My Journey to Financial Freedom: An Update

I’ve attended 2 company-sponsored seminars (Entrepreneur Startups last Aug 6 and Personal Finance 101 last Aug 8) that have greatly increased my financial literacy. The 2 speakers (Marvin Germo and Marjun Tugano) were brilliant and very good at what they were doing. I am so grateful that my current company takes so much care in its greatest asset, its people, that it sponsors these free talks and seminars, choosing only the best speakers they could get.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned from the 3-hour Entrepreneur Startups talk by Marvin Germo:

  • IT’S TIME! – Now is the right time to start. It is best to start a business when you’re young, and not when you’re almost or have already retired. Why? Because there’s greater room for mistakes when you’re young. I’ve read a lot of business books and most of the successful entrepreneurs, if not all, have always made a lot of mistakes and failed a lot of times before they were able to make it big in business.
  • Learn how to sell! – Of course, if you want to be successful in business, you must know how to sell. And this is one of the skills I must improve on.
  • Branding is important – It represents the “promise” of your business, a shortcut to your reputation, the “image” of your business
  • Things to look out for in a franchise company: Historical net earnings of the company, failure rate, franchise satisfaction, and years of company tenure
  • Create a system – The reason why McDo is the largest restaurant in the world is because of their efficient and effective system. So if you’re planning to put up your own company, you should also create a system where the processes are well defined, proven and tested to work.

Here are the things I’ve learned from the 2-hour talk given by Marjun Tugano on Personal Finance 101:

  • 6 ways to getting rich:
  1. Increase Cash Flow – by earning additional income and managing expenses
  2. Manage debt – consolidate and eliminate debt
  3. Create emergency fund – ideally, you should have a 3 months worth of monthly salary in your savings account for unexpected emergencies (sickness and if you suddenly lose your job)
  4. Ensure proper protection – through insurance
  5. Build long-term saving
  6. Preserve your estate

Marjun said that for our country to move forward, we have to stop the trend wherein parents live with their children and depend on them for survival when they retire. How? Of course our generation should start preparing for our retirement as early as now. We should not rely on pension because it really isn’t much. And as we age, although our responsibilities decrease, our medical expenses increase. Hence, our savings and investments must also increase through time.

Also, in Marjun’s talk, I learned that, two things could happen to us in life: either we die too soon or live too long. Haha. And either way, it is a problem – if we aren’t prepared. His advice: while still young, invest in life insurance so that if you die too soon, it won’t be a burden to the people you’ll leave behind, especially when you are the bread winner in your family. And as you age, you can divert some of your income to investments like stocks or having your own business.

He also told us that we should only choose to have good debts (when you get loans to start a business) and not bad debts (impulse buying of things you don’t really need using credit cards). Get out of debt NOW!

My Story:

In my post on what is my first step to financial freedom, I mentioned that I am happy to have my monthly savings. I think some of the people who read my blog got the wrong impression that I have sooo much money because some people suddenly want to borrow money from me! Haha. Well anyway, I was thinking of getting some of it to invest in stocks through Citiseconline last July but I ended up with spending almost all of my savings for IPL (Intense Pulse Laser) treatment. Slimmer’s World gave me such a nice deal that I wasn’t able to resist it. Anyway, back to the savings account. It was depleted because my brother’s tuition and medical expenses kept on getting higher.😦 Sometimes it got to my nerves but of course, I won’t stop sending my brother to school and helping him get his nursing degree especially now that he’s about to graduate in a few months.🙂

Marjun’s talk really made me happy because I felt that I really made a good decision in buying a life insurance from Sunlife at an early age of 22. Aside from that, I am also investing in “kabaong” or coffin by getting insurance from St. Peter. Haha. Sounds gross? Well, I just don’t want to be a burden to my family if I die too soon. And I want their lives to go on even when I’m already having Starbucks in heaven.😉

So even if I got a little disappointed with how my savings account got closed, I just cheered myself up because I could always start saving again and hopefully this August, by God’s grace, I could start buying stocks through Citiseconline. I am really excited to learn more about investing through stocks and hopefully I would be able to get all the education and training I need to succeed. =)

2 thoughts on “My Journey to Financial Freedom: An Update

  1. Congrats on taking those first few steps! =)

    In terms of personal finance books in the Philippine context, I liked Pera Mo, Palaguin Mo by Francisco Colayco. Might be worth checking out next time you’re near a bookstore.

    No matter how tempting the deals are, don’t let them distract you from your goals of saving. It might be a good idea to start building up your emergency fund. Give yourself a little room in your budget for the occasional splurge, but don’t touch your emergency fund savings unless it’s a real emergency. (A great sale at SM doesn’t count as an emergency, either.😉 ) This emergency fund will help you avoid wasting money on credit card interest or short-term loans.

    Good luck and have fun! =)

    • Hi Sacha!!!

      You always put a big smile on my face everytime you leave a comment. Thank you very much for taking the time. =) Yes, I actually read Colayco’s book about 4 or 5 years ago and I browsed through another one of his books at National Bookstore that costs only 100 pesos. I was about to buy it when I saw this other book that I bought just yesterday, entitled “You can be Rich” by David King, distributed by WorldLink Books. It’s really good and it is also made with the Filipino reader in mind. It sited a number of successful Filipino and foreign entrepreneurs too. I’m actually thinking of giving copies of it as a gift for Christmas. =)

      Yeah, you’re right about the distracting and tempting deals. I have to steer away from those when I go to malls during weekends to do my grocery.😀 I’m also thinking of looking for extra income so I can build up my emergency fund. Right now it is so hard for me because of the high cost of my brother’s tuition and other family needs.

      Thanks again Sacha for the inspiration, and belated Happy Birthday to you! =)

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