Note

This blog has been updated even less frequently than before. However, it's not exactly abandoned. It'll be around for several more years, and I do intend to make new posts.

But if you have questions, please do email me or message me on the site's facebook page. It's not exactly quick, but I still do respond.


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When Is It Okay to Show Off?

Today we have guest blogger Kyle to share some thoughtful advice.
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There comes this inevitable point in your life that you might encounter someone who can’t help but show off everything they have, or maybe you’ve seen #blessed posts all over the place and wondered why these people seem to be more worried about how their social media feeds than anything else.

Showing off is attributed to wanting an identity, or wanting to be noticed for having something that nobody else might have just yet. Being showy is okay in some instances, and in other cases, it opens you up to potential risk. If you’re wondering when it’s okay to show off a little, and when it’s not – here are a few instances for you to consider.

Tax rip-offs targeting tax specialists are now on the rise: Warning from IRS

Tax rip-offs targeting tax specialists are now on the rise: Warning from IRS
Today we have a guest post from guest blogger Sam.
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The IRS has issued a special alert for tax specialists against phishing emails sent by scammers where they ask professionals to update their information related to IRS e-services. Like all scammers, they too try to make it sound very convincing and assert that some particular user’s information has been embezzled and that the account must be updated immediately in order to protect that information. IRS has asked professionals to be very careful of the emails generated by the scammers which lead to a bogus website made specially to collect personal information.

4 Useful Tips on How to be Office-Frugal

4 Useful Tips on How to be Office-Frugal
Today we have guest blogger Kyle to share with us some valuable savings tips.
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When you’re at the office, there’s always a danger of needing to spend – whether it’s for your own coffee, or when your office friends want to get out of the office for an hour and have lunch somewhere that work-talk is shelved for a while. It’s worse when they want to socialize outside of the office, because that’ll mean that spending barriers go down faster than The Wall.

If you’re trying to be office-frugal, meaning trying to cut your overhead costs on weekdays, it’ll involve shoring up as much willpower as you can to say no to a whole host of things. Here’s how you can get started.

Daily Habits That Can Help You to Maximize Wealth

I'm a firm believer that all the little things you do and don't do each day eventually matters more than the "big" thins that happen only once in a while.

And today, we have guest blogger Amanda to share the daily habits that can help us on the road to financial freedom.

How Freelancers Can Make the Most of Their Income

Everyone financial situation is different, and this mean it's necessary to have your own approach to your personal finances. And today we have guest blogger Maricor to share with us tips for freelancers.
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For freelancers, making the most of their income can be tough.

The main reason for this is because a freelancer’s monthly income tends to be incredibly inconsistent. On one month it could be a significant amount, and on another it could only be fraction of the previous months. This inconsistency can lead many freelancers to overspend on some months and have to borrow money on others.

While there’s nothing wrong with borrowing money, there are certainly better, smarter ways freelancers can manage money. If you’re a freelancer struggling with this same situation, perhaps it’s time you made a change.

Pay Off a Loan Early or Invest The Money First?

Pay Off a Loan Early or Invest The Money First?   Money gives me options, but is not necessarily an end goal. The rational choice can be the one where we don't end up with the "most" money but with a better set of options.

I've written before about choosing between paying off a loan early or investing the money. And I thought it's worth revisiting that as I'm about to make the same choice myself.

A few years ago I got a car loan. However, I didn't follow most experts' advice. I did give a little bit more than the usually required down-payment and sought the lowest interest available. But I got a 5-year loan. That way I could get the lowest monthly amortization.

Most experts' advice is to instead get the lowest loan total - that is, get the option that pays the least interest.

Not the most savvy move, specially for a guy with a personal finance blog. But sometimes numbers aren't what they seem at first.

Five Reasons Why You Should Buy Life Insurance As Early As Today


Photo credits: Geralt | Pixabay

Today we have guest blogger Carmina to share with us the importance of Life Insurance.
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Which Is Better UITF or Mutual Funds?

I tend to get asked this question a lot. And the common answer is neither, both or it depends on the fund.

You can actually compare a Unit Investment Trust Funds against a Mutual Funds as long as they're both invested in the same asset class (ex. they're both equity funds). It doesn't seem helpful at all to draw a line between these two types of investment vehicles.

In reality of course, each has their own advocates. It's nothing like debating VUL vs BTID, which can be contentious. But usually people do have their own preference.

9 Financial Threats And Scams You Have To Watch Out For

"Ber" months are fast approaching. Unfortunately that usually also means more scam are headed our way.

Fortunately, today we have guest blogger Carmina Natividad to share with use tips on what to watch out for to keep our money safe.
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In a society, where different faces of crimes are getting more rampant, you can't blame other people for losing their faith in humanity. Criminals give in to illegal doings and take advantage of other people for personal gain. These misdeeds can happen anywhere and anytime, and the scary part is each one of us can be a potential victim.

Now, let's talk about the "root of all evil," as they say - money. Financial fraud is one of the crimes we usually see on television. We witness how thieves have become smarter in stealing, and how their ways evolved from directly robbing a bank and threatening citizens to using digital platforms and technology for luring gullible victims and getting funds from them effortlessly.

Just to raise awareness and eliminate the growing number of victims, we listed nine fraudulent activities these smooth criminals might be doing at this very moment.

GC's

GC's
Not my GC. But apparently no one's ever taken a picture of Landmark GC.


A while ago I got a Landmark GC and was going to spend it in - well, the only place I could spend it in.

How to Bring Down Your Monthly Car Loan Payments

How to Bring Down Your Monthly Car Loan Payments - 6 ways you can try to bring down your monthly auto loan amortization.
One of the most frequently read posts in this blog is the one about Car Loan rates. And consequently I get asked a lot about various stuff regarding car loans. But the most popular question seems to be about bringing down the monthly amortization/payments. So I thought it would be a good idea to tackle it in more detail here.

So what can you do to bring down your monthly car payment?

Let's tackle them in chronological order:

Balai Pabango

Balai Pabango
A few days ago I was on my home but got really hungry. Fortunately enough, I passed by a Balai Pan de Sal branch and so I went in and immediately tried to choose which one of their breads to buy.

Then a guy in white polo (and a tie?) comes in and declares "green belt giveaways". He starts spraying a sample on the store personnel's wrists (both of whom were women), who get excited.

My initial thoughts was - I can't choose between the spanish bread (my usual go-to) or ensaymada, which looked very tempting at that time. And then it occurred to me: greenbelt was a bit far from here.

Powerful Productivity Technique

Just a quick video post for today.

The essence of personal finance is not to spend more than you earn. But although saving is probably the more popular topic, the surest way to accomplish that is to ear more.

And although we can't guarantee that we'll earn more, being productive is still the best way to get on the path to earning more.

And in this 6 minute video, author Ben Angel shares with us a technique to makes us very productive.




You may have noticed that this is basically about building a good habit. Like what I've touched on previously - On Building Good Habits, and The Comprehensive Guide To Breaking Bad Habits And Making Good Habits Last For Good.

I guess that partly explains why successful people keep trying to strive for more, while a less accomplished ones may keep "phoning it in" so to speak. They may be locked into habits, one just happens to be better for their wealth.


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How You’re Wasting Money (and Not Knowing It)

How You’re Wasting Money (and Not Knowing It)
Today, we have guest blogger Kyle Kam sharing with us some insights on everyday spending that we should seriously consider before parting with our money.

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There’s a quote out that says “I’m having an out-of-money experience.” You will find yourself out of cash, and it’s at least 48 hours prior to payday. You ask yourself how this could’ve happened when you were cautious about spending.

There are many ways you’re wasting money and not knowing it. They’re small at times, but when you’ve only got Php 50 left in your pocket, it’s time to re-examine your lifestyle choices.

On Helicopter Money

If you're reading a personal finance blog, there's a decent chance you may have heard or read terms like "quantitative easing" or "economic stimulus".

That is an indirect, though you could say effective, way of getting money into the hands of people and getting them to spend. So that the economy (or the flow of money through spending, business, income, and more spending) moves or grows faster.

But that's mostly imperceptible to us common folks.

So it was a little surprising to read about "helicopter money" - or government/central banks thinking about directly handing out money to people, bypassing banks altogether.

On Heuristics and Specifics

One of the things I like about having a personal finance blog is that I get a lot of different perspectives from people that leave comments or send me email.

Let's take the generic advice to save 10% of your income each month and build up this big emergency fund, and then invest.

This is of course widely applicable, but there are always tweaks based on our specific circumstances.

How Can Students Invest?

How Can Students Invest?
One thing I like about having a personal finance blog is that I get to think about different perspectives and situations I normally would not have considered.

One such case is when a student asked me about investing.

On one hand, it's great to start early. On the other hand, there are practical concerns.

Personal Finance Is Personal

Personal finance is personal. That's a nice quote I first heard from Fitz Villafuerte. When he used it, and when I repeat it, usually it's in the context of people having to make their own decisions when it comes to how they will invest. But apparently it's a bit more than that.

A while back, I read a post in facebook from a finance coach. I may be taking things out of context, but what I read was his reason why he charges a fee for his advice.

He brought up a good point. Basically he says he charges a fee because he wants to work with people who are serious about getting their finances in order (not his exact words, but that was the gist I got). If you're willing to pay, then you are taking your finances seriously.

This mindset not only applies to a coach's advice. This can also include buying books and attending paid seminars.

I obviously have a different view.

3 Smart Characteristics of Debt-Free People

I recently posted on facebook an article about how a good portion of Filipinos are in debt. Now, we know that some kinds of debt are good and being in debt is not necessarily bad. However, if 2 out of every 5 people you know is in debt, then it's probably a good idea to at least be more conscious about it.

And today, we have guest blogger Kyle to talk more about how to be debt-free.

What happened to my 800?

What happened to my 800?
A while back, I wrote about what I did with my 6k windfall.

Smart Online Shopping

As I've written before, I'm a big fan of shopping online. I mean sure, there are times when you need to do it in person - to see and hold (and inspect) the item first before buying it. And sometimes it can still be just as cheap to buy it in person.