Teacher’s Reflection: Why Millennial Should “Plant” Their Money?

When I was at 3rd year High School, one of the subject we had that really get the nerve out of me is Accountancy. I don’t even know why we have such subject, but they said that is “part” of our T.L.E subject, so we just have to pass it. I ended up liking the subject because of the “Asset, Liability and Credit” part of the subject, making us feel like real accountants solving real numbers. Here’s a real catch, every time we fail our Accountancy exam, we have to PLANT root crops (kamote leaves) in our school backyard as a sign of our “kamote grades.”

As an adult today, I can still remember how I messed up my Accountancy subject and not applied what I learned there. It could have helped me with my financial planning which I have to admit I’m not an expert yet. And many young professionals nowadays are having a hard time to set their financial plan too. In fact, schools don’t usually teach financial planning, they only taught us how “make money” through entrepreneurship and employment. That’s why when disaster comes to the family, we ended up lending money that results in many debts and poverty.

Why is important for young people to learn Financial Planning? Financial Planning, in particular, is like planting. You have to deliberately take one learning at a time like “sowing seeds” and take action by simply digging the soil and plant those “seeds.” So when the rainy days strikes, you have fruits to “reap” and use.

Does it sound complicated? Here are the points Millennials like you should consider why you need to start “plant” your money today:

1. Life is so UNCERTAIN

A Farmer usually plants for one “major” reason: TO PROVIDE FOR THEIR NEEDS. Us millennials don’t need to learn what our physiological needs. It’s already in-born in our DNA that we have needs to fulfill in our daily lives (food, shelter, clothes, and for us Millenials, a WiFi connection). And all those needs, whether we like it or not, requires money. How do we earn money? For starters, we were taught by our parents to work in a company or build our own business. After we earn that income, what do we do with it? We usually start spending it with our needs. When our income gets bigger, so does our spending, and the cycle goes on and on.

Only fewer people in our population in the Philippines are taught to save and invest their money. That’s why many families from the old to today are being poor because of unwise handling of money. No wonder why many of our senior citizens today are living dependent on their kids without enough money to live their last golden ages. When the breadwinner of the family dies or calamities strikes in, the income or cash flow stops.

Young people, I can tell you many disasters my family went through (and even today) that related to money. Looking at the news today, it seems like death and calamities are so inevitable, we just know that it will happen. So while it’s not yet happening, better prepare and start planning your finances. It’s better to start something than none.

2. There’s More to Life than “WORKING” for your Money

For ants, there’s no bigger reason for them to work hard for their food during summer time. They just know that when the rainy days start, they have food in store for them. In the Bible, Ants are considered are one of the “exceedingly wise creatures” God created because of their wise response in dealing with disaster. For us young people, we don’t usually teach by our parents to work for our make our dreams come true. In most cases, we were wired to work and be employed to earn an income. It’s all about provisions. So think about it, if we work to earn a living, then disaster strikes in our lives, what it would be its effect on our income? Most likely our cash flow will diminish the same way as our employees.

So the reality is this, employment alone while working the same routine and getting the same salary will not take us further. If we want to make our make big breakthrough for ourselves and our family, we have to start doing great things too. But sadly, most of us are expecting great things out of small routine, again and again, that’s what you called INSANITY. Just like planting a mongo seed, expecting it to be a mango tree. Let’s stop this deception and start making the most out of your money. Start knowing what your big goals is and create a discipline for you to prioritize saving and investing. Because at the end of the day when we have our own family and get old, we want our hard-earned money to work “for us,” not the other way around.

3. PLANTING MONEY will teach us GOOD CHARACTER

A rich and poor man can be differentiated not based on their possessions, but what inside of their hearts. I saw rich people who are kind and poor people who are arrogant. So regardless of what we have in our bank account, everything will boil down to our character. The character is who we are when no one is watching. The way we handle our money will determine our character as an individual. Growing up in a family with unstable income teaches me to handle my money wisely. I learned to save most of my allowances to pay for my school projects, field trips and so on. In a young age, I learned to do errands to other people so I can earn more money. And that is something you cannot just teach to young people today with all the technology and social media.

When you start saving and investing, there’s a lot of discipline and character that will develop in you like patience, perseverance, and self-control. It will not come easy at first because of the temptations and testings you will face, but it will be all worth it once you see the growth of your money. Your perspective will change and you will see money differently when you start saving and investing.

As an adult, I learned many things I should have done in my money when I was starting working. And it should not happen to you as well. So before a disaster happens, better start digging (work), sow those seeds (save and invest) and reap more than what your income can give. Don’t waste your time and make the most out of your money by making brighter choices for you and your family. Because if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Teacher’s Reflections: When your Blog “doesn’t” Mean Anything, Anymore

Friend: “I want to make a video blog. Is that a good idea?”
My close friend asked me after her makeup class while on the car.
Me: “Yes, it is an awesome idea. Like you’re studying it already, might as well make the most out of your talents. And through it, you can get some future clients and projects like a legit makeup artist/vlogger.”
Friend: “But many of my friends are already doing it. Entering to it makes me an ‘another vlogger’ in a pool of YouTube vloggers.”
Me: “There’s nothing bad about it, you just have to be different and have a good purpose for it.”

I don’t know how to start here, but one thing I’m sure when it comes to blogging is this – it’s NEVER EASY, BUT WORTH THE INVESTMENT OF TALENT. I can encourage people to go and do blogging with a caution. But because of the popularity that this industry can give, most of us are not well-educated to see its good and bad side of it. That’s why many of us can jump to a wrong conclusion that blogging is ALWAYS GOOD.

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For some, it’s easy to see the life of blogger/vlogger/online influencers as luxurious and fun because of the events, travel, and perks. But the reality is this: NOTHING IN BLOGGING IS FREE and NOT ALL THE TIME IT IS ALL ABOUT LUXURIOUS. IT COMES WITH A PRICE. A price that you need to constantly need to pay if you want to keep your blogger name stay alive in public.

How about this, the blogging community is getting larger every year. And because of that, some people don’t want to enter anymore no matter how great their ideas are. There’s another dark side of it. Because the blogging community is so big today, fake news is starting to put poison to the name that we protected. We’re no longer making a difference because of these issues.

So this is how we make our blog sites not relevant to the public. By experience, these are the things I’d seen that dull our color and credibility as a blogger (no matter how we try to impress with gimmicks):

1. Your blog ONLY fuels for MONEY

Any blog perks/honorarium/cool stuff you get as a blogger is not a bad thing. However, if these things are the only fuels you to blog, better recalibrate and have a heart check. Just like a famous artist once told me, “If you’re only doing your art for money, it’s like your making a prostitution out of your talents.” Personally, I used to be tempted to do a blog project that compromises the values of my blog for a good price. Yes, I get my honorarium, but I lose some of my readers in the process because they no longer know me and my niche. Money or Niche? Where do you focus your blog? Have a heart check now and recalibrate.

2. Your blog is “NUMBERS-oriented.”

One of the things that keeps me all night is to OVERCHECK the numbers of my follower and stats on Instagram, website, etc. It gets so weird to the point that I even bargaining to people, just for them to like or follow my social media accounts. And that’s how it can ruin a blogger. When every single thing we do is the ULTIMATE GOAL of making us big in numbers, we’re degrading our values, not just a blogger but a person as well. We’re living on a facade that we need to try so hard to fit in, ALL BECAUSE OF NUMBERS. The effect: depression and self-doubt come in. People see their self-worth based on their social media likes and they will lock to this delusion that being popular is better than not. I learned this lesson by shutting my phone sometimes and rely on God alone for more followers and stats. Because if I don’t, it will hurt my reputation and it will leave me obsessed and arrogant. There’s nothing wrong with numbers, you just have to learn how to control it right, not the other way around. And because of that, you can now sleep tight and so will I.

3. Your blog is ALL OVER THE PLACE.

People from the blogging industry always reminds us of this main important point: FOCUS ON YOUR NICHE. For some reason, I tend to jump from one niche to another; even if I’m not good at it. Before I started blogging way back 2015, I made it clear to myself and my readers that this blog site is a Christian Blog. So I started that way from promoting church events, worship songs, and my favorite Christian kids show online. Little did I know, opportunities start to open, that leads me to do food, beauty, and lifestyle blogging. And it didn’t stop there because I ended up selling food supplements, and doing PR posts of the things I have no idea what it is. So people no longer distinguish me from the rest, even PR companies don’t know where to put me because my website is full of things that are no connection to who I am as a blogger. So I have to learn to choose well my blog projects. I should not be swayed to any perks nor gimmicks just to fit in. Be a blogger that I want people to be, and surely God will honor my work.

Before I concluded with these points, I have to learn the hard way. I was open to the good, bad and ugly of blogging and it affects me in so many ways. But let me tell you this before you question my points: I never imagine to be a blogger. As a teacher, blogging is not my cup of tea nor top of my talents. I’m still figuring it out why I ever enter this industry with less expertise and connections. But I believe the reasons why I’m doing what I’m doing because of these things:

1. God gave me a PURPOSE TO BLOG
2. I value things that GIVE VALUE to PEOPLE, that’s why I blog it; and
3. It will be a PLATFORM for me to SHARE HIS GOSPEL OF LOVE to MORE PEOPLE, earning from it is the second.

And all of us need it, doesn’t it? A PURPOSE AND VALUE that makes us a blogger worth following. What I learned as I made this article is this – The only thing that separates a blogger from anyone else is their PURPOSE and VALUES they’re shown to the public. And that’s how #ResponsibleMedia works.

If you want to be a blogger, focus on these points first. Surely, with or without the big numbers, perks, and honorarium, you will be ok because God honors all good work that’s honoring to Him. In this industry, I learned that every opportunity is a blessing from Him. A blessing that I can’t take for granted nor ignore. So with or without blog events/opportunities, I AM STILL HIS. No room for bitterness nor complaining. Just pure love and stewardship for the talent and avenue He gave.

 

Teacher’s Reflection: Financial Literacy is Nothing to me, Until…

When I was I kid, I learned to earn my first income at doing different errands with other people in our neighborhood. From elementary to high school, I learned to earn money in doing many things like babysitting, managing family business, selling school supplies at school, and so on. My income continues to be bigger as I work in a fast food chain for almost 3 years while studying in college. I also entered freelance work after graduation and get my first teaching job as I strive to earn more money.

All of my life is centered on earning money. From childhood till’ now, I was mold to be “business-minded” in my engagements. But none of these things taught me about “Financial Literacy.” Now that I’m 26 years old with unstable earning and savings in the bank, I learned that working alone will not take my money further. I may be earning, but without savings or a plan to prepare for my future goals, the money I have will only serve as a “small tool.”

With all the training and books I read as an adult, I learned that I neglected the fact that I need to be diligent and responsible for handling my finances. But in reality, these learnings will be just mere words to me, until I learned how to appreciate and apply them to what it is.

Financial Literacy is something I don’t really care that much. When I hear people talked about money, it made me feel uncomfortable because it is a sensitive topic for me. Until…

1. I learned the REAL purpose of it

Financial Literacy, in general, is all about WISE EDUCATION IN HANDLING MONEY AND POSSESSION. Technically, fake news taught me that financial literacy is all about “sheer investments” and “money market,” which is not the real case. Financial literacy made me realized that it’s merely about “money management” and how to make money work well with everyone. Rich or poor, having 100k/month salary or 500 pesos in your wallet, you have to find purpose to the money you have. Because more than just having that money, you have to do something with it, with a proper money management skills.

2. It should have applied to my family

When my father died, one of the struggles I’d been through is entering college. I want to enroll at University of Santo Tomas and take an Education course. But being financially broke because of the death of my dad makes that goal into an end. My mom and dad could have made an emergency fund or savings at the bank to stop these financial problems. But we were not taught by our parents nor our teachers to prepare financially for disaster.

So the sad thing is this, financial literacy will only be an information to many people unless a loved one is dying in a critical illness and you don’t have any money to send them to hospital. I could have entered at UST if my parents saved for it. But now as an adult, I believe there’s more that we can do to not let the financial mistakes of our parents pass on to us. Make money management a serious matter, because every financial decision can affect you and the next generations to come.

3. I learned to START taking the FIRST STEP FORWARD

With all the stress I had when it comes to earning money as a teacher, a friend of mine from church taught me a financial lesson that might save me today and future milestones: GET AN INSURANCE. Once again, fake information taught me that “all insurance is all scam.” But when the REAL information sets in, I learned that insurance is what WE REALLY NEED to protect us in any storms and conflicts in life that involves money. Now, having my first insurance policy, I learned that sustaining a “money protection plan” for me and my family can teach me many things when it comes to money. Being tight to my monthly budget and teaching myself a proper money discipline is hard at first, but it’s all worth it. Knowing that this money I’m saving will help me big time in reaching Financial Freedom.

Taking small steps towards financial freedom is never easy, but it’s worth it. And it’s not applied in insurance alone. There are many ways that you can do to make money management possible like mutual funds, income protection fund, and so on. You just have to get what is suitable for you to make your financial freedom possible.

Looking back at my previous money decisions, I learned how the learnings I have about financial literacy today could have saved my past money mistakes. I could have a new car and travel to different destinations I learned these principles earlier. But today is a new day to start new with my financial goals. Make every good steps count and make the most out of my money and time. As for you, you don’t need to experience what I’d been through for you to start saving and investing for your future. Talk to a reliable financial advisor now and choose to live brighter for today and your future goals ahead towards #FinancialFreedom.

Teacher’s Reflection: 3 Money Decision Tests that will Change You

Group of friends looking at their social media apps on their phone in a Coffee Shop:
Friend 1: Wow! What a wonderful dress Kylie Jenner is wearing.
Friends 2: Woah! How awesome is that drone he’s using? Good for our next travel goals.
Friend 3: Hey guys, this restaurant serves mouthwatering desserts. It’s only two blocks away.
Friend 2: Ok let’s go to that restaurant, how much budget do you have?
Friend 1: Sorry I need to pass muna, I need to save for this Kylie Jenner Dress.
Friend 2: I guess I need to pass too, this drone is too awesome, I need to get it before summer.
Friend 3: WHAT? They serve “Buy 1, take 1” Chocolate Cake, let’s go now before its too late.

This kind of conversation is usually seen to millennials today and you might be thinking how shallow and unreal they are in handling money. But if you will look at our culture today, we have to admit that money management is not easy as it looks especially for young people. As being millennial myself, I learned many things about how I handle money in this present time. And with all the trends and pressure of our pop culture, I can really tell that it’s hard not to follow with the flow.

Since we cannot control the culture, we can learn to control how we think about the money we have. It is often said that the mindset someone’s mold will determine how he/she will journey. In money, it doesn’t matter how much we have, it’s about how we “handle” it that counts. Do we see money as a tool or a dangerous pill? It depends on how you perceive it.

For young people, we have to admit that it’s hard not to handle our finances with all the trends and pressure of our pop culture. But with these 3 “Money Test,” it will put right direction with the money you have so you can prioritize where you should put it.

1. Is it a “NEED” or a “WANT”?

When we were kids, we were taught by our parents to know the difference between needs and wants by simply going to the mall. We tend to choose toys over clothes, arcade over groceries, and movie over bills. That’s why when we don’t buy that favorite toy or play to the arcade, we tend to be mad and throw tantrum inside the mall. Now we get a bit older, we don’t act as a kid does when we enter the mall, but the feeling of a rush when we see that beautiful dress and smell that delicious meal is still there. We tend to negotiate and feed our conscience with many compromises just to make the new iPhone gadget a “need.”

Before we go to the school, mall, or hang out with our friends, we have to distinguish the difference between the “needs” and “wants” by simply listing down your “priority list” (how much money is allotted for your food, transportation, etc.) If it’s not part of your list, don’t buy it. Little adjustments will be fine but make sure that you will keep the right pace of discipline with you in and out of your home.

Young people, knowing your “needs” and “wants” will make your burden light despite the pressure of this pop culture. Just like they said, if you’re priorities are clear, your decisions will be more simple.

2. What is your #LifeGoals?

What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be a teacher when I was little. Now that I’m teaching, what’s next? Our goals in life do not end after college, young people. As we become employee or businessman, our life goals shifted into different and bigger picture like traveling around the world, getting a new house or car and much more. And let me tell you this, these goals of having great things will not happen if you’re just spending too much money for “not so great” stuff.

So start aiming big, young people. Start listing those #LifeGoals and take steps forward in putting some of your money to that goal. It doesn’t have to be big amount immediately, take a small amount of your allowance or salary and start saving or investing it in stocks or insurance policy. It is better to start little than none and see how it will grow to make your #LifeGoals into a reality.

3. What is the “PURPOSE” of this money?

For us millennials, we only think of money as a “tool” to sustain our need. But when disaster strikes and we don’t have income or saving to provide for needs, we see money as a “struggle” and a “chain” in our neck. No wonder even at young age, children are already committing criminal cases because of poverty in the family. Do we ever ask ourselves why we work? Why need money? And what do we do with or without money? Young people, we have to set a right mindset when it comes to money. Start by answering these questions:

– Why are you working to earn?
– What is the “main priority” of our income?
– A few years from now, what kind of retirement we want to live so we can live our last days with dignity and grace?
– When calamity comes or someone in my family is diagnosed with a critical illness, do I have a savings or insurance to provide for it?’
– Do I want to be a “blessing” or a “burden” to my family financially if ever death comes?

All these questions will put your heart and mind at ease. Because answering these questions will see the purpose of your money and how you will use it differently. Money supposed to be a “blessing” and not a “curse,” so better make the most out of the money you have.

You want to get your money further, start saving and investing. Cut off those unnecessary spending and fix your eyes towards your #LifeGoals and make the most out of your money. Talk to a reliable financial advisor now and choose to live brighter for today and your future goals ahead towards #FinancialFreedom. 

Teacher’s Reflection: Why I’m “NO LONGER” Celebrating Halloween?

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Photo courtesy by Reggie “Blackgoat” Reyes.

Halloween celebration is one of the things I’m hype to be part with. Christmas and New Year celebrations are too common for me. Only at Halloween where I can do “costume preparations” and scared the hell out of people; Until today. A few days ago, I created some ideas on how to participate again in a Halloween Event at one of the shopping malls at the south. As a Believer, putting up a “lighter” costume is way better than the scary zombie (which I usually do). But I felt the Lord spoke to me at that moment and said,

“Are you going back to your OLD SELF?”

At the back of my head, I immediately responded “no, I’m not. I’m just doing it for fun, Lord”. I felt confident about my “Christianism” answer. But He asked me again, doing His best to make me understand the question. And that thought about the “Halloween costume planning” finally hit me, getting to the point of saying NO to it for good.

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Photo courtesy of the owner.

The “Old Self” and the “Dead”

When I started to follow Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I know that my sins in the past are a way “beyond cure”. The Bible already stated that “everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” (Romans 3:23 NLT). The term “old self” in the Bible is similar to who we are before Christ: “dead in sin”. But thanks to God’s glorious love and mercy for us, He “showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8 NLT). His death on the cross is more than just giving us forgiveness and eternal life. It’s also giving us “new life” and “reconciled” us again with God. 

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT)

…even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!). (Ephesians 2:5)

These truths in His Word creates a full conviction in me to not participate any longer in those Halloween events. Not because of the church nor even the rules of Christianity. These things in the past are no longer who I am today. They’re as good as dead and it’s up to my convictions whether if I still want to bring the dead back to life.

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. – Colossians 3:1-4 NLT

How about you?

On the recent post that Pastor Paolo Punzalan, he quoted an article from Travis Allen about how Christians should respond to Halloween. The article summary stated:

Ultimately, Christian participation in Halloween is a matter of conscience before God. Whatever level of Halloween participation you choose, you must honor God by keeping yourself separate from the world and by showing mercy to those who are perishing. Halloween provides the Christian with the opportunity to accomplish both of those things in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s a message that is holy, set apart from the world; it’s a message that is the very mercy of a forgiving God. What better time of the year is there to share such a message than Halloween?

It’s up to you on how to respond. In summary, the reason why I’m “NO LONGER” want to participate in any Halloween events is simply because my relationship with Jesus is far more important than me being happy. I am not saved by grace just to go back to the grave that I used to live in. We are made to bring LIGHT and LOVE to the world and participating in Halloween is not part of it. You may have fun at the moment, but knowing the ETERNAL JOY of having a relationship with Jesus Christ is far better than candies, the costumes and the temporal excitement that this world can give. And that’s the message of the Gospel.

“From darkness to light, From death into life, His grace changes changes everything.”

What shall I do then? Just simply LOVE GOD, FOLLOW HIS WAYS AND LOVE OTHERS AS HE LOVED US FIRST. It’s that simple. Make it not just an event that I should avoid but an OPPORTUNITY to speak light and share the good news with everyone.

2016-10-31_09-44-46P.S. One more thing. Because the name of this blog is “Love Teacher Angel”, there’s no way that I will promote any fear in my blog site. For “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.- 1 John 4:8”. Make sense, isn’t it?

Let me know your insights and let’s talk about love and acceptance.

Let me know your insights and let’s talk with love and acceptance. 💖