Thursday, October 30, 2008

Credit Unions -- A Survey

Right for the times? "A credit union is a cooperative financial institution that is owned and controlled by its members, and operated for the purpose of promoting thrift, providing credit at reasonable rates, and providing other financial services to its members." (Wikipedia)

Do you think you need them at this point of economic downturn?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

No Unnecessary Purchases

Be prudent with your purchases. Most buying decisions would actually just require plain and simple common sense. For example, buying a heated blanket would be very practical if you are living in a country with cold winters, as you can then sleep more comfortably. But if you live in a tropical country like the Philippines, there is really no need for that since it's very warm. What you need here are electric fans and air conditioners so that you can have a cooler and more comfortable temperature.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Safer cutters

The accident-resistant box cutter seems to be a better choice than the usual blades, kitchen knives and scissors that we sometimes use to open up big boxes. This seems to be easier to use than the ones mentioned above. It's also safer than the usual utility blades and knives because the design features a blade that's partially hidden, therefore you will get less slips and cuts.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Winner!

...of the raffle is Mari of . Click below to see the screenshot of the randomizer.

As this is a raffle, I used the online equivalent of a "tambiolo", put all six entries in, and voila! The list is generated! The number 1 on the list is the winner, and it just happened to be Mari! So please do send me an email with your name and address where I could send the prize. Email me at ethanmama[at]gmail[dot]com .

These are the participants: (in order of date/time of participation)

Thank you very much for joining! I hope you will still join other contests that I will set up in the future. :)

P.S. I know I promised to post the winners yesterday, however, some things came first. Sorry po, that's the problem with being a one-woman team. I hope you understand.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


In honor of this blog's 100th post anniversary, I am holding a raffle! The lucky winner will get a gift pack from Ethan's Store .

Unfortunately, this will only be available to those with Philippine addresses (because shipping outside the Philippines is too expensive for me).

Bloggers based outside the Philippines who have relatives and friends in the Philippines may also join, provided that they can give a Philippine address where the prize will be sent. So if you have relatives in the Philippines whose birthday is coming up, you may want to try to win a present! :)

The prize: A gift pack consisting of
- Caliko Room and Linen Spray in Lavender
- Caliko Lavender Massage Oil
- Caliko Lavender Essence Burner Oil
packed in a gift bag, with free courier delivery anywhere in the Philippines!

How to join:
1. Review my blog on your blog. Please make sure to link back to this site.
2. Make a comment on this blog that you have joined. Make sure to include the URL of the review that you have made.
3. This contest will run until October 25, 2008, 11:59PM Manila time. I will base the cutoff on the dates and times of the comments.
4. Drawing will be on October 26, 2008. Winners will be announced on this blog.
5. As mentioned above, please make sure you have a Philippine address where I can send the prize.

That's it! It's that simple!

This post will be kept sticky until October 25, 2008. There may be newer topics below for you to check out.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Training for Drivers

I think all truck drivers should undergo training at a truck driving school since the handling of such a large vehicle is different from handling a small car. Ditto with bus drivers. The accident that happened a few nights ago along EDSA could have been avoided had the bus drivers been more professional. I doubt if the bus and truck drivers here really underwent any formal training in driving and handling their vehicles. Ditto with taxi and jeepney drivers. Sigh!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

When You Have A Long Christmas List....

It gets more and more difficult to think of Christmas presents for a huge number of people. Each year, my Christmas list gets longer and longer. I haven't really mastered the art of buying for a huge number of persons, but here are some tips that I've learned through the years.

1. Set a budget. It may be a "budget-per-person" or a "budget for the whole season". Whichever works better for you.

2. Make a list. Categorize each person, whether they're family, people at work, or what. You can either list on a notebook or a computer program, do whatever is more practical for you.

3. Shop early. It does not have to be an all out shopping spree. When you're out, you can pick up some ideas, or you can start buying appropriate gifts then keep them (if you have enough storage or if the gift is small enough). You can even start wrapping the gifts so that you don't have to cram.

4. Buy in bulk. You can buy more of a certain item if you have a lot of persons in your list. For example, if you find a cute shirt and you have 10 kids on your list, you can buy 10 of those shirts, in the right sizes, of course. Items which are gender-neutral and non age specific are also great to buy in bulk.

5. Look to your own closet. You may already have some gift worthy items. For example, a pretty blouse that turned out to be a tad smaller but you can't return for some reason could be a nice gift for somebody who has a smaller size than you.

6. Regift. I'm pretty certain that some people will find this inappropriate but sometimes the gift you got before was totally inappropriate for you. Maybe someone on your list would find it more useful for them. Just remember NOT to accidentally return it to the one who sent it to you. And if you're not comfortable with this idea, just don't do it.

7. Emergency gifts. Once in a while, there may be some people who show up and who are not in your Christmas list. It's best to have a few gender-neutral, all purpose gifts with unlabelled tags lying around so that you can get one when the need arises.

8. I'd rather get gifts that people won't mind receiving too many of. Here's the result of an informal survey I did. At least I know they'd truly be appreciated. And if I don't end up giving it away, I can still use them myself. :)

This is my entry to both The Christmas Gifts Group Writing Project by 1Happy Corner and The Blog Rounds 22nd edition hosted by Doc Cherri.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pay Yourself First

Everybody wants have a little bit extra money as a nest egg but do not know how to do it. The rule is to "pay yourself first"/ When you get your salary and before paying, be sure to set aside a certain portion every payday, not to be touched unless there's an emergency. This is to be invested in either a time deposit, or mutual funds. Just try to budget everything based on the leftover amount after you "paid yourself". Try not to dip into this "nest egg" unless there is an extreme emergency.

Adequate parking spaces

When building a house, make sure that you have carports big enough for your family's needs. You also have to anticipate. A one car garage just does not cut it when you have a family of ten, unless nobody drives and everybody just relies on public transportation. And unless you live in a gated community, it's neither safe nor practical to park on the street either. So if I'm building my own house, I'd make sure there's enough parking space for all of us.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Blessing's Copy Center and Bookbinding Services

Last summer, I had the pleasure of encountering the owner of Blessing's Copy Center and Book Binding Services, Imee N. Gines. I had a report which I had to bookbind (hardbound) ASAP and I was quite desperate to have it done. Fortunately, I was able to get her number from the net, called her up and asked if it's possible to have the bookbinding even after office hours. She was very nice and said, yes, just come on over, we'll wait for you. And they did! They gave me a reasonable price too.

So the next time you need quality bookbinding services with great customer service, do look them up:
Blessing's Copy Center and Book Binding Services
Stall no 27 UP Shopping Center
UP Diliman, Quezon City
Tel: 925-6852
Mobile: 0917-8553999

Friday, October 10, 2008


For birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgivings or other occasions where family and friends get together and have dinner, a potluck is a good practical and cost-saving idea. The premise is that everybody who goes brings his or her contribution to the buffet. Some would bring appetizers, others would bring the entrees and still others, dessert. It would be great if somebody were to be assigned to take charge of the event and to assign/coordinate who brings what, so that there will be less confusion and less food repetition. You don't want everybody to bring 10 kinds of pasta, won't you?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Simple Online Backup

Today's web-based emails have large spaces for you to store emails. In case you have files that you need to store, you can actually just email yourself and attach the needed file. Voila! Instant online backup which you can access anywhere you have internet access!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Change Locales Every Vacation Time

If I can afford it, I would pick a different location for my vacations. That's so I can experience more of the world. I've been to the USA, but the I haven't been to every state. I've heard that Outer Banks in North Carolina is very nice! I might explore that possibility the next time I get the chance to go to the States.

This may not be such a practical tip in terms of frugality, but if you think about it, it IS practical as you want to try a little bit of each portion of the world everytime you get the chance.

For Serious Bacon Lovers

If you're a serious pork lover who wants only the best bacon, the best bets are usually not the supermarket variety bacon. Serious bacon lovers get best quality pork from the Bacon of the Month Club from The Pig Next Door. There are two ways you can get your quality bacon delivered to your door, via the the Traditional Club and the Heirloom Club. Interested, click on the link above to find out more.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Term vs Life Insurance

If you already have a family, you should strongly insurance so that they will not immediately feel the financial impact of your passing, especially if you are the family breadwinner. What type of life insurance is best for you depends on your age and the money that you can afford to spend.

If you are young and have a lot of disposable income, it's best that you invest in a whole life insurance so that you get cheaper rates in the long run. These may be expensive though. If you are on a budget, you may just consider looking at some term life insurance quotes so that at least you are covered for a year. Take note, though, that for term life insurance, recomputation occurs later so you may have to shell out more and more as you grow older.

If you are past retirement age but would still want insurance (and you don't have a whole life policy), you can still go for term life insurance which would cover you for that year.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Kiddie Party on a Budget?

Parents automatically want the best for their kids. It’s understandable that they would want to throw a lavish party, with good food, party entertainment, games and prizes for their children. However, you do have to tailor your party to what you can afford and save up for. It’s not practical to have to resort to a cash advance loan just to be able to finance a party.

Practical tips to celebrate your tot’s birthday party:
Evaluate your budget. If P10,000 is what you can afford, you have to work within that amount.
Canvas! Ask around for the best prices and the best reviews for the price that you are willing to shell out.
Prioritize. If you can’t afford both an expensive caterer AND a great host, choose which is more important to you and stick with that. For the other, you may have to downgrade it a bit and something a little less expensive.
Leave out unnecessary details. Some things are just nice to have. If you’re on a tight budget, leaving these out would make it fit your budget better. For example, you don’t really need a host and 3 other entertainers, if you cannot afford it.
Do-it-yourself. You can make your own invitations, your own guest book, your own giveaways! All it takes is a little creativity. You can ask relatives to cook the party food or take pictures or videos of the party.
Cut the guest list. Less guests, less food and smaller (probably less expensive) space needed. (Less gifts though :P )
Just enjoy! In the end, what matters is that everybody enjoys the party. It doesn’t have to be very fancy. Even a small party can be enjoyable if done right.

I hope these tips would help parents with small budgets to still have a nice party for their tots. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Different Lighting for Different Needs

Lighting in your house must be customized according to the needs of your room. For example, wall sconces would look very nice in spaces intended for receiving and entertaining visitors, like the living room or the foyer, since they not only serve the purpose of dramatic lighting, but also adds to the decor. For the kitchen and the study, brighter but more cost efficient lights must be installed since you need better lighting in these work areas.

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 :)