Archive for February, 2014

Fixing your financial life is just not good enough

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Prevention is better than cure. In my opinion if you apply the same principle in your financial planning, prevention is better than fixing. It sounds odd but it works better for me.

Preventing yourself to be in a lot of debt is better than fixing your debt payments while you are in it.

Preventing yourself from being broke is a lot better than finding a way out when you are already broke.

Preventing yourself from having debt by starting an emergency fund.

Preventing yourself from buying unnecessary stuff that only clutters your life and never really gives you satisfaction.

The list goes on but the bottom line is that prevention is always the better choice.

It makes sense right? That is the reason why I’ve written this series of blog post to open your eyes and talk to you that your decision to save for your future is the key to a successful future.

 

Tell me what I need to know.

 

The first thing you have to organize is your lifestyle. This is something of a personal choice. But you can try to ask yourself and answer this question on your own:

1. Do you see yourself living the same lifestyle 10 to 20 yrs from now?

2. Is your current monthly expenses enough for you, or you want to increase it to a better or doable amount?

3. Do you think you have the money to keep up to your current monthly expenses until 10 to 20 years from now or until you retire?

4. Do you have other source of income?

5. Do you think your current savings is enough to cover 6 months of your expenses in case of emergency.

These are just simple questions that you can ask yourself and find out on your own at what stage of financial stability you are right now. If you cant answer the question then you have not planned your future well.

The ISM gave us a mantra that we highlight during our safety meeting. “Plan what we do, and do what we plan”. Benjamin Franklin also quoted “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”.

Remember to plan it wisely and stick to the plan. Know your option, and know what you have.

 

Today is a good day to save, not later.

 

I have the habit of buying stuff that I never really need. Until one day I realized that my cabinet is full of stuff that I don’t usually use. I realized that I buy stuff because I just want them.

I started to simplify my life by getting rid or even selling the stuff that I don’t use. Before I buy any stuff I ask myself if I need it or if I want it.

The I realized that I have rid myself of the dilemma of buying out of want, but buying out of need.

A minimalist lifestyle teaches you to enjoy the things that you have and reminds us of how good life is if we just look for simplicity. Photography thought me the idea of “Less is More”, and I never thought that I would apply it to my lifestyle, job, and work flow.

The important value I learned from attending seminar and educating myself on financial planning through mentoring is SAVING. No matter what they say about interest and all those fund manager jargon, if you save for your future nothing could go wrong.

Time is something that when you loose, you cannot get it back again. And if you know your math and understand the idea behind compound interest , I am sure that you will consider to set aside money for savings.

 

Seafarer’s Basic Way of Life

 

As seafarers we have the tendency to buy out of our wants. Although it is illogical to others, it make sense to  us.

We stayed onboard for a long time, deprived of buying or spending money. We know that after our contract we have enough money for our vacation. So it is natural that the first instance that we have money is to buy. After all, we deserve to spend the money we’ve earned.

We must satisfy our needs, so instead of stopping you from overspending, I would suggest to inform you to spend your money wisely.

Think “Basic”! Buy stuff that satisfies your needs, with the basic features that you need, and would make you happy.

Don’t look at what others have that looks new and fancy. Ask yourself what you need and satisfy those needs. Buy stuff with a great deal for the price, but does not slow you down on features.

Think of long term. Try to buy stuff that you think would last for 3 years before you replace it. It will save you a lot of money, and frustration if you buy good quality stuff on a low price.

Talk with your wife. Discuss with her your financial status and what are your plans to solve it. It takes both of you to understand your current financial situation.

Remember that the your money is managed by your wife, and you are not always there to monitor it. That is why you should include her in every financial decisions that you will make.

You are the one who can figure it out. Every family has different situations that they are encountering. You must remember that thinking of only the Basic Things in life will save you in a lot of bad situations that you may later on encounter.

Let as start a conversation by commenting below. I want to hear your side on this story…