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Monday, July 6, 2015

Not so happy days, do come and go

These past few days are dark and gloomy due to the very bad weather. These days are those kinds when mosquitoes thrive and when your body malaise just won’t go away.

Days like these are almost all present in this journey to financial freedom.

When someone asks me how I’m doing, I would always say I’m a work in progress (WIP) but is in a much better state compared to where I was last year and a few years ago. I’m a WIP because I have days, very bad days when I feel like I’m getting nowhere (well hello! most of our plans are medium–and long–term plans) and when I feel like I should do something more.

Thinking about it, gloomy days come to me when pangs of guilt and regret for not starting early with this journey bite me. There would be times when I find myself saying, “if only I had started these 5 years ago, then we would’ve already been enjoying some of the plans.” And I can’t stop these gloomy days from coming. They will come and come and it’s really up to me if I want to get eaten up. And it all depends on how I’m going to react.

Let me share a few tips below how to get you going despite not-so-happy days:

·         Recite the Serenity Prayer again and again, again and again.
God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

·         Revisit your list of financial goals and see how much you’ve progressed. The list won’t only remind you the reasons why you are doing this journey but it will also tell you how much you’ve progressed such as how much you’ve saved up in your emergency account or your retirement fund when few years ago you had nothing. Also, if you're doing some sharing and talks regarding this journey, you might want to count the number of talks/people you've done it with. You may not have touched them all but you did your part to reach out to them. :)

·         Talk about it with your partner/family, mentor, or friends who are also in this journey. Just like what this craze of the 5 Love Languages is telling us, we all need acts of affirmation. To hear that what you’re doing is right and that you’re on the right track is like being given a short and comfortable limo ride. It makes the travel seem fast and light despite the fact that you still are the driver: stepping on the gas, changing gears, and stepping on the brakes, etc. except that you have quite a few cheers here and there while doing it.

·         Visit and read websites and books on personal finance and whatnot. You’ll be surprised with the amount of inspiration and ideas you can get from the sites below (to name a few) and I am forever thankful that they exist:

·         Always remember that the personal finance journey is a marathon, not a race. It’s always about discipline, consistency, and attitude. Most of all, it’s all about you. It’s your choice, your dreams, and your life you’re running for. It’s all up to you how to take control of it.

How about you? How do you tackle not-so-sunny days? :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Of Sinking Funds and the so-called Regrets

Happy New Year, everyone!

I can’t believe it’s more than a month since the last time I’ve updated this blog (not that I have a handful of readers. Haha). Seriously, I have got so much to share with you such as these topics for tonight:
  • Sinking Funds (Other Savings)
  • “Money Regrets” Budget


I think I've mentioned this in one of my previous entries as one of our financial goals. I just had to quote Dave Ramsey on this that I got from his free eBook that you can download here:

A sinking fund happens when you systematically save for an expense that doesn’t occur every month. For example, let’s say you plan to spend $1,000 on Christmas and it’s the beginning of March. You have 10 months to save, so if you put aside $100 a month to be able to pay for Christmas with cash, then that is your Christmas sinking fund. If you save $90 monthly for the car insurance bill that is due in six months, then that’s your car insurance sinking fund.
It’s your choice where you put the actual money as you build a sinking fund. It can be a simple savings account at your bank or cash in a cookie jar. The important thing is to make sure that you separate it from your other money so that it doesn’t get spent on something else.
As you make your budget, look a few months out and see what expenses are coming that need a sinking fund, then build those into your monthly budget so they don’t sneak up on you.

In short, you are anticipating expenses that are bound to happen and you do something with it by having sinking funds. So for our household, we have sinking funds for the following categories: Car, Clothing, Health, Appliances, Recreation, and so forth.  Each payday we put a certain amount of savings to each category depending on what we plan to spend on it.


You know, just this weekend, I bought a book about personal finance for P399.00 ($9). Then just today, I found out there is actually an eBook version (duh) of it and guess what, it’s for FREE. Well, if you know me, you can imagine my heartbreak! :P Then coincidentally, I found out there are a couple of more people who get these kinds of heartbreaks that they actually have a term for it such as for example “Money Regrets”. I just love this article from one of my favorite writers in Get Rich Slowly, Kristin Wong that you shouldn't miss reading.

Anyhow, thanks to that book I regretted buying, I now have P399 added to my list of so-called “Money Regrets”. And because I can’t simply regret things I did without being responsible or without doing anything about it, I just have to have a budget to sort of correct these regrets! With this, I’ll try to probably cut back on something or earn extra or do something to get the Money Regrets budget back to zero. Thanks to Kristin who brought up this whole idea/feeling of “money regrets” with such clarity. :)

Well, I hope you learned a little bit of something from this entry. I’ll try to share more insights/thoughts as it is one of my goals for 2015 (targeting to post at least 2 new entries a month). There, I’m declaring it! :O

So how ya doing with personal finance? ;)

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