It’s been a long time since the last the I wrote on my blog. But I’m happy that I still have you my loyal readers and followers of this blog. The reason I have published nothing yet is that there’s a lot of events happened for the past few weeks and I am not surprised there will be more next month! I came from a mission trip, attended a seminar/workshop of John Maxwell etc. How isn’t a busy life it?
Being busy does not translate to being productive. Sometimes we are getting busy because of unimportant things. And as the old saying, “time is gold.”
Today, let me share something I learned over the past few years when I started my journey to becoming financially literate, and responsible.
I remember when I was a fresh graduate, all I ever wanted is to earn my money. Then my first salary came, then I received my salary increase the next year, but instead of being happy about it, money became a burden. I wanted to jump from one company to another for one goal — to increase my salary.
But I noticed that even though we as millennials continue to do that, I know people who are earning more than I cannot save money. Why is that happening? It’s because:
1. It is not how much you make but how much you keep. A money not spent is a money earned.
Have you ever compare yourself to others before? Comparing can get you nowhere. It’s like wanting what others have.
Have you experienced frustrations because others often compare to your siblings or cousins when you were young? That’s unfair! You are not them and they are not you.
The only best way to be content and keep growing is:
2. Compare yourself to yourself.
Compare how much money you saved last year versus this year. Did it increase? My investment portfolio was around 70k last year, and it became 155k this year. It could have been 400k if I didn’t purchase a car and a piece of land.
The goal of comparing yourself to yourself is to be better. In any area, may it be a career, relationship, character, and wisdom, it would be healthy to practice self-evaluation as Socrates a famous Philosopher once said; “An unexamined life is not worth living.”
3. Good days are always ahead of us.
Have you ever experienced time in your life that phenomenon called “when it rain, it pours?’” Yung nakaranas ka lang ng isang bad vibes, tapos tuloy tuloy na?
Ang sakit bes! But don’t worry, believe that good days are always ahead of us. Every pain and trials will pass, there is no temporary here in this world. As C. S. Lewis once said, “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different…”
4. Income — Savings = Expenses.
How I wish I knew this before I started my first job. Often, I saved what is left when it should be I will spend what is left after taking out my savings from it.
The time I applied this principle to my finances, I did not complain that I was earning too little. And if I exceed, there’s no one to blame but myself.
5. Invest in yourself first.
This is a must. Do not invest in what you do not know. I’ve made a painful mistake of investing without really knowing how it works. I lost thousands of money in investing in stocks and VUL.
I am nothing against VUL here, but I made a mistake of agreeing on the agent unknowingly that I can invest on other investment instruments or he should educate me more about it than making a sale.
6. Financial stability is an illusion. It’s a moving number.
Numbers are moving. Did you notice it? The price of goods is steadily increasing each year, so our needs also.
No one can ever be financially stable or financially free unless he or she learns how to handle his or her finances responsibly.
Be financially responsible.
7. Never kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.
Sometimes not because you are earning more than the other, you should leave the other one and make more money with it. Would it be great if you have multiple sources of income isn’t it?
8. Never put your eggs in one basket.
Diversify. Diversify. Diversify. The wisest king on earth who ever lived, King Solomon once said, “Divide your investments among many places, for you do not know what risks might lie ahead.”
9. The money will not make money. Idea is.
Don’t fall into the trap of what others are saying. You don’t need money to make money. Yes, you need a capital to start a business, but it doesn’t mean all you need is money.
Yourself is still the best asset. Your ideas can change the world. Make it a habit to invest in yourself by education, read books, learn from others. Gain more experience.
Still not convinced?
Did you remember the first time you were applying for a job? Did the HR ask you money? No. They asked you what talents and skills can you bring to the company right? Then they will pay you for it.
Skills, knowledge and, talents make money.
10. The intention will never bring you to the destination but the intention with the right decision with right information will.
The intention will never bring you to the destination. You can make plans, you can make goals, you can aim but achieve nothing.
Last Friday, I woke up 6 AM and left home 9 am because I’m excited to meet the students from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila and for me to see also the Intramuros for the first time. But turned out while driving, Waze lost its signal. I get lost in the center of Manila and after a few hours, I didn’t notice that I am already at Bulacan.
I was planning to back-out for the said event since I’m lost and don’t know where to go next. But I believe it happened for a purpose. Thank God, I arrived just in time at the university for the event.
When it’s my turn to speak after the host introduced me to the audience, I shared to them three things they need to remember when choosing a career path.
1. Discovery: Where you should be?
Discovering which career path you will take is not limited to the field of study you are in right now. I sympathize with the students I met last Friday na ayaw nila sa course nila and di nila gusto ginagawa nila.
If you’re in that situation, I advise not to quit. I have met a lot of people who graduated but eventually became successful sa field na gusto nila. I believe the process of discovery started in childhood. Ano bang mga madalas mong ginagawa? Ano ba yung childhood dream mo? Because a child wasn’t yet affected by his or her circumstances. I wanted to be a teacher, but I became an I.T professional but God is good, I am a teacherr not by profession nga lang bat by passion and I get that through speaking and teaching Bible to Kids in Sunday School. I shared to them what Steve Jobs said below:
“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
- Steve Jobs
Don’t make decisions quickly. Mahirap magdecide kung saan ka ba tutungo. I don’t recommend to just follow your heart, lead it.
Develop your character and attitide, that’s very important. Because in the end as what my friend said in his book Career Crossover:
“Choosing a career is a critical decision. You can go places and succeed or make your career worse than what it is today.”
- Venchito Jun, CEO at 22
You may choose entrepreneurship, self-employment or employment. Yung iba sinasabi maging entrepreneur ka na lang.
But I say, what do you really want? Not everyone is called to become enterpreneurs. Pano yon? Sinong magtuturo sa mga magiging anak natin? Sinong gagamot satin? Sinong mamumuno sa bansa natin? Iba iba calling natin sa buhay and God meant it to be in harmony with one another. Iba iba man tayo ng tinapos, ng trabaho, pero all of those work together for the common good.
Not everyone are called to be entrepreneurs. Some are called to be employees, others teachers, scientists, doctors, soldiers, and etc. And we all need is to be happy and fulfilled doing what we do. No career is better or above the other.
Thank you PLM in partner with Devcon Philippines for having me. It was an awesome day with you and sobrang na-inspire ako sa dedication niyo to aspire higher and become even greater in your field!
Last July, I met with a friend and a mentor, his name is Jesse, a fellow toastmaster, a speaker, and a financial planner. We talk a lot about different things and what’s going on with our lives, what’s my plan, what are my dreams and aspirations. He even asked me when I could leave the corporate life.
Well, If it was not for the mission that God gave to stay in the marketplace for this season and with the present reality of my life that I have bills to pay, and dream house to build, I wouldn’t stay any longer. My advice is that take it step by step.
And then a thought came while listening to him that this person has achieved more than what I have achieved. Then in our circles, one of my friends also at a young age became a CEO of a company. Wow! I am so privileged that God has brought me to learn from this people. But then, I became insecure; I wish I have started early. I wish I have learned these things at a young age. How I wish, I did not apply for a job when I was a fresh graduate but rather start a business on my own. Ugh, wishful thinking.
Can you relate?. How terrible the feeling was when you are being surrounded with successful people that you thought about your own failures and what have you done in your life.
There is no wasted time for God
Then what he told me blew me away. He said, “Dhenn, it is not because you failed, or you missed the mark at that age, it’s just that at that young age, their season has come. In everything, there is a season right? A time to reap and a time to sow. Perhaps the time they were reaping, you were sowing experiences.”
He reminded me that there is no wasted time for God. He caused all things to happen at the right time. He caused all things to happen to work together for our good whether it is bad, painful or not.
Then I remember another friend came and said, “I’m so glad that God is doing great things in your life. I see some of it and He caused you to increase in every way but as I saw your life, I doubted what God is doing in my life. I became full of doubt whether I am walking according to His will or even fulfilling the calling He has for me. I had not the same success as you are.”
You are not me
I looked at him and asked him, “Do you think you will still full of doubts and it would feel you better if you see me living a terrible life and had been doing much worse in the past few years?” “Of course not.” He responded.
I said, “Sorry but I didn’t mean to offend you but your thinking is flawed. You said the other was true but the second is not. If the other is true, what I said must be true, because you are comparing yourself to me.”
“What happens in my life and what God will do with it has nothing to do with what God is doing in your life. You are not me, and I am not you.” I added.
Focus on what God is doing in your life
I remember a story of an employee who was constantly complaining that management is corrupt not listening to its employees and some of his colleagues are lazy and unproductive. And then he set a meeting with his manager about it.
All the way down, the manager listened to his complaints. Then the manager asked a favor from him. “Before you leave, can you give me two full glass of water, please?. Make sure there’s no spill will get into the floor not even a little.”
The employee came back and gave the glasses to the manager. Then the manager asked him, “While you were walking with both of your hands have full water of glass, do you see any employees who are unproductive? Do you see any of them gossiping around? Do you see the management scolding other employees?” “No there’s none.” The employee responded.
You will find that God rarely uses people whose primary concern is what others are doing. When God told Noah to build an ark, Noah did what God has told of Him, he didn’t complain that people are not believing him.
Judging others is a major waste of time. It halts progress. I’ve met and seen people doing that. They think they are doing better than the average person in which it makes them an average person.
It doesn’t mean that they don’t have what you have, doesn’t mean they are not successful. Your faults will never vanish by calling attention to the fault of others. In the same way, it doesn’t mean you don’t have what they have, doesn’t mean they are more successful than you are.
Don’t let others define your success. Don’t let other people tell you what you want. No one can build himself upon the faith or experience of another person.
Don’t measure your Failure as a person by what others have, and your success by what others haven’t. Keep that in mind.
Last July 27th, a few days after I posted one of my articles that went viral, I was also receiving a lot of messages. I read them one by one and I was surprised that someone from DZME 1350khz a radio host invited me for their radio program.
I was surprised. I don’t know how to respond as it was my first time to be invited for a radio program. But then I accepted the challenge! 🙂 And just this afternoon, I am grateful that I have been given an opportunity to be featured on a radio program. It was fun.
First, I want to thank God for this once in a lifetime opportunity. Thank you Ms. Jaemie Quinto and DZME 1530 for having me as a guest to your #HomeBuddyradio program, and continue to be an inspiration to the youth. Thank you, mentors and friends, for praying and journeying with me. Soli Deo Gloria!
Here’s a recorded video of the program:
Hope you will learn something valuable from it! Till next time.
In my recent article on “How to Survive Every Month Financially” I was shocked that my article has gone viral. I checked the stats, and it garnered a total of 200,000+ views plus my email list grew by almost 300%. Wow, just wow.
First, if you’re one of the people who read, liked and shared my article, I would like to thank you. May God bless you more! It would not go viral without you.
Here are some comments I’ve received:
Thank you for those who left their message. You are truly an inspiration to me.
I’ve seen also some of the comments that well a valid comment why manga is being compared to books. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not comparing them, it’s just that books encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone, it taught me to stop wishing and start working on my dreams, and it taught me to prepare for life and how to be an adult.
With regards to investing, I’m not an expert to answer all of your questions as I’m only basing them on my experiences and wisdom received from my friends and mentors who are “financially-savvy”, but I would be glad to write some of the things I know in the next coming weeks.
I’ve said to my previous article that at the age of 20, it came to my senses that I need to grow up. How to adult sabi nga nila.
Now how I began to be an adult? I started reading books and learn from other’s experiences. That’s the first thing you should do; educate yourself.
And that’s number one lacking in our country today. People would normally go to what is easy that’s why in the end they left frustrated. Without going on to the process of becoming the person you wanted to be, you’ll be frustrated, disappointed and probably you might give up too soon.
Now, I want to share with you the ABC’s of adulting or how it is to live like an adult. I got some of this from Seth Godin. Brace yourselves as some might get you feel uncomfortable.
A. Anxiety is experiencing failure in advance. Would you like to fail? Tell yourself about the worst possible outcome you will ever face. It doesn’t make you better.
B. Balance, there’s no such thing as balanced-life or work-life balance. Lose it and make your priorities right instead.
C. Commitment is the only thing that gets you through the chasm. Kung gusto mong mag-ipon at mag-invest at magtagumpay sa buhay, maging committed ka. Panindigan mo yan!
D. Dance with fear. Shake it off!
E. Effort. You need to make an effort.
F. Feedback. Instead of using it to please everyone, use it to further push you to overcome what you fear and embrace what you’re capable of.
G. Give cheerfully. The purpose why God is blessing us with material wealth is to give it to others. Be a blessing.
H. Heroes are people who take risks for the right reasons. Don’t be a hipster who hasn’t risked a thing so they never fail.
I. Always Initiate. Pick yourself. Take initiative. No one is going to pick you and say “hey I choose you!”. Hindi ka Pokemon.
J. Joy. Be joyful from being satisfied. Discontentment will bring you trouble.
K. Kill. Kill your bad habits by replacing it with good habits.
L. Love. Love like Jesus. We can’t, but when you have a relationship with Jesus, makakaya mo.
M. More is bad. It leads you to the world of scarcity. Do you know why some people never satisfied? Because they want more!
N. Sometimes people answered you with “No” because it feels safe. But say yes to possibility and yes to risk. Nothing is ever worth it without taking the risk.
O. One more chance. It’s okay to fail, it’s okay to be rejected. Be better then try it again, one.more.chance (read it slowly para ma-feel mo).
P. We all need pain. We will not grow if we will not experience pain. You will not experience breakthrough if there are no “break me” moments.
Q. Quality matters. Want to improve the quality of your life? Read quality books! Wag yung pocket book na iistir-up ka lang tapos tatanungin mo sarili mo bakit single ka pa rin hanggang ngayon.
R. Respect yourself. Know your worth. Stop trying to fit in. Be different.
S. Share like giving, share what you have.
T. Teach what you know, practice what you teach. The most effective way to remember a lesson is by applying it and teach it to others.
U. Unlearn. There are things you need to un-learn. Be like an empty cup. Be ready to learn.
V. Vulnerable. Being vulnerable is the only way we can gain trustworthy friends and mentors. How can I teach you if you’re not opening yourself? How can we be friends if you’re closing yourself to me? Open up yourself, but don’t be too soon.
W. Work like you never work before. If someone asked you to help him, go for an extra mile.
X. Xerocopy another term for a photocopy. Don’t be a copycat!
Y. Youth. Don’t waste your youth. Make it meaningful and purposeful. Learn to number your days.
Z. Zip your lip. Learn to listen with your heart.
So far that’s it. I hope it will help you in some way in your quest to be adult. Haha. Till next time.
I remember the time when I was struggling to survive every month when I was a fresh graduate with my 10,000 pesos gross paycheck. My goodness, it was very difficult when your food was a pares and fishball in the center of Makati and KFC funshots almost every day. Anytime I could vomit.
Back then I was still playing an online game I used to play in college.
But the moment I came to my senses, I stopped playing online games. “It’s time to be an adult!” I said to myself.
I was 21 when I tithed the 10% of my salary to church and believe God that I could tithe more than I can give every year.
I was 22 when I purchased a life insurance plan I was paying 5,000 pesos per month in which they called VUL but after two years I stopped. Why? It’s not a wise decision. I realize that if I saved that 5,000 pesos per month I should have 120,000 back then but I only have 80,000 worth of accumulated cash value. I rather switched to a term insurance.
I was 23 when I invested in the stock market. My investments grew to 6 figure in 4 years time.
I was 24 when I purchased my first land property in Kingsville Heights Antipolo in which I am still paying until 2024. And then I will use the portion of my investments to build a house. Though I purchased it not for myself but for my future wife. Hahaha! You might call me a fool but I have the faith I will meet her soon.
I was 26 when I opened an account for my future wedding fund. I applied for a health insurance plan as well.
I was 27 when I purchased my first car in which I used the sale of my company shares/stocks this year for the down payment and will pay the amortization until 2022.
So, at this stage of my life, I spend over 20,000 a month to pay my house loan, car loan, the internet and phone bill, health insurance, mutual fund, stock investment, wedding fund, personal things, etc.
Wew! It’s hard to be an adult! Haha! I never struggled because God is meeting my needs and continue blessing me so that I can bless others.
This might not be a good guide for those who are struggling to pay their debts, or having outstanding loans but here’s how I was able to survive every month and I hope it helps.
1. If you are single like me, live with your parents.
2. If you can’t live with your parents for some reasons, find a cheap apartment near your workplace. I did this when I was working in Mckinley Hills every day.
3. Never ask your parents for money, they suffered a lot already when you were still studying. Help them now.
4. Don’t take out a loan for a gadget.
5. The electric fan is enough, don’t use an aircon.
6. Don’t subscribe to a mobile subscription plan for the latest gadget.
7. Buy at least a pair of clothes every two or three months.
8. Don’t buy new shoes unless they are worn out already.
9. Read books not manga or anime. (Okay, I’m a fan of anime, but I don’t consume a lot of time from it.) Books are still more valuable. Pick and read a book and you will never think the same way as you do.
10. If you need to de-stress, watch Korean Drama at home or play Everwing in an hour, anything exceeds that is a waste of time.
11. Attend financial literacy seminars and find friends and mentors who can help you achieve your goals.
12. Do not save just for the sake of saving. Save to invest.
13. Don’t complain if you can’t save because your salary is not yet that much, remember, it is not about the money you earn, it is about the money you keep.
14. Don’t save and invest without a reason. Your 1 million pesos cannot give you happiness, what matters is what will you do with that money?
15. Start a business.
16. Take freelancing jobs if you have the skill to do it.
17. Do not buy a condo unit if you don’t have plans to make it as a money generating asset.
18. Don’t buy a car if you are a fresh graduate.
19. Don’t jump from one company to another company. You are not a horse, there’s no such thing as greener pasture.
20. Build your career but take care of yourself.
21. Have goals. Be ambitious.
22. Make your own dream-board.
23. Exercise. Be healthy.
24. Have a relationship with God. Seek Him first before everything else.
24. Don’t borrow money if you can’t promise to pay on time! Huwag kang uutang!
25. Want to save more? Set a portion of your monthly salary and transfer it to another account immediately once you receive your salary.
26. Budget and spend what is left.
27. Monitor your expenses.
28. If you are dating someone, don’t go to an expensive restaurant yet if you don’t have a budget. Don’t date to impress, date to get to know the other person.
29. Bring a pack lunch or dinner in your office. Iwas peer pressure, nakatipid ka pa.
30. Avoid people who love to spend
31. Don’t drink coffee from Starbucks, make your own coffee!
32. Utilize your company’s overflowing supply of coffee.
33. Find another job that can help you earn more.
34. If you want to study, find a library, not a coffee shop.
35. Be a cheerful giver.
So far that’s it. I hope it helps. Always remember, every financial decision is also a spiritual decision. Till next time.