FINANCE

MY OBSESSION WITH FINANCE

Aka money. When I was growing up, money was tight. While my parents were both employed, the combined salary were not enough for their six children. I did not have the latest or newest shoes and school paraphernalia at every start of the school year unlike my classmates, so just like a typical teenager, I felt jealous and wish I have what they have.

Fast forward when I had my first job, the salary was good but it was toxic. I dreaded going to work and got burnout right away. I decided to quit and I realised that job market sucks here in the Philippines. I could not find any job at all for a long time and my savings depleted. I then again relied on my parents to send me allowance while I look for work. I felt really defeated and depressed. I finally got a job but in the same industry (Call Center/BPO)I was before since I did not much of a choice. It was not that long that I fell under the same circumstance of burnout and quit my job.

I was already 24 when I made a decision to go to Law School. I told my parents about my plan and they agreed to support me on my studies both financially and morally. They were really my cheerleader.

For the first three years in law school (out of a 4-year course), I was a full-time student. I went to a school with lesser tuition fee than others inorder not to overburden my parents. I decided to be frugal and instead of buying books, I borrowed them. Photocopied (don’t hate me) the materials I needed to read and studied really hard. I had the impression that becoming a lawyer would lead me to a better job opportunity. On my last year, I decided to work while I studying and while it was hard, it helped me financially. Since I was taking the bar examination, I decided to focus on review and used the savings I had when I was working (I quit that admin job to review).

It was during this time that I realised the importance of having savings. I promised myself to be more conscious with my spending once I became a lawyer and have higher income. I don’t want to go broke especially as I grow older.

I eventually became a lawyer and immediately found a job with better salary. I started budgeting and setting aside money for savings and investments. I tried not to spend money on things I do not believe to be essential. Spending becomes personal and not because of the FOMO effect. Although I admit that I gave up from time to time to spend on some wants but it was not as often as my fellow colleague. I stopped comparing myself to others and settled on a practical phone that the latest. In fact, just over a year ago when I bit the bullet and took a phone plan and this time I chose the latest phone because I can now afford it and I’m still using that phone until now.

After over 8 years since I became a lawyer and three different jobs thereafter, I am at a point that my income is now comfortable vis-a vis the lifestyle I chose. I chose to live simply, frugally and is in the process of really trying (emphasis on trying) to be a minimalist. I got addicted to reading financial blogs (inspiration to start mine) and stories about financial independence, FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early)movement, the zero-waste movement, the tiny house movement, van life, minimalism and other similar lifestyles which aims to save money and have that freedom to whatever they want.

At this point, my 8-5 job for almost 5 years begins to feel dragging and uneventful. I believe I am at the crossroads if I will stay and leave to go freelancing or private practice. The lure of stability is what keeping me from jumping into freelance since a bulk of my income comes from my salary. However, while there is stability in having this job, that income never goes up unless I applied for a higher position, which is not an option at this point.

I am hoping I get to have an answer soon and I hope you my readers would join and interact with me.