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.