Saturday, March 12

On Saving

The people closest to me can attest that I am the worst when it comes to money matters. I've always believed that Confessions of a Shopaholic (if you haven't read or seen it well, boo you!) is the story of my life.
Source: Giphy
My wake-up call came during the last quarter of 2015. I decided to leave my job just when Luigi and I started living on our own. His salary (first job--yknow how they pay pfft) and the little savings we had were barely enough to pay the bills and sustain the lifestyle I was (we were) accustomed to. Every day became a struggle as adjustments had to be made. So when 2016 came in, I made a promise to save more. I don't want to go through something like the last 4 months of 2015 again no! (please lang never never again).
Source: Giphy
I'd like to think that because of that I've somehow improved managing my finances/expenses. Here are some of the things that I (you too can) TRY to live and breathe day-to-day to ensure that I don't go head over heels in debt.

  • Crush the 'One-Day-Millionaire' Habit. We all feel like winners when we get good sales (business owners), given allowance (students), or during payday for those employed (well except for the fact na ang laki ng tax OVERRGRR!). That exciting feeling of having so much money! (woo party party!) And this is where it all begins. Embarrassing as it may be, I honestly don't have the savings as most people my age would have. For most of my life, my mentality has been to spend, spend, spend and whatever was left would go to my savings (which generally laging wala HAHA HUHU feck). Now, I make it a point to put aside a percentage of our (mine and Luigi's) salaries first; at least 10% in our joint account and 5% kept somewhere else (secret stash lol). I also do budgeting monthly, keeping in mind our priorities.
    Source: Tumblr
  • Buy coupons/vouchers but be sensible. I'm a self-confessed sucker when it comes to these things. Hello, who wouldn't want discounts diba? However, make it a point to ask yourself a thousand times if it's something you really need/or can use (lesson learned, ang dami kong nasayang okay). Keep track of them too! Don't be like me who more often than not forgets that I have several vouchers and only remembers them just when they've already expired (signs of aging, memory loss lang lol). Coupons/vouchers are great but being irresponsible could cost you more in the end
Source: Giphy
  • Constantly remind yourself that credit cards are not free money. Reality is, they're not magical *sad face*. To this date, I'm still paying for my credit cards (total balance is more than half of what I'm earning in a month yikes). Yeah sure those *insert all those fees I don't even know what* seem small and irrelevant at first, but trust me they will haunt you (huhu). Use your card/s for emergency situations only; control your self from round-the-clock swiping (note to self forever lol) and remember to pay your credit card bills on time! (again, note to self haha). 
    Source: Google
  • Avoid emotional spending. Everybody gets stress; family issues, bad day at work, annoying people, etc. I stay away from malls (specially during sale season, ang hirap I swear) when I'm feeling emotional since it makes me a wild-shopper. Think of other ways to boost your mood instead. What I do is either eat (but within budget), read books, watch my favorite shows, or (I soon will) exercise (lol). Remember that stress is never an excuse to max out your credit card (or your savings).
Source: Googl
  • Spoil yourself once in a while. Luigi and I enjoy trying out new restaurants/cuisines; eating like there's no tomorrow (hello obvious ba sa taba namin?). These days, we make it a point to just eat out and splurge whenever we have money to spare (infairness sa weight gain namin di halatang nagtitipid kami HAHAHA ano ba). Same way with clothes, shoes, etc. I told Luigi that we should indulge ourselves at least once a month and buy something we want. It's important not to deprive yourself too much 'cause chances are if you've fancied things for so long, you'll have the tendency to go overboard and spend like a lunatic later on.
    Source: Giphy
  • Small things matter. Living in a condo can be expensive. Our building has a mini store with goodies for twice the price. I almost never buy anything there and would opt to go to the supermarket since it's less than a kilometer away (thank you Waze for this info haha)As much as possible, I walk going to the grocery instead of taking a pedicab or tricycle that costs around Php 30-40 per way (nakatipid na exercise pa haha). When grocery shopping, I normally bring with me a list of what I need to prevent myself from buying unnecessary thingsI also try to look for reasonable alternatives to some items. For instance, gone are those times when I would automatically grab Frito-Lay chips for snacks. Nowadays, I check for local brands first (that tastes almost the same) since they are waaaay cheaper (this of course is easier said than done since my cravings can INSANELY be particular). Believe me, these littlest of savings when piled up can make a difference.
Source: Giphy
Truth be told, I think I'm at the point where I'm just starting to get hold of my life (late bloomer ang peg? lol). I don't even have any investments yet (hopefully soon). Saving money is a choice (and a difficult one at that). Just always keep your head in the game and think of the (bright, bright) future.
Source: Giphy

Thursday, March 10

BUCKET LIST: 100 THINGS TO DO IN THE PHILIPPINES

Saw this on my (Facebook) feed a couple of times now, so yeah let's try it. Hopefully, I'll be able to cross out at least 75 before my final breath (dramaaaa lol matagal pa naman yun.. SANA).
Source: Google
Source: Travelbook

As of 041216: 22/100
  1. Visit Minalungao National Park in Gen. Tinio, Nueva Ecija and go swimming, cave exploring, raft riding, and cliff diving. 
  2. Attend the Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta at Clark, Pampanga. 
  3. Swim with the whale sharks in Oslob, Cebu. 
  4. Revisit history at Intramuros, Manila. 
  5. Experience Discovery Trail at Masungi Georeserve at Tanay, Rizal, where you can get in touch with nature. 
  6. Go white water rafting on Cagayan River. 
  7. Learn to surf at Baler, Aurora. 
  8. Go wakeboarding at Nuvali. 
  9. Try the trapeze at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. 
  10. Experience fake snow at Baguio Country Club Christmas Village in December. 
  11. Eat pastel for days at Cagayan de Oro. 
  12. Explore Siargao Island. 
  13. Ride the Extreme Edge Coaster at Crown Regency, Cebu. 
  14. Go on a staycation in Picasso Boutique Residences at Makati. 
  15. Eat-all-you can at Spiral in Sofitel, Pasay. 
  16. Escape the metro and spend time with family in a Tagaytay weekend getaway. 
  17. Indulge in a rejuvenating stay in The Farm at San Benito at Lipa, Batangas. 
  18. Spend Christmas and New Year at Baguio. 
  19. Eat bagnet and Vigan longganisa at Ilocos Sur. 
  20. See the Bangui windmills first hand in Ilocos Norte. 
  21. Take a selfie at the Patapat Viaduct in Pagudpud. 
  22. Go kayaking along Port Barton in Palawan during sunset. 
  23. Climb the rock formations at Biri Island, Northern Samar. 
  24. Release some turtles into the sea at Turtle Island, Sulu. 
  25. Visit Zamboanga City’s Pink Beach in Sta. Cruz Island. 
  26. Swim in Dinagat Islands’ Bababu Lake. 
  27. Feed a giraffe at the Busuanga Nature Reserve in Coron, Palawan. 
  28. Get a beer and watch the sunset along Corong-Corong, El Nido, Palawan. 
  29. Do free diving along Apo Reef in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro. 
  30. Feed the monkeys of Bud Bongao, Tawi-Tawi. 
  31. Do skydiving in Bantayan Island. 
  32. Visit Manila's 10 best contemporary art galleries. 
  33. Go motorbiking at Sagada. 
  34. Try cliff-diving at Siquijor. 
  35. Bike around Batanes. 
  36. Play with stingless jellyfish at Sohoton in Surigao del Norte. 
  37. Enjoy picking oranges in Sagada. 
  38. Release turtle hatchlings back to the sea at Montemar Beach Club in Bataan. 
  39. Take horseback riding lessons at El Kabayo in Subic. 
  40. Learn how to climb a coconut tree. 
  41. Drive a jeepney for a day. 
  42. Go strawberry picking in Baguio. 
  43. Party all night in Boracay during the summer. 
  44. Visit all the islands in Hundred Islands National Park. 
  45. Go on a pilgrimage at Antipolo. 
  46. Experience the Feast of the Black Nazarene. 
  47. Join the street dancing at Sinulog in Cebu City. 
  48. Visit the Puerto Princesa Underground River in Palawan. 
  49. Try to eat raw tamilok in Palawan. 
  50. Eat authentic Cebu lechon. 
  51. See the wondrous Magellan’s Cross. 
  52. Climb and conquer Mount Pulag. 
  53. Go snorkeling and see giant clams at The Giant Clam Sanctuary in Samal. 
  54. Go spelunking in Cantabon Cave in Siquijor. 
  55. See butterflies at Siquijor Butterfly Sanctuary. 
  56. Stand in wonder in front of the Old Enchanted Balete Tree in Siquijor. 
  57. Drive a car with a full tank of gas and see where the road will lead. 
  58. Stroll down the historic Escolta Street in Manila. 
  59. Be transported back in time by exploring Calle Crisologo in Vigan. 
  60. Trek to the Bantay Bell Tower in Ilocos Sur. 
  61. Ride a bike from Manila to Baguio. 
  62. Take a tour of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. 
  63. See the Rafflesia mira flower in bloom at Mt. Candalaga in Compostela Valley. 
  64. Walk the road of the Bataan Death March. 
  65. Eat sinuglaw in Cagayan de Oro. 
  66. Explore the Taal Heritage Village in Batangas. 
  67. Take a trip to the Vanishing Island in Samal. 
  68. Experience healing at Tierra de Maria in Tagaytay. 
  69. Go wind and kite surfing at Bulabog Beach in Boracay. 
  70. Cliff dive at Ariel’s Point in Boracay. 
  71. See the Christmas on Display (COD) at Greenhills Shopping Center. 
  72. Attend the UP Lantern Parade. 
  73. Watch the Oblation Run. 
  74. Try out wakeboarding at the Camsur Watersports Complex. 
  75. Explore and relax in Dako Beach in Siargao. 
  76. Hike to Tuddingan Falls and Balay Anito Falls in La Union. 
  77. Ride the MRT-3, LRT-1, and LRT-2, end to end. 
  78. Have dessert at Kabigting's Halo Halo in San Fernando, Pampanga. 
  79. Visit Betis Church, Sistine Chapel of Pampanga, in Guagua. 
  80. Find the Ghost Town in Sabtang, Batanes. 
  81. Go ghost hunting at the Diplomat Hotel in Baguio. 
  82. Relive childhood at Enchanted Kingdom and Star City. 
  83. Conquer Mount Apo. 
  84. See a Tarsier in Bohol. 
  85. Witness the flight of the Philippine eagle at the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao. 
  86. Enjoy an awe-inspiring view of Chocolate Hills. 
  87. Help build homes with Gawad Kalinga. 
  88. Take a picture of Mayon Volcano. 
  89. Visit the BenCab Museum in Baguio. 
  90. Eat a hot bowl of Bulalo on a cold rainy day in Tagaytay. 
  91. Watch a show or performance at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. 
  92. Trek to catch a majestic view of the Banaue Rice Terraces. 
  93. Watch and bet on a cockfight. 
  94. Walk along EDSA during an intense traffic jam. 
  95. Score a great bargain in Divisoria. 
  96. Go camping in Anawangin Cove in Zambales. 
  97. Fly an ultralight plane at the Angeles City Flying Club. 
  98. Go bungee jumping and take “The Plunge” at E.A.T Danao Adventure Parkland in Bohol. 
  99. See wildlife at the Calauit Safari Park in Palawan. 
  100. Ride the ferry in Pasig River Ferry Service. 

Tuesday, March 1

Game on: Onboard Game + Gastro Pub

Last week, Luigi wanted to "chill" (yes ikaw na stress!) so I brought him (well he drove, I just asked him to labo) to Circuit Makati since I've always wanted to check out Onboard Game + Gastro PubBeing competitive in nature, (dog-eat-dog peg lol JOKE) I've always enjoyed anything that involves winning; sports, video and card/board games, arguments, etc.
Game marshals are available to assist if you're not familiar with the games. Luigi chose the first game (while waiting for our food). He wanted to play Clue (knowing it was my favorite) but he obviously had no idea what it was about and didn't know that it's best played with more than 2 players (fail forever).

The marshal suggested Exploding Kittens instead (and taught us how to play). It was cute and engrossing. With a bit of strategy and so much luck on my side, I won 2-0 yaaaaaaaaaaas!
Our food came in after 2 games (finally hunger games mode) I had no expectations since it was the games that I looked forward to, but surprisingly their food was quite good.
Loved the Salted Egg and Garlic wings!
The Smokehouse
Flank Steak with Chimichurri
After pigging out, it was my turn to pick and I chose Sequence. It looked really interesting (but fine, it was more because that little kid took the Uno Stacko I wanted grrrr). Great choice though since it was the game we enjoyed the most (ang galing ko talaga, pati sa pagpili ng game competitive lol). My game plan was simple: 50% strategy and 50% hope (that Luigi gets too caught up to notice my moves HAHAHA wiin!)
After 5 games, we still had our fattening milkshake, so we decided to play one last game; the classic Battleship,
Cookies n Cream milkshake
Oo medyo pauso kame baliktad ung battleship namin HAHAHA
With a score of 8-1(total for all games), I clearly won the night in a walk (ha!)

Couples who've been together for so long tend to get boring sometimes. Luigi and I promised each other to never let that happen, (at least not in this lifetime) so we're always up for new activities/things. Hmm.. so what's next? :)