Looking back

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted something here at Rich Money Habits.  To begin the year right, I thought it would be a good idea to look back and share with you my reflections of the past year 2010.

Overall, last year was an exciting adventure with a lot of ups and downs, unforgettable experiences, new friends met and lessons learned. 

For now, however, I’d like to focus on how I did with my financial goals last year.  There were 3 main financial goals I listed at the start of the year: 1) Buy a house,  2) Invest 20% of my income, and 3) Be physically fit (i.e. weigh 80 kgs by end of the year).

Buy a house


Ever since we got back from our 2 and half year stint in Malaysia as an OFW, my wife and I have been searching for our own house.  We searched…and searched…and searched for months and months, but with no luck.  The single-detached house we are dreaming of seem too far out of reach.  The only houses that we like are either so far away from our place of work or just too pricey for our budget.

We also like a clean and peaceful neighborhood where we can walk around at night after having dinner, holding hands, reflecting about life and the blessings you received throughout the day.

One Sunday, my wife and I along with my in-laws checked out Rosewood Pointe in Taguig City, a few minutes from Bonifacio Global City.  After we looked at Rosewood Pointe in Taguig, our interest was picked.  It looked like a really nice resort!

No, we didn’t buy a condo in Rosewood Pointe. 

Better, a new project was being launched that time, a nearby mid-rise condo similar to Rosewood Pointe.  It looked promising.  We asked for a quotation on a 2-bedroom unit. It was nice and the model unit looked really great.  Of course, this is expected since it is staged but it really felt a lot like our dream house. 

Yes, it is not single detached but the ambiance felt really good.  The clean air, the playground, the walkways.  It feels great just being able to enjoy the simple things in life. Everything is relaxing and it’s not too far away from our place of work.

The rest, as they say, is history.  We finally decided to buy and pay the down payment.  Unfortunately, the unit won’t be ready until April 2012.  I know, it’s still a long time before we get to enjoy it.  But it’s ok, we’re not in a hurry.

Invest 20%

Ever since I had extra money, one of the financial challenges I’ve faced has been to learn how to invest more of the money I have.  My wife and I initially targeted 20% of our income to be invested for our future. 


I started investing in the Philippine Stock Market February last year after opening an account with CitisecOnline.  The gains have been extraordinary so far.  My stocks are all up at an average of 22%.  Some even went high up to 55%.  I admit, this is NOT because of my investing genius.  It’s more a matter of luck than anything else. As you may have heard, the Philippine Stock Market has been in upward trend and breached all time highs last year.  It looks like this will continue on this year, so this is something I am looking forward to in the coming year.


This is something I tried to get into last year.  The first deal my wife and I went into was a private lending deal on a 2-bedroom property.  My wife and I were very lucky that we partnered with a very trustworthy investor.   Our money earned quite a bit @ 1% per month for 4 months.  It’s actually a great deal compared to it sitting idly in the bank.  We would have preferred something that generated additional cashflow but getting the extra cash is nothing to complain about.  In the process, I also met a lot of great people doing real-estate investing and I hope to continue learning more on this area again next year.

Internet Marketing

Last year, I learned the intricacies of internet marketing through Jomar Hilario’s Online Mentoring Club.  This has been an eye opener for me precisely because it’s something I am comfortable with (at least the internet part).  I’ve been working in the IT industry for the last 8 years so I am comfortable with the technology side of this business. However, I practically had zero knowledge about the marketing part. 

Good thing I chanced upon Jomar Hilario’s 1 Year Online Mentoring Club.  It literally took my blog to the next level. This blog finally got an audience after applying what I learned from the mentoring club.  The great part is hearing your warm and kind appreciation to the articles.  It’s one of the reasons I decided to get back to blogging after 3 months of not posting a single article.  So, thank YOU for inspiring me to keep on blogging!

Be physically fit – weigh 80 kgs by Dec 2010.

I failed. Miserably.  I not only missed the weight goal.  I even went heavier. Ouch!  No, I won’t tell you how much I weigh now.  It’s too embarassing. 🙂

Worse, I again got sick at the end of the year.  Just when I am supposed to be enjoying my vacation.  Because my body has not been getting the rest, exercise and nutrition it needs, I suffered another attack of colds during the holidays. 

The sad thing is not being able to enjoy and celebrate with your loved ones because you are sick. 

Last month, my wife and I went to Bohol to celebrate our wedding anniversary.  Instead of enjoying the great outdoors with my wife, I was at the hotel  nursing my worsening colds most of the time.  I tried very hard to get out of bed and enjoy the Bohol tour and island hopping for my wife’s sake but it seemed it worsened my sickness even more.

A week after, I still have that nasty cold.  I know I should have gone to the doctor.  Instead, I went on a long 10-hour trip to my hometown in Ilocos.  There’s no time to rest.  I have to be home to celebrate Christmas with my parents and siblings. 

With only a few days to spare, I also had to be back again in Manila to celebrate New Year with my in-laws.  It felt like going to a mini-Amazing Race while nursing a stubborn cold that won’t go away.

My mom even kidded me that I was allergic to vacation, because as soon as I left work and went for vacation, I got that nasty cold.

This year, I feel like I really need to put some effort in protecting my overall fitness. The pressure from work won’t go away.  But I need to put in the time to exercise which I rarely did in 2010. I also need to watch out what I am eating. 

Most of the time, my wife and I are too tired to cook after getting off from work.  So we end up eating fast food.  Worse, we even call a delivery in the middle of the night. This added another extra pound into my already bulging stomach.  This has got to stop. There has to be a better way.

Rich Money Habits

Last year was really great for this blog. 
There were a lot of new things that happened. First and foremost, the year was a huge leap from total non-existence to the surge of the number of readers of this blog.  It felt really good being able to reach and help someone you’ve never met before in your life.  Some of you even expressed your appreciation by your kind comments to the articles in this blog.

The Rich Money Habits Newsletter was also born.  The 8-part Rich Money Habits article series is available fore FREE!  If you still haven’t received it, subscribe now

It was also the first time that I saw earnings from Google adsense.   This blog has also received affiliate income both from Bo Sanchez’  Truly Rich Club and Jomar Hilario’s workshops. It feels great to receive these blessings however small the amount.  It’s a great start.

The sad this is that I lost steam the last 3 months of the year.  I hardly written any new articles.  It was both a case of getting busy at my full-time work as well as losing motivation due to laziness.  It’s easier to just sit in front of the TV and watch your favorite show.

In a way, the past 3 months was a good thing.  It allowed me to reassess why I am doing what I am doing in this blog.  It gave me time to really focus on the things that really matter – helping you build better money habits. 


There were a lot more things that happened during the year but for now, I really just want to let you know that I am back.  And what better way to say that than writing my very first article of the year.

That’s it for now.  Next time I’ll tell you more about my goals for this coming year and what to expect here at Rich Money Habits.  Again, thank you for making year 2010 truly wonderful!


  1. Good to hear from you man! Would love to have you more active with the Yakezie Network on Yakezie.com. We just finished giving away $1,000 to 3 high school students for education. I think you’d be proud.

    Goodluck in 2011!

  2. Hi Allan,

    Nice to hear from you again! Anyway, here are a few things that I’d like to say to get you into writing…

    1. Bring a notepad – And just write your ideas even when you’re in the office! Or just write bullet points so you could get back to your idea later

    2. You have traffic – Your traffic is still among the best in topblogs of all the personal finance blog. I’m also still right behind you (and I’m working really, really, really hard!). I think you should make it a goal to set the level of traffic you want to achieve and make it stable.

    3. People like your content – People live reading your blog. It’s very honest and from your own experience. I believe that blogs such as yours are the best to read because it still has the personal touch in it.


  3. Hey Tim! Thanks a lot for your suggestions and encouragement. I have no doubt that your blog will soon get the traffic and attention it deserves.

    Good idea on the PDF article. I’ll definitely consider it. Thanks again!

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