Monday, September 14, 2020

Broke Until 30

I was broke until I was about 30 years old. My salary all went to Miggy's tuition, upkeep and his toys (yup, he always got rewards for good grades). And I remained broke because I also saw myself through graduate school. My Tita had to help me pay off my schooling debts (thank you Titay). I was only able to start saving when I won 100k at the Ad Congress.

This was our wedding arras given to me by my Mom. It was from her arras when they got married.

I saved as much as I could growing up. I had a "wedding fund" which I eventually used to fund my graduate studies. I didn't ask help from my parents to fund grad school because I put them through so much already and they were still taking care of me and Miggy. So I made sure I provided for Miggy's schooling. While all my friends were going on trips and enjoying their 20s, I had to be prudent with my spending because I had responsibilities. Would you believe I was already in my 30s when I first went to Boracay? (And that was a business trip!).

After that super dry period I told myself I needed to save. I had to. I was 28 when my cardiologist told me that I needed to eventually have heart surgery. You can just imagine how worried I was, but with hardwork and many, many prayers things just worked out. There were also many angels along the way who helped me.

I think one of the things that should be taught early in school is financial planning. My Kuya gave me a challenge a couple of years ago -- to be financially free by the time I'm 50. The clock is ticking so I'm trying to work my way towards it. My Kuya gave advice last year on how I can manage my money better especially since we're an empty nester now (no more tuition fees to pay!!!).  Here's what he suggested I do (I compute it after setting aside money for tax) --

10% investment to build passive income
10% to upgrade yourself
10% to celebrate
10% keep for emergency
55% everyday expenses
Start at 5% tithing

What I like best about this plan is the amount set aside for celebrating. That helped me move on from the mindset that I'm still broke. I've been that way for fifteen years and it's been easier for me to spend for my boys than to spend for myself. I guess that's how it is when live in fear (I don't want to leave my family in a bind). Now that Miggy's done with school, I could relax a bit and enjoy my hard-earned money. Kuya's list is helping me better plan my future.

Eating at Jollibee is celebration enough for me.

It's never too late to start saving. I was a fresh grad when my Kuya taught me not to spend beyond what I'm earning. The only financial hole I fell into was my student debt. I was stuck in it for a long time. After I got out of it I made sure I did not fall into that trap again (well taking graduate studies eventually paid off). I've also disciplined myself to live within my means.

What about you? How do you save?

CB//160 #StuckAtHomeDay/190 #WFH108 #StayHome #BeKind 

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