One day while browsing Facebook which I rarely do nowadays, my best friend and I started chatting. She is not new on my blog. I had written a post about her for her birthday back in 2020. We were catching up about update in our lives until we began talking about finances, expenses, and our plans for the future.

Just to give you all a little background of her, I can only describe her as a very hard-working person. She has a regular job plus she does a part-time online job as well. I ask her how it is for her to work for long hours in 24 hours and spend the rest of it sleeping. She seldom has time for socialization, relaxation, and even a simple time for herself.

I can’t do what she does. But I can’t judge her as well. It’s her choice. All I can do as her best friend is remind her to slow down sometimes, give herself a day off because we all need it. With everything that has happened to me and my family, I know better to understand life is short. As much as possible, it should be lived fully and not taken for granted by working non-stop.

So anyway, she was explaining to me why she has to work hard. She and her husband have started a cleaning business in Cebu City and since the quarantine has been eased down in the city they are reopening their business. They just bought their service car intended for their business which is a big achievement for them. I am so proud of her. They also hired a staff to help them with the cleaning.

I couldn’t be more proud of her as her best friend. Who would have thought that this woman who was clueless and naive back in our college days has completely transformed into a mature adult now? =)

In our chats, we jumped from conversations about our current responsibilities, monthly bills to pay, insurance, and financial plans in the future. The difference between us as our chat progressed was that she sounded very sure, determined, and confident while I was very unsure. Most of the time I was quiet, only giving her short comments.

By the end of our chat, I realized what the problem was with me. The problem was I am stuck in my financial plans and goals.

For almost two years, I have not thought about my savings and investments that much as I should have. My goal is still to be financially independent, I know that but I don’t know what happened. I just stopped.

The last time I remember was me saving as much as I could in Thailand in preparation for me going back to the Philippines. I saved almost 200,000 PHP in my bank account. With that amount, I thought it was enough to cover my daily expenses for 6 months to a year of my stay in the Philippines.

However, because of COVID, I had to stay longer than a year. And my savings has gradually diminished to my daily expenses, short travels around the country, relatives borrowing money, and most especially for my application to the UK. Although I was working as a nurse back then, my 13,500 PHP monthly basic salary couldn’t cover all of my expenses.

I was back to square one. I tried to budget my money as much as I could but it was impossible. If I wanted to fit my salary every month, it meant me staying at home all the time. No going to malls or traveling. No eating out and hanging out with friends. Probably I can choose one but not all of them. In short, I had to sacrifice.

But I don’t want to do that. I want to be able to meet up with friends whenever I like, eat outside somewhere. I want to go shopping when I want to buy something or even just go window shopping. Most importantly I want to explore my country since I started doing it in Thailand. Why would I stop?

Me back in the Philippines reopened my eyes to the unending struggle of many Filipinos, of Filipino nurses, of average workers. That regardless of how hard you work, life there will always be difficult.

Because I was busy budgeting my money, making sure that I won’t spend much but just enough for me to survive, I haven’t checked my Col Financial and FAMI mutual fund accounts. I was incapable of depositing more funds to them at that point in my life. And with the pandemic, I was expecting it to be in the worst as well.

After my conversation with my best friend, I thanked her because she inspired me to look into my future financial plans again. So finally, after resetting my passwords on my accounts because I couldn’t remember them anymore, I logged in to my accounts.

UPDATE

Col Financial

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As you can see all my invested stocks are losing big time which is understandable with the current economic situation. I have to decide what to do with them fast though. Should I sell them now or wait until the economy recovers?

On the other hand, my fund is the only thing that is green at the moment. Halleluja! There is still hope for me.

FAMI Mutual Fund

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Similarly, my FAMI is RED as well. My plan however is to start adding more funds into it every month like 1,000 PHP because eventually (and hopefully), it will go up again.

eToro

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My etoro portfolio, believe it or not, is also still ongoing and earning something. It has been like a roller coaster ride but at present, I am continuously earning from my investments here. The same thing with my other investments, I wasn’t able to add funds into this but I am considering adding a small amount regularly in the future.

As of now, I am copying these two investors.

Sunlife Insurance

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My Sunlife insurance is probably the only thing I maintained while I was in the Philippines because I know how important it is for me and my family. When anything happens to me, I want my family to be alright financially. I think 1 million would be enough. if I live longer though and reach 60, I am going to have this fund for my retirement.

Savings

My savings is a totally different story. In the past months, I have tried saving more but because of the rent, downpayment, and bills in the UK that some are new to me such as council tax which my flatmate and I pay 146 GBP every month, I can say I am still floating in the water unable to find stable ground.

Also, the fact that I am in a new country where I would love to explore, from time to time, I can’t help spending money traveling.┬áLet’s also not start with shopping. Because there are different seasons here, we have to shop for clothing accordingly and other necessities in our apartment in order to survive.

And recently, a big chunk of my savings was sent to my family back home during the passing of my father.

Being a breadwinner…

I personally dislike being labeled as one because being a breadwinner is both a blessing and a huge responsibility. Of course, we all want to help our family in some way or another. But to be fully dependent on when something happens within the family is not fair for the person.

Maybe, another breadwinner would only understand how this feels.

I was watching Chinkee Tan’s videos and came across this video. Good job, you breadwinners!

As of now, my savings is around 100,000 PHP. That is where my emergency fund is as well. I am going to add more to it as my priority in the next months. My goal is to save 500,000 PHP which I hope I will manage. Once I have better control of my expenses, the saving part will be easier, I hope.

Finally, that is all the updates on my savings and investment. I thank my best friend for igniting my plans pertaining to savings and investments again. I realize I should get back to them now, learning about money management again for my future plans and dreams. Hopefully, you are too!

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