That was, until I had to move (the initial transition) to Singapore to follow the Husband there. The plan was to look for work and pick up from there. Most probably starting from the bottom again but at least, we were complete and could be able to start our married life together. I was content.
|© 2012 401(K) 2012, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio|
Financially, I was ok. I was able to start a few investments (mutual fund, bonds and the like) and having been able to set aside a pretty good amount for emergency purposes when I was still employed, I looked at that in the hopes that it would tide me over till I could finally establish my career again.
But things don't always work the way we planned. What started off as an expected 3 or 6 month (the max) transition period turned into a 4-year long sabbatical as I stayed at home longer to take care of the Little One and deal with some unexpected issues.
Sadly, I saw my savings slowly deplete. The Husband was a really good provider but I, for one, could not stop myself from providing additional luxuries for the Little One and for myself, as well. Before I knew it, I was down to my last few thousands (Thank God that for my investments, I could not as easily tap into. That, at least remained my saving grace.)
And so I decided enough was enough. I needed to get my head out of the clouds and get serious with my money once and for all. If there was one major thing I learned these past years it was that it was better to have my money work for me in good investments that would serve for future expenses, top of mind would, of course, be the Little One's college education.
But first, I needed to be more financially literate, which I did by reading books and attending seminars, one of them being Fitz Villafuerte's Ready To Be Rich: Family Finances.
|Ready To Be Rich: Family Finances|
|Fitz Villafuerte giving his seminar|
In the seminar, we were taught the basics of saving, investments and even given practical suggestions on how to manage our finances. Learning how money can work for us well is necessary in order for us to be comfortable in life. It's not just about saving blindly.
Looking back, I realized that one of the major mistakes I made was letting extra money sit in an easily accessible account. Saving was never a problem for me. Thanks to my mom, who instilled in me the good sense of saving for a rainy day, I’ve developed the habit of paying myself first before all else. But that extra money that I let sit in my bank account tempted me and made me way too complacent that I could afford luxuries that I could have foregone.
Another thing, opening and saving in a normal savings account is all well and good but, to be truthful, with inflation constantly on the rise, the interest earned and eventually the value of my money might not be enough to meet our future needs. The seminar made me realize that there were better things I could have done with my extra cash that could have earned me a nice sum if it was placed in the right investment from the start.
I'm quite happy to report that since attending the seminar (early January this year), we (as a family) have been finally (1) able to get out expenses in control and our budgeting in order, (2) seriously started our emergency fund (in Singapore and in the Philippines), (3) gotten life and health insurance for both the Husband's and my protection and also for financial security for our daughter, and most important of all, (4) finally got the guts to invest in the stock market and other better financial instruments that yielded the best possible results for our money. This was a major step as it entailed us letting go of investments deemed "safe" but yielded poor results (i.e. less risky and with minimal chances of us losing huge amounts of money).
By letting go of these poor investments, we were finally able to start saving up for the Little One's college fund and for our retirement as well. Now, I feel we finally have control over our money and finances (and yes, we're credit card debt free!). Both the Husband and I have come to terms to what we want to achieve as partners and not just as individuals (so unlike before, us being so independent of handling our own individual finances when we were still "single.")
Thank you again to Mr. Fitz for helping us realize the financial mistakes we were making.
For those who wish to attend Mr. Villafuerte's seminars, you can visit his Ready to be Rich blog or follow http://manilaworkshops.com/ (his workshop organizer) for news of future events.
He will also be giving a free seminar on Oct. 20, 2014 in partnership with IMG-Wealth Academy (please view poster below.)
Click here to register.
NOTE: This is NOT a paid post. I am writing this because I am a firm believer that Financial Literacy is a RIGHT everyone should have. Knowledge should be made available to all regardless of status in life or financial standing.