Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Day In My Not So Boring Life

 This week, I'll be joining again the BC Blogger's Meme after having been inactive in memes for the past two weeks.  This week's meme is hosted by no other than Yuuki of "It's Not Always About Me" and it tackles about a chronicle of your typical day.
Well, same with Yuuki, I am also working overseas and because of this, even if I am a wife and a Mom to two kids, I still have a typical day which is quite monotonous as I am away from family.  I would say that my typical day usually revolves around my full time job, my virtual world and some offline activities which I used to do every now and then.  Unlike the other working Moms who usually work on a fixed working hours, I do work on shifts.  It's kind of hard at first but since I am into this kind of job for more than 15 years already, everything now comes easily.

Around 8 to 9 hrs of my typical day will be spent in the office.  After I check out from work, I will spend around 3 to 4 hours blogging and doing some online tasks. An hour or two will be spent for preparing my meal for the day and taking the meal itself. After having my meal, I will watch my favorite teleserye (lol).  If I still have time, I will tidy up my room, or face my lappy again for another round of surfing, blog hopping or reading some local and foreign news.  My activities each day varies depending on my set schedule for laundry, ironing and going to market to buy my stock of foods.  On my day off, I usually go to salon for mani and pedi.  Thereafter, I will go for a "Thai massage" from my favorite massage house. 

My typical day is not really boring as I am literally occupied the whole day until I go to bed. Well, I am thankful that  I have tons of things to do.  This eases my boredom and I get to spend my time happily and productively.

How about you? How do you spend your typical boring day? 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Time Management

If there's one thing that's quite difficult to master especially for Moms out there, I guess it would be time management.  I'd been a working Mom since day one and still until this very moment.  It's hard to cope up with your daily responsibilities as a Mom and work and venture into a career. I'd been seeing a lot of comments from other people that you can only be good at one or successful at one, and more often you will be compelled to choose one.  In the beginning, it was really a challenge for me. I love my family so much and I always wanted to be a good Mom.  If there's one thing that fulfills me, it's seeing my children grow up to be responsible, God fearing, intelligent, disciplined and good individuals.  Only then could I convince myself that hey, I have done a great job!  

When my kids were still on primary school, a lot of parents who always see me at school during school activities and are aware that I am a working Mom always asked me how I am able to manage both tasks with much ease.  They always see me in school attending meetings, watching school programs and supporting my kids during competitions.  How I am able to do it?

  • Of course, mastering time management and having that passion for both my family and career. I guess if you love what you're doing, you wouldn't feel the burden. 
  • Being organized is another thing.  Prioritizing is the key.  I always set a goal for myself and always maintain a planner and a diary book for my daily, weekly and monthly tasks.  If it's a routine, I do not include it in the list anymore.
  • I couldn't survive without the loving help from a house helper.  I do the supervision in managing the household. I do the grocery shopping, paying the bills, checking on the cleanliness and maintenance of the house then I just give instructions to the house helper.
  • During vacation leaves and off days.  I do general cleaning, cook foods for the family, re arrange the furniture, decorate the house and go out and spend time with my kids.
  • I'm just in the office for 8 to 10 hours, the rest, I'm on my own so I could decide what to do on those free time. 
Now that I'm already working away from home (as an OFW), nothing much had changed except that my time with the kids were lessened but it doesn't compromise the quality time that I spend with them whenever I'm home.  They are teens now, so they have more activities in school from which they are both engaged with.  In fact, they could hardly notice my absence.  When they need to consult me for anything, I am just a text away.  We do talk regularly.  Apart from going home regularly each year, I do bring them with me here for a short vacation during school breaks. They loved the idea that they could get that chance to be out of the country once in a while.  I think it's great and we are all okay with our current arrangement.  I'm still trying to master time management though.  I still have a lot of things to do and catch up with.  But I think I'm on the right track.

It takes a lot of discipline and hard work for you to be able to manage your time wisely. But if you do it successfully, then you will feel that certain kind of fulfillment and that's very rewarding! :)


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Reactivating My SSS Membership

One of the things in my bucket list for 2012 is to reactivate my SSS membership which I discontinued since I resigned from the last company that I've worked with in the Philippines.  I resigned 2nd quarter of 2007 and decided to try my luck as an OFW.  I did not intentionally want to discontinue my membership.  It's just that I was too busy and preoccupied at that time and this thing had slipped off my mind.  It was only late last year that I finally gained back my interest in reactivating my account with SSS but still, I was only able to start this year (lol).  Anyway, better late than never.   Since I belong to the maximum bracket of SSS contribution already from my previous employer and upon checking the contributions required for OFW's, I've seen that I just have to continue the same amount of my previous contribution  from my last company.  The only difference is that last time, my company pays for the other 50% of the monthly contribution.  Now, as an OFW, I will still be paying the same amount of contribution (Php1,560/month) but I will pay 100% of it.

Anyway, when I paid for my first contribution as an OFW last March, the SSS personnel at the Information counter advised me to just stick with this amount so I could get higher benefits during my retirement. She said, if I will lower my contribution compared to my last contribution from my employment in the Philippines, then the amount of my monthly SSS pension after my retirement will be affected.  So, I decided to just stick with my previous bracket which is the same bracket for OFW's.   After all, I will be the one benefiting from this after my retirement.  I'm just thinking that with the amount of my monthly contribution, I will surely be receiving a higher monthly pension which should be a reasonable amount to sustain my daily needs.  Anyhow, my husband is also paying for his SSS, so each of us would be having our own monthly pension after retirement.  That combined with some assets and monthly rental of a house should be more than enough to live by.

I am a very practical person.  I always think ahead.  I always want to prepare for the future.  I don't want to rely on someone else for my living. It's not that I am materialistic, I just want to enjoy my life without worries and hassles.  Anyway I was gifted with a skill that I could use to work and earn, so I just want to make the most of it while I still can.

Anyway, SSS is also offering a condonation program for those who still have unsettled loans and filing of applications will be until September 2012.  You can visit SSS website for more details. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

What's Next??

I'm feeling restless for the past two weeks.  It seems that my world is revolving at it's optimum level.  After that strenuous battle with my major project for this year which is the renovation of my first house, I'm a little bit relaxed as the major repair works is over.  We're just on the final touch ups now and my brand new tenant has just transferred to the newly renovated house last week.  Well...I couldn't count exactly how much was the total damages  in my pocket, but I as far as I could recall, it's over USD5,000 and counting....Sigh!

Anyway, I was a bit happy with how things are going.  In fact, I didn't expect that I would be able to complete the major repair works by second quarter of this year.  Now...new things are coming up and I have to prepare for these things as soon as possible.  I'm almost done with my goals for this year and some of the things I accomplished were not even on my list.  

What's up for the next 5 months?

  • I am planning to have my much awaited home leave this coming October. I'm so excited about it! Would love to see the Philippines again.
  • I'm saving enough funds to pay off all my balance for the amortization of my third lot.
  • I'm planning and saving for my planned vacation in Bangkok Thailand early November with the kids.  This would be my early Christmas treat for them as I won't be home this Christmas. I would also take this time to bring them to the famous shopping malls in Bangkok for our early Christmas shopping.
For now, I would just settle for these 3 items on my to do list.  It's only 3 items for now, but I know somehow, it would bring me huge expenses. So, I have to be contented with this a the moment.  Not bad, huh?

Anyway, God is so good.  As what my son told me the other day through his text message, "Don't worry Mom, God provides!"  Well, I guess you're right son!

That's it! I hope that I would be able to have enough preparations for all these for the next 3 months.
Good Luck to me!  Have a great week end everyone! :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Moneygram

I've been using Moneygram for quite sometime now and I'm fully satisfied with their service.  The first time I work abroad, I was using Western Union for sending money back home to the Philippines but at that time, their transfer charges are a way too high.  Good thing that Moneygram was introduced in Cambodia through Canadia Bank.  Now, money transfers are fast and easy.  Not to mention that Moneygram charged lower compared to Western Union.  Because of that, Western Union was forced to lower their charges as most Filipinos here had switched to Moneygram.  But even Western Union had lower their charges, I still stick to Moneygram as I find it safer, cheaper and faster.  Besides, my salary is directly credited to my account at Canadia Bank every month, so it's more convenient for me, as I just have to go to one place to withdraw and send money to my family.  Moneygram only charges $20 for money transfers until $1,500 and add up on charges for $1,501 and up.  They have a bracket actually so the choice is yours.

 My free Moneygram wall clock

When I send money last month to my son, I even got a free gift, a wall clock from Moneygram.  I was surprised that after the bank teller handed me my transaction slip, she asked me to sign a paper for a free gift.  She said, if you send $1,000 and above, then you will be entitled for a free gift.  I'm just not sure though if it would be every month (lol).  Maybe it will be for a certain promo period only.

Anyway, sending through Moneygram takes less than 30 mins to process and your family can receive the money you send just after 30 mins from the time that the money was sent. Convenient, right? Another thing that I like about Moneygram is that BDO branches in the Philippines had Moneygram, and since this bank closes at 5:00 PM, it's very safe and convenient for my teen aged son to claim the money.  He just have to show his school ID and the control number which I texted to him and he can deposit it straight away to his own account at BDO.  So easy!

When sending money, all we have to do is just to present our valid passport, fill up a form and pay the corresponding charges and everything will be processed within 30 mins.

My passport and transaction form
Good thing that there is Moneygram.  Sending money has never been this easy.


Disclaimer  : This is NOT a sponsored post.  Ideas presented here were based from my own experience as a Moneygram user.



Wednesday, July 4, 2012

BC Bloggers Meme - Count Your Blessings!

This week's BC Bloggers Meme is a topic which I considered dear to my heart.  If you are frequenting this blog, then you would probably know how I always feel thankful to all the good things that are coming my way. But for me, being thankful is not only because of the good things that have come my way but also being able to survive the trials and difficulties in life. A big thanks to Daddy Yashiro for hosting this week's meme.  BC Bloggers is truly amazing and never ceases to come up with so many brilliant ideas for it's year round activities.  You can also be a part of this blogging community and share your blessings, too.

Looking back, there's so many things in life that I have to be thankful about but to narrow down a bit, I want to concentrate on the most recent ones....

What were my blessing for the past few weeks?

First, the fact that I'm able to survive working with a difficult Boss is truly a blessing.  This only means that God gave me the confidence to believe in myself and my own capabilities.  Working under extreme pressure is not an easy thing to do, but God gave me the wisdom to understand things, and a heart that motivates me to persevere and understand that such difficult people exist and that the only way to survive is patience and determination to change things.

Second, I transferred to a new working environment which is a suburb, far from modern amenities and recreational facilities, but I survived! I was able to adjust to my new place with much ease and looking at the brighter side, this condition allows me to save more and practice frugal living.

Thirdly, I currently have a good paying job and a good benefit package that allows me to support my family and sustain our daily needs and caprices.

Fourth, I'm busy and I'm loving the fact that I'm productive and occupied.  I am an overseas worker and being idle during my free time from work will just bore me.  So I am thankful that I have blogs to maintain, online tasks that help me earn extra money and blogging activities that entertained me.

Fifth, I'm happy with the fact that I'm healthy and strong.  I never had sickness except for the very minor ones and for somebody who is away from home and family, that's truly a blessing.

Lastly, my previous problem with my first house was already resolved.  I had it fully renovated and by Thursday this week, I already have a brand new tenant.  I had problems with my previous tenant and maybe God finds the way for me to get rid of her and find a new one who will not bring me problems anymore.

God is so good! Indeed He is.....He never failed me during the most difficult times in my life.  He is always there to guide me and always help me to regain back my strenght when I'm feeling very weak. He motivates me to continue and strive to reach my goals.  Yes, He punishes me at times, but only to make me a stronger and better person.        

I will continue to count my blessings and be thankful for everything that's coming my way!!


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