Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Money Matters

I was watching this show called "Big Spender" over the weekend. It just so happened I bumped into while flipping through the channels. The show is all about this financial guru who'd help people to overcome their money blunders. That particular episode featured a young couple who are earning around $20k a month but still have a lot of debt, no savings, cannot pay credit cards. Pretty much, everything's a wreck!

It's interesting how the focus of the issue was more about the girl. She spends around $800/month just for personal care (going to the parlor, doing her hair etc). I can't remember exactly if this includes clothes as well. She wears designer clothes with price tags of $200+ to infinity. Whoah! They also pay around $200+ a month for bank charges and overdraft fees because of excessive withdrawals, etc. Talk about crazy people.

They were even on a brink of a painful divorce just because the couple can't settle their money issues. Sad huh? You'd come to realize how finances can affect couples' relationships.

I've learned a lot that day. The "guru" analyzed their spending patterns and had created an action plan for them so they could have a better control of their money. Below are some of the items I took note of:

1) It's not how much money you earn, it's how you spend it.
2) Instead of using plastic everyday, settle with cash.
3) Prioritize paying all credit cards.
4) List down every penny being spent every single day.
5) Allot $1000 automatic savings that would go to their savings account.

I am proud of my husband because he has a pretty good grip on our spending. He's the one who reminds me whenever I fall astray at times. I'm not as bad (nor even close) as how the girl from show handles money, but I know that I am an impulsive shopper. I could last without shopping for clothes & shoes for months and months. But if I do, I'd spend really big. Ha, baaaad, I know, but I'm learning.

All of the items I've listed above are almost the same principle my husband teaches me. All bills are taken cared of automatically as soon as we get our paychecks, we had an automatic setup to pay certain bills, mortgage, and of course savings most importantly.

I read lots of "If-you-wanna-be-a-millionaire" books. They all pretty much have similar principles. They said we'd be suprised to learn how the millionaires next door live their lives. Most often, they DON'T own brand new cars, DONT live in castles, DONT wear rolex watches, etc etc. They're just the plain Joe's and Janes. I really really like that. Low profile millionaires. Hmmm, sounds cool!!

We know someone who when you first meet him, you would think he's a small time farmer or something. He wears jeans, eats breakfast at McDonalds with other "older" people, lives in a very humble house. He lives in Hawaii and he's been retired for more than 10 yrs. Yeah, in Hawaii, for 10 yrs. Who the heck could afford to retire in Hawaii??? Everything else is expensive out there! All his houses paid off, no outrageous bills, no-nonsense!

Funny thing is everytime we go there to visit him, sweeps and I would actually come back home and be few bucks richer. Just because he knows we're just starting out our lives together so he always gives us money. Yeah, this exact same guy who wears old jeans and white shirt and slippers who you'd think couldn't even afford to buy some decent clothes for himself. Sooo ironic because everytime I go back to the Phils, people who wear nothing less than Lacoste shirts, with super nice high-techy cell phones, super flashy cars... are the same people who ask for money & complain for the lack of it... hmmm... something's not right.

Sweeps & I wanted to be where this guy's at, financially. Most of our friends make fun of us because we both drive some crappy cars. All of our vehicles are waay more than 14 yrs old. We also made sure we get the cheapest house we can afford in a very nice neighborhood. We only spend on things we know would matter to us down the road. That means no Hummer for me (yeah, my dream truck), no fancy furniture (thank God for Ikea), no designer clothes & shoes. I'm guessing we're on the right track.

I'm glad both sweeps and I are on the same page of living a very very simple life. We both wanted to keep it that way until we both retire in about say... 5 yrs time? I'm just kidding!!! Ha! If there's anything worth spending on at this point, it's definitely travelling around the world, meeting people & understanding their culture.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

It's Been A Loooooooong Week

I think I'm getting older each waking day. It seems that days are getting longer each day with too many things going on - at work and at home. Dang.

I know I'm getting old for my job having to stay in the test floor for hours and hours just to debug the freakin chip and make sure our so called customers wouldn't have issues when they boot up. I can't stand the noise inside the test floor anymore, I dont think I can last without listening to my yanked up mp3 collections while I'm there. Plus, it's super cold in there.

And those QRE's, maan, they always make the lives of PDE's difficult. I'm not sure if they're just being lazy with their work or what. There's this one lady I work with, I think she's the most stupid QRE I've ever interfaced with. She's so clueless. Poor Intel, they should be looking for smarter people to join them. I always thought everyone who works at Intel are smart. Yes, a lot of them are. But you can bump into a few who dont even know what they're doing.

Oh well, so much about work.

I maybe feeling all cranky because I've been waiting for my period for past week. I've been super delayed. For a moment I thought I was pregnant. NOOOOOOHH!! We have so many things going on with our lives that having a baby at this point is just not gonna work. This stressed me out big time. I think I'm scared mostly bec my mom's not here with me. I wouldn't know what to do. I feel happy for those who've been wanting to have kids right after their wedding. For me, it's more of like the thought of going through the morning sickness and having to deal with the changes in your body freaks me out. I hope there's an option for guys to get pregnant, not just us girls. Afterall, it's the couples baby, why is it that only girls had to deal with the pain and the physical adjustment. So not fair.

Good thing I got it this morning... so I still have a reason to be a bit grumpy for the next couple of days :o) For the nth time I'm going to say this... "oh well" (with shrugging shoulders, ha!)

I scheduled an appointment to the salon yesterday so I can finally cut my hair super short. I've been wanting Chloe's hair (Chloe Sullivan of Smallville, see picture on the left) but didnt have the courage to get it done for myself, not until after the wedding. Now, I know I gotta try a new look and was ready to go... when in the middle of the street, my old car died on me. Son of a gun. Good thing there's these 2 guys who were kind enough to help me and they pushed my car close to the gas station. I had this car since 2003. It's a 1993 Subaru Legacy. Kinda old but for $2400, it's not bad. Never had problems with it until now.

There's starbucks nearby so I had to walk there and left my car next to the gas station. That time, sweeps was invited by his school teacher to be one of the judges of this highschool contest on building car engines and some PINK-like racing thingie. Thank goodness he had access to his cellphone. He picked me up from starbucks and we had to get all the stuff needed to tow my car. The engine just didnt want to start. We towed my car with his truck. I didnt realize that maneuvering the thing is difficult since the automatic steering wheel doesnt work when the engine's not up. Now I'm sore all over my arms. Ha, now I know what I need to work on the next time I go the gym.

So, what that meant is that I had to cancel my salon appointment and had it rescheduled for next week. I'm not sure how long it takes to get my car fixed. I think we should go ahead and get a 3rd vehicle just so we have a spare in case things like this happen. Oh well.

I feel bad for Skye, no car for me means no dog park for her as well. Last time I took her to the dog park, it's jammed with more than 50+ dogs running leash-free! I get to play with this huge st bernard poodle mix. Skye met new friends :o) I can still walk her to the park close to our place, but since it's not a dog park, she had to be leashed, so not too fun for both of us.

Enough of the rants. I have the whole day to get my Final Cut Pro tutorial done today. Now I'm getting all excited again :o)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

whatchiMACallit???

I'm sure a lot of the romantics in the world celebrate this year's V-day with the usual ho-hum candle-lit dinner, ladies receiving flowers and loveydovey gifts. Good for them.

I'm not too much of a fan of V-day. For me, it's one of those over-commercialized days where most of the guys are kinda expected to do something for the love of their lives. Sooo, cliche already these days. I actually requested my husband not to send me flowers or whatever. Don't get me wrong, I still like the idea of receiving flowers but I'm ok not having them on V-day. I even prefer to just stay at home and be cozy with my husband and our dog in front of the TV. Or if we're going out, we're eating where most non-romantics would go... like some fast food or something. It's enough for me.

HOWEVER, I got the shock of my life on the very same day I assume most girls were elated with the romantic gifts they've got from significant other - like jewelries, spa or massage GC, candle-lit dinner on high end restaurants... and list would go on and on and on...

My hubby got me something I've been wanting sooo badly and saving up for. Sweet! I know he did a lot of thinking to get this knowing how he's super smart on our finances, this is something that I know took a lot of effort for him to get. But he got it for me anyways :o) Hmmm... can't seem to find the exact word... I have it at the tip of my tongue... ahmm... hmmm.. errrr... whatchiMACallit again??? I guess the pictures below would say it all :o)

Thanks sooo much sweeps!! You're the best!!!! I ruv roo!! Mwah!!!

PS:

Just now, the doorbell rang and guess who's there? The Fedex guy! With a boxed package for me and guess what's in it? My Final Cut Studio (Academic version so it's half the price as the upgradeable one, cool beans!) Woooohoooo!!!! I'm waiting for sweeps to come back from his apprenticeship at Toyota.. I haven't opened it yet. It would be more fun for both of us to open the box together... heeee :o)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

"Do you love me????"

I'm not sure what's up with most of us girls how come we usually end up asking our guys this same question over and over again even if we already know what they're going to say. I know there's a lot of guys who are going nuts and irritated whenever they're asked by their girlfriends or wives this question, they totally flip out (my own brother, for one).

Guys, don't be too mean, ok? For some reason, we girls just wanted to hear them even if we know you do love us. Actions are not just enough. You just gotta say and tell your ladies that you do love them from time to time. Maybe not all girls like the idea, but I can guarantee MOST girls would appreciate it.

Before Sam & Molly got mugged and Sam ended up getting murdered (Patrick Swayze & Demi Moore on the movie Ghost), Sam never said that he loved Molly. Molly would initiate to say the "L" word but Sam would end up saying "ditto". That ends up Molly doubting if Sam really do love her. It's really sad that Sam died without even saying "I love you, Molly". It took Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg) to say it in behalf of Sam. How pathetic is that? So, get the picture guys, don't wait before it's too late. Girls just got to hear it. That's just how we are.

I'm not writing this because the "V-day" is just around the corner. It's just that lately I notice I seldom appreciate how my hubby tells me how he loves me. Yes, he say it every single day and he never gets tired of me asking if he loves me or not. He'd always kiss me on my forehead and tell me, "Of course, I love you."

More than just words, he also shows how much he cares by doing small things I never asked him to do for me. One time I came back home from work, he was super eager to show me that he fixed the middle shelf in our kitchen cabinet because he noticed that I am always having a hard time reaching the cups & glasses since the shelf is too high for me (yeah, I'm vertically challenged at 5'2'', heee!). Awww... sweet talga, I didnt even have to ask.. he just know what needs to be done and did it.

For the past 3 weeks now, he was busy fixing things around the house whenever he get to use some free time of his after work & school. Just recently, he built me a customized shoe cabinet in the garage. We got the kit from Ikea, but it's not a straightforward thing since he had to drill things and nail up some stuff then assemble the 3-level shoe rack. It's almost 9ft high or maybe more than that. He noticed that I dont get to wear my other shoes anymore just because I didnt have any space to put the rest of them. I left them unpacked when we moved to our house last year. He thought that a shoe cabinet would be good so I have easy access to my shoes. Sweet noh? I didnt even get to think about that, but he did it for me anyways.

He also changed the lighting fixture in our kitchen and dining area. He had all these power tools he used, which of course I didnt have a single clue how they work, to get them done. Sooo macho! Hahah! We got them from Ikea as well and it didnt take him long to get them all installed by himself. He also managed to setup the curtain rod for the curtains we got. We've been wanting to put some sort of a divider to separate the bathroom dresser & closet from our main bedroom :o) All of these were done in just 3 weeks time!



For those guys who get to read my blog, I wanted to share my 2 cents... it doesnt take your whole savings to be emptied out to make a girl happy. You dont even have to buy her anything. Just do small things here and there that you put effort on and I'm sure your girls are going to go loco over you. That's how we usually fall in love - when we see effort on your part. Ha, I'm not being feminist, ok :o)

My guy friends would often tell me that John would always keep the bar set a notch higher for them. Heee, they said their girlfriends would be expecting from them something like close to what John does. Ha, oh well... it's funny.

Now, with all these, you'd probably think why I still need to ask my husband if he really loves me. Of course I still will and keep on asking. It's a girl thing... we just need to hear it - period! No buts, no ifs :o)

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Video Editing - My Latest Addiction

My goodness, for the last several months I've been finding myself reading a lot of videography magazines, websites, blogs... I can't believe I've finally found something that excites me once again and triggers the creative part of me. I know that this is something I can do for the rest of my life... video editing...

I've received tons of magazines in our mail lately, from Video Symphony, WEVA, Home Video Studios. I used to just read out Kiplingers, Money & Self magazines. Now I have videography magazines all over... wow, what a change!

I dont have the advanced editing tools yet, gosh, I can't wait for my iMac! Of course, I'd prefer Intelmacs... I'm still saving up for it as well as the FCP that I've been thinking of using as a newbie in this field. I thought of getting the Mac Pro, or Macbook Pro, but, I think I'd do ok with the 24" iMac since I'm just starting out.

My interest for video editing triggered when I was planning our wedding. Choosing the right videographer exposed me to a lot of video styles of the existing videographers in the Phils. Trust me, I think I visited every videographer's website and I've only seen a few who I went gaga over with when it comes to their style. Whoah!

Now, I can't believe that I would find this budding interest on it through the course of planning our wedding... hahah! I know I still have tons of things to learn before I can finally get to where I wanted to be... but slowly I'm getting there, one baby step at a time.

I'm sooo thankful for Jason Magbanua, the videography legend back in PI who have made every Pinoy videographer super proud. He established this online forum Pinoy Videomaker wherein Filipino videographers could talk about almost everything. It's super neat I get to learn a lot of cool tips and techniques. Very informative. I joined just recently and it was truly a treasure chest of information.

I saw a lot of familiar videographers from that forum where in one way or another, I was able to get a hold of when I was looking for someone to cover our wedding. Ha. Now I know why I've been super picky when it comes to the "right" videographer for our wedding, heee. Buddy Gancenia's there, Bong of Threelogy, Ryan of Mango Red, Dominic of Imacron. I even found our photographer there, Fol Rana. He's pursuing a video career as well on top of his passion for photography. Heee, soooo cool!!

I'm really overwhelmed with excitement. I can't wait to become one of the pro's, yey!!!!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

On Retaliating

I never realized until last week that part of being married means I just can't easily RETALIATE as I used to everytime things dont go my way. Ouch.

One morning, sweeps called me up as soon as he got to school to inform me that he got there safely. When he said the "L" word, for some reason, it didnt sound to me like he meant it. That moment it felt that he just said it without meaning it, kinda like a routinary "I love you" thing. With my sweetest voice on the other end of the phone, I asked him if he can repeat it... with "feelings". I know... girls girls girls...

I was caught off guard with his response actually... I was not expecting his "I AM GOING TO CLASS NOW!" - I got the shock of my life. It maybe too trivial for other couples but to me it's something I didnt expect from him. It's so uncalled for. Usually, he'd appreciate me being a bit loveydovey. Man, I was just trying to be sweet and what did I get? Na-ah. I can't allow this to happen. He cannot treat me like that just because I'm his wife now... nope nope nope!

Next thing I remembered I was packing my gym bag so I can go straight to the gym after work. I wouldn't want to come back home until maybe super late that he's super worried on my whereabouts. I flipped over each and every picture frame we had on display, I didnt wear my rings and left them on the counter (purposedly so he would see them when we comes back home) and I turned off my cellphone the whole day so he wouldnt get a hold of me. HAH! I know this would clearly tell him that I'm fuming mad at him.

It was pretty late already when I finished work. Or maybe I was just trying to drag my work longer because I know I didnt want to get back home. It was easier back then when we were just bf/gf. All I need to do is not answer the phone, stay inside my apartment and not let him in. This time, I can't even run away... I dont know where to stay. All my close friends are from other states... dang...

After gym, I found myself in Barnes & Noble. I buried myself with business & videography books. I indulge myself with coffee & chocolate cake while I finished scanning through the books I took from the shelves. I was enjoying it, actually. I didnt even notice I've been sitting there for like 3 hrs already. It's almost 10pm and I know I gotta go back home. I just have to face this as I know he's going to be there waiting for me.

As soon as I came back I saw him lying on the couch. I just ignored him and went straight to our bedroom. I went to the bathroom getting ready to bed. I can't wait to read the Money & Videography mags I got. When I came out of the bathroom, he's there on the bed. What the??!! I wanted to push him away so he'd fall from the bed... really!!

Then he started talking... he told me that he knew as soon as he got off from the phone that he was stupid to say that. He said he was sorry and that he's an idiot and that he screwed up. At the back of my mind I know that that's all I wanted to hear from him. That he's sorry and that he knew he went way beyond my limits.... we had a long talk that night. I'm glad we were able to sort things out.

Goodness, being married is definitely bringing your relationship into a level wherein both of you had to meet in the middle. I guess I matured in a way too. I would have handled things differently if we were just bf/gf. Retaliation is not an option if you're married. Compromise is the way to go. It's dang hard, but hey, who says married life means that you're always lying down on bed of roses?
 

Desenvolvido por EMPORIUM DIGITAL