Saturday, June 28, 2014

Rogue Shows You the Money


My very first Rogue magazine was the one with Megan Young (pre-Ms. World) on the cover. I snapped up a copy because of the travel theme, and it took me a while to realize that I was reading a men's magazine. Imagine that, girly-girl me reading a men's magazine and actually enjoying it.

Since then, I've looked forward to the travel, food and style issues. I always regret not buying a copy when I spot it in a bookstore, because Rogue magazine is not as widely available as the Summit publications. So when I finally decide to get a copy, it would usually be out of stock. I bought a digital version (the Bryanboy issue) once via Zinio, but it just wasn't the same. I missed the feel of actually leafing through the pages and poring over the articles. Even Rogue's paper feels and smells different than the other glossies, as they tend to be thicker with a matte appearance.

Anyhoo, enough with the reminiscing. 

Rogue sent me their money issue with Valerie Weigmann on the cover, and my first thought was: Who is she?

Next was, who is this Anton Periquet person and how do I make him my best friend/ advisor for all things stocks related? He wrote "Confessions of a Stockbroker" and his takeaways from his years in the finance industry is something that stock investors should take to heart, whether you have Php5,000 or Php5,000,000 at stake. Take for example what he says on investment vs. speculation:

You have two companies, one "good" and one "bad". Both companies' stocks trade at P1 per share. On which of the two propositions below would you rather bet?

A. That the good company's stock will be higher than the bad one's at the end of five weeks.

B. That the good company's stock will be higher than the bad one's at the end of five years.

If you chose the latter, you have discovered without losing a cent a truth that many investors take a lifetime to learn- that the market is unpredictable in the short-run but rational in the long-run.

Investment is all about playing the long game. The careful practitioner seeks to minimize risk by removing speculation from the equation.


Another interesting article was how billionaires are looking upwards for their next big venture. As in literally upwards. They're betting their money on outer space.

Take note though that this isn't a money magazine like Money Sense. If you're expecting articles on which investment is the best, or how to make your money grow, then you might be disappointed. Rogue deals with money from a lifestyle angle, sharing stories about the moneyed set without actually focusing on dollars (or pesos) and cents. 

Happy reading!

Rogue Shows You the Money


My very first Rogue magazine was the one with Megan Young (pre-Ms. World) on the cover. I snapped up a copy because of the travel theme, and it took me a while to realize that I was reading a men's magazine. Imagine that, girly-girl me reading a men's magazine and actually enjoying it.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Guest Post: The Merits and Demerits of Buy Now Pay Later

*Buy now pay later schemes are still not that popular in the Philippines, but they're slowly making their presence felt, particularly in appliance stores. This post from Catalogues 247 should give us the lowdown on what to expect with such schemes, to see if this is something that we can use to our advantage.


Today, Buy Now Pay Later schemes, as well as other types of in- store credit managements, are on the increase in the UK. Simply put, in-store credit refers to the arrangement of buying goods or services in credit and then paying for them later. This facility is only available in certain stores or groups of stores. However, not many people think adequately about these schemes before opting for them. This kind of arrangement has both its advantages and disadvantages. Read on to find out about them:


Guest Post: The Merits and Demerits of Buy Now Pay Later

*Buy now pay later schemes are still not that popular in the Philippines, but they're slowly making their presence felt, particularly in appliance stores. This post from Catalogues 247 should give us the lowdown on what to expect with such schemes, to see if this is something that we can use to our advantage. 

Today, Buy Now Pay Later schemes, as well as other types of in- store credit managements, are on the increase in the UK. Simply put, in-store credit refers to the arrangement of buying goods or services in credit and then paying for them later. This facility is only available in certain stores or groups of stores. However, not many people think adequately about these schemes before opting for them. This kind of arrangement has both its advantages and disadvantages. Read on to find out about them:

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Scam Alert!

My family owns a beach resort in Biliran and I handle the online reservations and inquiries. I usually field email inquiries for the resort several times a week, so when I received this email request last week, I treated it like any other inquiry:

Bubbles Tour <jimmp077@gmail.com>




Hello, Good day to you and please note that we will need accommodation for 3 guests that will be on a short visit to your country. Kindly inform us if there is availability for 3 rooms from September 23rd to 28th 2014 (6 nights). See below for their names: Mr Sean Sampson Mrs Sara Wright Mrs Jane Brighton Do revert back to us with the rates as well as the total cost for the duration of their stay. Waiting for your response. Thanks, Jim. 


Jill Sabitsana <info@agtabeachresort.com>




to jimmp077
Hi Jim,
I confirm the availability of 3 rooms for September 23 to 28, 2014 for guests: Mr. Sean Sampson, Mrs. Sara Wright and Mrs. Jane Brighton.
Our standard room costs Php1,200/night and will amount to Php7,200/ room for six nights. For three rooms that will be Php21,600 for six nights. We will require a deposit equal to 50% of the total tariff to finalize your reservation. This can be deposited to our bank account, or wired through Western Union.
Best,
Jill

It started to get interesting after "Jim" responded:

Bubbles Tours




to Jill
Hello,


Thanks for the quote. It is a pleasure doing business with you. Your
offer is affordable and it meets the budget plan of my clients. Now, my clients are ready to make the total payment of the stay for the
mentioned period Plus our Company's Commission of 950€. I have informed the client about it and so we will like you to recalculate the cost by including my agreed commission of  950€ and i will be
sending the client's credit card details, authorization to charge and all other necessary document to make the charge.

Kindly give me the total computation for the payment:


Reservation:

Commission:  950€
Compensation for your effort:  200€

The clients are aware of this commission charges to their credit card.
  Note that as soon as you get the full payment from their credit card, you will send my company's commission via Western Union money transfer or send it to my company account before client's arrival at your
hotel. Let me know if you can do this for us.

Thanks for working with us.

Best regards
Jim.

By then, all sorts of alarm bells were ringing in my head. An agency is collecting a Php60,000 (950 euros) commission for a Php27,000 tariff? And on top of that, the agency is paying the resort an additional Php13,400 (200 euros) for accommodating their guests?!

SCAMMERS!!!

So I declined and did not act on Jim's offer.

I actually tried to locate the people named in the first email, since it was clear to me that they were the victims of identity theft and I wanted to warn them. But apparently, those are very common names and my search yielded dozens of hits. My hope is that they come across this post and will be able to act accordingly, canceling their credit cards or using this post in their dispute letter (like what I did when I also fell victim to identity theft)

Jim never did respond after I declined, but wouldn't you know it, I received the same reservation email again yesterday! Scammers never give up don't they? And apparently they don't keep their lists updated.

Be safe people!

Scam Alert!

My family owns a beach resort in Biliran and I handle the online reservations and inquiries. I usually field email inquiries for the resort several times a week, so when I received this email request last week, I treated it like any other inquiry:

Bubbles Tour <jimmp077@gmail.com>




Hello, Good day to you and please note that we will need accommodation for 3 guests that will be on a short visit to your country. Kindly inform us if there is availability for 3 rooms from September 23rd to 28th 2014 (6 nights). See below for their names: Mr Sean Sampson Mrs Sara Wright Mrs Jane Brighton Do revert back to us with the rates as well as the total cost for the duration of their stay. Waiting for your response. Thanks, Jim. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Change Your Mindset, Change Your Financial Life

I began niche blogging while reviewing for the bar exams way back in 2007. Back then, I needed a break from the daily grind of reading page after page of codals and commentaries, and so I decided to start a beauty blog and indulge my love/obsession with products.

And it seemed like I hit a goldmine because a few months into blogging, I was being wooed left and right by companies, with products for review being sent to my house on a daily basis. If I sold even a portion of what I received back then, I would have had enough to pay for a designer bag or two, or come up with my own sari-sari store. I kid you not.

But the thing with being a beauty blogger was that my world eventually revolved around products, makeup, services, fashion and their ilk. I devoured consumerism and also encouraged the active spending on the shiny and the new (sorry about that!). Fast forward to the day after I got married and realized that we, the hubby and I, were the proud owners of a huge amount of debt, zero savings, a car that needed to be paid monthly and a mounting sense of fear. What the heck have I gotten us into?!

Because Google is king, I typed "How to get out of debt" into the search box and was astounded to discover the world of personal finance. It was as if a new world had opened up for me, a place where status symbols were scoffed at and living way below your means was the norm.

My most important takeaway from that time was that I wasn't alone in wanting to get out of debt. There were literally thousands of blogs that chronicled their journey towards bringing their debt down to zero. I read those blogs from start to finish and learned about the importance of budgeting, accounting for the small expenses, not getting caught up in the rat race and so much more that really shook my "retail is the best form of therapy" self.

I am a good example that it is never too late to start being financially responsible. If I could do it at the ripe, old age of 30 (or was that 31?), so can you! All you really need is to block out the siren song of consumerism to get on the straight and narrow path of financial freedom. If you stumble once or even a dozen times, dust yourself and go on right ahead. I promise, the freedom from the shackles of debt and uncertainty is well worth the trouble.

Of the blogs that I read, these are what really helped change my point of view, guiding me through the smoke and mirrors of our consumer-driven world. I hope you find something worthwhile in them as well:

Mr. Money Moustache- The blogger is a mild-mannered computer geek who unleashes his debonair alter-ego Mr. Money Moustache to smack some sense into the stuff obsessed person. He managed to retire before he turned 30 years old, and now spends his days pursuing what he really loves (i.e. carpentry, encouraging others to similarly get out of debt) while making sure that he's there for his son (talk about a dream life!).

Blonde on a Budget- I started following Cait when she was just a few thousand dollars shy of decimating her debt. I gobbled up how she candidly she talked about her financial life, cheering her on for every success and admiring how she would get right back on the program, even after making a financial booboo.Her monthly budgets were the inspiration behind my attempts at publishing my own budget too. Unlike hers though, mine didn't work out as well. I'll talk about that more at length in a separate post.

Never Homemaker- This isn't officially a personal finance blog, but the way Ashley and Stephen chose to live on a single income household and their daily challenges at making that work, all while raising their daughter Ada, is so inspiring!

Get Rich Slowly- This is a group blog which tackles different levels of personal finance issues. I love how the authors are always so honest about their financial journey and the comments also deserve special mention, with the readers already forming a supportive community that pushes each other to do their very best.

Pinas for Good- I don't know her name, but I do know that  she's a Pinay who works in the US and made her first million pesos when she was barely in her mid-twenties because of her frugality and no-nonsense approach towards investing. I also know that she intends to buck the trend and go back to the Philippines for good within the year (thus the name of her blog). If more and more of our youngsters looked up to her instead of the bloggers who pollute the internet with their latest sponsored OOTDs or celebrities whose primary claim to fame is that they look good, we'd be infinitely better off as a country. For realz.

Change Your Mindset, Change Your Financial Life

I began niche blogging while reviewing for the bar exams way back in 2007. Back then, I needed a break from the daily grind of reading page after page of codals and commentaries, and so I decided to start a beauty blog and indulge my love/obsession with products.

And it seemed like I hit a goldmine because a few months into blogging, I was being wooed left and right by companies, with products for review being sent to my house on a daily basis. If I sold even a portion of what I received back then, I would have had enough to pay for a designer bag or two, or come up with my own sari-sari store. I kid you not.

But the thing with being a beauty blogger was that my world eventually revolved around products, makeup, services, fashion and their ilk. I devoured consumerism and also encouraged the active spending on the shiny and the new (sorry about that!). Fast forward to the day after I got married and realized that we, the hubby and I, were the proud owners of a huge amount of debt, zero savings, a car that needed to be paid monthly and a mounting sense of fear. What the heck have I gotten us into?!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Starting Over Again


I'm sorry to mislead Piolo and Toni fans, but I won't be blogging about the movie, although I heard it was good and I still feel bad that I wasn't able to watch it!

I am starting over with our emergency funds and house fund.

I've written about how we planned on getting the unit next door, then plans fell through so that wasn't happening anymore. And then, just a few weeks ago things happened in rapid succession so now, we're the proud owners of another 30sqm condo unit. Yay us!

Unfortunately, to make that happen, I had to pillage our emergency funds and even take out a loan from my mom. So now, our emergency funds are next to zero and I haven't felt this vulnerable in a long time.

Not only are our emergency funds in a state of calamity, we still have to raise the funds needed to fix up the new unit. Right now, we're taking it slowly, thus, the first batch of construction will involve putting a doorway between the two units and demolishing the existing kitchen unit to make way for a new one. That shouldn't be too expensive, right?

There's also the need to build up our emergency funds and my plan is to start saving up for the condo constructions only after I have a month's worth of expenses tucked away in our emergency funds. Then after that, savings will be split 50-50 into emergency funds and condo constructions.

Sounds like a plan. Let's do this!

Starting Over Again


I'm sorry to mislead Piolo and Toni fans, but I won't be blogging about the movie, although I heard it was good and I still feel bad that I wasn't able to watch it!

I am starting over with our emergency funds and house fund.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Truth About Credit Card Interest Rates

The thing about credit cards is that they make your daily life so convenient. Swiping for anything is so easy and the banks make it look so fun and glamorous, that before you know it, you're way above your head in debt.


But here's one thing the banks don't want you to know. You know those interest rates, penalties and charges in your credit card Terms and Conditions? Those penalties they slap on your account whenever you miss out on a payment? Those are illegal.


The Truth About Credit Card Interest Rates

The thing about credit cards is that they make your daily life so convenient. Swiping for anything is so easy and the banks make it look so fun and glamorous, that before you know it, you're way above your head in debt.

But here's one thing the banks don't want you to know. You know those interest rates, penalties and charges in your credit card Terms and Conditions? Those penalties they slap on your account whenever you miss out on a payment? Those are illegal.