ENTRY # 4: APRIL
According to Paulo Coelho, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.”
I guess the universe heard me because – TAADAAH! I now have a new phone! But before you judge me, here’s the good news – I was able to open a Mutual Fund account and placed a portion of the extra money I received recently. You might be thinking: how was she able to have both when it has been a dilemma a month back? Well, when the universe conspires, there’s always an interesting story that comes with it.
Truth is, the new phone is a loan. My sister lent it to me since she has another free handset from her other line and told me that if by the end of the year, I get attached with it she can just sell it to me at a lower price. Right now, I haven’t thought of buying it since I really wanted to achieve the 120k goal. Maybe if I got extra money, I can buy it by December.
The real deal is I was able to open a mutual fund account and deposited Php 18,000. I plan to add Php 1,000 or any excess I have after paying all monthly bills until December. Since the market is doing well, I’m hoping that this decision will help reach my goal. Of course, I’m not relying on this fully as according to investment experts “you have to diversify or put your money in different baskets”. For now, I only have two baskets – a savings and my mutual fund account because these are the only things I understand.
But for every good news, there’s always a bad one. Once again, I was able to spend more than the budget I have allocated this month because it’s my lola’s birthday and my youngest sister just turned 18. I have to give them the best gifts they would appreciate since birthdays just happen once a year! It’s not an excuse for me to shop but because I believe that it is always better to give than to receive. Maybe since I was able to open an MF account (yes, that’s how we investors call Mutual Fund), it is okay to shop for the ones you love.
Hopefully next month, I get to stick on my budget and be able to save more.
Bank – 31,780.00
MF – 18,000.00
Total: PHP 49,700.00
ENTRY # 3: MARCH
I’ll let you in on a little secret: it’s my first time to hold a credit card with my name on it. It might not be a big deal for most but it certainly is for me. This shiny card means I can now afford everything with just one swipe, or by typing the card’s digits online. I was so excited that I kept on thinking which flight to book, where to dine, or what to shop. Just to check if the card is really working.
Every month, I make it a point to pay for one of our family dinners because I want to share a part of my salary. When my parents came over, I saw an opportunity to use the card by inviting them and my siblings to try the restaurant at a newly opened hotel. The dinner was good, ambience was great, and the bill shocking – well it is beyond my allotted budget, but why worry when I can just swipe it all up.
Because of this, I forgot that our dinner is NOT free. When my credit card bill arrives, I have to pay for what we consumed – IN FULL. Since I do not want to cover just a portion of the bill (in order to avoid outstanding debt), I have already set aside the full amount to be paid even before receiving my salary.
With too much spending on top of my regular obligations, I tried to save the remainder of my income by not shopping for new clothes or shoes. And with lunch not going beyond 100 bucks per day, I was able to ADD: P9,020
Before I end this entry, let me share with you a dilemma. I wanted to replace my four-year-old phone with a new one since it may give up on me soon. It constantly hangs, apps crash, and rings even on silent mode. Is it time to buy a new one especially with bonuses coming my way? Well, the additional money is still not enough to buy the model that I want so I would need to shell out some more.
Will you please help me decide if I should buy a new phone or just invest my bonus in mutual funds?
Next month: where did my bonus go?
ENTRY # 2: FEBRUARY
When parents are away with all helpers in tow due to a family emergency, I was tasked to take care of my little sister ALL BY MYSELF. This month of love was a bit challenging because taking care of someone other than myself is something new to me.
Let me share with you how February went for me and a lesson I learned along the way (it is something I already know but somewhere in the hullabaloo of things, I forgot to apply):
For someone who does not know how to cook, what will I feed my sister who is a picky eater?
Since we live in an area where four malls are just nearby and restaurants are everywhere, I just gave in to my sister’s daily cravings. Should she want Japanese food then we head to the one she prefers. Of course, our parents gave me allowance while they are away but it is not an amount that would allow us to eat at sit-down places on a daily basis. Thus I have to shell out additional bucks from my personal money because out of my own will, I chose to eat there as well.
Stick to your budget.
For someone who is (usually) very organized, I failed to plan AND stick with the budget given to me. Maybe because I wanted to have peace in the house, I gave in to my sister’s request not knowing that it would cost a lot on my end when I checked my finances. It’s not bad to dine out but if you are to do it on a regular basis, then it is best to plan ahead rather than compromise the budget you have.
Go120 Financial Update:
I only deposited P5, 000 on my account this month, which makes my fund for this challenge to P13, 460. It’s a long way to go to reach 120k but I’m still on my second month so I need not worry. Next month, I will try to set and stick on my budget at the same time. I think I also need to start investing even a small amount as it will surely help me reach my goal.
TOTAL SAVINGS: P13,460
ENTRY # 1: JANUARY
To go on a mission trip to share God’s word, to a nation who doesn’t know Him, has been my heart’s desire for the past three years. However, this desire is yet to be transformed into action due to the following reasons:
1. I still don’t know which country to go to
2. Unpaid leaves since the mission trip will take about 3-4 weeks
3. The fund that I’m planning to use for the mission trip (to compensate for my unpaid leaves) always go to my leisure travels and constant shopping
Thus when the Brighter Life team approached me to take their challenge to save Php120,000 by year-end, I accepted it. This will motivate me to save and be able to go on a mission trip by 2016. The test also came at the right time since a destination has been planted in my heart as well. Now, the worker is ready to go on mission; the destination has been set; and I’m just waiting for the funds to be completed and I’m ready to take off.
So how am I doing as the challenge rolls out? I am proud to say that I was able to deposit Php8,460 on my new bank account. The amount is quite a big chunk of my salary thus I am currently staying away from all stores with a big red SALE sign on it. Because if I see something nice and worth buying, I might be able to use the money that I have set aside for my utility bills or my food/ transportation allowance. If that happens, I will have to ask for my parents’ provision which I do not want to happen since this challenge will be useless. They might as well fund my mission trip if they will have to support me whenever I am lacking financially on a monthly basis.
Let’s see if I can keep up with the challenge and resist the shopping or travel temptations that come my way.
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.