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Financial Matters

Ways To Save Money For Travel

December 21, 2016

A lot of people nowadays (especially millennials), want to travel the world. But, their main concern is money. They keep on saying that they don’t have enough money in order to travel to a certain destination. I do believe that all of us have the means to travel. You just need the guts to get out of your comfort zone and do the unexpected. In this post, let me share to you different ways on how you can save money for travel.

WAYS TO SAVE MONEY FOR TRAVEL

  1. Learn how to BUDGET. I can’t stress enough the importance of budgeting your money. As early as planning for your next vacation, you have to start saving a certain portion of your salary. To save 10% to 15% of your salary is a good start. Also, create an Excel file where you can track your expenses. This will guide you on how to spend your money right. If you still buy coffee everyday in Starbucks, I suggest that you make your own coffee at home and bring it with you to work. If you still buy food for lunch, I suggest that you pack your own lunch at home and bring it to work instead.
  2. Wait for airline promo fares. Airline promo fares help A LOT. If you are able to catch the promo fare, chances are you can get a huge discount for the travel fare. For instance, when you travel within the Philippines, Cebu Pacific loves to hold promo fares. If a regular fare to Dumaguete can cost you 6,000php roundtrip ($120), with the promo fare you can buy a roundtrip ticket worth 1000php ($20)!
  3. Sell your items. I’m sure there are a lot of items in your property that you can sell. With having the idea of selling some of your unused items, you are able to give other people a chance to use them and make others happy.
  4. Rent. If you think you don’t have any items to sell, then why not try renting your home or apartment? If you have your own apartment, I highly suggest signing up in AirBNB.
  5. Use your credit card’s points for airfare. If you are not able to catch any promo fares, using your credit card’s points to buy airfare tickets is also a good option. Before getting the promo fare for the trip to Europe, we were supposed to get Business Class seats. My mom has a lot of points stored in her credit card that with her points available, she can purchase 2 Business Class seats for free.
  6. Stay in hostels and guesthouses. Hostels in the Philippines can be priced around 400php/night ($8/night). Aside from its cheap price, you have the ability to interact with different people from all over the world!
  7. Do some freelancing. If you think that your salary in your 9-5 job can’t still be enough, having a sideline like freelancing is the way to go. You will be your own boss and call the shots. It will be up to you on how much you want to earn every month. You can be a virtual assistant, website design, SEO, online marketing, etc.
  8. WALK. If you are in another country, I highly suggest that you walk alot. When you walk a lot in an unexpected place, you will suddenly get the hang of the place. It will also be easy for you to know in which way to go.
  9. Bargain. When buying things in night markets, make sure to haggle. You will surely save a lot if you get to do this! When I went to Cambodia with my cousins, we went to their night market and bought items like shirts. They were selling a shirt to us for $10. We found it too expensive so we were able to bargain it for $5 instead.
  10. TRAVEL INSURANCE. When you travel, the travel insurance will be your best friend! If an airline lost your luggage, they will have to pay you a certain amount as placed in the travel insurance you bought at. So, make sure to keep on looking for great travel insurance that you think it’s right.

 

What other ways do you think you can save money for travel? 

 

Financial Matters

Variable Unit Linked Products

February 26, 2016

When people hear the word life insurance, they actually start to cringe and turn their head in the other way to avoid hearing about it. Filipinos still think that when you avail a life insurance, you will have to keep on paying until you die. Filipinos would rather invest their money in the stock market or in the banks for assurance rather than life insurance. That was also my belief back then. But this time, not anymore. Insurance companies started to make products known as Variable Unit Linked.

So what is a Variable Unit Linked? A Variable Unit Linked is a type of product where it binds both investment and life protection and you get to save for a certain number of years. In the event if anything ever happens to you, you are assured that your loved ones will get to receive something from the money you saved. Let’s say nothing bad happened to you, you still have the ability to use the money you invested in. You may use this for travel, for the education of your child, for retirement, etc. You have the option to invest one-time or do it staggard. Usually if clients choose staggard mode of payment, they usually decide if they want to save for 5 years, 7 years or 10 years. They also have the option to do it monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annually.

So how does the Investment portion get to work in VUL products? The money that you invest is being managed by “fund managers”. They are the ones who usually do the nitty gritty work and they make sure that your money is safe. In order for fund managers to grow your money, you have the option to put it in the conservative fund, moderate fund, aggressive fund or the index fund. If you are the type of person who is willing to take risks and you are actually really thinking of doing this investment for long term, I would usually recommend to put it in the aggressive fund or the index fund.

Also, if you have noticed, banks are actually selling this kind of products as well. In order for the banks to sell variable unit linked products, they had to partner up with insurance companies. The banks only get to earn because whatever percentage of interest they promise to a client, the rest actually goes to them.

If you have any questions regarding Variable Unit Linked products, please don’t hesitate to leave a message. I will surely answer your questions. 🙂

Financial Matters

How To Start Planning for Your Retirement

December 13, 2015

Retirement plays a big role in the lives of people. Once you are retired, you would want to have a comfortable lifestyle. Others would want to travel the world. Others would want to get a home facing the beach or the mountains. Others would want to spend their retirement with their loved ones. In order to achieve this kind of lifestyle in the future, here are some tips on how you can start planning financially for your dream retirement :

1. START SAVING AT A YOUNG AGE

What I’ve noticed with the young generation nowadays is this way of thinking : INCOME – EXPENSES FOR WANTS = SAVINGS. It should be the other way around : INCOME – SAVINGS = EXPENSES FOR WANTS. If you start to set aside a certain amount for your savings, no matter how big or small it may be, you can be assured that this savings will grow and can be enough for your planned retirement.

2. Know at what age you plan to retire

Once you have this kind of habit : INCOME – SAVINGS = EXPENSES FOR WANTS, then it’s time to identify at what age you plan to retire. This is very important because this will help you identify on how many years you would want to save in order to reach your dream retirement. So if you plan to retire at the age of 65, you can start saving at your 40’s. But it does not necessarily mean that you should start at your 40’s. Earlier than your 40’s (like around your 30’s or 20’s) will be more beneficial and there will be a huge growth in the money you saved.

3. Have an idea on how much you plan to set aside for your retirement fund

An idea to set aside for your retirement fund varies in your current condition. It depends on your current lifestyle, current income, important events in your life, etc. What others would do is the 80-20 rule (Pareto Principle). 80% of your income goes to your needs and wants and the 20% goes to your savings. On the other hand, there are other people who divides their income into 3 buckets (50% goes to your needs, 30% goes to savings then 20% goes to your wants).

4. Approach a Registered Financial Advisor/Planner

So now you have an idea on what age you plan to retire and an idea on how much you want to set aside. Then it’s time for you to consult a Registered Financial Advisor/Planner. They can give you tips and advices on what will be a perfect plan for you to start with your retirement fund. Like with the example I gave a while ago, it does not necessarily mean that you have to keep on saving for 20-3o years. There are other plans that can let you save for 7 or 10 years. If you have to make changes with your retirement plan, a financial advisor will be there to help you in every step of the way.

 

So I hope these tips can help you in planning your retirement fund. The younger you start, the better. I hope to talk you soon.

 

Financial Matters

Why Invest in your 20’s

February 5, 2015

Ever since I was a child, my mom would constantly tell me to save money. There were times I get to save money (which makes my mom very happy) and at times no (which mom starts to get mad at me). Come high school and college, mom still would remind me to save money. No matter how hard I tried to save money, I still get to spend it mainly on food. When I started working, that’s where I was able to fully realize what my mom’s been saying all along.

1. When one starts to invest early, he/she won’t have a problem when they grow old.

I know from experience that it is very nice and fulfilling to have lots of money in your bank account. Because of that fulfilling feeling, I get to spend it on unnecessary things. This is one of the reasons why we should invest our money. When we start young, it conditions our mind to stop spending our money on unnecessary things and instead, put our money through insurance companies or banks ( I still highly recommend to put your money via insurance companies). As we grow older, our money starts to grow as well and when you start to reach the age of retirement, you won’t have to worry since you know you were able to invest your money properly. One will be able to retire happily with no worries.

2. This  can be used for emergency fund.

When something bad happens to you, where do you get to depend your money? Of course, with the money you earn from work which is your salary. But do you think this will be enough to support your emergency needs? Of course not. It is really expensive when something unexpectedly bad happens to you. You will have to pay for the hospital bill, medicines needed, check up etc. Putting aside an emergency fund will assure you that you do not need to use your credit card.

3. You get to create a long-term goal.

Want to travel the world after 10 to 20 years? Of course you can ! You can do this as long as you set your heart and mind to start saving your money and invest it. In this age, one might think that in order to invest your money, you need a super big amount of money in order to be assured your money will grow. Do not fret, my dear friend. There are insurance companies in the Philippines that offers policies where you can do it in a staggard way. You can save via monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annually. You just have to approach any of these insurance companies and they can help you achieve your goals and dreams.