When I was in elementary grade, I was richest at P10 baon. I started with P2 up until fourth grade. My tita would give me my baon before I leave for school and would be pleasantly surprise that I return home with the same P2 in my pocket – unspent!
In high school, the biggest baon I’d get was P25. I would be content with P5 rice, and P10 ulam, the remaining would be my fare back and forth. I didn’t even have to pay for tuition as I was an 80% scholar at the time. I only had to pay P10 for my periodical exams. And I was at a Catholic school. Ah, life was so simple back then.
I don’t remember ever complaining that I don’t have enough. Or that I was short. There’s gonna be food in the house anyway. I’m not in school to eat naman. That’s just how I saw things back then.
When I was in college, that’s where things changed. I lived alone. I was on a boarding house. I had to make sure my P500/week allowance will suffice or else I will practically have to beg for everything from my peers. I had to pay for tuition this time as I deferred my DOST scholarship in favor of my preferred course. My first semester was free being an academic scholar, but I wasn’t able to keep up to the required GPA to make it through five (five!) years of engineering school. I saw how money moved things around, how it made every decision easier, how every conversation less complicated.
The first few years of my professional life – I was single. I was doing part-time, that eventually turned full-time and I was okay with what I earned. Although it was rewarding, I didn’t get to savor that all by myself as I took the responsibility of sending my cousin to school. I’m proud of that. Three years in a contact center, and I was able to put dignity into another person’s life.
Now, that I have my own family, and that I have been earning fairly well, I try my best to give my mag-ina the best that I can. But it’s never easy, I tell you. House rent, consumer bills, baby supplies, allowance to get you by the next payout – it’s crazy.
This year saw us struggle with our finances that even the only thing that makes us happy, we had to sacrifice. Parenthood is great and all, but the money that comes out with it, it’s something seriously unnerving.
So, here are our plans:
1. Settle all our dues before it’s officially 2012! (crossing our fingers on this!)
2. Open a passbook savings account and start saving up for the future.
3. If possible, open an account for Isabelle too. The earlier the start, the better.
4. Allot a particular percentage of our paychecks to savings.
5. Better budgeting. But don’t compromise traveling – it’s the one thing that keeps us sane.
6. Finally transfer to a house we can call our own. 😀
2011 isn’t really a great year for us – financially. I hope things turn around in 2012.