Work insights – week 3: My life’s financial wellness

Yesterday, the office hosted an hour-long talk by Mr. Rogel Morales entitled, “Pera, Pera, Paano ba Gumawa?” and in all fairness, there were a couple of things that I got from it. Such as:

Instead of the formula, (Income – Expenses = Savings), it is much better to adapt an (Income – Savings = Expenses) formula for your lifestyle so you can always set aside savings (always attached with goals) instead of banking what’s left over from monthly billes of sales, gadget upgrades, and a weekly dose of Starbucks.

And, that investing in the Asian stock market now would be a better way of investing your money because of higher returns and given a long-term goal (that is, if you want to retire at the age of, say 60, with 10 million in your savings account). While this is something I could consider trying to get a financial advisor for, uhm, I hardly have P2k in my salary account so I don’t think I have any money for investing at this point.

So for now it comes down to my saving/spending habits. Which, thankfully, isn’t much. I confess that I’m frugal enough when it comes to my own money, proven by:

  • the only shopping I indulge myself in is “thrift shopping” and the only investment I make worth over P1k are on shoes.
  • I almost never do window-shopping because it only means I add to my list of wants-but-cannot-have’s.
  • I don’t bring money with me when I lunch out with C on work days (because I have packed lunch) so I will not be tempted to buy anything outside. I am very used to forcing myself to deny things.
  • Everything I see and want when I’m at the mall, I can condition myself to think that “I don’t need it, and if I’ve lived all this time without it, I can live without it forever.”
  • I don’t know what to do with a lot of money; I’m so scared to spend it.
  • And I think for I while I actually lived thinking we’re poorer than we really are.

My only problem will be:

  • I absolutely have no qualms or reservations when it comes to spending for other people.
  • This means I don’t hesitate to give gifts worth a thousand bucks, when I actually won’t have much left after.

Uhm, seriously. I like giving gifts like no tomorrow. Why else would I bake and give cupcakes for free? (I spent money buying Starbucks coffee to make mocha icing to put on chocolate cupcakes for Doctor Who night with my friends. It is no biggie. But then, I was spending my mom’s money.)

Since I’ve started working, I’ve received my first paycheck(s)! But despite what I’ve picked up and learned from Mr. Morales’ talk, no matter how much I save for now, I don’t think I’ll reach anywhere within a year’s time. Or two year’s time. I asked my mom how this cute Hyundai car cost, and she said it’s probably Php600k. Soooo…

let’s say I have an average of Php20k a month. And in the situation that I manage to save half of it because I (1) ride with my parents to work, and get picked up from work so I don’t actually worry about commute money, and (2) I live with my parents, eat what they eat, enjoy what they enjoy — like the air con, and a lot more, (3) I share my clothes with my mom and at the same time, she still buys me everything I need — let’s say I manage to save 10k/month:

I’ll have Php120k / year, which means I can only afford that Php600k-worth of car in 5 years.


So let’s forget about getting myself a car, much less living independently in a condo in that same amount of time.

If I think about that kind of future, I will achieve NOTHING in two years. Or even in three. In my desire to save money, I’ll still be living with my parents, still riding with them to go to work, still dependent on my mom to help me buy an iPhone and an iPad (how will I design for user experience on these devices if I’m not even used to handling these things?).

The next best thing is to finally get my Masters degree after two or three years, and then maybe I’d have had a good reputation / resume / portfolio by then, and hopefully earn more too. I can’t even imagine how I’d get myself married until maybe after…six years, if I have enough money by then. Like, do you know how much weddings cost? MILLIONS. HOW CAN ANYBODY START A LIFE WITH A HOUSE AND A CAR AND TUTION MONEY?

Good thing I’m still twenty-one and I don’t have to worry about that. Yet.

But, y’know, thinking about that kind of future now seems scary. But okay. I just started working. I’m probably thinking too much about this.

For now, I need to work on getting experience, building credibility and a reputation, and becoming remarkable.


4 responses to “Work insights – week 3: My life’s financial wellness”

  1. How do you feel about loans? Currently saving up for potentially relocating, and also grad school, so I sorta know how you feel. I’m pretty good at saving, but there are times when I kind of… lose it, when I get a hold of my credit card and end up doing a bit of shopping.

    In any case, good luck to the both of us! I’m sure you’ll manage to save more than 10K a month. Especially when you freelance. :) There’s a lot of money in freelance web development. I’m surprised you’re not into it as much as I thought, actually. That Hyundai will be yours in no time!


      Oh, but I know I’m lying. I need it to buy books and stuff online. :( There goes all my projected savings, haha.

      I handle freelancing badly. :( That’s why I actually like a full-time job more. IDK, I usually don’t get paid on time (or never get paid?) when I freelance. I’m doing something wrong, I know!

  2. But if you’re freelancing on the side, you’ll earn more! And anyway, realistically speaking, do you actually think you’ll stay in the same company/have the exact same job for the next 5 years/forever? (Also, possibly 5 years from now, the cost of that Hyundai will go down haha, or you can find a second-hand one, etc)

    1. But it also made me think, though, of people who don’t really earn that much, and who don’t climb “up” the corporate/career ladder that fast. I mean, realistically speaking some people can be stuck in the 20k/month bracket for…two or three years. A lot of people quit some jobs because the raise is so small and slow that it doesn’t match their years/experience+inflation. :(

      I think I’m leaning towards like, saving for the next year or so, and then I’ll figure out a way to invest that money because I need time to expand my portfolio while making money work for me.

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