A Single’s Journey to Family & Finance Conference 2017

I love going to seminars about biblical stewardship and financial management. Partly because yun ang naging course ko noong college, pero mas compelling reason din siguro na kailangan ko ng matinding motivation para maging mas matipid, masinop at enterprising. Kaya nga when I learned about CCF’s Family and Finance Conference on Facebook, I immediately clicked “interested”, without even checking the registration details. 🙂

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Yet when I was notified na malapit na yung event, and I learned that it will cost me P850-1k/tix (P1.5k-2k couple’s rate), medyo napaisip ako. I wanted to give it a go kaso I have bills waiting for me. Kailangan ko ulit I-spell ang P.R.I.O.R.I.T.I.E.S. Sa huli, I decided to give it up (pero narealize ko rin na I really need to learn how to manage my resources para sa mga susunod, hindi na mahirap mag-decide. Haha!).

Eh mabait si Lord. I read from Joei and Me’s Facebook page that she’s giving away free tickets for the event. I messaged her, and she told me to wait until 3pm for the announcement of winners. Since I seldom win in any kind of raffle draws, medyo chill lang. Until I received a personal message from Ms. Joei telling me that I won a pair of tickets! Wooh! Thanks for hosting the giveaway Ms. Joei! God bless you more! 🙂

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So ang medyo inalala ko na lang after ay since couple ticket and napanalunan ko, saying naman ang blessing kung mag-isa lang ako. Syempre meron na ako on top of my mind na iimbitahan, hehe. Kaso, hindi siya available (aww, sad). Then I thought, maybe a college friend? Time to catch up and apply the Pray-Care-Share lesson namin sa church. Kaso I didn’t get any response. Then pag-uwi ko, I realized, bakit hindi si mama? Siya na lang ang ide-date ko! Besides, tamang-tama rin ang seminar na ito as the CFO ng aming munting pamilya. So, ayun na. 🙂

Learning from the gurus

Yung first session pa lang, medyo mahirap na i-swallow. We were asked to conduct a personal financial health check by identifying what we own and what we owe. As an accounting major, at dahil nasa financial management din ang trabaho ko, medyo familiar naman na ako kahit paano sa mga financial concepts being discussed, pero iba ang kabog kapag sarili mong pera ang inaanalyze mo. Pero mas mahirap lalo kung wala ka naman talagang iaanalyze. Haha!

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Then came budgeting. Ang saya! I was encouraged to set financial goal, both for short term, medium term and long term. Ang daling maglista ng mga financial goals natin sa buhay – this age, dapat may ganito na… this age dapat meron na ako nito… this year ganito na dapat…. But setting goals is just the beginning of achieving such goals. It doesn’t end there. Malayong lakbayin pa!

While Joy Mendoza is speaking, alongside her husband Edric Mendoza, about her husband being so in love with spreadsheets, I uttered a silly prayer: Lord, help me to love spreadsheets too. I can’t believe na my whole career revolves around using spreadsheets and yet hindi ganun katindi ang pagmamahal ko dito. Hahaha!IMG_1145

Makailang ulit din tinanong kung ilan ang single sa crowd. Madami rin, considering that the event is a Family and Finance seminar. Magandang pagkakataon to learn the value of finances in the context of the family. The fact that most of the speakers did their talk as couple is something that I really appreciate. #RelationshipGoals indeed.

Ptr. Joby Soriano shared that 2/3 of couples fail to talk about money matters before they say ‘I Do’. No wonder why finances remain as the most argued concern for couples. Contentment is key, he emphasized. We are mere stewards, God is the owner, controller and provider of all things.

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After all the talk, I am convinced that there is really no great divide between the secular and the spiritual. Sabi nga ni Mr. Randell Tiongon, “the whole idea of investing emanates from you being a good steward” and in Proverbs 13:22a, which Mr. Tiongson emphasized as well, “A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children”.

 

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Syempre, Mama and I discussed about what we’ve learned from the conference. Medyo inexplain ko yung ilang concepts na hindi niya masyadong naintindihan, but nevertheless I am glad that like me, she’s encouraged to be more enterprising, to save and on top of that to be a good steward of God’s entrusted resources.

On my part naman, mamahalin ko na si MS Excel.

Tsaka parang rewarding din sigurong maging RFP 🙂

 

The Power of “Less” in the Season of “More”

Sa panahon ngayon, malaki ang possibility na mai-stress ka lang kapag lumabas ka ng bahay. Sobrang dami ng taong paroon at parito, crowding malls and commercial centers. Kaliwa’t kanan ang mga Christmas parties at mga reunions. At ang pinakanakaka-stress sa lahat? Traffic, ano pa ba!

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Tuwing season ng kapaskuhan, masyadong mabilis ang pag-ikot ng pera. Ang dami-daming pinagkakagastusan ng mga tao. Naglalabasan ang mga malulutong na paper bills. Nagiging galante ang marami, yayamanin. Panahon para makabili ng mga bagong damit, sapatos, gadgets at kung anu-ano pa.

Dahil nakaka-stress nga ang makipagsabayan sa agos ng mga tao sa kalsada, I resorted to visit some online shopping sites. True enough, maraming bargain deals. Ang sarap mamili without the hassle of going to the mall. Convenient nga naman.

Kakabrowse sa mga links and webpages, nararamdaman ko na nag-iintensify ang desire ko na bumili nang bumili. I don’t know about others, pero parang kinakain ako ng desires ko. Nalilimutan ko na naman ang mga financial principles na natutunan ko before. I have a functioning cellphone pa naman, pero parang gusto ko nang bago, mas latest. May mga books pa akong hindi ko pa nababasa, much more hindi pa nabubuksan, pero gusto ko na namang bumili. Gusto kong bumili ng sapatos, ng damit, ng portable speaker at kung anu-ano pa. Iniisip ko kasi malaki ang tipid ko kasi mura, kahit sa totoo lang may nagagamit pa naman ako. The only justification I can provide myself is that, “Pasko naman!” OK aamin na ako: napabili ako ng headphone kasi feeling ko sobrang bargain na.

Christmas is a season of “more”. Bukod sa maraming tao, marami ring gusto ang mga tao. Guilty ako dun. Pero I have to be reminded that contentment is a matter of the heart, and not in the amount of things na mabibili ko. There is power in “less” in this season of “more”.

  • Less purchases, less bawas sa perang nasa wallet – or sa iba, less utang sa credit card
  • Less purchases, less clutter sa bahay lalo na sa mga bagay na binili lang out of impulse
  • Less purchases, less stress sa pagsuong sa mataong mga malls at matrapik na mga kalsada
  • Less purchases, less wondering “san napunta ang pera ko?”

And all of these just means more money to save, invest and share to others!

The Apostle Paul reminds young Timothy:

“[But] godliness with contentment is great gain. [For] we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.” 1 Timothy 6:6-7.

To be fair, kung able naman at talagang needed ang isang bagay, or out of being proactive, magandang mamili ng mga sale items. Just brace yourself with the flood of people rushing to buy things. The problem lies when the spirit of discontent and materialism is being nurtured big time. Matutong makuntento. Be wise!

This is how I’d like to remind myself as well: “Please lang, matutong makuntento. Ang mga sale hindi basta-basta mauubos, pero ang pera mo, konting-konti na lang!”

Exercise the power of “less” in this season of “more”.

Work unto the Lord

Let me borrow Confucius’ line: “choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”

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The wisdom in his statement is basically fueled by the word passion – a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing anything. When you have a compelling reason to make an action, most likely you’ll do it without anyone asking or forcing you.

You are somebody when you got a job that revolves around your passion. Take for example a photo enthusiast who gets paid for doing what he loves most – taking photos! Or a travel blogger who roams around the world and gets paid for just eating, taking pictures and enjoying his travels!

When a known gaming company announced a job opening for an in-game administrator, I secretly wished that I’d get the job. Who doesn’t want a job that pays you for just playing a game during your work hours? If they’ll ask me for an overtime, there’s no way I’ll refuse! Wala nang pulis, baranggay at hiraman ng nanay. Too bad, I am not qualified for the post. I can only wish enough.

The reality of life is that majority of people just drag themselves to work, or yet, doesn’t even have a job to attend to. It’s either we are unemployed or underemployed. Plus, take into consideration the inconsiderate traffic situation, or meager salary, or the ultra-high tax rate, or the incessant increase in cost of living. Will there still be any room for us to love the job that slowly sucks the joy in us?

Good thing, there is a better motivation for us to work hard. More than the salary or the work environment or the day to day exposure to the fresh air of EDSA.

“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.” – Colossians 3:23

In the workplace there will always be people whose role is to shoo us away from our ideal work environment. There will be situations that will make us wanna quit and go home instead. There will always be reasons for us not to enjoy the job that we have. Yet we can always choose to enjoy the One who has given us our job. Shift your focus from the negative to the blessings you are receiving from day to day. While your circumstances might not change, you definitely will. Your boss may be a kind of person who doesn’t get easily impressed, take comfort that Your heavenly boss is always eager to commend you “well done!”.

You may not have the kind of job that you are always excited to attend to, much more you’ll love to have for the rest of your life, you can always choose to love the One who always attend to your needs and loves to have you for the rest of eternal life.

04/30 of Blogging challenge

How We Handle Money Impacts our Relationship with the Lord

Whenever I assess my spending habit, I can always say that I am more of the impulsive, emotional spender. I tend to buy things on impulse, most of the time because of a “false need” – things I presume to be important but realizing after a few days that I can go with life without those.

There are also times when my purchases are prompted by emotions attached to it. I buy things because of silly reasons like “I don’t have the luxury to have this thing when I was a kid” or “having this (or paying for this) will make me feel more important to [insert person’s name here]”.

There are instances as well when I spend on things based on presumptions on the future – that in due time, they will be beneficial to me. Yet time flies and the things remain unused, much more untouched.

I have my own spending personality. Everyone has their own spending personality. But however we spend our God-given resources, How We Handle Money Impacts our Relationship with the Lord.

This is the premise of the first session of the Biblical Financial Study, a ten-part series that I am attending as of writing of this note.

“Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of worldly wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?”  Luke 16:11

A question came stirring my mind that night – am I trustworthy enough to be entrusted with “true riches”?

I have this question ringing in my head. I felt guilty. The guilt that does not condemn me, but gives me hope.

Embarking on a Journey to Financial Wisdom

The first time I saw the poster about Biblical Financial Study series, I know that I have to be there. I immediately inked my planner on March 10 for the orientation and grabbed few of my pals to hear for ourselves what the course has in store for us.

Prompted by my desire to be more financially wise and stable, and my innate curiosity to learn, my friends and I headed to Marikina Christian Fellowship Center. The orientation has not started yet when we arrived, and I don’t know why I am so expectant during that time, like a child waiting for his birthday presents.

As the program commenced, I looked around the place. I can easily count the number of participants – not more than 20. I guess the seminar topic isn’t really that much appealing to others, considering it is also being promoted on air thru DZAS. Or maybe, the marketing isn’t that much effective. But that is least of my concerns. I just couldn’t wait for the program specifics of the series of seminar I am committing myself into.

The orientation highlights the testimonies of two previous students of BFS (who will also be small group facilitator in the actual sessions) and presentation of the course outline.

Some of the most remarkable things I have pondered on the testimonies that night are as follows:

“Give and give until it hurts… Give and give until it hurts no more”

“When you give God your tithe, that doesn’t mean you have the complete authority over the remaining 90 percent. All 100 percent of what you have is God’s.”

I then concluded to myself – this will really be life-changing and habit-forming!

Ptr. Mark Aranal, or more fondly called “Direk Mark” and the one to conduct the BFS, introduces the course outline which includes lesson on Debt, Honesty, Giving, Work, Investing and Spending, among others.

I am all the more excited for the following weeks to come.