Has it occurred to you and you said to yourself, “Fvck, I have been working for so many years now, what have I been up to? What did do with my life?”
It did happen to me. I laid down on my bed one day trying to fall asleep only for my mind to keep me awake and made me think of my choices in life and the things I have been busy with since I finished college.
I have been busy. . .working. Work a job. Earn. Reward myself every once in a while with good food or a weekend trip. Repeat.
If there’s one thing that I should have prioritized when I graduated from college is security — i.e. permanent housing, job security, and more importantly, financial security. These are some of the things that I realized just now that I should have started investing my time in upon finishing school. But, like most young people, I realized this late in life. Just like any young ones in their late teens or early 20s, back when I received my first hard-earned money, the future is far from my thought. “Bata ka pa naman” as they say. I “enjoyed” life. Buying small stuff that will make me happy. Enjoying a treat to Jollibee or McDonald’s is already a luxury to me back then. But time caught up and suddenly it’s been 10 years since I was still “bata pa”.
I have been working for over a decade now. Time passed by and we experienced the greatest challenge that I think a lot of us can say has tested our resilience and will to survive. The year 2020 has hit us hard as a lot of people lost their jobs, businesses closed down, source of income became limited and we are grasping on whatever in order to survive.
I am thankful that I still have a job a year since the COVID19 pandemic started. I get to pay rent and buy necessities and still be able to survive. But I can’t deny that the fear was there. What if I lose my source of income? Where will I go? How would I survive? I live a life paycheck to paycheck ever since, with an insignificant amount of savings in my bank account. What will happen to me if things go downhill? All these thoughts inundated my mind and kind of put pressure on me to step up and take my life a bit seriously, or at least the aspects that need to be taken seriously.
So, I vowed and told myself that I will dedicate my time doing and achieving the following:
WORK HARD, EARN HARD
Over the years my salary increased but so is the prices of necessities (and wants). I still have my full-time job, but I decided to work on side hustles during my free time to earn extra money. One source of income is no longer enough (at least for me who has an average salary), thus side hustles fill in for the other needs beyond my budget. I also take advantage of overtime work. And, since I am in a work-from-home setup, I get to save the money I could have spent for daily transportation had we been in an office-based work setup.
I got two VUL life insurances in 2018 and 2019. I decided to continue my MP2 savings. At the moment these are the only ways I earn a bit from the money I invest. This blog [kind of] generates money as well but not consistently. Will you recommend getting into cryptocurrencies and stocks? I am thinking of investing in those too but I don’t understand the concepts of it. Should I sell online (although I don’t think I will be an effective seller)?
I dedicated a single bank account that will not be touched for any reason whatsoever where I will transfer a portion of my salary every month. This bank account is strictly for receiving money. I set it up on auto-transfer and forget about it. This way I will not be tempted to consider using the money from it whenever I feel short in funds. I am trying to build up an emergency fund, too. It will be difficult to follow the “equivalent-to-six-month-of-your-salary” rule to achieve the sufficient emergency fund one must have, but I’ll try to save as much anyway.
BUY A PROPERTY
The fear of getting evicted due to the inability to pay rent amidst the COVID19 pandemic crossed my mind. Remember the news where landlords inconsiderately eject tenants from their rented homes because they can’t pay? That scenario played in my mind. I am not sure if buying a house during this time of the year is a wise or poor decision, and while it will be debatable if owning a house or renting is better, I made up my mind that I will get one for myself. With the help of a friend, I found a small and affordable property.
LEARN NEW SKILLS
I want to increase my value to be able to earn more. I believe that the more things that you are capable of doing, the more options and more opportunities you have to be able to make money from. Taking advantage of free courses is good, subscribing to paid courses is also okay. Investing in yourself will pay off eventually.
KEEP MYSELF HEALTHY
Working out is hard. I am lazy. I get tired easily. Despite that, I see to it that I allot at least 15 to 30 minutes of my day to basic exercising and cardio workout. Caring for mental health is as important as keeping my physical body fit, so I am trying my best to lessen thinking of things that stress me out as well.
There you go. These are my top priorities right now. The COVID19 pandemic has tested me (and every one of us) on how to survive with limited resources and limited help (*cough* hello *cough* government) but it also redirected my view on what to focus on and channel my energy and time on — optimism, #goals, health, and financial security.