Friday, January 4, 2013

Why piso matters?

I currently have accounts in stocks and various mutual funds. And last January 2, the first banking day of 2013, I just started a Unit Investment Trust Fund (UITF) account with BPI.

That opening statements may send an impression that I have big funds. No. What I am doing is just preparing an allocation for certain goals. As of now, there are no specific goal for each fund.

Just one general goal: capital growth.

This quest for capital growth started in the first quarter of 2010 when I opened a mutual fund account with PhilEquity Fund, Inc.

But my interest in personal finance (I didn't know then that it was called as such) started when I was in second year college.

I applied and was accepted for a part-time job at one of the libraries in UP Diliman. It was my first experience in earning money from my own sweat (literal sweat as we had to move books from shelf to shelf).

It was also the start of my own "budgeting" exercise on my limited P2,000-monthly allowance and my P2,500-monthly income from that part-time stint.

I jotted down every cash inflow and outflow in a tiny notebook that looked like this:

(image after the jump.)

This is my notebook from 2009 or 2010 and not the original one from my college. (Pardon for the orientation of the picture. Newbie blogger/photo uploader here. I already rotated this in my hard drive, but was still uploaded like this.)
It was after then that I realized that I was spending a lot on buying cellphone load and internet cards (dial-up pa po kami noon.). It ranged from P700 to P1,500 a month -- a big portion of my monthly income of about P4,500.

I still had to prioritize my expenses for my studies. Yes, why? Because during my time in UP, many professors asked their students to buy literal photocopies of the lecture, module, textbook, reviewer, etc from their suking xerox lady. I don't know if this has changed since.

This and the fact that I needed to allocate budget for food and ikot/toki jeep fares as I was spending all day inside campus because of my studies-work-extracurricular activities.

I was also saving up for a pair of rubber shoes and the "entrance fee" for the last PE class I was aiming for -- sport-climbing a.k.a. rock climbing.

I even listed down in my notebook those 25-centavo and 1-peso coins I picked up from the road, buses or just anywhere else.

At the end of every week, I compute all the inflows and outflows of money so I could start the new week knowing how much money I have. I then count my money to double check my figures. Accounting was easy since all my cash were on-hand except for my payroll account in PNB.

I also compute at the end of every month.

At the end of one semester, I withdrew all of what was left in my payroll account -- exactly P10,000. I was very happy! It was my first P10,000 earned through my effort and diligent budgeting.

By then, I learned that every piso matters.

P.S.: I have to thank an old-time friend whose father keeps a very detailed expense journal. It was from him where I got the idea of listing down every expense.

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