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Make your money work harder by getting free insurance with BPI Save Up

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et Free Insurance BPI Save Up

I’m always looking for ways to make my money work harder. When I first learned about BPI Save Up more or less 10 years ago while I was still working at a BPO, I immediately opened one. I got to have automatic savings and free insurance? What’s not to like? Why not let my money do two things, instead of doing only one thing? Unfortunately, when I changed jobs my payroll bank account also changed. I didn’t bother keeping the BPI Save Up account active. After years of dormancy it became a regular savings account. I recently decided to open a new BPI Save Up account during a visit to the Philippines. My idea was to park my peso emergency funds in a Save Up account, and while the money is sitting there waiting to be used for an emergency, it can also give me free insurance coverage. As a […]

Net Worth Report

My Net Worth at the Beginning of 2019 and Goals for 2019

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My Net Worth as of January 2019 and Goals

I’m a bit nervous about revealing my net worth online because I’m usually a very private person and would rather keep these things to myself.  But if I’m going to commit to my financial literacy advocacy, I think it’s a great idea to write regular net worth updates in this blog. Plus Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat Pray Love) told me that I should give myself permission to be more open and start sharing some personal things.   At first I was actually scared to write down my net worth because I felt I didn’t do enough to improve my finances in 2018. Yes, I adapted Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps into my personal life. But I faced a lot of financial challenges last year, including the months-long hospital stay of a close family member, which I paid for. Also, my parents’ savings were wiped out and their income significantly dropped. […]

PH Government Benefits

What is PERA and why you need one right now

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What is PERA and why you need one right now

Personally, I don’t want to grow old poor. I’m sure you don’t want to be poor when you grow old either. And I bet that nobody in the world ever wants to be old and poor. So in order to help Pinoys prepare to be not poor when they’re old, I will discuss PERA in depth, and why you need one right now.   Retirement planning is a crucial yet regretfully neglected part of financial planning in the Philippines. People usually put off saving for retirement in the last 5 to 10 years of their working lives. Unfortunately, the money they save is not enough, what with all the medical bills, lifestyle adjustments, and inflation eating up the funds only a few short years later. This is, if they’re lucky. Most of the time, people are not able to save up anything for retirement. They have to rely on small […]

Products Services and Reviews

Pacific Cross Travel Insurance Review

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Pacific Cross Travel Insurance Review

In my previous post, I explained why we should buy travel insurance and the criteria to keep in mind when buying one. I mentioned the many ways that a perfect vacation can suddenly turn into disaster due to medical emergency and the accompanying costs. So after doing hours upon hours of research reading about offering and trying to contact insurance providers and banks, I finally settled on one. Here is my Pacific Cross travel insurance review, where I lay out why chose this product and how easy it is to buy from them. DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a sponsored post nor am I in any way compensated to write about this product. I just like writing about products that make people’s lives easier, especially for those of us who are based abroad. Also, I really hate companies that treat their clients like shit, as if buying products from them is […]

Personal Finance

How to Choose the Best Travel Insurance for Filipinos

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How to choose the best travel insurance for Filipinos

One of the things we often neglect when we go on trips abroad is buying travel insurance. We’re justifiably obsessed with getting the best deals on plane tickets and hotels, arranging itineraries, and researching “must have” experiences we shouldn’t miss. But when it comes to protecting ourselves from possible expenses such as accidents, missed flights, and other things that might negatively impact our travel, we turn a blind eye. We don’t want to “jinx” the trip by being “too negative”. By the time we realize that we should’ve purchased travel insurance, we’re already in the middle of a very expensive mess. In this post, I will share my insights for shopping for the best travel insurance for Filipinos.   Why travel insurance for Filipinos? We hope that our trips will be problem- and accident-free that many of us fail to properly prepare for sudden health issues. But the fact is, […]

Investing

The Ultimate Guide to Philippine Index Funds

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Ultimate Guide to Philippine Index Funds

Many of us are already aware of the advantages of investing in index funds but are having a hard time choosing which fund to invest in. We are enticed by a dizzying array of index fund options, ranging from mutual funds, UITFs, and even an ETF, with their respective pros and cons. Although there are a lot of information available online, it is hard to sift through the hype. So I decided to conduct my own extensive and thorough research (I hope) and create the ultimate guide to Philippine index funds that is easily accessible and easy to understand.   I read and skimmed hundreds of pages of prospectuses (prospectii?), declarations of trusts, circulars from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and other related documents that I can access online in the course of two weekend nights.   You may think that’s impossible […]

Savings

Savings Tips That Will Change Your Life Part 1

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Savings Tips That Will Change Your Life Part 1

In terms of looking for ways to save money, we’ve seen it all. Almost everyone has their go-to way to save, ranging from the mundane (clip and use coupons!) to petty criminality (take home toilet paper from work). In this post, I will share some savings tips that can potentially change your life. Potentially because it’s still up to you if you’ll apply them in your life.   All of these have and continues to work for me. I hope you can incorporate some of these ideas in your journey to a better financial future.   True, saving money can be a struggle especially if you’re new or out of practice. But just like exercising our bodies, our money-saving muscles will get stronger the more we use them.   Saving money is only hard at the beginning but becomes easier as we go along. The most important thing is for […]

Personal Finance

How to Calculate Your Real Hourly Wage and Why You Should Do It

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How to Calculate Your Hourly Wage and Why You Should Do It

Here’s a very neat method I learned from the classic personal finance book,  Your Money or Your Life: how to calculate my real hourly wage and why I should do it.   The concept is this: we only have a limited time on Earth and we exchange a portion of that time to go to work and earn money.   That means we are literally giving up our life for money. Which raises the question: are the things we’re spending money on worth the life we’re giving up to buy them?   How to Calculate Your Real Hourly Wage Coming up with our real hourly wage isn’t as straightforward as we’d like to think. We think that our salaries (including benefits, etc.) is our real wage. Not so.   The real hourly wage is computed by considering how much you actually earn when you include costs for you to be able […]

Expat

6 Ways to Maximize Government Benefits as a Pinoy Expat

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6 Ways to Maximize Government Benefits as a Pinoy Expat

Many Pinoy expats, including myself, often fail to maximize government benefits when we start working abroad. We often discount programs in the Philippines thinking that:   Since we’re no longer in the Philippines, the benefits will not help us in our new country The benefits are too small compared to our new increased income The benefits are not worth the bother   Nothing can be further from the truth.   The way I see it, many Philippine government benefits designed for OFWs, when taken all together and with proper planning, can help us achieve our financial goals faster.  Yes, not one of these programs will make us rich or guarantee that we’ll be set for life when we come back home.   But when we take them all together, these can help secure your financial future.   Each of the programs I will feature in this article are mutually-reinforcing, meaning […]

Back to Basics

How to Achieve a Total Money Makeover in the Philippines

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How to Achieve a Total Money Makeover in the Philippines

I’ve been trying to follow the financial advice of so-called experts to try to achieve a total money makeover in the Philippines but nothing seemed to stick. Most of the advice I found were either the feel-good touchy-feely type (you have to think positive thoughts to attract wealth), too unrealistic and out of touch with how human beings work (don’t spend on ANY luxury and eat beans and legumes for an entire year), too chaotic and/or unstructured (set aside 20 percent on savings and don’t stress about the rest), or can land you in small claims court (pay yourself first before paying your creditors). These advice may work for other people but not for me. Me, I need structure. I want lists, bullet points, flow charts. I get a kick out of writing to-do lists and then ticking them off. I have an entire shelf of personal finance books in […]