10 Financial Wellness Tips for the Corporate Newbies

This is especially for you who started earning your first few pesos (or dollars, or Euros!); and probably have zeroed out your bank accounts!

Now, now, it’s very easy to say, “I’ll start saving once I got my promotion,” or “I’ll start saving once I got my increase,” and so on. Trust me that the increase and the promotion might happen, I’m not too sure about the other.

So, if you find yourself in this situation, this article is for you.

Celebrate in Moderation

First job, yehey! Ok, yes, we get the point and the need to celebrate!

However, please celebrate in moderation. It is the spirit that matters so keep your spending low at this point. If you have partied the night away and blown your entire first pay on festivities, treats, air fare tickets or what have you, ok, then. So be it. You had fun and now with an empty pocket. Move on and start acting for your financial future.

When it comes to money, it’s never too early, you know.

Pay Yourself First

Identify your percentages

Define for yourself how much you want to save, how much you want to spend and how much you want to give – think church or charity!

For some it is 20%-70%-10% or save-spend-donate. Others stretch the save portion to 40% minimizing spend to 50% and keeping the give portion at 10%. You do your own math at every stage of your money making career. Find out what’s comfortable for you that will help you meet your financial goals.

Maximize Your Bank’s Capabilities

Many banks today have an auto-save or auto-debit feature. This means connecting your payroll account to a savings account, electing an amount to auto transfer and deciding on frequency of this auto transaction. This makes it so much simpler and easier. Just visit your bank to inquire.

Have a Financial Goal

As mentioned earlier – financial goal. It is tempting to leave it hanging at “I will save.

Have you ever set out on the road without a destination in mind? It’s like that. Fun anf thrilling at first until you realized you’re lost or tired and nowhere to rest.

But unless you define a goal – an amount of money you want and by when – it is quite difficult to know whether you’ve reached it or not, isn’t it?

For example, your goal could be to raise 1M in the next three years. Then you can plan your spending around the amount. You can have side jobs as well.

For side job ideas, read this article – Tips and Ideas From 7 Inspiring Individuals on Secondary Source of Income for the People in the Workplace

This is something that I learned from my husband. It is very challenging but it does make sense! To be honest, this is something that’s still relatively new for me and still finding my way to it. The earlier you start, the better.

You are Not Your Brand of Clothes, Shoes, Bags

While many expensive clothes, bags, shoes, etc. are worth the purchase because of their durability, value for money and timeless appeal, it may not be worth buying such if you’ve only just started. There are other good quality products out there that are not as expensive.

You don’t need to define yourself by who you wear. Define your own brand and your own personality by being yourself!

Think Paying Capability BEFORE ANY Purchase, ESPECIALLY the BIG ones

I have seen people buying cars and condo units only to sell them after a year or two. That’s a lot of money wasted + the emotionality of having to let go of something you truly wanted.

Why? Because while they did the short term computation, they missed calculating the cost impact over time – the maintenance fees, gasoline, parking fee, etc.

So before committing to any purchase that you will have to shoulder over a period of five years or more, be sure to calculate all costs associated with it and factor in your paying capability as well.

Do NOT Compare Yourself with Others

Never ever!

“If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”
– Desiderata

Other people might make more money, more cars, bigger houses than you, it’s ok. Work hard, work smart and you’ll get there. Always pray, too, so you are properly guided along your journey.

The other point is, it’s rarely all about how much you make but more about what you do with what you make. People who make 30K a month and those who make 130K a month are both broke before the next pay period. Yet, there are those who only earn 30K a month who were able to purchase their own house and car, and there are those who earn 130K a month who own neither.

Instead of obsessing over what others have that you don’t, focus your energy on what you can do with what you have which will make you full, happy and content.

Check Your Payslips and All Billing Statements

Well, truthfully, Payroll and Bank employees all want perfection. However, this is not always the case, right? Just be sure to check when you received your payslip or bank statement. Ask if something’s not right and ask for a refund or a correction. These documents can be overly complicated, too. Don’t be shy to ask how these are read if you find yourself confused or lost in the paper.

Be Mindful of Your Day-to-Day Spending

There is an idiom that goes “the devil is in the detail,” well, in this case, I would say, “the devil is in the daily spending.” It’s true! Try to track your daily spending – everything you paid for – and review after a week. You will be surprised how much ‘mindless spending‘ was there. Milk tea which costs around Php100 is Php500 for a week, if you only drink once a day, that is. Brewed coffee, let’s say at Php135 per cup is Php675 for the week, again if you only had one cup per day. That’s over a thousand pesos. And there’s so much more you could probably think of… Are these necessary spending? May not even be good for the health. Are you also guilty of mindless spending?


Being able to save for the future should not make us greedy either. I think there should still be room for generosity in our hearts, especially for those in need. I was talking to a friend last night on the topic of sharing and she pointed out how over doing this might be bad, too. For example, helping those who have become overly dependent, or helping those who do not save for their own future needs – live a luxurious life with lots of travel, etc. and will “borrow” at the time of need. It’s your money, decide well where you put it. Help when you can, but do not overdo it.


Investment might be a good place to put your money in. It can take many forms – the stock market shares, money market, pre-need companies, real estate, jewelry, invest in yourself in the form of further studies and certifications, put up a business. Any place where your money has the potential to grow. If you are new to investing, go with low risk first, until you are fully aware how it works. Remember that while we are discussing money matters, it should NOT be your purpose. It is just a means to a happy, fulfilling life. Keep it at that!

There you go. What do you think of the tips? Any particular one you’ve started or wanted to start doing?

Til next and may you live a full and blessed life!

Also read:

“Short cuts make long delays.”

10 Health Tips for the Corporate Newbies

10 Tips for the Corporate Newbies

Tips and Ideas From 7 Inspiring Individuals on Secondary Source of Income for the People in the Workplace

In the world today, where change happens faster than you can finish reading this sentence; and that there is an upcoming price hike is as reliable as the sun shining tomorrow, are you certain your income from your corporate job will always be enough?

Take for example a friend, “Ted”, who has been a Manager in a BPO company for many, many years, was recently laid off. Ted is single and didn’t care so much about finances, thus he was to live on his final pay + car and condo that he’s still pay for. I also know someone, let’s call him “Arlo”, who has served his Company a good 22 years, when all of a sudden there was  a shift in leadership and leadership style. Something that did not work for him so he decided to quit. Arlo has 2 kids who are both in college and a wife who was fully dependent on him. However, at this age, Arlo is finding it difficult to find another job that will suite his credentials and satisfy his financial needs. Let’s also look into the case of “Minda” who has been with the same Company for 25 years and even with that, she still was at relatively low paygrade. Until advances came, system-wise, and the Company had to let go of her. Even her severance pay would not be enough to cover all her basic necessities and that of her family’s, Minda being the bread winner of both her own and her sister’s family.

As taking on another corporate job is not ideal for Ted, Arlo and Minda (not their real names), they all decided to venture into business. There are many other similar circumstances. It’s never too late as they say. But hey, what if they started earlier?

They might have had greater financial freedom sooner, or at the very least, learned important life lessons when they were younger, finance-wise at least. And there’s more to it, something as big as pursuing your passion or as simple as breaking the monotony of your daily grind.

Now, how to get started? Is it possible to have a secondary source of income while working a regular 8-5 job? Can you do well in both and still be financially free?

Luckily, we have 7 inspiring individuals who will share some tips and ideas with us…

7 Inspiring Individuals7 Inspiring Individuals

Tips and Ideas From 7 Inspiring Individuals

Idea 1: You can be a Financial Freedom Advocate

Merphix Astudillo, founder of BeingFreePhMerphix Astudillo, founder of BeingFreeP

Meet Merphix. He is an Associate Manager for Training and Talent Development in the BPO space.

Engagement Imperative (EI): What’s your line of business?

Merphix (M): I’m into providing financial literacy to employees and help them achieve their financial goals.

Check out his FB Account Being Free Ph

EI: How did you come up with it?M: There was a time in my life that I was really broke. Broke in a sense that we can only eat rice with soy sauce or salt and we use the rice water or “am” as a substitute for milk for my kid. From that day on it became my mission to become financially free and I thought I can help others as well so I created BeingFreePh.

Merphix in one of his learning sessions.Merphix in one of his learning sessions.

EI: How did you start mobilizing it?
M: I started by offering free sessions then when I knew there was clamor for it that’s when I started asking for fees.

EI: What are the challenges of working and running something else on the side?

M: Time

EI: What are the benefits of working and running something else on the side?

M: It helps you reach your financial goals faster may it be for travel, buying a car or house, or just being financially secured.

EI: Tips for those who also want to start a business for secondary source of income?

M: Start with something you don’t mind doing for free, meaning even if you are not paid you’ll still be happy doing it.

Ideas 2 and 3: You can be an Events Coordinator and Stylist; You can be a Food Cart Couple Francis and An BautistaCouple Francis and An Bautista

Francis and An both work in a multinational firm as project managers for Information Technology projects. Francis focuses on delivery of business application (programs) requirements while An is supporting Financial Management and Resource Management.

EI: What are your lines of business?

Francis & An (F&A): We have a franchise of a food kiosk – Siomai King. We also have an Events Coordination sideline called Pixie Dust Concepts, which caters for coordinating and also styling (decorating, providing loot bags, game props, etc.) occasions like weddings (including pre and post nuptials), birthdays and christening.

Check out their FB Page – Pixie Dust Concepts

Unique Bridal Bouquet and Boutonnière created by AnA unique Bridal Bouquet and Boutonnière created by An

EI: How did you come up with it/those?

F&A: Pixie Dust Concepts was born out of the idea that my wife, An, very much enjoys coordinating events. I have seen her done such, way way before we’ve started the sideline for both big and small events in the office and sometimes outside, too. The ones though where I had more exposure to was when we mostly coordinated for our own wedding, and, when we prepared for our first baby’s first birthday. Seeing both the fun and the potential from those events, we crafted out the team and worked the way from there. The food kiosk basically started as we want to eventually be stay-at-home parents so we can be more hands-on in the upbringing of our first daughter who was growing up very fast. We explored ways to do that, but, we concentrated first learning and experiencing how business happens in the local scene. We stumbled upon Siomai King which very much fits the criteria.

EI: How did you start mobilizing both sidelines?

F&A: For Pixie Dust, it was easy. We invited friends whom we know has skills and interest to join the team. And then worked on marketing it and finding clients and gigs. We figured out the rest along the way. Siomai King on the other hand is a franchise, so mobilizing that was fairly guided by officers and volunteers (group of people under the franchise who work on the networking side of the business).

EI: What are the challenges of working and running something else on the side?

F&A: The demand when it comes to time is the most challenging. We have to put it on top of work time while being conscious that it also does not eat up family time.

EI: What are the benefits of having a business or in your case businesses on the side?

F&A: It breaks the monotony of work and it gives another perspective of business and people (considering customers, employees and stakeholders).

EI: Tips for those who also want to start a secondary source of income?

F&A: Find it. It has been much easier now a days to do research with smartphones and big data deals. Fund it. There are several ways in which you can fund for the business that you’d like to start up. Do it. Just get on with it while exercising caution and balance, of course. Find it. Fund it. Do it.

Idea 4: You can be a Financial Advisor and a Wealth and Estate Planner

Jerome Torres, young achiever and founder of The Smart PesoJerome Torres, young achiever and founder of The Smart Peso
Jerome is a full time supervisor for a leading IT/consulting company.
EI: What business streams do you have?
Jerome (J): I am a certified wealth and estate planner. It is mainly a personal finance advising which includes but is not limited to being an insurance advisor and a licensed investment solicitor.
Check out his website The Smart Peso and join thousands of his followers on FB at The Smart Peso.
Jerome in a financial wellness session.Jerome in a financial wellness session.
EI: How did you come up with it?
J: I have always been interested in the world of finance and investing. My affinity for these led me to know Sun Life where I have been an advisor for more than four years now.
EI: How did you get started with it?
J: My former manager from Sun Life offered me a VUL (variable universal life) insurance way back 2011. I didn’t get one as I was still paying another life insurance plan from another company. I told him to get back to me when I am finished with my first plan. Coincidentally, he approached me three years after, this time offering me to become a financial advisor. And the rest, as they say, was history.
EI: What are the challenges of working and running something else on the side?
J: Managing your time between the demands of your full time job and reaching out to new prospects and also attending to the needs of your existing clients. There are also times that I don’t get enough sleep as I have travel to different places in the city and sometimes in the nearby provinces to meet clients and prospective ones.
EI: What are the benefits of working and running something else on the side?
J: Doing something you’re passionate about and earning a substantial amount from it.
EI: Tips for those who also want to start a secondary source of income?
J: If there’s something you’ve been wanting to do for quite some time, and there’s an opportunity to make it as another income stream, this might be the sign to start now. You will never know what’s in store for you unless you try it. As one great speaker once said, “Do it now, sometimes later becomes never“.

Idea 5: You can be a Make-Up Maven

Sam Calub of GlamorizedPHSam Calub of GlamorizedPH

Sam is a CPA working in Finance for a semi-conductor company. She has been working with this company for five years now and is happy in Accounting and Finance but she is also very passionate about makeup.

Sam (S): When I was young, I was always watching my mother put on makeup every morning before going to work and was fascinated by the way these creams and powders transformed not only her superficial beauty but her inner confidence as well. Growing up with three sisters also boosted my interest in beauty and makeup. We’d always trade beauty secrets, skin care tips we’d read in magazines, makeup 411, etc. It sort of became our bonding as young teenage girls.

S: I am a Professional Makeup Artist. I studied makeup in March 2017 at Maquillage Professional School of Makeup Artistry. I do makeup for weddings, graduations or any special occasion.

Check her out on Instagram @GlamorizedPH.

EI: How did you get the business started?

I want to be an advocate of Beauty and Glamor. I want people to feel confident and look beautiful while celebrating every milestone in their lives. I also believe that becoming beautiful and put together doesn’t have to break the bank which is why my tagline is “Glamour on a budget”.

If you’re as pretty as Sam, you can be your own model! If you’re as pretty as Sam, you can be your own model!

I created an Instagram Account and started posting the works I’ve done on myself and on other people to advertise my skills as a makeup artist.

EI: What are the challenges of working and running something else on the side?

S: The market for makeup artists is very saturated at the moment so building your clientele is a real challenge plus if you have a 5-day a week day job it’s really hard to accept clients who schedule appointments during weekdays. Also, makeup can be a very expensive hobby/passion it is really an investment of time and money.

EI: What are the benefits of working and running something else on the side?

S: You do something you love and something you’re good at while earning extra bucks.

EI: Tips for those who also want to start a secondary source of income?

S: Find your passion and work on it. Practice always. Be willing to invest extra time and  money too.

Idea 6: You can Bake

Abby Edic-Cruz in the office.Abby Edic-Cruz in the office.

Abby is a Procurement Specialist in Goodyear Business Services.

EI: What business line/s do you have?

Abby (A): Cakes and Cupcakes, Salted Egg Chips. Anything baked.

Check out her FB Page: Happy Oven Ph

EI: How did you come up with it?

A: Passion in cooking and baking

EI: How did you start mobilizing it?

A: It all started with taste tests until I received orders from people and more and more ordered by word of mouth.

EI: What are the challenges of working and running something else on the side?

A: Time and Energy. You must be effective in time management and at the same time, be healthy. Health is wealth.

EI: What are the benefits of working and running something else on the side?

A: Extra income and savings for the future.

EI: Tips for those who also want to start a secondary source of income?

A: Find something that you’re passionate about. Identify if there is a way to monetize that passion. Start small.

Idea 7: You can be in the Yummy Mushroom Business

Ecel Cuenca, founder of CuenKabuteEcel Cuenca, founder of CuenKabute

Last and certainly not the least, in fact I had to stop writing after Abby’s section for a “mushroom chips moment.” That’s how much I love this last inspiring idea.

Ecel Cuenca works in an IT-BPO industry as a Service Delivery Ops Manager. 13 years in the same company – 9 years in Manila, 4 years overseas and counting.

EI: What business line do you have?

Ecel (E): We have a small mushroom farm in Lipa Batangas offering fresh, dried and processed mushroom products like Chicharooms, Crispy Sisig, Ice candy and more. We also offer cultivation and processing training.

Check her out on FB – CuenKabute and Intragram Page @cuenkabute.

EI: How did you learn about it?

E: It started as a hobby, when my 2 officemates told me the mushroom story they watched, I started finding a group offering training. I joined one training in August 2016 and from then on, I became addicted to it. Until I became a mushroom hobbyist then a full blown mushroom grower.

EI: How did you start mobilizing it?

E: I started small, growing mushroon inside our house in Lipa then I have few as well in my house in QC. I studied the behaviour of these mushrooms, tried to experiment better and easier way to cultivate until one day I found myself sharing the knowledge to a group of people in the office as part of our project’s livelihood program. After that, I conducted affordable quality training in Lipa on mushroom cultivation. Then after a year, i said I needed a bigger space so we started the mushroom farm.

Ecel in one of her training and demo sessions in her Farm in Lipa, Batangas. Ecel in one of her training and demo sessions in Lipa, Batangas.

EI: What are the challenges of working and running a farm on the side?

E: It’s difficult to manage both at the same time, at some point one has to sacrifice. what I did is I have trusted people helping me with the business and I just do the instructions on what to do everyday. Until the team in the farm is already familiar on what they need to do. I have to keep the job cause, this is still the main source of my income. The farm is more a retirement plan just in case I decide to leave the corporate life. At least I have started something.

EI: What are the benefits of working and running something else on the side?

E:  I became more motivated to work as an employee. My biggest market currently are my friends and officemates. It’s just good to see that at the end of a tiring day in the office, you know you are an entrepreneur as well. That takes all the stress away.

EI: Tips for those who also want to start a secondary source of income?

E: Do what you really love to do.  Start now and start small. Then expand when needed. It will never be easy running a business and being employed at the same time.  It’s tiring, it’s time consuming, you end up spending your personal money to run the operations of the business but I always think of this as an investment. That someday, I will be running this full time, at least the business has been established, ready to grow even more. When I look back, its all worth it!

Summary of the Tips from our 7 Inspiring Individuals:

  • Do something that even if you are not paid you’ll still be happy doing it.
    Find it. Fund it. Do it.
  • You will never know what’s in store for you unless you try it.
  • Find your passion and work on it. Practice always.
  • Find something that you’re passionate about. Identify if there is a way to monetize that passion. Start small.
  • Do what you really love to do.  Start now and start small.

Note: Watch out for articles dedicated to our features here.

Possibilities are endless! The question is, what do you want to do? What are you passionate about? Are you willing to put in a little more time and effort?

Just an HR Tip, my friends, always remember to focus on work when at work and never let your performance dip. 🙂

Hope this article helped! 🙂

For your questions, topic or feature suggestions, please feel free to write to me – emiletherese@yahoo.com. I’m always happy hearing from you.

Thank you very much for visiting and I am thrilled to catch-up with you again soon!

Three Practical Financial Lessons You Need Now

Hello everyone! How are you?

Why do most of us still live paycheck-to-paycheck despite a few (or several) salary increases?

I am sharing three (3) practical financial lessons on breaking the cycle of living paycheck-to-paycheck that you can start applying now.

Different employee groups seem to have developed a code which stands for their anticipation for the next payout. In one Company, they have the #abangers (abang is Filipino word which means to wait) and in another they have the “MSN” which means “may sweldo na ba?” (Is the money in the bank?). There’s one where employees just ask, “Positive?” And when you hear an affirmative, “Positive!” you know what that means. In one group, a round of applause means it’s been paid out. In all cases, they have strong Payroll systems but sometimes there are instances of earlier pay as in the case of the payout schedule falling on weekends or holidays. Such is what they always anticipate.

Jokes abound, too. These are two of the examples found on the net.

Every money joke seems to be a hit and only goes to show how relatable this is because at one point or another, this happened (or is always happening) to us.

Now, let’s move on to what I wanted to share.

Lesson 1: Salary Increase ≠ Lifestyle Change

It makes me wonder why someone earning Php12,000 (222USD) will say s/he has zero left on his/her bank account around the time of the next payout; someone earning Php120,000 (2, 222USD) would say the same!

Of course there are people who get it. They understand that our expenses shouldn’t be more than our earnings. And that expenses should neither be equal to earnings. Unfortunately, this is where many of us fail. In the words of Francis Kong, “galit sa pera” (roughly translated to “hate or dislike money”). Many of us seem to dislike money so much that the moment it comes, we always find a way to rid ourselves of it. Shopping, latest gadgets, Starbucks, brand new SUV, branded clothes, shoes, whatever. Relate so far?

In other words, we always find use for money. No matter how little or how much we have, there’s a reason to spend. Our lifestyle matches our income. So if before Team Lead drives a sedan, when promotion comes, (now a) Manager goes out to buy an SUV.

This is where I admire my husband. When I met him in 2010, he was a Manager, and the only Manager I knew who wore an old Timex watch, used an old android phone and rocked an old pair of glasses. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not old and didn’t (and still doesn’t) look one. In 2008 he got a car lease as a benefit from his previous Company. It was a sedan, the cheapest in the list of cars he could avail. Ten (10) years, 2 Companies and 3 promotions later, he still drives the same car!

Not too many are like him. Do you know anyone? Please, let’s publicly commend that person for being financially smart.

I know someone who recently got promoted to Team Lead with around 10% increase in salary and some additional benefits. He thought he deserved his own condo unit and his own car. He was given a low downpayment so he went for it! A few months later he said, “I didn’t know car maintenance is this much and that there are dues and the condo upkeep is way beyond I can afford.” Sounds familiar?

Lesson 2: Stash Money In Your Savings Or Investments

Suppose it is but natural for us to dislike money and at the instance we have it, it is second nature for us to want to get rid of it. Let’s just say, because that is what’s happening anyway. So, what if we create another bank account or have a system at home where we put away money for savings or investments first thing after receiving our hard earned money.

How much that is is dependent on your personal preference and needs, desires and well, the lifestyle you already have.

10%? 20%? 30%? Really up to you! What’s important is there’s this money.

To help you, there are banks that does automatic transfer at a frequency and amount of your choice. Inquire from your bank and make keeping money a (an automatic) habit.

Not into savings?

You can also spend for things that appreciate in value through time. No, cars don’t count because things like that depreciate. Real estate and gold are classic examples here.

You can also get something that you or your child can use later such as a VUL (which is guaranteed insurance benefit and fund accumulation) or any other financial product, pension plans and so many others. A few people I know trade. Stocks. You can also use your money to buy stocks from trusted Companies so that there’s earning potential for your money.

Lesson 3: Wants ≠ Needs

This is where it gets confusing, thanks to the advertising firms. Many “wants” are slowly becoming “needs” even if they shouldn’t be. The divide between wants and needs, which used to be very clear is at the brink of collapse.

Starbucks seems to be a need because most people need coffee to function properly. Well, that in itself is a want, not a need, in most cases, right? I thought I couldn’t last a day without coffee but when I got pregnant, my OB advised against it so I didn’t drink and guess what, I was perfectly fine the whole 9 months! Next, why buy a Php100++ (1.85USD++) coffee if you can get it for a quarter of the price in another store. Some Companies even offer free coffee!

That’s just one example and I know you can think of many others. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Why We Shouldn’t Live Paycheck-to-Paycheck?

Well, that you are not liquid is risky on it’s own, and because my friends and followers are smart, you know why. What you probably don’t realize is this –

no job is stable, no one is indispensable.

You may be a high ranking official – in a position of power, in one of the Fortune 100 Companies, but hey just one reorg can cause you your job.

You may be the smartest, the most advanced thinker with a huge leadership potential. What if you chanced upon a boss who is your exact opposite. I’m telling you, that won’t fly. You will want to leave your job, regardless, and wouldn’t it be great that while waiting for your next job you have money for your and your family’s needs?

Remember, living paycheck-to-paycheck is not financially sound. We need to keep in mind that our lifestyle should not necessarily change each time we get an increase, that no matter how little or how big we receive a part of it should go to savings or investments and that wants are not needs.

I am still a work in progress, thankfully I have my parents and husband who are constantly reminding me. But it’s great to start somewhere and to start now. I know that many of you are, too.

Thank you for taking a moment to visit. I hope you found this helpful. At least to serve as a reminder or an eye-opener for some. Please share this to your friends, family and colleagues who also need a reminder from time to time.

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