Finances 2018

I overspent last year. I actually got ashamed of myself, but not to the point of frustration. I knew that my “overspending” was still at the normal level. I didn’t accumulate any debts because everything was well-accounted for. It was just that I felt regretful because I could have saved more money had I not succumbed to overspending.

So, what did I spend my money on? Bigger clothes because I gained weight (this I’m admittedly quite disappointed about!). More pasyal which translated to bigger transportation and eating-out expenses. Some home stuff that I could live without but were too nice and convenient not to indulge myself in (you know, products of the I-deserve-these-comforts-because-I-work-hard attitude that I get on occasions). And other unexpected miscellaneous expenses that I’m too lazy to remember right now.

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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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Zero Car Mortgage!

While working in the office last Chinese New Year, I received this photo from the hubby via Viber with a caption that said, “Happy 5th Birthday Nissen :)” (Nissen is the name of our car.) Suddenly, I felt my eyes brightened and my heart swelled with happiness. I knew it was going to be this month but the exact date eluded my memory. Fully-paid na kami sa car, yeeeeees! One major debt down, one more to go (a.k.a. our Bacoor house)!

nissen
the hubby’s FB post with the same photo he showed me on Viber
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Teaching Financial Literacy at Home

I grew up in a family where money is a taboo subject and financial education is never taught. I actually learned about such important concepts as personal finance and financial freedom through self-study. My mother, who was in-charge of budgeting in our one-income household when I was little, wasn’t really a good example when it came to managing our limited financial resources.

Chalkboard Series - Money
Image Source: http://connexcu.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/connecticut-gets-an-f-in-financial-literacy/

Back then, we were living from paycheck to paycheck and we were acquiring liabilities instead of assets. While my parents certainly did their best to provide for our needs, the idea of financial freedom was non-existent to them. Or maybe they knew about it, but it was just not among their top priorities.

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Spending Vs. Saving

Recently, I’ve been obsessed about saving. Instead of spending my entire weekly allowance, I’d make it a point to save each week. Like last week, for instance, I saved a total of P565. Funny but I felt very accomplished as I counted the money left in my wallet one by one. Haha.

ggg

Spending and saving are broad topics. They have always been a part of discussions on money management and personal finance in general. We spend mindfully and sometimes, mindlessly. We, however, tend to forget about saving.

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On Generosity and Tithing

If I were to rate myself on my level of generosity (with 10 as the highest), I’d give myself a seven. Nope, never a perfect score because I’m not a saint. I’m just human and I can be selfish on occasions. While I tend to be generous to family and friends, I normally hesitate helping other people especially if I don’t know them too well. (I’m actually more helpful to people online than offline.)

In my quest for financial freedom, my generosity is constantly tested. Should I give money to charity on a regular basis or keep it to myself so I could achieve my financial goals faster? I guess the answer to that question should depend on how much I’m willing to give. Some say it should be 10% of one’s income and they have a term for it — tithe. Tithing is a practice, or more like a way of life, that a lot of Christians have adopted as part of their faith. And I admire them for that because let’s be honest here, not everybody can do it or is willing to do so.

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