This is a reposting. The original blog was posted last Dec 2012.
I enjoy saving money!
OMG, I never thought I would see the day that I would actually say this (or write it, in this case). I am a happy go lucky person that never planned my future though I am a very good Planner in work. I just had a cycle of work, earn and spend. And spend really as if there’s no tomorrow. I was the ultimate spender.
In the Past:
I loved to go on gimmicks or night outs with friends and colleagues. I loved to party, go drinking and dancing. I felt that to relieve work stress I had to go on these night outs. I had the excuse of “I work hard so I play hard”. When it comes to shopping, I’m extremes – I either don’t go shopping as I am lazy to try clothes on but when I do go shopping I shop like there’s no tomorrow. I was living paycheck to paycheck with no savings and no emergency fund and no thought about the future. I am a huge fan of Og Mandino and most of his books would revolve around a common theme of “I will live this day as if it is my last”. The funny thing is my interpretation is that I should live as it was my last day on Earth and that God will provide for the future. In my mind, I wasn’t really thinking I’d live a long life. I felt if I lived till 60 years old it was already enough for me.
As for my salary, it was all about me. I wasn’t giving anything to my parents for the house utilities or expenses. My parents never obligated me to pay for any household expenses. Though I would treat my family to meals or as and when I feel like it, I would buy grocery items.
I give 20Php as tithes during Sunday mass and during Xmas season I prepare loot bags for my godchildren and a lot more extra for my neighbors and less fortunate kids who knock door to door to greet people “Merry Christmas”. I remember one Christmas that my mom and I prepared some sandwiches which we were giving away in EDSA corner Timog Avenue and our van was shaking because the homeless people suddenly came upon us. It was a good thing we decided to give it while we were inside our vehicle and that our vehicle was not small. I never repeated that again and though I wanted to do outreach programs or give to our less fortunate brothers I didn’t know how to go about it
I was tracking my expenses on a daily basis but I felt that it was just a tedious process.
Fast track to 2012:
From being a spender, I became a saver and investor.
I started investing this year and decided to invest in the Philippines. First in the Stock Market in early January and Mutual Funds in end February. I remember that I started in ALI for the Stock Market and First Metro Asset Management, Inc. (FAMI) Save & Learn Equity Fund (SALEF) for Mutual Funds. I have never regretted taking my first steps in investing in the Philippines. Later on, I invested in other blue chip companies in the Stock Market, e.g., FGEN, FPH, JGS, etc. I also added to my Mutual Funds portfolio by investing in PhilEquity Fund, Inc. (PEFI) and Philam Strategic Growth Fund, Inc. (PSGFI). If you see how PSEi is doing, you’ll have to agree when I say “It’s more fun investing in the Philippines.”
I only also started creating my emergency fund this year. I’m only into the 2 months and I have 4 more months to go but I don’t see this as a problem but more of a challenge for me to be better prepared for anything. I actually used up 0.5 month when my Mom called me and told me we needed to have our roof repaired due to leaks and she also decided to have the house repainted. At the point, I felt relieved that I had an emergency fund I can rely on.
As for my salary, I don’t completely own it. I am supporting my parents in the Philippines. I have also “adopted” a child and her community in Bohol through World Vision. Giving to World Vision is so easy as it is automatically deducted from my bank account every start of the month. I also am blessed to have found the groups TROFI and TGFI who are doing outreach programs in the Philippines so in my own way I can help our less fortunate brothers and sisters.
But you know what is surprising?
Amidst my craziness over investing and creating my emergency fund, I still managed to travel a lot this year to go to new places (South Korea with my colleagues and Hong Kong with my family) and to go to places I’ve been before and just reconnect with friends (Manila and Bangkok). I am really so blessed and it makes me wonder where did the “extra money” come from? Well, it goes back to the tedious cycle of budget planning and financial tracking. Now I understand why I need to track my expenses and how it impacts my dreamboard.
I’m sure that most of my friends and family are surprised why I am writing about finances when I was a completely different person before. At the end of the day, it’s about reinventing myself to achieve my goals in life. Like Bella, I have transformed. Would you like to have a life changing transformation as well or are you just content with the status quo?