Frugal Honey

Psychology of Money

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.

Frugality as a Way of Life

People are usually shocked when they find out that I’m already in the office by 6:30AM, sometimes even as early as 6:15AM. That means I wake up at 4:30AM and am riding the FX by 5:45AM. No, I’m not gunning for the Employee of the Millennium Award, that’s simply how I deal with and survive icky Manila and its roach infested, flood prone and jampacked streets.


2018 3Q Net Worth Report

It’s accountability time!

I have to admit though that I actually look forward to tracking my net worth every quarter. It’s nice to see my debts get smaller and smaller every time I check on them. My assets may not be growing as much and as fast as I would like them to, but that’s ok because I know that the priority now is to get rid of the personal debts ASAP. Then once only mortgage debt remains, I can focus my attention on savings and investments.


Creating Abundance in 2018

If you’re earning a salary then you will directly benefit from the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion, or TRAIN, because it lowers the personal income tax, among its other features. Check out this calculator from ABS-CBN to get an estimate on how much you’ll be saving on income taxes every month. The Department of Finance also has its own income tax calculator but it’s currently under repair. I do hope that the DOF version becomes functional very soon since it should be interesting to compare the results between the two calculators.


Vicki Belo Rich

Just how rich is Vicki Belo exactly? FYI, the good doctor is a certified billionaire.

Which is why some people reacted when Vicki Belo posted a video during her honeymoon  in Italy, playfully “pretending to be rich.”

Some people bashed her and her supposedly faux humility and insensitivity, but some praised her work ethic and drive to continue racking up achievements after achievements despite already accomplishing so much.

What struck me about this whole non-issue though was how subjective being and feeling rich actually is.


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