Getting Started

Everything Started with a P5,000 Investment

By Reyna Tabbada, Brighterlife.com.ph

Comments (1)


This year, I am turning 30. More than kicking things off the bucket list or any dirty thirty laundry basket, I see this new decade as a life shift. How I live will be different – career changes, deeper commitments, more endeavors – and I want to be ready for it. Emotionally. Physically. And yes, financially.

How prepared am I money-wise? I honestly don’t know for the future is not cast in stone. What I do know is that I’ve managed to reshape my relationship with money. And everything started with the decision to invest P5,000.

It was December back in 2010, when all the rage about being prepared for economic downturns reached its height. It made Filipinos – young and old alike – more conscious of where their money is going. I was then a freelancer living by the deadline with a retired father, a mother abroad who just lost her job, and a sister still in school. Though our needs were being met, the insecurity that it awakened made me rethink of my lifestyle, including how to save and invest my unstable income.

Though I’ve always been familiar about mutual funds (thanks to my writing gigs), it was only then that I seriously considered putting in my extra money on such an instrument. I remember thinking – this is money you are prepared to lose, so don’t expect too much. But what I got went beyond the good returns (as of last year, it has more than doubled): I actually liked the feeling of putting something aside for my future.

Since then, I decided to seriously take on the task of building up my savings. I set a “rock-bottom amount”, which just means that my bank account should always have this particular balance. I lessened my night outs and identified the areas where I can cut back such as movies. Small but manageable exercises increased my confidence in my journey to be more financially-fit. Of course, I got lucky on certain areas such as my parents making adequate preparations for their retirements and a way of living that has more or less remained prudent and simple.

After three years, due to a fortunate windfall, I was able to set up my emergency fund. For the first few months, I faithfully put in a certain percentage of my monthly income. This forced me to adhere to an allowance per day, which took all the creative maneuvering I can muster to make it work. Two years ago, I got my own health plan since I don’t have a company to rely on for such benefit. Last year, I decided to get a variable life insurance – a combination of life insurance and investment – to fund for my retirement.

Of course I had a ball with the money I was able to save, especially on the two years after I invested P5,000. I traveled a lot – that being my biggest vice – and accumulated unforgettable experiences along the way. All these carried a price tag, which I thankfully was able to afford, because of the adjustments I made along the way. My financial excursion was not about painful sacrifices but cultivating discipline and seeing it as an adventure instead of a delay.

So where is that P5,000? It’s still there in my equity fund, to serve as a reminder that being financially-prepared is equal parts the journey and one’s desired destination. All the best!


Image under Creative Commons by Hans Braxmeier


How I Found the Courage to Start Investing

The Journey to Investing


Need help on planning your finances well?

The right person might be a financial advisor who can walk you through the steps of successful financial planning. Don’t have an advisor yet? Email us at editor@brighterlife.com.ph.

Receive regular wise money advice right in your inbox. Subscribe to our Brighter Life e-newsletter for FREE.

Marius de Jess on

What do you guys think about this idea on how to live on the earnings of your funds.

Let us say that I have inherited 10 million pesos, so I put 9 millions in an aggressive equity fund with a reputable bank, and keep 1 million pesos in cash for my everyday life expenses.

So I am set up for early retirement.

My 1 million pesos every month gets to become lesser, no worry I will get more money by redeeming some already bloated shares or units from my fund.

The trouble is that with every redemption of shares or units from the fund, the shares or units get lesser in number; for example when I withdraw 50 shares or units, my fund is now reduced by 50 quantity; as this goes on and on I will sooner than later be left with a meager number of shares or units, and in the end will have redeemed all shares and units: no more money from the fund because all shares or units have been redeemed.

You understand now my predicament with early retirement where I do not get money except from the fund I set up?

What is your solution with just living on the fund, not going into other ways and means to make money outside of the fund?

Add a new comment:

Note: Please be sure to read our commenting policy and terms and conditions for this site. We reserve the right to delete any comments that we view to be in violation of our policy. The name you provide will appear next to your comment. Thank you!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Connect to your Brighter Life

%d bloggers like this: