Personal Finance, Family and Career

Posts from — November 2009

How To Wash Your Hair Without Shampoo

I’ve been looking into doing a lot of lifestyle changes in my life lately. I’ve come up with watering down the shampoo since I often use more than I used to. I’ve also ended up planting some vegetables at home to save more on food. Another attempt at living the frugal lifestyle is aimed at actually eliminating the shampoo from everyday use. This is by far the craziest attempt I’ll be taking on.

Why eliminate the shampoo
First of all, shampoo is does the job of cleaning our hair. It leaves our hair smelling good and feeling soft. A lot of shampoos contain aloe vera, vitamins, minerals and fruit extracts.

So there’s actually no reason to eliminate the shampoo, right?

Introducing some Hidden stuff
A big concern for unnatural or man-made products is that they don’t do as much good as they say they do. Some resources have claimed shampoos may be actually be harmful.

Shampoos are also detergents. The chemical mechanisms that underlie hair cleansing are similar to those of traditional soap. This means that it strips off our hair with the essential oils that it needs to shine naturally.

Expensive
You can just imagine the cost of shampoo for an average person. As of this writing, the average cost of a shampoo sachet is about 5 PHP. This means that an average person would be spending around 150 PHP for a month or about 1,800 PHP a year. You could open up a savings account with that money. Did you know that a lot of Filipinos don’t have a savings account?

Here’s the Healthier and Cheaper Alternative
Vinegar and Baking Soda. Yes, I actually use baking soda to clean up my hair now. I find it easier to find. If you want to try it out. You’d better read on.

First, get a bowl and fill it up with some baking soda and water. Mix it up until it becomes as thick as traditional shampoo. Experiment a little on the amount of baking soda for the mixture. This baking soda-shampoo could last a full week.

I’ve honestly haven’t tried vinegar but I’m quite sure you’ll find these a lot more helpful.

There’s always a good feeling after you’ve tried something out of the ordinary to change routine. The best part is when breaking up your routine benefits you in so many ways.

I should probably try baking soda as a toothpaste…hmm… nah!

Photo by jilldoughtie

November 30, 2009   2 Comments

The Myth About Millionaires

200 Peso Bill

200 Peso Bill

If you’ve read the book, The Millionaire Next Door, you’d probably know what I am trying to say. Stanley and Danko, the authors of The Millionaire Next Door breaks the pop culture concept of how millionaires are. When people think of millionaires, we think:

  • The guy who just got off from the Lexus.
  • The woman who’s just gone shopping in New York for her clothes.
  • The young man who’s flashing his rolex watch.

Extensive research was done for Stanley and Danko to prove that most millionaires don’t do most of those things. Most millionaires:

  • live well below their means.
  • allocate their time, energy, and money efficiently, in ways conducive to building wealth.
  • believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status.
  • had parents did not provide economic outpatient care.
  • have adult children are economically self-sufficient.
  • are proficient in targeting market opportunities.
  • chose the right occupation

From the way I see it, luck didn’t play a part in making most millionaires millionaires.

Here’s a pretty trivial article I wrote a few weeks ago about how to become a millionaire in 10 years.

Photo by Stephen Angelo

November 23, 2009   No Comments

Invest in Yourself

How are your investments doing?

Are they earning money?
Are you receiving dividends?
Are you receiving additional shares?

If yes, then that’s good. If not, then probably you can still invest in other things — like yourself.

Investing money in mutual funds, buying retail bonds and buying a franchise are very common. But how many people you know invest in themselves?

You can imagine how investing in oneself can be beneficial to one below the age of thirty. I, myself, can see how investing in myself has proven to be beneficial. I work as a web developer with a rate increasing every year.; And I will tell you now that none of the things I know now was taught in my school. Regular investing in myself has increased my value many times over. But investing in oneself isn’t just limited to learning new stuff. There are a lot of things you can invest in yourself directly and more indirectly.

Education
Cost of investment: minimal time
Returns: nice income
This is the obvious one of the crowd. Investing in yourself through learning new skills can make you indespensible in your career. Learning a new skill could also mean you can offer your services with your new skill or even develop a business out of it.

Network
Cost of investment: minimal time
Returns: friends and opportunities
It’s who you know… not what you know. Malcom Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, makes a smart analogy how weak ties come in handy. If you want to know more about real networking and making friends, read How to Win Friends and Influence People and Never Eat Alone.

Be healthy
Cost of investment: minimal time
Returns: unlimited
Health is wealth. I think we can all agree that health is trully wealth.

  • If you exercise daily, you reduce the chance of osteoporosis and heart problems
  • If you eat a healthy diet, you reduce the chance of strokes and nutritional defiency that results in sickness
  • If you sleep 8 hours a day, you reduce the effects of sleep deprivation(depression, anxiety and cardiovascular problems)

Invest in yourself. Do not limit yourself to financial investing. Investing in your Self National Bank could be the best investment choice you made in your life. Do it now.

photo credit

November 17, 2009   1 Comment

Thinking of Working as a Freelancer?

Medieval freelancer

Medieval freelancer

Flexible work hours,flexible work location, constant improvement of skills, no uniforms and being in charge. Wow, that would be life at it’s best. Wouldn’t it be great if you can just fire your boss and call it ‘quits’?

Freelancing is defined as selling a service to clients without an employment contract. Most of the jobs are short term arrangements.

Freelancing has recently boomed in cyberspace giving birth to blogs and sites namely, freelanceswitch and freelancefolder. Both teach and guide freelancers on pricing, attitude, and everything about the business that is freelancing.

It has been so popular recently that almost everyone I know is doing freelancing on the side. I, myself, started freelancing while in college, developing websites and applications for a few companies.

Doing freelancer on the side is easy. With just a little time management you could easily put it off. But what if you want to live the freelance life. No full-time job and no ‘boss’.

You’ll need a lot more than time management to pull this off.

Technical Skills – You should be skilled in the area you want to specialize in. It’s a requirement if you want to be a freelancer.

Negotiation Skills – You should learn to negotiate your price. Pricing is very important. Since you’re trading your skills and time for money and your livelihood could depend on it, you’d better have the guts to say what your time is worth.

Time Management Skills – You can choose to work when you want as long as you meet deadlines. Just beware of Murphy.

Communication Skills – You should be able to get the right information from your client no matter what. Remember that you want to deliver what they want.

Freelancing is a really good alternative to office work but there’s much to be considered. You may find that you like the so-called financial security that an 9-6 job gives.You may also find that you miss your company’s health benefits and a lot more.

Freelancing is not for everyone. If you ever think of working freelance, test the waters first by doing it as a side business instead of doing it full-time.

Photo by redshift27

November 16, 2009   No Comments