My winding and challenging road toward financial freedom makes me feel like I'm crawling in a pit of Tar. Sometimes I console myself saying that, I have a lot of years to go but at the same time after a couple of years working, I scoff at myself for having built so little.
They say it's baby steps and I may just be impatient. I have a little now that I am able top put away but it's so little that more often than not I feel broke.
So where am I now?
Work and salary
I love my work. I come early everyday because I love sitting at my desk, turning on my desktop computer, hauling out my work laptop to turn it on too, and then logging in to check my emails and tasks for the day. I look forward to my boss arriving and my co-workers (including my boyfriend haha!) settling at their stations.
My pay is good. It's not extraordinary but our department pays highest compared to some other departments. I like my company too because they give out monthly incentives almost on time, perfect attendance bonus which I enjoy getting every month, and performance-based quarterly incentives that I get almost everytime. I recently passed an exam that could very much help with my promotion, it was very technical, mostly about my stock knowledge about networking, wireless devices, connectivity technology and such. I passed that so I am hoping that I get the promotion someday, it will certainly boost my take home pay!
For a girl, your partner makes or break the progress you are making in life. Either you shoulder them like a burden, give you stresses, or they make you into someone better and boost your dreams. I think its important to find the guy that matches youin every way and that your dreams and his dreams should not echo, but complement each other. I taught him how to budget and it's his first time to actually have a chunk of saved money put away safely in a bank. I love that we're both frugal and we make do with what we have.
After a year of dating, we are happy, everyday we talk constantly, laugh and plan a lot of plans. Like a lot. He's the one I can talk to about anything because he is the smartest guy I know.
Me and My Family
I stress over a lot of things when it comes to my family. I'm living with my sister's 4 children while she's working abroad. In our household, my other sister also lives with her small baby. My first sister worries me because even though she has worked outside the country, she has virtually no savings in the bank. Everything she worked for just goes to the household, from food to clothing, utilities to tuition which take up a huge chunk of her pay. I only pay for the water bill in return and oversee the studies of my nieces and nephews. I am mainly worried about what the future will hold for her who has that many kids and no savings. The same thing with my other sister who has no job and no income, relying on the small allowance our elder sister gives her. I worry about the little baby's milk and food, clothing and doctor's checkup.
Aside from that, my mom and dad are reaching the age where they feel aches and joint pain as well as all those disorders that plague the elders. My mom continues her sari-sari but no one is there for her when her leg and hips start aching so bad, it's only my dad who's 76 years old now and he can only do so much. I want them to rest and not have a worry but I can't provide that for them. I try to give them money but it's only really very little. I can't buy my mom her medicine since its just so expensive, so I give them food supplements to help strengthen their bodies at least. I feel like crying everytime I think of how little I can help.
I've finished building about half of my emergency fund which is a significant amount for me. I divided it into one liquid ATM account ("Cushion Fund") and two Time Deposit Certificates ("Emergency Fund" and "Safety Fund") at PBCom and Metrobank, the latter has just matured this month and I'm thinking of getting a higher interest TD for it at another bank. I am sticking with TDs now because I am ultra conservative and I want my money semi-liquid.
I plan also to pay off my college debts of about 12k next year.
Next year I will be all about investing. A bit of savings and a huge load of business investing. Mike and I are planning to start a business. No details for a while since we have a vague idea of what we are going to do. We're planning to involve his brother in this who has become my very good friend too. We're planning to reach 25k each by March 2012.
That's about the long roundup...
I really hope 2012 will become a better year. I love 2011 for everything that it brought. I need 2012 to work like a charm. I will work so much harder.