When I thought to find a preschool and other ways to earn were my priorities for January, turned out to be so much more.
Last Sunday, a day after I attended a financial forum, Taal volcano began erupting. This volcano happens to be 70 km away from where we live. We may not be directly hit, but it did suspend work and school operations for three days because of the ashfall. As of writing, things have been calm, but the aftermath still covers cities in Manila and Calabarzon. The realization of this uncertain times lingers so as the urge to prepare for what’s ahead.
But how do we, as first-time parents, prepare during these uncertain times?
There’s nothing that we could do when natural calamities happen. But, it doesn’t mean we should leave it to chance. It helps to know that we are covered no matter what starting with our finances.
Here are some of the questions that triggered me to reflect on my financial goals this year of uncertain times.
How do I earn my income
I’ve been freelancing even before my daughter was born. It has been fulfilling, challenging and at times lonely because I usually work alone. But everything changed when I became a mom. I carefully manage my time between parenthood and work until I decided to have a small team to streamline the workload. It was working well for a while until things began slowing down. As much as I enjoy working with clients from virtually anywhere in the world, the importance of building my brand took place. I launched my website to talk about online freelancing and my work-from-home journey while being a hands-on parent. Although it isn’t profitable yet, the potential for growth is there. I saw an increase in website followers last year. I also got invited to participate in a thesis and became a media partner for Enchanted Kingdom.
So, why not take a leap of faith? Exploring your passions could be another possible stream of income for you, too. With a good plan, some courage, and a lot of hard work, you could also be on your way to realizing your financial goals.
How do I get started multiplying my earnings?
One of the reasons why I attended the financial forum this month was to learn how I could advocate on investing in stocks, mutual funds, and so on. And from having zero knowledge, within just a few days of research, I’ve discovered some resources to learn more. There are so many options when it comes with investing your money. So, far I learned about compounding interest to grow your wealth through long-term investments. It’s a complicated topic, and there’s so much to learn. But I’m glad to say that with my VUL (Variable Universal Life Insurance) the investment side of my insurance is being handled. I should expect to receive a certain amount for retirement or my child’s education. It’s a start to my investing journey, and I can’t wait to share my journey with you.
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How’s my spending
I’ve always been frugal. Instead of buying the fancy stuff, I would go for the cheap and affordable ones. Spending on the basics was like my second nature. But my habits changed drastically when I became a mom, of course.
I chose to “buy” memories rather than material things. The first three-years with my daughter was mostly dedicated to us travelling together. I practically maxed out my savings. I turned YOLO which, to be honest, I don’t regret. With the help of relatives and friends and a few savings earned from online freelancing, I achieved my mom travel goals. Showing her what’s out there was my top priority during her toddler years, and if you visit my About page, you’ll get an idea why.
Things will ultimately change once your kid discovers the fun brought by toy stores. Suddenly, visiting stores won’t be enough without bringing something home with them.
Now that she has mastered how to say things: “I wish I have this. I want this, mom!” with puppy dog eyes; I knew it was time for the money talk. Thanks to our KidZania playtime and the bake sale activity in school for giving us a footing for my next mom goal. She understood the concept of money and how we earn it.
How do I prepare my savings and my emergency fund?
After a lesson on SkillShare about money habits and reading through financial blogs, I understood why savings should be separated from the emergency fund. Your savings is for recurring monthly expenses like bills, tuition fees, occasional spa and massage treatments (if time permits). While the emergency fund should be kept for emergencies like hospitalization, job loss, significant home or car repairs, and so on. It should be able to cover your monthly expenses for at least three months without the need to take a credit or borrow money from anyone.
But, what if you don’t have an emergency fund yet? It is where insurance comes in handy.
How do I protect myself and my loved ones?
Recently, I sat down with an insurance representative to talk about insurance and investing after I’ve attended a forum. My goal was to learn more about investing since I’ve already got my life insurance in place after a vehicular incident that leads to losing my car. Unfortunately, I haven’t recovered to any of that yet. And I haven’t been compensated for the trauma of the car crash. I realized how the whole experience left us so vulnerable. I had nothing to protect us, and it’s embarrassing to admit. If we weren’t careful enough, I don’t think I’d be here to write my stories. Until today, recalling the incident scares me a lot. I had to take steps to protect myself and my daughter from irresponsible people whenever we travel.
So, I’m asking you, have you also taken the step to protect you and your loved ones?
Taking it all in could be a little too much for us first-time parents. What we could do is to accomplish one financial goal at a time. If you feel like you need to create more income before investing, you can do so. But start saving up your emergency fund and consider getting an insurance with an investment component to beat inflation. It wasn’t until last year when I got a VUL, and so far I’m glad I did. It takes my mind from worries so I could focus on finding other means to create income.
Don’t hesitate to reach out for questions about my VUL and please follow this blog for more money and investing tips.