Posted in Lifestyle

Podcasts I Listen To

Podcasts save me from boredom during my morning commute. It stimulates my mind and feeds me new knowledge. It keeps me entertained and I get to know new information about different topics I’m interested in, like business, design, society, and psychology. It helps me become a better listener and gain insights into how other people live their life, their mindset, beliefs, where I can also apply in my own life.

So here I list down my favorite podcasts.

Image result for hidden brain

Hidden Brain

Hidden Brain talks about human psychology and uses science to interpret the meaning behind human patterns and behaviors. It tells a different story of unique individuals. It’s an interesting podcasts when you want to learn about human unconscious behaviors, patterns and relationship.

Listen here: Hidden Brain

The Minimalists

Hosts Joshua fields and Ryan Nicodemus are all about Minimalism. They discuss their beliefs about living a meaningful life with less. This Podcast enlightens me on what minimalism is. It’s not only a belief but it is also a lifestyle that they apply in all areas of their life, be it their diet, clothes, social media and many more.

Listen here: The Minimalists

You Are Not So Smart

You Are Not So Smart podcast is a show about psychology that celebrates science and self-delusion. It explores learning about reasoning, biases, judgment, and decision-making. Its a fun podcast where it explores human perception, motivation, and behavior. How we are unaware of how unaware we are of our actions.

Listen here: You Are Not So Smart

Something You Should Know

Host Mike Carruthers interviews top experts in their field to bring you fascinating information and advice to help you save time and money, advance in your career, become wealthy, improve your relationships and help you simply get more out of life. It’s one of my go-to podcasts when I want to learn new information and hear great tips from top experts. 

Listen here: Something You Should Know

Freakonomics

Discover the hidden side of everything with Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the Freakonomics books. Each week, Freakonomics Radio tells you things you always thought you knew (but didn’t) and things you never thought you wanted to know (but do) — from the economics of sleep to how to become great at just about anything. Dubner speaks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, intellectuals and entrepreneurs, and various other underachievers. 

Listen here: Freakonomics

Business Wars

If you are into business, check out Business Wars. Business Wars is a dramatization of well-known brands and their competitors. It gives real story of what drives these companies and their leaders, inventors, and executives. 

Listen here: Business Wars

99% Invisible

99% Invisible is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world. The show is just not entertaining, but it is also beautifully produced. Even though you are not interested in this podcast, listening to the host’s narration, Roman Mars, will make you listen! He could narrate anything in the world and I would still listen to it.

Listen here: 99% Invisible

Wake Up with Jim & Saab

Husband and wife Jim and Saab Magalona podcast talk about parenting and adulting stuff. How they manage their time between being a parent to their baby boy Pancho and also making time for themselves. I love how chill and cool this podcast is. It like they’re just talking to a bunch of millennials, sharing their thoughts and experiences as parents, their college life, and how they deal with their families and friends.

Listen here: Wake up with Jim & Saab

Linya Linya Show

Linya-Linya founder and writer Ali Sangalang host this comedy-na-may-kabuluhan show based on the daily experiences of Filipinos. To be honest, I like this show before when Victor Anastasio was still in each episode ( I find him funnier than Ali).

Listen here: Linya Linya Show

The Morning Rush

The Morning Rush lists the top 10 daily topics suggested by the listeners. The listeners then submit their entries via Twitter. They also let listeners call the show and share their entries for the top 10. It’s a funny show to listen to when you’re stuck in traffic on the way to work. It’s been an ongoing show for almost 20 years now and it is still going strong.

Listen here: The Morning Rush

Posted in Lifestyle

Current Obsession: Terrace House (Tokyo 2019-2020)

Konbanwa!

I’m a fan of the show Terrace House. I’ve started watching back during the Aloha State season (2017). Now I’m hooked with the show. Currently, I’m watching Tokyo (2019-2020) and it’s my current series obsession. It’s the only reality show that I find fun to watch. I like how the members give sincere advice to each other. I guess it helps me and the viewers have an insight that they can also apply in their life.

Terrace House is a reality TV Show from Japan. It comprises of six members, 3 males, and 3 females. They all live in a beautiful house with 2 luxury cars. No scripts at all (or as they say). They still go on with their normal lives while living in Terrace House. They’re not locked up in the house, they just simply live together with different people.

Most of the members who join Terrace House are either looking for love or simply want to show the viewers their pursuit in life. I like how they introduce themselves in the beginning and get to know each other and see them settling in the house.

Their general day to day life, asking someone out, cooking dinner for everyone and dating is what makes the show unique. It shows an authentic human experience. The drama that comes with the show is something I do enjoy watching. It’s not something that we face every day to talk about issues with people we live together.

The Panelists

The panelists are also a great addition to the show. They give their impressions of the members and make the show more entertaining with comedic humor and comments.

Peppe

What’s also interesting about the show is there are different people with different cultures. Some are local Japanese and some are foreigners who live in Japan. Viewers get to see how foreigners interact with the local Japanese members and how they adapt to the Japanese culture.

The show is inspiring in a way that each member has a goal in mind on why they join Terrace House. We get to see how they reach for their dreams and how they support each other.

Terrace House is available on Netflix.

Posted in finance, Lifestyle

10 Money Saving Tips

The topic of “Financial Responsibility” can be intimidating for some, especially if you’re a young professional like me. But as we get older, it is inevitable that we reach the stage of setting our priorities straight and thinking about plans and goals. It would be advantageous to be aware of your finances in this stage of your life and to start budgeting and investing for the future.

Growing up in a typical Chinese household, the practice of being frugal with handling money has been pass on to us since we were young. In light of being “financially responsible”, I would like to share my top 10 money managing rules that I apply in my life:

  • Settle your “fixed” expenses before anything else

Your fixed expenses are your monthly bills like rent, utilities, groceries, etc. These are the expenses that meets your physiological needs. Such cash outflows, however, may be adjusted depending on market and situational changes such as increase in utility bills and mandatory change of lifestyle; mandatory meaning that these changes are necessary such as a sudden inclusion of maintenance meds and such in your expenses. These are the expenses that are a “must” for you to live your daily lives.

Some may say that it is a “must” for them to have Starbucks every morning. Please get real and be honest with what should be included as “fixed” expenses.

  • Save at least 10% of your earnings

Regardless of how much you earn, practice to save at least 10% of it after your fixed expenses. For example, if you earn Php 10,000 a month and you have fixed expenses worth Php 2,000, save 10% from your net income (which is Php 8,000) amount to Php 800. The percentage could be adjusted depending on your profile, but the sweet spot for me is 10%, and it won’t be difficult to calculate what portion of your net you have to save.

  • Set aside a percentage of your earnings as emergency fund

How much you set aside for your emergency fund will vary on each individual. A good rule to follow is to set aside at least 6 months of your income for 1 year. Going back to our example, we should save at least Php 60,000 from our net for 1 year. This would mean that we should save at least Php 5,000 a month for emergency fund (this is following 12-month salary).

  • Live below your means

Whatever is left of your earnings is the money you can use to spend. Try to live below your means while you’re young and minimize spending especially on “material” things that you’ll regret spending money on.

Going back to our example, after saving 10% of your net income and setting aside emergency funds, we’re left with Php 2,200. This Php 2,200 will be your disposable income per month. You should live below the capability of your disposable income. A good habit I practice is delayed gratification. I will hold on to the Php 2,200 and let it accumulate until I purchase something I really want, or sometimes even better, in a future date. Delayed gratification will also set you up in the habit of really thinking about your purchase, making sure that you won’t just squander your long saved cash for something not worth it. Delayed gratification is better compared to spending all of my disposable funds in something that would only satisfy me in the short-term.

  • Invest your savings

It is best to invest your money while you are young. In my case, I opened a time deposit and a money market account. These are low risk and are suitable for me since I’m not an aggressive investor. My boyfriend, however, has a more aggressive risk appetite and invests his savings in stocks and equity backed UITFs (Unit Investment Trust Funds).

Before investing, you should check your risk profile, how much liquid you want to be, and what would be your investment goal. For me, I have a low risk investment profile but liquidity is not an issue that is why I opted for time deposit with longer terms and a money market account which I don’t have plans of liquidating soon. My boyfriend has a high-risk profile and also plans to keep his investments for the long-term. According to him, the longer you keep your money in high-risk high return investments, the more chances of greater capital appreciation.

Going back to our illustration, we save Php 800 per month. Invest these savings rather than keeping them under your bed. Let your savings work for you, slowly and exponentially multiplying them through investment channels.

  • Apply for a credit card

Applying for a credit card has its perks. With the right card, you can earn rewards for each purchase that could get your cash rebates and great offers. You could also purchase without the use of cash, which is a plus nowadays that we’re shifting to cashless transactions. Another benefit of using a credit card for purchases is having a credit record. Usually, financial institutions use credit profiles to engage you in future financing products like housing loans. However, the advantages of having a credit card may also cause if you’re not responsible enough.

Since using the credit card does not entail the physical or tangible feeling of cash out flow, some may feel that they’re retail immortals when using the credit card. Having this kind of mentality is what drowns people in credit card debt. Use your credit card responsibly and instead of using it as a tool to purchase whatever you want, use your credit card to teach you financial discipline. Which leads to my next tip;

  • Use your credit card wisely and only buy things you currently afford

Use your credit card only for things you can afford AT THE MOMENT. For example, if your itching to buy that new smartphone, only use your credit card in making the purchase if you have sufficient funds to meet the phone purchase. The logic here is to use your credit card as a payment substitute for cash and not as a debt generating mechanism. Avoid using your credit card if your funds are insufficient that smart phone purchase.

Some may say that the main reason they applied for a card is for the ability to pay for things through debt. This is a big mistake since for credit card purchases, there are higher bank costs and higher interest rates as compared to housing loans and car loans. Personally, I just use my credit card as a payment channel and get reward points.

  • Pay your credit card bills in full

This is another tip in using a credit card. You may say that you have sufficient funds to purchase that new Coach Bag since you could meet the minimum monthly credit card payments. This is a big no no practice.

Always try to pay your credit card bills in full. One way that credit card companies earn from others’ defiance of this rule is through, again, higher bank charges and interest rates. If you accumulate all the interest rate payments you made, you might as well have bought two Coach bags instead of the one you have right now.

  • Track your expenses

Always make an effort of tracking your expenses. You could opt to use a spreadsheet for this or download expense tracking apps. The purpose of tracking expenses is to benchmark and compare your saving efforts and to formulate strategies on how to make your spending more conservative.

Tracking your expenses also gives you the ability to realize some of the certain luxuries you could minimize or avoid all together. For example, when keeping track of your Php 500 a day expense, you could see which expense items you could let go to lower your expense to Php 300 per day.

  • Build financial intimacy with your partner

Money is a common cause of quarrels in relationships. The worst-case scenario is that this may lead to violent break-ups or, for married couples, broken families.

I advise you to be open with your financial situation with your partner. Whatever it may be, if he/she is a great partner, they would stay by you and would even help you in your financial goals.

My boyfriend made a cash budget spreadsheet that we both can use to track our expenses. This helps us monitor our own expenses and to help us budget dates. If we could not afford to go out, we could just hang out and chill with Netflix. This is better than giving your partner the illusion that you could give them the best time of their life all the time without disclosing that you are already financially in distress just to give them that best time.

Communicate with your partner regarding your finances so that both of you could grow and meet your financial goals.  

I hope that these money-saving tips give you an idea on how to manage your finances effectively. 🙂