Friday, November 30, 2018

Frugality as a Way of Life

People are usually shocked when they find out that I'm already in the office by 6:30AM, sometimes even as early as 6:15AM. That means I wake up at 4:30AM and am riding the FX by 5:45AM. No, I'm not gunning for the Employee of the Millennium Award, that's simply how I deal with and survive icky Manila and its roach infested, flood prone and jampacked streets.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

PSA on Land Bank Mobile Banking App's Fund Transfer Service

UPDATED on November 17, 2018: Land Bank's mobile banking app can now transfer funds to BPI and BDO.

Online banking is convenient, practical and, if you ask me, is right up there with running water when it comes to mankind's greatest innovations. However, because it is so convenient and still some sort of a novelty, it's easy for evildoers to use online banking to prey on innocent people who are not familiar with how this technology works.

Hands-down the most popular post in my blog is my tutorial on how to transfer funds to other banks using the Land Bank Mobile Banking app. I'm used to people reaching out to me privately because of the blogposts that I've written, specially those on my husband's angioplasty or on Manila Bankers Life, and I'm always happy to help and share what I know.

However, a few weeks ago, I received a strange message regarding Land Bank's mobile banking app. The guy asked if the Land Bank mobile banking app could really transfer funds to his BDO account. The quick and easy answer there is "No" because BDO is not one of the destination banks listed in the app.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

2018 3Q Net Worth Report

It's accountability time!

I have to admit though that I actually look forward to tracking my net worth every quarter. It's nice to see my debts get smaller and smaller every time I check on them. My assets may not be growing as much and as fast as I would like them to, but that's ok because I know that the priority now is to get rid of the personal debts ASAP. Then once only mortgage debt remains, I can focus my attention on savings and investments.

Friday, October 12, 2018

I'm Giving Away 5 Tickets to the PIFA Mutual Funds Week Talk!

Philippine Investment Funds Association, the association of mutual fund companies in the country, is holding a half-day conference on November 24 (Saturday) at SM Aura:

Dubbed “RISING WITH THE CURRENT OF ECONOMIC GROWTH THROUGH INVESTING”, the conference aims to offer a diversified view of where your investment journey may go. Learn the pros and cons Digital versus Traditional Entrepreneurship as well as Investing in Mutual Funds versus Property and Real Estate.

Check out the program agenda after the jump.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Convenient Bills Payment with TouchPay

I've been paying all of my bills (i.e. utilities, credit card, mortgage, airline tickets) online probably for the past ten years now, or maybe even more. It's just so dang convenient that, unless I really have to, I'll never go back to lining up just to pay a bill or buy a ticket. Ugh, that's so neolithic you guys!

Which is why I didn't pay attention to the yellow ATM-like thing outside of our condominium's administrative office and considered it too much trouble to even find out what it was for. But curiosity eventually got the better of me since I would oftentimes see a person in front of the machine tapping on the screen or feeding it paper money.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Manila Bankers Life Insurance Speaks Up

After several weeks of not opening this blog, I was surprised to find this comment from Manila Bankers Life Insurance (Manila Bankers). I have already published the comment but since it has been buried under the dozens of comments in my first Manila Bankers post, I have decided to publish it in a separate post for everyone's information. My reply and thoughts will follow after Manila Bankers' comment.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

2018 2Q Net Worth Report

Hmm... I just realized that I forgot to post a net worth report for the first quarter of 2018. For a quick recap, my last net worth report was for 4Q of 2017. For 1Q of 2018, my net worth went down because of expenses brought about by my husband's heart operation .

Mercifully, there were no more health issues these past three months which meant that I could focus on debt payment and building up savings.

The past three months also brought with it a handful of bonuses so there was no need to take out loans and I was even able to bank a small amount in my emergency funds. However, the next three months will be the lean months with nary a bonus coming in, so double gulp.

Back to my net worth report for 2Q of 2018.

There was a minimal increase in assets, around 40k, because my Sunlife mutual funds and individual stocks were affected by the plummeting stock index. However, while my assets may not have increased as much as I would have liked, I was very happy with the almost 150k decrease in my liabilities. Debt payment is really where my money is going for now.

Starting September, my debt payments will start to get smaller because I would have finished paying off one credit card loan by then, with another loan to be fully paid off by November and all of my personal debts going kaput by March next year! Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So while the stock market and her many discounts are tempting me like an ice cream cone on a hot and humid summer day, I resist the urge to top up my account and buy-buy-buy because being debt-free is more important to me now than adding to my (meager) investments. I have learned the hard way that taking on "three tiers" at a time is a foolish thing to do. One step at a time is the way to go, with taking on a half step also acceptable in some instances.

My asset allocation is still very skewed towards real estate and I don't think it will change any time soon because debt repayment is the priority and not building up assets:

That's it for now. Until the next net worth update! Here's hoping that the fates continue to be kind.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Erwanne for Security Bank

Hey lookie! Anne Curtis switched banks! From PSBank, she now endorses Security Bank.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Quick Thoughts on Fudget

I once tracked my income and spending through a very old-school pen and paper method. I liked the whole exercise of jotting down every single one of my expenses because it made me accountable for my spending and my OC self liked seeing my expenses on a daily basis (it was sort of like a diary but without the teenage angst). But what I didn't like was tallying all those items up at the end of the month. It was just too much of a hassle to go over each and every line and then tally them per category.

I became to dread the monthly tallies so much that I once went for 5 months without summarizing my monthly expenses. Sure, I continued to jot down my daily expenses but all of that raw data was useless without a summary. Eventually, I gave it all up, reasoning to myself that I pretty much knew our budget so there was really no need to go on a cellular level.

However, ever since my husband began tallying his own income and expenses using Google spreadsheets, I began to miss the nerdiness of listing down expenses vis-a-vis income. I knew I enjoyed taking note of my spending but I just did not like the end of the month round-ups.

So feeling like a millennial, I searched for an app that would satisfy my needs. I wanted an app that was just a step or two up from the basic pen and per method, but would generate monthly reports. No bells and whistles please, my tita brain refuses to process anything more than what I know I need.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Living with a Deficit

It was fairly obvious that we had a deficit in our monthly budget (Hello! I kept on selling stocks and taking out credit card loans on a regular basis just to keep up with the bills), but I wasn't really sure exactly how much that deficit was. To be perfectly honest though, I think I was mostly just scared to know how much in the red we were every month.

But I sucked it up and crunched the numbers, and, like what usually happens when you face your fears, it wasn't as bad as I thought. Our deficit was Php14,500.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

How to Get Your Philhealth Member Data Record Online

As a government employee, I am an automatic Philhealth member and my husband and kids are my dependents. So when my husband was hospitalized several times in the last few years and I gave birth late last year, I gave thanks for Philhealth many times over for its subsidy and efficient system.

What I specially love about Philhealth is how it no longer allows direct filing, meaning the subsidy is applied to your hospital bill. Thus, there's no more need to go through the gauntlet of queuing at a Philhealth office with your documents in tow and, assuming all your documents are complete, waiting for a check to be released. Imagine experiencing the stress of being hospitalized or having a family member get hospitalized, and then going through the additional effort of personally claiming your Philhealth benefit, with all the accompanying bureaucratic challenges thrown in for good measure. Hassle!

Even the documentary requirements are simpler. Upon checking in, you'll be required to submit the following: Philhealth Claim Form 1 (CF1); certificate of premium payments from your employer; and the Member Data Record (MDR).

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Talking Numbers: Angioplasty Costs

My husband talked about his recent angioplasty in these posts: 1, 2, 3. So if you're wondering what it's like to have an angioplasty or have any other inquiry related to the procedure, then I suggest you read his posts because this post will only deal with what and how much we spent on his procedure.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

How to Get Your Money Back From Manila Bankers Life Insurance

The complaints keep on coming because Manila Bankers Life Insurance keeps on scamming.

Its modus operandi goes like this:

  1. Call or text people using private numbers procured from some entity that has access to or collects personal data. Another way is to approach people at the mall (it's best if the person looks young or timid);

  2. Catch victim's attention with promises of freebies and discounts;

  3. Use praise, scare tactics or both to get the victim's guard down before proceeding into your practiced, company-approved spiel, repeatedly emphasizing the investment or protection aspect of the product;

  4. Ask to see victim's credit card or debit card, promise that it will only be used for verification purposes. Do everything possible to get victim to hand over the credit or debit card;

  5. Swipe the card and charge the highest amount possible without letting the victim know;

  6. Return card and pretend nothing was charged or debited;

  7. Get victim to sign insurance policy with authorization for credit or debit made. Do everything in your power to make sure that victim is unaware of what he/she is signing;

  8. If victim realizes that a charge was made, pretend that you had no control over what happened and there's nothing that can be done about it;

  9. Escort victim out the door. Feel your soul get closer to the eternal fires of Hell, but what the heck, you made a sale, so yay to you!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

FundKo: Peer to Peer Lending

I've been seeing FundKo's ads all over my Facebook feed and I have to admit that they are very catchy, particularly the one with the girl in the snazzy trenchcoat.

FundKo is peer to peer lending, with Fundko acting as the conduit between investor/lender and borrower. After registering in Fundko's site, you will then have the option to lend or borrow money, or even both.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Hello Monkey, Meet Wrench!

So the plan was all set, save Php50,000 (a.k.a. Dave Ramsey's Baby Step No. 1) while paying off my credit card and personal loans. After that, increase mortgage payments and keep adding to my emergency funds. It was a fool-proof plan until life happened.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

2017 4Q Net Worth Report

The last net worth update I made was for the second quarter of 2016, after which I deliberately did not do any more net worth updates because I wanted to focus on slaying my consumer debts. Also, computing my net worth was starting to frustrate me as my net worth kept on going down due to my debt reduction efforts (read: I was selling assets or taking out loans to pay existing debts).

But now that my consumer debts are under control and on their way to Deathville, I was ready to face the music and spent the last few days of 2017 calculating my net worth. Just as I suspected, my net worth went way down from 2016. Here are the reasons why my net worth went south:

Friday, January 5, 2018

Creating Abundance in 2018

If you're earning a salary then you will directly benefit from the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion, or TRAIN, because it lowers the personal income tax, among its other features. Check out this calculator from ABS-CBN to get an estimate on how much you'll be saving on income taxes every month. The Department of Finance also has its own income tax calculator but it's currently under repair. I do hope that the DOF version becomes functional very soon since it should be interesting to compare the results between the two calculators.