Money Matters: Credit Card Debt

We were never really taught about credit and taxes and managing funds in school and what little I knew of it, I kind of picked up from books and magazines and tidbits of overheard adult talk.

#moneymatters

I was always amazed at how much power a microchipped piece of plastic can yield. Blinded mostly, by the sheer convenience of just swiping away hard earned salary I literally couldn’t see. There’s a huge difference between paying cold hard cash and paying with a card, and it’s mostly psychological. No money in my wallet, nothing to spend. Simple. Credit card equals “I’ll pay this right after. Will go to the bank. Promise. Wipe this clean next payday.” Etcetera etcetera. The lies I told my 20-something self are now so cringey. 😅

Purchasing power!

Unless you were born into a family of financial gurus (I wasn’t) or was fortunate enough to be exposed to financial literacy during the developmental ages (nope, not I) or was born with an uncanny knack for math, fund management and self-control (def not me!), well then, my friend, we’re probably on the same boat. 😆

When we’re young and impressionable, we don’t initially pay attention to the interest rates or annual charges or the other details in the fine print. Until we have been sucked into the abysmal world of credit card debt.

At one point, I had 4 credit cards with credit limits exorbitant enough to pay for ten of my neighbors’ children. And as i was young, wild, free and reckless, didn’t really bother much with due dates and what nots. Until the bank and the bank’s collection arm started to bother me with it. Bothered me enough to awaken my financial conscience and take control of my wanton spending. What did I swipe for? Shoes, gadgets, bags. Mostly revolved around those items. Long story short, I slowly paid off my credit cards and stuck with only one.😊

Now, I usually prefer paying with a debit card instead. Or cash. Because out of sight, out of mind (this refers to my virtualy tucked away money, whether I really do have money to spend or not) and tangible money or money I can see/smell/touch, triggers my visual brain that no-money-in-wallet means nothing to pay for my shopping.

Cash. Tangible cash.

So what are the simple steps in saying no way josè to piling up credit card debt?

1. Read the fine print a.k.a. T&C (Terms and Conditions) of the bank. Some banks offer low interests rates and zero annual fees. Collect and select.

2. Be aware of your due dates. Calendarize it. Write it down. Set an alarm. Tell your mother. Do it. Pay on time.

3. Self-control. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it. No Lizette, you don’t need 30 Muji ballpens, 10 notebooks and 5 different sizes of acrylic boxes plus a cute stapler.

4. Use the reward points. Credit card companies usually have marketing promos. “Get a free 2 piece Jollibee chickenjoy meal for every Php5000 single receipt purchase.” Yes! That means that’s one free lunch somewhere in the future. Most people use this feature to redeem miles for their #travelgoals but I’m really just happy with free meals.

5. Relative to #2: Pay on time. And pay in full. If you can. The idea of a credit card is to pay for something in advance. This is where the old adage comes in: Give credit where credit is due. (?!) And when credit is due, pay it pronto. This means you are a responsible, trustworthy adult who has enough discipline to maintain good credit standing in all aspects of the banking universe and with this, you can sleep in restful peace.

6. Relative to #5: If you have current credit card billS, the trick is to pay this off with consistency and persistency. Slowly but surely is the key to success. If you’re a visual person like me, type up or write up your budget and expenses in excel file and use the hoarded multi-colored highlighters and Muji pens to really see where your money goes.

Financial awakening is similar to the process of mourning: Denial (WTF I.do.not.spend.that.much.in.a. month!), Anger (pistingyawaanimalkulerabitok kamahal ba diay!), Bargaining (dear self, if you stop spending, I swear I will…*insert half hearted promise*), Depression (huhuhuhu self pity crying) and then finally, Acceptance and Awareness. And I would like to believe that this is where the real journey towards financial freedom truly begins.

Thank you for taking time to read as I’m really just writing this to remind myself not to repeat my past mistakes. 😇 The road to financial awareness is an interesting, but tough one. If you see me at the mall with my credit card, please approach me and check if the items I’m purchasing are essentials.😅 Catch you on the next installment of #moneymatters 🤗

Self-care Stories: My kids’ favourite essential oils: Lemon and Eucalyptus.

Aromatherapy has become part of my family’s daily routine. The two essential oil must-haves in our home, and easily the kids favourites, are Lemon and Eucalyptus.

Essential oils must haves: Lemon and Eucalyptus.

Eucalyptus essential oil when diffused helps relieve respiratory ailments. When one of us feels the onset of stuffy and runny nose, eucalyptus is our go to oil to diffuser. Its properties are also know to help in clearing respiratory tract and stimulation bodily circulation. Its soothing minty aroma helps alleviate stress, irritability and tension at the end of a long day.

Eucalyptus for end-of-day happiness in a bottle!

Lemon is one of the best selling and most commonly used essential oils simply because of its happy aroma. This is my  favourite oil to diffuse in the morning to jumpstart a workday. I use it to help fight off of sleepiness, tiredness, anxiety and depression. There are studies that show that lemon helps with mood and stress regulation. Other uses of lemon essential oils are for skin care (they say it helps with acne!), relieves pain and helps with symptoms of colds.

Lemon to kick start a busy day!

I haven’t really tried ingesting essential oils and have only routinely used these with a diffuser. We likey the smell of diffused oils when you go inside a room. 🤗 YL has a line called Vitality that you might want to check out if you want your all-natural journey to go up a notch.😉

For more product info, head on over to www.youngliving.com

Movie Review: 365 days. What we need to teach ‘baby girls’ about men, money, sex and love.

Let me just get right down to it. After sitting right through ninety minutes of the movie, I just sat there in disbelief that I wasted precious minutes of my me time watching this poor excuse of an erotica film. Don’t get me wrong. I’m the kind of wife who shares porn sites with her husband who absolutely thinks his wife has the most undiscovered porn potential in the hole universe, but I digress. The point is, I have no qualms about erotica or rated R movies, as these are just deviations of artistic and poetic licenses.

I actually read through all books of Fifty Shades of Grey and actively voiced out my opinion on who should play Christian Grey (I was rooting for Alex Pettyfer to play him, by the way). And whilst conservative citizens lobbied that the franchise was romanticizing porn and BDSM, us non-traditionalists revelled in the idea of having our wildest fantasies play out on screen. Poor little small town girl gets swept off her feet by a rich handsome CEO who has psychological issues due to childhood trauma that emotionally cripples him thus sex to him is a psychological game. We get it, we get it. It is what it is: a form of entertainment. The basic foundation of the story plays around every girls basic fantasy: some rich guy falls madly in love with me, drives me in a helicopter, buys me a car, want me for my body but is fascinated with my mind and wants to marry me. You can sell these concepts to any girl any day, in any given form and one way or another, she will relate to it.

I’m not a professional film critic nor do I have the credentials of a screenwriter, but based on my humble, common consumer opinion, the power of art lies in successfully enabling your audience to relate to the message your trying to get across.

So given these precedents, let’s move on to the review of the lousiest movie I have seen during this enhanced community quarantine era. And because of most of us have been Netflixing our way out of this situation, I choose to believe that we have mutated into some sort of film connoisseurs, therefore, I declare the following statements valid and not open to discussion given the fact that I am a mother, a womens rights advocate, a film specialist (I’m running out of Netflix movies to watch honestly), but above all else, a girl who demands the highest level of respect in all ways possible.

Point 1: Unless you pull off a John Wick Mafia like storyline, then no. That don’t impress us much.

Point 2: Dear sweet Laura. You are very lost baby girl! Very lost and very wrong representation of females.

  • If you’re unhappy in a relationship, baby girl, walk away.
  • If somebody dictates what you wear, this is a red flag baby girl.
  • If somebody kidnaps you, scream, call for help, run, do what you can. Save yourself, baby girl.
  • If a stranger touches any part of your body without your consent, baby girl, say no. If someone forces you to have sex with him, baby girl, that’s called rape.
  • If somebody truly loves you, he won’t tie you up and force you to watch him get naked with some other girl. He’s sick in the head, baby girl. You deserve better.
  • If some guy isn’t open to letting your family know about him, leave him baby girl. Your family will always be a part of you.
  • There will be a time when we become blinded by material possessions, but remember this, baby girl, you can always buy these things for yourself through honest, hard work. People will try to buy your affections, but baby girl, please know that you cannot be bought. You are priceless.

To all the baby girls out there, please know your worth. You are so much more than an object of fantasies. Manipulation and abuse can easily be masked by the fanfare brought about by money, sex or even love. There’s so much more to love than sex. True, unadulterated love takes time. You cannot force someone to love you or force yourself to love someone in a specified time frame.

At the end of the day, us parents can only pray that we brought up our baby girls and baby boys to know the fine lines between lust and love and right and wrong and that we continue to teach them the correct answers if someone asks “Are you lost, baby girl?”

man and woman lying on bed
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