Money Lessons I learned From My Parents

 

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I came from an average family (middle class) in the Philippines. My parents were both government workers and rely heavily on their salary as their main source of income. In as much as they worked hard,  their salary could nnot sustain the expenses of their school-aged six children. I was the fifth and even at an early age, I already knew how to distinguish the needs from wants and vice versa. My parents’ priority was to send us all to school and finish a degree. A feat that they were able to accomplish.

Thanks to my parents’ discipline and teachings of hard work and even their financial mistakes, I am able to learn valuable money and financial lessons. They were both born in 1940’s and according to Google, they either belong to the silent generation or baby boomers. I think my parents’ take on financial literacy is more of a baby boomer since they were able to buy a house before settling down and paid their GSIS premiums for their retirement pensions. Since they were government workers and had been until their retirement, they encouraged us to study hard, finish college so we would end up getting good jobs that pay good salaries. They believed (and I don’t blame them) that an 8-5 job was the best option for us. They thought that stability equates to success. Entrepreneurship was not a word I heard from them that we should pursue. As I said, the stability of an 8-5 job gives them comfort and now that they’re retired, I think they are satisfied with the choices they had.

I admired my parents and love them for paving the way to my life right now. While they admired that I chose the same path as them (8-5 job), I informed them that I do not plan to have this job until I turn 60. I wanted to have financial freedom in the earliest possible time and stop working for someone and be an entrepreneur and work for myself.

I wish though that they could enjoy retirement more. They were both in their 70’s and no longer have the energy to travel and explore more of the world around us. I wish they had the same opportunity that I do right now. I can’t blame them why they chose stability of an 8-5 job over the uncertainty of the entrepreneur life given the circumstances that they had at that time.

I learned that the circumstances they had were different with mine. I don’t have six children to start with. I also learned the proverbial ‘delayed gratification’ mindset from them without which, I’ve probably forever stuck in quarter-life to midlife crises having no savings and life in general. In the same manner that their mistakes are my guide to either stay away from those or improved/tweaked some things to correct them. My parents are not big in investments and insurance, that’s why I make sure I have those. In the Philippines, not so many people make investments and insurance their priorities and its a sad state in my opinion. Further, my parents are not big savers, something I don’t intend to emulate. Lastly, they retire late in their lives and they are unable to enjoy it to the fullest since they no longer have energy, not to mention their health issues.

The best decisions and worst mistakes that the generation before us should be highly regarded.  Without which, we would never be better and successful. I read somewhere that since the generation before us made great sacrifices in order to make a good future for their children, it is just logical that the younger generation should be more successful and not the other way around. However, the same is likewise true that at the end of the day, it is our choices that make us who we are.

 

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I BOUGHT A BRAND NEW CAR DESPITE FINANCIAL AND FRUGAL EXPERTS’ ADVICE I GOT FROM THE INTERNET

pexels-photo-981588.jpeg      The reasons I decided to take an auto loan because a.) I needed to drive an automatic car since I was having a hard time driving a manual transmission, particularly, if I drove in cities where traffic are horrible b) I live in a farm and farming is my second source of income, thus, I needed a bigger car particularly, a pick up and c) I plan to keep this car to the ground.

     While I am aware that this expense will take a big chunk off my monthly budget, as in P25,200 (US$485) chunk, I felt that I really need it. Ofcourse, some may think that I am just trying to justify my ill-adviced and financial doomed decision (or maybe I am), but I honestly consider this a means to an end. Let me illustrate, I have a rice farm and before I reach it in one of my visits, I have to go through holes and puddles which my old Toyota sedan won’t make. Also, I used to pay a delivery truck for the farm products to be delivered, and I have to wait for its availability. Now however, I don’t have to. I can have all the products hauled at the back of my pick-up and have it delivered to where I want it to be delivered. The same goes for my rubber farm.

      I still have the luxury of having a free fuel since work pays for it but despite that, I still chose a fuel-efficient truck. Also, since I plan to spend a lot of outdoors activities this year and years after that, I don’t have to worry if my car could make it. This is an investment in my own humble opinion since I am taking care of my health and wellness. Healthcare is expensive and health is wealth, right?

     Also, a new car does not need that much maintenance and I am pretty much ensures that I take care of it because it is really a necessity on my part. By the way, I bought a base model for pickup truck automatic since I believe that its purpose is just to take me from point A to point B, thus I don’t need a high-end leather with gps, with everything electronic blah,blah car. And ofcourse, the sales agent got me and I thought a very cheap downpayment is the sign that I just have to get it.

      Since it was a major (major) purchase, I have to research everything, from engine to price, quality, fuel efficiency, and comfort, I made my pick and so far, after 3 months more or less, I feel happy. I enjoy the nice surprises I still get everytime I drive her. Driving an automatic feels so good and I truly enjoy it. Ofcourse, we still get to know each other and I am trying to be gentle with her. Oh by the way, I named her Nava.

Why Simplicity

pexels-photo-390574.jpegFor some reason, adopting this type of lifestyle made a dramatic change and perspective towards my life. It makes me understand and find the things that are important to me and makes me happy. With that knowledge, I discover that there are not so many things to cover that. The things that I do now and own are the ones that add value to my life. Thanks to the internet and the people who shared the same feelings as I am. They bring in new ideas and inspiration in my pursuit of this personal journey.

The first step is to eliminate and discard the things that I do not need and do not add value. The result is amazing. It made my space decluttered and free. Though I’m still about a quarter away from clearing everything “unimportant” off my closet, drawers, cupboard and other parts of my storage, I feel clearer and happier. I do intend to discard and purge more of my stuff once a month. I also apply the principle that if I buy something new like a new blouse, I have to discard an old one to give space for the new. However, buying new clothes is something I seldom do nowadays since I prefer buying second hand. Aside from it cost way less than the new, it also helps taking care of my environment since I do not add more trash- this is another internet story i read and got inspired with.

Second is wanting less. I tried assessing myself and in my almost 30-plus years of existence, I realized that there is not much I really need let alone want. I identified those needs and to some extent-wants and stick to it. The less I own, the better it is to mange my schedule, work and my life.

Simplicity makes life uncomplicated and livable! Simple thinking even if the problem seemed not, simple approach to such problem and simple solution. I no longer fret over simple problems. I realized that life is not that complicated.

 

 

Taking Off

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I started this blog not only because I was inspired by other bloggers, instagram-ers and the other platforms of social media and the whole internet people who are making this paradigm shift to start this revolution but its more of a personal battle in living my life to the fullest.

So many young people quit their jobs and travel the world, meet new people, discover cultures and understand what life really is by their own definition.  I personally think its the new norm or one way of differentiating this generation to its predecessors. Our previous generation might judge us as the lazy bunch or the generation that has no direction but I personally viewed this as a generation of substance from within. Yes, probably we are poorer than them and less stable and predictable but we are less fearful as well since this generation does not follow structures- they make their own.

While i do not intend to leave my 8-5 job (at least, not yet) to travel the world and work as a bartender in a remote island to fund my living, I am making baby steps and intend to take back my freedom.

This blog might be about frugality, simplicity, sustainability, creativity, eco-living, tiny house living and others. I said might because I myself has no idea where this blog would take me. Currently, I have a day job but I practiced being frugal (like not buying new clothes for over six many months now), sustainability ( growing my own food in a container and cooking healthy food), eco-friendly (segregating trash and recycling but most especially reducing my trash) and others.

Thus, allow me to share with you my own personal journey through this blog. For those of you who are interested in doing the same, your comments and suggestions are highly appreciated.