Saturday, July 6, 2019

Some Things Graduates Should Consider


This might be too late for this year, but let me just share some ideas you can bring with you. I'll just leave it raw so you can digest it as it is.

+ Never stop learning.

+ Do not trust easily.

+ Do these three things - that makes you healthy, that earns money, that you love.

+ Begin your retirement as early as having your first job.

+ Think before you commit.

+ Be proactive.

+ Respect everyone, including yourself.

+ Acknowledge diversity.

+ Uncertainties are certain.

+ Be contented, but not satisfied.

+ Define your own happiness.

+ Love yourself. Befriend yourself.

+ Know your rights and what is left on others if you exercise it.

+ Appreciate what you have.

+ You are an individual with your own path, your own story and your own goals. You are unique in so many different ways. ~ Fitz Gerard Villafuerte

+ Uhaw sa kaalaman, mapanuri, handang magkamali kapalit ng karunungan. ~ Pan De Vera

+ Don't focus on the problem, focus on you. ~ Jun Pasion

+ Lastly... Pick-up the gold, avoid the shit.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Finance 2.1.0 How do I Increase Funds

From the previous section of this series, I wrote about the ideas I gathered from different people feeding me with delicious financial literacy. But, I guess one of the important things to do is to apply what is learned. Practice what you preached Рas the clich̩ goes. So, since somehow I am telling you: hey, there is a need to increase your funds Рthen I have to tell you what fits to my situation, somehow.

Personal Condition

I am currently trying to obtaining a degree in education on Mathematics as a fulltime student. I received some allowance due to, seems like, a study-now pay-later program. I also need to accompany some family members. Ending? It’s difficult to look for part-time job, still. I do not have the luxury of time, still. So, I have little options to increase my funds.

Cutting Costs

From the options I wrote on the previous section, Finance 2.0.0 Increasing Funds, cutting costs is the only thing I can do – and think of. There are some steps I developed. I based this from ideas I read on Peso Sense and project management. Basically, project management tells me that I need to know something before I decide. Thus, I know for certain that the first step is to monitor my expenses.

Monitoring Expenses

When I was still working, I used to wonder where my salary goes. Everytime I read my contract where my annual salary is written, I just cannot figure out where those money went. So, after about a year of being broke I decided to monitor my expenses.

On the very first month, which is on August 2016, I list expenses almost daily. Sometimes, I do it on weekends. The problem? I used to forget some details. Thus, there is still a large amount of money I am not certain where it goes.

Make a Decision based on my Expenses

With that, I saw the need to record my expenses daily. Sometimes, I jot it on my phone right after I let go of any amount – it’s a dramatic one, haha, it’s like I am separated from my pet dog. Kidding aside, this made me think before spending. I also have enough time to do financial hacking, especially if I can’t avoid eating in a fastfood or carenderia – value meal will not always give you optimum value. My expenses reflect my lifestyle – if it is in bad shape, then my lifestyle is in bad shape. If my lifestyle is in bad shape, then I have to reshape it.

Where Do Broke’s Money Go

Being broke for a couple of years – and monitoring expenses thereafter, leads me to some simple ways to cut some costs. For transportation, I usually planned ahead my route to save. A one-week tasks out from home can now be done in a day if the weekly schedule is carefully plan. I don’t go just somewhere on an impulse. On food, just like what was stated, I am doing financial hacking. If there’s an option not to include drinks, then I do ala carte or at least don’t upgrade on drinks. I also don’t fall into “value meal” or “upgrade for less” marketing, easily. If I have to go to malls or buy groceries, I just buy what’s on the list since those items are already carefully thought of. I also found a way to control myself in buying things in sale which I think I need in the future, say next month. I know for certain that sales, especially pay day sale will happen in the near future again, and again. Likewise, since I don’t have a job that pays me, then I know “pay day sale” is not for me.

Revisit my Expenses

After adjusting, there will always be room for improvement. I always check the biggest financial hole and try to adjust again, and again. The monitoring also shows my progress. It does not only give me an idea about my lifestyle or where to cut expenses, it also serves as my inspiration and motivation to continue the road to financial freedom, or at least away from financial disaster.

In A Nutshell

So, this is what I do to cut cost:

  1. Monitor Expenses
  2. Make a Decision based on my Expenses
  3. Where Do Broke’s Money Go – Implement what has been decided
  4. Revisit Expenses – to adjust further and to be motivated to move forward

Remember that whatever you do to increase your funds, your goal may not be attained for a short period. In my case, for nearly two three years I still adjust for the optimum financial life. Always go back to your reason of increasing funds. The more valid it is, the stronger your motivation will be. On the next section, here at sepchronicles, I will be sharing one of the humps of finances – debts. I will be sharing my ideas on managing debts (still uncertain if I’d go for eliminating debts, but there are similarities, anyway) and how I manage my own debts. See you on the next section.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Finance 2.0.0 Increase Funds

Even when you are currently earning enough for your daily needs or living a frugal life you still thought about increasing your funds. Right? Or… right? So, why is there a need for doing it? What are some of the things you can do to realize it? Is balance in life a part of the equation? Let us see.

A Need for Increasing Funds

Honestly, while drafting this, I have to literally ask myself, “Bakit nga ba kailangang mag-ipon at dagdagan ang pundo? Para saan?” [Why is there a need to save and increase funds? For what?]. There are a lot of answers and it depends on your personal values. But, let me compress it into three reasons that could hit some of your personal reasons. These are: future expenses, getting rich, and uncertainties.

Future Expenses

There are various future expenses you might consider. It is so diverse that some are necessities, while others are just for convenience – and, even for some people, lofty reasons (whether you admit it or not). Some are of small amounts. Others are of great quantities. Perhaps you are thinking of building or buying a house. Or, maybe, you want to buy that dream car of yours. How about travel goals? Or, you want to marry? Not that you are going to buy your partner, haha – I mean, wedding comes with a cost and even marriage, especially on its onset. If you already have kids, setting aside educational fund might help. Have you watched the effective ads saying you need to buy an iPhone or a Galaxy? The list goes on and on, and on – adding up to reasons to increase funds a need. Having no money for future expenses, especially the planned ones will leave you breaking the bank – or your wallet, figuratively, of course.

Getting Rich

Just like what I stated above, people have different reasons due to different values. So, who are we to question those people who want to get rich? On another side of the coin, getting rich is somewhat vague and, maybe unattainable. Let say, if getting rich means one million pesos and you attained it, it is usual to want more, isn’t it? So, set your definition and find the balance – something we are to consider later in this post.

Uncertainties

So, you are earning sufficiently enough. So, you can buy all the things you need – and most of what you want. You are healthy, fit and strong. But, until when? Well, don’t forget uncertainties are inevitable. Sudden expenses come in – from thing-breaking needing repairs to heart-breaking events. (Let me just point out that gadgets are not included here.) Some of these will break the bank, so to speak. You might end up closing your bank account, selling some of your properties or resort to loans – ehem. Some people may argue that it will less likely happen. Exactly the point, there is still the likelihood that it could happen. It is better to save some in order to spend some when uncertainties strike.

Some Things to Do to Increase Funds

So, with all these reasons and some of the reasons that cross your mind – what can you do to increase funds?

Save Before Spending

One of the common things to do to increase funds is to save before spending. Are you familiar with these formulas: income – expenses = savings and income – savings = expenses? Well, they are mathematically equivalent, but let us uncover the psychology on it. The first means, after receiving your salary – the income – you budget it right away to your expenses and save whatever is left or worse you just spend as long as there is some cash. The latter, however, means you set specific value to save, then whatever is left you budget it among the usual expenses plus contingencies.

Extra Income

If saving before spending still results to unsatisfactory increase in your funds then you may consider looking for extra income. There are a lot of options and has two types – active income and passive income. Active income comes from your job needing activities that translates into funds – day job, selling items, food-cart attending – basically this is when you are working to earn. On the other hand, passive income comes from which only needs initial activities but does not force you to work to earn, later. Basically, leveraging is a must in here. You only need to establish the system so that the system will work for you later. A food-cart will do – that is after setting it up, training your staff (to do the job and be honest, if possible), and promoting it from time to time. Same is also true for other business type – transportation, internet, buy-and-sell. Networking scheme also uses leveraging – this is fine as long as the scheme will not turn into scam. Be cautious in considering this, though. Study how the system works. Determine if you can benefit from it, instead of “it” benefiting from you. Crowdsource. Asked some feedback. Weigh in.

You might also consider paper assets – unit investment trust fund from banks and mutual fund from other financial institutions, bonds, stocks, or bitcoin. If that sounds out-of-this world, be on the lookout for my blog post about it. Some types, like money market funds, bond funds, balanced funds, equity funds will be differentiated along with your personal condition especially how you look at paper assets. Likewise, net asset value per share/unit will be considered since some starters have some misconceptions about it.

However, what if you are very busy or those suggestions do not fit your condition? Or, for whatever reason, you are unable to do those? You might consider looking for another job – quit the current, look for better one. If that’s not possible, have the next suggestion on your list.

Cost-Cutting

Yes. Consider this: cut your expenses – at least tightened the budget. There might be something you spend for that needs to be cut – stopped, that is – or at least minimized the budget for it. You might consider travelling less or eating out less. One way to find out where to cut cost is to monitor your expenses (one of the things I do, strictly). List all your expenses and from there you will know where to cut. Look out for those small, yet frequent expenses – a small tear on a bag of rice will eventually drain everything. On a commute? How about planning your route? How about walking some distance especially when it’s near. Eating out? How about packing your own lunch or eat heavy breakfast to eat less on lunch time? These are just suggestions you may consider. You are that person who can precisely decide on where to cut cost – just be honest and it will be a smooth process.

More? You might have some tips in mind that you want to share aside from these – save before spending, have extra income and cut some costs. Please do drop them in the comment section.

Balance While Increasing Funds

Alright, you are slowly increasing your funds. You are saving more and cut some costs. But. But. But, you are not eating right. You dropped some weights, badly (unless it’s on purpose). You are tired upon reaching your workplace because you walked a mile or two just to save. And, oh, you sold some fish-balls last night. You even cut your kids’ allowance without them doing something wrong. You now it’s not balanced anymore. Yes, you increase funds along with some problems and issues you have to deal with.

Well, one of the things mentioned earlier is to monitor your expenses. This is not just to know where to tighten the budget. It will also help you analyze your lifestyle and determined what should not be compromised. One factor to consider to know if you are unbalanced when it comes to funds is to remind yourself about your goal. What is the main reason you are doing it? Are you preparing for unwanted uncertainties by increasing its likelihood? Like, you are saving in case of illness and you work so hard and get sick eventually? Definitely not, if your sanity is still intact, haha. So, know your limit, focus on your goal and do not compromise the important things.

Hopefully, you learned something from this blog post – or at least will learn something. According to some psychologists on learning, learning happens when there is a relatively permanent change in behavior. As somebody who is relatively new in sensitively managing personal funds, this may not be so simple – but I will be diving into this further by relating my personal experience on future blog posts. This might give you ideas or I might get some attention of those people who know better and modify my way of thinking. Please don’t hold back from reaching through the comments below.

Thank you and be on the look-out for more posts, here in SepChronicles.