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4 Useful Tips to Live Within Your Means from Kyle

Monday, September 26, 2016
Hi everyone! Today we have an amazing article from our SavingsPinay Guest Blogger of the Month

Last week I received an inquiry from Kyle Kam whether I'll be happy to feature his post on SavingsPinay. I happily agreed knowing how this could add value to our readers. I have heard about for sometime now and it's an honor that someone from the brand noticed the blog. Kyle will give us the 4 Useful Tips to Live Within Your Means.

Hope you enjoy the post that Kyle wrote for us!

You’ve probably received the advice “live within your means” before. The thing is that living within one’s means is largely subjective. Everyone has different set of financial circumstances, and therefore, living within their means will be largely different.

Between the differences in finances, there are a few principles when it comes to living within your means that still hold true, and here are some tips to show you how to live within your means.

Lifestyle traps

The trap of lifestyle inflation is the biggest and least obvious one to spot and dealing with it is essential whether you earn a lot or less. The trend for most people is to spend a little more as their pay grades go up, rationalizing that it’s fine since they can afford it. There’s a difference between being actually able to afford it, and playing at being able to afford it.
The difference between the two is that you’ve actually got more income than you’re spending. If the case is you end up uneasy and waiting for payday, you can’t afford the lifestyle you’ve been trying to live.

Know your net worth

Figuring out your net worth will give you a better understanding of how your finances are working for you. While your annual salary is a figure on its own, you’ll have to include other income streams in order to get your total net worth.

One formula for it – written by Burn Gutierrez – involves adding up your total assets, consisting of the following:
  • Add your: Savings + Retirement Accounts + Investments + Any Real Estate + Other Income Streams
  • Add together any outstanding debts you might have together. This includes constant bills, like credit card bills, insurance payments, loan payments and the like.
  • The sum from your debts must be subtracted from the sum of your total assets. If the result is negative, then at least according to Burn’s guide, you’re living well beyond your means.

Cash is king

The thing about living on a credit card is that it’d be all too easy for you to rack up debt. Living completely on cash, or a debit card, ensures that you can only spend what you actually have.

A great many people think that a credit card is one way to prove that you’ve got the means – and there are times when a credit card is a great tool to have. That time is when you’ve got the financial responsibility to handle paying those bills full and on time every time.

Developing the habit of using only cash or debit means you won’t consider buying or spending unless you’re 100% sure that you have the money for it.

Success is relative

A lot of things can define success, and much of it is just as subjective as the means you use to attain it. A large part of considering yourself successful comes from what you deem as the most important wants and needs in your life.

Figuring out what success means to you can allow you to make changes in the way you think about your money.


Being able to live solidly within your means carries with it an understanding that there’s a time and place for spending your hard-earned cash, and a time for conserving and saving for whatever future goals you have.

A firm understanding of these will allow you to live within your means, but comfortably.

About our Guest Blogger:

KyleKam is from, a financial comparison website aiming to help Filipinos save money through diligent comparisons of financial products.

Final Notes from SavingsPinay:

Thank you so much Kyle for making this wonderful post. I know you've shared some valuable information to all SavingsPinay readers too. To anyone who'd like to submit a guestpost you just like Kyle you can send me an email at or message me via SavingsPinay Facebook Group.

How to Invest for Beginners in the Philippines

Friday, September 23, 2016
Let's admit it, "INVESTING" is such a foreign word for Pinoys. A lot of Filipinos are afraid of the word "investment" thinking its a scam, networking or tactic to lure people and lose their money. But investing doesn't have to be complicated. It's just a necessary move that every Pinoy ought to learn and take. If you have zero idea How to Invest in the Philippines or already an Investor but would want to gain more knowledge then this post is for you. 

Now this page doesn't focus on Stock Investing alone. This is a much broader informative post wherein I included the rest of the investment vehicles you need to know about. I have no prior and hands-on knowledge investing in stock market so I want to generalize everything instead. Reading this article will help you learn the following:
  1. The Difference between Saving Money and Investing Your Money
  2. The Different Investment Vehicle Available Today
  3. Myths About Investing that Keeps You from Growing
  4. Step By Step Procedure on Investing for the First Time
Investing at 19-years old

It was year 2013 when I (impulsively) did my biggest financial decision so far. I invested in a Mutual Fund under First Metro Asset Management, Inc. I resigned from SEO-Content Writer job and used my last salary as an initial fund and money to do all the step-by-step procedures. READ: How I Opened my FAMI Mutual Account ( STEP by STEP GUIDE w/ PICTURES)

I felt so accomplished upon receiving my Statement of Account. I now own "some shares" on big companies in the country from fast food giant, property developers and banks etc. I was definitely on cloud nine since I was only 19 years old yet I was able to try the world of investing. 

But it takes a lot of financial discipline to remain on top of your investing game. I have my ups and downs financially. It was such an impulsive move since I didn't foresee that the next job I'll be having would pay me less. I failed to invest for two consecutive months. 

Fortunately everything worked out for the better. I got a major salary increase not just once, twice but thrice. At 22, my FAMI-SALEF investment is going strong. READ: FAMI-SALEF 2016 Update. I check my investors profile regularly and the NAVPS is just getting better and better. I seriously have no regrets at all that I tried investing at 19-years old. It is one of the the biggest decision I've made that I know my future self will thank me for.

You too can start investing now. I hope at the end of this article you will be encouraged to be better in your finances. Save Now, Invest Now and walk you way to financial success.

The Difference between Saving Money and Investing Your Money

It is important to understand the difference between saving and investing your money. This can give you a better perspective in your financial life. 

Saving Money is low risk and very liquid. Meaning the purpose is to keep an amount for you to use on a short time frame. For example you save money for a new gadget, a birthday dinner and/or a holiday vacation.

Investing Money is high risk and not liquid at all. Meaning the purpose is to put an amount for you to use in a long time frame. You invest your money to build wealth and get something in return. 

To put simply, you save money in case you will be needing it in the near future. If you're not going to need the money and you want to let it grow then you should invest it. The key is to save and invest. You can't be rich by just saving money on the bank because they offer too little of interest rate for your money to grow. You also can't be secured if you just keep on investing your money without proper savings.

The Different Investment Vehicle Available Today

There are many different types of investment vehicles you can choose from. It all depends upon what type of investor you are and how much money you have as an initial investment. 

Traditional Investment Vehicles

1. Savings Deposit

This is the safest and most common type of investing vehicle. All you need to do is to park your money on your desired bank. This will cost you minimal opening fee, no risk at all but will also earn you little interest or growth. If you want to know more on how to safely park your money via savings account then click HERE.

2. Time Deposit

My father once advised me to open a time deposit especially if I already have enough savings. This yields better than a savings account but you can't use your money for a given time frame in order to get the benefit of the interest this means that if you decide to withdraw earlier than the maturity period you'll lose some money rather than gain.

3. Treasury Bills

This is an uncommon type of investment vehicles but may result to a higher return than savings account. You lend your money to the government so the risk is lower but then you need a higher amount to open an account.

4. Retail Treasury Bonds

This investment is like treasury bills wherein you are lending your money in the government. Retail Treasury Bond was created to accommodate small investors that can only spare a good 5000pesos in their initial investment. The result of continually investing in an RTB has way higher return than Time Deposit.

5. Stocks

This type of investment comes with the highest risk among every other investment vehicles but the return will amaze you just as long as you know how to invest intelligently. Owning a share of stock in a company means you taking an ownership stake in the company too. COL Easy Investment Plan is one of the main option when it comes to directly investing in stocks.

6. Mutual Fund 

This investment vehicles allows small investors to put money on stocks indirectly. This means you will have to entrust your money on a financial institution and will be invested in a diversified portfolio depending on your investment characteristic. To know more about managed funds then make sure to visit my blog post, Understanding Managed Funds as an Investment Vehicle in the Philippines.

  1. SavingsPinay Series: Yumaman sa Mutual Fund!
  2. SAVINGSPINAY SERIES | Day 1 : Mutual Fund: Ano, Sino, Saan, Kailan, Bakit at Paano?
  3. SAVINGSPINAY SERIES | Day 2: Gabay sa Tamang Pagpili ng Mutual Fund
  4. SAVINGSPINAY SERIES | Day 3: 5 Bagay na Dapat Mong Malaman Tungkol Sa Mutual Fund
  5. SAVINGSPINAY SERIES | Day 4: Kaya Mong Yumaman sa Mutual Fund

  1. Soldivo Mutual Funds First Impression
  2. ART Em King Mutual Fund First Impression
7. Unit Investment Trust Fund

Unlike a private financial institution in Mutual Fund, UITF or Unit Investment Trust Fund goes to the banks. BDO is known for their UITF account with as little as Traditional Investment Vehicles.

  1. BDO UITF First Impression
  2. PNB UITF First Impression
  3. Security Bank's UITF First Impression
  4. BPI Investment Fund First Impression
Non-Traditional Investment Vehicles

There are also alternative investments you can try which more often than not require a more complicated investment strategies. These non-traditional investment vehicles are generally risky and will not guarantee favorable return. 

Real Assets such as real estate, oil, precious metals like gold, silver and bronze as well as agricultural land fall in this category. They are those that appreciate in value over time. Also counted in this are luxury and collectible goods like jewelries, wines, paintings etc. 

Myths About Investing that Keeps You from Growing

In my post Believing These 4 Myths About Investing Keeps You From Growing I debunked the top investment myths and ears that make people of all ages, gender and income put investing on the side. Here they are:

Myth #1. Investing needs a lot of money

Yes, but NOT at all times. There are investment vehicles that require as low as 5,000pesos to begin. The government have been very supportive for people to learn the value of investment and a lot nowadays require only minimal amount to start.

Myth #2. Investing is too risky

The risk factor in investing is inevitable but its all worth it. No investment can guarantee returns overnight, the longer your money stays invested the better the return. This is also the reason why you need to start investing as young as possible. 

Myth #3. You must be an "economic major" or "math genius" to be an investor

Very wrong. I, for example, is very bad in numbers but I do love investing. The concepts in investing are very basic and you can easily follow through to calculate your gains and/or loses. 

Myth #4. Investing is all about "being rich"

Yes being rich is the ultimate goal if you are investing but the process will give you so much more learning. You'll learn to budget just to have enough savings to invest. You'll also learn how to be financially independent at a young age and find different sources of income since investing itself is so addicting. You'll also learn to set goals and aim high to achieve them. I guess it's good to say that the "wealth" is just the cherry on top.

Step By Step Procedure on Investing for the First Time

Step 1. Get on Track with Your Finances

Before you try to invest for the first time you should first sort things out financially. You should know your current income and whether it could supply to your needs in addition to the investment you'll be making. Yes initial investment is not that high but the actual money you'll be putting as a top up matters. READ: Why You Must Know Your Financial Net Worth Now

Step 2. Assess What Kind of Investor You Are

Next step is to know what type of investor you are. This will guide accordingly on the right kind of investment to make that will maximize your potential income. 

There are Three Types of Investors 
  1. Conservatives or those who have low risk tolerance. They lean more on a portfolio that offers steady growth with low risk. They are easily swayed by negative news on surrounding the market and will need further explanation before making a financial decision.
  1. Dynamics are people who have the highest risk appetite as an investor. They want capital growth through long-term investing. They do not get easily scared if they loss money for they remain positive that as long as they continue to invest things will change. 
  1. Balanced are investors who are a mixture of the two. Their risk tolerance is on a medium level. They love capital appreciation through investing in a long period of time but will still get fearsome in case things don't go along their way. 
Now there are three deciding factors that could determine what kind of investor you are namely age, years you want to invest and risk you are okey to take. In a normal situation, the younger you are the more time you have to grow your money and the more risk you are able to take. 

As you grow older you have more needs and responsibilities in life that can lead to shorter waiting period for your investment to grow and lower risk you can take. 

Step 3. Choose Your Investment Vehicle

Once you have determined what kind of investor you are then it will be easier for you to choose your first investment vehicle. Conservative investors often go for time deposits, special savings accounts and government securities because they are a very sure type of investments. 

Balanced investors love Mutual Fund and Unit Investment Trust Fund on Equities and Bonds. They may also choose investing on direct stock market but on very selected and established companies that already have proven track record. 

Dynamic investors on the other hand are willing to trade on stock market or try non-traditional investment vehicle as a way of diversification. 

Step 4. Learn Your Investment Strategy or Style

Once you have chosen your investment you are ready to start investing. You will learn a lot along your investor journey from the right strategy to apply. I, for example have been a big fan of the peso-cost averaging method on my first mutual fund investments. 

Step 5. Assess and Review

Make sure that you always check how your investments are going. Review whether your portfolio still satisfies you as an investor. Withdraw your money in case something unwanted is happening or if you feel like the market is literally closing down on your set of portfolios. 

Step 6. Diversify

The final step is to diversify your investments. Diversification is a financial technique that reduce the risk factor of investing by allocating your investments under other investment vehicles, other industries, and/or under other varied categories. In my Top 10 Most Important Lessons to Learn in Personal Finance Day 4 I mentioned the importance of diversifying your investments.

You can diversify among different financial vehicles, assets such as bonds and stocks and market values. Do not just put your money on a time deposit account but aim high to have your other money on mutual funds, stock market or even a real-estate property.

Final Notes from SavingsPinay

The key thing is you need to know whether your diversification helps you in attaining your financial goals. You'll know when is too much naman because we are talking about your hard-earned money. Investing in the Philippines is very easy to be honest. You just need the strong will to begin and the financial discipline to maintain a positive finances. It is actually addicting to save and invest and it's something I realized after I made my first investment three years ago. Currently I am busy getting my finances in order before 2016 ends. I just want to prep everything before the New Year begins. My goal is to not commit the same mistakes over and over again which I have shared in my confession post before.

Are You Ready to Invest?
Shoot me a message in

How to Blog and Earn in the Philippines

Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Blogging had ultimately changed my life for the better. I am so thankful and blessed that I discovered this early. Having a blog allowed me to get my creative juices flowing. It made me learn a lot of new things about myself. It opened opportunities for me to meet people and work with others who have the same passion. It also gave me an idea that earning extra income online is attainable. If you haven't thought of blogging for the money then maybe this article will enlighten you. 

My Story as a Blogger

It was year 2013 when I first entered the blogger arena. I got inspired by a lot of blogs I read since I was a college freshman like Ms. Aisa Ipac of Drowning Equilibrium (I even interviewed her for a project in college), Ms. Ana Gonzales of The Fashion CommuterMs. Nikki Tiu of AskMeWhats, etc. My blog focus on makeup and ukay finds - two things I am totally in love with.

Since then this blog has been in a ton of makeover. From new topics I introduce to posts I have deleted because they're not that good. My photos and how I edit them also changed dramatically. I also spent way more time blogging than what I once did. Blogging became a big part of me trying to be an adult. It had been my creative outlet, a part of myself I can be proud of --- my identity. 

I have never been this serious over something in my life. My blogs, IzzaGlino - A beauty and lifestyle blog for frugal Pinays and SavingsPinay - A financial journey of a common Pinay, are both my babies. I am happy when I see them, when I feed them with posts, when I spend time with them and of course when they achieve a milestone. Both sites have consumed almost half my life this past three to four years. And I have zero regrets at all. 

How To Start a Blog (for when you have no idea at all!)

Starting a blog is way easier than one could imagine. All it takes is following below simple steps:

Step 1. Choose your niche/topic

Blogs come in different niche depending on a blogger's interest. I started a Fashion and Beauty Blog, IzzaGlino because that's where my interest was. Then came my love for financial education that led to the arrival of SavingsPinay.

Below are the complete list of blog categories/ topic/ niche you can choose from.
  • Arts & Craft
  • Books & Literature
  • Business & Finance
  • Community & Groups
  • Corporate & Official
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Lifestyle
  • Fashion & Beauty
  • Food & Drink
  • Health & Medicine
  • Home & Living
  • Humor
  • Legal
  • Marketing & SEO
  • Music
  • News & Journalism
  • Personal
  • Photoblogs
  • Pictures & Models
  • Politics & Government
  • Productivity & Career
  • Real Estate
  • Religion
  • Sports & Recreation
  • Technology & Computers
  • Travel & Leisure
  • Video Games
  • Web Development & Design
Step 2. Choose Your Blog Name

After you've decided on the central theme of your blog, your task now is to come up with the perfect name that your audience can easily remember. It is also ideal to name your blog out of your real name to create branding and to not limit you in what you could post in your blog. You can also be very specific and base your name on the blog theme you chose. What matters is that you strategically choose the name of your blog. 

Step 3. Choose Your Blog Platform

Blog platforms are available as an easy way to build a blog. All you have to do is sign-up, enter your specific details of your blog and choose your blog template. The most common blog platforms are Blogger, WordPress and Tumblr. You can also build your own website provided that you pay for hosting and domain name.

Blogger is a perfect platforms for beginners who need a user-friendly blog platform. You can create multiple blogs in one account. Since Blogger  is owned by Google it is also way easier to top the Google ranking. You can easily connect Google Adsense to start monetizing your space and you have a pool of widgets to make your blog look even better.

Wordpress is ideal for those who aim to have their blog more professional. The templates that Wordpress have are more classy-looking rather than Blogger Templates. You have a lot of control over how your blog post will be published on the web. Wordpress also offers functional widgets that go hand in hand in your goal to maximize the potential of your blog.

Tumblr is more for personal blogging. It is very easy to set up and more on a social media type of blog because people can retweet the blog posts and follow your blog. 
The platform also offers a lot of beautiful theme you can choose from. This is also a great platform for photo blogs that involve  fashion and travel.

Step 4. Design Your Blog

Depending on the platform you choose for your blog, you might need to spend time designing how you want your blog to be seen by the public. Designing a Blogger, Wordpress and Tumblr will soon be up on my blog. There are Free Themes and Premium (Paid) Themes to choose from. 

Step 5. Start Blogging

Once you are happy with how your blog looks you can now start with the actual blogging. You undergo a series of blog writing, producing image for the blog and editing. As a beginner you may or may not  opt for an editorial calendar and just use an old notebook to plan your content. The beginning phase of the blog is the most crucial part of a blogger's journey but if you will just strive hard everything will be seamless in the end.

How to Blog for the Money

Bloggers rely most of their income through the pageviews they get. The more traffic your blog gets, the better it would perform as an income stream. There are five important things you need to be able to blog for the money. 

1. Reader-friendly blog design 
If you want to more visitors to your blog that can turn to loyal readers then it is a must for you to actually about your blog design. Make sure that the color palette of your layout match the branding you want to build for your audience. Do not put too much unnecessary advertisements for the sake of money because it will never work. Readers love beautiful blog and when I say beautiful I mean blog designs that's easy on the eyes and easy to understand.

2. Valuable Content

You may have heard this a thousand times already but yes, content is the king when it comes to blogging. Without a valuable and relatable posts then nobody will notice your blog at all. Make your post excellent as always so that your visitors will keep on returning to your site. 

3. Social Media Marketing

It is also highly important that you promote your blog on social media. You have to build your presence online through posting on Instagram, sharing on Facebook (personal account, pages and/or groups) and using Twitter and/or Pinterest. This is where the gap between the famous and not so well-known blog increase to be honest. A strong social media marketing will give you a lot of advantage getting your posts across multitude of readers. 

4. Consistency

Through the years of blogging here and on my personal blog, IzzaGlino, I learned how valuable being consistent is. Your readers will thank you for updating your blog often and for sticking to a schedule they can remember. There's also something about consistency in the writing style and the way you deliver every post that will make you grow more.

5. Income Streams that Match Your Blog

There are many ways you can earn money through blogging and these are called income streams collectively. Below are the ways a blogger generate extra income through their platform:

Pay Per Click Ads
Pay Per Click Ads are the ads you primarily see in a blog's sidebar, header or footer. Once a reader clicks on the ads displayed you will earn money. The clicks earn between .15-.50 cents per click. 

Example of Sites that offer Pay Per Click Advertising: Google AdsenseChitika and Infolinks.

How Does PPC Ads work? Based on the nature of your blog and the type of banner you chose from your registered account, relevant ads will display. With great location and relevance to your post you'll surely earn from PPC Ads.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing is the most common income streams for bloggers specially those who have established their authority online. You partner with a brand/company and either display an image or link with your unique code to your site or your post. You'll receive commissions for every successful sale through your unique link. There are also plenty of benefits being an affiliate offer like discount to their products and services or discount codes your readers can use. 

Example of Sites that offer Affiliate Marketing: Lazada AffiliateZalora AffiliateAmazon's Affiliate, and VOffice

How Affiliate Marketing Works? Again based on the nature of your blog you can either apply or be invited as an affiliate. You have access to a number of banners/ads you can choose to display anywhere in your website. You'll also have a quick link that you can write as a hyperlink every time you mention the brand. 

Did you know?

Last August I won a blog contest that allowed me to travel to Caramoan Island for free!!! Thanks to TravelBook Affiliate Program which I am a part of. If you are a travel or lifestyle blogger this could be a good affiliate program to you. I did a full post on How To Earn with TravelBook Affiliate Program to get help you get started. You can also read the posts I did related to TravelBook Affiliate Blogger Getaway below:

Sponsored Ads

This is most common income generating tool for those who have a beauty and lifestyle blog. Businesses want to widen their reach especially to the online community so bloggers may be asked to try out a product and blog about it. Sometime not just a product but the whole business itself.  

Getting Sponsorship Opportunity though is hard or rare if you are a new bloggers. Thus, Network Sites such asNuffnang and Blogapalooza are established. They help connect bloggers to businesses and brands easily. Complete honesty will be needed though so you won't lose your readers trust. Also this will work if you really use a certain service or product.

Own Product
Bloggers can also start selling their own product through their blog. These products come in two types, Digital and Physical. Digital Products include eBook, Online Course, Printable workbooks and other materials which can be accessed and used digitally. Other bloggers sell their own physical product like an online shop linked to their blog. 

Own Service
Another great way bloggers earn money is by offering their service to the public. You can do a Coaching/Mentoring service or do Paid Webinar Series or live workshop where your audience will have to pay. You will be paid based on your time and worth. 

Become a Speaker

You can create a "Invite Me As Speaker" page in your blog for people to contact you in case they need a speaker for their event. Others invite speakers too for seminar or company activities. 

Can You Really Earn Money with a Blog

Whenever I tell to people that I am a blogger the first thing they ask is whether I earn money with it. I completely understand the curiosity but I do feel a little uncomfortable sharing my answer. 

You see for someone whose been blogging for four years and counting I never earned that much compared to others. I've always considered my blogs as mediocre to be honest because its still unknown to the publics' attention.

But the biggest chunk of the reason why my blogs can't seem to grow is because of me, myself and I. I have all these ideas lined up but I can't find the will, the time and the effort to start. I've been wanting soooo hard to transition the blog into a business portal and I'm taking each and every step as slowly but surely. 

If you are starting a blog just for the money then I'll be the first to warn you that its not going to be an easy task. You have to work extra hard and be extra strategic on everything. Below are the truths about blogging for the money:

You won't make money overnight. It takes a considerable amount of time to reach an earning potential as a blogger. But it is possible and you may have seen or read thousands of success stories of people having the blog as a part-time job or even a full-time job. 

You have to find your niche. This seals the deal if you want to blog for the money. You need to find your blogging niche or what sets your blog apart from other online websites. The more specific you blog topic is the better it would be in the long run. This blog is an example of a niche blog. It talks only on money matters specifically set for Pinay audience. And did you know that SavingsPinay stayed to be way much profitable than my personal beauty and lifestyle blog, IzzaGlino. 

You have to treat your blog as a business. If your serious in making your blog profitable then you need to start thinking of it as a business and not just an ordinary hobby. You need to work like your own employee creating a solid audience, a solid brand and solid reputation in the blogsphere. 

Final Notes from SavingsPinay:

It all started as a hobby for me. An interest that grew bigger in time. I didn't even realize that there's an audience for a financial blog not to mention that I'm a woman and I'm still young. I didn't believe that there will be people who will entrust their financial decision to someone like me {No I am not a professional financial consultant but I do offer my service as a financial coach at the moment} It all started with just simple blog. I attended events, received proposals from companies and met people whom I idolize in the blogsphere --- with just a simple blog.

My point maybe is this. We all just need the courage to start something. No matter how many people tell you there's no point in pursuing that passion, no matter how many people tell you it's time to stop --- keep going. SavingsPinay started with zero pageviews and today I receive 10,000++ monthly views and almost near my 200,000 pageviews.

One day you'll get noticed and you'll inspire others to build their own mark as wel and a BLOG is the cheapest and the most effective tool to get you there.

Are you ready to start your blogging journey too?
Email me at if you have personal questions about blogging or still have no idea how to start.