Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Money, Money, Money!

One thing I don't like about being a grown-up is having to balance earnings with spend. I started earning some money when I was a kid. My Mom taught me how to make gift tags using recyled gift wrappers and paper board and pincushions. We then sold them during our parish fiesta through the tiangge and for some strange reason my produce was always sold out before lunch. Mom then put my earnings in my Banco Filipino savings account (remember Banco Filipino guys?). She stressed that I always had to save.

When I started school and had a regular allowance I had to write down all my expenses and defend the raise I wanted to have. I remember starting on a 2-peso allowance, then PhP5... 10... 20 to 40 and then it flattened at PhP100 when I was in college. Unlike kids today who get their gadgets handed to them by their parents, I had to work for it. I became a student assistant (highest paid in school!) and eventually took on a freelance writing job at Pilipinas Shell before I graduated. 

It was fun then coz I didn't have bills to pay! Eventually I started working and I never did get the chance to really save because I had Miguel's tuition to pay and my MBA tuition too. I finished my MBA only because I charged my tuition to my credit card. A very bad move, but I wasn't very liquid that time and didn't want to ask for help from my parents. Eventually the horrendous finance charges (and a very persistent ex) pushed me to seek help from my parents so I could clear up the liability. 

I've since avoided using my credit card. I'd do without it, but since I travel a bit I have to have at least 2.

There are a couple of things I learned through the years about handling money and I'm blogging about it to remind myself (I'm not perfect and sometimes indulge in shopping!):

1. Buy only what you need. (advise from my Kuya)

2. Spend only within your means. (Don't use that card unless you can pay for it at month end)

3. If you get a raise or additional revenue, don't change your lifestyle. (If you used to be a fastfood person, then stick to it and don't go lunch-ing at expensive restos).

4. If you need to buy an appliance or gadgets, go for the ones that will last. Don't go for cheap ones just because they're cheap. (I have an eleven-year old TV! And I won't buy a new one unless it conks out).

5. Don't spend money that ain't yours. It's definitely just going to get you in BIG trouble. (See #2).

Investing is another issue altogether and it's something I'm still mulling over, but an investment banker told me that you should break down your investments this way: 30% for short term, 40% medium term and 30% for long term. And I'm definitely have a long way to go. 

A couple of announcements from my friends:

1. The Philippine e-Library with the UP Information and Technology Center invites you to [] on March 14, 2009, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the UP Computer Science Building. (Bloggers can get hired to blog). For more info and to register visit this page (password: ilovetoblog).  

2. De La Salle Philippines would like to encourage all La Sallians to wear green on February 13, 2009 and to participate in their Green Love Grows photos contest.

3. There's an Android Hackathon happening on February 21, 2009 organized by Migs Paraz and Charo Nuguid, so if you're a hardcore developer who does Android development, better sign-up now!