2018 will come into conclusion in a few hours by now. I like to share with you my humble wins this year. Here it goes.
I have finished reading
10 12 books in 9 months!
This year ignited my fond of reading books. The pure detail of holding a book, turning each page, smelling it before and after you finished reading, putting any bookmark (either a phone or a watch) between the pages and the gratifying satisfaction of closing the cover are indeed the reasons why I achieved this. I allocated at least an hour to read, find a comfortable place and put on my earphones (to cancel the noise and keep me focus). After doing this ritual, I am in the “flow” and immersed with the words of the book I am reading.
My personal favorite reads are
- Endurance by Scott Kelly, the guy who spent 342 days in space straight.
- Way of the Wolf by the awesome Jordan Belfort (portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio from the 2013 movie The Wolf of Wolf Street).
- The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman, if you love designing things, this is a must read.
- Artemis by Andy Weir, also the author of the book The Martian which was adapted into a 2015 movie with the same title.
- And finally the epic novel of The Silmarillion by the legendary John Ronald Reuel Tolkien who gave us the The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit. Tolkien didn’t just created a novel, he created the middle-earth universe!
Reading books an hour a day keep me on track in life. It feels like I have a sense or purpose every time I look forward to read. I don’t know but I think if you are feeling lost or feeling depressed, just grab an interesting book you want to read and you’ll reap the rewards. As for me, I simply become a better person every time I read a book.
I gradually increased my savings rate from 35% to a whopping 55%!
One of my priority goals I set this 2018 is to have an Emergency fund and break the 6-digit mark amount. I made a mistake of not having this kind of fund when I started my journey in personal finance. Thus, I decided to make it happen this year.
Hitting the 55% savings rate is not an easy feat. They say that “if your savings rate doesn’t hurt you, then you’re not saving enough” and that rings true to me. So, I decided to make it happen this year.
Here are the few things I do to achieve this goal.
I cut my expenses
From reducing my Internet bill in half to not buying additional branded clothing and silly wants, I managed to increase my savings rate significantly. It feels like a having a salary raise!
I pay may utility bills in advance
This my friend is the secret why the rich is getting richer. Imagine your monthly recurring bills – electricity, water, phone line, gas, etc. – goes directly into your savings account instead of landing directly on your collector’s hand, what would be your savings account look like?
I made a stunning discovery and the results are eye-opening. Imagine where will your cash flow go if you plan a year ahead?
I used my last paycheck (not the latest paycheck)
The typical employee is usually living paycheck to paycheck. Meaning, they are currently using the their last salary on December 15 to lived until the next paycheck comes and the cycle goes on.
But in my situation, I am currently using my last paycheck before my last salary on December 15 and that is – guess what? Yes, you are correct. I’m using my last pay that I got on November 30.
How did this happen? I simply saved 15 days worth of expenses including savings. Once I have that amount, I’ll wait for my next paycheck and not use it. My 15 days worth of savings will cover my next 15 days until I use this ‘backlog’ paycheck.
Did you get the idea? I got this financial hack from You Need A Budget’s Rule #4. Go check it out and the other rules.
With this kind of concept applied, I am not living paycheck to paycheck anymore. I can now foresee my expenses and budget effortlessly.
I highly recommend this if you want a significant change in your finances. You’ll be surprised by the result.
I created my first side-hustle gig
In today’s modern era, becoming an entrepreneur and creating startup business is a clique for younger generations.
I started tinkering an idea of starting a side-hustle way back in December 2017. This was the time that I was very pumped up of my goals for the coming year of 2018.
This idea was also a result of my deliberate habit of listening to podcast and reading books about entrepreneurship, relationship and personal finance.
My primary goal is to test the waters by putting actions on what I know so far. I don’t just want to be a podcast-smart or book-smart. I want to take action and do things differently.
I love computers ever since I was a kid and playing computer games is part of my upbringing. I like the idea of building my own personal computer (PC).
The individual parts of a PC make me lust to joy by simply disassembling and holding it. The process of putting it back together in one piece is satisfying.
Then I realized and questioned, what if I can earn a profit with this fondness?
And the idea of selling computer parts pops up.
They say that if you want to pursue a side-hustle, make sure it is something aligned with what you love and expertise. So, I decided to give this a shot.
How I do it?
After planning for months, the exact date was March 17, 2018 when I pulled the trigger.
I risked and bet PHP 7000+ worth of my extra savings as a capital to buy processors (CPU) and started selling this online.
March was one of my busiest month. From scouting products online, looking for suppliers to find the best deal, opening bank account, setting up an online store to haggling with potential buyers of my product.
It was a tedious journey but the results are worth it.
And the results…
On September of that year, after 6 months of waiting for hope and praying, my first batch of processors was sold out! I was jumping out of joy someone responded and put a trust on my idea!
Hey, it works! My idea works! And I found my niche 😊.
If it works, then let’s do it again. I rolled my revenue and bought another processor. After few weeks, it was sold out again.
It is insane! Selling is insane! I think I found something that I will do in the coming years.
This experience was eye-opening. I saw things I haven’t seen before. I learned a lot with my adventure.
So what did I learn?
If there is one thing I learned from starting a side-hustle is this…
Action, action, action!
Action speaks louder than words.
You will never get what you want if you keep swiping timelines on your phone. Nothing will happen if you only keep reading books or listening to podcast and doing nothing after. Go out there and start doing something! Utilized what you learned. Create value that will benefit you and the people around you.
It is your obligation to become prosperous and destined to become the best that you can possibly be!
That’s what I learned in this journey.
You have come this far. Yes I know this is a long one. What is it for you if you finish reading my letter anyway? But I want to say thank you for allocating your time, energy and grit to read my letter up to this point. Thank you!
This has been my greatest year so far. I feel like I am truly the captain of my ship. No drama, no distractions, no worries and negative thoughts just me controlling what I want to feel and experience.
I’ll end this letter by a quote from the former Secretary of State of the United States, Condoleezza Rice…
It doesn’t matter where you came from; it matters where you’re going.