A week ago I had a rude awakening at 5:30 am. For people who know me, they would think that this is unusual and very early for me. But on that day, when I woke up I had to double check the actual time I woke up versus the train departure time.
It was indeed a rude awakening when I saw that the train departure time was 6 am and I didn’t want to miss that train as it was a straight train to the airport. I wanted to avoid the hassle of buying new train tickets, finding the next departure, changing trains or worse missing my flight altogether.
So I had to calm myself down, rush getting ready, checking out of the hotel; poor front desk hotel employee who was rattled to hurry when I told him my situation; and walking to the train station and still manage to reach the train platform 10 minutes before the train departure time.
For whatever stupid reason, I set my alarm wrongly, it should have been one hour earlier. The best part of this scenario is that I packed most of my stuff and I already washed my hair the night before and the hotel was just walking distance to the train station. I was hoping that in the airport lounge there would be shower area but if none then I would just need to accept the reality that I can only do a full shower once I reach Singapore.
My learnings from that experience: it wouldn’t hurt to double check, once in a while I need to experience being jolted to reflect on my current reality and I need to learn how to adjust to being uncomfortable in order for me to achieve something different.
While in the plane, this experience made me reflect on the rude awakenings I had in the financial aspect of my life:
- First rude awakening: Zero savings, Zero investment, Have bad debt.
In 2009, a friend visited me in SG for a weekend and he did a financial check on me asking me if I had any savings given that I’ve been in Singapore (SG) since 2007. I told him I didn’t have any savings and I’ve been supporting my family. He told me proudly that he started the BPI Direct Save-Up account of 1,000 Php per month (the account is set up in such a way that every month, the nominated amount will be automatically deducted from your main account to go to the BPI Direct Save-Up account). Was thinking to myself that if he can do then I should be able to do it even double the amount. So when he left to go back to the Philippines, I was researching about the BPI Direct Save-Up account, how it works and how to open an account and after that I opened an account online and printed all the documents for mailing to my mom in the Philippines so she could submit the forms for me.
- Second rude awakening: Some savings, Zero investment, Have bad debt.
After almost 2 years of opening the BPI Direct Save-Up account, I had savings but the interest was so pathetic that I lost hope on continuing it then I received an invite from my close friend here in SG to attend a Financial Coaching Seminar, where I learned about the proper way of handling my finances (from saving to investing) and the different avenues for investing. It was there and then that I decided to do everything together: set up my emergency fund, start investing (I felt that I was rushing against time) and manage my bad debt by creating a debt elimination plan. This paved the way for the rekindling with my first love, writing, and starting a new love – organizing outreach programs from fund raising to planning the give aways and organizing the actual event.
- Third rude awakening: Market was down, Need to Diversify
In 2015, with the stock market going down I was thinking yes it is a good time to invest in the stock market but also it may be a good time to start diversifying my investments. Good thing TGFI SG was arranging talks re different opportunities which helped kickstart my wanting to do diversification. Basically, SMEs wanted to have investors to help fund their businesses. This also set the wheels in my brain in motion to think about putting up corporations with co-investors to pull our money together and setting up a business with a business partner in the Philippines.
What about you? Did you experience a rude awakening in your life lately? Tell me your story 🙂