In 2015, I went through my first adult life-changing experience. I think you only get a couple of really impactful moments in your lifetime — and I was pleasantly surprised that I had my second adult life-changing experience so close in between.
My former boss turned good friend sent me a message and said that I deserve to attend this Leadership Training that she has done. Without hesitation, I said yes and even decided to bring 6 more people with me. Perhaps because I trusted her and probably because I saw how happy she seemed in her recent facebook posts.
And I kid you not when I say it’s life-changing. I am still in awe on how 2 days can start shifting a person but it did. My heart is filled with more love, my soul has more gratitude, and I am hungrier to make a difference.
And I will end this short piece by summing my new beliefs in a quote from Marianne Williamson.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
In ‘Financial Goals 2019’, I said I didn’t consider insurance as an investment and thought of it as more of an expense. And I think I’m quickly taking that back.
Earlier today, I was rifling through mail I haven’t gotten to opening and one of it was the summary of my first insurance policy. The plan was Manulife’s Affluence Builder, which is a life insurance and an investment plan in one.
I was very surprised to see that the financial investment part has gotten to a healthy range.
I bought the policy in June 2014 — the life coverage part is what your beneficiary gets in case of demise; the total fund value can work similarly but it can also be withdrawn at any point when you need it.
To illustrate (in a very simple way) if the investment was worth it, let’s talk about how much I have paid against the value of the policy now.
Since 2014, I have put in approximately Php 618k and the total value as of Aug 2019 is 1.22M. That’s a 97% increase in value — and it’s going to continue maturing with you not having to do anything.
I bet some of you did the math and thought, I can’t afford that. I want to point out that I started investing at 35, which is pretty late if you want to retire at 50-ish, so I am playing catch up. I sacrificed other YOLO expenses during the early years and then didn’t change my lifestyle a lot as my income grew.
When I got insurance, I barely knew what I was doing. I was talking to a friend about how to ensure I can fund my lifestyle into retirement and she was surprised that I don’t have any insurance. I signed my first policy not fully understanding all of it except the basics but knew that it was a better than buying the latest iphone. 5 years later, I am still not an expert but you know what? I wish I had started it sooner than I did. 🤔
What’s your take on insurance? What, in your opinion, are the better insurance products out there?
This I consider a very important investment in both our financial stability and our marriage. Worth.Every.Penny!
Most married people spend more time apart than together and when you’re both busy, either working or attending to your business, the together time could just be snoring in bed together. One day, you’ll get into a big argument and it’ll surprise you how out of sync you are to each other. Yep, happened more than once to us and we’re trying to avoid it.
Step 1: Commit to a date night.
Leave the kids at home. This is for you and your partner only.
Step 2: Be flexible when things don’t happen as planned. This should NOT be something that you end up fighting about.
His meeting got extended? Push dinner by a couple of hours and go enjoy some me time, lady.
Step 3: Do something you both enjoy that allows you to have some conversation. Remember that this is about connecting and keeping in sync.
Step 4: Be there 100%.
I am most guilty of this as I probably spend 30% of date night on my phone. So I need to try harder!
I think you already get why it helps with the marriage. But how can this help with financial stability? Our financial targets were built with the two of us contributing to each financial goal and having our own respective responsibilities. Date nights enables us to keep working as a team by being properly in sync… and a working team pushes forward faster.
Do you do something similar? I’d love to hear what you guys do.
Anyone who works an 8-5 job dreams about achieving financial freedom or at the least, financial stability. And while I’ve been lucky with a job that I enjoy (on most days) and pays enough to live comfortably, I am still actively thinking of how to maintain our lifestyle without the daily grind.
First, a big fat disclaimer: I am in no way a financial expert and have just started on this financial freedom journey. This is mostly for me as reminder and just in case anyone else is interested, a way to share what we’ve done and our goals.
1.Emergency Fund equivalent to 3 months of our monthly expenses
As of today, this is a tick for us.
Why is an emergency fund important? A lot of people go into debt because they don’t have anything saved for a rainy day causing them to touch their savings or investments or worse take a loan when they need cash.
How to compute for an emergency fund? List down all your expenses every month include all items that you believe you cannot live without even temporarily. Multiply that by 3 or more. My number is 3 because my worse case scenario is that lose our jobs and 3 months is a comfortable time to find a new one.
2. 20% of monthly salary into Investment or Savings
Since we’ve maintained a stable emergency fund, we decided to reduce savings to 5% and push 15% of our monthly salary to long-term investments. The very simple reason behind this is we want to ensure our money beats inflation.
Our long-term investment of choice is the Stock Market through colfinancial. I’ll probably talk about this in more detail on a future post but for now, here’s a Chinkee Tan video that gives good pointers on why stocks.
Our goal this year is to have a 67% increase in our investment portfolio.
*We also have Life Insurances (and I advocate having this) but I consider them as expenses and I treat it more as a safety net.
Thank you to a former boss for introducing me to the concept of tithing and to the Feast for deepening my appreciation. Now, this I need to be more diligent about because while I regularly give, I don’t know if I maximize the 10%.
I have a different and perhaps a “controversial” approach to tithing — my 10% goes to charity first before the rest goes to church. I rationalize that Jesus is our neighbor and any help we give directly to our neighbor is equivalent to giving to his church.
How does Tithing benefit you? I strongly believe that Tithing wires your brain towards abundance and as you keep on helping others, your mind and spirit works on how you can have more so you can give more.
4. 7 income streams
I heard from a talk that millionaires have an average of at least 7 income streams. Seven! Do you have at least more than 1?
This year, we decided to get our 3rd stream and already on planning stages for our 4th.
Our 3rd stream? We decided to try our hands at the food business by franchising a food cart 🍜🍡🥟🍔. As of today, we’ve managed to find a location and are plugging away at steps 2,3,4 til we hit opening day.
5. Enjoy life!
As long as steps 1-4 are delivered and we splurge within reason, we spend for YOLO!
Part of this, I believe, is to keep us motivated. We work hard and we need to feel good about how hard we work. This fuels us to move forward each day and stops us from wanting to quit even during the most trying of days because YOLO helps us understand exactly the lifestyle we are working for.
Important: We do not YOLO using credit cards and pay any purchases in full every month. We’re practical though and take advantage of all pay later or 0% installment plans — cause money in your bank account is interest in your bank account so pushing cash out has its benefits.