Checking in for April

Checking in again, just to ensure that this blog is updated and remains alive at least once every month.

Despite my laziness to update this blog, I still receive hits and comments. In particular, my experience from Club Ultima drove the most number of readers. I can’t remember when did that post start to generate readers. I started to recognise everything when on the average, I get notifications for the post every month. Sometimes, at least once a week. There were readers who shared my experience and agreed with my sentiments. Likewise, there were those who opposed and seemed to protect the company involved. There were a few who insinuated a cyber quarrel. A few years ago, this can probably provoke an ire on my end. I admit to feel affected especially when the tone of the reader tends to make me appear stupid and dishonest. But these days, all the grown up concerns I have are overpowering me. Hence, those petty commenters just appear to be irritating dirt I can easily shrug off. Is this a sign of maturity? If yes, then I can probably claim that I have unlock at least one level of maturity achievement. Hahahaha

Meanwhile, my new journey series is still…. a journey and struggle. As much as I want to bring good news, I’m still on the process of cleaning my credit card mess. A few years ago, I forecasted that I’m over and done at the age of 33. With the way things are going, I’m still   working my way.

I have so much to share. I have so much to write. Most are unfortunately not good. I’m not saying that everything I have in my life now is so bad. There are still some good things I’m thankful for. It’s just that at this point, the struggles are overpowering me. Whatever it is, as always, I have to keep things going. If I have good friends who can read this, I humbly seek prayers from your end. Just utter a little prayer for me 🙂 I always believe that prayers, regardless of religion, works in its own mysterious ways.

Have a great week ahead 🙂

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Before February ends

I almost allowed February to pass without a blog post. I have been occupied with freelance works lately. The freelance works have been helping in paying the bills and covering up for unexpected purchases. I was able to finally replace my inefficient mobile phone. Now I know how it feels to have a mobile phone that can easily attach, download and view documents. Added to this a clearer view of photos from my social media accounts. 🙂

I’m flooded with freelance works, setting aside my day job. At some point, I feel that my day job is suffering because I end up feeling so sleepy every time I report for work. But the true casualty of my desire to earn more is my health. The colds that don’t seem to go away. The excessive coke and junk food intake. Aside from the challenge to become financially independent, this is another battle I have to win.

A few days ago, I got a threatening email from my credit company. I was compelled to pay my pending balance in the soonest possible time. I didn’t feel threatened. I felt insulted and disrespected. Prior to the email, I was aware of my inability to settle my account balance. I overlooked the due date and admitted that it was an honest mistake on my end. I even called up the company to relate my case. I requested that the late payment fee be waived, since I already paid my  balance upon realizing my mistake. I was instructed to wait a few more days because my payment hasn’t been posted. So I thought everything is doing well. But with the arrival of the threatening email, I felt the other party disregarding our previous conversation. For the company, this may sound as another case of miscommunication or system error. But for customers like me, the impact is nothing but an unpleasant experience.

The case has been resolved now. If there’s anything good that this inconvenience brought me, it’s the awakening about my financial independence. One morning, I woke up bothered with all the bills to pay. I have to do something. Then again it dawned on me, how? My earnings from my day job will never be enough. The freelance works has to do it. Sometimes, I wish that I’l just win the lottery. It will resolve everything and I can start a new life again. The probability that will happen is 0.0000000000001 %. Hahaha I have to pay for everything the hardest and painful way.

A month ago, I watched this film starred by Vilma Santos and Angel Locsin. Me and my friend burst out laughing when Vilma Santos reminded Angel Locsin about financial independence. Vilma emphasized at the age of 30, one should be debt free and on the path of building wealth. Sure enough, I died. How I wish some Vilma Santos will come to  my life and handle my financial struggles.

Back before the past year ended, I became an active jobseeker. I finally got an interview to one of my dream companies. On the way for the entrance examination, I was thinking of my separation pay. Should I get hired to my dream company, I can start a new life. I can use my separation pay to settle the credit card bills. I have a new job. My self-esteem will be back. Everything will be fine again. I got so ambitious. I didn’t pass the employment examination. I’m still on the same company.

The rare times I join meetings and social gatherings, I always feel belittled. These people around me, I keep wondering about their financial state. I have this feeling that I’m the most financially messed up person in the place. I admit, I sometimes feel that this financial struggle is robbing me off my self-esteem.

Life may not be good for me … financially.  I’m messed up. And while I’m still trying to work things out, I still have one thing to thank for. #Family It’s Sunday night and I treated everyone for pizza delivery. We love Yellow Cab’s Dear Darla pizza and spicy chicken wings. I feel more than enough when I see my family enjoying the simplest things I can afford.

New Journey Series : What happened in 2015

I never wrote anything for my New Journey Series in 2015. Applause. Haha How I wish the reason why I wasn’t able to write anything is because my problem is over. My debts were all paid. I have closed my credit cards. I’m debt free. The truth however is I’m still tied up. Please don’t send me all the blame in the world. For the longest time, I knew it was my fault. I don’t need another person to remind and emphasise it again, again and again.

I haven’t been using my credit cards. Truth. It was only during the last months of 2015 when I was able to use it. All my transactions were paid in cash in 2015. Problem is, the debt accumulated because I got a second insurance policy. I don’t have intentions of acquiring another insurance. Not this time yet. My financial focus was to settle all the credit card balances. However, back in the last quarter of 2014, I helped a friend who was a starting financial adviser / agent of this insurance company. The insurance policy payment was auto enrolled in my credit card. The disadvantage which I later realised, it was easier not to pay. I missed some monthly payments. And given that my card has previous balances, everything accumulated and the next time I woke up, I messed up again.

The only positive development I had in 2015 happened in one of my credit card. I loan a particular amount of money and used it to pay out all the balances for this card. I still have a little to pay. But soon enough, I would be able to kill this card. 🙂

When I started the series a few years ago, I forecasted that I will be able to pay all my debts this year… at this age. If I had only been consistent and disciplined, I’m about to be debt free. I’m about to gain my financial freedom. Almost, I ruined my own plan.

This year, I will not make so much promises anymore. I’m still crafting another game plan for this. Hopefully it will work. I wish I will have all the discipline in the world. Likewise, I hope I have more than enough freelance works to enable my plan. What I initially wanted is to divert all my freelance earnings for credit card payment this year. I’ll probably treat myself for items less than Php 1,000. It can’t exceed beyond this point.

My 2015 was not good. Much of the negative things happened in my career and a few relationships. I trusted the wrong people, it ruined me. The silver lining though, I was able to filter who were my real friends are.

I don’t want to live forever like this. Things will get better for me.

New Journey Series : Before 2014 ends

I was so optimistic with my last New Journey Series post. As I was back reading my entry, I recalled how I was able to totally eliminate one credit card. Great news! Great news for me. I thought I was progressing. I thought I was stepping to the road of financial maturity. Sadly, everything was ruined again. It was all my fault.

It started with my other dormant credit card. I was surprised to discover that I haven’t used the card for a year. I called my bank to request for a possible waiver of annual fee. I was granted the waiver provided that I will make an accumulated or single receipt purchase worth Php 5,000. Best about everything, I can even convert the purchase to zero interest instalment. I got too overwhelmed with everything. And as you can sense it, I messed up again.

Another incident that prompted me to ruin my improving financial record is my professional fee that has long been delayed. My payment for this project was delayed for almost two months. I admit, I made a mistake. I counted my blessings early. I spent my money way before I was about to receive. I used my credit cards to finance the advance purchases. I held on to the fact that I have an upcoming income. Unfortunately, I failed to monitor the expenses. As a result, the debts piled up again. I gave in. I counted my eggs before they were hatched.

Last weekend, my most awaited 13th month pay already arrived. I started with my expenses and savings. And just like that my money almost vanished. I have my birthday celebration. I have to meet my good old friends and that would mean money going away again. I’m not even sure if my remaining balance can still survive me. Adding up to this, I opened another insurance policy that will provide me financial support in cases when I’m stricken with any dreaded disease. My company does not provide an extensive and comprehensive health plan. Hence, I was forced and convinced to buy this new policy.

At this point, I have to admit defeat again. I will end 2014 with another set of financial burden. It was my fault. My only consolation then, everyone in the family is healthy. We were spared from the tragedies of the recent typhoon. I messed up again. My only hope, I will have more freelance clients and additional work to survive me.

New Journey Series : Almost one down

I have a lot of sentiments to blog. Unfortunately, everything is just too disorganized in my mind. I’m still figuring out what to write among the following

a. to leave or stay with my current job

b. a recent experience with a superior who played a childish, immature and disrespectful joke on me

c. the regular occurrence of my quarter life crisis and how it was awakened again last Sunday

and probably, more that I can’t remember.

Setting aside the outpour of thoughts, I decided to focus on updating my New Journey Series. I remembered,  it’s been a while since I last updated this blogging series. The last time I checked, it was October of last year. It was almost a year since I documented my financial struggle.

Over the past months, I have been blessed with a lot of freelance works. If I’m not mistaken, I served three clients at the same time. The earnings helped a lot in restoring my savings account, purchasing a laptop when the old one decided to rest forever and most importantly, I was able to reduce a significant amount of my credit card debt. Hooray!! There are still debts to pay though. I have to work out balances from another credit card that is gradually ballooning again. The balance from the credit card I intend to maintain was significantly reduced. As of date, I would like to believe that I can trim down the balance from five to  four digits this month. A few more months and I will be able to totally eliminate the evil debt.

A technique I learned in eliminating debts in multiple credit cards is to focus on one credit card at a time. Assuming I have Php 10,000 today, instead of distributing the money to different credit cards, I should use the entire amount to eliminate one card. Killing one evil interest rate is better than distributing the antidote to everyone. The antidote only regulates the pain. It never eliminates the root source of the pain.

So there, please pray for me. I hope I’ll be successful in totally eliminating one evil in my life before the year ends.

In other news, my 10 year old insurance will be fully paid next year. Just one more year of paying and I’m all done! In response to this, I decided to venture to another insurance. I opted to diversify and choose another company for my secondary insurance. This time, I chose a foreign based company and acquired a variable insurance. Hopefully, the companies where I invested will become stable and successful.

I’m still less than half-way in beating my financial struggle. But I know, I will soon overcome the consequences of this mistake.

New Journey Series : Life will get better

The year is about to end and I haven’t produce any update for this self-imposed blogging series. I’m on a week long vacation. There are still two working days left for next week. I’m expected to report but I’m feeling quite lazy and my wallet is already screaming empty. Then I remember that I have a very kind boss and a bucket of unused vacation leave credits. Obviously, the best thing to do is to rip off the leave credits before it becomes forfeited and take advantage of the kindest boss who is already on vacation. Haha

Going back to the main reason why I wrote this post, I need to document and update myself on my current struggle. Settling the pile of credit card bills and rebuilding my savings account.

After availing of the balance transfer program, I have been religiously paying my pending bills through installment. I was starting good late last year until early this year. Unfortunately, my low EQ attacked me again. I broke my promise of no longer using the evil rectangular plastic device. I gave in to the temptation of becoming Rebecca Bloomwood again. I used the cards for some personal shopping and accumulated a small pile of unpaid purchases. To my defense, the unpaid balances are still manageable. My upcoming 13th month pay can still cover up. (I hope so) Added to this the “hate” purchase I made in the middle of the year. I got pissed off with my less than a year old Sony Xperia. I sold the phone to my friend M and purchase a more expensive Samsung phone using again the evil device. I availed of the card’s installment and deferred program. So as of date, I’m not paying the phone until next year.

I guess another reason that gave me the courage to change my phone is the pending freelance client. I’m about to collect a professional fee that can pay almost half of the phone’s price. Hopefully, client will pay me before next year. I pray that client is not another swindler.. like my colleague and relative who committed professional estafa against me. Bless them Dear God! Share to them the experience of being in my pathetic shoes.

Before the year ends, I’m about to turn 30 and this adds up to the pressure of finally fixing my life. Whenever I check my Facebook account, I always feel a jumble of emotions from being happy, envious and pathetic. I feel a sense of happiness whenever I see great news from my friends sharing their success stories. More often than not what I see are photo uploads of engagement rings, wedding rites, pregnancy confirmation, trips abroad, promotion, and all those milestones of happiness. When I look at myself, the dominant image I see are frustrations, dwindling self-esteem, weight gain problems, financial concerns and all those negativities. Sure enough, I will not be able to celebrate my 30th debt free and worry free. I have to literally and figuratively pay for everything. In my last count, I will be able to settle everything when I reach the age of 33. Whew!

But I’m holding on, I’m not giving up. I will work hard and look forward on the day when I can finally close this series. Life will get better!

New Journey Series : Enough ..

I was relieved when I found an easier way to settle my credit card debts. I opened another credit card account and availed of the Balance Transfer Program. In a nutshell, the Balance Transfer Program enables account holders to transfer their accumulated debt from another credit card. What’s best about this program is that for a lower interest rate, the account holder can pay the transferred debt in terms. It gave me a huge relief because I can finally stop the bleeding interest charges that have been causing me an arm and a leg.

The monthly installments are tough. As I settle every monthly bill, I felt the effects of my stupidity and immaturity. The monthly installments could have become significant savings and investment opportunities. To relieve myself, I’m envisioning my life after two more years. At that time, my installment plans are over. I will start life all over again and this time, I promised myself that I will become better and wiser. Incidentally, I’m nearing the next decade of my life. With the additional years, there’s nothing I want but for this to be over.

When the year started, I was properly handling my balance transfer installments. I was able to pay everything in full. Unfortunately, my good performance lasted only on the first to the early quarters of the year. Everything started in the month of June. I always hated June because I see this as one of financially draining months. Again, my immature self never failed to anticipate this. The bills piled up, I was able to use up part of my savings account and what’s worst, I swiped the cards again.

As I reviewed my spending patterns, I discovered that I’m so worst this year. In the past, I only use up my credit cards. This time, I’m able to ruin even my hard earned savings account.

You see, I may dress well, my students respect me, I’m able to do my job but deep inside … I’m still struggling and inducing myself to fail..