I strongly believe handling personal finances should have been taught as early as grade school.
Until recently, I believed it was impossible for me to save because:
- I have a limited salary.
- I am taking (and thus spending for) my masters.
- I have debts to pay (which I incurred also to help my family).
- The funds are simply not enough.
But I have long learned (though did not practice) the equation that, in order for you to save, should be:
INCOME – SAVINGS = EXPENSES
I did not believe this was possible until I simply began setting aside a small amount per month. This amount continues to grow.
I also used to believe that I can’t invest. There simply isn’t any money left to invest. But my friend lent me books, and as I continued reading (even articles online), I began to realize, maybe there’s a way for me to do this.
Late last year, I found a way to raise funds to begin investing in stocks. Yes, it’s a risk, but I was also relying on recommendations of my friend who is a member of the Truly Rich Club. Would I recommend this to everyone? I don’t know. Have I earned significantly? Not yet. But whenever I would look back and recall how only last year I started from nothing and thought I could not do this, I realize, I have made some progress. Here I am now, reading about stocks and other investment options, learning more and more, taking risks. Then I realized, even if it was hard given the tight budget, I was able to set aside a small amount each month just for this.
I have also begun tracking all my expenses. It was depressing most of the time, but it helped me realize where I had been very irrational in terms of budget projections, and also where I am spending unnecessarily.
I continue to work on growing my knowledge about investment and managing personal finance. More importantly, I am beginning to address my own poverty mindset. I only recently realized that despite my high educational background and my skills, deep within, I could not comprehend getting paid a lot for what I can do. I thought this was all I could have. I was also scared of trying something new. I turned down opportunities. I also did not pursue others which may open new doors for me. Because I was scared I’m not good enough. And because I could not believe I deserved a prosperous life, and have the capacity to get there, I keep sabotaging my own success.
So now, as I learn to say “Yes!” to life, I also say “Yes!” to financial freedom. And I know it is going to be one of the most exciting and fulfilling adventures of my life.
And to those of you who are also starting from a place of negative balance sheets but have the desire to finally make a change, I’d like to share with you some books/articles/sites that helped me and continue to help me in my own journey.
- Wealth Within Your Reach: Pera Mo, Palaguin Mo by Francisco Colayco – This book is a step-by-step guide to wealth building. I love how concepts were explained in layman’s terms. This is only one of several books written by the author. He also has a blog. Go check it out.
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
- How to Turn Your Passion into Profit by Bo Sanchez and Dean Pax Lapid
- If you wish to learn more about investing in stocks, you may check out COL Financial’s site. You can attend one of their free seminars too.
- The Simply Luxurious Life. One big reason why I love this blog is because of the author’s several articles about keeping a certain standard of living without ruining your budget. You can be fashionable and enjoy life’s perks WHILE being smart about your money. Here’s one article I loved, Why Not … Build a Capsule Wardrobe on a Budget?
Happy reading! And may you begin applying the things you learn … starting today. 🙂