Sunday, July 31, 2011

The rental option

I do not know of anybody who doesn't dream of owning their own home. I am one of those people who am still holding on to that dream, although through the years, that dream has been somewhat downsized. I used to dream that I'd have a big house with a big garden, plenty of room, located near the places I frequent. When I started earning, it became somewhat farfetched. A townhouse seemed more feasible. Later, a condo. Finally, I'm even considering rental homes already. I used to think that renting is not a good option, because you don't get to own it, but if you only have a certain amount of money to budget for a home every month, that is the cheaper option if you want a space of your own. And, you don't have to think about realty taxes, repairs etc.

Now to find one that would fit our budget and requirements is another story.  Good luck to me!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Hi tech thievery

The downside of the hi tech world is that there are also hi tech ways for savvy criminals to steal your hard earned money and even your identity. If you're often online, you've probably heard of phishing emails to get your personal information. A healthy dose of mistrust over suspicious emails could easily counter such, but now there are even more ways for hi tech criminals to steal from you. I recently watched a show where a girl casually strolling walking down the streets is holding some gadget which actually scans and gets the information from the credit cards of the people she passes. Later, she goes and haves a shopping spree! Scary. Maybe we should be thinking about getting rfid blocking wallets. Hmmm.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sometimes it just pays to pay

In an aim to be frugal, we tried to be the ones to personally take pictures of our kids' birthday parties. It was fine for the home parties, but since we were the hosts, it was pretty difficult. Sometimes we even forget to take some shots.  And that's quite sad, because photos are irreplaceable.

I guess the more practical thing would be to enlist the help of relatives or friends. Ask them to bring their cameras, whether it's a simple point and shoot, Exilim EX-H20G or a DSLR and ask for the pictures later.

Of course, it's less hassle to hire a photographer. I actually saw a package which already included the photobook and costs only a little over the photobook itself (in Digiprint). I thought to myself that had I known about that earlier, I would have spent the 5000 bucks and hired them. Oh well, that's all water under the bridge.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

To each his own

What's practical for some people may not be so for others.

At the cemetery, people may be weirded out by the sight of outdoor fireplaces near a family mausoleum. It may not seem practical at all, especially in this country with the hot climate and in a place where people don't actually live in. But for Chinese, it is. That's because "paper money" (actually special paper with gold paint to symbolize money) is burnt whenever an offering is made, in addition to the usual candles and flowers and food offerings. It's safer to do the burning in the fireplace rather than in the open air.

So sometimes practicality is cultural or personal. Every person's situation and circumstance is different, and we adapt in our own practical way.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Say it with flowers

Is it practical to send flowers? I used to NOT think so. I mean, flowers eventually wilt. So what used to be an elegant arrangement which costs a lot would end up in a trash can in the end. But that's the "practical side" of me speaking. As a women, I still get a thrill when the husband gives me flowers "just because".  And I love it when they're red.  It means "I love you" and what wife wouldn't want to be assured of her husband's love?

Flowers are also a good way to send messages across when it's difficult to say the words. Somebody I know from work received flowers from a recent ex. He didn't send it himself but ordered if from an online site similar to It was a bunch of pink roses. The girl took it to mean that he just wants to be friends -- it was truly over. I didn't count the number of flowers but it's supposed to also convey something.

So, while it may truly be expensive, showing how you feel when you couldn't express the words through flowers is one way to do it, while giving a thoughtful gift in the process.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Jewelry (vs bags)

My husband was telling me that one of our anesthesiologists moonlight as an alajera -- she sells jewelry. Not being very familiar with jewelry prices, he was pretty taken aback when he learned about the prices. We both agreed though, that for about the same price as a high end ladies' bag, jewelry is a better investment. You can get cash for gold, because it is a finite resource and has been considered a valuable commodity for centuries and in every culture.  I mean, almost everybody can appreciate gold, not everybody can appreciate a Hermes bag.  I'm sure a lot of women wouldn't agree with me, but that's how I see it.

In a bind, jewelry can also be pawned in order to get a temporary loan.  Of course, you would be lugi (losing money) if you don't  get it from the pawnshop later when the cash flow problem subsides.

I certainly hope I could buy a few good pieces that I can pass on to my son and daughter.  Because jewelry is not just about its value when sold.  It's also something that can be passed from generation to generation as a legacy, and I hope I could pass on a legacy to my descendants.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Value is relative

Ask me about an eotech 552 or a guitar amp or car repairs and my eyes would glaze over. There's a big chance that whatever the price is, I'll think it's too expensive. That's because I am not aware of the prices of these things. Same as men who wonder why women have to spend 6 peso figures on a handbag (but it's Hermes!) -- they don't see how a handbag would be worth that much.

The value of a certain product in the market is dictated by the people who use it, so if you want to buy something you're not familiar with, consult the people in the know.

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 :)