Frankly, I came to this Sun Life event thinking it was one where we would listen to financial planners give a short talk on personal finance and maybe learn about new product offerings. I never expected this event to be about ME!!! And about all of us – you and I.
Yes, I am beginning this article with that statement. I don’t believe that the paluwagan system is a good mode of saving. Have you ever been invited to join one? Been tempted to try? I did – a long, long time ago. And that is the reason for writing this. Read on and I’ll tell you why.
How does ‘paluwagan’ work?
* A group of friends or work colleagues agree to contribute a specific amount on a specific day. A collector is designated from among the group members to collect from everyone and the money goes into a pool of funds. To illustrate, let’s say there are 4 friends, each one putting P100 into the pool each month.
Once, when one of my kids was still quite small, we were crossing the street when I chanced upon a 10-cent coin on the road. I stopped, picked it up, brushed away the dirt, and kept it. “Mom, why did you pick it up? That’s just 10 cents!“, my kid asked me. I told my kid, “Everything has value. Even if that was just 5 cents, I’d still pick it up.”
At home, I keep large medicine bottles after the contents have been consumed. I have transformed some of them into coin containers, labeling them by denomination. They come from leftover change from parking places, change from purchases, even coins I find lying around the house. And when there is enough for at least P100, I send the coins to the sari-sari store nearby for exchanging into paper bills. It goes into our family savings.
The word “investing” can sound really complicated and intimidating. Maybe that is one reason why so few Filipinos are actively investing in different investment instruments. I personally know many who think keeping money in savings accounts is the way to go, not realizing that inflation alone is eating up whatever interest is generated from savings deposits.
There are financial advocates who are now bringing the message of investing to the public with clarity and simplicity, but with a strong message. I call them financial evangelists and they have been giving workshops and going on speaking engagements for many years now. Their dream is to get more Filipinos into the investing mode. One of them is a good, good friend of mine – Randell Tiongson — who I consider a pioneer in this field, a columnist in his own right, and author of a best-selling book “Money Manifesto“. Randell is an original force behind ICON, an annual gathering of the best and inspiring speakers and advocates in the field of investing. I missed ICON 2014 last year because of time conflicts but I’m really happy to be able to go to ICON 2015 which will be happening this May 30, 2015 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.
In September of 2013, I discovered a new microblogging platform. My friend Noemi was using it and introduced me to the person in the Philippines representing Bubbly, an audio platform that allows you to record 90 seconds of voice. It also allows others to listen to you and if you are on a Premium account (like I am), you get people who subscribe to you.
I immediately fell in love with Bubbly. More than just an expressive outlet of my thoughts, I discovered that it was a great platform to draw people with disabilities into social media because of its audio feature. I had visually impaired followers and they were so happy to engage on Bubbly with me!!!
I have this beautiful computer table made of synthetic wood. When I bought it, it was just perfect for me. It had a pullout drawer for the keyboard and mouse, a recessed stand for my CRT monitor, and an eye-level shelf for the printer. On the left side was a small area where CD covers could be slotted in and on the lower right side was space for the CPU. Directly below the keyboard area was another shelf for other stuff like my CDs.
But when I moved to a laptop, there was no need for the table. And yet I needed a decent work area instead of my bed converted into my working table. Of course there are days when I opt to sit on my floor and work from a collapsible low table (sitting on the floor is a great yoga hip-opener). But on other days, I want to sit properly. After all, right over my computer table is a very bright fluorescent light and a computer chair that had not been used in ages.
I was thinking of donating the table but the thought of plunking down money to buy yet another table did not really appeal to me. So today, I tried something different. I decided to recycle the computer table.
This is how it looks now.
The printer was moved to the top of my filing cabinet. A scanner used to be there but it was no longer compatible with my Macbook so it moved out. Where the printer used to be, I placed my pen holders, memo and post-it-note holder. Also put a small electric fan there.
The keyboard area became an area for storing press kits and papers that I needed to write about. The mouse area still served its purpose. Where the CPU used to be is a free space so for now, I drop the bag I regularly use there so that I can just pick it up when I leave to go out (I do not change bag often). And the lowest shelf near my feet houses my external hard drives, a UPS and a few folders.
My next move is to rearrange some stuff so I do not have too many wires and cables going here and there. But that requires a trip to CD-R King to check on their cable organizers. And I still do not know what to do with the recessed stand for the CRT monitor since it is slanted. I have to check to see if I can raise it so that instead of being slanted, it is level with the floor. That can become another place for my papers and stuff.
There, I saved myself some money and put to use a space that has remained unusable for some time now.
How do you like my recycling attempt? Got any other ideas to reuse what seems to be obsolete stuff around your home?