Friday, February 20, 2009

Do You Have Enough to Pay For Emergencies?

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How much do you have in your savings account? Half of your monthly salary? A quarter of your monthly salary? Do you have any savings at all?

If you cannot answer any of those questions outright with a loud confident yes, then you have a problem.


It's either you know how, but you can't, or you don't know how so you just can't. Right?

If you know how to save - meaning you KNOW how you can save, it's just that you THINK your expenses are just a bit bigger that you're actual income for the time-being, then all you have to do is adjust your self-discipline. To do this, you definitely need someone to help you. Not to save, but to remind you that you are saving. Let's say a friend or an officemate who'd remind you not to buy that cute little bangle or that nice shiny patent leather bag, or not to go to that coffee shop to get your favorite frappe because you ARE saving money.

If you DON'T know how to save, then you should continue reading down to the last word of this post.


1. Get what you need, let go of what you want - In a salon, get a haircut, no need for you to avail of that hair spa thingy because it's "on sale". You need a caffeine shot? Go to the coffee shop, get an espresso, no whipped cream or extra syrup.

2. Give to Ceasar what is Ceasar's - Remit what you have to for taxes and everything. You don't want karma hounding you.

3. Prove the Lord's words - Malachi 3:10 said that you can "prove" that God wants to prove himself to you by saying, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that [there shall] not [be room] enough [to receive it]." In simple terms, give your tithes back to the Lord and he will surely bring in more blessings - financially, physically, emotionally, everything! - more than what you can handle.

*Tithes - 10% of everything that comes in. If your total salary received for the payroll period is, let's say P 12,265.00, then you're tithes - the amount you need to give back to the Lord through your church, is P 1,226.50.

4. Save before everything else - The common mistake all of us make is "we'll put into savings what's left after we have taken care of all our bills, expenses, and other payables". Oooops! That's wrong actually. What you need to do is to set aside the amount you want to save before allocating for your expenses and payables.

For example, you want to save at least 20% (this is the percentage most financial advisers tell their clients, the least safest margin) of your total earnings for the period. So from the above figure of P 12,265.00, your savings should be P 2,453.00 - this amount you should set side immediately, put it somewhere safe (or you can open a separate bank account for your savings - a passbook account is more appropriate so you won't be tempted to withdraw any time) and forget about it!

5. Manage your bills wisely - Prioritize your bills. Pay up those that are not so lenient with their terms and that pertain to things you literally need and cannot do without, like your electrical & water bills! Next, budget for your daily expenses, such as food, basic needs and toiletries, and transportation/fare.

For bills with interest, like credit card bills, make sure you pay off the credit card with the highest interest rates. It's wiser than paying off the credit card with the higher balance but lower interest rate. Why? Because interests increase every month, your base does not. The higher interest rate, the faster your payables grow.

6. Discipline - As I've mentioned before, you really can't do this alone. You need a "conscience" to remind you and control your urges to spend, spend, spend!

7. Leave a comment - If you learned something from this, or at least think that this helped you, please leave a comment, I'd really appreciate it!

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Smelly Blazer? = Annoyed Heart!

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Aside from the fact that my blazer smells like hell - because our lovely yaya just wouldn't say that she already has no more laundry soap, the sun hasn't shone at its best for the past 3 days, and so the darn blazer smells like it has been used for three weeks straight! Shirt! I have a annoying story from the Office right now....

My reports have been rushed, and now, they're stuck with Person A. - Pardon the anonymity gig... :) - When I logged into my messenger, offline messages from Person B said they need me to add something else to the reports. Darn, and the "best" part is that they wanted ME to ask for the details to add to the report, while the fact was that THEY wanted ME to add the things to the report. What the..?

I know it may be our job to look for the details of things because we're the audit people, but heck, they wanted to include this issue which was NOT part of the scope of work the Person A approved in the first place - they'd have to give US the details upfront, don't you think?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

How Much Are You Worth?

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Ok, so we've heard it all before - from Senators to Presidentiables every time National Elections draw near. The Net Worth of Mr So&So is This Much Billion, etc. etc. etc... For us simple people, how much are we worth?

To determine your net worth, here are simple steps to start computing.

First, if right now you own, I mean really own, 3 cellphones which any wiling buyer (not your friends and relatives!) would gladly pay for at P 6,000 each; 1 notebook/laptop for about P 10,000; a bank account with a total available (meaning withdrawable immediately) of let's say, P 42,000; and jewelry with total pawnshop-appraised value of P 30,000. Your total assets - or things/properties, including your cash, that you actually and rightfully own and control will be:

3 cellphones @ 6,000 = 18,000
1 laptop/notebook @ 10,000 = 10,000
bank account = 42,000
* jewelry @ pawn-appraised value of 30,000 x 3 = 90,000
TOTAL ASSETS = 160,000.00

* We multiplied the jewelry pawn value by 3 because pawnshops generally appraise your treasures at 1/3 of its actual market value.

Next. If you are renting an apartment for P 8,000 per month, that's a liability - a payable. A loan from a friend of about P 1,500 and a credit card payable of P 6,500 - your total liabilities/credit/"utang" in tagalog for this current month, or at least for this example, is P 16,000.

You Net Worth will then be:
Assets of = P 160,000
liabilities of = P 16,000
NET WORTH = P 144,000

In other words, your net worth can be computed by deducting all your credits and payables from all your available cash, receivables (from your friends' loans from you or if you won something, etc.), and owned properties at their fair market value or FMV (the amount any willing third party buyer in a straight forward purchase transaction will pay you).

For clarifications, questions or comments, don't hesitate to drop a comment right after this post. :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

How to Compute Your Withholding Tax

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Darryl Doctor of IM4PINOY has advised me to practice my profession while blogging, and so one inquiry has reached my inbox lately - HOW TO COMPUTE WITHHOLDING TAX AS SEEN ON YOUR PAYSLIP.

Since we're in the Philippines, the discussion I'll be posting here is based on Philippine regulations, and now that is the new law on Withholding Tax or Revenue Regulations 10-2008 (to implement RA 9504).

To start, look at your payslips and determine your Gross Receipts/Income for the payroll period. I believe most of us are paid semi-monthly, so I'll use that as an example.

After locating or computing all your income for the period, look at this shortened table to see in which category your exemption belongs to.

To explain:

If you're single (without dependents, or in other words, children that are dependent on you for support), you should look at row A. This should also be for married women whose exemption for your kids have been claimed by your husband (married without dependents), and for those who are the bread winners who support their parents and for single parents, this is termed as the head of the family.

Next, from STEP 1, you have computed your total earnings/receipts for this period (half month), we can now go and locate which tax rate we are going to use to compute for your withholding tax.

If you are single (from STEP 2) and your gross (or total) earnings for the half-month period is P 7,345.00, you should look at Row A, Column 5. Why? Because P 7,345.00 is more than 5,000 but less than 7,917.

Now that we know where to look, let's go on with the computation.
Row A, Column 5 - please note that the exemption column will no longer be used in the computation because it is already incorporated in the values under each column. So don't mind that, it's just for you to know how much your exemption really is.

Let's proceed. Look at Row A, column 5. The computation will be like this:

P 7, 345 - P 5,000 = P 2,345 multiply by 20% = P 469.00
Add the value right under the column number = 354.17
Total Withholding Tax therefore is = P 823.17

Is the figure correct so far?

Question, how about if you're the husband, you're married and have 2 kids?

According to the tax code, you (husband) are the only spouse allowed to claim the exemption, and therefore, you should look at Row C - Married with 2 dependents. But if you are the wife and you have 2 kids, the husband is still, by default, the rightful claimant of the exemption. Unless, he submits a written affidavit to BIR (through his HR Dept.) that he will not claim the exemption for the dependents/kids, and so you dear wifey, can now look at Row C.

How about Single Parents with 1 child? - look at Row B. You are a head of the family with 1 dependent. And so on and so forth.

For questions and clarifications, feel free to leave a comment below or contact me HERE.

Blogger is failing Me

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I sincerely hope that the loading glitch is just temporary. So far this week I've tried viewing my blog and Blogger has failed me time and time again. This blog and this blog doesn't load at all! My browser's status bar just keeps on saying that it's loading when in fact, it's not.

Darn. My dilemma now is, to have it load faster and more complete, I'd have to take down all my ad spaces - which is gonna be really frustrating. I hope someone can read this and address the problem soon.

Read my Disclosure Policy.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More US Companies Might Close

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Just logged out from my email and saw the headline from Yahoo! Finance, 15Companies That Might Not Survive 2009. As an overview, here are the companies:

  1. Rite Aid - medicines, pharmaceutical items
  2. Claire's Stores - accessories, jewelries, etc.
  3. Chrysler - of course, you what that is.
  4. Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group - I have no idea, didn't quite read everything from its site
  5. Realogy Corp.
  6. Station Casinos
  7. Loehmann's Capital Corp
  8. Sbarro - darn. I liked Sbarro.
  9. Six Flags
  10. Blockbuster
  11. Krispy Kreme - too much of a sweet thing, huh?
  12. Landry's Restaurants
  13. Sirius Satellite Radio
  14. Trump Entertainment Resorts Holdings
  15. BearingPoint

Oh, well... Good thing I have been very blessed so far, amidst the crises. Nonetheless, let's not lose hope, and pray that everyone, yes everyone, is not that much affected by these.

Read my Disclosure Policy.

Story Credits

Nobody's Indispensable.

Went on duty in the main office yesterday and I was a bit uneasy with the silence surrounding me - well, except for the not-so-silent hum of the airconditioning vent just above my head.

I was expecting to receive a draft report from my "kids" today, unfortunately, nobody seems to remember that I specifically asked for updates every morning. Yesterday's excuse was that the people concerned were either absent or on leave and that they needed more documents to support potential issues that they might report later on. Apparently, they chose not to send a report - with or without issues on it.

I've told them several times before that they need to update me on everything, even on the positive side of things. This just makes me more uneasy and worried about what these guys are thinking and whether they even understood a word of those things I blabbered even before. I also wonder whether they value their work and the experience they are gaining from these activities. Well, they should - there's an ongoing crisis and they would really never know when the company would deem them dispensable.

I didn't want to scare them or something but I realized that they needed to know how insignificant they can become to a company once the expectations are not met. I pointed out that they are currently not on the VIP list, most especially since they haven't even been with the company for more than 6 months. Hopefully that can serve as a wake-up call. I just don't know now whether they even tried waking up.

photo credits

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