I started working early, I was a working student in college (even in high school) and this is how I managed my very little money.
I live in a place not that accessible to public tricycles at that time because I live in a military camp village. Sometimes I have to stand and wait near the road for a tricycle to pass by but most of them are already overloaded. I was in college and already working and I can’t be late. I have to go to the police station and the Ospital ng Palawan and report to the radio station for the early morning news, then go to PSU for my am class. At lunch, I go to the City Information Office and City Council to look for news then I go back to school for my pm class. Given the tight schedule that I have, and the places I need to go to, I badly need a motorcycle.
So when I was 20, full time college student, I didn’t have a good financial record just yet, I couldn’t apply for motorcycle financing. I begged my father to loan it for me. Yes begged, I cried for many days because my father is so scared of loans and I guess he was worried that I won’t be able to commit to that 3 year loan and that he will end up paying for it.
After days of crying because I really want to keep studying and working, with my mama’s convincing power, my father and I made an agreement that I am not to ask for a single centavo from him to pay for the motorcycle, that if I can’t pay for it, he will have to surrender the motorcycle and I happily agreed.
So at 20 I now have my own motorcycle, was a college student and a radio reporter assigned to hospitals and police stations. I was able to finish my contract and paid all my dues on time. I was able to finish college on time and with good grades too. Since then, I have earned my parents confidence when it comes to handling my finances and I guess, my life.
#1 Take calculated risk
I was committed to finishing college on time and I also need to work. To make it work, I need that motorcycle. I calculated how many news reports I have to write to pay my loan monthly (I was getting paid per news). I calculated my risk and executed my plan.
#2 Pay your dues on time
I keep track of how much money I have and make sure I have enough to pay for my loan before the due date because late payment penalties will keep me off track. I stayed on my budget and did not buy things that are non essential.
#3 Add additional source of income
There were months that money was really tight but because I was not willing to give up my motorcycle, my study, my work, my agreement with my father, I added an additional source of income by writing for newspaper/publication, creating scripts for advertisement and doing voice over. The extra income made me even more busy but it helped me accomplish my goals.
That motorcycle obviously is long gone, I left it at home when I moved to Manila but it has shaped me to the person that I am today. Today, I am married, also a mom of 2 , working online for a US company and working as a financial advisor educating people about insurance and investment. Those 3 money decisions I made when I was still young, I still apply to this date.