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Pay­ing your debt is quite a chal­lenge nowa­days espe­cial­ly when you have some finan­cial respon­si­bil­i­ties aside from your out­stand­ing loans and bal­ances.
My eyes have been opened to the real­i­ty of life when I was still young when my par­ents often asked us to stay at our mini sari-sari store at that time and sell goods to our cus­tomers. Back then, I had no idea what it was for, but I know it was our fam­i­ly’s way to cope up with finan­cial respon­si­bil­i­ties and to enable my par­ents to send us to school that until today is still oper­at­ing and help­ing us to live and pay our month­ly expens­es.
There has been a time I pro­posed to my par­ents to scale up the sari-sari store and con­vert it to a gro­cery or mini super­mar­ket, but since my par­ents did­n’t like the idea of man­ag­ing a large busi­ness and man­ag­ing peo­ple, they just opt­ed to just have a three door apart­ment near to our house.
My par­ents also ven­tured to dif­fer­ent kinds of retail busi­ness­es. From hav­ing our own com­put­er shop, a pisonet shop, and etc. I have observed that pover­ty has always it’s way to either make some­one’s life dif­fi­cult or it can either make some­one’s life bet­ter depend­ing on the per­son who has it.
Fast for­ward, when I was in my ear­ly 20’s, an easy-go-lucky, I spend most of my sav­ings to an online game, to a DLSR in which I used a cred­it card to pay it and then I suf­fered lat­er. My debt was rang­ing from 30,000–50,000 pesos at that time and I think I am already broke at that moment.
By the grace of God, I was able to pay it con­ti­nous­ly even at a min­i­mum. My EQ (Emo­tion­al Quo­tient) has been improved sig­nif­i­cant­ly after that.
And then, there goes anoth­er heart­break in 2014. Emo­tion­al­ly stressed, I pur­chased a lot in Antipo­lo in which I am still pay­ing today. After three years, I pur­chased my first car not because I am heart­bro­ken but I was inspired (inspired to reg­is­ter it to Uber as my plan A and plan B, because I thought and I was in faith that I’m going to court some­one again but turned out none of my plans suc­ceed­ed) — fast for­ward again, there’s a part in me that I regret­ed that deci­sion. since hav­ing a car was­n’t prac­ti­cal for a sin­gle pro­fes­sion­al like me and there has been a lot of times I told my par­ents to help me sell it but they are encour­ag­ing me to fin­ish what I start­ed even it will cost a lot for me and have to make some sac­ri­fices.
Up today, my out­stand­ing loans has bub­bled up to 6 dig­its . Nei­ther of them was used for busi­ness. One is a prop­er­ty, anoth­er one is a car.
So here’s the five lessons I’ve learned from pay­ing my debts:
1. Look at each debt deep­er, ana­lyze it and approach it from dif­fer­ent angles.
I for­got to men­tion that I am not broke. My invest­ments can pay my out­stand­ing loans but I chose not to and that’s how I approach each debt from a dif­fer­ent angle.
Since my car loan inter­est is fixed, and the bank could not do any­thing to recal­cu­late it even I will pay twice as the min­i­mum, if I have an extra mon­ey I just put it in as an addi­tion­al invest­ment.
My prop­er­ty-loan will be an easy one since it’s flex­i­ble. After pay­ing it, instead of build­ing my dream house there, I am plan­ning to build an apart­ment on it so I can gen­er­ate a pas­sive income through it.
There’s just a cons in pay­ing my debt in which I did­n’t like — and one of them is that I have to stick being an employ­ee for the mean­time till I paid all my debts until the last cen­ta­vo.
2. Antic­i­pate needs and use tools need­ed to achieve your goals — which is pay­ing the debt in full.
There has nev­er been in my life that my math and skills improved sig­nif­i­cant­ly.
Since I’m an I.T Pro­fes­sion­al, I devel­oped a macro on my own to mon­i­tor and update my finan­cial port­fo­lio.
You can also use some bud­get apps avail­able in App­store and Google Play.
Two apps I can rec­om­mend is AndroMoney and Wal­ly Lite — both apps has it’s own way of report­ing the sum­ma­ry of your expens­es and how much should you spend each day depend­ing on the tar­get sav­ings you have set in the appli­ca­tion.
3. Learn how to audit. Mon­i­tor where your mon­ey goes so you will be able to check how you are doing.
Part of using the tools is to learn how to audit. The two mobile apps I’ve men­tioned above helped me to audit my expens­es and check how am I cur­rent­ly doing with my finances.
4. Deliv­er all your com­mit­ments, big or small.
I learned to deliv­er all my com­mit­ments on time whether it is big or small in my pro­fes­sion­al and free­lanc­ing expe­ri­ences.
I val­ue my clien­t’s time but there are times that some of my free­lance projects took a long time not because I failed my com­mit­ment but there’s a road­block like lack of mate­ri­als need­ed or infor­ma­tion need­ed from the client.
5. Be prac­ti­cal and learn how to sac­ri­fice. Some­times you have to give up the good for great and there’s a great reward in wait­ing.
There was one prod­uct that used a mot­to: “Great things come to those who wait.” It is true. Most of the time instead of buy­ing food out­side the office, I often bring baon (pack lunch), some­times I cook, some­times what I ate in the after­noon is also the same what I will eat for din­ner. You have to make some sac­ri­fices.

SEE ALSO:  On Money: What I Wish I Knew

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I blog about my dis­cov­er­ies and learn­ings with per­son­al devel­op­ment, blog­ging, writ­ing, pub­lic speak­ing, and pub­lish­ing. I am a Jesus fol­low­er. Each month, I send out a newslet­ter with free tips on those top­ics.

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