ENTRY #4: APRIL
I could not believe that this is just the fourth month of the Go 120 Challenge! Feels like forever honestly.
April was a blast! I am a new uncle and a godfather to my first nephew! We have been waiting for this little angel for almost five years and you guys have no idea how excited everyone is in the family.
So to cut the story short, this uncle here has been spending a lot just to show his happiness to this cute thing – bought a stroller/car seat as a gift, a bunch of baby clothes and toys (all in color blue, of course), bottles, and other infant stuff.My spending didn’t end there. Because if there’s a new addition to the clan, the family will always follow! As you know, I am a “provincial guy,” so most of my loved ones still prefers to stay there. Right now, everyone is pretty much flying in and out of Manila – mom, dad, nieces, etc.Aside from being an uncle and a godfather (sorry, I just have to say that over and over again because being both at the same time feels so mature… maturity level x 100!), I also act as the driver who would fetch people to/from the airport, pay for gas, treat them to snacks, etc. Good times, really.
Oh yes, the update. You never finish this entry without THE Update. For the record, you can always skip setting aside for your savings if you feel that there is a bigger and once in a lifetime opportunity to create memories. Why didn’t I plan for these expenses early on? Well, I never expected to be this happy and all-out to the nephew. So just chill, keep it steady, and cherish these moments. You always have the next cut-off to save up and prepare for the future.
ENTRY # 3: MARCH
March is finally here and so are the summer trips that have been scheduled since last year. As you know, I only agreed to join this challenge last January so there is no way for me to have known this beforehand. And so cancelling these trips is not an option.
The Other Expenses
It’s that time of the year when ritual essentials are scheduled. As a responsible individual, I make sure that everything is in working order and are properly maintained, thus:
Car Maintenance. Of course, I have to bring my car to the shop for maintenance and safety checks, change oil, fluid, etc. Good thing my tires are not yet due for replacement. However, I needed to change the radiator and have to allot more than the usual budget.
Home Repair. More of the superficial this year – repainted the sidewalk in front of our house and the rattan set in our lanai. Also added more racks inside our bodega.
Insurance Policy Premium. I updated my Sun Life insurance policy that I got four years ago. Finally! It has been years!. Also invested on Mutual Fund for the first time! To sum up in one word how I feel on this: AWESOME!
Personal Effects. I did some shopping as March is when I get my first bonus for the year! I spent way more than my ideal budget.
This month, I realized that I have a habit of rewarding myself every time I complete a major project or had a bad day, among other things. I am not saying that it is wrong, but these are part of our daily routine and way of life so one can more or less expect and anticipate them. However, this mindset might lead us to looking forward to another mishap in order to be rewarded, and not exactly to learn from it. Note: rewarding one’s self is good if done moderately and reasonably.
My Financial Journey
As I have said, I finally updated my Sun Life policy and invested on mutual funds! As for my Go120 update, not so much happening there. People deserve a break too.
ENTRY # 2: FEBRUARY
What did I get myself into? This is not the usual challenge that I would take. Not about money. Not about the thing that would limit my weekend plans to workout, do Muay Thai training, and eat a P168 ramen to end the day (but I must say that this ramen is really good! Tamagoya!).
My sister and even our yaya would ask me why I am home so early on a Friday, even Saturday, night. Truth be told, aside from this challenge, I really want to change my lifestyle. And yes, I am trying to convince myself that this is totally fine.
So how am I doing in this challenge? Well as far as the money goes, I am doing great! I actually have P30,000 set aside for this. And before you compute how much I earn as a marketing guy, let me tell you now that the money did not come from my salary, my sister, or even my mom. I have been lucky to receive a sort of late Christmas gift from my former company as part of our sales commission. This isn’t cheating. This is totally legit.
As for the money I will save from my own salary, I am still working on that. As my financial goal for the year-end, I think I am getting progress in finalizing things. And oh, I still need help with my Excel (spreadsheet?) skills to begin that numbers thing to see where my money goes on a monthly basis.
TOTAL SAVINGS: P30,000
I am your typical youngest child who believes in YOLO (I know this is so 2014, but anyway). I never ask help from my parents when I am short of gas money. No. Never. My sister is there to bail me out. No lunch money? No problem! I just bring food for lunch and snacks from my house. Parking? It’s free if you get to the office by 7 AM – while I greet everyone a beautiful morning! I can keep going until forever to give you my “tipid” tips, but I choose to stop now.
Getting in to this challenge is somewhat exciting though tinged with a hint of fear. Upon realizing that I never really tried saving for something that I really want, it got me thinking that there seems to be a problem with me. Because seriously, zero savings? At this age? It’s time to change that.
I have listed the things that I have to do (and remember) to kick off this 120k challenge:
- Set an end goal (still trying to figure this one out.)
- List down monthly expenses.
- Consider existing lifestyle and income vs end goal of 120k.
- This challenge must be fresh funds. And no, you can’t cheat!
- Try to adjust unnecessary expenses (operative word: try).
- Short? Back to step 1
But of course, being the competitive person that I am, I will not disclose my whole strategy to reach my goal of P120k by December. So, ‘til next month!
ABOUT THE GO 120 MONEY CHALLENGE
For some, saving money is no easy feat. There will be ups and downs, cravings and big red SALE signs on malls all throughout the year that can topple their resolve. But as we have always believed here in Brighter Life, saving for a brighter future is possible for everyone.
And so the Go 120 Money Challenge was born, Brighter Life’s saving race to a Php120,000 by the end of the year. Starting today, we follow the journey of three individuals as they take on this challenge and achieve their financial goals.
Got questions or recommendations? We’d love to hear from you! Email us at editor @brighterlife.com.ph.