Inspiring Story: from OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) caregiver to Stock Investor

Pinas for good

 

I can’t remember how I landed in her blog ‘Pinas For Good‘ but one thing for sure, I kept coming back to read her updates and be inspired all over again.

downloadReasons why I am following her blog 

  • We are both OFW, just based in different continents.
  • I love her openness. The ups and downs of saving, achieving financial goals and most particularly the desire to secure her finances when she goes back home in Philippines.
  • And a little tinge of envy too that she achieve 1 million pesos worth of stock investment at a young age (compared to me).

Last month she wrote a very interesting post that I would like to share. No worries, I have her blessing to repost it.

This post is actually her response to one of her reader wherein she revealed her monthly income and expenses. It makes interesting because the reader is from Middle East.

Here’s the post.

I have been debating for the longest time if it is appropriate to post my numbers or not. Since I remained anonymous, sige na nga. I want to post what I am earning not to brag but to give inspiration that no matter how little you are earning, you too can save. 

To tell you honestly, my salary isn’t much. Maybe in the Philippine standard it’s huge, but in American standard, not really! For those who are working in America, you’d be shocked on how meager my salary is but, I still am able to save. 

May I know which industry you’re working on (nursing/customer service/IT, etc) or, if you don’t mind, your salary range per hour or per year?- Honey O.

- For those of you who have been visiting this site since I first started blogging, you would know what kind of work I do coz I posted it in my About Me section but, I changed it to “Overseas Filipino Worker”. So,  for those of you who doesn’t know , I take care of old people. I am a caregiver.

 Click here to continue reading.

Honestly, I was surprised when I learned about her income. After reading the post, I even admired her more.

Why?

Because I know, there are many OFWs here in Middle East who earns more than she does but for sure only few (if there’s any) who have 1 million pesos stock investment and have purchased also a 1 million worth property. You can read it here and here.

You will realize that she sacrificed many things even comfort and whims just to be able to save.

Kudos to you Pinas for Good!

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Family matters, Money matters

Family Matters Money

Who doesn’t want to have financial security?

Retirement. Savings. Investments. Emergency Funds. These topics are not very appealing when you are single. Why would they  think about retirement when you are more keen on finding your knight in shining armor?

Emergency funds, for what? When your gel nail extension is broken or when you run out of your face powder, that is emergency.

It feels good to splurge to your favorite clothing line like Mango and Forever21. Not only that, there’s bags and shoes too. Few pair of shoes for office, few sets for casual wear, selected pairs for special occasions, and so on.

But when you have a family, a child to raise, financial security becomes vital.

Like for my case, I started to think about our finances after I gave birth to my son, ZJ. Thoughts like – funds for his college education, what if something happens to my hubby or to me– start to bother me. Though I have been investing in mutual funds and stocks when I was single, I was not really that committed.

Nowadays I see to it that certain amount goes to our emergency fund, to mutual fund allocated for my son’s education and our retirement fund account. And there’s more – the regular SSS contributions, health insurance, life insurance and mortgage.

It is really a long list for me. I have a lengthy checklist which I go through every month to make sure I don’t forget any dues.

Anyway, I enjoy checking our investment portfolio though it’s not that much yet but somehow we are on the right track. Well,  that’s what I want to believe even though the pace is a bit slow but on the right path.

But my financial journey is not always smooth as it seems. I have setbacks too. It is like there’s always a big demon inside me that I need to conquer.

The demon to resist shopping when there is 70% sale in H&M or BHS. A demon to ignore when I wish to go out and dine for a seafood buffet at Sheraton Hotel.  A demon to let go convenience and comfort because it is expensive. I had to travel with Cebu Pacific and suffered of their poor customer service  and long queue in the airport (I wrote about it here) because the airfare was way cheaper than flying with Etihad or Emirates Airlines.

There is also a big challenge to keep a balance (and sanity) between the present spending to also experience good things in life and the desire to save more for the future. Like, should I buy this battery operated toy car for ZJ? Or should I just purchase a regular toy car? Anyhow, he has just one childhood so why not pamper him and let him enjoy?

However, the biggest and toughest challenge for me is my hubby. We don’t share the same level of principle and outlook about preparing and securing our financial future. Though he supports my financial goals, he lacks the drive to work it out.

If I decide, I want a small house for us because it’s economical. He wants a big house.

He likes to shop new clothing. I don’t. My reason –  I still have clothes to wear and I am fine with few selections. It doesn’t bother me at all that I have limited office wears.

If there’s any financial needs, it is ok. There’s a solution. We can borrow from friends or from the bank. I hate paying bank interest. I am shy to ask money from other people.

But in fairness to him, he changed already. He improved (big time!) compared to the first time we knew each other. Though I still wish we have the same focus, the same intense desire to achieve our financial dreams, it will be then much easier to work out and it is faster to achieve our financial goals.

My hubby doesn’t care about insurance. He doesn’t give a damn about it.

But I am concern.

My most concern is in fact our health care when go back home for good because by that time it happens, we are already approaching our fifties or sixties where the health care coverage is needed more than ever before.  That’s why this is my top priority in allocating our monthly finances. More important than retirement and investment actually.

The health care in Philippines is not really much of a help. If you don’t have the funds, hospitals will not admit you. Doctors will not proceed with the necessary operation.

It’s simple. No money, no treatment.

But still, that doesn’t hinder me from pursuing our financial goals.

I am determined to reach our financial goals, to achieve financial freedom soon.

My family matters and so does our finances as family.

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Review: Yas Waterworld in Abu Dhabi

Having fun

We were geared up for a Saturday escapade to Yas  Waterworld, the latest water park that opened in Abu Dhabi.

I had my share of visits too in other water park in UAE but this time it was different. My little boy, ZJ, would be tagging around.

We left around noon time. The scorching summer heat was almost unbearable. Honestly we almost cancelled the trip but my son was too excited. Seeing him disappointed was the last thing we wanted for that weekend.

So we headed to collect our premium tickets (Many thanks Dabo & Co for the treat!).  After our bag was inspected, we were welcomed by their friendly staff. They put on our yellow wristbands and scanned our tickets.

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Next,  we rented a medium size locker. I didn’t see the family locker area instead I went to the female locker. I felt stupid here for missing the family locker section. Anyway I went to the towel/locker counter to check if I could still change the locker. They said that once your blue rubber wristband (which looks similar to a watch) is scanned already,it means you cannot switch lockers anymore.

This blue rubber wristband is like your handy key and wallet when you are in Yas Waterworld. This is your locker key at the same time you can deposit some cash which you will use for any purchases (like their slush-it-up)  inside the water park.

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The good thing also was that we had premium tickets. It made a big difference because we skipped the queue. It made the rides a lot more fun!

Anyway, to sum it up we really enjoyed our time in Yas Waterworld. Our little boy, ZJ, was having fun despite of the scorching summer heat. When we were about to go home at 5pm, he was crying because he wanted to stay longer. :-)

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On our way out, I was actually considering of buying their annual family pass. I think it is good idea because we can go their anytime. let’s face it, kids love water park and they will never have enough of it in one trip only.

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Review: Meteor Garden Beauty Salon

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Honestly…This is a very awkward topic for me to write but I really enjoyed my experience in Meteor Garden Beauty Salon so allow me to share it to you.

If you have been reading my blog, you may notice that I hardly have any posts related to beauty and fashion. Before I used to feel ashamed for not sharing the same interest that most women have – beauty and fashion. It made me feel insecure and weird but no matter how I tried, I am simply not that kind of person and I have accepted that fact.

That’s why sometimes I envy other women who are vain. I am jealous because they can fix their hair, they accessorize well, they know how to put on make up. They look so nice and pretty really. Seeing them everyday is  a pleasant sight. There’s variation. Unlike me – I am boring, keeping the same style of clothing and make up, day in and day out.

Anyhow, back to our topic. I discovered this Meteor Garden Beauty Salon like two months back. I heard about this salon already but I never really cared about it.  When I cut my hair shorter last June,  it was a total mess. Unmanageable.

So I forced myself to go to the salon for hair rebonding. It was my savior for a ‘wash and wear’ hairstyle. The receptionist convinced me to take their Beaver product, a hair treatment, and the service would be free. All you have to do is go to any of their branch. I was sold out with her proposal so I took the package.

The hair rebonding was successful. I have no regrets.

Beaver Hair treatment

My only regret is the Beaver hair treatment product that I bought. It was sitting only in my room. I haven’t had the chance to visit the Meteor Garden Beauty Salon until I was desperate for a proper manicure and pedicure. I am not really a full blood anti-fashion (**smile**). Actually this is the part of the beauty regime that I really do enjoy. Who doesn’t want to have a well polished nails?

I had my nails done always in one of the Nepali beauty salon. The salon trip was handy. I went for my eyebrow threading and nails at the same time. I was a happy client when it comes to eyebrow threading but for manicure and pedicure, it was kind of ‘better-than-doing-it-myself’.

So we (my sister and I) went to Meteor Garden Beauty Salon in their branch in 6th street (the same building with Kamayan Barrio Fiesta) but we were turned away. The salon was packed so they referred us to their other branch in Cassells Hotel Apartment in Electra Street.

I was upset. It was summer. The weather outside was around 40 degrees. But when I set foot in their salon, I was glad that they turned us away because the Meteor Garden Beauty Salon branch in Cassells Hotel Apartment is far better than the other branch.

Meteor Garden Beauty

 Now, we (my sister and I) are their regular happy customers already.

 Details

Meteor Garden Beauty Salon

O1 Floor, Cassells Hotel Apartments

Electra Street Branch, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.

Telephone: 02 643 3263

Price

I find it very reasonable. Quality is good.

Why I am a happy client? heart

Aside from the price point, I love their ambiance.

Clean. Neat. Well organize.

What I like most is their manicure/pedicure chairs and ‘feet bathtub’.

Their staff are very friendly and accommodating too.

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Review: Cantina Mariachi in Abu Dhabi World Trade Centre

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It was my birthday two weeks ago and I decided to treat my selected colleagues for dinner. It was my thanksgiving treat too because I am thankful  for having them as my colleagues. They are all nice and very helpful.

I had quite a difficult time choosing the venue. I was looking for a restaurant that’s affordable and close to where I live. As you know, I have a little boy. Though I enjoy hanging out with my colleagues, I still prefer to go home early and be with my son.

After browsing the internet, I zeroed in the ‘Cantina Mariachi’, a Mexican Restaurant, located in Abu Dhabi World Trade Centre.

As we were all first timer in Cantina Mariachi, we couldn’t make up our mind on what to order. So we asked the recommendations of the waitress. :-)

I don’t know exactly what is the name of this dish but all of us  enjoyed this yummy sizzling chicken with generous cheese toppings.

Cantina Mariachi

These were the rest of the orders.

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And the complimentary nachos

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Overall experience was great. I was personally satisfied with the food and service.

By the way, there’s wifi available. So our photos were uploaded in Facebook even before the dinner was over.

As for the price, it was reasonable. They extended 10% discount after following and posting our photo in the instagram.

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How juicing change my life and health?

 

Orange & Carrot

 

My cravings for morning coffee is gone. I am the kind of person who gets headache if I don’t drink coffee in a day.

I feel great every day.

I lost 3 kilos in three weeks.

My body feels light.

I am motivated to eat healthy foods all throughout the day.

These are some changes that I felt and experienced since I started juicing last 19 July 2014.

For three weeks now,I traded my cup of hot coffee with a cup of warm water with lemon followed by a green juice every morning.  My green juice is a concoction of kiwi, green apple, cucumber,  celery and green leaves (lettuce, kale or whatever is available).

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And oftentimes in the evening I have juice for dinner too. I go by the color of the fruits when juicing for dinner. For instance, I have orange, carrots and apple or pears.

One more reason that propels me to continue is my 3 year old son. He is very picky with food. Feeding him with real food is really a struggle and he likes to eat  rice with hot dogs and eggs only, nothing else.

We rely on his vitamins and milk only for nutrients but I know this is not enough. I still prefer him to eat veggies and fruits.

And Eureka!  I found the solution – juicing.

Now he is drinking different juice concoction like orange-carrot, pomegranate – apple or sometimes just a plain fresh juice like melon or pineapple. I am so proud of my little boy.

My new best friend now in the kitchen is my Philips juicer. Before I bought this one, I searched about what’s recommended juicer to buy and use. But then I thought that I really don’t need those expensive machines yet because I am a newbie. So I settled with Philips because this is what I can afford.

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The last time  my sister visited me, she commented that my skin was glowing. I couldn’t think of any reason as I didn’t change my body lotion, soap or creams. The only thing I changed in my daily routine is drinking green juice for breakfast and some juice for dinner. So I credited my glowing skin to juicing.

That’s another reason to continue.

I have no intention to stop juicing soon. I am actually motivated and every week I try to explore new concoctions.

The reason I really wanted to start juicing was to lose weight. Now after experiencing its great benefits, weight lose is not a primary goal anymore. Even I will not shed any pounds, I will still continue with this juicing because it feels good every day. It feels right do drink this green juice for breakfast.

My weekly food budget increases to approximately 20-25% because I am buying now more fruits and vegetables but I don’t mind. The benefits I gained from juicing outweighs the cost it involves.

 

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Review: Nando’s Abu Dhabi World Trade Centre (WTC)

My brother just arrived from Maldives and we decided to welcome him with a dinner in Nando’s in Abu Dhabi World Trade Centre.

We came around 7pm and it was almost full. The tables with sofa seats, which we preferred, were all occupied. So we ended settling in wooden table and chairs.

The waiter gave us the menus. Minutes later, still no one came to check if we would like to place our order.

Fifteen minutes was gone. Then another fifteen minutes. I could not believe that the service was so horrible in this restaurant.

We thought that maybe they prioritized those who were fasting as it was still Ramadan. That’s why it was taking time.

I was becoming impatient after half an hour. I was tempted to leave Nando’s to look for another restaurant. My brother waved his hand to the ‘passer-by’ waiter and finally we had his attention (though not really attentive).

He took our orders and advised that it would take around 20 minutes. After more than half an hour of waiting, they started to serve the barbecue in skewer and fries. Doubtful, I asked if it was our order.

Well, they realized that it was not ours but for the next table whom I heard making several follow-ups  too for their orders.

Ten minutes later, our orders were served.

Nando's Abu Dhabi

The food was good without doubt but when you had been waiting for so long for the food to come, your appetite and hunger dwindled.

I hope this was just an exceptional case.

 

 

 

 

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