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.

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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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Choosing BDO Peso Balanced Fund (BDOPBAL)

Last Tuesday, the day after we received our Christmas bonus, the hubby and I realized another financial goal. Along with my sister Jodie, we opened a Peso Balanced Fund with Banco de Oro (BDO). It’s one of their Unit Investment Trust Fund (UITF) offerings. Our branch of choice was the one nearest to our place, SM Manila. Slowly but surely, this little investment, along with our other ones, will grow. We are already claiming it!

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It was quite easy to sign up. I just brought two valid IDs and that’s it. (We have decided to put this account under my name for easy monitoring.) Oh wait, another requirement is having a savings account with BDO which I do have. Anyway, the account officer had me fill up an application form and a signature specimen form. She also had me answer a Client Suitability Assessment (CSA) form to find out what type of investor I am and if the product I was eyeing suited me. She also took a photo of me through a camera attached to her PC (no need to bring 1×1 pics!). Then I handed my initial investment and I was issued an official receipt. I got the Certificate of Participation (COP) after three days.

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First Real Investment

Last month, the hubby and I took the bold step of investing through retail treasury bonds (RTBs). Don’t ask the amount. It’s just a small one that’s why we didn’t hesitate to use it for that purpose. We think it’s better than keeping it in a savings account where it earns very low interest. We still have some funds left in case of emergency so I guess we made a good decision with this one.

RTBs are a good investment. It’s the government that borrows the money so the risks are almost non-existent. I think it’s better than time deposits as it offers higher interest at a fixed rate. The investment time is longer, though, so you really have to make sure not to touch the money within the set period, say 10 years or more. Otherwise, there will be some risks.

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Freedom from Debts

I remember early this year, I told myself (and probably shared in this blog) that I wanted to be debt-free. No, not just me, but my husband as well. We have some credit card debts that need immediate financial attention. I’ve heard of other people’s horrible stories on credit card debts and while we’re far from credit card-related trouble, I can’t imagine ourselves getting into the same situation. It’s like it’s gonna be the end of the world for me.

I noticed that in the past two years, a good chunk of our supposed-to-be savings just went to our credit card obligations. I know there’s nobody else to blame but us. We made a lot of impulsive purchases (I once bought tons of cheap postcards just because they were on sale!) and spent money before it even came. Truly, a bad spending habit that needs to be curbed before it’s too late.

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