Friday, January 27, 2012

Saving For My Birthday

This is my year. I promised myself that I will celebrate my birthday with a party in May. This will be my "first" birthday party. Looking back, I can't remember a time in my life that I celebrated my birthdays with a party.

First on my list is to save for this big event. Every centavo saved counts from now until May. I feel it is an exciting time for me.

But why spend if you can save the money? Yes, I've thought of that. Frugality dictates that I don't spend my hard-earned savings.

However, for this special event in my life, I would like to share the fruit of my labor with my friends and loved ones. It's "once-in-my-life-event" that I believe, I should do.

So this early, I am believing God for the blessing on my savings and provision to honor Him on my 60th birthday on May 18.

Come celebrate with me,

P.S. By the way, saving to buy an item on cash basis is a good habit that will definitely get you out of debt.

Photo credit

Thursday, January 19, 2012

7 Worthy Resolutions To Commit To In 2012

Hi there. I have been away for a while. Japan is now in winter season. Visited our Filipino workers around Takamatsu in Kagawa-ken. It has been a fruitful monitoring. Just by seeing them and being where they work, brings joy and refreshing to these precious people.
Together with the industrious lady welders in Takamatsu
At the highest point in Tsuda, Kagawa-ken
With the lady Chicken Choppers
On my way back home last January 17 on PR 407, I was reading an article on the Philippine Star. This particular article caught my attention because it speaks to retirees, of which I am within its zone!
Took this photo at the Kansai Airport on arrival
But I believe the resolutions mentioned by AP can be applied to younger ones too. The author mentioned Seven (7) resolutions for retirees in 2012.

Although I can go on retirement mode, I made a conscious decision not to retire yet because I feel that my best days are still ahead of me. There's no time to stop doing what I am called to do.

Now, let me give you my take on this article.

First of the resolutions mentioned is the call to get disciplined about money matters. The best way to do this is to set up a formal budget and stick to it. Being thrifty without a plan only goes so far when unexpected expenses arise, especially at an age when health care costs can start to mount. How true this is.

Attack your debt. The top priority is to pay off credit card debt. After the card is zeroed out, use only one card and pay off the balance monthly. If an emergency expense leads to a balance, don't let it linger or it will erode retirement savings. Having only one credit card is a very practical suggestion indeed.

The other resolutions include:
1. Invest in dividends-paying stocks
2. Get your estate plan in order
3. Be more generous
4. Check into long-term care insurance possibilities

The last one is especial to me: Stretch your body and mind. The author says we need to choose daily pursuits that keep you physically, mentally and socially engaged. Physical activity helps us to live longer, feel better, depression free and keeps our mental skills sharp. I take physical exercise as a necessity for my body that's why I play badminton and brisk walk at least three times a week.

I can't help but notice the mental sharpness of Justice Cuevas and Senator Enrile in the current impeachment trial of CJ Corona. They are in their 80s yet they are still sharp as ever. This is also the main reason why I blog!

What about you? Do you feel you can use these resolutions for 2012?

To our debt-free life,

Sunday, January 08, 2012


The New Year is full of hope and excitement. Many are looking forward to a bright year ahead. This includes goals like having a new car, promotion at work, increase income, better relationships, better house, and probably more travels. The list goes on. 
For me, I have decided that I will look for ways to increase my earning capacity for two reasons: to speed up the process of paying my debts and to celebrate my birthday in May, my first since I can remember! I want to save towards that meaningful event of my life when I turn 60. What A blessing!

I am posting this article by MMarquit entitled "Get Out Of Debt: 6 Steps You Need To Take" (Coupon Shoebox). The thing that really cool about this article is it's simple and easy to do. My wife and I start our year by revisiting our last year's budget and making changes to arrive at our 2012 budget. Part of that process is listing all of our debts as suggested in item no. 3.

I know it will be of great help to you as you do what MMarquit says. Cheers and Happy New year!
One of the most important financial lessons that you can learn is that debt is prison. Indeed, when you are paying interest on your debt, that money is going straight into someone else’s bank account — and you receive nothing in return. Plus, paying that interest makes it harder to pay down the principal and to reduce your debt. Even though it might be difficult to get out of debt, it is doable. Here are the steps you can take to get out of debt.
1. Really Decide That You’re Getting Out Of Debt
The first thing you have to do is decide that you are really committed to getting out of debt. You need to truly want to change the way you do things, and get serious about paying down your debt and getting on the path to financial freedom. Without the commitment to get out of debt, you are likely to give up.
2. Stop Adding To Your Debt
Take a look at your budget, and figure out how you can better live within your means. Before you can effective tackle your debt problems, you need to stop making purchases with debt. Look at your spending, and cut back on the unnecessary items so that you are living within your means.
3. List All Of Your Debt
Next, list all of your debts. List the balances, minimum payments and interest rates. Decide on an order to pay them off. Many people like the “debt snowball” method. You take that lowest balance debt, and concentrate on that first. This method is psychologically rewarding, since you see success faster, and are encouraged to keep going. Others, though, prefer to start with the debt with the highest interest rate, since it will save more money in the long run, since you will get rid of the most expensive debt faster.
4. Decide How Much You Can Put Toward Debt Pay Down
Now that you have prioritized your debt list, it’s time to figure out how much money you can put toward your debt pay down. Honestly evaluate your spending, and look for places to cut back. You should be able to find waste in your spending, and, instead of spending it on frivolities, put it toward paying off your debt. Pay the current minimum on all of your debts, except the one at the top of your list. Put your debt pay down amount toward that debt. The more you can put toward it, the better.
5. Look For Ways To Earn More To Speed Up The Process
If you want to speed up your debt repayment process, you can look for ways to earn more money. Start a side hustle. Get a part-time job. It’s only for a little while. If you can put your debt repayment efforts into overdrive, you can be free that much sooner — and you will reap the benefits.
6. Acknowledge Your Successes
You can stay motivated when you acknowledge your successes and take time to reward yourself. Don’t go big though — you want to stay out of debt. But you can hold a little celebration, or you can retire each debt in a creative way. Buy a small treat, or cook your favorite dinner at home. Be sure to mark each milestone, and get excited about your next step toward success.
Looking forward to 2012, debt-free,

P.S. Last year, I decided to start blogging in my desire to create a new stream of income. However, as I learn how to blog, I found that beyond making money, I can express my passion and help others find answers to their problems and challenges. Today, I am grateful to my mentor, Jomar Hilario, for teaching me how to blog and hopefully to be like him someday. If you are interested in blogging, why don't you join me at Online Mentoring Club.

Photo Credit:

Sunday, January 01, 2012

A Doable New Year's Resolution

Maritess and I had a good talk with our eldest daughter over breakfast today. We had a very light discussion of what lies ahead of us this 2012.
Topics covered many areas including finance. My eldest is a licensed Architect and works at Architecture Network, a well- known architectural firm in the country today. When asked what her goal for this year is, she readily included taking good care of her financial house, making sure it is in order this year.

I love to hear that kind of goal. I am proud of my daughter and I am sure she will succeed in that area of her life.

Like it or not, finances are one of the most talked about issues this 2012. Many are hoping to earn more, save more, invest more and become debt-free in order to gain financial stability.
I suggested the following goals for my daughter this year:
  1. Try to save more of her income, at least 20%.
  2. Monitor her spending patterns for a month, to find out where her money goes.
  3. Start creating an additional stream of income.
That was simple and short but doable. One of my goals this year include item # 3.

There will be many opportunities for earning more this year. Are you ready to grab them given the chance? I believe, we can do so if we have the financial resources as a result of controlling our spending habits and saving for the future.

Happy New Year and be happy saving, investing and getting out of debt.

To our debt-free life ahead of us,