I knew it was just yesterday when I wrote about my word for the year and the things I want to accomplish. Well, at least it felt like yesterday. And now it’s already September! I haven’t lost a single pound yet! I haven’t added anything substantial to my personal savings! Unfair!
Can one consider better skin to be an accomplishment? What about being to watch 5 Korean dramas in the span of 2 months? No? Okay, homeschooling nalang. I’m proud to say that I am now the mother of a reading and writing 4-year old. A bit late compared to others, a bit early compared to some, but hey we’re not focused on comparing, are we!
I know I didn’t write down my resolutions at the beginning of the year, and I know it’s nowhere near New Year now (unless we’re talking about New Year – 2017), but I believe there’s still time to accomplish these goals:
1. Lose weight
Weight loss is a long-term struggle for me. Sometimes I diet and work out like a mad man, and on some days, all I want to do is stay in bed and binge on junk food. It takes a toll on my weight (and health) so now I’m determined to commit to a realistic but steady fitness routine. Help?
2. Save money
This is all so foreign to me.
I mean, I used to run a regular Finance Fridays column in my old blog, Davao Mommy. I used to spew all kinds of financial wisdom — from technical stuff like investing in stocks or mutual funds to life concepts like being contented and living beneath one’s means.
I know we used to live way beneath our means. Despite paying for the amortisation of a house and lot, we were still able to set aside ample emergency fund.
Things are different now. We’re no longer paying for amortisation (we actually withdrew our application and, with the refunded payment, bought a bigger lot just outside the subdivision). I am no longer freelancing and have been working as a full-time employee for a year now, and Job is in Riyadh. Ideally, we should have been saving more because the income is more regular, but the bitter truth is, our savings account are stagnant.
Well, it’s funny how regular salary gives you a false sense of security. I thought we were doing okay, financially, until I took the time last weekend to assess how we were really doing.
The Hidden Expenses
Hey everyone! I’ve been talking about homeschooling lately (because it is school season, after all), but today, let’s talk about something that we should talk about all year round: money.
When it comes to handling the family budget, it’s usually left to the woman of the house to juggle the finances. Apparently, there’s a scientific reason why females handle the family’s money rather than men. Research featured by CNN Money said that women investors perform better than men, but they lack confidence when it comes to investing and planning for retirement.
Why so? Well, they invest wisely. However, their conservative thinking in terms of wealth has also led to many women, particularly stay-at-home moms, with less money to invest in their future or retirement. Here’s a post dedicated to wonderful WAHMs out there on how they can invest without putting too much pressure on the family’s finances.
1. Assess and set your financial goals
I’ve been a bad money manager.
I used to write regular posts about financial wisdom, saving and investing in my old blog (if you’re interested in reading them, here’s my old Finance Friday series). To be fair, I am still very much interested in learning about the proper way to manage personal finances.
Then life happens.
When I had a full-time job (still homebased but very different from my previous long-term freelancing gig), I was suddenly thrust into a fortnightly payment scheme. What a vast difference from my old once-a-month pay!
And, get this: regular pay. Haha I know this sounds weird to people who have always held regular paying jobs, but for someone who used to get paid on a per-essay basis (read: no essay/work, no pay), this was a welcome change.
So I got used to life with a regular salary every two weeks. And then I got comfortable — too comfortable. Before, because I couldn’t predict how much work I’ll get in a month, and because I receive my salary only at the beginning of the month, I needed to be careful with how I spend the money. I create budgets, follow them strictly, and even set some aside for an emergency fund and a retirement fund. Looking back, I was wise with money.
But now, not that there’s anything wrong with being paid regularly and on a fortnightly basis (in fact, I am very thankful for it!), it seems as if I forgot the values that made me financially wise before. I can spend everything I receive in one fortnight — down to the last peso — without fear because I know it’s only a short matter of time before I receive another pay. I could live from paycheck to paycheck because I needn’t worry about the immediate future.
What a dangerous mindset to have.
This year, I’m making the conscious decision to commit to growing my financial wisdom again. Here are the specific steps I plan on doing: