What is my first step to financial freedom?

I have been trying to update my blog for a very long time but I was never able to because
a. I didn’t have enough time (duh?)
b. bad weather (equals poor Internet connection)
c. unprepared
d. afraid of divulging confidential information

I perform my job better and I get a better sense of my existence when I am able to write and share about my learning experiences. Right now, I want to share about my biggest first step to financial freedom: drawing up and sticking to my monthly budget.

Before I accepted my current job, I created an initial monthly budget for the company’s offer. Of course, I had to know if I would be able to afford the high cost of living in Metro Manila. It was hard for me to come up with the budget because I have never lived in the metro. The longest time that I’ve spent in the place is about 3 days and I stayed with relatives (free food and lodging). The only thing I know is that the cost of living in the area was way higher than in the cities I’ve ever lived/stayed in (Bislig, Davao, Iligan, General Santos, and Cebu). So I made up assumptions and used percentages to see how my pie would look like.

It turned out that it was a pretty smart idea that I came up with this initial budget because it helped me spend my first salary wisely. When I got my first salary, I:
a. took care of my debts to (Mama – advance payment to my place, and delayed payments to my insurances)
b. bought necessary things to get to work (shoes, dresses, blazer, slacks, kitchen utensils)
c. documented and experimented with my expenses
d. deposited my savings to my chosen bank
e. sent money for my family

It took me a month to come up with a final working budget. It needed frequent tweaking because:
1. it turned out that I would be paying more than I expected for my rent, electricity, and water bills.
2. my family’s needs increased (tuition, health care)
3. got relocated from one company site to another and that meant adjusting my fare expenses

So my pie looks like this now:

It really takes a lot of self-discipline to stick to the budget, especially when I see massage parlors and salons. You see, I am not easily tempted with products (clothes, shoes, bags, gadgets…) but I am addicted to services. I love getting pedicures, manicures, massage, skin/hair care, and dental treatments. Sometimes I feel guilty when I buy these services but well.. you gotta splurge sometimes, right? I like how I am dealing with my finances. It’s far from perfect but it’s a good thing that I have this guide and I’m glad that it works for me (and my future)! =)


Author: Mylene

Disclaimer: My postings reflect my own views and do not necessarily represent the views of my employer, Accenture. I'm proud to be Filipina and a Bisaya. I am dedicated, motivated, and results-driven. I am an Aries. Bullheaded. Stubborn. I am a leader. I am a software engineer. I am a child of God. I am living and loving life! :) Leave a comment and subscribe!

3 thoughts on “What is my first step to financial freedom?”

  1. Good to see you’ve got a healthy savings allocation. =) Packing your own lunch helps save a lot of money. Cooking is a bit of a hassle if you’re alone because it seems like a lot of work, but you can save time and money by making larger portions. Keep some in the fridge, some in the freezer. Good luck and have fun!

    1. Yup, I cook and pack my own lunch every day and it does saves me a lot of money. It also helps me stay fit cause I don’t cook very well yet. LOL. But I am learning everyday… 😀

      I’ve been attending cooking sessions but I guess I just need some more practice until I get the hang (and right taste) of it! I’m also reading your posts related to cooking! 🙂
      Thanks Sacha!

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