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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

all in a week's meals!

I wrote about the all in a week’s meals in my other personal blog on March 2, 2014:
I am a working mother of two. So without a helper, I'd be a wreck if I don't get my act together and work with what I have. it is most challenging when my parents are not around because that means I may have to cook the entire week to ensure there is food on the table regardless of whether where I am.  
So last week was a challenge; but I'm making a difference this week (because I know it's going to get really busy at work and at school (daughter's)). Why, I cooked all meals of the week half-day Sunday! hihi. (I'm actually giving myself a pat on the back right now. lol!) Doing this doesn't only give me a little peace of mind but also will save us money! Not bad for my #70/30 project (which deserves another blog entry. Soon.) ;)

And the #70/30 project, ladies and gentlemen, is whatever is written on this blog. Hihi. I’ve been doing cook-all-you-can for weeks now and I’d have to say I’m doing better time wise. Eherm. Here’s to hitting two birds with one stone: saving and having some peace of mind while at work (and not eating out!). :)

from these...

to these...

and why not this...thanks to Jordan's free template!

and because it's a weekend, I also got to cook my family some special recipes. The picture above is that of Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Cream Sauce. Yum! And the bonus? My eldest daughter likes it that she wants to have some again for breakfast the next day. Asus!

sample baon #1

sample baon #2

Monday, April 28, 2014

Some days I am, some days I get crazy

If you've read my blog entry a few weeks ago, I wrote that for the first 2 weeks that I started on this journey, I had trouble sleeping. Part of the reason was that my mind was always on the spreadsheet and the other reason was I panicked. Who wouldn't when all the (dirty) facts are right in front of you?

Fast-forward to now, I’m still a work in progress (WIP). There are days when I’m on a panic mode and there are days when I keep my cool. I hope to have more cool days moving forward though.
In this journey to financial freedom, even before we get to read this resource, we’d realize it is important to be educated—more readings, more talks, more inspiration, and be prepared—thus, the emergency fund.

And I have to add two more, be generous and be relevant in sharing what you know about this journey and goal of ours. As in everything, it is always nice to share and pay it forward.  :)

Next, I'll blog about the (cooking) all in a week's meals activity I've been busy about during weekends. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Goal #1: Building a Starter Emergency Fund

Have you ever setup an “emergency fund” before?
I must say I probably read or even heard about it years ago but just didn’t show the slightest bit of interest then. Knowing what I know now, I feel a deep pang of regret. Of course there’s never any use lamenting the past. Also, the people around you matter too. It definitely makes a big difference having someone you know, regularly ask “How are you doing with your emergency fund?” than none at all. Since there’s really no use going back let’s move forward then shall we? Without the slightest hint of overbearance I aspire to be at least a good influence on the people around me especially the younger set. I’d rather be one of those people who’d ask you over and over, “How are you doing with your emergency fund?” than say nothing at all. I want to reach out to everyone in any small way I can and the sooner I can influence someone, the better and bigger his or her chances of enjoying financial freedom!

Contrary to what you probably think, an emergency fund is not your ordinary savings. Well, yes, you save it but you’re not supposed to touch it. No, you can’t use it to pay for that new phone neither can you use it to pay for that broken showerhead, and so on and so forth. You can only use it when it’s a matter of life and death. As for your funds/savings for the latest gadget or for fixes around the house and the like, there’s a solution to that. It calls for another kind of savings. You can probably call it (as Jordan calls it) “Family Savings”. However, before you can buy that new phone or “want”, you have to ensure you already have 3 months’ worth of income saved in it (and that’s separate from the “emergency fund”) and the money to pay for the new phone.  In short, you need to save for that phone or want. Challenging, right?

So going back to our 1st goal, it is to set up a $1000 emergency fund. Why just $1000? Well, you can read more about it here. J Then once done with this goal, we’ll continue to build the emergency fund up to 3 to 6 months’ worth of income simultaneously with the “Family Savings”. Yes, regardless of whether you earn hundreds and millions, it’s always going to take some time and you just have to give it time. You see, if it’s not obvious, time is a very important factor in succeeding with financial freedom. Why do you think interests only come after some time and not instantly? Why do you think investments such as mutual funds and some such require a period of time before you get to touch your money again? Time indeed (aside from discipline and everything in between) is important. So how do you do it so that the emergency fund is there but not easily accessible? You can probably put it in a passbook. Or you can get a little creative about emergency funds. We’ll talk about these and more on the next entry with my 2nd goal. LOL!

So, how about it? How soon are you going to start building up your emergency fund? :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Goals and Updates

I’ve only started a month and a half ago but honestly, it already feels like forever; and probably that’s because during the first month, I was completely hard on myself. I didn’t really think I could push myself that hard but I did. Sometimes I’m glad but sometimes I wonder if I really did alright. Although I’ve long before read that the journey to financial freedom is not easy at all, things could get really overwhelming when you’re actually doing it.
The first thing I did after doing all the nitty–gritty stuff in spreadsheets (read budgeting, computing expenses, and so forth which is still a work in progress, by the way. I’m still adjusting.) was declaring this project of financial independence to the world via Instagram. Lol! I used the "70_30project" as hashtag in my posts, by the way. I believe you must declare it because it can help you (if not force you) to follow through with your goals. And speaking of goals, here are my goals to attain in the next 6 months:
1) Build a $1000 emergency fund asap!
2) Get a savings/investment/life insurance rolled into one (separate from my company’s)!
3) Be debt–free!
4) Start the full 3 months’ worth of expenses emergency fund!
(The list above is currently my phone’s wallpaper and I have no plans to taking it down. Lol!)
After a month and a half, here’s an update:
1) Build a $1000 emergency fund asap! (We’re now at 15%. Not bad huh? hihi.)
2) Get a savings/investment/life insurance rolled into one (separate from my company’s)! (Done! :D)
3) Be debt–free! (Still paying; a WIP, which reminds me I should start working on the figures for this in terms of completion percentage. It’s not on the spreadsheet yet. Toinks.)
4) Start the full 3 months’ worth of expenses emergency fund! (Will start on this once all goals 1, 2, and 3 are completed.)

I just have to place the list here and the updates so I can really see the progress (no matter how small) and you can also see that there really is progress when you just push yourself to doing it. :) So how about you? How have you been progressing?
(I’ll blog about each of the goals above in my next entries. Hihi.)

Sunday, April 13, 2014


If I remember correctly, I committed to this journey sometime on February 28. I remember because that was the time I impulsively opened (saving) accounts in BDO thinking they would give me what I need. And I just have to mention that because in this journey, it is very important to know what I “need” and I must continually fight for that than anything else like “wants”. Lol!

After a month and a half, I am still a work in progress. I’ve read I should give it at least 3 months before I get our so–called household budget right. Let me just give you an overview on how things are going with me ever since I’ve decided on this journey:
  • For the first 2 weeks, I had trouble sleeping. My mind is always on the spreadsheets. :O
  • Speaking of spreadsheets, I’ve been constantly changing it according to my needs. Haha! I’ll share the new version in another entry.
  • My husband and I hold weekly meetings so I can explain and we could discuss what’s going on with the spreadsheets. And of course, so we could follow through with our goals in the next 6 months.
  • Starting last week (since I’ve discovered Jordan’s site), I’ve been tracking my expenses weekly and used her free templates for the envelopes. I love free stuff! Hihi.
  • Aside from organizing accounts, I just have to find the time to organize my bag. I’ve now embraced the “bags in a bag” principle. It comes in handy for working mommies like me. Also, this works for me because my bag is probably the heaviest bag in the whole wide world. Basically, I’ve used the B5–sized bags that I’ve collected from National Bookstore all through these years. They cost less than P40 each, by the way. So I organized my things according to work, pf, household (diaper bag), and butingting (keys, powder, pens, etc) categories. Each category gets one bag. So when I’m off to work, I take out the household bag. Then when I’m out with family, I take out the work bag. So simple, really. No more kagulohan in the bag for me. lol!  :)
 In my next blog entry, I’ll talk about my experience in doing groceries especially the challenges and how I've worked my way around it.  So, how are you doing on your end? :)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Organizing Accounts

I am not the most organized person in the world but I’d like to think I try my very best to get organized at certain things. So when I started with this financial independence objective this year, I had to get organized. Or else, how would I be able to keep track of things? How would I make it easier to keep track of things?

So I started out with organizing the household cash flow, hence, organizing the bank accounts. In a span of a month, I sure had a few hits and misses. I opened 9 accounts (not all in one bank) and closed out 2 (BDO). You may think I’m crazy about opening all these bank accounts. Yet I have to say it’s nice that I’ve figured it all out alone because it seems I am on the right track. Asus. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who thought about opening this wild number of accounts! Haha. You should read Jordan here. It was just recently that I found Jordan’s site and that we had something in common. I’m now subscribed to her and can relate to most of her posts. Most of all, like her, I really want to make a big change. So yeah, I or we currently have 7 accounts though not necessarily in Jordan’s order. 

Savings Accounts:

• 1 BPI Easy Saver (savings)
• 1 BPI Direct Savings (insurance, groceries due to 1% rebate if you use the atm card)
• 1 Chinabank Savings passbook

Savings Accounts (that more or less work like a checking account due to the need for visa debitcards sans the checkbook):

• 1 EastWest atm as Family Checking account (bills, utilities, etc)
• 1 EastWest atm for Tuition
• 1 myEprepaid card for Gas
• 1 EastWest atm for the husband

Jordan mentioned I should get my (wife’s) own account but I prefer to use the envelope system as my responsibilities involve cash payments including my allowance. I use BPI direct savings card for groceries due to the 1% rebate you can get by end of the year.  Also, why EastWest Savings? Because they only ask for a minimum of P100 initial deposit and monthly maintaining balance; and it can already earn .250% interest per annum. Plus, you get a Visa debitcard (that left me with  no choice but to close the 2 previous BDO accounts I opened. The maintaining balance is 2K and the debitcard is just plain debitcard. It's just PIN-based which defeats the purpose of flexibility.) I would love to try their basic checking account but they require 6 months’ worth of savings before getting one. So I’ll wait.

Consequently, I was able to organize my wallet so that when I’m at the grocery, I won’t have to go looking from pocket to pocket for the SM Advantage card, etc. They’re just all in one pocket with the BPI card intended for groceries. Same thing for gas purchases; the Petron card and myEprepaid card are together in one pick. Hihi.

How about you? How are you doing in this journey to financial independence? ;)
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