3 Foolproof Steps to Reach your Financial Goals

The first step in any successful activity is the willingness to do it. The old adage, “If there’s a will, there’s a way”, never goes out of style and it also applies here.

You may well agree that it is best to focus on something if there’s no distraction as this allows your mind to become fully engaged in an activity. So, I am inviting you to allot time and full attention where you will not do other tasks for at least the first 2 steps. Once settled, I will share three simple and foolproof steps on how you can reach your financial goal.

Are you ready? Let’s begin!

I want to save money!

Prepare a piece of paper or word document. If you wish to write on a sheet of paper, start by thinking, “Why do I want to save?” Then once you have thought about it, you can write it beside ‘GOAL’.  Try not to make it too challenging that it will discourage you to start.

Once completed, ask yourself again, “What do I want to do to achieve this goal?” You can write as much as you can as long as it is something that you REALLY WANT TO DO and CAN DO. For a starter, it may be good to have at least 3 items. Then, assess if this will truly help you reach your goal.

To help you out, you may choose from the below list. Just edit and fit it based on your own needs. Or better yet, come up with your own entirely.

GOAL: I want to save money because:

  • I want to have a health insurance so I don’t worry about medical/hospital bills
  • I want to have a life insurance so I will not worry about my family’s future if something happens to me
  • my daughter/son will start going to school in 3 years
  • I want to buy my first car by January 2017
  • I need to pay for my education by the start of the school year (2016-2017)
  • I will travel to Singapore this coming summer and visit at least 3 places there
  • I want to retire by the age of 55 years old

WHAT DO I WANT TO DO TO REACH MY GOAL?

  • put my loose change/coins (P5 or P10) in a piggy bank daily
  • after I receive my salary this payday, I will immediately set aside 10% of it for savings

Ex. Salary x % = Savings

At 10% : P 6,000 x 0.1 = P 600

  • open a bank deposit account to put in 5-10% savings from my salary
  • earn additional income
    Ex.
    – bake cakes and sell them to my friends/neighbors/officemates
    – have a garage sale this weekend : sell my old clothes, shoes and bags
  • ask help from financial experts about insurance and start one
  • learn how and invest in an investment vehicle like mutual fund, UITF, etc.

This is how it will look:

GOAL: I want to save money because….

WHAT DO I WANT TO DO TO REACH MY GOAL?

1.)

2.)

3.)

I want to start today!

Now, you are finished with your goal and list. The next step is to PRIORITIZE.

They say that if someone is serious about bringing an idea come to life is not to put off what one can do today. So to do this, rearrange the order on your list or just place # 1 on the activity that you will DO TODAY and ACT on it.

This year would not be the same from today if you start it with something new and positive, right?  So, be bold and take that first step now.

I want to reach my goal!

In our hectic and busy world, sometimes we forget what’s important to us. After you start one activity on your, “What do I want to do to reach my goal?” list, do you stop there? Of course not, you’re way better than that.  Remember, you want to REACH YOUR GOAL.

To follow through, post your goal and list where you can see it often and go back to it at the end of the week or so. Then decide to start on the second or third item on your list. Once you have accomplished all the items on the list, check how far you are from your goal. Update your list if you wish to be more aggressive in reaching your goal on time.

That’s it, buddies! For someone with a strong resolve and a clear goal in mind, this is definitely foolproof since the success of this activity depends on YOU.

Also, have fun learning about yourself while doing it. We wish you only the best in your finances!

Now You Can Save & Invest More and Make Even More Money

Personal finance is not just about saving, investing, or getting life insurance.

Before we can have something to save or invest, and before we can have an income to protect, we first have to have disposable income that we can manage. That being said, let’s talk about several ways on how you can create sideline income without compromising your regular source of income.

Be an Online Freelancer

There are various opportunities that you can take advantage online. One of them is to provide a particular service based on your skills as an Online Freelancer.

Being an Online Freelancer, you may provide various services ranging from simple admin tasks like data entry and transcription, to a more specialised tasks like accounting and marketing. Take your pick.

You can do all of these during your free time – making every hour of your time productive.

To do all these, you may take advantage of the services provided by freelance marketplace websites like Upwork.com or Freelancer.com.

Create a Blog and Monetise

One way to make money out of your personal interest and stories is to make money by building your own website/blog.

It is possible to make money from a blog through advertisements, promoting products of different companies, or by building your own digital product.

It’s not FREE, but it will open opportunities like learning marketing and make use of the learning to upgrade your Freelance Skills. You could also have an income-generating asset that will require less work as your active income requires from you.

If you want to learn more on how you can build a blog starting with just $0.01, you may check out this link (use coupon code 1CENT to start building your blog with just $0.01).

Join Direct Sales or Multi-Level Marketing Organisations

I remember the best-selling author Robert Kiyosaki mentioned that MLM as one of the best and easiest way to go into business.

I personally believe that it’s true.

For one, the capital needed to start a Direct Sales and MLM business is not as high compared to starting your own business.

Second, the trainings that these MLM and direct sales companies are invaluable, which are applicable in business and in your day to day life.

Third, you can do this part-time without compromising your regular income, which is the most important thing. You’ll have the security of having a fixed income while trying to earn more through business – and who knows, this could be your major source of income.

Just ensure that before you commit to one, you ensure the legitimacy of the company that you are affiliating with. Also, ensure that you can manage the membership fee that they will be requiring. Don’t go into debt just to have something for the membership fee.

Personal Finance is about managing both Cash Inflows and Outflows

You will hear many financial advisors saying that you should save, invest, and get life insurance. However, some of us are perhaps living in a situation of making ends meet – that the budget is just sufficient just survive.

It’s not enough to just depend on one source of income. Having a variety of sources of income may provide more flexibility on our part, and more opportunities to save and invest for our future.

P.S. I have personal experience on all of these suggestions. If you have questions on how you can start, feel free to post them in the comments section below.

3 Financial Resolutions that will Change your Life Forever

As we start the year 2016, there may now be a number of resolutions on your list which are related to health, beauty, love, spirituality and more. However short or long your list is, I recommend that you add these 3 financial resolutions. If you haven’t created any list yet, you may still want to read on.

Just this December, we may have been so excited with our bonuses that as soon as we received our extra month’s pay, we spent hours in the mall splurging. From the time we’re out of the establishment, we’re already broke.

This may be the common scenario for most people.  Others may have a different story but with a similar result.  So, how can we avoid falling in the same financial deficiency cycle and get off on the right foot instead?

I invite you to read through and check how these three financial resolutions that can change your life forever. Enjoy!

START BUDGETING

Budgeting is a habit that creates financial mindfulness. It removes the stress of thinking where your hard-earned money is spent.

By creating a simple tracker of the cash that comes in and out, and where it is spent, you can manage your money better. If you are in debt, you can work your way out of it and also avoid getting in debt with proper budgeting.

However, although we would like to spend our money on living expenses, we are still bound to life’s uncertainties. This is why a good budget plan should include a portion for insurance.

GET A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY

Let’s face it. We can only plan so much. At the end of the day, we’re still unsure of what this year holds for us. If there are accidents, hospitalization or even death, are we prepared for the expenses?

An insurance policy can alleviate or entirely remove our worries for these unforeseen events. Without any insurance, we may resort to bite into high-interest loans which can bury us from terrible debts or borrow from relatives and friends which can taint good relationships if left unpaid. Unfortunately, aside from our self-esteem, it is usually our family and loved ones who suffer in these predicaments.

To avoid this, would it not be better to be hopeful for the best, but at the same time prepared for the worst to come? I leave this question for you to reflect on.

START SAVING AND INVESTING

Once you understand your spending habits in your budget tracker, you can adjust your expenses in order to save for your most important life goals. It can be travelling to your dream destination, buying a car or house, preparing for retirement, etc.  So, it is sound to leave some amount for savings and investment.

Savings and investments are portions of the money that we set aside. Although these may not give us the immediate satisfaction that spending provides, they offer a more rewarding feeling when we reach our future goals.

Allocate regular amounts that will not affect your major needs. It is easier to start small but consistent, than to stretch our budget to save big amounts but fail to follow through. The key is to form a habit.

So there you go, our three financial resolutions on the 1st day of the year!

Start NOW, and your financial life will no longer be the same. Happy New Year!

7 Funny (but Practical) Tips to Maximize Your Savings

I’ve asked Reddit for their opinion on how members think the best way to spend their Christmas Bonuses. Surprisingly, received a funny but practical response from user send_me_more_ram, which is applicable not only for the upcoming holiday seasons, but to the remaining days ahead.

Some of which you might be able to relate. Here they are:

Tips on Where to Spend Your Christmas Bonus

– Pay off debts whether they may be credit card debts, 5/6 debts, or loans from friends/family

– put a portion in long term savings/investments

Tips on Spending Less

1. if you want to spend less, sleep more. Sleep costs nothing and gives you energy. You can also go to your local church and pray or meditate. It’s free and you may get the gods to be in your favor

2. if you want to spend less and want to lose weight? Skip your dinners for 3km walks and go to bed early before the hunger pains kick in. You’ll lose 8lbs per month and save around P1,500-3,000 on the dinners you’ve skipped, and you’ll feel healthier

3. want to spend less on toiletries? Shit in your office or nice mall bathrooms. Always ask for extra tissues at restaurants or food courts

4. want free ketchup? Always ask for extra ketchups at fastfood stores

5. want to save money on overpriced coffees and frappes from starbucks? Just use your imagination that you’re sipping that dark mocha frappe and its cold frappy goodness is making its way down your through. And then just drink a few cold glasses of water. The craving will go away

6. want to save money? Don’t get a bf/gf. If you do get a bf/gf, make sure you don’t make a baby you can’t afford

7. Want to save a ton of money on beauty and cosmetics, just use a regular bar of soap and avoid the sun like the plague. Beauty companies prey on your insecurities. They want you to know and feel that you’re ugly and that you’re not good enough for your crush or SO. Talk to elders in long term relationships and they’ll tell you that character/ugali would matter more in a relationship, if in the off-chance that your are not very blessed with good looks, you can always shut off the lights during sexy times (but you gotta make sure you’re good in bed)

There are lot of things that we do in order for us to save for a specific thing or a specific event in out lives. Nevertheless, we do work hard to get it. On this journey to financial success, let’s continue to learn how we can balance our present lives with the life that we are about to make in the future.

How about you? What tips can you share on how to save money for future use? Please share them in the comment section below.

4 Things That Kobe Bryant’s Retirement Could Teach Us About Personal Finance

If you are an NBA fan, you might have heard the news that one of the living (and playing) legends of the league announced his retirement last Sunday (Nov 29, 2015). Yes, I’m referring to Kobe Bryant. He’ll be playing only until the end of this season and will start facing a new stage of his life – Retirement.

Of course, we’ll not be talking about the Sports angle of this story. Let’s talk about what we can learn from one person’s story of success and perhaps emulate (on a smaller scale maybe) that could lead us to our own journey to Financial Success.

Here it goes…

Attributes to www.ThePlayersTribune.com
Attributes to www.ThePlayersTribune.com

I. We are not capable of working FOREVER.

Yes, walang FOREVER (no such thing as forever). Everything ends.

As the famous ironic quote says “The only constant thing in life is change”. Our mental and emotional state change, or physical ability deteriorates. This means that we cannot work forever. We cannot keep on depending on our active income to support us for the rest of our lives.

Here’s a more dramatic verse from Kobe’s poem ending his career where he earned a total of $680 Million:

You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream
And I’ll always love you for it.
But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer.
This season is all I have left to give.
My heart can take the pounding
My mind can handle the grind
But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.

That’s the reason why we should and understand the second lesson (and take it seriously).

II. Build a second (third, fourth, fifth, etc…) Income Stream

Specifically, “Less-Active” to PASSIVE Income Stream

Knowing that our body will respond and perform differently when we are young compared to an age of more maturity (and seniority), we have to anticipate how we are going to live past the prime of our lives.

CNN reported that Kobe has earned around $680 Million from his 20-year stint at the NBA, majority of which were earned during the last few years as he acquire the “legend” status. Imagine how much he will be giving up by deciding to retire.

However, aside from his basketball career, Kobe do endorsement stints on the side for well-known brands like NIKE. Coming from a very physical and tiring profession, Kobe will still be able make money from less-active projects.

The lesson here is this, while we take our journey to Professional or Entrepreneurial success, we have to build an income stream that will require less energy and less stress compared to what we are currently doing. Everything should be aligning, our physical deterioration with our financial sources – from an active income, to a less active income, and eventually, to a passive income.

III. Invest in your Passion

Successful and happy people tend to do what they love to do, and that’s what we really want to achieve. At the end of the day, it seems that it will fill good to be wealthy, but it definitely feels good to be happy.

I don’t know where Kobe invests all his money, but based on my research, he have investments that are directly or indirectly related to the sport that he loves.

During 2013, he set up Kobe Inc. with the vision of owning and growing brands and ideas that challenge and redefine the sports industry while inspiring the world. I believe Kobe Inc. is a holding company that invests on other businesses (similar to Ayala Corporation, MPIC, amongst others).

The first investment made by the company was a sports drink called BodyArmorJust this 2015, he teamed up with a venture capital firm to invest in the The Player’s Tribune – a popular website that operate in the sports niche.

While we can make money on various ways, be it active, less-active, or passive sources of income, doing something that we really love will makes everything sustainable, since we are more likely to stick to something we love, through thick or thin, than to something we don’t.

My realization is that on the quest to generate less-active income, it could be an opportunity for us to explore the things that we love to do. Even at this point, say we are in a position that we don’t really like our primary source of income, we could always use our leisure time to make our passion profitable.

Easier said than done, but I remember a quote from some videos that I’ve watched that could inspire you anyway, “Version one is always better than version zero”. It just means that doing something, to achieve our passion in this case, is always better than doing nothing.

IV. Diversify

Diversification does not necessarily apply only to investments, but also to source of income.

With a variety of sources of income, we are able to decide freely on what’s best for us. Relying solely on a single income stream could probably lead to frustration and desperations specially if we don’t love what we do.

 

Three Personal Finance Rockstars in the Philippines that you Should Follow in Social Media

Social Media has been one of the major reasons for the continues growth of Financial Literacy here in the Philippines.

Though I may not have the exact number, but curiosity and interest in managing finances effectively has increased tremendously over the past several years. This is evidenced by various organisations that are popping out trying to further increase awareness of Financial Literacy.

However, with the increasing number of groups/individuals to follow, the question of who’s really the real deal may arise. With that, here are the top four people in my Facebook Newsfeed that I don’t fail to learn something new.

Personal Finance Rockstars

Bo Sanchez (Facebook)

Bo SanchezWith his free ebook My Maid Invests in the Stock Market, the preacher in blue jeans has inspired a lot of Filipinos to invest in the stock market. He somehow erased the idea that the stock market is for the reach only. Upon reading the said ebook, his readers ends up asking, “if his maids can invest in the stock market, why can’t I?”.

Over the years, retail investors in the stock market slowly increase, which really gives hope on our Philippine Stock Market for future enormous growth.

One thing about Bo Sanchez is that he is a Preacher. Nope, he’s not a priest, but a layman who finds his mission to preach the word of the Lord to a surprisingly huge crowd of people who follows his faith organization.

Why follow Bo?

Bo Sanchez’s approach in teaching about money is by integrating it with the teachings of the Holy Bible. I’m not a very religious person, but when I attend The Feast (Bo Sanchez’s weekly Prayer Meeting), discussions about money provides more meaning on a wider universe, rather than the pursuit of it for thyself.

Chinkee Tan (Facebook | Youtube | Viber)

Was once known as one of the “Hawi Boys” of the once popular Randy Santiago, Chinkee Tan offers a story of how life can turn around from poverty to a life of abundance.

Here’s an interview of Korina Sanchez with Chinkee last 2007 for you to learn more about him:

Aside from show business, Chinkee Tan’s background includes coming from the Network Marketing business – such background provided him insights on how to really help people not only on managing money, but also in providing business ideas that helps his audience have something to manage.

One of the things I like about Chinkee Tan is the he is VERY ACTIVE in social media, especially in Facebook. If you are following him at Facebook, you will often receive notifications that he is doing a live broadcast using Facebook Live, sharing some small bits of information that could motivate and inspire people into taking action.

I really appreciate this guy’s energy in trying to uplift the Filipino people the best way he can.

He’s very active in radio broadcasts too. You can hear him talk at Radio 5 early morning on weekends.

Randell Tiongson (Facebook | Viber)

Randell TiongsonThe very first time I encountered Randell Tiongson was when I took the Financial Planning modules conducted by the Registered Financial Planners of the Philippines (RFP) way back in 2010/2011.

Randell’s background was on the Financial Advisory business worked as an Insurance Agent for several years (don’t know exactly how long, but I know it’s a very long and extensive experience). His insights came from various experiences with different people and clients.

He is currently the Director of the RFP Philippines, guiding Financial Planners with the proper pillars of financial planning, which will then be used in guiding their clients, families, and especially, themselves.

Randell regularly posts upcoming seminars of different Personal Finance personalities and leads a Viber Chat (together with some interesting personalities) where we can gain  insights on the world of personal finance.

Of course, these people are my personal choices.

How about you? Who do you like following in Social Media? Please share them in the comment section below.