Sunday, November 25, 2012

Revised Money Jars

I have recently joined a group who aim to share financial concepts and learning to people who have financial goals. Actually, we also reach out to those who have no idea on how money works or how to make it grow. I myself have been reading a lot of these financial stuffs but it is only recently that I have seriously taken action. Our team is currently working to make more opportunities for educational meet ups to support those who are interested to learn more on how to achieve financial freedom. I am working my way through it, thanks for the help and support of my IMG team.

Yesterday we had an opportunity to play the Cash Flow game, learned more about mutual funds through mind mapping and money jars. I have my own version of money jars. I use my online bank accounts for each purpose. Now I have yet to revise my money jars since many have change already when I started here in Singapore. But to the benefit of those interested I'm re posting my old article about money jars.

My Money Jars

I first learned about this when I attended a financial seminar last year. That was the time when I started subscribing to Bo Sanchez' newsletters. I attended every financial seminar there is and was able to finish 3 modules in a week. I must say it's worth the time and until now I'm encouraging my sisters and even friends to attend. Every topic assures me of what I'm doing right and enlightens me on my weak areas as well.
I can say I'm good in budgeting. I can juggle my monthly income from payables to regular expenses and emergency stuffs. I have learned to make ends meet albeit sometimes it looks impossible even before payday comes. I've learned how to use excel program to tabulate and monitor expenses and payables. I have mastered the art(if there is such) of scheduling loans during enrollment and special occasions. All of these I'm proud to have learned all by myself but not until I've humbly opened my heart to my mentors. Note that my budgetting only covers expenses and it's not a good thing.

With my new money jars, it covers everything. It's not a physical jar that you can see in my home. It's actually a system I learned from one of the financial seminars I've attended last year. This system will not only build your wealth in the long run but it will also help you settle previous debts. It's originally 5 jars but I have mine divided into 7. Each account has a certain percentage from my income sources.

Financial Freedom Account ( FFA) 20%
- This is the account where I build my fund for future investments. This should be regularly funded to accummulate and be used if you plan to invest in stocks or finance a business or start up a passive income. Passive income is a business that generates income even when you sleep. I have mine in a bank with a passbook so I won't be able to withdraw in a whim. It shouldn't be touched unless I'm ready to invest.

Charity  10%
- This is  the account where a certain amount is kept for charity purposes. Remember that helping others is one way of giving back God's abundant blessings to us. It depends on how much you wanted to give back. But as saying goes, the more you give the more you receive, most of the time surprisingly better.

Play 5%
- After the seminar, this is the first account that instantly pops out of my head when I tried to review the money jar lessons. Why? Because this is the account where I put the amount alloted for my monthly self indulgence. We need to pamper ourselves too for balance. This also saves us from cheating in the other jars. :P

Emergency Fund (EF) 10%
- This is the account where I save for emergency purposes like medical bills, urgent house repairs and other unexpected expenses. Take note: Unexpected expenses. This too is safe in the bank to be withdrawn only if needed.

Education fund (EdF) 10%
- Before, I used to wonder why seminars cost so much. I also thought these are only for carreer enhancement and required to update professionals like medical practitioners and those in Information technology. Now, I'm always on the look out for latest and practical seminars related to my interests and source of income. This is where I allot my Education fund. This is also used to buy books, magazines and stuffs I need to learn about businesses and personal development. Remember that education is also an investment. The more we learn, the more we become a better person.

Living Fund- 40%
- This goes to Necessities. This includes regular monthly bills like water, electricity, groceries, food, transportation, subscriptions. It also depends on your lifestyle. If you have other activities you regularly do and pay monthly dues like running activities or going to the gym, include it here.

Kids Fund 5%
- I'm a mom and I have to set aside a special account for my kids activities and needs for our bonding time. It doesn't have to be expensive when you do activities with kids but it still helps to have a separate account that will not affect our regular budget.

You can modify your money jar according to what suits your status and lifestyle. If you are single, you can stick to the basic 5. What's important is that you are able to keep an amount to build your future, save for emergencies and still able to give back to God. It's your choice and my advise as always is START NOW. 

How are your money jars?

Monday, July 30, 2012

God's own time

Three years ago, I was applying to recruitment agencies hoping to work in Singapore. I passed my interviews with flying colors. But the challenge was the placement fee. We were in a phase where I and my sisters were struggling financially due to a lot of financial obligations when our mom got hospitalized and passed away.

So plan A was scratched. Plan B was to review board exams and go back to medical field. Alongside was our direct selling business which was a huge hit. I was even promoted to Account Manager. Imagine myself working full time at night, running to my review class the next day then rushing to get orders from Avon which always have long queue of the dealers trying to get all the stocks on sale. I'm lucky if I still have 4 hours left to sleep before running again to work. This has been my routine for 6 months. It was no wonder when I finally felt its toll on my health.

I prayed that wherever God wanted me to be, and then let it be. It did not occur to me that God is a generous God. We need to be specific on what we really want. Though He knows what is in our hearts, we ourselves should be sure of what we are praying for.

Clearly at this point, my review class was not my priority. I was enjoying all the benefits we get from our part time business and the prestige of being the boss is overwhelming because of the perks. I was a bit confident on my exam because from experience, I made it to the top 4% of my batch. I neglected the fact that it was years ago when I graduated.

I realized that God has better plans. But I also have to do my part. The only thing I know right is the fact that I am good in juggling budget and no matter how small I was still able to make ends meet. I decided to seek financial knowledge and spiritual guide. I admit my budgeting skills is not enough. I have to get a full grasp of any information that can pull me up from financial problem.

That's when I started to attend all kinds of financial seminar there is. I followed Bo Sanchez because of his Truly rich club teachings. I even enrolled myself in an online class about internet marketing. I was so busy then. I thought this is going to be ok. Little did I know, another struggle is coming. I had to transfer to another account because the one I'm currently in is ending support. Now that means goodbye to comfort zone.

Fast forward, I immediately got accepted to a new account. This time, I really have to do real troubleshooting! I'm blessed to have been assigned to a good team manager and nice colleagues. In a span of 1 year, I already learned a lot of technical stuff.

I must say that year was the most challenging. A friend betrayed me, my dad got diagnosed with prostate disorder and his health card is not covering his surgery, I was accused of buying a guy's attention which was really a big lie, a crazy stalker had been posting malicious stuffs about me and even dragged my kids name on her insanity, financially I'm barely keeping up, I had a late bloomer allergy, and my younger sister getting drifted by some unwelcome influence.

Despite all these, God never left my side. There were times I'd fall into sin through actions and thoughts when my faith is getting challenged.  But God never gave up on me. He still protected me with His loving embrace from people who's trying to hurt me by giving me more true friends, more loving family and relatives. He showed me who my real friends are in times of trouble and made me realized I have many. He gave me opportunities to empower myself more, learn more and socialize more. He showed me the talents I've been trying to hide all these years. He blessed my dad with caring doctors and enough financial resources to support his medicines. He continuously blessed my sister Sofia with courage, strength and wisdom to steer right my decisions when I am confused and undecided. He blessed us with people who believes in our dreams and did not hesitate to support our family plans. He led me to my special caring group who definitely made a difference in my life. They confirmed that what I was trying to live for were right and only God can judge me for He knows what is in my heart. He blessed me with good memories I've shared with my office mates including the hilarious ones. I've been blessed with the knowledge that not everything is about me and not get too sensitive with trivial things that doesn't include me. More importantly, I was blessed with a forgiving heart. My Jesus encounter experience graced me with a new heart. A heart free from all the hurt it had been through. Now my heart is ready to trust and welcome new friends.

Now I'm here in Singapore and ready to face new challenges. Before I came here I prepared myself and my kids on what's ahead of us. I thank God because I have smart kids and trusted family members. This was never an easy decision. Life in the Philippines was so much fun in my workplace and especially at home. But God has put me through many life challenges and overcoming those struggles made me a better person. I think God decided for me that it's time to move on.

I trusted Him, believing God has a big birthday gift for me. He never fails with His promises. I had sleepless nights because I'm worried I might get off load by Immigration but with just a simple smile, the officer stamped my passport without any questions asked. I was able to celebrate my birthday happily in SG with my wonderful Tito Bong. When I started looking for a job it was like I'm still on shift. I am online everyday applying for every job description that fits my qualification. On the second week I asked God to direct me on the site where I can apply so I can already claim my gift. The next day I got a call from a recruiter but she was asking for a fee. Though we have a budget for that, I took my friends and my Tito's advice to decline. Then the next day another recruiter called me for an interview. Then the next day the client interviewed me and finally discussed working environment and schedule. They have already scanned my documents so I am feeling optimistic already. I was asked for 2 Team Managers who can give a background check. They gave me really awesome recommendations. I must say that I always have good working relationships with my colleagues. I believe in not burning bridges, but  instead connect and make more true friends.

Waiting for the approved pass gave me mixed emotions. I had to make myself productive just to calm myself. I even cleaned the bathroom unscheduled. I kept my Inbox open the whole morning waiting for some good news. I fell asleep while waiting. I woke up looking at the subject: medical exam for S pass. At that moment I want to cry. GOD finally gave me my birthday gift. God really never fails.

God never fails. Looking back, all those struggles are just temporary. He uses those challenges to empower us, strengthen us and make us realize that God is always true to his promises. Even though we fail Him many times, His love for us never fails. We just have to reach out and call on Him, try our best to follow Him, and most of all believe because God never fails. I'm a living testimony that God does things according to His plan and He does it in His own sweet time. God never fails.

Thank you Lord. Make me an instrument of your never ending love and grace. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mama's secret to a happy day

Like the Mama's Good boy rules, I also have rules for myself.

Live simply but have FUN.
Be Kind.
Open thy heart and eyes to new opportunities.
Pick the good, throw the bad.
Look at the brighter side of things.
Share best practices, kindness and smile.
Empower myself and others by reading more, learning and trying out new things everyday.
Be productive- an Idle mind is a devil's playground.
And last but not the least- Mind thy own business. Not everything is all about you.

It can easily be done but the real secret is, you have to welcome it with open mind and heart. Then follow it up with actions. It is really hard at first, but you'll get the vibe.

Sssshhhh..... it's my secret to staying young, bubbly and happy. :) But yeah, share away!

Have you been productive lately?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Beat that Summer Heat!

One sure way to beat the summer heat is through ice cold drinks. So this afternoon we pulled out our blender and some of my toppings left in our pantry. This is easy as 1-2-3 and would surely quench that thirst and it's filling too!

All you need is to mix 3 cups crushed ice, 1 cup evaporated milk, 1/3 cup chocolate syrup, 3 tbsp chopped peanuts and 1/4 cup marshmallows in a blender. Pour into glasses and top with more of the ingredients according to your preference.

Ichiro got this from Alaska evaporated can and asked me to make this for them. I like the thought that my kid is just like me who loves to try out new things and reads whatever interesting stuffs that we can do together.
Great bonding everytime!

What bonding activities have you done with your kids to beat the summer heat?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Power of Prayer

I've read a lot of stories where they prayed for their partners. Unsurprisingly, it was given. Why am I not surprised? Because I believe in the power of prayer. 

It is my usual advise to those who badly wanted their relationship  to work. Sadly, God has a different way of answering prayers. If it's not for us, He gives us something better than what we are asking for. Hence, the heartbreaks and the coming of a new love.

I pray for a lot of things but mostly not for myself but for my family and friends. I haven't really asked anything for myself. I'm pretty much contented with what I have. My awesome kids are already an overwhelming blessing that I could not ask for more. I must have done something right in the past for me to deserve them.

My friend Apple gave me a small novena booklet. It is a small booklet where you can list down all of your wishes and prayer. I've been wanting to own one but I decided to give it to my sister instead. I still don't have a list of what I'm going to ask for anyway. 

I then realized that though I may not be looking for any relationship, I should start praying for that one person God had prepared for me. When it comes to saving prayer, God is really fast to answer. It was a moving event in my life last year when I experienced His loving protection over me from someone who have tried to ruin my optimism in life. Now when it comes to lovelife, I believe He is taking time to prepare that someone and all we have to do is prepare ourselves too while waiting for that time to come.

The reason why I don't dwell from the past is because I've always believed that there are so many fishes in the sea.   I'm an easy prey because I am single and free spirited. The challenge is to turn these fishes into friends so they won't take advantage of my vulnerability. Sometimes the temptation is too strong especially when you are enjoying each other's company and the level of ideas and conversations are strongly matched. Now while I'm on the verge of really falling and giving my commitment this time, I came across this wonderful quote: 

"Here's the Truth, You will only fight temptation to the degree that you value yourself. If you don't value yourself, you won't fight."

I guess God is extending the answer to my prayer. As we struggle not to cross boundaries, the friendship remains. We promised to stay friends whatever happens and that means a lot to me. I should continue to pray for I believe God will eventually give me the person who is a lot like me and would love me because I'm not an option but a valid choice.  Besides, I strongly believe I deserve nothing less.

Are you praying for the right person?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cake Pops!

Jiro, my youngest son has a sweet tooth.  The mere mention of chocolate would make him get up from whatever he's being busy with. I use the choco trick everytime Jiro pretends he cannot hear me. So I thought of making a cake that I can store for a long time and easy to make anytime.

Actually, you can use any kind of cake for the base cake. Any left overs from a recent party would do. You're going to mash it up anyway.

The basic ingredients are Cake, frosting and choco or candy melt.

First step is to crumble the cake into a large bowl. You can use a food processor or a mixer to make them into fine crumbs.

Second, place in a large bowl and stir in half of the frosting. Mix with your hands until thoroughly combined and thick. Add in additional frosting if necessary.

Third, roll into balls and place on a container then refrigerate for an hour or overnight.

Fourth step is to melt the chocolate and dip the the choco pops until covered. Softly tap the cake ball to remove excess chocolate. Immediately cover with sprinkles before the chocolate has a chance to set.

This is the part where I let the kids bond with me in the kitchen. I've let them decorate the first batch of cake pops I made. It was fun and they get to critic what's best and what's not with my latest kitchen experiment. Ichiro said the cake pops with the colorful candies were so sweet so I made sure the next batches only have a few. Jiro on the other hand said the cake pops are the best, he kept asking for more.

I used banana cake for my base because it's not only healthy, it's also one of the easiest and affordable cakes to make. I'll be posting the banana cake recipe next time.

This post is for Mommy Odess who's celebrating her birthday today. She's one of the empowered women I know in my circle of friends. She's a mompreneur busy juggling time with her only son, work and business. She was once featured here in PHdM.  She's been asking for this cake pops recipe and here it is! I hope you have a great one with your adorable Peija. Happy Birthday! Continue to be an empowered woman, God bless!

Bonding with the kids are priceless moments.
Have you bonded with yours?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

PHdM's #2 Rule on Girl Empowerment

God often removes a person from your life for your protection. Think about that before you go running after them.

Mark 5:41: “He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (Little girl, I say to you, get up!)

pic source: lightsncolors

I keep this seriously in my heart and mind. 
Seriously, How about you? 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

PHdM's #1 Rule on Girl Empowerment

So Girls:

Don't sell yourself short. You deserve only the best. So, know your worth.

-Apple Cruda

Have you just realized your worth? 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Crunchy Montecristo Sandwich

My Ichiro is fond of bread and sandwiches. He prefers it more than rice. He's used to it because he grew up with my parents who loves pandesal every morning. Being a very busy mom, I used to buy biscuits and bread in bulk so whenever I come home late from work I am assured that he won't be hungry and he has everything he needs anytime. So when he approached me with my cookbook in his hand, I know what he wanted already. So there, sandwich making time for Mama Eila.

The original recipe came from Nestle Daily Delights menu planner. I just did my own version by skipping some of the ingredients. This is very much the same from my Kariman sandwiches. The only difference is that this has more fillings. I'll be posting the original recipe but of course you can modify it according to your taste and budget or what's available in your fridge.

1/2  cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp mustard
Sliced American bread
Roasted or fried chicken strips
cooked ham or bacon slices
cheese slices

special coleslaw: combine-
1/2 head cabage finely shredded
1 small carrot, cut into fine strips
1/3 cup pineaple tidbits drained
1/2 cup caesar salad dressing salt and pepper

2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup Nestle fresh milk
1 8g maggi magic sarap

2 cups crushed Nestle cornflakes

1. Spread mayonnaise and mustard on a bread slice
2. Layer the chicken, ham, cheese, and coleslaw on the prepared bread slice. Top with another bread slice.
3. Cut sandwiches diagonally to form triangles. Secure with toothpicks. Set aside.
4. Dip prepared sandwiches in egg milk mixture then coat with crushed Nestle cornflakes. Fry on heated oil until golden or bake in a 375F oven until brown and crisp.
5. Transfer on paper towels to drain excess oil. serve with your favorite drink for a filing snack.

Good to know Trivia from Nestle:
A bowl of Nestle cornflakes with milk contains 11 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and iron.

I made two batches. One batch was cooked in the oven while the other batch was fried. I like the latter better because the sandwich was softer and cooked well while the one from the oven was crunchier, thus it's name.:)

It's a very heavy sandwich you can skip a meal for this if you're on a diet just watch over that mayo, ok?

What have you tried lately?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Start em Young

There's no proper age in learning how to save money than starting them young. As early as six months your kids  can already have their own savings account. Me and my kid's dad have started this early for our eldest Ichiro. We opened an account for him to save for his education. Sadly, it stopped sometime when he already started going to school. But because I believe in teaching kids through example, I opened a new account for each of them and a separate Remittance account for me. Each of these accounts have different purposes but it doesn't fail to let my boys experience banking everytime they accumulate quite big enough money of course courtesy of the generous Grandpa and Tita's and other sources.

Here are the requirements if you want to open an account for your kids. 
  1.  your child's picture
  2.  2 pcs. of your ID picture 2x2 in size
  3. my boys waiting for their turn to deposit their money
  4.  2 Valid IDs
  5. Your child's original birth certificate photocopied
  6. Php 500 for initial deposit

This comes with a passbook without the ATM. I'm just not sure if you can request an ATM for the Junior Savers Club account. I don't need it anyway since I do online banking everytime. I do monitor these accounts online. These way all transactions are easy to manage without the hassle of long lines in Bayad centers and the fear of carrying a big amount of money during travel. 
For more information regarding online banking, check BDO website here.

Have you started yours?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Gratitude Is A Magnet (Re-post)

repost from Bo Sanchez

       Here’s my message today: If you want to receive more blessings in 2012, you need to be more thankful for blessings you received in 2011. Because gratitude is a magnet.
       Let me ask you a few questions.
       Did you have food on your table last year? Thank God. (From the way I see you, you had too much food.)
       Did you have clothes to wear last year? Thank God.
       Did you sleep well at night last year? Thank God.
       Did you have work last year? Thank God.
       Did you earn money last year? Thank God.
Did you have friends last year? Thank God.
Did you serve God last year? Thank God.
       Open your eyes to see that you were swimming in an ocean of blessings last year.
       I looked back at last year and couldn’t help but say, “Wow.” 
I can’t say anything else. Because when I think of the year, I feel overwhelmed at what God has done in my life.
Choose: 2 Weeks Or 40 Years?
       There are two ways of living on earth:
       You can grumble or you can be grateful.
       Both habits are powerful. (I’ll explain in awhile.)
       Do you know how long the Israelites travelled from Egypt to the Promised Land? The Bible says it took them 40 Years. I find that weird. Do you know how quickly it should have been?
       The distance from Cairo to Jerusalem is only 391 kilometers. That should have only taken the Israelites 14 days to travel from Egypt to Israel. But why did they take 40 years?
       Let me tell you one major reason: They followed the grumbling path instead of the grateful path.
       And the grumbling path is much longer than the grateful path. 
40 years longer…
       Think about it. They were rescued from 400 years of slavery. But they weren’t grateful. They saw 10 mind-boggling miracles, from water turning into blood, and a staff turning into a snake, and frogs leaping out of the lake… But they weren’t grateful. They crossed the red sea on dry land. But they weren’t grateful. A pillar of fire accompanied them by night and a pillar of smoke accompanied them by day. But they weren’t grateful.
       I don’t know about you, but I want to enter the promised land quickly. And the way to do that is to learn to be grateful.
What do you have that you did not receive? … Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! (1 Corinthians 4:7-8)
Marriages Can’t Be Strong Without Gratitude
Do you know why married people have affairs? It’s not because of sex. It’s because they grumble instead of being grateful.
Your spouse has 90% of what you need.
But because you’re not grateful for that 90%, you search for that missing 10% in a mistress. Someone fresh. Someone prettier. Someone more affectionate. Someone who smells nice.
But when you go home, your wife smells ofpaksiw
She isn’t affectionate because she’s tired, taking care of the kids the entire day.
So you have an affair. At first, it’s exciting. It makes you feel wonderful.
But one day, you’ll wake up and realize you’re holding Miss 10% in your arms. You’ve lost your Miss 90% to get Miss 10%. 
Gratitude Attracts Blessings
I know some people who can’t be grateful today.
They’re waiting for something big to happen for them to be grateful.
Some people say, “I’ll be grateful if I win the Lotto…” Or “I’ll be grateful if I get promoted…” Or “I’ll be very grateful if I have a baby…” Or “I’ll be grateful if I marry someone like Brad Pitt, or John Lloyd, or Bo Sanchez…” (I apologize for my hallucinations.)
Don’t wait to be grateful. Be grateful now!
Why? Because both grumbling and gratitude are a magnet.
Grateful people get more of what they’re grateful for.
If they’re grateful for happiness and love and friendships, they’ll have more happiness and love and friendships. If they’re grateful for financial blessings, they’ll have more financial blessings.
In the same way, grumbling people get more of what they grumble about.
If you grumble about your problems, you’ll have more problems. If you grumble about lack, you have more lack in your life.
Be grateful.
And receive more blessings this 2012.
       May your dreams come true,
       Bo Sanchez

Starting the year with gratefulness and much love for everyone. Welcome 2012:)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all the best this 2012!