Life Lessons Money Mindset Personal Finance

Reader Question: Where do I start?

Recently, I received this very interesting email from a reader of this blog.  While reading through it, I realized you may also be facing the same questions, doubts and fears, so I decided to share her questions (with her permission, of course) and my answers with you so you can benefit from it as well.


Good day! I’m Jane Doe (obviously not her real name…I changed it to protect her privacy), 27, working as an accounting staff for a Pharmaceutical Company.

I have heard alot about investing and I have always wanted to give it a try. It’s just that I’m still a bit scared. It’s not as if I have tons of money to just invest on something Im not 100% sure of. I would like to earn more before I start..

Where do I start Sir? Can you give me suggestions? Do I have to join the TrulyRichClub of Mr.Bo Sanchez to know everything I have to know? Won’t I be able to make it good without joining the club? Because honestly, I’m thinking of how much I would save from the monthly membership fee. I am not rich, I would love to be though, it’s the very reason I work hard each day for me and my family.

I really hope you can give me an idea on where I should start..

Thank you so much.. 🙂

Jane Doe

Here’s my response to Jane’s questions:

Hi Jane,

I really admire your enthusiasm and your willingness to learn to start investing in spite of your doubts and fears.

And I totally agree with you. It can be scary sometimes especially if you’re starting on something you’ve never done before. What if you lose the money? What if you make a mistake? What will others say about you? How do you get started?  All these are valid concerns and definitely worth noting.

To tell you the truth, I still feel the same fears whenever I start something new. What keeps me going is the belief that in the end, everything will turn out alright.

1) Where do I start?

For a moment, a list of suggestions went through my head in a flash…until I re-read your question and noticed this — “…I would like to earn more before I start.” It made me re-think my assumptions…and realized, perhaps you already know the answer to your own question. You just need a little bit of encouragement. 🙂

It goes without saying that everybody starts out from different places. And for illustration purposes, I assume your work as an accountant is your major source of income. And you have at least a few good ideas on how you can save money by reducing your expenses or increasing your income. If that’s the case, then here are some simple ideas that may help you get started by utilizing that extra money you save each month.

1) Payoff your debts (if you have any). If you have debts, try to pay it off as soon as possible. There are different kinds of debts both good and bad, which is an entirely different discussion. But if you’re just starting out, all debts are very risky and can turn into really bad debts. So for now, just avoid any debts while you’re still trying to learn to manage your own money.

2) Save for emergency fund. If you have not saved for emergency fund yet, start saving for an amount equal to at least 3 to 6 times your monthly salary. Why 6 months? The idea is that if you lose your job or your only stream of income, it will normally take you around 6 months at the most to find another job. Your emergency fund will NOT make you rich but it will feed you and your family if something unexpected happens, like losing your job. Never use your emergency fund for investing. Just save it in a bank so you can withdraw it quickly in case of emergency.

3) Start investing, but take it one baby step at a time. Once you’ve saved for emergency fund, don’t stop. Continue saving. But now, put you savings into your investing account instead of your emergency fund. This money will only be used for investing. Learn how to invest effectively. The key is to invest only up to the amount you’re (almost) comfortable with. I say almost because if you are only investing in what you are comfortable with, you miss the opportunity to expand yourself to learn not only intellectually but emotionally as well.

It is really important to start with a good strong foundation by learning to manage your own money. The sooner you save, the more money you can use to pay off debts and save emergency fund, and the sooner you will have money to invest.

2) It’s not as if I have tons of money to just invest on something Im not 100% sure of.

This is a 2 part question — 1) not enough money and 2) not 100% sure

For the first one on not having enough money, I would say we all start somewhere. The important thing is to manage what you currently have and every income that comes to you and pass through your hands. Learn how to better manage your money. Even Henry Sy had to make do with selling shoes in a small retail store in the beginning.  I also don’t have a ton of money to invest. But I take action because I know that’s the only way I will be able to learn how to invest…and every lesson I learn will pay off big in the long run.

For the second part on not being 100% sure, the reality is that you can never be 100% sure. Even your savings account is not 100% risk free. You can only claim for up to the amount insured by the PDIC which is PhP 500,000.  Of course, if you saved less than PhP 500,000, you will still be able to get your money (after going through a tedious process). But imagine for a moment that you saved PhP 600,000. You will lose the PhP100,000 if your bank folds up. It’s not millions but it’s definitely money you cannot just throw away. It is already a BIG money for a lot of people.

The first investment my wife and I invested in is on RTBs (Retail Treasury Bonds). There’s a reason why we chose RTBs instead of stocks or real-estate. We were afraid. And we thought RTBs was the next financial instrument with the least amount of risk involved, next to savings accounts. Retail Treasury Bonds are debt papers issued by the government. In simplest of terms, it’s the government’s way of borrowing money from you. When you buy RTBs, you are essentially lending money to the Philippine government. The gov’t has to pay you the interest (quarterly) for the duration of the term specified in the bonds (e.g. 7% per year in 7 years). As you might have noticed, the interest is not that big, but it is certainly better than your savings accounts in your bank which gives less than 1%. More than the passive income we got from investing in RTBs, the really important benefit is gaining the confidence after actually investing our hard earned money. When you actually do something, you not only learn in your mind, but with your emotions as well and the experience gives you a more powerful belief that you can actually do it, something you cannot get from just reading a book.

If you’re interested in investing on RTBs, you can ask your bank’s local branch. I read in the newspaper that the gov’t issued RTBs just this week and the 10-year tenor bonds fetch around 7.37%. RTBs usually run out fast, and may already be gone after 1 or 2 weeks.  So if you’re really interested, you need to act fast.

3) Do I have to join the Truly Rich Club of Mr. Bo Sanchez to know everything I have to know?

The short answer is no. I do believe joining the truly rich club is a great help (because it helped me), but you certainly don’t have to join if your savings doesn’t allow it at the moment. You certainly don’t want to get into debts just to join the truly rich club. 🙂 The thing is, you can actually get the same financial lessons for FREE if you attend the Feast by Bo Sanchez every Sunday at the PICC. In the weekly Feast this month of February, Bo has discussed about making more money, investing in your 10% and multiplying your 20%. Last Sunday, he also gave a talk about managing your 70%. These are financial lessons that will go a long way in helping you in your financial journey…and it’s FREE. 🙂

Lastly, you have to do something to actually learn. In one of Bo’s talks, he mentioned about allowing yourself to be exposed to the same ideas over and over again, until you are moved to take action. The important part is to take action. For only when you take action will true learning begins. It doesn’t matter how many books you’ve read or financial seminars you’ve attended, the fear will always be there. And the only way to beat that fear is to take action. Push your boundaries bit by bit, until you expand yourself to become comfortable into your new situation.

Hope the above ideas help you in your financial journey.

God bless you!

Best Regards,


While the above tips may seem simple at first, they are nevertheless very valuable lessons that will help you lay a good foundation for your financial journey.  Before you can run, you need to start walking, Before you can walk, you need to start crawling.  Like a little child taking its first step you may fail many times in the beginning.  But once you start learning and applying what you learned, you will soon be running around all they long, so happy with the many places your dreams have taken you to.

Dear Readers, what are your greatest doubts and fears in starting your journey to financial freedom?   How were you able to overcome them?

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Rich Money Habits Ebook Guide is Now Live!

Just a super-quick update.  My very first ebook guide Rich Money Habits – 8 Ways To Shift Your Money Habits and Be Rich is now available.  You can check it out at this link:

WARNING: There’s a time-sensitive early-bird bonus for the first 10
who buy the ebook.  Special introductory price is only available in
the next 72 hours.

To your success!

P.S. If for any reason, you are unable to access the link above,
you can go directly to the following link:

Life Lessons Money Mindset Personal Growth

Top 10 Things The Angry Birds Can Teach You About Money

If you’re like my wife who once got addicted to playing Plantz Vs Zombies, you would have heard the popular game “Angry Birds” by now.  “Angry Birds” is a popular puzzle video game where the player uses a slingshot to launch the birds to try to destroy the pigs hiding under protective structures such as wood, ice and stone. 

After a watching my wife get excited playing the game, I decided to try it myself.  Lo and behold, I got addicted to playing the game as well.  Now, my wife is waiting for me to put down the game so she can play. She’ll have to wait her turn this time around. 🙂

While playing, I realized there are some things about the game that are also applicable to managing your own money.


Here the Top 10 Things the Angry Birds Can Teach You About Money


1.  It’s OK to miss

In the game, you launch the bird by getting ready…aiming at your target as much as you can…and then releasing the slingshot so the bird can fly!  You missed your target? Try again! 

In real life, it’s also OK to try again.  You may lose money.  You may feel discouraged.  You may think your money problems are eating you alive because of a bad financial decision.  It’s not the end of the world.  You can try again.  And again, until you succeed.


2.  Some birds are better than others

In the game, there are three other types of birds that can destroy the hardest wooden structures when you “tap” on them.  The blue bird splits into three small birds.  The black bird explodes like a bomb.  The white bird drops explosive eggs.  Each one is suited for different instances.  But all of them helps you destroy the structures easier. 

In life, there are a lot of ways to earn money.  The most common of course is having a job.  You can sell your crap (according to Baker of  You can invest in real-estate.  You can invest in the stock market.  Or you can just simply find other ways to solve other people’s problems, and they will be more than willing to pay you so you can take their problem away from them. 


3.  Birds don’t fly with the pigs

In the game, I always wondered why the birds are angry at the pigs.  While reading more about the game, I realized they are actually trying to retrieve their eggs taken away by the evil green pigs. 

Pigs can destroy your eggs.  At least figuratively.  Pigs are people who scam people of their hard earned money without giving value in return.  Pigs are deceitful individuals who have nothing better to do other than send you a spammy text message asking for a prepaid load.   The lesson?  —- If you want to get ahead, don’t fly with the pigs.


4.  Protect your pigs with a strong shelter

Ok, let’s try taking the perspective of the pig for a moment.  If you know the game, the pigs are pitiful creatures.  Because of their round shape, they just roll over the structures until some wood drop on them and they die.  In the game, there are three types of shelter — wood, stone and ice.  The hardest to destroy is stone.  So it’s definitely a good idea to house your pigs made of stones.

When it comes to your money.  Be very sure where you are placing your bets on.  As some people say, put all your eggs into one basket and watch that basket.  The key phrase is “watch that basket”.  You have to protect it with all your might.  Otherwise, you lose all the money you’ve got.


5.  Life gets harder and harder…so you can get better and better

Since angry birds is a puzzle game, it gets harder and harder as you level up.  For instance, the higher you go, the more strong stone structures you have to destroy, and the more weird looking pig houses there are. 

In real-life you should try to learn something new every day.  You can start by learning to save your money.  Then you can learn to invest the money you saved and make it grow.  Afterwards, you can then go on to other more challenging things.  

Keep the hunger alive.  Keep on learning.  Keep on taking those challenges so you can get better.


6.  The more you launch…the better you get

In the game, the first time you launch the bird, you fail miserably.  The next time, you can adjust your aim so it goes a little bit nearer your target.  And you can go and adjust your aim on and on until you hit your target.

In real life, nothing beats taking action.  You’ve not really learned something until you’ve done it yourself.  You can read all the books you want about investing in real-estate, but if you’ve never purchased an investment property in your life, you lack the necessary experience to truly learn investing not only mentally but emotionally as well.

Sometimes, people are held back by their own fear.  Fear of failure.  Fear of being wrong.  Fear of being different from everyone else.  Unfortunately, the more time you spend worrying about your fear, the stronger it gets.  The ironic thing is once you take a little bit of action, the fear actually goes away.


7.  Don’t try to break a stone…learn to quit

At certain stages of the game, you have to deal with stone structures.  They are strong.  They are indestructible no matter how hard the birds hit the stone.  You can put everything you’ve got but as long as you’re hitting the same spot on that very hard stone, you will never be able to bring it down.

In life, it’s OK to quit.  You don’t have to go through life being miserable.  If you think that what you’re trying to do is not working, you can quit.  If it won’t take you to where you want to be, then by all means, quit.  You can be true to your dreams even if you quit often.  The interesting thing is, the most successful people quit a lot of things so they can focus on the things that really matter to them.


8.  Aim for the weakest spot

The trick to playing the game of “Angry Birds” is aiming at the weakest spot of the structures.  The structures may be made of the hardest stone there is, but if one spot is made of wood, you can aim your bird through that one tiny spot of weakness and you can bring the whole house down. 

This is especially true for business.  If you want to be successful, you have to stand out.  You have to be different.  You need to offer your customers a new better way to solve their problems.  If you do, it would be like hitting all your competitors in their weakest spot.


9.  There are a lot of ways to get to your destination

In the game, you can aim the birds high so it arcs upwards and aim straight down to the structures.  Or you can aim them horizontally so you hit the structures by the side.  No matter what aiming you want to do, you can turn down the structures as long as you keep on aiming at its weakest spot.

There’s no such thing as one way ticket to success.  Henry Sy became successful because of SM malls.  Manny Pacquiao is rich because of boxing.  Warrent Buffet became one of the richest man in the world by getting really good at investing.  No matter where you are right now, you can be still be rich by finding your own way to succe


10.  Have fun…no one gets out of life alive

The game is addictive because it’s fun.  It’s challenging.  It makes your mind think of different ways to achieve your goal of bringing the structures down so you can destroy the pigs.

Life should be the same.  It should inspire you to keep on dreaming.  It should give you challenges to overcome so you can tap into your inner genius and become the rich person that you truly are. 

And it should certainly be fun. 

Keep having fun.  Keep learning new things.  Keep believing in your dreams.


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Looking ahead to 2011

Last week, I shared my reflections of the past year 2010.  Today, I’d like to share with you my personal financial goals for the coming year 2011.  This is actually my way of challenging myself by publicly declaring my goals for the coming year.

My 3 major financial goals this year 2011

1) Create at least 3 new streams of income earning at least $100 per month each

Right now, I am still working full time at my current job as an IT consultant for a credit card company.  While I do enjoy my job, I still want to have more options.  I want to be able to one day control my income streams.  Having a job is good.  However, it is only a temporary solution to a permanent financial problem — not having enough money.

I’ve been fortunate to earn quite enough to be able to sustain me and my family and have some extra money saved every month.  The big challenge for me this year, just like in the past year, is to learn how to invest a portion of that money for my family’s future.

I don’t exactly know what the 3 income streams will be.  One thing is for sure — for this year, I’d like to focus on investing to generate more cashflow.  Last year, most of my investments had pretty good returns.  The only problem is, they were only capital gains. There’s no monthly cash flow.  This year, my goal is to learn to invest for cash flow and capital gains.  I’m considering putting up a business.  Or perhaps finally invest in a property and rent it out.  Or may be I can explore going into franchising.  I will share more to you as I get clearer on how to achieve this goal.

2) Go somewhere I’ve never been to for a week, every quarter of the year.

This is my way of growing myself.  I feel I haven’t grown that much personally and haven’t widen my horizon for the past year.  This year, I want to go somewhere I’ve never been to. Either in the Philippines or outside.  I’d like to experience and learn new things to keep my hunger alive.  I’d like be able to share exciting stories.  I’d like to be able to know what it feels like to discover and be amazed again.

As I shared last week, I was able to travel to Bohol with my wife last December.  It realy felt good just doing nothing, hearing the soothing sound of the waves while trying to relax in a hammock by the beach.  Working in a fast-paced IT and financial services industry sometimes takes its toll on my mind and body.  I feel I need to freshen up every once in a while to stay sharp and energized.

3) Weigh no more than 85kg at any time of the year.

It’s been one of my greatest struggles every year to keep my weight down.  I am getting sick quite often the past year.  I can’t go on and blame my work or my lack of time for exercise.  I know that it’s just a matter of building new habits in terms of my overall health.  Eat right. Get some exercise.

So this year, I want to be able to maintain my weight to a more manageable level — no more than 85 kgs.  It will take some time, but I’m ready for it. Let’s bring it on! 🙂

I know goals #2 and #3 don’t look like a financial goal at all.  They seem more to do with personal development than money.  I totally agree, it looks that way.  And it’s the way I prefer it.  I personally think it is very important to take care of my mind and body in my journey to financial freedom.  As I’ve described in one of my articles, your health is more important than your money.  Without it, none of your other financial riches really matter.

2011 Goals for Rich Money Habits

My goal for Rich Money Habits is to be more consistent in posting new articles — at least one per week.  As I share my thoughts to you, I gain more clarity.  The clearer I am with the things I want, the nearer I am to my goals.

Here are some of the things I’ve been thinking as I was doing some planning for Rich Money Habits this year.

– create more useful articles
– find more ways to reach out to more people
– find more ways to help you in your financial goals
– launch a product that helps you manage your money better
– redesign blog so you can navigate it easily

As you might have probably guessed, most of my goals above are still in the works.  And quite general, if you might add.  I still don’t know what exactly I am going to do.  But I think the important thing is to use these goals to remind myself what I need to focus on — helping you.  Everything else is secondary.

Cheers to an exciting year ahead!

Life Lessons Money Mindset Personal Finance

How To Budget Your Money Without Feeling Guilty

One of the hardest problem I’ve encountered when I started managing my own money is the idea of budgeting.  I’ve tried to “discipline” myself by not spending more than my budget, but I have never been able to make it work.

When buying stuffs, I would feel really guilty spending the money that I would no longer be able to enjoy what I bought.  When I don’t spend at all, however, I would feel deprived thinking what’s the point of having money if you can’t even allow yourself to buy simple things you can enjoy.

Budgeting Ineffectively

In one of my attempts at budgeting my money, I purchased a mini notebook to jot down my daily expenses, and after the 3rd day, I forgot to bring my notebook with me to the office.  The next couple of weeks, I completely forgotten all about it.  I just went on and attempted to save as much as I can on anything and everything I can get my hands into. 

I also tried to create a spreadsheet to track my expenses but it was too tedious and it always seemed more of a guessing game than anything else.  I would guess how much I spent for this and for that.  And somehow, I would always find a way to tweak the numbers just so it would look good.    

Until finally, I discovered a neat trick that has not only helped me track my expenses but it’s so easy to implement I can do it in just 5 minutes a month.  Yes, that’s per month!  It is based from the Secrets of the Millionaire Mind book by Harv Eker which
was also described quite articulately by my good friend Jay in one of his articles.

How To Budget Without Feeling Guilty

Here’s the idea.  Create 5 separate buckets (or bank accounts if you can).  Each bucket or account would receive a set percentage for all income that comes into your life. 

Here’s what the 5 accounts look like for me.

1) FFA (20%) – Financial Freedom Account  
2) LTS (35%) – Long Term Spending         
3) EXP (20%) – Expenses             
4) FUN (15%) – Fun and Personal Growth           
5) GOD (10%) – Tithes

Whenever I receive any money either through my paycheck, or a gift, or anything, I would distribute it according to the set percentage by doing fund transfers to my other accounts.  Best of all, I can do everything in only a couple of minutes through online banking.  That’s it. 

Here’s the cool part.  After allocating my money to the different accounts, whatever is left in my ATM account would be my EXP (expenses) & FUN (fun & personal growth) for the month.  This money is supposed to be spent.  This fund allows me the freedom to enjoy and not feel guilty about spending.  The funds from my other accounts, serve a different purpose.

A Closer Look On Each Account

Before I proceed, I would like to take this time to explain my budget allocation so you can have some ideas on how you can apply it to your own situation.

FFA is 20%.  This is mostly for investments which my wife and I are not expecting to use in the short term (ie. in the next than 5 years).  Since I don’t have any debts, this fund is accumulating every month until we find a good investment we can invest on.  Once it goes in, this money will only be spent to be invested for future earnings.  It will NOT be spent away for any other reason whatsoever.

LTS is 35%.  This percentage is quite high because my wife and I are preparing to purchase our own home in the next 1 to 3 years.  We know that we would need a huge amount of money to pay for it.  The amount also includes money to pay for a car in the near horizon.  Note that this is separate from our FFA or investment accounts since our home is NOT necessarily an investment vehicle that give us a monthly cashflow, unless we decide to rent it out.

EXP is 20%.  This is where my wife and I are very fortunate. Our transportation expense is practically negligible since we just walk our way from our home to the office.  Our water expense is also not that much considering it’s just the two of us using the water.  The most we use it for is in doing the laundry.  We’ve also been able to bring down our electricity cost after limiting the use of our air conditioner. It turns out, we can actually make do with just the fan at night. I know these are just little things, but when you realize that we are saving a little amount each day, it translates to a relatively significant amount at the end of the year. 

FUN is 15%.  This is where the exciting part begins.  This is the solution to the feeling guilty part.  This fund is supposed to be spent for pleasure.  Take a vacation.  Go for a spa.  Buy a good book to read.  Attend a personal growth seminar.  Buy that cool phone you’ve always wanted.  The possibility is endless. And YOU CAN have it as long as it is from this fund.  Having been accustomed to saving for quite some time, my wife and I sometimes struggle to spend the money away.  Strange I know.  But sometimes, it feels like you want to get more out of it.  It’s no longer the material product that you want, but the experience.  That’s why my wife and I have been planning more vacations lately to go to places we’ve never been to before.  Nothing too fancy or expensive. Just the thought of learning new things to keep the hunger alive.

GOD is 10%.  This is one area I am still working on.  I’d be honest.  I sometimes feel like 10% is too much.  Other times, I feel I am not giving more.  At this point, the fund is still accumulating.  This is actually one part I’ve been wanting to put some time planning on.  Maybe I’ll throw everything in in one go someday.  I need practice to give more.  Maybe I’ll just take one day at a time.  Being generous with my money is still something
I’m relatively new at.

This budgeting strategy is really simple and easy to do.  However, keep in mind that this is just a guide.  You can change the allocation to cater to your own situation.  For example, if you have some debts, you use all your FFA savings to pay for your debt.  Your freedom day would be the day you completely pay off all your debts.  If you haven’t saved for emergency fund yet, you can also use the FFA to fund it for you.  Note that it is money that should NOT be spent any other way.

If you are living on 110% of your income, try to make more money so you can save some.  Or save on things you would not necessarily need so you could at least bring your expenses down to 90% and allocate the 10% to your other accounts.  In any case, start with something.  There’s nothing stopping you to make your dreams a reality.  But you do have to take action.

That’s all for now.  Enjoy budgeting your money without feeling guilty. 🙂

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Rich Money Habits is joining the Yakezie Challenge

Today is a great day for Rich Money Habits.  This marks the day that I am joining the Yakezie Challenge.  I came across the Yakezie Challenge a few months ago after my guest post “5 Money Habits I Learned That Will Never Make Me Rich” was featured at  I thought about joining then but hesitated because I felt I wasn’t ready to take the challenge on just yet. 

What’s the Yakezie Challenge

”The Yakezie is an exclusive network of the finest personal finance and lifestyle bloggers in the world.  It was founded by Sam of in the hope of creating powerful friends and becoming an influential bunch of personal finance bloggers.  The Yakezie Challenge is to get your personal finance blog’s Alexa ranking to the top 200,000 in 6 months.  Rich Money Habits is starting at a rank of 1,079,182!  Yes, that’s 1 million ++!  Didn’t I say this is a challenge?! 🙂

Why am I joining the Yakezie Challenge

There are several reasons why I would like to join but mainly I just want to reach out to other personal finance bloggers out there.  One thing I realized while writing my Top 10 list of the emerging influential blogs of 2010 is that I didn’t know many of them.  This is an opportunity for me to reach out and become more involved.  Other than that, here are a few more reasons why I am joining the Yakezie challenge. 

1)  Personal challenge

Getting the Alexa ranking from 1,079,182 to 200,000 in 6 months won’t be easy.  It will definitely stretch me to do things I’ve never done before.  Until today, I’ve been content watching by the sidelines, minding my own business.  I think it’s time to challenge myself even further and truly commit to making this blog better and achieve a higher Alexa ranking.

2)  Be part of a great community

Blogging can sometimes be a lonely journey.  Most of the time, it’s just me facing my laptop and typing away at the keyboard.  Yes, there’s the occasional comment every now and then (which is great) but nothing beats being able to bounce ideas with other people with similar interests as well.  I think Yakezie network is a great community to be part of and a great venue to do just that.

3) Expand Rich Money Habits’ network

Being in the Alexa top 200,000 will bring a lot of benefits to this blog.  Traffic of course will be the main thing.  It means this blog will be able to reach out to more people.  More people will benefit from the interesting articles and the amazing products Rich Money Habits recommend.  Of course, that will also translate to more opportunities and income from this site, which is also nice.

That’s it.  I have a long, long, long way to go to get to Alexa ranking 200,000 so I better get started right away.  Wish me luck! 🙂


P.S.  Care to join me in this new challenge?  Join the Yakezie Challenge now.

Life Lessons Money Mindset

Launching the Rich Money Habits Newsletter – 8 Ways To Shift Your Money Habits and Be Rich

“Join my Rich Money Habits Newsletter mailing list and get your FREE issue of the Rich Money Habits 101 Series: 8 Ways To Shift Your Money Habits and Be Rich!” 

8 ways to shift your money habits and be rich coverDiscover the 8 secret money habits that have personally helped me

 – get out of debt

– save for emergency fund, and

– start investing for my family’s future

Today, I am writing to you from Island Cove Resort Hotel in Bacoor, Cavite, Philippines, about an hour drive south of Metro Manila. My wife and I are taking our much needed vacation to spend some quality time after a year of working so hard and not getting much rest. 😉

Before I consume too much of that vacation time, I wanted to let you in on a major project I have been working on the past couple of weeks.  My project is aptly titled “Rich Money Habits 101 Series – 8 Ways to Shift Your Money Habits and Be Rich.”

For the first time ever, I will share to you the secret money habits that have personally helped me get out of debt, save for emergency fund and start investing for my family’s future. 

I don’t claim to be a personal finance expert (disclaimer) so you should take whatever I share with a grain of salt (or pepper, whatever you like =)).  You have to filter out what’s practical and applicable to your own situation.  I am just a regular guy who went through (and may still be going through) the same money problems that you may be experiencing right now, sharing the money habits & tips that have helped me solve some of those problems.  My only wish is that the simple money tips and experiences I share help encourage you in your journey to financial freedom.

Unknown to many, some of the subscribers of this blog have already gotten a taste of the 8 secret money habits I mentioned above.  Here’s one of the subscribers has to say about the Rich Money Habits Series.

“Good evening Mr. Allan. I just read your article, it’s great! I really like your writing style, good flow, well organized…” – Anthony

If you want to find out what Anthony has discovered, sign-up to my Rich Money Habits Newsletter now!  It’s totally FREE!

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4 Money Habits That Can Lead Anyone To Debt Problems…And How You Can Overcome Them

Here’s an inspiring guest post from Jason on how he managed to pay off a total of $70,000 in debt in 3 and 1/2 years by overcoming his poor money habits and building better ones.

It is said “As you sow so shall you reap”. Same thing happened with me. I myself was solely responsible for landing into debt problems. You can read this story to know how I landed into debt problems. It would help you avoid making the same mistakes. Though I managed to get out of debt, yet I would advise you all to stop doing things that can lead you to debt problems and filing a bankruptcy.

Here are some money habits that led me into huge amount of debt.

1. Not planning a budget – I didn’t understand the importance of planning a budget. So, I used to spend nearly 98% of what I earned every month. I should mention here that I didn’ t have any extra income. My monthly earning comprised of only my salary.

2. Using credit cards for every purchase – To worsen the situation, sometimes, I used to spend more than what I earned. I swiped my credit cards with the intention of paying back the balance next month. But I was never able to repay the balance in full. Sometimes, I even missed making the minimum payments on credit cards. As a result, interest got piled up making it even more difficult for me to pay off the balances. I also swiped my credit cards for each and every purchase. Right from grocery shopping to eating outs, I used plastic money to pay the bills.

3. Lifestyle mistakes – I had a habit of eating out every weekend and shopping whenever I wanted to. A substantial amount of my salary was used to pay these expenses.

4. Not paying heed to creditor letters – I also received letters from creditors asking me to pay off bills. However, I didn’t pay much attention toward paying off my debts.
Then, one day, my brother got admitted to hospital and I had to borrow from my friends and relatives in order to pay the medical bills. That day I realized my mistakes and promised myself to pay off my debts as fast as possible.

How I was able to pay off $70,000 in 3 1/2 years

All in total, I paid off about $70,000 – Want to know how? Frankly speaking, I thought I wouldn’t be able to repay the outstanding balance in full. So, I decided to negotiate with my creditors to reduce the debt amount so that I could pay it off. The only other option left for me was to file a bankruptcy in order to get rid of my debts. Knowing that I could file a bankruptcy, my creditors reduced the outstanding balances to about 55%. After the reduction, I needed to pay about $38,500.

I managed to pay off the debts within 3 ½ years of time. To do this, I had to plan a frugal budget and follow it strictly. Though it was a bit difficult at the initial stage, yet following the budget became easier as soon as I paid off the first debt. It motivated me to get out of debt successfully.

Jason Holmes is a regular writer with Debt Consolidation Care and is also a contributory writer with other financial sites. His expertise is woven around various aspects of the debt industry and he tries to impart to people the different situations and simple solutions to get out of difficult situations through his e-books like ‘Credit Score The Quintessential Therapy for a Happy Pocket’, Take Creditors and Collection Agencies to Small Claims Court’ and, ‘My Story- From Depression To a Smile’.

P.S. Readers, what other tips can you share on paying off debts?

P.P.S. Do you want to share your own rich money habits story to our readers?  Send us your guest story using the Contact Page. It’s your time. To Share. To Inspire. To Shine.

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Bo Sanchez’ How To Become Truly Rich Seminar this coming August 7, 2010

I almost missed sending this to you.  Good thing my mom sent me an SMS message the other day asking how she can pay for Bo Sanchez’ Truly Rich Seminar this coming August 7, 2010.  After receiving her SMS message, I immediately checked when is Bo’s next Truly Rich Seminar, and lo and behold it’s a little bit over a week from today!

How To Become Truly Rich Seminar

By Bo Sanchez

August 07, 2010, Saturday (8:30AM to 12:00PM)

Seminar Fee: P8,000.00++ P497 only per person

Call up Beckie at (02) 7229562 (Tuesdays-Fridays 9am-5pm) or

Email at now!

Early Bird Offer: The first 9 people who reserve will pay P397 only per person!

Since attending the Truly Rich Seminar last year was such a great experience for me, I really want my mom to attend the seminar this time around.  That’s why I volunteered to pay for her seminar fee. So she won’t go alone, I bribed my 2 sisters to go with her by paying their tickets to the seminar as well. 🙂

What are you waiting for? Go get your tickets now before it runs out!

P.S. Unable to attend the Truly Rich seminar in person? Here’s your chance to find out how you can become Truly Rich wherever you are in the world. Join Bo Sanchez’ Truly Rich Club NOW!

P.P.S. Haven’t received your FREE ebook by Bo Sanchez yet?  Get it here now, before it’s too late!

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Financial Goals 2010 Mid-Year Update

It’s now July! The first half of the year has already passed.  Time does fly so fast, doesn’t it?  So many things have happened and I am still amazed at how this blog has grown steadily over the past 6 months.  Before we welcome the next half of the year, I’d like to take this time to reflect and give you an update on my 3 financial goals for this year 2010

Financial Goal #1 – Buy a House!

My first goal for 2010 is to Buy a House.  The short update is…NO we have NOT bought a house yet.  But maybe soon. 🙂

My wife and I actually invested in a house…but only for a private lending deal.  Besides, we won’t actually own the house, so that doesn’t count.  That deal, however, introduced us to great friends doing business in real-estate whom I am learning a lot from.  In the next months I will also be spending some time to learn investing in real-estate myself. 

We’ve also been looking at buying a nice 2-bedroom unit on a pre-selling mid-rise condo.  But this one will NOT be ready for occupancy until April 2012.  We actually paid the reservation already so hopefully, if everything is in order, my first goal for the year could actually be within reach (at least technically). :) 

Financial Goal #2 – Invest 20% of my money

The second goal I have is to invest 20% of my money.  I’ve started investing in the Philippine Stock Market.  I’ve tried the cost-averaging method via CitisecOnline’s EIP and even Bo Sanchez’ SUPER EIP way! The experience has been an eye opener for me. 

Apart from that, I also got into a private lending deal on real-estate.  While I haven’t gotten my money back yet, I’m confident this will lead into more investing opportunities in the future. 

Just last week, one of my friends also asked me to invest in her Travel Agency business.   Normally, I don’t lend money unless I’m very sure I will get my money back.  However, since I know her and the money (including interest) will be returned in just 7 days, I thought it was worth a try.  If this deal goes well, I might be encouraged to invest again in the future and probably open it up also to dear readers of this site.

I’ve also been investing heavily on my personal development these past months.  I’ve just attended the Money Summit and Wealth Expo last weekend to learn more about money, business and investing.  The 2-day seminar was a blast!  The energy from the speakers as well as the attendees was simply amazing!  Up to now, I’m still digesting everything.  I’m really excited to share the lessons I’ve learned from that seminar to our dear readers.  So, watch out for that in the coming weeks.

Financial Goal #3 – Be Consciously Alive

The 3rd and last goal I have is to be consciously alive.  This goal has more to do about my desire to live a healthier lifestyle than anything else.  This is the reason why I think your health is more important than your money

While I’m not sick at the moment, my health has not been ideal the past few months.  It is not where it is supposed to be.  My lifestyle is not very good.  I still drink coffee a lot.  I am also having a hard time getting enough sleep.  As a result, I’ve easily gotten a cold every now and then.

I’m always in a hurry. Most of the time, I go for fast food.  My weight has increased so much that my pants now hardly fit.  Oh well, it’s a good thing fitted pants are the “in” thing these days.  I don’t have to feel so out of place. 🙂

One good news is that I finally used our condo’s gym.  Finally.  Just today.  And I liked it.  I’ll probably go to the gym more often now.

Quite honestly, this goal is a little bit vague to measure and be actually effective.  So, to make this goal more specific, measurable and make me accountable :-), I’m revising it to say “my goal is to weigh 80 kilograms by December 31, 2010”.  I only have less than 6 months to go so I better get started right away!  Wish me luck!


P.S.  Dear Readers, what financial goals do you have for the year?  How have you made progress on your goals now that the first half of the year has passed?