Tuesday, November 18, 2008

US Economy Crisis and Some Bad News

I was not able to go to work yesterday because of nausea. I know this day will not be a good day for me because I have tons of email to read. I have ~ 400 new messages in my inbox.

But I never thought that more bad news will be coming in. A counterpart from the US called me and brought out a bad news.
1. One of our counterparts were terminated this morning. She was in our plant last week and just reported to our SJ office this morning. I know it it such a bad news for her. This made us all sad.
2. Latest news in Silicon Valley is about a Chinese Engineer who got fired and in return killed 3 people in their company (HR personnel, VP and CEO).

I know US is far from the Philippines but we are somehow affected because there are a lot of American companies here in the Philippines. We will be affected whether we like it or not.

Actually, rumors had been circulating lately here in the office. There would be lay-offs. They said it's about 15-20% per group/ per department. This is making us paranoids. We don't know whose on the list. Only directors know what's on the list. The announcement is taking a backseat because they still need to consult with DOLE. But according to the rumors, the announcement will be on Monday. I'm keeping my fingers cross. I'm praying really hard and trying to stop thinking about it. I don't want my baby to be affected.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Free Coupon - TREAT or TRICK?

Few weeks ago, hubby and I did our grocery shopping. We are doing it twice a month in SM Hypermart near our home. Our bill reached more than 2.7K and from the receipt, we saw that we accumulated more than 500 pesos of "Buy Me" items. So I have it checked by the customer rep and I got a chance to rub a lotto ticket. Unfortunately, I didn't win anything (I already won 2 coke in can from our previous grocery shopping). But I thought we're still lucky because I got a P50 off coupon which is valid until Nov.02.

Came Nov.01, we still haven't use the coupon. But since I forgot to buy candles for the All Souls Day, we visited SM and bought some candles and some other stuffs we need for the house. All the time, I thought that I can easily use the coupon like what we did before. Unfortunately, there is a note in there that we can only use it if we accumulated a total of 500pesos worth of Buy Me products. I was disappointed because we don't have plans of buying more stuffs that day. Bottom line, we're not able to use the coupon. And thanks to SM Marketing Strategy. It was a good TRICK and not a TREAT.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

2008 Performance Chart

I had been religiously tracking our finances since year 2008 started. So far here is our track record. I didn't include the Gross Asset because I am more concern on the Net Asset. This is being updated bi-monthly after receiving our salary.
Our investment portfolio is somehow diversified but the proposed division by Money Smart is not yet online. The fluctuations were mostly caused by the Global crisis because we are working in an American company. We have some benefits that are given in USD. This is also the reason why sometimes I get torn by the foreign exchange changes.

Anyway, we are forecasting that there will be a big deduction of our net asset early next year because I'll be giving birth that time. The good thing is we are prepared. We just need to replenish the "loss" after that.

By the way, I am a visual person and this chart can show me how good or bad are we doing. I just don't know it this will also work for other people but it might be worth a try.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

From DINK to DIwK

Before I started this blog, hubby and I are DINK couple (Double Income No Kids). We've been DINK for 3 years. We've been praying for a baby after a year of marriage but it was not given to us.

As the saying goes, GOOD things happen to those who wait. This is exactly what happened to us. GOD is GOOD. He puts everything into place. We received a big blessing by end of May. We confirmed that I was pregnant 1st week of June. We're able to close our Housing Loan by mid July because of the blessing we received in May.

Everything just fell into place. Thanks to Him!

And now that some things will change because of the addition in our family, we will need to be Money Smarter. We need to plan for everything like:
1. Budget - need to add the baby necessities like diapers and Milk
2. Insurances
3. Educ Plans
4. Health plans

I know the list will go on and on. But we need to be ready. Planning plus action is still the best defense for emergencies and crisis.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Update on LBC Banks' Royal Earner Account Interest Rate (as of 10/24/08)

LBC bank is one of the banks that offers high interest rate for a 5YR TD. Learned about it from PinayandMoney Blog. Hubby and I inquired last Friday and there was a slight change. The interest rate for the TAX Free 5Y TD was lowered from 9% to 8%. This is still acceptable because currently most banks offers TD with interest rate ranging from 1.5% to max of 6% (PSBank).

We just hope that they will not lower it more because hubby and I are planning to increase our savings in this bank.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Rice Price Increase

Few years ago, our cafeteria is only charging us 3 pesos for a cup of rice. Just this year, they have increased it to 4 pesos. And today, we received a memo from our company that they will increase it again from 4 to 6 pesos.

The good thing is that our company will subsidize the additional 2 pesos. We will still be charged 4 pesos/cup. Thanks to the management. This is still a potential savings of 1040pesos/year for us.

We Feel it Now

Hubby and I are working in an American Semicon Company. We have 5 major sites.We have San Jose CA, Minnesota and Texas in the US. We have a plant in Cavite and an office in Taguig (The Fort) here in the Philippines.

We start to feel the US crisis last month. Lay-offs happened in Minnesota. Our Texas plant is shutting down - this is an old news but we know that somehow it will affect our stock price. The recent happening was last Friday. Lay-offs happened in our San Jose site. Approximately 50-100 people lose their jobs.

This worries us because whenever layoffs happened in our major sites, something will also happen in our Philippine sites. We normally have voluntary resignation. There were benefits given but it can't sustain a lifetime. To have a business or a regular source of income is still the best option. One thing that worries me is our EF which is still way behind our target. We're only at 17% so we need to tighen our belts more. We need to revisit our expense file and check how can we improve further. We just hope and pray that it would not happen here.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Christmas Spending Tips

It's now less than 100 days before Christmas. For some, including us, a big part of their bonuses will surely go to holiday expenses.

I am not in the position to give saving tips for the Holiday Season because based on my initial forecast (excel file) , i might be spending 32% of it for the expenses mentioned below. I will try to lower it down but I am finding a hard time to do it.

Anyway, below are the things that we can consider during the holidays:

1. List, List and List.
- all the people that you want to give gifts.
- what would you like to give them - money, wrapped gifts or both.
- all the parties that you may need to attend to.
- all the contributions and potlucks that these parties may incur.
- the forecasted prices of the exchange gifts that may be required to these parties.
- the amount you need to give the carolers - adults and kids.
- the amount you'll give to the security guards, carbage collectors, messengers, etc.
- your budget for the noche buena and meda noche.

2. Budget
- list down all sources of income you'll have before the holiday like bonuses, business, sidelines, etc.
- set aside 10% or more (whatever your heart desires) for tithes.
- limit item1 to less than 50% of you total income. The lower the better.
- Save the remaining either for emergency fund and/or investments.

3. Shop Early
- Prices tends to go up when holiday goes nearer.

4. Take advantage of the Bazaars
- You'll find good finds here in cheaper prices.
- You can even haggle if you buy by bulk.
- For us, we're always looking forward to St. James Bazaar.
- Some Bazaar Schedules can be seen here: http://themrsg.blogspot.com/2008/09/2008-christmas-bazaar-schedule.html

Enjoy Holiday Shopping but ensure that you'll still be Money Smart!

Did I mention that the picture above is our actual Christmas Tree. It is only 3 feet tall and have been using it for 3 years now. I decided to change the color of the decors but still didn't spend that much. The balls, ribbons and shaped decors cost less than 300php.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Did I made the Right Choice?

Our company recently announced the spin off of one of our subsidiaries. Most of us employees are also shareholders because they had given us an option to buy shares thru salary deduction at 15% off the market price.

They explained to us the impact of this but I didn't make any move. Yesterday was already the start of the "BLACKOUT". Hope I did the right choice. Let's just watched and wait for the news after 2 weeks. More news here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sometimes it's GOOD to Procastinate

When I 1st learned the meaning of procrastination, I knew it was not good. It is also not good when it comes to saving because the earlier you save, the more you'll have in the future because of the principle of compounded interest.

However, hubby and I have been practicing this lately and we learned that it is sometimes good.

One example for this is giving into our wants. We know that we should not be an impulsive buyer. We should save if we really want to buy our wants. However, when the money is already there, we are having 2nd thought of using it for our wants. We felt that it would be better if we just add it to our savings.

With this, I encourage everyone to procrastinate buying your wants. Try to save the money you'll be needing and when you completed it, think twice, thrice or more if you still want it. By then, you'll be surprise, that you'll be hearing a small voice saying that you don't really want that, you don't really need that and you can survive without it.

This works for us. I don't know if this will also work for you. But there's no pain in trying. You can either buy your want or save more.

On Emergency Fund (EF)

I have read a lot about emergency fund. This is the money that would be readily available for you in case you lose in a business, lose a job or in any other cases of emergency. It should be as liquid as possible. Some say that EF should be equal to 12months of your monthly expenses/necessities. Others say 6 to 8 months would be good enough. It all depends on the kind of business or job you have and your capacity to find another source of income in times of trouble. Hope some of the infos below would be helpful.

Other things to consider in computing for your EF
- hospitalization should be included which is approximately 100K-200K
- should add about 10% to cover for inflation or price increases
- food expense should be doubled since you'll be spending most of your time at home
- Other utility bills like electricity and water consumption might increase as well.
- insurance premiums and other pre-need plans should be included.

Where to Keep it
1.Bank/Passbook w/o ATM
PROS: Short term vehicle, Easy Access
CONS: Interest is small.

2.Time Deposit (Preferably 30D only)
PROS: Interest is higher than Regular Savings Account
CONS: With charge if you withdraw prior the maturity date.

3. Mutual Fund/UITF
PROS: Potential higher return.
CONS: Not as safe as deposit accounts because it depends on market status. Liquidity - withdrawal takes 3-5 working days.

In summary, according to Sherwin, the key words would be liquidity, accessibility and safety because the objective of this fund is not for growth, but for emergencies. HTH. You can also share some thoughts here.

Q308 Performance Report

I was not able to review our 2008 Goals for quiet a long time. But Hubby and I are still religiously following our saving method that we've committed.

So far, so good. Below are the updates:
1. DONE. As per my update last February, we thought that this goal is not possible. But due to hard word and God's blessing. We are able to Zero-out out Pag-ibig loan. A small part of it came from our mid-year bonus. Majority of it came from our company. Thanks to them. We don't need to shed cash. Instead, we just need to serve them for 5years. In case, we resign, we just need to pay the balance of the loan they gave us w/o any interest.

2.DONE. Since February, we already increased our deduction twice. This is to save for the premium of our VULs, our 2009 family outing, tuition fee of my sister and to deposit part of the supposed to be M.A. of our completed housing loan.

3. DONE for both Philam and Sunlife. We got some plans from Philam but not yet on Sunlife. We don't think that we need to have 2 plans at this time.

4. Same update last february.

5. Some thing came up last Q1 until the 1st month of Q2. We're not able to save the 10% from our bonuses and salary. However, by mid of Q2, we're back on track. We just considered the previous month's savings a loss.

6. I was not able to update this blog but I religiously update my excel file of A & L.

In summary, we're in good shape. But the market is not. Also, we have new set of goals which are very specific and can't be published in this blog. Hope I'll be able to complete it as per the dates I've committed and planned. Created these micro goals last 9/4/09 and so far, already completed 3 items. Keeping our fingers cross that we'll be able to do all of them.

I have also discussed this report to hubby last night and he told me that we should have a new GOAL for 2009 and this is for our Emergency Fund. We are still far from the target. And we'll be creating a plan to complete it by the end of 2009. We'll just publish it once we've finalized it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Blog Find

I just recently found a new site which has a lots of info on Personal finance. Click link below:

Pinay and Money

Sunday, August 31, 2008

2 Umbrellas and a Mop for PHP8.25

We're in ACE hardware this afternoon to buy umbrellas. Hubby also bought a MOP. We're supposed to use our debit card to pay for these items but their terminals are not working. This is maybe because of the heavy rain outside. I don't want to use our cash to pay for them and so I asked the cashier to charge some of it from our SM Advantage card. Our Bill was 379.25 and to our surprise, we already accumulate a total of 371 in our card. Thanks to our Green Bags which we always use when doing our grocery.

And so we used all our points to pay part of our purchases and just pay the remaining 8.25 in cash. Pretty Cheap items huh?!

So if you don't have any SM advantage Card, go get one and use a green bag when you do your grocery shopping. You can use the points you earned when needed!

Monday, June 9, 2008

GAS Saving Tips

Since GAS price nowadays is really making our head ache, I have come up with some saving tips below:

1. Gasing up car weekly or fulling your tank. It is more efficient based on our experience. We are having a longer mileage whenever we gas up with a full tank.Also, by doing this, you are shielded by the daily or weekly price hike.
2. Use your SM Advantage Card when gasing up at PETRON. We are getting 4 points for every 1000 peso worth of gas. This 4 points is equal to 4 pesos that you can use to purchase items in SM department or grocery store.
3. Use a credit card which offers a gas rebate. In our case, we are using my BPI-Petron Mastercard. This is because of the 3% rebate gas rebate we're getting. We get 30 peso rebate for a 1000 peso worth of gas.

Let's do some math:
Petron XTRA/li = 50.16
3% rebate / li = 1.51
Actual Gas Paid/li = 48.66

Our actual Gas Expense Monthly = 6K (120 liters/mo)
Gas Rebate/Month = 180
Savings per Year = 2.16K (provided that no Gas price hike within a year).

Hope you get where I am going. However, I don't know until when this rebate will be given to the consumer. But for now, we will take advantage of it.

But just word of advise, be sure to pay your CC before the due date because if not, you'll end up paying for more.

Hope you can also share some other tips?

Thursday, May 15, 2008


This year, my family was not able to go for a summer outing because of some family financial issues. Something came up. My sister and I talked about this and decided that we should have one next year. We have decided to go somewhere in Tagaytay for an overnight stay. The estimated cost is ~ 18.5K. We decided to divide the expense between us. This means that both of us needs to shoulder 9.25K next year.

My sister suggested that we start saving this year so we did some math and here is what we have come up:

Outing Cost (Accomodation & Food for 10pax) = 18,500
Individual Commitment = 9,250
# of Paydays before the outing = 24
Need to Save every Payday = (9,250/24) = 385.42

An outright cashout of 9250 is quite heavy for our pocket vs. saving ~ 390 /payday. I salute my sister for this brilliant idea. This saving scheme is not only applicable for our summer outing but also for other future big expenses like travel, tuition fee, appliance or furniture purchase, insurance premium, etc.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Automatic Saving and Cooperative

I've been MIA in this blog for quite some time. I got really busy with some stuffs in the office and our home. So what, chocnut? Nothing really. I just want to discuss something about automatic savings. I had read some stuffs regarding this in DEXTER's BLOG and just want to spread the good things about it.

Automatic savings is the a scheme or system that you may have in your company which you may or may not be aware of. Mostly this is a cooperative. The contribution is automatically deducted from your salary. I was a fan of cooperative since grade school. We have one in our school but it is just like a bank. We can deposit and withdraw anytime.

Our company cooperative is somehow different. Below are some of the details of how it works:
1.Our savings/contribution is being deducted every payday.
2. Minimum share is 2 which is equal to 200/payday.
3. We can change our share/savings anytime. We can increase or decrease it.
4. We can deposit an additional amount without going thru our payroll.
5. Annual dividend/interest is being deposited in our payroll account.
6. Past Performance dividend >10% annually. Not bad huh?
7. We can't withdraw our shares unless our savings reached 100k.
8. The excess to 100k is the only amount you can withdraw.
9. If you have a savings less that 100k and you want to withdraw,you would need to cancel your membership and just re-apply after a year.
10. You have to withdraw all your shares if you leave the company.

I like how our cooperative works. We are saving unknowingly. A 200/payday is equal to 4800 in a year. The only downside that I am seeing is that the dividend is given every year. Therefore the law of compounded interest is not applied. But still, we can play the game because we have an option to deposit an additional fund aside from our periodic deduction. Therefore,we can deposit the annual dividend back to our account. This means that we can still apply the law of compounded interest. The sad news is, I haven't done it yet. Something always come up. But we'll make sure that we'll do it next year.

Right now, we are analyzing if we should continue to save for our emergency fund in our bank account or just put our savings in our coop. Come and let's do the math.
Bank Interest = 0.75%
Coop Dividend is =10% for the past 7years

For a 200/payday savings, total savings plus interest after a year will be:

Bank = 4819.5
Coop = 5060

Coop interest will be higher but there would still be cons which I still need to think and list down before deciding.

But my point is that we should take advantage of an AUTOMATIC SAVING system in our work place if we have one. We can start saving without us knowing that we are already building up our retirement fund.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Fashion For Less

Few weeks ago, Mall of Asia had a 4-Day Sale. Maybe, if I am not yet money-smart, I have taken the plunge. I would really like to go but I didn't, to avoid the crowd and the TEMPTATIONS. But, I think, we are still not too money-smart yet. We still went shopping in Market-Market. We bought lots of clothes but those were really cheap clothes. I got 4 blouses, 1 fashion necklace, a 2 inch sandals and a polo for hubby for only P1.1K all in all. The clothes in market market are almost the same with those in Greenhills.We were able to compare because we've been to Greenhills a week before that. And guess what?! I was only able to buy 1 sando there for P300. Expensive huh?

So if you are a fashionista and still want to be money smart, go check Fashion Market in Market Market.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Travel, Retirement, Wishful Thinking...ekek

Today, my group had a lunch out with our visitor from the US. He did some mechanical/opto checking with our test set-up. Unfortunately... it's not yet working. It may need some program tweaks and he's not the man for it. The one responsible for the program is on a whole week vacation. Hehehe.

Anyway, he treated us in Yellow Cab Tagaytay. We ate some pizza and spicy chicken wings. While traveling (Tagaygay is abut 30-45minutes drive from our office) and talking....I found out or i think he's kinda money smart man. He stopped drinking coffee because of the effect he noticed when he don't drink coffee in a day. He then finally found the saving he can get by not drinking coffee everyday ---- about $15 a week. This is about $780 a year. Laki noh?

Then... we learned also that he had been to most of the places in my travel wish list. He'd been to New York and Europe (Paris, London, etc). We asked him about the expenses they had in Europe. They told us that his family (he, his wife and 2 kids) spent almost two weeks in Europe. Almost a week was spent in relatives' places (less expenses). And still... the trip cost them about $15K. A huge amount of money. In today's conversion rate... it is about... 600K php. My husband and I can't afford it now..... but I hope... sooner or later.... we can. Hehehe.

I would like to travel. I would like to go Singapore, NY, Dubai and Europe. I've already been to US twice just because of the trainings that was sponsored by our company. Also been to Taiwan because of a project. Hubby had been to India and Taiwan because of projects but he had never been to US. Together, we've been to Bangkok for our honeymoon and Hongkong for our 2nd year wedding anniversary. Hope we will have more travel in the future.... but for now... we still need to save and invest.....

This makes me think of our retirement plan.... when we retire... we would like to have the dumdum to spend for trips. But... with the amount we're saving right now... I am still doubting it if we can do that.. We are just keeping our fingers cross that the Philippine Economy will boom someday.... we're still wishful thinking.. hehehe.

Friday, February 22, 2008

SAVE Now or PAY Later

As I was waiting for my turn in our office ATM, I was reading the post on the Bulletin Board. There are lots of campaign ads for Energy Conservation. One poster caught my attention. It says " CONSERVE ENERGY". Then there is a little caption at the bottom that says " SAVE NOW or PAY LATER".

For me.... it is not only applicable to energy. It applies to all. It can be for health, money, relationship and others. But since..this blog is about the DUM DUM. Then... I say.... we should really apply this principle.

There are a lot of celebrities we've known who are from RAGs to RICHES then RAGs again. This is because... they forgot to SAVE when they still have money to save. And Now... they are PAYing the consequences.

Saving should be practiced until it becomes a habit....

I don't know who taught me about saving... my mom does not save...shhhh.. but I can still remember that I started saving when I was a kid. I already had lots of different alikansya.. from bamboo, piggy bank, plastic bottle to fancy containers. Now I still have 2 alikansya.... a fancy looking coin bank and a Piknik Can. I save my coins there for my cravings and for New Year Tradition. Hehehe.

Saving had been a habit for me.
Investing is a different story.
I am still learning about it....

Bottomline... we have to save.
Practice Saving.
Make it a Habit.
So we'll have nothing to PAY later.
We'll just receive the interest or dividends of our savings....

And by that time.... I hope... we'll all be swimming in cash (quoted from our VP's speech. Hehehe).

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Naisip ko Lang

Habang naghihintay ako sa aking asawa na isa ring corporate slave, ako'y nagbasa ng mga blogs. Madami akong natutunan. Click ng links from each blogs. Yung iba, masyado technical at di ako maka-relate. Pag ganun... diko na binabasa. Tinitignan ko lang yung mga charts at sinasabing... wow..ang ganda ng trend at kulay. Hehehe...

Then....napa-isip ako. Dapat ata mag-share din ako. Baka meron din matutunan yung ibang mapapadpad sa blog ko. Sabi nga sa isang English Movie.... "PAY IT FORWARD".

So... impisahan ko na lang ang aking sharing sa mga susunog kong blog entries.

Pasensya na sa pagka-TAGLISH ng entry na ito. Mahirap pala kasing mag-ingles at mahirap din palang mag- tagalog. Hehehe.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Bagong Babasahin

While waiting for my beloved husband, I thought of surfing and able to see this nice blog. I enjoy reading this blog. It has information and humor.

Go check it here.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Investment/Retirement Plan

Got this info from an agent. You may want to consider them.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Updates on our 2008 GOAL

As promised... we'll be reviewing our GOALs at least once a month and below is the status:

1. May not happen due to stock market recession. This may be pushed out to next year but we are still keeping our fingers cross. The fund from SLVL are still intact.

2. DONE - form Submitted last 01/28/08. Deduction will start this February.

3. DONE with Philam. Met with an agent last Saturday. We're reviewing the papers now. We are to sign-up for a retirement plan within this month. Still thinking of getting in touch with a Sunlife agent.

4. Hmmm... no comment. The retirement plan we're reviewing right now already includes a life insurance.

5. Religiously following it.

6. This blog entry is the proof. Hope I can keep my promise about it. Hehehe.

In summary, we're still in good shape except for #1. But still, according to Colayco Book, we can still consider it as a GOOD DEBT. Need not to worry much.

Friday, January 25, 2008


When I was in elementary and highschool.... i love RECESS time.

Now that I'm working... i hate RECESSION.

Waah... Recession na naman daw.
Sayang... I was not able to take advantage of the upturn.

My supposed to be sale of company stock is now down by 70%.

Lagot.... looks like our #1 2008 Financial Goal will be affected.
We need to create a back-up plan and keep our fingers cross...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I've been shaken.... by the market...
it's so so down.. Hehehe.
I just told myself...
for now...
I am not a trader...
I am an investor.

Thanks to Sherwin for the concrete definition of these 2 terms.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Goal for 2008

I've read from Money Smart and Guerrilla Investing blogs the need for a financial goal at the start of the year. These goals must be SMART as per Nina's comment in the Money Smart Blog.

S - specific
M - measurable
A - attainable/achievable
R - relevant
T - time-bounded

Hubby and I just discussed them inside the car on our way home. This is good. I just used to do it by myself and hubby juz got surprise that nothing is left for him. Hehehe. Anyway, need to write them now before I totally forget them. Here are our Goals:

1. Pay off Debt (Zero out our Housing Loan from Pag-ibig. This is doable as per our computation. Funds will be coming from: a. hubby's stock sale early this year(espp, rsu, options) - 48%, b. Hubby's espp stock sale by mid of this year - 9%, C. Monthly Amortization until end of this year - 18% , D. Apartment Rental - 21%, E. SL/VL Conversion - 6%.

2. Increase our individual coop deduction by 500php by February this year.

3. Get in touch with a Sunlife and Philam agent for our planned Life Insurance and Retirement Plan to study their plans.

4. Only hubby will get a Life Insurance. We based it from the books we read.

5. Bonuses - 10% will be kept for savings, 10% for sharing, 80% bonus for ourselves - dine out and wants.

6. Review our goal at least once a month.

New Books

Bought 2 sets of these books during the promo period. Shipping was free so what more can I ask for? Got each set @ 750php. One set was given as xmas gift to my sister's bf while the other set is for us and I am now reading the 1st book.

Not bad huh?!

Peso & Stock Market

Philippine peso is getting stronger but the Philippine market is going down.....
A big big sigh....

what seems to be the problem?