A Single’s Journey to Family & Finance Conference 2017

The whole idea of investing emanates from you being a good steward.

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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”

Contentment is a matter of the heart, and not in the amount of things.

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.

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”.

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”.