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Singtel Innov8 has announced a new program which opens doors for startups to collaborate with Singtel to create innovative solutions for business challenges faced by the Singtel Group.

Through Singtel Innov8 Connect which was launched on January 12, selected startups will receive up to S$75,000 to test and validate their solutions with Singtel. Successful solutions may lead to commercialization with the Singtel Group, providing startups access to the Group’s customer base which includes both enterprises and consumers and over 575 million mobile customers across Asia, Australia, and Africa. They will also have the opportunity to seek funding from Singtel Innov8 and tap on its network of co-investors and partners across the globe.

The move is a step forward from the existing initiatives across the Singtel Group, where affiliates run programs that actively support startups and entrepreneurship programs. Globe Telecom in the Philippines, for example, has Kickstart Ventures, a corporate venture capital firm that makes investments in digital startups ranging from seed to Series “C” stage. Other startup-oriented initiatives are run in affiliate operators, namely AIS in Thailand, Telkomsel in Indonesia, and Optus in Australia.

Kickstart in particular runs two funds: Fund 1 is the original US$5Million seed-to-early-stage investment fund focused on startups that originate in the Philippines with an ambition to expand at least regionally; and Fund 2, announced in March 2015, is its US$50Million growth stage fund focused on strategically-aligned startups anywhere in the world. Demonstrating collaboration across the Singtel group, Kickstart and Singtel Innov8 invested last year in Teridion, an Israel-based startup focused on network optimization and content acceleration.

“This development not only serves as another opportunity for Philippine startups to penetrate the global market and realize their global growth aspirations but also gives Globe and the rest of the Singtel Group a chance to benefit from the innovations that these startups may bring. Kickstart’s mission is to break down barriers and to build bridges to enable close and relevant engagement between the business community and the startup founders. Working with Singtel on Innov8 Connect will drive that goal forward,” said Minette Navarrete, President of Kickstart.

Kickstart is a founding member of Innov8 Sparks, Singtel’s network of startup support and funding initiatives across Southeast Asia. It currently has 25 portfolio companies with various products and services encompassing SaaS (Software as a Service), e-commerce, social impact, digital lifestyle, FinTech, and HealthTech, several of which have already ventured to other countries.

Edgar Hardless, CEO of Singtel Innov8 said: “Since Innov8’s launch in 2010, we have invested and partnered with many talented startups globally to help them expand their businesses and introduce innovative technologies to the Singtel Group.”

“Entrepreneurs are looking for problems to solve. This programme enables Singtel to share real-world business challenges and invite solutions from startups globally. It is an excellent opportunity for startups to work directly with Singtel’s business units and validate their solutions,” he added.

Mr. Peter Ho, CEO of Hope Technik, a Singtel Innov8 portfolio company said: “The investment and support from Singtel Innov8 have really helped Hope Technik punch above its weight class. Through Singtel, we have a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges faced by large enterprises, which allows us to create more relevant and impactful solutions.”

As the venture arm of the Singtel Group, Singtel Innov8’s mandate is to scout for and provide the Group with insights and early access to emerging technologies, as well as to nurture the innovation ecosystem in Southeast Asia. Innov8 Connect is part of Singtel Innov8’s initiatives to create greater awareness for Singtel’s innovation agenda and engagement with startup ecosystems.

Through the Innov8 Connect portal (innov8connect.com), Singtel Innov8 will publish briefs detailing various business challenges. startups with relevant solutions are welcomed to submit their applications through the portal. Selected startups will then be invited to pitch to a panel of management representatives from the Singtel Group. After a rigorous selection process, one company per brief will be chosen to work with Singtel to trial its solution.

Project Briefs

The first set of 10 project briefs are focused on business challenges in areas such as enterprise cloud, smart and safe city and customer experience. The briefs are now open for submission from all startups in the Philippines and across the globe at http://innov8connect.com.


When you’re a young entrepreneur with plenty of business plans for the near future, it’s a necessity to have your own credit card. However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows when it comes to credit cards. Who doesn’t know a friend or family suffering from financial debt?

credit card First-time cardholders or not, below are simple guidelines to remember and live by for both business and personal use:

1)    Open a current account: To use your credit card more efficiently for business purposes, opening a current account in your bank is essential. This gives you easy banking access, and hassle-free transactions whenever and wherever you are.

2)    Pick the right kind of credit card: Banks offer different types of credit cards, so make sure to review specifics and only pick the one that works best for your business, and not for your personal use. Consider long-term funding.

3)    Maintain a good credit score: You might not need a loan now, but if you’re an entrepreneur who’s starting literally from scratch, the best way to make sure your application for a loan will run smoothly, is to ensure an excellent credit score. This is proof that you’re always able to pay back what you owe. That is why you have to:

4)    Prioritize monthly payments: Don’t slack on this. Ever. The pit of debt is so easy to fall into, so avoid it the best you can. Dodge the debt bullet and pay—even just a little—above the minimum requirement fee every month.

5)    Keep banking statements: If you receive these via snail mail, compile in a folder and store that folder in a safe place. If you prefer receiving it through email, make sure you actually save a copy and keep a record of your statements. Organising your statements will help you keep a better eye on your money. You can also spot extra costs or additional charges here so it’ll be easier for you to control your spending next time.

6)    Minimize leisure spending: Your spending habits should be in line with the way you manage your money for your business. Don’t use your credit card for things that are considered “wants” and not “needs.” Start working on ironing out your own spending habits while it’s still early. If you think it’ll prove helpful, you could download a personal finance app for your smartphone to track your income and expenses.

7)    You’re NEVER too young to be Financially-Savvy: Taking control of your credit card use, and finances in general, is something that you do NOW—not tomorrow, not next week, not after you’ve entered and triumphed over a midlife crisis. The earlier you build strong money principles and stick by them, the better your financial situation will be as you go forward in your personal life and future business ventures.

Your credit card can be your best friend if you treat it wisely. Credit card use doesn’t have to be risky, and you certainly won’t have to fall into the same trap as some people you know. Teach yourself to use your little plastic card to your advantage. This is also a chance for you to prove you are a wise spender, which bodes well for your businesses and future, as a young entrepreneur.


This article is exclusively written for RaketScience.com by MoneyMax.ph, the Philippines leading financial comparison portal which helps Filipino consumers make the right financial decisions as they settle on the best credit card, home loan, broadband plan, and morefast, comprehensive, and free. Visit Money Max blog for more financial tips and advice.


Does your spouse know exactly how much you earn in a month including your other side income? To be honest, mine doesn’t because he doesn’t bother to ask. On the other hand, I know how much he earns because he lets me see his pay slips.

My husband knows I have other side income since I have a lot of financial obligations as I have told him before we got married. I would tell him I’m paid a certain amount from this project but then he doesn’t demand that I tell him everything.

My husband and I have this set-up that we each pay certain household expense and then we don’t bother each other’s income.  We also share on big ticket items and investments.  I know this is not the common practice of most Filipino couples because traditionally, it’s the wife who manages the family finances where it’s the husband who is the breadwinner. So far, this set-up works with us.

Between my husband and me, I’m the one who’s an impulse buyer and is usually a risk-taker. My husband is the frugal and conservative one when it comes to money matters. If there’s someone between us who’s going to manage our finances, it should be him. But then, he sees I’m not the kind of person who splurges on luxury items. I usually spend my extra money on gadgets which I also use in my rakets.

On the other hand, I also don’t want to manage our pool of resources for the reason that I’m not good at it. I’m good in earning side income but managing my finances is something I am working very hard to do every day.

I guess it really doesn’t matter what set-up you have as long as there’s mutual respect and honesty. My parents used to tell me that couples should never quarrel about money. I think this can only happen if couples talk about money openly.  One of the lessons I learned about debt and marriage is that you should be honest about your financial position to your spouse.  If you voluntarily disclose information about money, I believe your spouse will do the same.

I always think having money as your only problem is a blessing because it’s easier to earn money but things such as a happy family and good health are much harder to come by.


Debt can ruin a marriage. We’ve seen a lot of broken marriages due to unresolved money problems and mostly surrounding on debt. And being married for a few months already, I can say there are lessons that we should learn first before our wedding.

So before you say “Till Debt do us part,” you should at least consider the following.

Lesson #1: You should discuss each other’s  financial position

If you’re already seriously considering marriage with your partner, be sure to discuss your financial positions to avoid some unnecessary disagreements. Remember, in the Philippines, whatever property you have before your marriage becomes your conjugal property after. Some would go as far as having a pre-nuptial agreement just to make sure. Well, that’s probably not applicable to majority of us.

Between my husband and I, my husband was the practical one and I’m the one who has the tendency to buy things on impulse. He knows this because I told him I have outstanding balances on my credit card. He doesn’t even have a single loan to his name.

He also knows I give financial support to my parents and pays for the college tuition of my nephew who grew up with us. Since I’m the one with a lot of responsibility, I’m the one with a bigger pressure to earn more and I do. I told him he needn’t worry since my debt and other financial obligations are my responsibility. That’s probably what he was waiting to hear before he proposed. 😀

Lesson #2: Never start your life together on debt

The first big ticket expense for a couple is wedding expense. That is if you plan on getting married in church.  This is probably one of my biggest mistakes. I take full responsibility because I’m the one who planned out our wedding. Although we’re both happy and I’m sure even our families are, with the outcome of our wedding, there were some expenses that I now consider unnecessary. We took out some loan to spend for the wedding and through we can pay it off in a year, still we could have avoided it.

Lesson #3: Agree on a how to manage family finances

How much should each share in the family expenses? Who should manage the budget? These should be threshed out before the wedding. Traditionally, in Filipino culture it’s usually the wife who manages family finances. Although since most husband and wife work nowadays, it’s pretty common that each agree to pay a certain family expense and each manage their own finances. Whatever scheme you use on, the important thing is you agree on something and not argue on it when you’re already married.

Getting married is expensive and it’s equally expensive to get an annulment so don’t make the mistake of letting your debt ruin your marriage. As what most parents would advise their children on finances, never fight over money.


Online shopping is just starting to gain acceptance among Filipinos especially to those who are tech-savvy, have credit cards and Paypal accounts. The growing numbers of local online shops is a proof that Filipinos are no  longer as skeptical to online shopping as before.

I believe online shopping is actually better than going to the malls. There are far more better online deals than what you can have at the malls without having to go through traffic, fight for an item, and endure the long queues. You can actually make more shopping money by finding great discounts and deals on Groupons, Coupons and Flash Sales sites.

Groupons of Group Buying lets you get great deals through bulk buying. You can get as much as 90% discounts from the original price of a product or service. Groupons are great if you want to avail of services in groups such as a relaxing massage, dine in expensive restaurants, spend a weekend in a resort, among others. Most of sites have deals available in Metro Manila but the number of deals for the provinces are now increaing.

FitzVillafuerte.com has a comprehensive list of Groupon sites in the Philippines so I suggest you check out his blog. Read the comments as well so you’ll have an idea which among them suits your needs.

Coupons are also a good way to save money. Do you remember those coupons given out by fast food companies which give you 5% discount or a freebie everytime you dine with them? Those are really good marketing strategies and if you’re a consumer, its a great way to save. You’re dining with them anyway so better clip those coupons.

There are also online coupons which are available for you. I often buy online so I always look for available coupons first before making a purchase. You can search online coupon sites such as CouponChief.com which has hundreds of coupon codes from online retailers. What’s even better is that they have a Pays-2-Share program wherein you can upload a coupon code and every time someone uses it, you get 2% of the sales.

I’ve recently discovered flash sale retailers also known as invitation-only shopping retailers. One of the pioneers in the Philippines is AVA.ph where you can avail of discounts of as much as 70% on designer items. Every week, a limited number of branded items will be on sale which you can purchase by Paypal or credit card. As a member, you’ll also receive an email a few days before the sale with details on the products and the dates they will be on sale.

If you register now at Ava.ph, you’ll receive Php200 of shopping money automatically credited to your account. You’ll only receive the credit if you register using the link I provided.

Just a reminder, before making any purchase, be sure that you really want it and will not be sacrificing your needs just to get it.

Image by: dmdonahoo

Christmas is an occasion when most families get-together. However, for those who are not as lucky, as in the case of most families of Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), who has to spend the holidays away from their families. The most common method of keeping in touch is through telephone but international calls are very expensive. This is where technology plays an important role on how you can save on calls.

Today, there are a lot of alternatives to stay in touch with your loved ones at home. There is email, cellular phone, social networking sites, and internet phone or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Most of VoIP services are free while others are not but still very cheap compared to using the conventional telephone.

Yahoo Messenger has enabled the PC-to-PC calls and we even used it for official calls with my previous employer to save on long distance calls. This service is free if you call PC-to-PC but if if you call from PC to regular phones of mobile phones. there’s already costs involved. Sometimes internet connection may not be very good so you get a chappy reception. Aside from voice calls, you may also use video calls through Yahoo Messenger.

When Facebook gained popularity, it has also enabled video calling function although I have yet to try it. Again, call quality will also depend how fast your internet connection is.

Recently, I discovered the MagicJack through a relative from the States. This will also enable you to call from PC-to-PC for free but you may also use PC to mobile or regular phones with an annual fee. When you subscribe you will be given a US phone number and you can make calls to US and Canada for free. MagicJack is such a hit among Filipinos who have relatives in the US and Canada.

One of the longest VoIP services available is Skype. It lets you make internet calls for free and has different rates per country for those who want to subscribe and want to make calls to regular phones or mobile. I know somebody who uses Skype teaching English to clients in Italy.

These are not the only VoIP services available which you can choose from. There are now companies that offer additional features such as ITP VoIP, Viatalk, among others. I haven’t tried these companies’ services so you may want to visit sites that offer a lot of information to guide you in choosing the best VoIP providers.

 image by: Mario Inoportuno


A few months ago my hosting account got hacked and all of my blogs and those of my clients got redirected to malicious sites. I had to request help from my host in the US in order to remove the malicious scripts from my account. As a result, I lost income, I lost sleep, and exposed my readers to the hackers. Apparently, the hackers enter through a bug in a plugin or in older versions of WordPress.

If you’ve noticed a few weeks ago, there was a proliferation of porn and images of extreme violence on Facebook due to hacked accounts. The disturbing images spread everytime somebody click it and then it is automatically posted on all your friends’ walls on Facebook.

Here’s how you can protect yourself from hackers and spammers.

1.  For bloggers using WordPress, protect your blogs form hackers by updating your WordPress and plugins to the latest version. Also avoid using plugins which are not yet verified by WordPress.

2. Protect your account in Social Networking sites such as Facebook by not immediately clicking on images and links which seem tempting at first but are quite suspicious even if it’s form somebody you know. Would your friend post links to porn sites on your wall? Just think before clicking on that link.

3. Protect your email account from hackers buy not clicking on emails sent with links even if it’s from your contact. Usually, these emails don’t have subjects. If you receive suspicious emails, delete theme immediately so you will not have a chance to click it in the future.

As long as we go online there’s always the threat of hackers and spammers but we can avoid the daunting tasks of recovering precious files by protecting ourselves.

The editors of the Windows Secrets Newsletter have compiled some of the best security stories into this PC Security Guide eBook that provides simple and straight forward advice for secure computing. The eBook will provide you with the basic tools in order to protect yourself from most online threats.

PC Security GuideHurry download your Free copy of PC Security Guide eBook now since this is a limited time offer only. This ebook is valued at $9.95 and you can download it for Free before 12/6/2011.



A colleague recently got so sick that he had to take a leave of absence from the office for two months so he can recuperate. When he got back, the first advice he had for us was, “I now realize the importance of my health. So let’s take care of our health so that  we may be able to enjoy our retirement.”

I’m sure everyone of us wants to enjoy our retirement where we get to do the things we want to do after working hard for most of our adult life. What do you want to do when you retire? Travel abroad? Have your own business? What if you’re already too old and sick you won’t be able to lift a bag without hurting yourself?

Our body has it’s way of reminding us we are going overboard. All we have to do is listen and pay attention. Everything is possible if we have good health. In our quest to earn extra income, let’s not forget to live our life today, not when we’re too old to remember even our name.

Let me share with you this story which was shared with me by my friend Eli Gatanela of Businessphereconsulting.

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

“Not very long,” answered the Mexican.

“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the American.

The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full life.”

The American interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.”

“And after that?” asked the Mexican.

“With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise.”

“How long would that take?” asked the Mexican.

“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the American.

“And after that?”

“Afterwards? Well my friend, that’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the American, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?” asked the Mexican.

“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends.”


Things change. Time changes. We change.

Since things change, you must too.  Because the economic landscape is now different as a result of  recession and global economic meltdown, we must position our businesses and companies to adopt to sudden change and remain competitive.

Here are the things and guideposts to consider when we rethink the position of our companies and businesses to adopt to the changing environment.

Stop, Look And Listen. When we were still children, we have been taught to stop, look and listen before we cross the street.  This lesson is apt in business as in any areas of our lives. Look what’s going on in your company and in the industry where it belongs. Listen to your customers. Look what your competitors are doing.  Get feedback from your customers, suppliers, and the people in your industry.

Use the information and data you have to evaluate the status of your company, and the direction it is going, say six months from now, 1 year from now, 3 years from now. This is necessary to anticipate where the market is heading and to be on it.

Be first, be daring, be different. Once you have spotted a trend,  you have to get there first ahead of your competitors.  You have to change the products or service you are providing to fit to the demands of the changing tastes and preferences of your customers.

As the saying goes: To succeed in business, be daring, be first, be different.

Communicate the change to your employees.  Your people are the assets of your business.  You cannot manage alone, business success is always a team effort.

This guest post is by Eli Gatanela of http://www.businessphereconsulting.com

Image credit: VinothChandar


All business enterprises started first as a thought, an idea, or an insight of the owner.

So, in starting a business, there are three basic tips on generating money-making ideas, as follows:

1. Know Thyself. This is the famous Greek aphorism, and an ancient one. It was even inscribed in the pronaos (forecourt) of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi.

In starting a business, as in searching for life’s meaning, Know Thyself is still the basic dictum.

To know yourself is to know your talents, skills, experience, abilities, traits, training, and personality. Do you have the experience to start a business? To run and manage it? Can you stomach a crisis and solve problems? Do you have the skills to deal with people and to sell your products?

The success or failure of the enterprise is dependent, to a large extent, on the capability and know-how of the owner.

2. Know The Business Environment.  This includes studying the opportunities in the place where you want to put up your business. What are the type of businesses that are successful? Those that met with failure?

The saying: “Find a need and fill it” is still applicable.

3. Know The Market.  The market is the heart of any business.

Knowing the market means knowing who the target customers are, their needs and preferences.

Questions like: What does the market buy? Who buy? At what price are they willing to buy? How frequent are they buying? are very significant in making decision.

Without a market, there’s no business.

In conclusion, once you have generated money making ideas, putting up a business will just follow. It’s now time to generate your own business ideas and make it work.

This guest post is by Eli Gatanela of http://www.businessphereconsulting.com

Image by: nikcname


When you give your kids money how do they spend it? Wise money habits and the ability to control money starts early in life. It is rather difficult for adults to unlearn all the bad money habits we acquired over the years. Teaching kids about money as soon as they learn to count will help them develop discipline and the ability to control money and not the other way around.

  1. Basics of budgeting – give children a fixed allowance every day. Guide children on how they spend their allowance to help them develop a wise spending habit. At the end of the day ask them how they spent their money and compliment them it they spent wisely and explain why they should not spend on other things.
  2. Importance of saving – Encourage children to save by giving them a certain percentage of money on the amount they save every day. Say you give him 50% of whatever he saves so if he saves P10 from his daily allowance, you give him an additional P5.00. This money should not be spent but goes to a piggy bank. If he wants to buy something, encourage him to delay gratification by allowing him to buy only if he use money from his savings.
  3. Record-keeping – teach him to keep tract of his money by recording the amount that goes into the piggy bank. This way, if he is saving for something, he knows how far he is towards his goal.
  4. Frugal lifestyle – a simple bringing of baon to school can be a good way of teaching kids frugality.  Make use of his old bag if it’s still in good condition. Kids would always ask for new things every opening of classes but the danger there is that he will not give value to old stuff that are still usable.
  5. Starting a business – Filipino-Chinese children learn to start a business at a young age. If you happen to have one for a classmate, you would remember them selling stuff at school even in elementary. Some would sell stickers, cards or even food. However, do not push kids to do the same. If you see your kids are keen to start a business, encourage and teach them.I remember a niece one summer vacation who asked me for money so she can sell ice candy to our neighbors. She wants to buy a bag but she doesn’t want to ask money from her mom who’s having difficulties with their finances. I gave her P20 and in less than a month, she turned it to P200.

You don’t want your kids doing the same bad money habits you do. Your guidance as parents will greatly help your kids develop good money habits.  As with bad habits, wise money habits also last a lifetime.

Image by: nSheika


I might sound melodramatic but really, decisions that can affect your finances of the way you look at money can be life changing. The Money Summit & Wealth Expo I attended last year was life changing for me.  If you meet very young people making more money in a month that you do in year, you’d also be inspired and challenged at the same time.

Through Money Summit, I get to know several ways of making money, online or offline. Aside from blogging, one can get into affiliate marketing, ebay selling, forex trading, selling info-materials, etc. I’ve written some of these topics also since I’ve also tried them before. There’s also a wealth of offline opportunities such as investing in the stock market, build and sell real properties, network marketing, etc.

This year, you have the same opportunity to learn different ways to make passive income. The good news is, there will also be two venues, Manila and Cebu, so more people will get to attend the event.

The regular rate is P7,995 but if you act now and register and pay on or before May 31, 2011, you only need to pay P4,995. That’s 37.5% off, with savings of P3,000 off the regular fee!

Register now for the Money Summit & Wealth Expo!

If you think it’s expensive, remember that you are investing in yourself. Although there is no guarantee that you will make as much money as the speakers, that registration fee is really a bargain. You know why? Take a look at the list of confirmed speakers.

  • Tomasito Academia, PAREB
  • Jay Aldeguer, Island Souvenirs
  • Noli Alleje, The Property Forum
  • Jojy Azurin, BusinessSummaries.com
  • Conrado Bate, CitisecOnline
  • Ian del Carmen. Fireball
  • Jay Castillo, ForeclosurePhilippines.com
  • Eireen Diokno-Bernardo, Dekada Arts
  • Bonner Dytoc, Absolute Traders
  • Vince Golangco, WhenInManila.com
  • Prof. James Ryan Jonas, PinoyMoneyTalk
  • Sha Nacino, Think Rich Yuppies!
  • Cynthia Palad-Yap, Real Estate Movers
  • Ardy Roberto, Salt & Light Ventures
  • Jerome San, Laurus Enterprises
  • Mark So, Forex Club Asia
  • Trace Trajano, Think Rich Quick

These speakers probably charge more than the registration fee for the Money Summit if you hire them as speakers! I hope you will grab this chance to register for the Money Summit & Wealth Expo.


Frugality does not mean to scrimp on food or to live like a miser. Frugality is finding clever ways to save and to live well within your means. It is being mindful of where you spend your money and making a conscious effort to find less expensive alternatives.

Ever wonder how Filipino-Chinese become rich? It’s because they have a frugal lifestyle. If you also dream of achieving financial independence, then perhaps you should also start having a frugal lifestyle.

  1. Know the Basics of Budgeting – most of us don’t have a budget because we are scared of what we’ll find out.  Budgeting is merely figuring out hhow to spend your money and deciding if that’s how you want to spend it. Keeping track of your expenses can be daunting but if you want to improve your finances, it’s the first thing to do.  You’d be surprised at what your budget can tell you of your spending habit. The first time I made a budget I was surprised to see how much I spent on unnecessary things such as dining out and magazine subscriptions.  In order to save, I but down going out on weekends and subscribed to free magazines.
  2. Avoid Debt Like the Plague – If you are already in debt, well just like me, you have to make some serious efforts in paying off your credit card debt and avoid making more.  While not all credit is bad, the trick is to know what contributes to your over-all financial goal and which one drags you down. A loan to start a business that will earn more than what you pay for the loan is a credit worth taking. If you know yourself to splurge on consumer goods, better keep that credit card at home.
  3. Increase your Savings – As they say, it’s not how much you earn but how much you save.  Unfortunately, Filipinos are not brought up to save first then spend but we are taught the opposite. You will be motivated to save if you have a goal in mind like, buying a house, starting a business, or investing.
  4. Live Within Your Means – Easier said than done but if others can do it, so can you. Changing your lifestyle is hard if you are accustomed to an extravagant life. But if you want to improve your finances, desperate measures are needed. Living below your means can even help you accomplish several things. You learn to be creative in reusing and repurposing things and you become an expert on where to get the best bargains when shopping.

It’s always hard at the start but little progress accumulates. We may not all end up as rich as Henry Sy but to achieve financial independence is perhaps more achievable than we all thought.

Photo by: alamosbasement


Are you in a situation where you think you are so deep in debt that you think you could never get yourself out of? Well, I was once in the same situation and there are only two things which I think are the best get out of debt advice I can give you.

  1. Stop getting in debt. Every time you borrow money it’s like digging a hole beneath your feet and the best way to stop getting yourself swallowed by the hole is to stop digging. Get a hold of yourself before it’s too late.  Stress from having collectors call your office or credit card agents harassing you are too much price to pay on top of recurring interests.
  2. Pay off your debt. Easier said than done, right? But then you have to start somewhere and the second best advice in getting out of debt is to pay off that debt. It’s not going to be easy and it will take a lot of time and effort depending on how big a debt you have. Start making a budget and live within your means. Little savings can go a long way.

I can’t say I’m debt free right now but I can proudly say I’m working on it and I’m slowly making progress. I’ve been there and it’s not a nice place to be. So the sooner you get out of debt, the better it is for you and your peace of mind.


I was able to attend the Money Summit & Wealth Expo last week as a blog partner.  I had to fly from Bacolod the day before and took two days of leave from work. But it was all worth it. Never had I see so many people wanting to learn more on investing and personal  financial in one venue. Their energy and enthusiasm were very inspiring. There were many of us also who came from the province just to attend the event.

Learning Curve has chosen their speakers well. They are not only successful in their field but are also good speakers and can convey the message to the audience without using too much financial jargon. I was glad to finally meet in person Heinz Bulos of Moneysense Magazine.  I got acquainted to Heinz when he was doing an article on the Best Places to Live in the Philippines in 2008 where he interviewed me in that article. Little did I know that after two years, he will contact me to be a blog partner for the Money Summit & Wealth Expo. Oh boy, and I’m so glad he did!

business seminar, personal finance event

Roda, Maricar, & Glady with Eireen Diokno-Bernabe, eBay Trader

When I started this blog, it was with the intention of getting connected to those who want to be financially independent. My money habits were so bad that I am still reeling from the mistakes made in the past (read: credit card debt). The summit inspired me to try harder in achieving my financial goals.

The speakers were very inspiring. Some were so young when they made their first million. Others experienced a tragedy in their life yet survived and became financially independent. Others help their fellow Filipinos through employment and mentoring.

Maricar, a friend who was with me at the summit, told me that there are no coincidences. The people we meet and those around us are there for a reason. I guess she’s right. God knows I still need more efforts for my financial makeover that’s why He brought me to the Money Summit and Wealth Expo. I hope those whom I gave the tickets to get to learn as much as I did. There are so many money making opportunities presented and we just have to choose which path to take.

personal finance seminar

Forex Trader Mark So & wife, Maricar, Me

Here are some of their testimonials:

The Money Summit and Wealth Expo 2010 was an event that was both informative and inspiring. The speakers were highly effective in sharing their knowledge and experience with money. I believe that The Money Summit and Wealth Expo 2010 was very successful and should be continued every year so as to educate people on the different creative ways to earn big from something small. – John Lopez

All I can say after attending the Money Summit, is that the event was life-changing. I was surprised that the event was able to alter my perceptions when it comes to making investments. Initially, I had no idea how investing works (stock, forex, real estate… etc), and I thought that these topics were boring (not to mention, complicated!). However, the speakers presented it in such a way that it was easy to understand, which really made me excited about all their topics (there were 16 speakers with 16 different topics to learn). This event was really worth it, I can now see a brighter future ahead of me. I hope to attend again next year! – Louie Albert Sioco