad in my parents' room and I'm too lazy to waddle my way over there to get it. I promise to update this post in the morning. (Update: I couldn't find the newspaper with the ad anymore. Sorry!)

Anyway, I hope that they show her talk on TV or online. I love you Suze!


P.S.
Some Suze trivia. Those gold earrings she has on are her only pair of earrings and she used one purse for years before her girlfriend took pity on it and bought her a new one.