Monday, July 9, 2018

Finance 1.1.0: The Bad Financial Decision, Made Obvious

The steep decrease on August 2016 was obviously the disastrous event that happened to me, financially. However, I should take a clue from slow decrease from January 2016.

Sometimes, you will realize that something is bad if the result is bad, as well. That was just what happened.

Before my eighth year on my job as a five-month-period contractual employee, it was made known that contractual employees will not be renewed. Regularization is dependent on possessing a masters’ degree. I have difficulty filling in my time-table. The work environment became so toxic, I mean very busy, that I can’t bear – regular workload, extension activities, other clerical work and obtaining a masters’ degree. To worsen, a family member got critically ill. As a not-so-good, yet not-so-bad son, I have to help financially. Just like most people… yes, I was caught unprepared. The money I had saved almost disappeared in a snap – that’s not an exaggeration. It happened when we settle the hospital bill. It happens in just one night, since we wanted our family member to be discharged from the hospital to avoid higher hospital bill. Since it is a critical illness, the expenses did not stopped there. Is there any help? Our relatives, likewise, have their own expenses. They also get sick. Somehow, they handed some amount to help. So, I resort to applying for loans, try to sell some items and ask some people to let me resell their items. The experience clearly defined what being broke means. I contained all of those and I am not sure how I made it – I am not even sure of my sanity.

Did you finally spot the bad financial decision? If you are still clueless, I will cover it on the next section. Piece by piece. This is my financial Chronicle and I am Sep, by the way.

You may also read the mirror blog at @sepchronicles

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Finance 1.0.0: The Making of a Bad Financial Decision

My bad financial decision is written all over this article. Are you thinking that I will be mentioning it outright? I’ll make it a bit interesting (hopefully). But, to give you hint: it has something to do with culture. This is quite a long story, so grab some popcorn.

Our family’s financial status sits below the poverty line set by NEDA (National Economic Development Authority). I discovered it upon seeking a financial assistance. However, we seem to get what we need. We were raised with contentment in mind. We never have our own family computer (a gaming console), television when we were young and other things that other people consider a necessity. I remember harvesting crab on a river with my elder siblings and sell them, sell salted egg, and I-forget-some to have some cash.

My parents managed to send me to high school. I also received support from relatives for my school supplies. But most of the time, I recycled the old ones. Since my parents cannot send me to college and that my well-to-do relatives support others, I searched for some financial assistance programs. I was pleased to have some. I was financially independent since then, I even had a share for our family funds. I was able to buy all the things I need and some things I want.

I was not able to land a regular job right away for the following reasons: I am not so intelligent, not so smart, not so hardworking and not so skillful. Obviously, it did not result to what people call “flying colors” status of success. So, I end up doing part-times: computer-shop attendant; computer personnel of a local center of an international company; and both a private and center tutor. I think I earn too small. But, looking back, I never felt I am lacking. It strengthen my belief that MONEY IS NOT THAT IMPORTANT. I do not have savings. I do not think about the future finances. As long as I can buy what I need, then it is okay. Very okay.

Three years after graduating, I finally land a contractual job in a state university. It was quite a tough decision since I have to reject an offer from a bank to be a roving teller. The easier part was just an assumption – work for only 40 hours a week, no work on summer, and better benefits. Setting aside other noise, I felt accomplished financially. I earn more, and yes I spend more. I still have the family culture, so I really don’t spend much on what I want. I cannot avoid saving, since I have more than what I can spend. You might guess it – regular savings account is what I meant by saving.

Along the way, I read about concepts of investment… and then business finance… bonds… stocks. But, I never read ahead, I never really seriously think about it.

I already did the bad financial decision. Can you spot which one? The next section might give you the idea if you still have none.

This is Sep and this is my financial Chronicles.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Finance 0.0.0: Foreword on My Personal Finance Journey

Money. Finance. When have you started thinking seriously about it? What do you know before thinking about it seriously? What made you consider that it is important?

We have different answers for those questions – answers that are dependent on our experience. My answers? I started thinking about it seriously when I realized that I made a bad financial decision. Before it happened, I never thought that it is that important – especially when I compare it to real happiness. I considered it as important because I experienced to be broke – and I am still in this situation. In my opinion, there is only one way to get up and avoid the circumstances I have gone through – circumstances that even those people who are close doesn’t even know. There is also a large contribution of some Facebook community I joined afterwards – and some people who give encouragements – to make me think positively despite the negative experiences I had gone through.

I will be relating that bad experience on the first part of this series – after this foreword. You may skip that, but that part will give you the idea why I am starting to take responsibility of my own finances. Next to that, on this series, I will be writing about: increasing funds, managing debts, savings and investments, and financial protection. The discussion will start with the concepts and information I gathered from my inspiration (proper credit will be given), how I implemented it to my own, and what are my resolves in the future.

Through this series, I am hoping that experts will help me along the way and that some people who also experience the same will draw inspiration from it.

Honestly, this is the most important topic of my Chronicles – again this is Sep.