Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Proof of Life
To make up for the more than two months of blog silence, I wanted my last post of the year/decade to carry some definitive news like: I made it! I was appointed! or I didn't make it :( Sniff!
But the waiting continues into the next decade and there's really nothing I can do about it. Actually, there is something I can do, and that is to prepare for the inevitable 2-3 month salary delay in the event that I get an appointment.
It was easy enough to come up with our monthly household number because I've always been loosely aware of our expenses. Admittedly, I could have been more diligent and come up with a more accurate number, but I really couldn't keep up with the minutiae of our household expenses, and honestly didn't want to, so my budget strategy revolved around two categories: fixed and varied.
Between those two categories, our monthly expenses were easy to predict, with only about Php5,000-Php10,000 difference in any given month.
Our monthly expenses would see a big surge whenever we travel or when insurance premiums and school fees become due, but I would allot scheduled bonuses and/or start saving up for those expenses months in advance. So it still worked out in the end.
Basically, my budgeting philosophy goes like this:
fixed expenses + varied expenses = regular monthly expenses [RME]
monthly salary - RME = Gap
Travel expenses and scheduled expenses (insurance premiums/ tuition fees) come out of institutionalized bonuses and the balance of those bonuses are then treated as savings (Gap).
I have no hard and fast rule with what I do with the Gap but I try to put majority of that into savings and that's been truer than usual in the past few months because of my optimism that I'll be appointed as a judge.
If I wasn't preparing a nest egg, the Gap, or at least a huge chunk of it, would go towards paying down our mortgage and I would probably throw a few thousands towards buying individual stocks as well, just for fun. But as it is, the Gap and year-end bonuses has allowed me to save up enough cash to answer for 3 months worth of expenses. Fun stuff like bringing down liabilities and increasing my stock portfolio will have to wait for now.
If my savings will not suffice, I still have three other options:
1) Use my credit line with my bank (approx. 9% -10% of the loaned amount in fees per annum);
2) Cash out my savings with the Supreme Court's Savings and Loan Association (I would miss out on the 15% -20% dividends per annum); or
3) Ask my parents for a loan.
Of the three, I'm most comfortable with Option 1 because Option 2 means that I will no longer receive yearly dividends. The SCSLA is set up that you can only deposit money if you're an SC employee. However, if you're no longer an employee, you can still receive the yearly dividends as long as you don't pull out your money.
Option 3 is interest-free but is an emotional minefield so I would rather steer clear of that.
That's it for now. I'll surely update this blog once I have news, either good or bad. Happy new year folks!