Category Archives: Saving tips

How We Cope with Our Credit Card Debt for Good

Paying our credit card debt was one of the financial burdens we thought we could not cope with eight years ago. 

The payment obligation was just too difficult to bear for a single-earning family like ours. 

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Useful Plastic Card

Initially, our credit card saved us from distress. It was beneficial to us during emergencies and when paying for our daughter’s tuition. If I remember correctly, it was the last transaction we have made using the credit card.

It was even easier to buy school supplies and grocery shopping, anytime.

Our son’s hospitalization in 2004 drove us to use the credit card offered to us. It was a suitable time for us because we have spent all of our savings, including the ones saved in a time deposit account, to purchase the expensive medicine for our son to ensure his fast recovery.

With the existence of credit card(s), we felt at ease because we know we have something to fall back on in times of need.

Debt Woes  

The problem with our credit card began to affect us when we were unable to pay the monthly bill in full. We have no problem paying at first because we know how to budget our finances.

But the credit card company knew nothing about your personal struggle; they would charge interest on your unpaid balance and adds that charge to your balance.

We live within our means and do not spend beyond our limit. However, the unexpected event at hubby’s company took a heavy toll on our finances. We make do with a budget enough to pay for groceries and utility bills. 

Although we have stopped using the credit card, it does not stop accumulating monthly interest. It reached a staggering amount, and there’s no way we can pay it in cash even if we apply for debt relief

Image by Augusto Ordóñez from Pixabay

Leap of Faith 

When the opportunity came, we tried our best to pay our credit card debt in full right away. We wanted to start with a clean slate. We do not want this debt to be an added concern by the time our daughter enters college. 

We finally settled our credit card debt and bid goodbye to the plastic card for good. We have used it for nearly a decade. We never applied for a new one since then. 

Simple Saving Tips

There is no guaranteed way to save money. Ours just happened out of necessity. When projects came one after another, we ensure to put our hard-earned money to good use. We purchased things based on what we need and not what we want (sometimes). 

Despite our minimum combined income, we make it a point to save for our son’s college fund.

We may be far from claiming financial stability, but in two years, we hope to achieve something more secure such as getting health and life insurance. And, eventually, save for our retirement.

Maintain Good Standing

I do not want to sound like I’m encouraging other people to get a credit card, but it might help you during an urgent situation. One thing to remember, though, if you own a credit card, make sure to use it wisely and do not use it on impulse.

Pocket Vegetable Garden

Hubby is so excited about growing a mini vegetable garden. He started with the sili labuyo plant (chili pepper) which I bought from Halamanan sa Pasig last month. I also purchased from them three Bacularis plants which are known for their air-purifying quality.

He got inspired by the siling labuyo plant that he decided to also plant tomato seeds, spring onion stalk, more sili seeds, and later kinchay or Chinese celery.

Update: We have already picked at least eight ripened chilis. Their so small but spicy.

We’ve got tomatoes growing right here. I’m excited about this project. We’ve been planning to have our vegetable garden for so long and it is slowly being realized this year.

Update: The young onion (upper right corner) and the celery (lower right side) died. The tomatoes grew a bit.

Planting is one of the small things that made hubby and me happy these days. It’s something that eases off our stress and worries from day-to-day activities. We are not getting any younger and simple activity like this is beneficial to both our mental and emotional health

My certified plantito hubby. 😀 This batch (of the plant) will serve as a fence right outside our window to secure it from irresponsible neighbors who leave their garbage and whatnot on the sidewalk.

The Solar Solution

The rainy season is here and although we don’t want the typhoons (and since we can never stop them), it are to be expected. When strong typhoons hit, the living suffers the consequences. We get damaged buildings, infrastructures, farmlands, and homes. We experience floods in the cities. And worse, we lose water and energy supply.

We can never prevent a typhoon from coming, but we can always prevent a blackout from happening. How? Through using solar energy.

Why Should We Consider Investing in Solar Energy?

How To Use Solar Energy?

Converting the power of the sun as energy is made possible by using photovoltaic solar panels.

The Misconceptions

In a household, the first thing that comes in mind when we talk about solar energy is: it’s expensive and we don’t have a huge space to put the solar panels on.

Yes, solar panels can be a huge expense in the beginning but it is a good investment that will help you save in the years to come. Plus, since it is gaining popularity to a number of people, there are already cheaper options available.

You don’t need to have a farm to put your solar panels on. Installing them on your roof is the best place where you can put them.

And the myth that solar panels will be useless during the rainy season or at night because there is “no sun” is just not true. Solar panels can also store produced yet unused energy for later use.

The Benefits

Besides being a clean and green source of energy, your source of power is also unlimited, unlike the traditional electricity which uses fossil fuels, coals, or natural gas.

Having one in your own household lets you in control of your own bills and your own energy usage. This will also result in less electricity loss since your power need not be exported from big power plants to several houses. Your energy will come directly from your solar panels into your house.

Alternative Energy Sources in the Philippines

Did you know that there exist housing options in the country that offers solar-powered homes in a solar-powered subdivision? And it is a low-cost home that people can actually afford! Visit the site of Imperial Homes Corporation to know more about it.

Recently, Emma Imperial, the Group Chair and CEO of Imperial Homes had a drink ‘On the House’ where she talked about how she got interested in the solar power business, how she started, and maybe also shared a secret tip for the aspiring entrepreneurs from the late Henry Sy himself. Check out their discussion to discover how the mind of a successful salesperson works.

Besides solar energy, there are several other sources for renewable energy in the country. Since the Philippines is an archipelago with a tropical climate, it has the capacity of generating energy from its natural resources.

  • Hydroelectric Power – This is sourcing the energy from a moving body of water such as through dams or waterfalls. Several hydroelectric power plants already exist in our country giving power to 13 provinces.
  • Geothermal Power – This makes use of the heat from underneath the Earth and converts it to energy. Seven provinces make use of this as their primary energy source.
  • Wind Energy – Strong wind current can also give off energy. There are already four operation wind power plants in the Philippines.
  • Biomass Energy – This is using natural resources such as rice husks, coconut husks in boiling water, which later on will produce steam that will drive the generator. Metro Manila and five other provinces in the Philippines have biomass power plants.

The Philippines has long been using renewable energy in some areas but it is only recently that it gets the attention and recognition it deserves. What’s important now is to know, understand, and to spread out the information that we do have options when it comes to sourcing energies. And these alternatives we have are also environmental friendly.

‘On the House’ is a series by Lamudi where big bosses do small talks. Catch them on YouTube, or listen to their podcasts on Apple Podcast and Spotify, and learn more about life and the likes.