Drive Deliberately

“Drivers going to the same direction would always catch up at each other at the toll gate at one point in time; whether they drive slow or fast.”

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The Importance of Emergency Funds

I recently posted one of the use of having an emergency fund. This post will somehow dig deeper why we really need to stash away a portion of our income to build up our emergency fund.

First of all; what is an Emergency Fund? It is an account used to set aside funds to be used specifically on things which are not a usual part of our regular expenses. The purpose of this account is also to serve as a safety net in the event of personal financial crisis. The ideal emergency fund must be equivalent to three to six  months of our monthly expenses.

Building up an emergency fund is also another way to prevent us from incurring loans or debts with high interest. It must be placed in an account which should be easily accessible, such as an ATM savings account.

From my previous post, I mentioned something about the prosperity formula.  From our income, we must first subtract a portion which is to be used for savings.

Income – Savings = Expenses

Ideally, it is recommended that we set aside 20% for our savings. 30% or 40%, much better. It depends on how much we can afford to save. That 20% can be subdivided into savings, investments and emergency fund. It doesn’t really matter how much we earn, its on how much we can keep. The discipline of saving something for the rainy season must be already ingrained in our minds. The sooner we start, the better.  Let’s not wait for tomorrow to start with this habit. We must not procrastinate.

If the emergency fund was used, we need to ensure that we replenish it the soonest possible time. This is a continuous cycle. We must do this not because it is a responsibility. We must do this because this is a habit. A habit is something that we love to do repeatedly.

Happy Saving!!! 🙂

Reconnecting

Last Saturday, our High School batch held our 25th Silver Anniversary Reunion. It seems like yesterday when we had our graduation march which signaled our entry into another phase of life. Our formative years molded us well enough to face the challenges of college life. We went our separate ways and its a great feeling seeing old faces once again after so many years.

Reconnecting with old friends reminds us that we should never forget to look back at our past. We don’t need to dwell on the past but its rewarding enough to reminisce good times with our childhood friends. We might have misunderstandings with some but all of it are part of growing up. Youth plays a major factor in times when we have misunderstandings with our peers.

The event became even more nostalgic with the presence of our beloved teachers who in one way or another, honed us to become the person we are now. Some became successful, some are average and some just ain’t fortunate enough to reach the pinnacle of success. The choices we make plays a major factor of success or failure in life.

I’m not that fond of attending gatherings like this but the chance of seeing old friends once again made me change my mind since opportunities like this is hard to come by. Yes, there is the social media where we see updates of what our friends are up to. But nothing can compare the feeling of seeing them all over again. Personally talking and laughing with them is something that social media cannot even replace.

For the others who decided not to attend the event, they have their reasons. But one thing’s for sure, they missed an event worth remembering.

Being a Morning Person

A couple of years ago, I get excited as the weekend approaches. I used to get up very early on a Saturday morning to have my weekend run. Yes, I got hooked to running. I have two (2) 21Ks under my belt. Eventually I stopped running and looked for other ways of spending early Saturday mornings. I turned to biking. Just this morning, I had a great morning bike ride together with my wife.

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I just love having a physical activity in the early morning. I just love the stillness of the morning. It recharges me right away. It helps me in removing all the negative thoughts which lingers in my mind. It refreshes the soul. Seeing the sun rising from the East is such a wonderful sight for me.

I find happiness in things like this. It helps in reducing stress brought about by the complexities of life.

I may not be able to do early morning physical activities on weekend morning all the time but I make sure that I wake up early despite going to bed late. I can always power up my computer and write a blog on whatever topic I want.

Slowly, I am now developing the habit of writing on a regular basis which will further improve my writing skills. And the stillness of the morning will play a major factor for me to become the writer that I would like to be.

Simplification

I have lots of plans.  I plan of having another house.  I plan of having a new car since I already paid up my first car loan after five (5) painstaking years.  But if I have to ask myself, do I need it?  Will it make me happy?  How can I afford it?  Honestly speaking, if I am pursue those things, it will be in the form of a loan.  Seems not a good idea. It is not necessarily a need.  I might feel satisfied but it won’t make me totally happy.  And getting it through a loan will definitely give me sleepless nights.  Something is holding me back to let go of these plans. What is it?

simplifySometime 2012, I stumbled upon this book written by Bro. Bo Sanchez.  It was published around 2001.  I only got hold of this wonderful book 12 years after it was published.  I regret not being able to get hold of it much earlier.  I could have experienced a turnaround much earlier.  I shouldn’t have done regretful decisions.  I shouldn’t have purchased depreciating items with the use of a loan or credit cards.  I could have invested much earlier on valuable financial instruments.  I could have been much happier now.  I could have been living the good life much earlier.

The turnaround might have come at a later time.  But it is not yet too late.  Long before I conceptualized this blog, I took it upon myself that I will make my life as simple.  Life is already complicated, so why complicate it more by unnecessary things.  I could have opted for a flashier car, but I opted for a simpler one.  A flashier car requires a higher amortization.  More money coming out of my pocket.  As much as possible, I stay away from signature items.  I want simpler ones.  I learned to be happy on simple things which is the way it should be.  I now opted to live in a simple home rather get a new one from an exclusive village which can eat up to my budget which I can use for investment and create wealth. Nothing beats the feeling of staying at home and spending quality time with my family rather than spending it somewhere else.  Though we still go out, we make sure that it won’t be too often.  Besides, we already have what we need at home.  All the basic needs.  All the basic reasons which makes me happy and want to live the good life even more.  And that is LOVE.

Have a nice day friends. 🙂

My Love for Music

Our everyday life is full of challenges.  We love challenges because it pushes us to the limit for us to be able to fulfill our dreams.  However, in between, we sometimes experience stress which tends to slow us down a bit.  There are times that during those breaks, we turn to music to somehow help us to put things in proper perspective once again. I can attest to that, being a music lover myself.  But to some, music is a way of life.

Music is a form of art which ordinarily consists of a melody being mixed together with words, usually known as lyrics.  Music can also be created just with plain melody.  Not all of us can write music but we all have the ability to appreciate such form of art.

Music can be subdivided into different genres.  There’s alternative, blues, classical, country, dance, easy listening, electronic, pop, and rock n’ roll.  It can be listened through different ways such as on the radio, MP3 player, CD players and smartphones.  Music is still very much available through musical scores on television shows and on the movies.  Music also is an essential part of popular musical plays such as Miss Saigon and Les Miserables where dialogues are mostly delivered through music.

Preferences in music vary in between age group.  The younger generation appreciates music made by artists who belong to their age group but there were younger people who appreciate music from the not so distant past.  Mature people wonder why the younger people appreciate the kind of music being played nowadays.  In a similar way, teenagers also don’t completely comprehend why we enjoy music which is already outdated.

People born a couple of decades ago can appreciate music from the current era.  There is still a lot of great music nowadays.  It still depends on what makes us comfortable.

Younger and older people, despite having different preferences in music, both experience the same benefits of well-being once we hear our favorite tunes regardless of what musical form it may be.  Music supports well-being in different ways.  As mentioned in the earlier part of the article, it can be used as a stress reliever or as a way of social bonding.

We jam occasionally with musically inclined people and we can say that it’s worth the experience especially if we will be given a chance to perform in front of an audience.  One of our childhood dreams is to perform with a band and was actually realized last year on a Battle of the Band contest.  Though we failed to bring home the bacon, at least we were able to show to the people what we are capable of doing.  The experience of playing in front of a large crowd had a positive effect on our self-confidence.  There are some people who used to have stage freight.  Speaking in front on an audience makes them nervous.  See, aside from being a stress reliever, music can also be used to improve our self-esteem.  Through that performance, it made us believe that we can conquer our inner goliaths.  We can conquer our fear.

Listening to music is sometimes by choice.  It can be used only when we have problems or if there’s something bothering us.  But to some, music is already a part of everyday life.  There are several reasons why we need to listen to music very often. One of them is that music is good for the heart.  There are studies which proved that patients in a hospital which listened to music had improved heart rates and reduced blood pressure compared to some who did not listed to music at all.  Music can also bring out the composer in us.  We might not know it, but we might have a talent in writing music.  We just have to try.  I used to write poetry but haven’t tried to write songs despite having the capability of playing the guitar. Music is also a great motivating factor.  I used to be a runner, and most of the time, I bring with me an MP3 player.  My favorite song is Eye of the Tiger and every time I hear that song, my speed increased twice than my usual speed.  I tried to run without music and I almost went back home after 1 kilometer.  I find it boring to run without music.  People in the gym normally became motivated to work it out because of the music being played.  Elders normally become depressed because they can no longer do the things that they used to do.  Music somehow makes them feel better than those times when there no music at all.  Music can help us make new friends especially if we have a hard time making new acquaintances.  Listening to music can definitely help.  I am a Beatles fanatic and I can immediately strike out a conversation with a stranger who shares the same passion as me.  Mothers normally sang tunes during latter part of their pregnancy as music tends to relax the babies inside the mother’s womb.  Aside from these reasons, I think that making music to be part of our life can bring us some form of success like inspiring the people around us since music tends to make things light.  So in a way, it has a positive on other people.

I think that I just outlined several reasons on the importance of music in our everyday lives.  Music is everywhere.  Music is a blessing.  I am thankful that music has been given to us.