First Trimester Journey: Pregnant during COVID

Last week, we announced that I’m pregnant and Team Arbo is expecting our little one this 2021. The baby is due anytime end of September to early October. Today, I’ll share with you my first trimester journey!

My first trimester journey

We have really been planning to have another baby. Zeeka turned 8 this year and I think since two years ago, we’ve really been thinking about it. But every time, I would feel that we weren’t ready (or maybe it was just me). Then 2020 came, Zeeka turned 7 just right about before lockdown in Metro Manila happened. Then, again, we thought or I thought, I wasn’t ready, especially given the situation. Until one day, I realized that we won’t always be ready. We will never be ready.

Finding out I was Pregnant

Since we were “planning”, I started taking folic acid since middle of 2020. February 2021, I noticed some changes in the way I was feeling. I missed my period this month so as soon as I missed it, I took a home pregnancy test. Lo and behold, it came out positive! I remember placing it in and envelope and after EJ’s meeting, I handed it over to him right before our lunch break. He opened it and his eyes sparkled! haha! I knew that EJ was waiting for this moment, too. We both wanted to have around 2-3 kids.

My First Trimester Journey

Oh my gosh! I remembered my pregnancy with Zeeka to be a walk in the park. I didn’t have any morning sickness during my first pregnancy. I was glowing and radiant! But for this pregnancy, I felt horrible! I felt nauseous every single minute of the day. I would listen during meetings, but oftentimes, I would feel like vomiting so I’d stop mid-sentence sometimes while talking. What helped me a lot were Ginger candy. I didn’t have much appetite for anything really. These Ginger candies would sustain me all throughout the day.

I never forgot to drink lots of water though and coconut juice as advised by my doctor. During the early months of my first trimester, I knew that I was dehydrated so I really made sure to drink 2 liters of water a day (even if I felt a little bit bloated because of the amount of water).

Obviously, exercising with gusto was out of the question. I would walk back and forth here at home. I think I need to do more walking though now that I’m in the early days of my second quarter.

Check – ups and Blood Tests

I had online check-ups with my obstetrician. She said that that will suffice for now, and I would have a teleconsult with her after having any tests done like my transvaginal ultrasounds or blood tests. So during these times (of COVID-19), it may be best to have tele-consults first with your doctor unless you’re experiencing bleeding, or if you feel that something’s wrong.

For blood tests and urinalysis, I would call Hi- Precision Diagnostics to do home service. The first tests that my doctor had me take are FBS, CBC, urinalysis, HbsAg, VDRL, HIV 1 and 2. The tests cost me around close to Php 3000 for all of these.

As for the Transvaginal Ultrasound, I had it in In My Womb. My doctor said it was better to go to these specialized clinics first rather than take it in hospital at this point in time when cases of COVID in our country is still high. A TVS in In my Womb costs around Php 2700. In In My Womb, they make sure that you follow protocols. I have a history of having Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD) so I had to mention that to them.

In the first trimester, I got a transvaginal ultrasound on eh 6th and 8th (or was it 9th week?). The reason why was the heartbeat is best detected during the 8th or 9th week. Although, the doctor saw the heartbeat during both transvaginal ultrasounds. I’m telling you this so that you don’t worry also when they mention that it’s too early to see any heartbeat. I was actually due for another ultrasound during the 12th week, but I’m scared to go out of the house.

My doctor said it’s fine and to start practicing using a doppler. We bought a doppler a long time ago during my pregnancy with Zeeka. I also bought my neighbors’ doppler recently because ours was broken. You can also buy one from Lazada. This is the link to the doppler that we use now.

Reminders for your First Trimester Journey

For the first trimester, the priority is really taking care of yourself. If you have good health, your baby will have good health, too. When you plan to leave the house for any check ups, put on a mask and face shield at home and just only remove these again when you return. Try not to touch your mask or face shield anywhere or anytime outside of the house. This was an advise that I really take to heart. Even in the car, I don’t touch or take off my mask and face shield (even if we use our own car).

I also use those Ionizers that I hang around my neck. I use an ionizer that my parents gave. You can get it also from Lazada and here is the link to the ionizer that I use.

Inside the house, we have an air purifier, too, that we place near the entrance hallway of our condo. We have the one from Xiaomi and I think it works pretty well. Here is the link to the Xiaomi Air Purifier we have at home. I really wanted to have those heavy duty ones so I’m still saving up for those. This air purifier approximately worth Php 7000 will do.

During the first trimester, aside from folic acid, I haven’t been taking other vitamins since my doctor said that vitamins and even maternal milk can make you more nauseous. True enough! I felt queasy after trying to take one cup of milk and drinking vitamin C (on separate occasions). Now that I feel better, I started taking maternal milk.

So there, that’s it for my first trimester journey. If you have something to share about your experience during your own first trimester journey or if you have any questions, feel free to message me! I’ll be glad to answer and chat with you. If you are pregnant and reading this, congratulations! 🙂 This will be an exciting journey!

P.S. Here are some of the other posts in this blog that you might be interested in

Go Invest with GInvest!

With GInvest, Invest Anytime Anywhere!

Update on this post for 2021! GInvest has new funds that you can invest in, both local and foreign funds! If you look below, I wished for them to have foreign funds, too, and they did! Maybe the GInvest people are reading.

Check out my video to learn how I create and investment plan and how to start investing in GInvest. Also, If you have wishlists, comment in the comment section below!

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I’ve been setting aside money for different investments. I’ve been investing since I was 27 years old. I’m using around 4 kinds on investment channels. The reason for the various channels is that I have different investment objectives for each channel. I have one that I will use for my retirement. The two other policies that we have are for the education of Zeeka (and other children, if we do have others). The last one that I have is really for emergency funds.

I personally love investing. Why? I just think that it’s like a game. Funny as this may sound, I love that investing feels like a personal game that I’m playing, and I’m competing against myself. I love that I actually have control over what happens, and the forces around me and the temptation to go shopping are my opponents! haha!

Recently, I found this cool new way of investing and it’s super easy! It’s called GInvest. So it’s hidden in our GCash App, in the “Show More” portion. Currently though, it’s on BETA and only available to a few individuals. Super blessed to be given the chance to test this.

 

So I clicked on GInvest and it asked me these questions first. You have to answer these questions as truthfully as possible since the main reason for this quiz is not to spy on you. It’s actually to get your risk profile and to get a sense of your risk appetite.

 

After you answer all of the questions, you will be shown your risk profile. In my case, I am a moderately aggressive investor.

You will then have access to the GInvest dashboard once your registration has been approved. Note that you will receive emails every step of the way. I like this, because it informs me of what’s happening with my registration / account event is I don’t open the application.

With GInvest, they will match your investment with what your risk profile is. Their partner for the investment products that they offer is ATRAM.

The ATR Asset Management​ (ATRAM or ATRAM Group) operates through ATR Asset Management, Inc. (ATRAM MF) and the ATRAM Trust Corporation. In 2009, the ATRAM Group decided to expand its presence in the fast growing domestic asset management industry by forming a dedicated business group called ATR Asset Management (ATRAM or ATRAM Group). Under this group is ATRAM Trust and ATRAM MF.

For those that don’t know, ATRAM Trust Corporation (ATRAM Trust) is the first stand-alone trust corporation in the Philippines. It received its license to operate last October 2016.

ATR Asset Management (ATRAM MF), on the other hand, was established in July 1995 as the Mutual Fund Management Co. of the Phils. (MFMCP) by the Clemente Fund Management Asia Ltd. to serve as investment adviser, principal distributor and administrator of the Mutual Fund Company of the Philippines also known as the “Kabuhayan Fund”. In 2003, Maybank ATR Kim Eng Capital Partners, Inc. purchased an 83% stake in MFMCP from some of the original shareholders thereby gaining control of the company.

Personally, I did my research first before I invested. I think they’re a pretty legit company. You can read more about them here: https://www.atram.com.ph/ATRAM/AboutUs/default.aspx

So the type of investment presented to me was ATRAM Peso Money Market Fund. This fund is a UITF or a Unit Investment Trust Fund. UITFs are types of funds that pools funds from different investors with the same objectives.

I wanted to try GInvest, so I clicked on the subscribed button, and transferred around Php 1000 for investment. Get this! The minimum investment amount is Php 50! If you want to invest extra funds every day, you actually can! So after hitting the subscribe button, I got a message that GInvest will message me back once I have the subscribed units.

It just took a couple of days (or less) before I got to see it on my dashboard as “subscribed”. For those who want more information about the ATRAM PESO MONEY MARKET FUND, don’t worry! You will receive an email that contains information about the fund like this.

 

What I like about GInvest

I like that I can easily invest. Investing before was (in my opinion) more tedious than just setting aside money for savings. I think it’s tedious because of the documentation that you need to fill out. You also need to coordinate with a financial or wealth advisor, even during the initial stages of the discussion. And lastly, to top up, you pay using bills payment channels, but to know if you have “subscribed”, you will still receive their manual “letters and official receipts” weeks after. If you want to know if your subscription was received, you will still need to check with you advisor oftentimes.

I also appreciate the amount of control that’s given by GInvest. I can invest or redeem whenever I want. I can also get updates and see my subscribed shares when I open the app.

I also like that the minimum investment amount is Php 50. When I first saw this, I couldn’t believe it!

Lastly, the “set reminder” functionality that sends an SMS to you with the amount that you set is something that is very useful. You can set it to remind you every middle and end of the month or every end of the month or every end of the quarter. It just makes everything more consistent.

What I wish GInvest would have

I wished they would have more investment products like stock both local and foreign stocks, etc. Also, if there’s a way to lock that certain portion of the GCASH app. This is just for extra data privacy. Also, if you could possibly add analytics (or a way to tell us how much we should invest to POSSIBLY reach a goal for our personal investments, that would be awesome!

So that’s about it, guys! Will I continue investing GInvest? Yes, I will.

I think I trust GInvest enough and most importantly, it’s so easy and convenient! haha!

Love Lots,

P.S. You may want to check out:

GSave – https://mommyginger.com/save-money-with-gcash.html

GCredit – https://mommyginger.com/how-gcredit-works.html

Financial Tools – https://mommyginger.com/how-financial-tools-can-keep-you-out-of-trouble.html

Am I Done Filing my ITR? Nag-BIR eAFS ka na ba?

Zeeka and I were playing a game last night where she was teaching me the meaning of acronyms that they often use in Roblox like NGL, DP (I thought it meant Down Payment), GN, etc. She was laughing so hard because I couldn’t figure out some acronyms. If I were to teach her all the BIR acronyms I know, she might lose her mind. Haha! My husband said that my acronyms are for old people.

Well, for old people or not, one acronym that I want to share is eAFS or the electronic Audit Financial Statement.

I see a lot of people asking if they should still have their forms stamped if they paid online or if they have their Audited Financial Statement, how do they submit it. Well, last year, via a BIR Memo (I feel calling it a memo versus Revenue Memorandum Circular makes me cooler! haha) or Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) 49-2020 was released saying that after filing your ITR, you have to submit attachments via eAFS.

Basically, you will have to prepare 3 files for 3 categories and this is how you name the files.

a. File 1 – Income Tax Return – EAFSXXXXXXXXXITRTYMMYYYY

b. File 2 – Audited Financial Statements – EAFSXXXXXXXXXAFSTYMMYYY

c. File 3 – Other Attachments – EAFSXXXXXXXXXOTHTYMMYYYY-01

Where : XXXXXXXXX is the nine-digit TIN

: TY is the placeholder for taxable year to identify it as annual submission, regardless if FY or CY

: MM is the Month end of the taxable year

: YYYY is the Year Ended

: 01 is the first file of other attachments, up to 99 (applicable for File 3)

With Taxumo, they really helped me as a tax filer because if you have a subscription, they have a tab in Taxumo that fixes all the files that you need to collate and save as PDF.

Step 1: Check and see if your Annual ITR filing and payment is completed. Please allot 2 days because your payments will have to go through Taxumo’s partner Authorized Agent Banks (AABs). So after seeing if your Annual ITR is completed in your PAST FILINGS tab, you can go ahead and click on Attachments – EAFS on the left side of your screen.

Step 2: Watch the three videos that Taxumo has prepared for you. Learn how to download attachments and all the files that you need, combine your attachments into a single PDF and how to upload the files into BIR eAFS.

Files that Taxumo collated for you. Note that only those filed via Taxumo are in the collated files.

Step 3: Download your files via Taxumo. Note that Taxumo will only have the files that you encoded or filed/paid for via Taxumo.

To look for BIR eAFS and upload your files, go to the BIR website.

So after submitting your attachments via BIR eAFS, you are done! Yes, you are truly done doing filing your Annual Income Tax.

For those who missed the BIR x Taxumo webinar in Facebook, you can still watch it here:

By the way, the deadline for BIR eAFS submission is on April 30, 2021. This is prolly to give some people have their Audited Financial statements prepared. For those who need an Audited Financial Statement, Taxumo also has CPA partners that you can commission.

If you have any other questions, looking for CPAs for AFS preparation, etc., just email customercare@taxumo.com or chat with Taxumo’s customer advocate via the chat button in their site: https://www.taxumo.com.

Good luck! Hope you learned a new acronym today. 😉

To learn more about Taxumo, hope you can read this: A FREELANCER’S AND CONSULTANT’S GUIDE TO USING TAXUMO

Globe at Home Updates: How to Get in Touch with Customer Service + Free Covid, Dengue Insurance

We all know how important internet connection is. In our home, all of us rely on fast internet. Both EJ and I work from home. Our business is a software / technology company. And after we work, I blog / vlog, edit videos, upload massive files online, post and practice my profession using the internet. EJ, on the other hand, is also a game streamer and has to load games, some of which are quite “heavy” and have to stream and avoid lagging at the same time. And I haven’t mentioned Zeeka’s (our daughter) needs. too. She still goes to school and needs reliable internet connection so she can attend Zoom classes and do her homework on time.

This is the reason why we’ve been using Globe At Home and we have been postpaid subscribers for quite some time.

I think experiences will be different per home and per location really, but what I appreciate about Globe at Home is that they have our 1) records updated and information is readily accessible to us and 2) they are constantly improving and making their service better for all of us.

We used to have a different provider but it was a pain talking to them. They seem to have our records wrong and it seems that information that we given to them isn’t shared with the team that’s supposed to address our concern. It was just frustrating.

With Globe At Home, I appreciate the fact that they empower us. I don’t feel helpless. For those who don’t know, they have the Globe At Home app that you can download. I highly suggest that you do!

If you need any help, just click on Help and Support.

Globe at Home Help and Support

You basically have access to all of these things, resources and information above. You can check for connectivity issues, check the status of your technician who will visit your home, read FAQs, watch videos (which I personally like … they have a video on how to get stronger WiFi Connection Anywhere at Home), visit Globe Community and Level up your WiFi Experience (the tech squad can help you out).

So another thing that you may want to know about is that all postpaid subscribers of Globe At Home can claim a FREE COVID-19 and Dengue Insurance for 3 months powered by GInsure and Singlife with coverage of up to P140,500. This will be from April 4, 2021 until April 18, 2021.

Globe at Home Free COVID Insurance (GInsure)

This is the latest offering of Globe At Home to its loyal postpaid customers to continuously provide #ExtraCareAtHome protection that goes beyond connectivity.

The 3-month insurance plan offers comprehensive benefits against medical costs such as Php 500 test allowance for Dengue, up to Php 40,000 confinement allowance as well as up to Php 100,000 medical cost reimbursement if diagnosed with COVID-19 or Dengue. To read more about this GInsure x Singlife product, I wrote about it here: A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO SINGLIFE AND GCASH CASH FOR DENGUE COSTS

Postpaid customers can redeem a voucher via the Globe At Home app. All current Globe At Home subscribers are eligible for this promo as long as they have the Globe At Home or GCash apps and make sure that their accounts are active and contact details are up to date.

So there! Those are some of the updates for you if you are a Globe At Home subscriber like me! Hope you get to avail of GINSURE and try out using the Globe At Home App. To learn more, please visit https://www.globe.com.ph/broadband.html.