Saturday, March 30, 2013

House Battle Plan

When I first wrote about our housing goal last year, we had no idea what the average price was in our desired neighbourhood. But now that we've been looking at houses for sale, I realized that our Php2M-Php3M budget will just not cut it. 

My father actually recommended that we buy one of the foreclosed properties in our village, saying that we can take out the maximum loan from PAG-IBIG to buy it. But even if we were able to qualify for that, I really don't want to be working day in and out primarily for a mortgage. That would right about suck the joy out of living.

Anyway, we can still  go with our old plan of flipping our current condo to add to our house fund, but as it's turning out, selling our condo will only cover the equity for the new house with the 80% to be loaned either from the bank or PAG-IBIG.

The most realistic option for us is to buy the adjoining unit from my brother and take over his PAG-IBIG mortgage in order to transform our 30sqm unit to a palatial 60sqm.  

For this to happen, we will need to pay my brother about Php400,000.00 and allot another sizeable chunk of cash for the renovation costs and furniture buying. I've already broached this idea with him and he seemed pretty amenable to it.

Right now, we're just renovating our studio unit and the big condo merge will happen in a year or two, when Bean will be a toddler. With a realistic plan in place, the challenge facing us is to raise about Php400,000- Php500,000 to cover the downpayment to my brother and the renovation costs. 

This entails a lot of planning and number crunching, two of my most favorite things to do in the world. So you know I'm up for it. Let's do this.

House Battle Plan

When I first wrote about our housing goal last year, we had no idea what the average price was in our desired neighbourhood. But now that we've been looking at houses for sale, I realized that our Php2M-Php3M budget will just not cut it. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Hmmm....

Every time the Truly Rich Club recommends a stock, I usually buy the minimum or twice the boardlot. Now I have shares with 5 different companies, and with my monthly budget, I can only afford to buy the minimum boardlot for, at most, 3 stocks. All recommended companies are still under the buy below category, so it really pains me not to be able to buy shares every month for each of my stocks.


There are two things that I can do with this situation:


1. I can increase my monthly budget so that I can buy the minimum boardlot for all of my stocks, thus using the peso cost averaging method; or

2. I can choose to focus on 3 stocks, and sell the other two, to fit my monthly budget.


If I go with option number 2, what stocks will I retain and what will I sell?


Hmmm...what to do...what to do....

Hmmm....

Every time the Truly Rich Club recommends a stock, I usually buy the minimum or twice the boardlot. Now I have shares with 5 different companies, and with my monthly budget, I can only afford to buy the minimum boardlot for, at most, 3 stocks. All recommended companies are still under the buy below category, so it really pains me not to be able to buy shares every month for each of my stocks.

There are two things that I can do with this situation:

1. I can increase my monthly budget so that I can buy the minimum boardlot for all of my stocks, thus using the peso cost averaging method; or
2. I can choose to focus on 3 stocks, and sell the other two, to fit my monthly budget.

If I go with option number 2, what stocks will I retain and what will I sell?

Hmmm...what to do...what to do....

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Precious Lessons

There's this horrible radio commercial that basically goes like this:




"Graduates! Now that you're out in the real world, it's time to reward yourself by investing in high tech gadgets!"



My eyebrows shot through the roof when I heard that insipid piece and was all set to tear it apart with a stinging blogpost and lecture on the importance of financial responsibility at a young age, when I suddenly remembered how I was at that age.

Precious Lessons

There's this horrible radio commercial that basically goes like this:

"Graduates! Now that you're out in the real world, it's time to reward yourself by investing in high tech gadgets!"

My eyebrows shot through the roof when I heard that insipid piece and was all set to tear it apart with a stinging blogpost and lecture on the importance of financial responsibility at a young age, when I suddenly remembered how I was at that age.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Unsexy is the New Sexy

I'm sad to say that investing in stocks and mutual funds don't excite me that much anymore. Which is not to say that I've earned heaps and buckets of cash since I started investing last year, and the thought of stockpiling cash leaves me sleepy. It's just that everything now runs right on schedule, with monthly investments sent in with machine-like precision, so much so that it's no longer as exciting as it used to be.

Although when you think about it, as a long-term investor, this is exactly how it's supposed to be. Allotting money to my different investment vehicles on a monthly basis regardless of what happens to the market, and no quick sells or pouncing on tips. Just straightforward accumulation of boring, ho-hum stocks from well-established and conservative companies. Nothing sexy about that.


Unsexy is the New Sexy

I'm sad to say that investing in stocks and mutual funds don't excite me that much anymore. Which is not to say that I've earned heaps and buckets of cash since I started investing last year, and the thought of stockpiling cash leaves me sleepy. It's just that everything now runs right on schedule, with monthly investments sent in with machine-like precision, so much so that it's no longer as exciting as it used to be.

Although when you think about it, as a long-term investor, this is exactly how it's supposed to be. Allotting money to my different investment vehicles on a monthly basis regardless of what happens to the market, and no quick sells or pouncing on tips. Just straightforward accumulation of boring, ho-hum stocks from well-established and conservative companies. Nothing sexy about that.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Guest Post: Think You Can't Afford to Stay Home with Your Baby? Here Are a Few Reasons You Can't Afford NOT To

Although this post may not be on all fours with our Philippine experience, I find that it still brings up similar questions just the same, such as: Can I afford to stay home and take care of my child?


I myself am facing the same dilemma at present, wanting to be a full-time, stay at home mom, but at the same, not yet knowing how we'll pull it off. The original plan was for me to stay at home for the rest of the year once the baby was born, but we never got around to crunching the numbers so I never knew if that was really feasible, although I wished with all my heart that it was.


Anyway, that dream is still very much alive and now I know that instead of just wishing and hoping it to be so, we actually have to take concrete steps towards it. The first step being owning up to our monthly expenses and armed with the knowledge of where our money goes, to eventually plug the leaks with a monthly budget.


And after that long introduction, here's today's guest post from Bridget Sandorford.


Many new parents face the same conundrum: Should I go back to work or stay home to take care baby? Mothers are usually the ones facing the decision to go back to work or not, but the choice has an impact on the whole family. The biggest reason that many moms decide that they can't stay home with their babies is financial. They have become used to a living in a two-income family -- with enough debts and monthly bills for two incomes -- and the loss of a whole income would be devastating.


Guest Post: Think You Can't Afford to Stay Home with Your Baby? Here Are a Few Reasons You Can't Afford NOT To

Although this post may not be on all fours with our Philippine experience, I find that it still brings up similar questions just the same, such as: Can I afford to stay home and take care of my child?

I myself am facing the same dilemma at present, wanting to be a full-time, stay at home mom, but at the same, not yet knowing how we'll pull it off. The original plan was for me to stay at home for the rest of the year once the baby was born, but we never got around to crunching the numbers so I never knew if that was really feasible, although I wished with all my heart that it was.

Anyway, that dream is still very much alive and now I know that instead of just wishing and hoping it to be so, we actually have to take concrete steps towards it. The first step being owning up to our monthly expenses and armed with the knowledge of where our money goes, to eventually plug the leaks with a monthly budget.

And after that long introduction, here's today's guest post from Bridget Sandorford.

Many new parents face the same conundrum: Should I go back to work or stay home to take care baby? Mothers are usually the ones facing the decision to go back to work or not, but the choice has an impact on the whole family. The biggest reason that many moms decide that they can't stay home with their babies is financial. They have become used to a living in a two-income family -- with enough debts and monthly bills for two incomes -- and the loss of a whole income would be devastating.

Or would it? When many parents look at their budget and start making the needed cuts and changes, they find that more is possible than they would have thought. Many even find that once they consider the additional costs after they have the baby, they can't afford NOT to stay home. Here are a few reasons why:

Saturday, March 9, 2013

January and February Cash Expense Report


 
For this series, I tracked down our cash expenses using a printable from IHeart Organizing to see exactly what we were spending our money on, with the ultimate goal being to minimize our expenses. Since I forgot to account for January's expenses, let's lump it together with February shall we?



January

  • grocery- Php4,930

  • eating out- Php6,180

  • gas/ toll and parking- Php2,100/ Php651

  • entertainment-  Php3,125

  • household/ miscellaneous-  xx/ Php700


 Total- Php17,686


I have no idea why our restaurant expenses were that high in January, peaking at Php3,430 in week 4. But if I were to venture a guess, I would say that I probably had one of my "I'm feeling down about something so I will treat myself to good food" moods. And with my pregnancy, it's easy to give in to my eating out fancies since I always tell myself that I deserve it. I really should stop listening to myself.


Our entertainment costs were also a bit higher than usual because we watched Katy at CCP (Php1,000 per ticket). Considering the fantastic production and the fact that it was an all-Filipino show, it was very much worth it.


The Php700 miscellaneous expense was for housecleaning services. We agreed on Php500 plus Php100 transpo fee, but I was so happy with my cleaning lady's work that I threw in an extra Php100. I know that Php700 for 5 hours of work is a bit too high, but that's just dinner for us while that's 2 weeks worth of living expenses for her. So no, I will not play the cheap card with my cleaning lady.


February


  • grocery- Php5,850

  • eating out/ office lunch-Php6,330/ Php1,975

  • gas/ toll and parking- Php5,300/ Php75

  • entertainment- Php6,300

  • household/ miscellaneous- Php900/ Php3,460


Total- Php30,190
Hmmm....it looks like our January eating out budget was just average after all, since February also hit the Php6,000 mark. Note to self, cook more and limit eating out!


Our fuel expenses also went through the roof this month (my monthly fuel budget is only Php4,000) because my hubby had to make several trips in Caloocan and Quezon City for his bike restoration project and meetings for his cause-oriented group.


February was also the month when I bought a cheap tablet for Php5,500, which accounted for the majority of the Php6,300 expense tallied for entertainment. No regrets whatsoever though because not only do I get my visual and creative fix with my tablet, it has also reduced the clutter in our tiny house since now I don't have to buy hard copies of magazines and books.


As for the miscellaneous expenses, two people I know died early this year so a part of that was donated as abuloy, while another part went to buying makeup and skin care stuff. Death and products, who would have thought that they could co-exist in one sentence?:p


Looking at the past two month's expenses leads to the inevitable conclusion that we should stop eating out as often, or at least set the budget to say Php4,000 a month, to make it more manageable. Also, I don't plan on buying any gadgets or makeup any time soon, so our entertainment and miscellaneous expenses won't be as high for March.


Sigh. Promises, promises. Let's see if we will fare better in March.


January and February Cash Expense Report

 

For this series, I tracked down our cash expenses using a printable from IHeart Organizing to see exactly what we were spending our money on, with the ultimate goal being to minimize our expenses. Since I forgot to account for January's expenses, let's lump it together with February shall we?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Retooling and Tweaking

When 2012 ended, I pretty much had my plan worked out. I was to save as much as I could and go on extended maternity leave to tend to Bean. But then a couple of curveballs were thrown my way which derailed those plans. First, I received a lot of hand me downs from my sisters in law and friends, so I didn't have to spend as much for baby stuff, and then I got promoted at work, which meant more disposable income, but at the same time, I would have to say goodbye to my prolonged maternity leave.


And so because I now know that I don't have to save as much anymore, I have been a little too trigger happy with my spending. Who's going to Boracay late this year and Hanoi early next year? That would be us. Also, who's planning to go to the US for her cousin's wedding? That would be me.


Aside from those trips, we also plan on having Bean baptized in Biliran (where I was also baptized) and spending his first birthday in Plantation Bay, Mactan. Oh yes, my itchy feet are ready to wander again.


So now that I have months of travel-related planning ahead of me (the best thing about traveling IMHO), it's time to tweak our financial goals.

Retooling and Tweaking

When 2012 ended, I pretty much had my plan worked out. I was to save as much as I could and go on extended maternity leave to tend to Bean. But then a couple of curveballs were thrown my way which derailed those plans. First, I received a lot of hand me downs from my sisters in law and friends, so I didn't have to spend as much for baby stuff, and then I got promoted at work, which meant more disposable income, but at the same time, I would have to say goodbye to my prolonged maternity leave.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Takeaways from the Truly Rich Club's Wealth Summit

Truth be told, I can't remember any particular moment that stood out for me during last week's Wealth Summit. However, I do remember feeling all warm and fuzzy inside because I was surrounded by like minded people who were clearly enjoying the festivities.

More than a workshop or seminar, the Wealth Summit actually took on a fiesta atmosphere, and became a celebration of camaraderie, hard won successes and faith.

The speakers shared their life stories and I was particularly struck with Steve Tamayo's tenacity. There's a guy who will never go hungry and who deserves every bit of success he enjoys. Miriam Quiambao's testimony was also interesting because I always thought that she had everything going for her, and there she was talking about willing herself to die on her mother's couch.

The testimonials were meant to inspire and prod all of us to work on our own success stories, and while I appreciated the roster of speakers and the positivity permeating the venue, I could only take so much inspiration. Maybe it was just me, but from a learning point of view, I felt I was shortchanged. Although, I came out of there bursting with inspiration, but added learning? Not so much.

And so for the second day, when I saw that the topics were mostly about entrepreneurship, I turned over my ID to my brother who eagerly snapped it up, moreso when he learned that lunch and snacks were catered by Via Mare:p

At the very least, I now know that bird's eye view discussions are not for me, and I would rather go for seminars with specific topics. Next up, TGFI (Manila) Bull's Session!

Takeaways from the Truly Rich Club's Wealth Summit

Truth be told, I can't remember any particular moment that stood out for me during last week's Wealth Summit. However, I do remember feeling all warm and fuzzy inside because I was surrounded by like minded people who were clearly enjoying the festivities.

More than a workshop or seminar, the Wealth Summit actually took on a fiesta atmosphere, and became a celebration of camaraderie, hard won successes and faith.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

And I'm Back!

Things have been a little quiet in these parts of the woods because we didn't have internet access for almost a week. For some bizaare reason, our PLDT DSL just suddenly decided to die on us and despite daily calls to the 172 DSL hotline, no technician from the PLDT business center was deployed to check on the remote box thingy or our DSL. 

The irony of it all though was that the PLDT business center was just across the street from our condominium compound, and yet there we were, begging and pleading on the phone for some magical technician to materialize and fix our DSL woes.

Somehow, 172's numerous reports never got to the business center and on the 6th day, the CSR promised to personally follow-up the business center and call us up for a feedback. He was candid enough to say that no one was answering on the business center's end. So there you have it, PLDT needs to have its phone or email checked. Sheesh.

Last Sunday, we finally got fed up with all of the promises and swung by the PLDT business center ourselves (as I said, it was just across the street). The office was empty, but we saw a guy beside a service vehicle and asked him if he was a technician/lineman. When he said yes, we gave him our phone number and address and basically begged him to check out our DSL.

Yesterday morning, someone from PLDT actually called up and by lunchtime our internet was restored. And we made that happen ourselves, no thanks to 172.

I wanted to end this post with a personal finance twist, to at least make it fit this blog's theme, but I couldn't think of a smooth way to transition it. So let me just end by saying that it's important to be proactive and that I'm already looking into other DSL providers because really, the past few days have been very stressful and could have easily been avoided if only PLDT had its head screwed on straight.

And I'm Back!

Things have been a little quiet in these parts of the woods because we didn't have internet access for almost a week. For some bizaare reason, our PLDT DSL just suddenly decided to die on us and despite daily calls to the 172 DSL hotline, no technician from the PLDT business center was deployed to check on the remote box thingy or our DSL. 

The irony of it all though was that the PLDT business center was just across the street from our condominium compound, and yet there we were, begging and pleading on the phone for some magical technician to materialize and fix our DSL woes.