Personal Finance, Family and Career

Posts from — September 2009

Listing 100 Things I Own

We all have stuff. Useless stuff. Necessary stuff. I have decided to take up on Dave Bruno’s 100 things challenge. To participate, you need to reduce the amount of stuff you have and limit them to 100 or lower items. Dave adds additional rules like: things that would be reduced would be mostly his and books aren’t included.

This also a response to Adam Baker’s stuff page. His challenge goes over the notch and will be limiting their family’s (his wife and daughter) stuff to 100 items.

I will follow David Bruno’s path and list my items and limit them to 100 on a separate page of this blog. I will live with these 100 items for a year starting today, September 30, 2009 until September 30, 2009. This may or may not help me with a better lifestyle change but it would sure save me time and money on have just a few items to clutter my life.

Here are a few of my rules:

  • Socks are considered a group and considered as 1
  • Books are considered a group. I love books and I own a few books
  • Underwear is considered a group and considered as 1

Note: Most of my stuff were ruined when typhoon Ondoy flooded our area. I lost my laptop, most of my clothes, my toys (happy meal toys, shell ferrari toys), and many more.

September 30, 2009   No Comments

What is the Debt Snowball Method?

I am currently on my way to paying my credit card debt. It is now approximately Php 26,000 and on it’s way to zero. This is all thanks to Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball, an approach to lowering and eliminating debt by using the human psychological pattern on small successes to achieving a much larger goal (eliminating debt).

If you are in debt and want to use the Debt Snowball in eliminating debt from your life, here’s a detailed sample on how.

First, build an emergency fund that would allow you to live up to three to six months without a job. This may come as a surprise but paying up the debt isn’t the first step. The emergency fund will act as a cushion for any emergency that may arise while in the debt snowball program.

Be careful about what you consider an emergency. An emergency is an unforeseen event that costs money like flat tires, unexpected pregnancies, etc. Birthdays, Christmas and any holidays don’t count as emergencies :) An expense that you know is coming is not considered an emergency. If you cannot build up an emergency fund from your income alone, sell something. The idea is to come up with three to six months of expenses as soon as possible.

Second, list down all your debts – personal loans, credit card debt, business loans and even debts with zero percent interest. You will need to list debt down in order of the lowest amount to the highest amount.

Third, commit to paying the minimum required amount for each debt. Now, with this setup any extra amount you have should be used to pay the smallest debt. You should continue this until the smallest amount is paid.

Fourth, rinse and repeat. Once the smallest amount is paid, the extra payment for that debt plus any extra money
is added to the next smallest debt. When the debt number two is paid off, you use the money you used to pay debt #1 and debt #2 and you pay it plus any extra money to paying off debt #3. This is the core of the debt snowball. As you can see from the illustration below, the amount paid for debt #2 is much larger than the payments done for debt #1. The snowball picks up and becomes larger and larger and by the time you get to the bottom you have an avalanche.

I am on my way to being debt-free except for the house this year using the Debt Snowball method. While this method may work for me and many others, you may find it too difficult to follow. You may think of modifying it (as I have done) to your taste but trust me, this method works.

Photo by Dan Zen

September 29, 2009   No Comments

Make Huge Impacts on Your Savings

Saving a Lot

Saving a Lot

Ramit over at I Will Teach You To Be Rich is one of those personal finance bloggers that focuses on the big things instead of the small things.

As major changes are happening in the household of some very good news, we are also making changes to our lifestyle. We are trying to live with less.

Here are some changes we are trying to change.

Temporarily living closer to work. We decided that Zina could live nearer to her place of work. The change would make the 2-3 hour ride into 30-minute ride. With this she can rest as much and be less stressed.

Reduced Outstanding Bills. The amount stated on our credit card bills have significantly been lowered because of the “gazelle intense” payments we did these past few months.

Reduced entertainment costs. We decided a few weeks ago to reduce buying of DVD’s. As a result, we’ve been talking more about future plans for the family instead of using up 2-6 hours of our time watching movies.

Packed Lunches. Some may say that packing lunch doesn’t do much of saving but it actually helps a lot in reducing spending.

Use Time Wisely. This saves a lot since traveling means having to spend a lot for the trip. Weekends are now our brainstorming time. We plan what business we can do at home (Our plan from the beginning). All in all, the brainstorming has been fruitful and we’re starting to build a small canteen on the first floor of the house beside our small convenience store.

Photo by voobie

September 28, 2009   2 Comments

It Is Wise To Save

The Bible is known as the book of answers. The Bible gives us advice that we can apply to our own life on limitless topics. It isn’t impossible not to find advice about money, career and personal development.

Every Friday is Bible and Money Day at Pinoy Smart Life

Four things are small on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise: The ants are not a strong people, but they prepare their food in the summer;
Proverbs 30:24-25

In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.
Proverbs 21:20

Save. Invest. Save. Invest. Save. Save. Invest. Save.

Does this sound familiar? If it doesn’t you probably are one of the many people who don’t like to read on personal finance. Don’t care about their future. You likely waste money on trash or what Dave Ramsey defines as stuff.

Saving and investing are one of the primary actions in personal finance. We cannot achieve financial independece by using our income solely the moment we earn it. A person on the way to financial independence has incorporated into his lifestyle to save a certain percentage of this income before anything else. The mantra, Pay yourself First, comes to mind.

Saving and investing is what rich people do

And financially independent people.

And successful business owners.

They are still constantly saving and investing, but they’ve reached a point that it is a habit, a part of themselves.

P.S. I’m just on my way to deposit 2000 Php of my hard-earned money before I waste it on stuff.

September 25, 2009   No Comments