Monday, June 30, 2008

Consider Parking Costs

My husband and I attended a convention last week at Edsa Shangrila Hotel. Knowing that it is usually more expensive to park at the hotel itself, we decided to park outside. There's an open parking space in between the hotel and the mall where we parked our car.

At the end of the day, our total parking bill reached 115 pesos! Our friends who parked at the hotel itself incurred 200 pesos, that's with the validation slip from the hotel. Without the validation slip, the charge would have been much higher.

On the second day of the convention, we decided to park in the parking building beside the mall. Imagine our surprise when we were only charged a 45 pesos! That's a flat rate, so it does not matter how long our car has been parked there. True, it's a longer walk than the day before, but not by much.

The next time we have an event or convention in the same area, I know which parking space to use.

Lesson learned: check out the parking rates, especially for places where you frequent. There may be a big difference, and that counts.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Shop For Travel Deals

Most of us like to travel but are wary of spending a large amount of money. The secret is in shopping around first. Surf the net for airline, car and hotel deals, tours, etc. for the destination that you have in mind. But don't stop there. Ask around with travel agents. Ask friends who have already gone there. Canvas, canvas, canvas. You can get to your dream destination at a cheaper cost if you do your homework.

Friday, June 27, 2008

GonnaBe

As a break from all the serious talks about being practical, here's a video from Gonnabe.com that brought a smile to my face. The video is about Barbie, (yes, Barbara Millicent Barbers, the glamor doll all little girls wanna have) but about Barbie seen in a different light...as a gold-digger no less! While it may be unfair to brand glamorous girls falling for guys with nice cars and fat pockets, with or without matching looks as gold-diggers, the truth of the matter is that some of them really are. Come to think of it, some pretty boys can also be classified into the same category.

Come to think of it, while this video from is certainly funny, the cautionary tale here is realistic and practical too. It simply means to watch out for gold diggers! There ARE a lot of them out there!

For now let's just sit back and enjoy the video. I watched this one a few times already and I still laugh at it! The people over at Gonnabe.com are certainly talented and I would love to see more of their videos!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Do All Errands In One Trip

If a due date for one of your utilities draws near, try to find a place (like a bayad center) where you can pay all your other bills as well. Do some banking transactions, if you're due to do so, in the same trip if your bank is also in the same area. If it's located near a grocery, you can do your grocery afterwards too. Doing more during one trip saves you fuel, parking expenses and time.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Buy Back Issues

Some magazine stores or stalls like Filbar's usually have a lot of back issues of popular magazines. Most of these magazines are new, meaning they have not been bought and haven't even brought out of their plastic bags. But they are already old in the sense that they were left over from the previous months' stocks. These stalls usually sell these issues at a discount, sometimes as high as 50% off especially if the magazine is already several months' worth. Most of the contents are still okay, especially when you consider that what they contain is not necessarily news. You save a lot if you buy these instead of buying the current issue.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Light Rail System

My favorite mode of public transport around Metro Manila is the MRT/LRT system (the light rail transit system). I like it because it is cheap -- almost the same price as a bus. It's also airconditioned, offering a respite from the heat. Unlike buses and jeepneys which stop anywhere they want to and start to go only when they are fully occupied or nearly full, the MRT/LRT trains have a more or less definite time when it starts. Also unlike buses and jeepneys, they also have predesignated stops where passengers get off safely. Also, I don't need to look for a parking space, unlike when I bring a car. Of course, the fact that I get to avoid traffic jams is also a great incentive for me to use this type of public transportation

Additional tip for female commuters: Walk a bit more to the first train, which is usually a women and children only train. You'll have a bigger chance of getting seated. And even if you don't get a seat, it's not as crowded as the other trains.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Leave Your ATM Card At Home When You're Shopping

Unless you really have to withdraw some money for other purposes, you don't have to bring your ATM card when shopping because you might be tempted to withdraw on it and buy more.

This is actually an extension of my previous post, Limit Cash In Your Wallet. Some people tend to see the ATM as an extension of their wallet, so when money runs out while shopping, they go to the ATM to withdraw money so they can do more shopping.

Don't.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Learn Massage Therapy

People nowadays want to have a pampering treatment once in a while because they want a break from the hectic, stressful pace of their lives. That's why so-called wellness centers where massage and spa therapies are offered are becoming very popular. Enrolling in massage therapy schools may be a good investment for some people who are looking to open their own wellness business or want to offer home service massages as a sideline. This is a good side income since there is little capital and plenty of prospective clients.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Don't Go To The Grocery While You're Hungry

...because everything looks good and you'll want to buy them all!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Walk!

With the high fuel prices nowadays, it may be better to go back to walking, especially if the place you're going to is just a few blocks away. Not only will this save fuel, you'll get some much needed exercise at the same time. Also, no more hassle of looking for a parking space, no more dealing with (potential) traffic jams...AND you contribute less gas emission, thus less air pollution.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Have A Small Side Income

Times are hard. Prices of fuel and commodities are rising, and people even have to line up for rice. Any extra income would be welcome. There are various ways to increase your earnings. Mine is through my small online store and other online "rakets". You might want to check these out to get ideas of your own.

Other people choose to go through direct selling of various items or services like insurance, cosmetics, clothes etc. Like your main job, it should be something you are interested in. An additional requirement is that it should not interfere with your current job.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Get A Lower Priced Room Or Ward

...or be an out-patient.

You see, the more expensive your room type is, the higher your payment bracket in the hospital will be. So, you see, it's not just the room instead that's more expensive...it's everything. At least that's the case here in the Philippines.

So, if you're undergoing a surgery or a procedure that could be done as an outpatient, do so, unless you live very far from that hospital. If you have to be admitted, get the cheapest ward or room that you will feel comfortable in. Suites are only for people who have the deep pockets to afford it.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Limit Cash In Your Wallet

This is quite simple, really. Leave just enough cash in your wallet for your daily need plus a little left over for emergencies. No cash, no impulse spending. I usually limit myself to around 1000 pesos in my wallet, sometimes even less, unless I have a planned purchase that day.

Of course, remember to leave your ATM card and your credit cards at home too! :)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Where's Your Loyalty? -- A Survey on Brands

Brands don't compete directly with each other when they are in different brand categories ... but they do compete for your attention, money, and loyalty.

We want to know...what keeps you loyal to a particular brand and what makes you shift?



For me, I have a top brand in mind, but when I see something new that is much cheaper but promises the same thing, I also try the new brand out. The new brand my earn my loyalty if it performs as well as or even better than the old brand. If not, I will go back to my old brand.

This is the follow up to a previous survey here.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Wrinkles

It's quite unfair that if women get wrinkles, we are said to be less attractive. With men, it's said to be getting "more character" and "more maturity". There's always pressure for women to stay young looking. That's why creams to prevent this are making a killing!

Anyway, one of the top (and free ways) to avoid premature wrinkles is to stay out of the sun. The UV rays cause a lot of damage to our skin, causing the dreaded wrinkles. But this is quite impractical as we do need to go out every so often. That's why it's now imperative to use sunblock.

But the thing is, wrinkles are inevitable. If you do need or want to buy wrinkle cream, ask around for effective products and shop around for the best deals.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Less Gas Tax? -- A Survey

Gas prices have increased worldwide and sad to say, we cannot do anything but accept it. I hope we get some sort of suspension of fuel tax here in the Philippines, but I doubt if the government will even consider it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Personalized Children's Books?

Reading to your children is a great way to both bond with your child and to stimulate love of reading and learning. Although children's books are relatively more expensive than the usual paperbacks for adults, given their materials, I would consider it as good investment in your child's future learning. After all, the child's education actually begins at home.

I've seen my son respond better when people call out his name. I guess it's the same for other children. So I think that personalized children's books are a great idea! When the story revolves around your child interacting with his favorite characters, it is especially engrossing and entertaining for your little hero or heroine! He or she could be a off fighting crime with his favorite Marvel heroes or Justice League characters. Or learn about the story of his/her birth and babyhood. Or learn that school could be fun. There are many books with so many different themes that it is rather hard to pick just one.

These books also make very good, very personalized, very unique gifts. I do hope somebody gives one of these to my son when he celebrates his birthday later this year, or when Christmas rolls around.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

If You Have Relatives and Friends in the US

My family is into new gadgets, even if they are quite expensive. I do try to make the most of what is actually a want and not really a need by trying to compare prices. I try to find out how much a PS3 costs here in Manila and compare it with prices over the net. If it comes out cheaper in online US stores (of course I will add shipping to the costs), I try to contact a friend or relative who lives in the area and have plans to visit very soon. I will ask them if it's ok for them to receive the item and just bring it when they come over.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Brand Loyalty

For most of us, top brands come with a corresponding price tag. Generally, well known brands are very durable and of very good quality, but you can get quality items too at a much lower price. Some people are loyal only to one brand, others are more open to trying out other brands. What about you?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Pay Your Housing Amortizations On Time

It is probably a fact of life already that we have to take out loans to pay for a place we want to call our own. Property values have risen and inflation is so high that it's virtually impossible to save up and pay for a real estate property with cash.

If you do take out a house loan, do pay all your amortizations on time. Set aside a portion of your monthly income for this, before you budget it for other things. You do not want to face foreclosure and lose the roof over your heads.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Microfiber Mop

If you're a harried homemaker with no domestic help at all, you should choose the cleaning equipments which will be easier for you. For example, a microfiber mop will be easier to handle than the traditional mop. It absorbs water much more readily so it's easier to mop up the spills. It's also much easier than just wiping spills with rags or paper towels, as you do not have to bend over. This may be a bit more expensive, but it would be well spent.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Don't Buy Expensive School Supplies

School is about to start. This is the time when parents do their last minute shopping for their kids for their school needs. With all prices up at the moment, it is only practical that parents shop around for the best deals like cheap pens, notebooks, bags, lunchboxes and other school supplies. Inexpensive but still quality supplies, that is. After all, you want them to last the whole school year. But since kids still have a tendency to lose stuff, too expensive stuffs would not be practical at all.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Use Water Wisely

Soapy water used from the laundry can still be used to wash dirty rags or wash floors.

Water from washing the rice can be used to water the plants. Ditto with water used to boil eggs. They contain more nutrients too!

Water from the baby's bath can still be reused for flushing the toilet.

Do not use laundry soap that is too sudsy because you will require more water to rinse it out.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Medical ID

If your child or anybody in your family has a medical history like allergies, epilepsy, a heart condition, asthma or others, it might be a good idea to get them medical id. This is especially for allergies to certain drugs. In the off chance that a person gets to the hospital without family members and he were not responsive, it would be a simple matter to just look at the ID bracelet for the identity and the medical precautions, lessening the incidence of fatal incidents like an anaphylactic reaction

Monday, June 2, 2008

Go Into Sales

There are actually 2 sides to making ends meet. One is to save as much as possible, minimizing expenses. The other is to earn as much as possible, maximizing resources. It is also prudent to try to maximize your productive hours in something that would supplement your current income. A sales career, if part time, may be right for you if you crave a little more income . If full time, it may be right for you if you want a little more flexibility in your schedule.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Lessen Rice Intake

Filipinos are big rice eaters, that's why the recent news about the rice crisis is such a big deal for most of us. Rice is such an important food for us that we cannot imagine any meal without it.

With the rice crisis, it may be prudent for us to cut back a bit on rice and look for substitutes. We have so many--potatoes, sweat potatoes, corn, etc. Some of my friends who are on the heavy side swear that decreasing their rice intake also resulted in significant weight loss. This makes sense, because rice is a high carbohydrate food and some of the more popular diets promote decrease in carbos.

So you actually save a lot of ways by cutting back. Avoiding the high cost of rice, losing weight thus lessening health problems and having less costs on health care AND no need to spend on expensive diet programs.

About Me

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A part time ophthalmologist, part time micro business owner, part time graduate student and FULL TIME MOM struggling to find balance in the confusing world of multitasking :)

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