Monthly Archives: August 2016



Have you ever wondered why money is so hard to manage? I used to think about that a lot when I was just starting out. Then, later on in life, we discover techniques as to how to save money. We learn how to budget, we learn about the impact of investments, and we learn different ways of how to win long term. If you don’t know these things yet, we have several articles in this same website that talk about that, too. In this article, we’re going to talk about the things you must have before investing.




1. Purpose

When we see people invest, we are sometimes just astonished by how well they handle their investments. We are also given this drive to invest because we see the growth of their money. I mean, really? 9.5% PA? Who doesn’t want that? But guess what… it isn’t that simple. These people, like it or not, have a purpose as to why they are investing. As a Bancassurance Sales Executive. I’ve encountered people who handle their investments well. You know what their common denominator is? Purpose. They know WHY they are investing. Some are saving up for retirement, some are just adding a bit of growth for next year’s tuition fee, and some are already placing their funds so that their children and grandchildren could benefit from their money without the tax eating it all up. Whatever your purpose is, you need to know what exactly that is. The people who usually fail in investments are those who do not know why they are investing in the first place. “Growth” isn’t just going to cut it.
Each purpose has a different timeline, ergo, a different investment body. You might invest in the right fund with the wrong purpose. Don’t ever, ever make that mistake. Pray about it. Your money is meant to be handled with good stewardship.

2. Budget Discipline

Read up. Know your basic budgeting system. How can you invest if you don’t know how to make a budget plan? A budget plan is really important. I think, of all the 3 things in this article, this is the one you probably know about already. You need to be disciplined in following this plan.
I failed many times in this area. You know what my problem was? I knew how to make a budget plan. It was easy! It only took simple math! What was hard was applying it. It took GREAT discipline. Before making a budget plan, pray for it first and pray for the discipline that comes with it. You cannot do it alone. More often that, you’re going to compromise a budget plan for a simple want. Discipline yourself. Stick to the PURPOSE of the budget plan. If you want to know how to make a budget plan, refer to the other articles in this website that talk about it.

3. Emergency Fund

Many people think that this is savings. That is a big NO. An Emergency Fund is a fund that you build so that if an emergency comes along that will require a lot of money, you wouldn’t have to sacrifice your savings and investments. An emergency can put all your hard work down the drain. Years of saving and investing will get to waste if you do not have an emergency fund. This is the wall you build to protect your savings and investments from life’s uncertainties. If you do not have this, you are exposing your investments to more risks than it already has. An ideal emergency fund is 3-6 times the amount of your monthly salary. It’s going to take some time but you won’t regret it.
Remember, these things change with the times. Finance keeps up and changes every time. Make sure that you do, too. Because if you don’t study up and read every now and then, finances could be really tricky for you. Instead of money being a blessing, in might end up being a burden without correct stewardship.
To sum it all up, just make sure why you’re investing. Once you know why you need to invest, use that as a driving force to discipline yourself to create a budget that is required for you to be able to reach your financial goals. Once you are already consistent with the budget plan that you have, build your emergency fund. After you have all of these things, then it’s time for you to know more and to get yourself in the market because you are financially ready.
I pray to God that He will give you the discernment as to what your financial path is going to be. In the end, don’t let these 3 things hinder you if God is instructing you to do something else with your finances. After all, everything that we have, including our finances, are His. He has the final authority in everything that we do. I’ll let you in on a secret; this is the best thing that you could do with your finances: surrender it to Him. Let Him have the final say because that is the benchmark of being a great steward.
Jay Ganotan is a  Former Radio Jock at Jam 88.3 and currently a Bancassurance Sales Executive at BPI – Philam Life Assurance Corporation. He Studied Communication at De La Salle University

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Filed under Behavioral, Finance Advocate

Top 3 Powerful Lessons That Made A Difference With My Personal Finance

When we were growing up, not every one of us was taught how to handle our finances. The great concept we are told when we were young is to study well, so that we can get a decent work with a good salary to assure our family’s good wealth, our children’s education, purchase our dream car and dream house but, ta-da! Surprise! Unfortunately, a decent job won’t just do it all.

When I started working, I was surprised that even if I already got a high-paying job, finances is still a difficult concern. So here, let me share to you these powerful points that brought change to my personal finance.


A magnifying glass hovering over several words like deceptions and lies, at the center of which is Facts



When we say, “know the facts,” I encourage you to first know your own financial profile. Those who are already in the investment industry are already aware of the financial profile survey usually have to be filled out first before signing up or during signing up for an investment, but more than that we can take part in simple ways to figure out and understand our own financial views and behavior. Let me share to you how I do mine:


Here is an example of a personal monthly budgeting which I also apply with my own finances. In this simple way, I figure out how much I would be spending for a month and to what is it allotted for, also knowing how much I can save or place as an investment it makes me aware and well-informed on how my finances’ flow. I do this every month, making it a habit sustains a healthy attitude and makes wise with my spending. After this, you can now expand your knowledge about investments that are best suitable for you! Engage in facts! Study! Learn! And always know the facts!



Don’t be afraid to make it simple, don’t even make it complicated. You don’t need to be a Math genius to figure this one out. The important thing is that YOU KNOW. It makes you one step ahead to being financially wise.






Now that you are one step ahead, after you figure out the current flow of your finances, it’s time to lay down the things that you want to save up for or you need to prepare for. Considering the table stated on point number one can also give you a timeline of when you could purchase the thing you desire, or when to start your own investment in a specified time only if you keep the discipline of being consistent and sticking to the concept. Let me also share to you these questions that I answer before I plan, purchase or invest on something:


-Do I want it? (If NO, then don’t. If YES then answer the second question)

-Do I need it? (If NO, then don’t. If YES then answer the third question)

-Can I afford it? (If NO, then don’t. If YES, GO! )


But be careful because the third question is sometimes tricky, sometimes we can afford it only if we would compromise something, if you are to compromise something just because of the thing that you are desiring to purchase, DON’T.


Fear concept with word eraser and pencil on white background




It’s okay to be cautious, but if you being cautious is keeping you from possible opportunities to expand your financial wellness, then I believe that is fear. But if you use fear as an advantage and motivation to expand your financial wellness, then you are on a great path!

Fear is normal. It is in our nature, our instinct. If experts aren’t afraid of losing financial wellness, coming up with an insurance, investment and other financial wellness concepts couldn’t have been possible. It is up to you on how you would use your financial fears to your advantage.


Now that you know the facts, and you understand your priorities well, and removed fear out of the guideline, let me leave you with this one simple point that can bring a difference to your personal finance —-




Criselda Dejuras is a Bancassurance Sales Executive at BPI-PHILAM who excels in her work in spreading financial literacy in the country today,

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Filed under Behavioral, Behavioral Finance, Clarity

Long-Term Investing

Guest Post by Rex Pascual

This article will talk about building wealth through long term investing in stocks.
Some years ago, I started working in the financial industry as an account representative for a small brokerage firm. My uncle was one of my clients, and he was anxious to invest with me. Through research, I picked a small company that made the tools so that scientists and researchers can do their job well. My uncle bought shares of this company. Within 3 weeks I made my uncle 50% on his initial investment. From there, I never looked back.


Although this 3 week time frame may seem very short to long term investors, I just wanted to illustrate the power of investing as a whole. My uncle was so happy that I made 50% for him. He proceeded to use the gains on the stock position to do major repairs on his car. The money really came in handy.
Now it may seem that long term investing does pose risks, and to be honest, any investment poses risks. Many people throughout my career have told me that stocks are risky and that investing is gambling. To that I say, yes, stock market investing is a form of gambling. You put your money on a position hoping to sell that position in the future at a higher price. Buy low and sell high, right?


As an example, I cite the Google IPO (initial public offering). Google went public on August 19, 2004, at $85US per share. That may seem a bit high to many of us, but think of how Google has performed since then? Google now is approximately $772US per share, a staggering 808% performance! $10,000 invested in Google at the IPO would be worth $8,080,000 now! Sure it was a gamble, but who would have thought that Google would be such a technology powerhouse?

Now I’m not saying that finding the next Google is easy, and there are professional money managers whose job it is to find the next Google. For the rest of us, we do our research on companies that are well known, whose products and services we already use and love. These are the companies that have seen the test of time, have weathered the storm and are still with us. These are the types of companies that deserve our investment dollars. Who hasn’t heard of Coca Cola or General Electric, or General Motors, or even WalMart?
These are the companies who sell products to you and me year after year. They are in it for the long term, and many of them pay dividends to their shareholders. These are the companies that, on occasion split their stock to make it more affordable for you and me. These are the stocks to build wealth.


Thank you investors for your time. I truly believe that you can and should build wealth through long term stock investing.


Rex Pascual is the owner of Trading US Stocks, a soon to be FINRA member ( ) in the US. Mr. Pascual is currently building the business so that Filipino investors can gain access to the US stock market. For further information, kindly email him at or Viber him at +15624450126


Filed under Finance Tips, Growth

JOY in talking about money


Guest post by Avic Tatlonghari owner of littlegreatjoys

For a long time, I made myself believe that I did not need much help on managing finances. After all, I was pretty good at it – paying all my bills, living within my means (or so I thought) and saving a little here and there.

How wrong I was! I need help as much as everybody else does. It does not matter whether one has an advanced degree in finance or one is totally clueless about financial jargon. We all need that kind of help. Most specially when one is married.

Money is one of the causes of breakdown in many kinds of relationships. And marriage, having children, moving from two incomes to one, or having two incomes and yet not being on the same page when it comes to financial decisions, would all lead to some degree of tension. And if one is not careful, it will slowly steal away the joy in the relationship and one ends up wondering what has gone wrong.

And so every year, Pido and I set up a date to talk about our financial goals and plans. He loves to call it our Financial Conference so we would take it a little more seriously. We usually do it after the weeklong prayer and fasting. We want to make sure that we have individually prayed about our concerns on finances before consulting each other. We want to make sure that we are clearly reminded of some fundamentals before we lay out our financial plans.

During the long train ride from Saitama to Tokyo and then to Chiba prefecture (to see the beautiful newborn of the Gomezes), we did the Tatlonghari kind of FinCon.

We agreed to do the following:



1. To believe that God has been providing all our needs and that He has been faithful and will always be faithful in doing so.

We have so many financial aspirations. We want to have a lot of money. We want to buy so many things. We want to be ready for retirement. And we have a lot of needs. And so before all these crowd our hearts with ideas on how to reach all these financial goals, we wanted to make sure that our hearts are in the right place. We wanted to be in a position of gratitude, not in a position of entitlement. We wanted to remind ourselves that everything we have is from the Lord. Everything we have is a gift. And all the things we do not have are not enough reasons for us to think that God failed to provide. We pointed our hearts back to the great provider.





2. To trust God as our source.

It does not really matter if we have a lot or very little. Trusting God and seeing Him as our source say a lot about our relationship with the Lord. When we trust Him as the source, not our income, not our employers, not our host country that provides employment opportunities, not our spouse, not ourselves, we are putting our finances in the realm where faith works. Trusting Him has allowed me to dream of owning properties we would not be able to have given our single income and burgeoning needs. It has allowed me not to put pressure on my husband to go home and bring as much money as he could because I wanted a lifestyle he could not afford. It has allowed me to have a certain kind of peace that things are going to be provided for anyway and I can do my part in the best way I can and watch God move.




3. To put God first.

I love reading financial books that do not only provide tools to help manage our finances, but also put premium on giving our tithes faithfully and being generous to others as prerequisites to having financial freedom and peace. And so even before we started talking about the things we needed to do this year to meet our financial targets, we reminded ourselves to be accountable to each other when it comes to giving our tithes. We also decided to pray about being generous in our giving, specially in planting seeds in good soil. In the past, we have supported a few missionaries in small ways because we felt that we wanted to be a part of what God was doing in the nations they were trying to reach. We prayed to be blessed so we could bless our extended families and those God wants us to bless.



4. To be good stewards of resources entrusted to us.

It was a big step of faith when we jumped from being a two income family to a single income one, more than three years ago. We were not prepared for it. I often wished we had heeded the advice of living within the income of my husband only and saving my income during the early years of our marriage. We now give that same advice to new couples. The issue is not really about whether the wife/mother wants to work after having kids. The choice to stay home or be a working mom is neither good nor bad. I think the greater issue is whether she has to work because there is no other choice, because the lifestyle that the family has chosen to live and enjoy would require both people working so many hours a week to bring home more bucks. And so as good stewards we learned to embrace how to use certain tools to live within our means. Pido and I talked about changing our mindset about being debt-free; agreed to write down our goals and be very careful with writing and following our budget; planned how to reach our target emergency fund this year; put a deadline to pay all kinds of debt including mortgage in the next two years; talked about investment we could make and the types of insurance we should prioritize; decided to scale down our lifestyle and postpone our dream trip we have been planning to make when we turn 40 next year; emphasized the need to set aside money for celebrations most specially anniversaries because they are important to our marriage; and committed to doing each other’s role with excellence so we could reach our target.

We still need a lot of help and practice in this area. We still need to learn from our mentors who have gone ahead of us and have made wise financial decisions. We still need to read a lot of books and re-visit the way we budget, spend and save. We still need to work hard in order to have the seed money for our dream business and investments. We still have to learn how to communicate better, fight less, and work together as a team so we would make decisions according to what God wants us to do with the resources He entrusted to us. We will still need to keep asking for forgiveness and to give our sincere and immediate “I forgive you” when one of us makes mistakes and a silly financial decision.

Talking about money with one’s spouse does not not only bring both of you on the same page as you manage your resources; it also makes you fall in love with the other person more and more as you listen to his/her faith, fears, dreams, secret prayers, disappointment, frustrations, and regrets. Talking about money gives you a chance to rediscover the other person and makes you see that it is really not just about the money. It is also about remembering two types of very important covenants- the covenant God has with us and the covenant of marriage to this other person God has given us.



God is our provider. We just need to take time to remember. And maybe, talk about it a little more often until we get to a place where we can trust God completely, surrender our fears and doubts; give thanks despite lack and loss; and bask in the promise that He will be there for all our future needs, in His perfect ways and in His time.

Originally posted 


Avic Castillo-Tatlonghari is the blessed wife of Pido, a trying hard stay-at-home mom of Adana and a Filipino trying to live to the fullest, discovering all my little great joys, here in Japan. She would loved to hear from you. You can reach her through her  e-mail at


Filed under Financial Literacy, Mindset

Top 5 Things I Have Learned And Still Learning To Be Successful Financially

Guest post by Tatiana Cyrile Alvarez-Castro a Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner


Before I begin to share with you the learnings in my journey to financial success, I would like to share with you 3 principles that are guiding me in this path to success.



1. There is only one limited commodity on earth and that is time. We are all given 24 hours in a day. Other people are more successful because they are willing to do more, learn more and be more given the same limited resource.
2. There is abundance of resources all around us.
3. We can only accomplish something when we can. Decide when we can. Do when we can. All of us will reach that time when we cannot anymore.


You may choose to read the whole article from top to bottom or just choose one learning and put the article down. I have learned that the best way to really learn is by absorbing bits and pieces at a time, chewing on that piece and savoring the flavor. Decide then if you want to swallow it or spit it out. I am suggesting this because I also did not learn the top 5 things in one sitting. It involved different events and evolving belief systems in the duration of my life.


Here now are my top 5:


awareness (1)

(1) Awareness
Awareness of where I am and where I want to go.
Financial Success is the destination. In order to go there, you first need to know where that is by defining what is financial success for you. We all have our unique description of what that is.

These are a few of my descriptions of my destination:
(a) Affording quality and quantity time with my family.
(b) Having 2 vehicles. One for my husband and one for me.
(c) Having a house that is in a nice location near the church, hospital, school and mall.
(d) Being able to send my son to the school with high standards where tuition is usually high.
(e) Travel abroad once a year as a family.
(f) Local travels with the family at least 3 times a year.
(g) Affording to give significantly to charity or someone in need anytime.

I also need to know where I am as of the moment. These are a few questions I need to answer.
How much am I earning? — I am earning X number of pesos.
Can I afford now what I listed earlier? — Not all of them as of the moment.
How much more do I need to earn?
How much do I need to set aside?
If I cannot afford it now? Am I willing to do something about it?



(2) Focus
What you focus on, expands. Focus on the problem, the problem gets bigger or more will come. It is like a carrying a glass of water. The longer you carry it, the heavier it feels.  Focus, instead, on finding a solution and you will marvel at what you can accomplish.  Set an appointment with yourself and allow yourself to go deep into thought. Ask yourself what you can do and list down all that come into mind. Do you still have time to spare to earn more? Do you need to change jobs or look for an additional source of income? Are you happy where you are? Do we need to find ways to fall in-love with what you do all over again for you to be more productive? Studies have shown that you are more productive at work when you like what you do. You may also want to list down your talents. It may be another source of income.



(3) Delayed Gratification
Delayed gratification is a crucial part of financial success. Delayed gratification is putting off satisfaction for the short-term in order to enjoy greater rewards in the long-term. Example, I love going to the movies at least once a week. Instead of going to the movies 4 times a month with my family, we will just limit it to 2 times a month. A movie date would usually cost around 1,000 including the food. In lessening the movie dates from 4 to 2 in a month, I would have 2,000 to re-allocate every month and set it aside for one of my future plans like having a comfortable retirement. I may also choose to save and invest the 2,000 every month for five years and withdraw it later for a dream vacation with my family.




(4) Seek Counsel
Always have somebody better than you to ask about the different areas in your life. In marriage, talk to somebody who is happily married.  In book-keeping and taxes, seek advice or services from an expert. When going into a work-out, it is best to seek a trainer or coach to get the best routine for your preference and body type. In finances, it is also best to seek advise from an expert or from someone you know who is doing better than you.  Even financial advisors need  advise from other financial advisors to get a better perspective and clearer picture. Doctors need other doctors as a barber needs another barber to get a decent haircut.



(5) Education
Everybody can earn more.  The best way to start is through education. It is the best investment that has the potential to double or triple your income.
You can start with free education. There are free seminars, on-line articles, shows on t.v., video clips on youtube and more that offer trainings on finances, how to handle money, how to improve your craft, and how to be better at whatever you do.
When you have the funds, you can put more value into what you do by buying books, attending paid trainings, and earning yourself an additional title.
Keep your options open. When somebody says, “open-minded ka ba?”, you may want to listen. It may be what you are looking for. Just be careful to separate the decent ones from the scams. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them. It is faster to learn that way as compared to waiting for the best time when you have already mastered something. Remember that experience it the best teacher and learning from other peoples experience is even better because you will not have to go through the mistakes they have gone through.

After listing down all the things that I learned, I can say that financial success is also a journey as much as it is a destination. You are also successful every time you learn more, grow more and be more of what you are. You are successful also when your increase in personal value increases the value of another person.




Tatiana Cyrile Alvarez-Castro is a self-confessed student of life. She considers every situation a learning experience.
Her parents have been in the wealth creation, preservation and risk-management business since she was three years old. She decided to join the same industry her parents are in when she was 32 years old.
Now 7 years in the practice of being a financial advisor, and 3 years as a unit manager; she still welcomes new learnings from diverse fields to be a more effective advisor and leader. Last year, she graduated as a Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner.


Filed under Behavioral Finance, Cash Is King

The Ghost of August

A boy lights a candle in Kajang, Malaysia, on Aug. 17. It is believed that the gates of hell are opened during the Ghost Month and the dead ancestors return to visit their relatives.

Guest post by Edmund Lao

If the Americans have Halloween, the Chinese have the Ghost Month. In the Chinese culture, the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar is called Ghost Day and the seventh month in general is regarded as the Ghost Month, where ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower realm. This is the counterpart of


It is the Chinese belief that the ghosts and the suffering spirits come out from the hell to visit their homes during the 7th lunar month (the ghost month), many things should be avoided during this month including the ghost day: A lot of Chinese refrain from investing, creating new businesses, or even getting married as they may encounter bad luck along the way.

Even the world of investing is not immune to the effect of the Ghost month. Historically, stock prices fall down during this month as investors lock in their profit and wait for the Ghost Month to leave. There are also newbie investors who join the herd and redeem at a loss just to avoid losing more when the market goes down.

Here are some beliefs:



Do not buy property or make renovations. It is believed that major transactions involving land should not be done during this time, and that renovations should be delayed so as not to disrupt the spirits. There are people who delay buying until the month is over and the problem is there might be an opportunity lost. If the person really likes that property, the best solution is to leave an earnest money to the owner and pay in full when the feared month is over. With regards to renovations, it may be scheduled depending on the degree of priorities of the job.



Don’t sign a contract.

It is said that ghost month can doom contracts signed at that month. It one is uncomfortable, he may postpone it for another date. If you have no choice but to sign, make sure you have studied the contract thoroughly. One must also make sure to research the other party very well before signing the contract.




Do not travel. Travel during the ghost month is discouraged specially at night so as to avoid accidents. This can be one of the reasons there are less leisure travellers during this time. Since there is low demand, ticket and hotel prices are at a low. If you are not that superstitious, you may take advantage of the bargain price to have your vacation.



Do not invest. A lot of Chinese has this fear of the unknown which drives people to act based on superstitious beliefs.  Fear causes investors to stay on the side until the ghost month ends.  It is the same fear that keeps them from investing in the market. This often leads to lost opportunities. Actually the fear of losing an opportunity must be greater than an unknown fear. Ghosts cannot affect our financial goals. They only affect our emotion. Whether Ghost month or not, just keep on investing.



Don’t have major surgery. It is said that major surgeries should not be held at this time, since the hungry ghosts can interfere and lead to more health problems.  Surgeries that are not that critical can be delayed if the patient is superstitious. However, if the patient is in a critical condition and needs a major surgery, it is foolish to delay as it may cause death or even higher medical bills which can drain one’s pocket.


Here is a final thought. If you’re thinking of taking a risk, you may want to minimize it by covering your bases. Also, make sure that you are diversified so that you are not exposed to a single particular risk.  .

Also, do not forget to protect yourself against unforeseen event and risk with insurance. Whether Ghost month or not, you are sure that you will have a financially healthy life




Edmund Lao is a Registered Financial Planner who has a passion to help Filipinos invest and right way and avoid being scammed.

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Filed under Abundance, Be Careful, Finance Talk

Abandoning the Middle Class Mindset


By: Dave Monter, RFP – Wealth Coach


The middle class are just comfortable of where they are right now in terms of their finances.

Yes, I did just say that. I hate to break it to you but if you want to be rich, you just don’t settle for what’s comfortable. You go higher than that, you go for extremely comfortable. I get the feeling that some, if not most of you, will have a negative or uncomfortable feeling towards what I’m writing right now. You might say, “Shouldn’t I be contented with what I have?” No, you shouldn’t be contented – you should be grateful for what you have and then strive to have more so that you can be extremely comfortable and be able to help more people along the way. The difference, ladies and gentleman, lies on the purpose of why you want to be rich. The rich think bigger than themselves or their family. They want to leave a legacy.


Reflect on that uncomfortable feeling you just had when you read the things that I just said, such feeling may just be the very reason why you can’t or won’t become rich.

Upon reflecting on the differences between the rich, middle class and poor, I have realized that being in the middle class is a mix of both rich and poor mindsets but that for me is such a dangerous place to be. Why? Because being a middle class, they already have the tendency to be rich but doesn’t want to take that risk or that jump to their next level. At the same time, the middle class have the tendency to be poor, should they sulk longer in what they call, “victim mode”.




You would know if a person is in a victim mode if they do the following (especially with regards to his or her finances):


  1. Blaming – They are very good at the “blame game”. They blame their parents, the government, the weather, the economy, their neighbor, even their pets (just kidding!) for their misfortunes with regards to their finances. My dear friend (I wish), Bill Gates, said it perfectly, “If you are born poor, it is not your fault. If you die poor, it is your fault.” So quit all the blabbering about all the BIR stuff and start taking charge of your finances.



  1. Justifying – They are also good at justifying why they aren’t rich. The most common justification that they use is that “Money isn’t important”. If you’ve heard of this line from someone, most likely that person is broke or just getting by. Money is important. Try paying bills and food with love, honesty and trust. Let’s see where it will take you. If you have negative image of money, it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever be rich. Time and time again it has been said, money is not the root cause of evil. It is the love of money that is the root cause of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10).



  1. Complaining – What you focus on expands. If you focus on the negative things about your finances such as your debt, you will attract more debt. If you focus on the what’s wrong, all of your energy will attract more of it. However, if you focus on, let’s say, earning more through an additional source of income, all of your energy will focus there. Thus, this gives you more opportunity to earn and eventually pay off your debt.


Upset and angry boy with steam coming from his ears and arms folded concept for anger, frustration and mischief

Upset and angry boy with steam coming from his ears and arms folded concept for anger, frustration and mischief


Letting go of being in the “victim mode” will help you focus on what’s more important – taking charge of your finances. It will not be easy, I tell you. There will be times that you will be shifting back to your default mode. That’s why discipline is needed to hack your brain to focus more on going full out on your financial life. Going back to your default mode is normal, but how long you would be staying there will define whether or not you are on your way to becoming rich. Pass by such feeling, just don’t hang out in that place for too long.


To start rewiring your mindset from that of a middle class to that of the rich, I would recommend that you do the following:


  1. Wake up early – You will be finishing a lot of activities within the day if you do so.
  2. Exercise – Everything around us is energy. If you exercise, not only you will be healthy but you will have lots of energy. Money is energy that is why it is called currency.
  3. Audiobooks – Devour yourself with audiobooks while stuck in traffic instead of complaining how traffic is.
  4. Self-development seminars – Attend and invest on yourself by attending self-development seminars. You can reach out to I Am Plus Limitless Coaches ( or for schedules of these seminars.
  5. Theory of Space – Surround yourself with people who have reached the level where you want to be, who are better than you and who are richer than you. Spend most of your time with them. Pick their brains. Remember what my good pal (kidding) Jim Rohn said, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” You want to become a millionaire? Start hanging out with them. Do whatever it takes. Join groups, clubs, etc. You’ll be surprised of the results.



Dave Monter is a Registered Financial Planner, has a Diploma in Financial Planning in Australia, and a Life and Wealth Coach.

He used to be your average employee, living paycheck to paycheck until he decided to venture into entrepreneurship. He is now an advocate of helping people change their mindset towards life and wealth, in the form of coaching, as he sees the two areas related to one another.

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Filed under Abundance, All about money, Clarity




We all have thought of so many ways to have more money by reducing electricity, recycling garbage, going to supermarkets where goods are cheaper, etc.  But have you ever realized that just by being healthy, you can save?


The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “the state of complete physical, mental, social well being and not merely the absence of disease.”   I am no health guru nor a gym enthusiast to talk about how you can be healthy.  But I know that by choosing to be healthy we can all be WHEALTHY!




When we list down our top favorite food and drinks, we can find an array of good and bad foods and drinks.   They are our comfort food and these make us happy.


Take for example a guy named Johnny.  Below is his list of favorite food and drinks he takes in a month.  On top of these, he smokes 5 cigarettes a day.  He goes out with friends once a week  taking at least 5 bottles of beer.  Total cost of this lifestyle is P7,200 per month.   We also know the repercussions of  the deadly lifestyle  Johnny is living.


Johnny becomes sickly and absents himself  from his job more often than he usually does.  He then asks for an advice how to lose weight and improve his health condition from his friend, Timothy, a performance coach.  Timothy asks John to review his list and take an action plan about his “favorite things”.   Johnny resolves to:

  1. Totally stop smoking and buying soda
  2. Replace fastfood with homemade baon
  3. Replace frappucino with tea
  4. Still enjoy some beer, dessert and coffee at a reduced amount and less frequency.

And this is how his new list looks like:



By  choosing wisely what he should take and eat,  Johnny starts his way towards a healthier lifestyle and  saves P5,480 per month or an annual savings of P65,760!




According to a CNN on-line poll with over 200 respondents, 15% cited the traffic as their 2nd major source of stress , next to their jobs and studies.   Another survey from the,  revealed that the Philippines is the 5th  in the list of countries with the worst traffic in the world.   Long hours of traffic  results to stress, longer exposure to air pollution(for those taking the bus or jeepney) and lack of sleep (to beat the traffic the following working day, you even have to wake way too early).


The good news is that there is an alternative to travelling to office.  We now have the Point to Point Buses  which the Department of Transportation  has made available earlier this year to make travelling by bus ,easier, more economical and faster (non-stop).  Price ranges from P30 to P70 per passenger, one way.   What is wonderful about the P2P bus is that there is a schedule of departure (you can plan your trip) starting in the morning thru evening at regular intervals and  buses are new and air-conditioned (more relaxing).


Definitely, P2P is one way to relieve one’s stress,  free up one’s cashflow and beat the horrific Metro Manila traffic . Johnny, who lives in Alabang, spends P16T a month using his car to travel to Makati (this covers gas, toll and parking fee).  But  If Johnny shifts to P2P, he gets to spend only P5,600 to travel to work with his wife, or a savings of almost P11T per month!

Combining  the savings Johnny can have from choosing what he eats and  a wiser travel plan for lesser stress, he gets to have an annual savings of P197T!



This annual savings can now be channeled towards building  his health fund and pursuing his other dreams (education for his child, down payment for house, travel and medical needs).  By simply choosing to live a healthy lifestyle, Johnny can  start creating the future he wants for his family!







In your journey to a life that is healthier, less stressful and ultimately  happier , choose  the right people.   Be with people who can inspire and  encourage you in your new lifestyle.   Be with people who are likeminded and are proud of what you do!





About The Author

Lourdes Ravelo is a seasoned banker, a Registered Financial Planner, and a senior advisor of one of the top insurance companies.

She used to specialize in promoting loans as financial solutions to customers. In contrast to that, today, she is an advocate for helping families to become wealthy by teaching them how to save and invest.

For Lourdes, financial education is a MUST if we want to be wealthy.




Watch out for her upcoming FREE E-book, “30 Wealth Thoughts That Guide My Way”. Launching soon!


  1. Definition of Health:
  2. CNN:
  3. Survey:
  4. P2P Buses:

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Filed under Financial Change, Financial Coach, Financial Coaching