Financial life in boxes

Hello there. I’m Mabel, a 26-year old girl and here’s my financial life calendar.

To briefly explain how the diagram works, each row represents a year, with 12 boxes each to represent the twelve months. I am basically summarizing my life in countable and colorful boxes to help me in my financial planning. The boxes were colored to segregate different phases of my life which I am pegging to end at 82 years old (pardon the morbidity). I got the idea from waitbutwhy.com which summarized life in weeks — it is totally worth your time but I hope you’ll finish this first hihi.

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So, what’s included in my financial life calendar? I included tidbits of notes of my significant financial milestones, whether it will have a positive or negative impact in my wealth. This will be explained in further detail below:

  • My mother got me a Junior Savings Bank Account from Banco de Oro. – In case you have no idea, Banco de Oro is the old school version of what BDO is now, after several bank mergers. Well anyway, what happened to that account? I have no idea. The bank probably realized after some time that I am not a “junior saver” anymore which puts them in a position to increase the maintaining balance… which puts my account in a position to be eaten up because of penalties. The kid in me feels robbed right now. Lol kidding. I didn’t know the implications of having an account back then. I was just happy I have a little booklet called the passbook with my name on it.
  • Period when I was living on allowance from parents – Coming from a middle class family, I was only given enough allowance for my daily needs and a wee bit of extra on lucky days. This forced me into learning to save at such an early phase in my life. To be honest, I was just saving for petty stuff like cassette tapes, CDs, movie tickets, out-of-town trips or whatever that time but I am still thankful that saving money became innate for me eventually.
  • Graduated with a BS Accountancy degree/passing the CPA board exam – Obviously, this will open doors for my choice of career path and source of income. On a side note — as a reward, my parents opened a bank account for me (minimum amount), which is my first legit one haha.
  • Started working for a big four firm – A start of a new phase of my life which also marks the end of the leeching days to my parents. I started to become more aggressive in saving. Aside from my savings, I also set aside immediately periodical contributions for the family. Also worth noting is that I finally have a health plan just in case I get sick in the future!
  • Started investing in the stock market – My curiosity about the stock market started when I was in college but I didn’t really have any money back then to invest with. Roughly a year of working and being able to save up, I was able to cough up some dough to open an online broker account. With much pounding of my heart, I traded 3rd-liners which I eventually stopped doing. Eventually, I developed the patience to stick to blue chips and just wait for my wealth to build up slowly and surely while trying to beat inflation.
  • Invested in mutual funds – To hedge against the probability of me making bad decisions with my online trading account, I invested in Sun Life’s Prosperity Funds, which are managed by legit fund managers. I only check its fund value quarterly and switch funds depending on market conditions. I’m treating this as my extremely looooooong-term investment so I will probably just break this piggy bank when I retire.
  • Got promoted to supervisor level – aside from the title, of course there will be an upgrade in the salary and health insurance coverage. A big yay for my financial wellness!  At this point in time, I realized that being prudent in my expenses paved the way for me to not just merely survive, but even start saving and investing with my starting salary. I learned that the level of savings does not solely depend on my level of salary but depends more on my own drive to financial wellness. It’s not about the money, it’s about the habit.
  • Applied for my first credit card – Due to my observation of some of my peers who were buried in a pile of debt, I looked at those plastic things as a work of the devil although eventually, I felt that there is a need for me to get one at this point. After an in-depth research on which bank I should apply for and how to manage having a card without damaging my financial wellness, I applied for a card and was approved. After that, I always remind myself that having a credit card does not increase my purchasing power but it is just a tool to manage the timing of my cash flows.
  • Passed the life insurance exam and became a financial advisor – before becoming a financial advisor, I went through trainings and exams first which greatly increased my financial literacy level. I realized that personal finance should become a focus of every individual but sadly, some people avoid it like a plague for whatever reason they have. I am happy that I get to help my clients (mostly my friends or people within my network) in achieving their financial goals. It was also at this point when I realized that I also need a life insurance coverage so I got one that is bundled with an investment.
  • Went on a 10-day out-of-the-country trip and became a licensed scuba diver – I must admit, I am a travel junkie. Travelling is an important thing in my life so I always feed my soul with trips with here and there but these two life milestones are worth noting because they are the ones with a significant impact in my cash flows. I always find myself daydreaming that I’m in some fancy beach, or up in the mountains but I always remind myself to exercise prudence in booking trips. To be able to do that, I set a budget per year for my travel expenses and keep a separate bank account for it.

At almost 27 years old, here are my assets: savings accounts (for the daily stuff, buffer for emergencies and travel & hobbies), health insurance coverage, investments in stocks, investment in mutual fund and life insurance coverage with investment.

So what do I do from today until the remaining red portion? Still keep on saving (for myself and my own family, eventually), keep on investing for my retirement fund which will be used on the purple portion, increase my health and life insurance coverage when the need arises, buy a house and lot and probably travel more.

After having to endure my financial wellness blah blah, can you visualize your own financial life calendar? Are you making the most out of the little month boxes life hands you or are you wasting it away until you find yourself in the black portion? Do you think you’re in the right path to achieving your financial goals? If not, how are you going to steer your way back to it?

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