My Love for Personal Finance

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Since I posted that I’ve been buying and trading US Stocks via Gotrade, my friends and my daughter have been asking me about trading. Zeeka (my daughter) came up to me one night and asked me why I constantly check weird lines that go up and down on my phone. I said, “Honey, I’m checking the market”. Then she asked me what’s the “market”. So I gave her a simplified version of how purchasing stocks work, in a version where she put up a hotdog stand.

This led me to think about writing this article. Growing up, I wasn’t really exposed to how money works. I just knew that I needed to make lots of it, because that’s what people do. People around me were always saying they wanted more money, my parents were encouraging me to save, etc. And, having a lot meant I get to buy all of the toys, gadgets and clothes that I wanted.

I knew about savings and my parents taught me to save money in the bank under time deposits. But they never really taught me about index funds, bonds, stocks, mutual funds, etc. I was around 27 years old when I made my first personal purchase of an investment + insurance plan from one of the big insurance companies in the Philippines. Every month I would deposit a minimal into this plan (with no fail), and thankfully, today, I can use it for anything in the future, like my retirement or my kid’s education.

This started my love for personal finance. All of these seemed so interesting! I found friends who I got to learn from and who shared the same interest. Learning about growing money excites me. LOL! I know it’s a weird thing to say, but to me, it’s a game. It’s a game where you’re competing with a lot of different factors, testing out different moves and strategies.

Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t always fun. There was time when I found myself close to a million pesos in credit card debt. It may be small to a few people reading this, but I’ve never had debt that huge in my entire life. I managed to wipe off that debt in one year, and I’m super proud of this.

I don’t have dreams of becoming a billionaire. I’ve never been that kind of person. My dreams are more for my children (if you’re a parent, you’d understand this) and for the world. I really, honestly-to-goodness want to help in making this world a better place, and I chose my niche. My heart goes out to MSMEs and freelancers out there because I have been where you are at a certain point in time. I understand the struggle, the hustle, the pain and the triumphs that these people go through.

So in terms of personal finance, I’d like to share with you some of the things that I’ve done that has helped me grow my money and not stress about finances in the recent years:

Be Honest with yourself

If you’re in pain because you’re bleeding out money and talking about personal finance gets you down, face the problem and understand why you’re in this situation. What helped me a lot is tracking my inflows and outflows. If you are married or live with your parents or siblings, it’s best to have track household budget and expenses, too. My husband and I track our own expenses using a Google Form. Here is a template that you can use: TRACKER It’s easy to make a tracker like this. Just go to Google Drive then create a Google Form. Once you have created the form, share it with the person who you want to track the household budget with.

A huge part of our revenue goes to mortgage (but that’s a given). What I realized from doing this is that I spend a lot on food. LOL! So from knowing this behaviour, I’ve become more intentional about splurging on food. We only splurge when their’s a celebration and only try to order food when it’s the weekend.

Never compare your life with others

I love looking through Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Youtube and there are times when I honestly compare myself and what I have with others. It’s so tempting, right? When someone else has that new iPhone model, or a bigger house or when someone else has a stock portfolio of a $1,000,000, you can’t help but wish, when is it going to be my turn. But what I have learned is that our lives are different. Whenever I’m tempted to buy, I ask myself, will this be something that I really need in my life (channeling in Marie Kondo). Sure, a few thousands of pesos will definitely bring more comfort. But if you stress yourself out in the journey getting there, is it really worth it?

Rules I Follow when I invest Money

We all know that cash in a savings account is obviously safe, but that’s it. Nothing happens to your money, because interest is so small that you don’t really feel it grow. Plus, over time, money really depreciates in value. So the trick is really to place it in a vehicle that earns more than the yearly inflation rate at least. This is why I have learned to be more open to risks.

My first rule in investing is to know how much risk are your are willing to take. Don’t invest in something that you haven’t researched or read about. Also, don’t invest money in high risk vehicles because you can lose all of this in an instant.

My second rule is to diversify. We scattered our funds and have investments in PH and US stocks, mutual funds, high-yielding savings accounts and crypto.

And my last rule is to never invest in something that you don’t understand. Don’t get me wrong. You don’t have to be an expert on investing, but read up or watch videos online. There are a lot of resources online that will teach you about investment. Don’t get left behind, too, when it comes to knowing about what’s happening around you. There are a lot of fake and crazy news that you’ll eventually read — a lot of scams, too. So learn as much as you can, ask friends or people who have tried these investments out and practice caution (but not to the extent that you’d rather keep your money under the mattress).

I hope you liked my thoughts for today on personal finance. I am not a financial expert so these are really general tips and the things that I shared and will share with you are really based on my own experience. Having said that, for those who would love to learn about Crypto Trading, you can start by reading this article:

It’s about how to get started on Cryptocurrency trading using Binance. Binance is the main platform that I use.

Let me know if you have other topics (personal finance is so broad) that you want me to discuss, zoom in on, and talk about.I also talk about finance on my TikTok channel so you can follow me here: https://www.tiktok.com/@gingerarboledatv

‘Til next time! Happy investing!

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