Frugal Honey

Financial Literacy

Election Day Ramblings

It saddens me that I don’t write for this blog as frequent as I used to. The culprit is yoga.

I used to block off my Saturday mornings for developing and writing blogposts, thus, I was able to churn out a least two posts a month. But now Saturday mornings are for yoga and I honestly don’t know where to sneak in writing for my blog. I must reassess my schedule though since I really don’t want to give up this blog and I have so many half-composed posts milling around in my head.

Another thing that bothers me is the repeated questions on Manila Bankers Life Insurance, questions that can be answered just by reading the post. I have half a mind to just post a nasty “Hindi ka ba nagbabasa?!” reply but then I think twice and remind myself that they were already victimized and that I should be more empathetic to their predicament. It’s really a good thing that I only go through comments when I’m in a good mood, otherwise, meet Mother Dragon.

Third thing on my list is the realization that while I’m a conscientious payer of bills and debts, I’m not as diligent when it comes to saving. It’s so easy to pay off bills because they’re scheduled and already factored into my budget, but it’s not the same with savings and investments.

Debt and bill payments are usually on top of my financial priorities because the repercussions of not settling them do not sit well with me. But now that I’ve almost paid off all my personal loans, I now have the good problem of deciding what to do with my extra cash.

The financial rockstar way would be to pour all of that cash towards one of our mortgage and then once one is fully paid off, to work towards decimating the second mortgage. In that way, both mortgages (which are now below Php1,000,000) will be gone in less than 2 years.

But our 11-year old starter car is starting to show its age, hence the need to save up money for a downpayment for a new or new-to-us car and then make room in our budget for a year’s worth of car payments. The grand plan is to get an Avanza or Ertiga at 50% downpayment and then pay off the balance in 12 months.

Because I am no financial rockstar, just a groupie at best, I have decided to do both. Make extra payments towards one mortgage while saving for a car downpayment. Of course, since I’ll be traversing the middle ground, I won’t be able to do any one of those as quickly as I would like. But I’m ok with that.

Setting up a PERA account, reviving my COL Financial account and opening up a TD Ameritrade account to buy US mutual funds are also on my list. But that’s still for the future, because our present goal is mortgage reduction and saving up for a car downpayment.

But before you get all impressed with my financial discipline and fortitude, I would like to inform everyone that my boys and I will be going to Tokyo tomorrow and will be there for 7 days. In short, we’ll be spending money that could have been used for extra mortgage payments and/or car downpayment. But I have no regrets because I saved up for this trip while also paying down debt and running a household.

I know myself well enough to know that going all out with debt reduction will only make me miserable since I’m all about finding the right balance between enjoying the present and saving money for the future. Of course, enjoying the present does not always entail spending money, but you have to admit that having some money will add to the enjoyment.

And with that, I end my ramblings because I have to get ready to vote and do my part in securing a Philippines that will be worthy of my kids and grandkids.

Moneygment App: A Quick Overview

I regularly get feature requests through email and I respond only to those that address me by name (It’s Jill, btw. Not “Hello,” or “Hi,”). And of those that I respond to, I turn down about 99% because I have long decided not to do sponsored posts or link exchanges to make my life easier. But every now and then, a request gets through my two filters and actually piques my interest.

The email from Moneygment was one such feature request because it claimed that its app can pay government benefits. Well hello there! Nice to meet you Moneygment!

Moneygment describes itself as:

“[A] one-stop shop financial solution for self-employed individuals, small and medium enterprises, homemakers, OFWs, and unbanked Filipinos. Current Features available are the payment of Pag-IBIG, Philhealth, SSS, and BIR contributions and taxes. Other features are currently in the works and will be released very soon.”

My primary motive for doing this post was to find out for myself how Moneygment will process Pag-ibig housing loan payments because I’m always on the lookout for a more efficient system than what I already have. This image beautifully summarizes how to use the app to pay Pag-ibig, as well as Philhealth and SSS.

This was the summary for my Pag-ibig transaction:

No additional fee(s) for Pag-ibig housing loan payments! Yay!

I received a similar summary in my email with information on Moneygment’s bank accounts because I chose the “Deposit to Bank Account” option. But payment can also be made through EC-pay, 7-11, Dragonpay and Paypal.

From what I gathered, Moneygment is not an authorized Pag-ibig housing loan payment partner like Metrobank and Landbank. Rather, it is a third party that the app user authorizes to process and remit payment on his/her behalf.

Since I already pay my Pag-ibig housing loan directly through Metrobank online, I really don’t need an intermediary to act on my behalf. But I can imagine that the Moneygment app will be so helpful to those who don’t have a Metrobank online account since lining up to pay for bills is a mind-numbing task that should be avoided as much as humanly possible.

While it may be quite useful for Pag-ibig housing loan payments, Moneygment really shines when it comes to SSS payments as detailed in this post by SSS Inquiries. Apparently, SSS has added an extra layer of bureaucracy to make paying your SSS dues more challenging than it already is:

Starting January 16, 2018, the Social Security System has implemented a new rule on paying a contribution. This has drastically changed the process of paying and most find it really inconvenient. Before, you just have to have your SS Number then go to any SSS Branch, Bayad Center or any payment center that accepts SSS contribution, accomplish their form then pay on their cashier. Now, you will need to obtain your SSS Payment Reference Number first which is a series of 14 alpha numeric characters that uniquely represents your SS Number, the month and the amount that you are paying for. The SSS PRN is currently used for paying SSS Contributions only. SSS has explained that the SSS PRN is implemented to facilitate correct and real time posting of payment and contribution.

Because of the implementation of SSS PRN, we have observed that the number of banks and payment centers that accept SSS related payments became limited. I used to pay for my SSS Contribution voluntarily to the bank near my office, but the bank teller told me that SSS has required them to upgrade their system to comply with the SSS PRN implementation and until they have complied with the required upgrade, they cannot accept any payment for SSS.

Before, I also used the Coins.ph App to pay for my SSS Contributions and Loans, however, they temporarily discontinued accepting payments for SSS, maybe also due to the compliance being required by SSS just like with other banks.

I tried to go to the SSS Branch in Diliman to pay for my quarterly SSS Contribution, but the queue can consume all your patience. There will be two process that you have to undergo: 1) Get your SSS PRN and 2) Line up to their Payment Teller. Many who were there told me that paying their contribution can consume half of your day just lining up to get the PRN and Pay it at the Payment Teller. For Self Employed and even Full-Time moms, a day wasted can really cost you a lot.

Good thing that when there is a problem, a solution arises! When I got discouraged with the new payment scheme of SSS, I searched the Facebook if there is some kind of “short-cut” to pay my SSS Contribution and Loan. And I found this Moneygment App by Togetech Inc.”

The post then went on to detail how to use the Moneygment app to quickly and painlessly generate a Payment Reference Number and pay the SSS contributions. Kudos to the people behind Moneygment app! This is the sort of technology we need in our lives, technology that saves us time and saves us from bureaucratic inefficiencies.

You can find out more about Moneygment through its FAQ section and download the app through Google Play or the App Store.

Thank you Moneymax!

I received fantastic news the other day that this blog was included in Moneymax’ Top 10 financial bloggers to follow in 2019. Awesome!

For the new readers who reached this blog through the Moneymax article, welcome and feel free to browse through my past posts. You can go chronological by going through the posts monthly or by categories, the links for those can be found on the right column.

I’m glad that you found my blog because that means you’re interested, or at the very least curious, about personal finance and are probably trying to better your own personal finance. We’re all in the same boat.

I can’t guarantee that reading this blog will magically make you a personal finance ninja, but at the very least, you will know that you’re in a safe space where you won’t feel ashamed for talking about money or what you don’t know about money. More on this in a future post because the husband and I have a date at our most favorite place in the world, the grocery. Catch you all later!

PSA on Land Bank Mobile Banking App’s Fund Transfer Service

UPDATED on November 17, 2018: Land Bank’s mobile banking app can now transfer funds to BPI and BDO.

Online banking is convenient, practical and, if you ask me, is right up there with running water when it comes to mankind’s greatest innovations. However, because it is so convenient and still some sort of a novelty, it’s easy for evildoers to use online banking to prey on innocent people who are not familiar with how this technology works.

Hands-down the most popular post in my blog is my tutorial on how to transfer funds to other banks using the Land Bank Mobile Banking app. I’m used to people reaching out to me privately because of the blogposts that I’ve written, specially those on my husband’s angioplasty or on Manila Bankers Life, and I’m always happy to help and share what I know.

However, a few weeks ago, I received a strange message regarding Land Bank’s mobile banking app. The guy asked if the Land Bank mobile banking app could really transfer funds to his BDO account. The quick and easy answer there is “No” because BDO is not one of the destination banks listed in the app.

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I’m Giving Away 5 Tickets to the PIFA Mutual Funds Week Talk!

Philippine Investment Funds Association, the association of mutual fund companies in the country, is holding a half-day conference on November 24 (Saturday) at SM Aura:

Dubbed “RISING WITH THE CURRENT OF ECONOMIC GROWTH THROUGH INVESTING”, the conference aims to offer a diversified view of where your investment journey may go. Learn the pros and cons Digital versus Traditional Entrepreneurship as well as Investing in Mutual Funds versus Property and Real Estate.

Check out the program agenda after the jump.

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