Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tips In Managing Your Finances

Hi everyone! It's time for another post with some tips and tricks to share.  I was a bit overwhelmed with a positive response that I got from the comments of my dear co bloggers and friends on my post, "Tips and Advice in Getting Your Dream Home" on my home blog and I am glad that my post was able to serve it's purpose, and that is to inspire everyone to save and build their dream home without necessarily going into debts. I've also laid down to you the virtues that I adopted in life that enabled me to fulfill my goals.  

Now, I want to share with you  some of "my personal tips" about how I'm able to manage my finances to achieve my goals. Some of these may sound simple but it works well for me, and I hope to you, too. :)

Here are some of the things that I learned to practice that enabled me to strike a balance in managing my finances:

Be easy on the gadgets. I know that many of you will react to this but please give me an opportunity to explain my point. It is my guiding principle to make a list and sort out what are liabilities and assets.  For me, asset is something that appreciates in value over time and brings you more income while a liability is just the opposite.  Something that depreciates in value and will not contribute in building your assets.  A gadget becomes a liability when you just buy it because of "urge" or just to to be "in". For example, It's very seldom for me to upgrade on my mobile phone.  I don't buy a new phone every year although with the amount of salary that I have, I can very well afford to do so. I have laptop but I don't have a tablet.  Again, I can afford to buy, but I don't.  I always weigh the necessity of going for things before I decide to buy.  A cellphone is a cellphone as long as you can call or text.  If I can already use my Android phone and laptop to visit the social networking sites, type some documents, keep some files and blog, then why do I still need to have a tablet?  I would rather invest that money so it could earn some income.  The income I derived from that invested amount of money is the one that I'm going to use to buy a gadget should I really feel the need to have one.

I set up a budget every month and I stick to it.  Sometimes, I even managed to save some amount from my allocated budget.

I make it a point to save  a certain percentage of my salary every month. In fact I  keep an envelope for "savings" and an envelope for "emergency fund".  I do it so that my savings will remain intact even there is a sudden expense in the house that I am confronted with.

I think of ways to reproduce my savings.  I am not a fan of bank deposits as the interest that you could get from there is very small, but I still keep some for "emergencies" and for my personal fund.    

I continually find ways to earn extra.  This is so because I wanted to "fund" our family vacations and occasional shoppings out of the extra income.  This way, I would just need to add up a little from my fixed monthly income.

When I was working in the Philippines, I tutor my own kids and I support them all the way in their studies. I focus on training them during their foundation years. I want them to become achievers. I purposely did not get any educational plan for my two kids as I have a different agenda. :)  I succeed at it.  Both my son and daughter were scholars and we were able to save a lot from their yearly tuition fees. The money that we allot for their supposedly tuition fees were deposited on their own personal account. I told them that that will be their own personal savings which will be theirs until they become adults. I also took that opportunity to challenge them to build up their savings by telling them that all the money that they could save from their school fees will not be taken back from them but will be a part of their savings account and that will be theirs. Both of them worked hard to build up their savings.  My daughter was a consistent scholar from grade 1 to 6 at Montessori and so with my son in another private school. That's how I am able to teach them about money matters at an early stage.

But please don't get me wrong.  I never deprived myself and my family of a comfortable life.  I still give them a bit of comfort and luxury but it is well planned and organized.  My kids used to get whatever they want but in a timely manner and under certain conditions.  I treat them out and send them for trips abroad as what other families would normally do.  

The key to everything is balance. We have to do everything in moderation and we need to exercise self control at all times.  That is, if we are serious to manage our life and finances. And again, everything is a result of determination and hard work!  If you work hard, then you will reap the fruits of your labor in the end.

Cheap Skirts for Office Outfit

One of the greatest challenges that women are facing today is how to stay fashionable and exude that aura of confidence even under a tight budget.  For some people, fashion statement is defined by the brands and the prices of the clothes they wear, for the others, it is simply by looking at their best in any outfit.  As what Yves Saint Laurent previously stated and I quote, "Over the years, I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it".  Keeping this in mind, it is just safe to say that it takes a lot of courage and confidence for a woman to be fashionable.  

How are you going to transform those cheap skirts into a fashionable office outfit?  It may sound strange but for me, any simple outfit could be a "stand out" for as long as it has an expression, simplicity and sex appeal.  We need not look daring just to catch people attention.  The most important thing is that we know how to mix and match and accessorize.  Even modest skirts could stand out if we could pair these with the right tops and blouses.  I think if we speak of office attire, we could never go wrong with blacks. A black wardrobe could make us appear slimmer and easy to accessorize.  It looks formal and elegant.  No wonder this has been the favorite color for corporate attire.

Dressing up in style can really be expensive if we do not know the basics.  However, a lot of women are still able to manage being fashionable without breaking the bank.

There's a lot of online shops selling trendy clothes at a reasonable price and if you're lucky enough, you can even avail of big discounts if you happen to buy during their clearance sale.  You should select colors which can easily be mixed and matched.  Black, white, navy blue and dark brown are the most common for work clothes.  These can go with the right fashion belts which could add up to the style.  Choice of right accessories can also do the wonders.

Saving money for your clothes shopping depends on choosing the right store.  Internet shopping is a good way to find good deals in clothing.  Here, you can hop on several stores and compare the prices.  I'm not really a fashion expert but my many years of working in a corporate world had given me enough experience to choose my office outfit in a way that it would best suits me without causing me to go bankrupt.  However, the most important aspect of being fashionable is being able to project a positive image and an aura of self confidence without even trying so hard.  The way we project ourselves and the way we interact with people can always bring out the best in us in whatever clothes we wear.  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Corporate Wellness Programs

Now that I'm working here in Cambodia, I have realized a lot of things.  I feel lucky that I was a product of a good and reputable company in the Philippines. Most of my rewarding growth experiences were derived from this company and this is where I've learned a lot of things about my work and profession. I was lucky to have good mentors, and was very fortunate to have received countless training and seminars on various training programs.  The truth is whenever I check my training certificates folder, I couldn't believe that I was able to attend all those training and seminars. Perhaps, if I would use those certificates to cover the wall of my bedroom,  I think these certificates are good enough to cover one side of the walls.  

When I was chosen to be a part of the Trainers Guild, I was exposed more to trainings and seminars.  Me and the other members of the group were trained under the able leadership of the company's master trainer from our main office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  He conducted the Trainer's Training Program to prepare us to be the company's future trainers.  That was a very good experience for me.  Not only I've enjoyed conducting seminars a lot but I also had a great time working with the members of the group who eventually became my close friends.

Our group offers a number of corporate wellness programs and one of the training programs that I have facilitated was "Stress Management".  I have focused on the physiology of stress and how to beat stress in the work place by simple exercises and meditations.  I had also given them some tips on how to avoid stress and  how to keep oneself organized in the work place.  I have enjoyed preparing the training module for this program and have incorporated some exercises to enable my participants to have a "feel" of what they have learned from the program.  I have worked with two different companies here in Cambodia on 3 different locations in the country but none of them are keen in providing seminars and trainings about corporate wellness which is a sad thing.  I hope that the management would later on realize the need for such seminars to be given to the employees.  Based from experience, additional knowledge on this topic can very well bring positive results to the employees and increase their productivity.

This is a sponsored post, however all the opinions and ideas presented here are my own.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Summer Classes And Work Shops

Since it's going to be summer again, I'd been seeing lots of ads about summer classes and summer work shops on various learning fields such as sports, music and arts, theater, photography and many others.  Some are being offered by reputable schools and some could be availed from different private learning institutions. My daughter has been thinking of taking a charcoal painting class as she wanted to hone her talents in arts.  She told me that at one mall near our place, this class is being offered for a minimal fee.  I wouldn't say "No" of course just in case that she wishes to continue.  As a matter of fact, I'm encouraging her to take music lessons, too.  One friend of mine was once a product of a summer work shop and is now earning a decent living out of her passion for singing and playing guitars.  Now that she's earning big abroad, she could very well afford an  exceptional squier electric bass.  Good for her!  As in the case of my daughter, I'm sure that she will not go the extent of performing on stage as she is sometimes an introvert.  But developing her talents will surely do her a favor one day.  So for Moms, I think you have to encourage your kids to enroll in summer classes or work shops of their chosen program.  Not only will they learn new things but they would also develop their self confidence and meet new friends.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Benefit of a Good Business Facebook Page Design

I haven't realized the effectiveness of social media in promoting your business until I've encountered few people who had shared with me their own personal experiences how having a beautifully designed business face book page bring results to their online business.  Well, I am new to this kind of thing and I would admit that I really don't know much about how to go about those lay outs on facebook pages.  However, my constant visits and interaction through facebook allows me to observe the important features of a good  business facebook page design.  I've learned that if your facebook page design looks professional, it could create an impact on its audience and your business will look more credible and big.  Nothing can be compared to an eye catching design that can promote your brand and showcase the best features of your products. Moreover, inclusion of certain links landing to your blog, twitter or "you tube" would even make the promotion of your products more interesting.

Since it is already a well accepted fact that facebook pages can be a great way to connect to your audience and target market, the next thing that you would consider for you to be effective in getting the attention of your visitors is to make your facebook page unique by itself. I think, design is a major part of being being unique on facebook. Investing a little bit of your time, money and effort in building a creative business face book page allows you to add value to your page.

If technical skills is your problem, just like me, there's a lot of online companies offering design services and they would be willing to answer all your queries and they will even make recommendations on how you could improve your page in such a way that you could create an effective grounds for excellent engagement and higher interaction rates with your readers.

There are plenty of ways to get your audience involved but growing your business through social media marketing such as facebook requires work and patience, but you may be surprised that in the end, this will all pay off once you realized how fast your products would sell.  I'm loving all these innovations in the world wide web and small business owners would definitely benefit from all the perks that social media networking can do to their business.     


Friday, January 11, 2013

Over Loaded Vehicles At Cambodia

One of the shocking revelations when I first came to Cambodia is having overloaded vehicles on streets as a common sight.  I just felt that the road traffic and safety rules here are far less comparable to the Philippines where even jay walking is punishable by law.  Here, you can cross the street anywhere at your heart's content. (lol)

Motor bikes on streets where small children are back riders really scares me. Only few people wear helmets and four wheeled vehicles that used to transport goods are over loaded.  I couldn't imagine myself riding on that van fully loaded with passengers and have tons of goods on top of the vehicle. Really amazed me!  It would be great if they could purchase some yakima racks to hold those extra gears and stuff.  I think that would make the vehicle looks a lot more organized.  Oh well, it's not my business though, but I just felt that we're a bit luckier in the Philippines as we never go to that extent yet, and I think it will never happen even in the future.  How I wish that this thing can be improved as I worried about the safety of the people here especially those small children.

Thailand Orchids

I captured this photo at Bangkok's Subarnabhumi International Airport when me and my kids arrived at Bangkok last October 28, 2012 for our week long vacation.

Bangkok is known for its beautifully grown orchids. I couldn't help but admire those gorgeous flowers in full bloom.  These orchids are neatly arranged in a very long plant box adorned with bamboos, and the vibrant colors of those orchids lured every by passer to have their photos taken in front of those piles of orchids.

We're one of those actually. (lol) 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Your Life Is In Your Phone

Your life is in your phone?  I have chosen this title for my post since I've been noticing that the advent of technology had made us so dependent with our gadgets.  Why not? Technology brings us into great heights.  How internet enabled it's millions of users to connect with each other around the globe, how mobile phones make it so easy and convenient to do mobile banking, checking emails while on the go, getting the latest news updates, writing your daily inspiration in your mini diary, capturing photos through instagram, etc.  I think I will ran out of space here if I will enumerate all.  The idea can just be sum up in one simple thing, that our mobile phones now become our personal secretary.

Maybe some of us would even store all our private and personal information in our cell phones, so it would be handy to check these ones out when necessity arises. But the question now would be, are you doing something to ensure that our personal information are safe and secured?  How can we possibly do this?

The good news is, there's now ESET Mobile Security Solution.  This is compatible for Android and Windows phones. It can ensure that our phones will be secured against all malware, viruses, loss of the device itself and even physical theft.  This has so many features that could ensure maximum security for your phones. I think this is the most convenient, safest and cheapest way to protect our valuable information that could mean our life.

Well, I haven't explored it yet but if I think that I really need it for work and business, why not?  I might be researching more on this and save those information for my future use.

Have you got one already?  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Getting A Masters In Business Administration

As a parent, the most important legacy that we could give our children is education.  Unlike tangible things, education is something that will not decrease in value even after a lifetime. 

As quoted from Nelson Mandela, "Education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world." Indeed, the value of education in the life of any individual is beyond question.  It could transform you into a better person and it could change your lives more than you can imagine.  I have proven this to myself so many times.  I was able to travel my way up to the corporate ladder in an instant because of having the advantage of higher education. This could set you apart from other applicants.  This could increase your potential for higher positions.  This could even help you get financial rewards.

As early as now, I am already encouraging my children to pursue a higher education.  It would be more suitable if they can enroll in reputable schools and getting masters in business administration from Denver University would be a better option.  However since we know that education now a days comes with a hefty price tag, it would also be good to choose a school that would best suit our budget.  After all, learning is not only a privilege given to those who are well off.  It should be a goal of every individual whatever their social and economic standings are. On a side note, having equipped with a proper education increases our self worth and self esteem as this sets us apart from the rest.  It could be especially more meaningful for those who do not have anything but the privilege of being educated.

I especially encourage young women to pursue higher studies as this could help them to be more effective in their role as parents.  As what Jane Austen once said and I quote,  “Give a girl an education and introduce her properly into the world, and ten to one but she has the means of settling well, without further expense to anybody. ” Indeed, an MBA degree could take your career into the next level.  This would position yourselves ahead of anybody.  In the long run, the result would be quite fulfilling as you will not only reap financial rewards but a prestige of being respected and looked up to by people in the society.

This is a sponsored post however, all the points and views presented here are my own.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Choosing The Right Razor

Just like any other man, my husband is shaving regularly but more often than not, he always get those razor bumps.  These razor bumps developed after shaving and can cause scarring after having you suffer for a while due to skin irritations and itchiness.  Since shaving has already been a part of his personal grooming, the only option that he got is to choose better shaving products that would bring him a comfortable shaving experience.  He started it by choosing a good safety razor. 

Choosing the best shaving products is a personal preference.  There are lots of options that you can find in the market that comes with a variety of designs, features and of course, prices. 

A lot of factors should be considered in choosing razors. An example of which is the size and the weight. I didn't realize that this plays a very important factor, too. Hubby explained to me that if the size of the razor is too small, you wouldn't be able to have an easy grip of the razor and you wouldn't be comfortable with your shaving strokes.  On the other hand, the weight of the razor also matters to him.  Before, he tried using disposable plastic razors that can easily be bought in supermarkets and this is where he got more skin irritations.  Since these plastic disposable razors are very light, the tendency is that you would apply more pressure which can eventually cause cut in your skin.  Other factors that can also be considered is the lenght of the razor as this can also give you a comfortable grip.  Most popular safety razors are the double edge type but these are more expensive compared to the regular ones.

I never knew that shaving can be an extrenuous experience but with a proper knowledge of different shaving techniques plus the ability to choose the best shaving products available will definitely solve that problem.  My husband resorted to choosing the right product available and according to him, price doesn't matter, as it is best to invest in a good product that will last and won't give you any added problems on the process.  After all, shaving is an important part of men's personal grooming and a clean shaven face helps them a lot in projecting a good positive image, so it's just right to be smart.

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