Sunday, May 13, 2012

En Route to Better Days

Slashed my two cards. Inspired from a good friend's blog entry.
I come from a poor family. Tracing my roots, I never heard any stories of my mama or papa being part of a well-off circle. True to the adage, “tell me who your friends are…” their friends as of the same income bracket. All that I know is that my papa used to be an OFW in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for a decade. Through his earnings and my mom’s ability to manage their finances, my parents were able to invest on a farmland – now our mango farm, buy a house and a lot – now contested by the Araneta’s Carmel Development Incorporated (story found here) and was able to finance my college. I say we’re poor, because we always struggle until all meets end. Despite my parents investments on our farm and their sidelines at home, fact still remains, we don’t have consistent flowing income. I don’t want to dig in anymore to my sad stories like commuting to PUP Sta. Mesa just with 50 bucks daily allowance, or surviving 4 years of college just with one pair of jeans, 5 t-shirts and a sandal. Times were really tough during those days. Though it is still tough, my story now is of different leverage.

Education really prepared me. Beyond the textbooks and my professor’s lecture, I learned through meeting people. I learned the introduction to corporate calisthenics during my OJT in the Senate and DFA. I learned by listening to old people. I kept in mind their wisdom.  

As I started earning money, things changed for me and my family. I became an instant bread-winner. I sent my sister to college; my wallet has suddenly been a source of fund for us. Don’t get me wrong. I am not complaining. I love helping out my family. It was just fair for me to provide, after my parents have helped me become who I want to be and for supporting me for any endeavors I’d like to pursue. For me, it’s automatic. They never have to ask. I will give. 

To tell you the truth, I had perpetual finances issue in my life. Only until recently. 

When my income started to increase after being a risk-taker (and successful with that) in my BPO career, that’s when it all started.  I started having credit cards and purchased some loans just to sustain whatever it is I never carefully planned of, say, luxuries. Funny thing, I can never quantify which goes where, or simply which goes as to be useful until now. I was never a wise-spender, obviously. 

It dawned on me few years back that debts can really wreck havoc my future. I started to read and study. I started to get curious. However, I never did change my way of life. I know stuff, but I never do anything. But when life started to tap me (metaphorically, of course), I started to plan out my life. My bad state of affairs during being unemployed really propelled me to start writing down my action plans. 

One person that really helped me in this ordeal is Nimmy. 

Nimmy being the smartest I know in terms of handling finances, have been my source of inspiration. I share what I learn from the books (credits to sir Robert Kiyosaki author of Rich Dad Poor Dad), and he shares what he learns from his current job. It was a couple’s synergy. Nimmy works in the biggest and brightest banks of the land and strategically, he also works in asset management, the field where I can get the most of intel. More than the knowledge Nimmy can provide, is the fact that his family has well kept values in the financial acumen. The value of saving has been tremendously passed over to him, which is the same value we share now in our relationship. 

Now that my finances are back to normal, (thanks to being employed, and being more financial mature), I let Nimmy do the finance tactics for a better increase in yield. We were not wrong with the plan. I have him manage all my earnings, and for me to say the least - just keep being frugal. Bottom line, as couples, we need to be transparent all the time. I can say we’re successful. 

I’m happy to write that as of May 9, two of my three major credit cards have been cut off. If not for Nimmy, and his foresight, this could not have been realized. We plan to carry out this plan for the next 6 months and expect results. However we surprised ourselves in just 2 months! The other credit card that I have is just to take care of my car's gasoline.

Well, I’d like to put on a record that the lesson here is not to have a smart boyfriend. It could have been easier. It’s a plus, but not a requirement. Financial intelligence is just one aspect. I guess what’s paramount is the fact that I decided, I planned, and I act. In so doing, it did help me more having a partner who talks the same language. 

Knowing I’m in a financial distress is one thing, doing something about it is another.  Having someone to help out is just perfect. 

Ok, ok. I know I can’t be a savings expert. But in my experience, I really learned that money after all is not the problem. What do you think? Well your guess is as good as mine. 

So I come from a poor family. But that doesn’t hinder me from not aspiring for better and comfortable life. All it takes is the drive to learn and take action, and the propensity to control one self.  I probably read this somewhere, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity…” I can relate totally. 

Always take the time to prepare. Don’t be afraid to learn. Take risk. Like so many people, they failed. I do too and I will still fail some more. But I learned from them. I may have failed and left me impecunious, but  in the end, I become smarter. It fueled my desire to achieve, not only for myself, but also for my family, for Nimmy. 

"I can do anything, I believe I can do..." -Stin Hansen, Motivational Self-Talk