My Love for Personal Finance


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:

‘Til next time! Happy investing!

Managing your Personal Finances

With nothing to do, but work, I’ve found myself incessantly drawn to watch How To YouTube videos. The types of videos that I am drawn to ranges from 30 day challenges to business videos to financial videos. But, I’ll admit, How To videos on Managing your Personal Finances always attracts me.

I guess the thought of watching Managing your Personal Finances videos feels like I’ve actually done a good job (at least for today!). It feels like a step closer towards financial freedom! haha!

But, we still have a long way to go when it comes to this topic. The financial literacy rate in the Philippines is still very low. Here’s an article from our Central Bank (BSP):

So for my Business Over Coffee on my vlog on YouTube (which you need… yes, NEED to subscribe to! haha), I have invited a good friend of mine, Oskie King, to shed light to some of the basic Personal Management questions that we may have.

I hope you liked this video. This is the best time to take control of our finances. Managing your personal finances can be tough, but there are people like Oskie and videos like this that may be able to help you.

If you have suggestions on other topics that I can talk about, or guests that you would like me to invite, please feel free to comment on the comment section below.

Here’s to your financial freedom! Stay tuned for Part II, which is Managing Finances at a time of a Health Crisis.


The First Angat Pilipinas Financial Literacy Awards

I think that each one of us should have a personal mission — a mission that would eventually make the world a better place. My mission of helping people launch their own successful businesses, I believe, goes hand-in-hand with the group that I recently joined. This group’s mission is to spread the word on saving and smartly investing money. This group is called Angat Pilipinas Coalition for Financial Literacy. This group aims to start with educating three segments of our society: OFW families, the creative professionals and student and youth groups.

I believe that understanding how to intelligently handle your money helps in fulfilling that dream of creating a successful business. I think that those who know how to handle their money well will have an advantage because of a trait that these people possess. I think these people possess the discipline that is required of them.

Personally, I think that a big chunk of what made people succeed is discipline. It takes a lot of self-motivation and control for you to be disciplined enough to follow a saving pattern that will eventually get you to that financial goal that you want to achieve. It also takes the same attitude to get you to start and continue with the business that you want to get into. I have seen a lot of guides on how much to save, when to save, where to save, etc. We even have financial workshops that help you understand all these concepts and terms, but what I saw and what I keep on noticing is that those who have that drive and motivation and discipline to keep at whatever it is that they want to do are those that succeed.

A big part in keeping people motivated isĀ getting support from the people around them. If you really plan to start a business or save up or invest regularly, it’s good to surround yourself with individuals who will inspire you and motivate you. Angat Pilipinas is one group that you can join. I have made great friends in this organization and I wish them more success in achieving their mission!

Thank you for inviting me to be one of your Advocacy Consultants and a presenter for the first Angat Pilipinas Financial Literacy Awards night!


Angat Pilipinas Financial Literacy Awards

Angat Pilipinas Financial Literacy Awards

Me and Angat Pilipinas Chariman, Burn Gutierrez, presenting the award for Financial Institution of the Year

Me and Angat Pilipinas Chariman, Burn Gutierrez, presenting the award for Financial Institution of the Year

Me, Fitz Villafuerte and Marvin Germo at the Angat Pilipinas Financial Literacy Awards Night

Me, Fitz Villafuerte and Marvin Germo at the Angat Pilipinas Financial Literacy Awards Night

Sen. Bam Aquino during the Angat Pilipinas Financial Literacy Awards

Sen. Bam Aquino during the Angat Pilipinas Financial Literacy Awards

Joey Ayala during the Angat Pilipinas Financial Literacy Awards

Joey Ayala during the Angat Pilipinas Financial Literacy Awards

Achieve Financial Freedom: Start Now!

All of us want to stay at home and live life by using just passive income. I remember a friend told me that she had a dream of being a housewife — to wake up early each day to have breakfast with her “amigas” and cross stitch. After lunch, shopping in the mall would follow and in the afternoon, they would have afternoon tea. Ladies, who among us do not want to have this kind of life? I know I want to be a ‘donya’ housewife eventually. But how do we get there? I just realized that we have to start somewhere and we have to start now! We need to achieve financial freedom and FAST!

These first 6 months have really been good for us, in terms of fixing our finances. This was so because we got to listen and follow the advice of Fitz Villafuerte. Fitz Villafuerte is a civil engineer who decided to quit the corporate world in 2003 to pursue entrepreneurship. His blog, entitled, Ready To Be Rich, has already received several recognition including the Best Business and Finance Blog at the Philippine Blog Awards for two years in a row. Moreover, an international finance publication, Wise Bread, has likewise ranked his website as among the Top 100 Personal Finance blogs in the world. Fitz has also been recognized by Moneysense Magazine as among the top 12 most influential people in Personal Finance in the Philippines.

Achieve Financial Freedom: Personal Finance 101 Workshop

Achieve Financial Freedom: Personal Finance 101 Workshop

If you are thinking about achieving financial freedom at the soonest possible time, now is the time to make the right plan. I would like to recommend attending the Ready to Be Rich: Jumpstart your Wealth Workshop. Full disclosure: This is a workshop made possible by Manila Workshops, but the thing is, even if we didn’t organized this, I would still recommend this workshop.

In this workshop, you will get to answer the questions:
1. Who is the best financial adviser for me?
2. What are the three things I need to become rich?
3. What are the ten financial stages of life, and where am I now?
4. What is the most effective way to eliminate credit card debts?
5. How much do I exactly need for my emergency fund?
6. How much life insurance coverage do I really need?
7. How do I create multiple sources of income?
8. How do I know the amount of risk I can afford when investing?
9. How do I build, diversify and manage my own investment portfolio?
10. How much money do I exactly need to retire?

The ones that I highlighted are really the things I want to know more about and what I normally hear from family and friends. How about you? What are the things that you would like to know more about? Feel free to comment below.

In this workshop, you will be able to do hands-on and interactive activities, such as creating expense and income statements, preparing a zero-based budget system, debt management strategies, practical investment portfolio management and many others. This will be one of the best personal finance 101 workshops that you will ever attend because of all the practical tips that you will get.

The workshop will be on Saturday, August 17, 2013 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The venue will be at Studio SnR, 3rd Floor, Millenium Place, Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.