Tips To Maintain a Zero Balance on Credit Cards

While many can’t keep their credit cards at a zero balance, some people can. I’m one of those people who pay their monthly credit card balance in full (but not after experiencing getting neck-deep in credit card debt first which was one of the reasons why I got to appear on a local business and finance TV show last year!). More than learning my lesson the hard way, I think what made me get my acts together was getting drained (financially and emotionally) by this vicious cycle which only I could break. The thought of being credit card debt-free (and the joy that comes with it!) was just a bonus.

Maintaining a zero balance on credit cards is doable. Here are some practices I employ to make sure the hubby and I get to pay our credit card debts in full every month:

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My Monthly Income Distribution in 2016

I only started saving money more seriously in 2014. It was also around that time when I started investing in the stock market. Back then, I created this MS Excel file that I would update religiously. (I actually use it to this day!) I took advantage of Excel’s autosum feature as a way of adding up the money I got to save every month. I made several tables and filled it with relevant items and figures. I felt happy and accomplished because at the end of each passing year up to December 2016, I saw my savings grew dramatically from how it was prior to 2014.

My monthly income distribution, or how I divide my income to provide for my needs and that of my family, is pretty simple. Take note that this “income” refers only to the salary I receive from my job as a rank-and-file government employee. It doesn’t include the hubby’s as we manage our respective salaries and pay for our marital expenses on a shared basis. He still pays more than I do, like he solely takes care of our house and lot amortization, which is something I appreciate about him.

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A Wallet Story

Do you wanna know what my birthday gift to myself is? A wallet. Do you wanna know what I asked the hubby for his birthday present to me? Another wallet. Why would I need two wallets, you might ask. My answer is…why not? One for weekdays, one for weekends. End of story.

But wait, I’m in the mood for a wallet story, so here it is. Growing up in the province, I always saw the contents of Mame’s wallet. I always knew when she still had money or when she was running out of it. When I knew she had extra money, I’d ask her to buy me the few fancy things I liked. When I knew she had very little money, I kept my mouth shut and never bothered her for anything that would have the potential of burning a hole in her pocket.

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Traveling on a Budget

When I officially assumed the role of wife in our marriage, travel planning was one of the tasks I assigned to myself, with the hubby’s consent, of course. Actually, I’m the one looking into every single thing that involves money in our household. Traveling requires a certain amount of money, and so I have always been the one allotting a budget for it. This set up has been working out just fine for us, so far.

Ever since our wedding in 2012, our travels have been confined within the country. We have not traveled abroad as a married couple yet. (When we were still bf-gf, we got to travel to Singapore and Malaysia together.) Of course, we have plans to see more foreign countries in the future. One of our dream destinations is Japan. We have some friends based there and they’re more than willing to accommodate us during our stay there. I even have a cousin who has been working and living there with her family since the early 2000s and she’s long been bugging me to come over. Right now, we’re still saving up money for it and we don’t have any concrete plans yet.

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Lessons on Stock Market Investing, Vol. IV

Today marks my second year of investing directly in the Philippine stock market through COL Financial. So far, everything’s okay. I have a number of paper losses but my profit way exceeds its amount so technically, I’m just losing a part of it, not my capital. Also, as long as I don’t sell the losing stock positions, the paper losses will just be imaginary.

Here are more lessons I feel compelled to share with you as I continue on this exciting financial journey:

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My Guesting on ANC On the Money Show

UPDATE: I finally got a copy of the whole interview from ANC. Click here to watch it. Thank you. 🙂

Last May 23rd, I saw a comment from a certain ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) staff on this blog post I wrote last May 6th. I also got the same message on my FB messenger. Apparently, ANC On The Money wanted me to guest on their show because of the said blog post. I initially wanted to decline the invitation as I was shy in person and I never thought I could do it. (I’m not even an RFP or someone who’s an authority on personal finance, so why me?) But the hubby convinced me otherwise. I later realized it was a once in a lifetime opportunity so I better give it a go or I’d regret it forever. Haha.

The taping of the episode where I guested in as a resource person happened on May 25th. I was presented as a blogger (of Life in Manila). I only had two days of preparation but I still did my best to answer the guide questions given to me via email on the evening of May 24th. Ngaragan lang ang peg, diba? But everything turned out just fine so thank you God and thank you to my prayer warriors (you know who you are)!!!

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