A Tinge of Regret: Buying our Own House

House & Lot

We purchased  our house and lot December last year. As a new couple, we were ecstatic about the idea of having our own home.

2-bedroom house. spacious living room. 600 square meter lot. located in a residential area that is not congested. just one ride to the town proper (market place,  pharmacy, shops and stores).

I was a proud owner of that property until recently.

There’s a big chunk of monthly mortgage to be paid. We are paying also the care taker because we are currently based in Abu Dhabi. Payments for monthly electricity and water bills. Small repairs and renovations to make.

After almost a year of shelling out monthly expenditures, I realized that indeed a house and lot is a liability. As what Robert Kiyosaki in ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ said, ‘Your house is not asset’. True enough.

And I think it will never be an asset unless it’s converted to an apartment or room for rents.

So why I have a tinge of regret now for owning a house and lot?

  • I felt that we could have invested that amount for monthly mortgage payments in some investment vehicle to yield more. We don’t have plans yet to settle back home soon. Maybe in the future but that will be 5-7 years or more from now.
  • I could have save more funds, invest in equity funds, and then buy a property a year or two before we decide to go back home for good.
  • In any case, we can always rent an apartment until we manage to buy our own property.

I am still happy to own that property but I wish I didn’t buy it too soon.

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Understanding the Importance of Emergency Fund

  Emergency Funds1

I was asked to sell his stocks.

As I went through the process, my heart sunk especially when I saw he was losing money because the prices were low for few selected stocks.

I wish he could hold on further until the prices go up again.

This scenario hits me hard.

You know why?

If he had just stashed some emergency funds, then this would not happen.

If you have been reading financial related books or educating yourself about personal finance, then you know that Emergency Fund is one of the basic foundation for sound financial goals.

Yet oftentimes it is taken for granted (I’m guilty of this too!).

I never learned to be a good steward of my financial blessings until I hit the rock bottom. When you experience deep financial shit that you can barely breathe, then you will surely come out from this mess with financial lessons that you will not forget for the rest of your life.

That’s what happened to me.

Don’t wait until you hit the rock bottom. Start saving for your Emergency Funds now.

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The new direction of frugal expat

This way

I embraced frugality and eventually this led me to love subjects like personal finance, investment and entrepreneurship. A natural course, I think.

Now I have a clear picture of what I really want to achieve though I am still trying to figure out the ‘how-to-do’ part of it. So I will be shifting gear my blog to topics that interests me most nowadays.

  • Expect me to blog more about personal finance, investment and entrepreneurship.
  • I will touch bits and pieces of my plan to retire early from being an Expat or OFW (Overseas Foreign Worker) here in Middle East.
  • I will still be writing about frugality, life, family and work in UAE.

So I hope that you will stay tune as I shift my direction this year and the years to come.

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New Year.. New Beginning

How’s your new year? I hope you had a blast celebrating it.

It was very quiet in our home. It was only my son and our nanny who celebrated the media noche. Hubby was working and our borders were out. **smile**

I have been thinking of some New Year’s resolution but really nothing concrete and grand. The only thing I can think of is to prioritize my health. It means eating healthy and exercising more (and consistently).

My mantra this year is summed up into BBHB. Can you guess what is that? **big smile**

Be Bold. Be Beautiful. Be Healthy. Be Grateful all the time.

Be bold means I will be more daring in life, take things with more courage and astray from being boring. **wink**

Be beautiful means being beautiful inside and out. I am not vain as a person but still this should not be an excuse for not taking care of myself. I want to be beautiful – to feel good. I owe it to myself. This is long overdue.

Be healthy is self explanatory.

Be grateful all the time. I would like to embark my 2015 journey with a grateful heart. Taking few minutes of quiet time everyday and just be with the Man up there. I owe it to him. Oftentimes I ignore this because I have been very busy. Again, a lame excuse.

Last year I can only count the times that I was alone, spending time with the Man up there. I am not really religious person but I believe in God.

What about you? Have you thought of your New Year’s resolution?

All the best for 2015!

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The sweetest ever..

I was busy in my laptop this morning, well late morning, then I heard my son’s voice.

Good morning Mommy…Then he stretched his arms and legs. Then he screamed ‘I love you Mooommy’.

Isn’t that sweet coming from my 3-year-old son?

Every day of my life, I am very thankful to the Man up there for giving me the opportunity to be a mother. It is the best thing that ever happen to my life.

Posted in Family, Motherhood | 1 Comment

Year end & welcoming 2015 with a blast!

Goals

 

Hello there..

I have been very quiet for more than two months now. My latest post was only yesterday.

Many things had happened in our household that kept me busy and engrossed for the last few weeks.

Anyway,  how’s your Christmas? I celebrated it with my family and friends. I took a leave from work on Christmas and I will back only after New Year. **smiles**

For the last few days I have been analyzing my excel sheet. I am excited to know – how far I have been in my investments this year?  Somehow I have been consistent compared to last year. Like a student, when you know that you study hard, you expect good results too. That’s why I am excited. I know I have been a good student this year.

I’ll start first with the downside.

  • My emergency fund that I saved up for months was wiped out. I had to help someone in our family. So now, I am back to zero and starting all over again.
  • I didn’t pay much attention to my expenses this year. I had tons of unnecessary expenses and the big chunk goes to dining outside. I am determined to cut this ruthlessly next year.
  • My quiet personal life was stormed mid this year. I am in the crossroad , stuck in the crossroad, for the last six months and I haven’t taken the decision yet.
  • I ventured into a new investment, my first time ever business. I love the business but I didn’t consider the amount of time required to run the business. My sister and I, who are running the business, are still troubleshooting this. But still, I am proud of my achievement though it didn’t fly high the way I wanted it to. I am proud because I got out from my comfort zone.
  • Weight battle didn’t progress at all. I failed.

 

Now, here’s the exciting part – what I achieved in 2014.

  • Mutual Fund Account 1: My savings here increased by 52% compared last year.
  • Mutual Fund Account 2: I finally opened another mutual fund account allocated for my son’s future education.
  • Stocks 1: There’s an increase of 35% in my number of shares. I also added more blue chips stocks in my portfolio.
  • Stocks 2: I opened a second account because I would like to experiment certain strategies. This will be like my ‘play money’. Let’s see.
  • SSS Flexi Fund: This is the saving scheme of Philippine Social Security System. I increased my savings here by 31%.
  • I also resumed paying my long term healthcare insurance. I still have four years to go.
  • I also took an insurance bundled with critical illness benefits for hubby.
  • Mid this year I bought also on installment basis payable for three years two residential lots back home. I have been paying it advance so I completed a 1 year worth of installments already.
  • As I started saving again for my emergency fund, I saved a portion of it in UAE National Bond. It has a holding period of 3 months. I think this is best so my emergency fund will not be touched at all unless it’s ‘mega’ emergency. I am planning also to leave 2-3 months of living expenses only in my ATM and the rest will go to national bonds.

Honestly I am happy with my financial achievements for 2014. I realized that building assets really entail sacrifices. I think I will be in this stage for the next few years. **wink**

 

So what’s the plan for 2015? Well, I have few but BIG goals not only for next year but until 2016.

  • I want to reach 7 digits in my stocks.
  • I plan to build apartments in the residential lots that I purchased. I want to start the building by mid of 2016. It means I will be in the super saving mood for the next 18 months to afford the building of the planned apartments.
  • I also plan to enroll next year like take a master’s degree or something really new that interests me though I still haven’t decided what course to take.
  • The most important goal is to be healthy. Health is wealth. So I really need to be serious in losing weight and living a health lifestyle.

 

What about you? What’s your grand plans for 2015?

Posted in Finances, Health, Investments, SSS | Leave a comment

A Working Mom’s Wish

 

Lunch @ Corniche Beach Cafe1

 

The above was my Facebook status last Sunday. We went to Corniche, had a late lunch and enjoyed the afternoon there. This is life and I wish it is like this everyday’ this thought kept nagging me while we were having lunch and enjoying the pleasant weather and relaxing view.

I took a leave from work since Christmas day and I will be back only after New Year. That’s the reason that I was on the beach on Sunday, a first working day of the week.

In this  part of the world, Christmas is just an ordinary working day and I am used to that until I have my son. I would say that Christmas is really for children.

Anyway, I had more quality time too to spend with my son though I am checking my work emails occasionally. It gave me time too to assess my financial achievements this year and think of my financial goals for next year.

As much as I  wanted to  stay at home and personally take care of my son, 24/7, but there’s a reality that I simply cannot ignore. So, I don’t want to dwell on this thought. Instead I am taking this as an inspiration, a drive to be financial free as soon as possible. **big smile**

When life gives us lemons, we make lemonade, right? **wink**

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