I don’t often talk about this here but before I started blogging, I was actually in the corporate world. I spent less than three years there but I wasn’t able to save properly. I realized, my earnings always went to coffee, a good lunch and monthly rewards for myself like dresses and things that are starting to gather some dust now.
Everything changed when I started working for my family business. Sure, it was easier to save because I didn’t have to invest a lot in terms of clothes (as I was working in a warehouse setting) and access to coffee shops and convenience stores were limited too! But still, I wasn’t saving enough. Being the confused mid-twenty something, I started thinking,
“Where is my life going? What are my goals? What should I do to achieve it?”
I swear, I had so many existential questions then more than I do now. Then someone e-mailed me Warren Buffett’s New Year mantras and it was on my cork board for so many years. Here are some of my favorite phrases,
“Never depend on single income. Make investment to create a second source.”
“If you buy things you do not need, soon you will have to sell things you need.”
“Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.”
“Do not put all your eggs in one basket.”
“Never test the depth of river with both the feet.”
I heard about these things before in my economics class but never took them seriously. Then, I started tracking my expenses. I realized that 40% of my income went to my hobby. OMG. Since then, the pressure changed from being able to have enough until the next payday to actually having enough savings from multiple sources of income. I started doing artworks & lay-outs on the side while juggling it with my day job. Eventually, I realized that banks will not be able to cover for inflation if I let my money sit there so my goal was to have more than savings and be able to have my money work for me by investing it in financial instruments such as mutual funds being offered by Manulife and the like.
By doing the above, my lifestyle changed. When I was in college, having the latest phone or outfit gave me a high but now, I don’t buy a new phone until the current one gives up on me. Haha. Well, with clothes, I’m the notorious serial repeater amongst my cousins. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t shun fashionistas and coffee aficionados totally. I guess, to each his/her own. In some parallel universe, someone would probably be frowning at the watercolor paper or paint I buy but at least my priorities changed or I have clearly defined my negotiables & non-negotiables. 🙂
Before I go on trips, I would make an Excel file of expenses complete with sources of income and such and how I will be able to recover it after. Haha. I’d also do a profit and loss statement when I want to venture into something just so that I know it’s worth my time. I showed this to one of my friends and she was surprised. She thought it was all about following your heart and going with the flow. Blame it on projects in college & and my work after that but, for me, it feels like I have to present an idea to my boss and back it up with a presentation and hard numbers. Hahahaha.
I always tell people that after I read the Alchemist, I went to Paris and became more bold enough to chase my dreams. One of my favorite lines from that book is,
““And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
Sure it will. A friend asked me if I wanted to go. But, prior to that, I did some number crunching. I looked at my streams of income and my current savings. The universe will help you but you’ll have to help yourself too!
People always say make things happen & follow your dreams but when you do, you actually have to do all the background work to make that happen. Consult the Manulife Philippines website today and start pinning down your financial goals and #StartYourStory. 🙂