Let me start off this blog post by saying how much grateful and thankful I am for all the work opportunities I have gotten the past 2+ years that I have been working online. Not only this work open a lot of opportunities for me to broaden my knowledge but it also gives me new skills and talents that I would’ve not learn should I continue working with my 9 to 5 ( It is actually 10 to 7 but 9 to 5 sounds a bit better) and the best of it all, the financial freedom it has given me.
I could still remember how hard I struggled before, after the nursing licensure exam, I see to myself to NEVER ask for a single cent from my parent. I could still remember how I almost immediately looked for a job after the exam, I can’t wait to help them with our monthly bills etc. I even applied for call center jobs and seriously contemplated whether or not I should actually just do it and start earning immediately. Not that I am bringing the industry down or saying that working as a call center agent is not good enough for me. But, I am a nursing graduate and as much as possible, that time, I want to at least work for a job that is related to my course. Sayang naman yung tuition fee that my parents worked hard to pay for if I ended up somewhere else na hindi related, ang mahal kaya ng nursing tuition, hindi din biro.
But, none of the jobs I applied for really calls to me. I don’t know where I am good at, I almost do not like working with a lot of people (lol) I am really bad with socializing, and most especially I do not like to be bossed around! It’s just my personality, I guess. I hate the concept of someone giving me directions on what to do and what not to do, I am an adult and can decide for myself, thank you very much.
So for 2 months waiting for the licensure results what I did are: do felt crafts (I am actually good at it, 4 years later and all my felt crafts are still good and working!!!), DIY some bracelets, got my passport, and then applied for an FA job that I was rejected at and took a toll on my self-esteem, applied to GSK, passed the interviews only to be assigned to Tacloban area, NO THANKS. And just anxiously wait for the results. I know I passed, what I am anxious about is if I am part of the Top 10 (just kidding, but kinda true. I believe in myself too much, sorry not sorry.) But, I almost made it to the Top 10!!! I was really super sick 100% almost passing out sick during Module 5 and just didn’t think that test through. I read the questions, gave my answer and just went out. Ako unang nagpasa lol and yun din pinakamababa ko out of all the Modules. Anyways, it doesn’t matter now.
During the Thanksgiving party at school, I talked to one of my batchmates and she mentioned that she is currently in training with an aesthetic clinic. At this point of my life, I just knew and I am 100% certain that I do not like to work in a hospital setting. I would rather be tambay than work in the hospital, tbh! I HATED it with a passion when I am still studying, it’s just not my calling if I may say so. And that is a lightbulb moment for me, I didn’t think about that kind of industry before. Immediately that day, I looked for any opening as an Aesthetic Nurse. At least I am still a Nurse but I don’t have to deal with sick patients!!! The rest of it all is history, I got hired to a clinic from QC stayed for 2 years and gave up after the commute from Bulacan to QC take a toll on me. I was just so UNHAPPY during that time. I have so many what ifs and buts. It was so toxic for my mental health that I just quit after being so fed up with everything. Imagine earning Php 456 every day and half of it goes to my commute expenses. And I can only save Php 4000 a month. YUP. Php 4000 savings a freaking month. But that is the reality of working in the Philippines. IT WILL ALWAYS SUCK.
For 2 years of my life, I am earning roughly Php 10,000 to Php 12,000 monthly. And here’s the breakdown of it all:
Php 4,000 – savings
Php 4,000 – commute expenses
Php 1, 000 – postpaid plan
Php 9, 000
And the rest are for my other expenses like food, shopping. I have no budget then for investments or life insurances. I don’t think I even thought of that at all, to be honest.
And then I started working online. During my first year, I am earning what, a good Php 30,000 to Php 35,000 a month? Twice or sometimes thrice than my previous work. Life’s good. And my expenses are barely minimal! I only need to pay for our internet connection which is Php 1,300 and installment payment for my 1st investment, an Asus laptop that I couldn’t pay upfront cash for so that is Php 1,300 too a month.
Food – FREE
Commute – NONE
So I have so much more to SAVE. Almost half of my monthly earning goes to my savings account. I make sure that I save monthly for emergency and I am so glad I did!!!!!
By June 2015 my father wanted to purchase a car, you see we sold our family car a year ago because nobody is using it. And now, he wanted something smaller that I and my mom could drive when he is working abroad. He told me we should split the monthly amortization between us because I’ll be using it as well (I don’t know how to drive then) Me being me and because I have more earnings that I can cover 50% of the monthly amortization agreed to this setup. They paid the down payment and for the first few months, I paid for the monthly amortization in whole LOL I want to cry whenever I go to the bank to deposit that Php 12,400 of my hard-earned money. Almost HALF of my monthly earnings! That prompted me to look for more work opportunities so I can work more hours and earn more dollars (uy, that rhymed ah) by the way, they never paid their half of the monthly amortization lol I am still paying the car due in full for 2 years now. Welp. 3 more years to go. On top of the yearly insurance and every so and so maintenance. That’s why I would NEVER suggest to anyone just starting out to invest in a car. It is never an INVESTMENT. It is a liability. Remember, it is not an asset unless you are earning from it. It will always be a LIABILITY. You’ve been warned.
After getting more projects and clients coming at me, my lifestyle changes too. I am prone to buy more things and spend more money towards crap that I don’t need. I am not proud but hey it happens. There’s a point in my life where I cannot afford literally anything. And then suddenly I am earning $$$, I couldn’t help but splurge every so often. I still do, to be honest, but I can ~*control*~ myself more nowadays. I splurged on makeup on branded skin care items, on food, on travels. I am living life. As I should. And my thinking then is I worked hard for it all. I deserve everything that I have right now.
At this point of my life, I have more income compared to my previous job but did investments get into my head? NOPE. Instead, money goes out of me like crazy. Expenses and bills left and right.
And then comes my biggest life hurdle. My father was diagnosed with the Big C. I was devastated. They are not ready financially. My youngest sister just graduated college and it should be the year where my father will save for his retirement. That’s the plan. That is always the plan. It never occurred to them to plan for times like this. I want to blame them. But should I? They provided for us and all our needs and more so they do not have anything saved up for emergency cases like this.
That is why I am so thankful that I am a responsible adult and saved up when I still can. And I am always thankful to the Lord that He helped me land this type of job. Should I still be employed to that local clinic, I don’t think I could afford my father’s operation costs at all. Or our family’s monthly needs and bills right now because I am supporting my family now too since I am the most capable out of us all and because my father couldn’t work anymore.
Almost a year after my father’s operation and using 90% of my savings, I am proud to say that I already recovered from it. I started early this year with Php 40, 000 on my bank account and 100% determination that I can earn back the amount I spent for everything the year before. And right now, after working tirelessly and getting 4-5 hours of sleep to get projects done, I am proud to say that my savings have grown. Nothing that I did not work hard for so I am proud. Sorry if it rubbed off on you as bragging.
50% of my salary still goes to my bills, apparently, I have a lot of that. And it’s true that the more you earn, the more you have to pay for. Not to mention, I have the tendency to treat myself after a stressful work week. Working on that too. I also have to work on stopping myself on getting things just because I can now afford it. It is never a wise thing to do.
What is the point of all of this you may ask? Is it just to brag my financial position at the moment? NOPE. It is to encourage a lot of people to SAVE, PROTECT and INVEST.
If there’s anything I would do if I can turn back time? It is to encourage my parents to be protected and to SAVE SAVE SAVE. They did not and I learned so much from it. My greatest fear in my life right now is to get sick and not be protected, or worse, to die and that would be a huge toll on my family because I am supporting us all, I am the breadwinner. Instead of browsing shopping sites for shopping deals for makeup, skincare I find myself watching more videos about investing to the stock market and reading and learning more about VUL, Mutual Funds, UITF more than unnecessary things that will not matter if I am dead.
Siguro kasi I would hate for anyone to experience what I had to deal with last year, we are still fortunate that I have emergency funds with me pero what if I did not save that much? It is so life changing and an eye opener for me talaga so I want to make it a point that whatever happens to me, my family or my future family will not have a hard time.
I want to share what I learned so far to you all reading this far into this blog:
- Build your emergency fund. Your emergency fund should be 3-6 months worth of your monthly bills. Some say it should be 3-6 months worth of your salary. Your emergency fund is what you’ll use for you know, as its name suggests, emergency purposes. Or if you happen to be unemployed suddenly, you still have a fund with you to pay your bills that can cover that much time and look for another job. Store your emergency funs where you can withdraw it anytime with no bonds and terms.
- Protect yourself. Get a life insurance be it term, whole or from VUL. Whatever it is you chose, life insurance gives you the peace of mind that whatever might happen to you, your family will not have a hard time. It is your blanket of protection. I am in the process of studying and comparing the benefits of different life insurances offers and packages and I have not made my choice yet. But now that I have built my emergency fund, this is on top of my priority.
- Invest, invest, invest. I don’t know why this type of things is not taught at school? Wouldn’t it make us all better adults should they incorporate a course that will tackle on how to be a responsible adult in school rather than say forcing you to learn Math and Social Study or Humanities? I don’t remember using any of those unnecessary minor subjects in my life right now. You know what we all needed? Learning how to file for TAXES. A subject on how to invest in the stock market, how can you grow your money, what is the importance of life insurance. These are the things that we should have learned from school instead. Diba? It all makes sense. Adulting is like being thrown into the world without knowing anything eh, experience is indeed the best teacher but it wouldn’t hurt if we are prepared a little bit more? Say you know, we at least have some basic knowledge of these type of things before being thrown to living the adult life just like that. Anyways, you can invest through the stock market (something that I am still studying! I am attending seminars about this next week and I am excited!!!!) or mutual funds or UITF or anything that can give you passive income is an investment.
- Work on your retirement fund. I want to retire on my 50’s or even earlier than that if I have the funds for it actually. And the best time to prepare is now, while we are young and capable. Some insurance policies can also be your retirement fund! Should you not be sick on a certain age, you can get your money you paid for the premiums for years back with almost 10% interest annually! Meaning if I started paying Php 3500 monthly now for the next 10 years, by the time I retire in my 50’s I have at least Php 4-5 M (!!!!!) something of that range but don’t quote me on this because I am too lazy to look for my policy.
I want to get the rest started NOW. Yes, call me crazy but I am getting a life insurance, I am investing in the stock market, I am getting mutual funds or UITF any of the two or could be both, and I am starting to work towards my retirement fund. All at once yes. Maybe I just want to be prepared. Maybe I am just being paranoid. But I want that blanket of protection. I want to sleep soundly at night without worrying about life’s what ifs. And I highly encourage that you should too. No, silly, don’t be like me and invest to all of these things all at once, but start to build your emergency fund nonetheless!! Or if you already have enough savings, then look into getting life insurance? TRUST ME ON THIS. At one point in your life, you will need this. Sorry to burst your bubble but we are all going to die, and if I die, I want to leave something behind for my loved ones. Be it my family right now or my future family, I can never say. And then work towards the rest if you can!!!!
Any questions? Any suggestions? Let me know!
Feeling financial advisor after reading so much about everything,Cherry