Tag Archives: #itsallaboutperspective

Top 3 Mistakes People Swamped In (Bad) Debt Have In Common

By Keng dela cruz

bad debt 1

Had met with a number of people asking for help how to go about their finances. Ok to be more specific, how to get out of their 6-digit-debts. Since I shared on one of my posts about helping a friend get out of her 2-year debt issues in 3 short months, it is usual that I get PMs and inquiries about how can they get out of their personal debt battles as well.

So I meet up or set-up a call with them and talk about it; others as far as Canada but mostly here in the Philippines. Some I know from way back younger years like elementary school days, some just recently – brave people who approached me and asked for directions.

How do we go about it? First, I will always ask if they feel comfortable talking about personal money issues on a very open level. Since I am a stranger to them, I am conscious that they might feel shy (nahihiya) or wants to keep things in private when it comes to money handling. Before engaging in the conversation, I make sure I explained the importance of honesty. For the simple reason that I wont be able to see where the money leak (problem) might be coming from and without knowing that, it will be difficult to assess the time duration of the way-out journey.

Summarizing, herbad debte are the top 3 mistakes people swamped in (bad) debt have in common:

1. They do not know (TRACK/MONITOR) their expenses. Their usual peg, “Money just goes through my hands” or “I don’t know where my money went”.

2. IMPROPER use and settlement of credit cards. Most people do not know that their credit card is requiring them to pay 3.5% per month, that is equal to whooping 52% in one year, compounded. You want to challenge? Try to use your credit card to buy “bananas” worth Php100 this month of Sep 2014. Don’t pay for it for 12 months and see how much your bill will be. At 3.5% interest charge, that is Php151.10 by Sep 2015, equivalent to 51% interest payment you have to settle.

With all honesty, I use my credit card for our monthly domestic necessities/expenses. But please take note: I pay the “whole” amount every month on or before due date so there is no penalty(interest) incurred. Why do I use credit card? For 3 basic reasons:

a. Convenience of one-time bill payment (I am all about schedules, saves a lot of time!)

b. Its easier to know (TRACK/MONITOR) what are my expenses (which is number 1 mistake mentioned above).

c. Takes advantage of of cash rebates (I love my Citibank cash back credit card so far).

There are other perks in properly using your credit card. Buying in installment, credible credit history, extremely emergency cases, online buying, cost of money, etc… But the keyword is “PROPER”. If you do not have the discipline, stay away from it. It can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

3. Not enough cash flow or simply said, living beyond their means. If you know how much you are earning, you know how much should go to your tithes, savings and necessities, then you know how much extra you have for spending. While I agree that you deserve to treat yourself, I also strongly suggest, you first look at your numbers. At the end of the day, it will all boil down to two choices: either you live BELOW your means or you EXPAND your means.

So far, most of the people I have talked to have either peace of mind since they passed through the challenge already or are still in the process of digging their own holes. Still they are happy because for the first time, they have seen light at the end of the long dark tunnel (the BAYGON for the creeping creature in their mind that keeps them awake at night).

Hey, we all deserve to have peace of mind and getting out and staying out of BAD DEBT is one happy state that can give you this prize!






Lost and Found – You are here!

by Keng dela Cruz

My ultimate winnings of yesterday? 2 things.
1. I started the day waking up beside my mom and dad; had a FULL good night sleep on THIER bed. NOT a usual thing for a 30+ lady with a family and kid of her own (hehehe).
2. I ended the day talking to a friend, solving her financial distress over credit card and budgeting issues. We were so blessed to have finalized her exit strategy from her debts and financial issues, and now looking forward to see what comes after.

And because I had so much blessings (if you know me by now), you know that means MORE TIPS for sharing!!! Kaya today, I wish to share with you a very basic GROUNDWORK if you want to fix your financial situation.

When you have a car and would want to go to a place unfamiliar to you, what will you do? (hehe, for the directionally-challenged people like me, I suggest) Go to waze, type your desired destination and NAVIGATE. But this will only work IF… you have TURNED ON your “location services”. This will show you 3 things.

  2. Which way to go.
  3. Your desired destination.

Same thing when you get lost in a mall; go to the maps of the mall directory. After checking what specific place you want to be, check your exact location showed as “YOU ARE HERE” markings.

Needless to say, it is important for us to know WHERE WE ARE to know where to start. This is also true in finances (and goals in life as well). If you don’t know, and wont give yourself the time to know where you stand, chances are it will be a DIFFICULT journey for you.

So the questioning begins, know 3 things.
What are your Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth?
(Big words? Accounting? Math? Kebs? WAPAKELS?)

Sorry to break it to you friends, these are the language of the financially literate people. If you want to get ahead financially, no other way but to know these terms. Don’t worry, I will try my best to explain in the grade 5 level, since my son is in Grade 5.

  1. Asset – something that PUTS money in your pocket
    In tagalog — DAGDAG PERA SA BULSA.
    (Thank you RK for making this SO EASY to understand!)

  2. Liabilities – something that TAKES AWAY money from your pocket.
    In tagalog — BAWAS PERA SA BULSA.

  3. Net Worth – Assets MINUS Liabilities (real measure of wealth)
    In tagalog — DAGDAG BAWAS, hahahaha!

Its so simple right? Go ahead, open your excel files and start breaking down your assets and liabilities then check what is left on your NET WORTH.

After all, ever since we were kids, our teachers always taught us that the FIRST step to SCIENTIFICALLY solve the problem is???

STATE THE PROBLEM – Because a problem can’t be solved if it isn’t understood.

Have a wonderful Morning to everyone!
Let the blessings pour down to you after ACCEPTING the reality and TAKING ACTION take hold of your life!



you are here


Change fully like a BUTTERFLY!

by Keng dela Cruz

A couple of great chapters in my life has been NEARING its closures, YET bountiful new chapters before me were OPENED already. I cannot agree more to the saying, “What the caterpillar calls the END of the world, the Master calls a BUTTERFLY.”

I remember a story of my good friend of a not so distant past (lets call her Ann). During the time, Ann was longing to take her MBA in a prestigious school (di ko sasabihing Ateneo yun ha, para hindi nyo alam, hehe). Dahil si Ann was a fairly good candidate in terms of performance and reliability sa office, she discussed w her boss her intentions and asked to consider her if there was an opening to take MBA. For 3 long years, she was told “Yes pwede, but there are still seniors who needs to be prioritized.” Faithfully she waited, did her job well and WAITED. Until one day, she was called by the boss and was OFFERED the promise. She was finally granted her request (wuhuuu!) and now going to take her MBA – all expense paid.

So happy her heart was, she encouraged her best friend (lets call her Coleen), who was “lost” at the time, to take the MBA w her. Since si Coleen ay may ‘PINAGDADAANAN” at lost ang peg, doubtful sya. Pagtapos ng maraming pilitan (to the point that Ann offered to pay half of the tuition fees), napa-OO din si Coleen to take their MBA ng sabay.

When all things were set already for the best friends, the DARK clouds ARRIVED! Last minute, sabi ng boss ni Ann, “di ka pa pala pwede this year mag-take ng MBA kase blah blah blah…” For all the reasons being explained, nothing was heard. Aside from the pain in Ann’s heart, she has to address Coleen’s reaction to the UNEXPECTED news. How in the world was Coleen going to take the news? Pagtapos nyang pilitin na mag-MBA, biglang sya yung di pwede? Pano na?

With time working against Ann, she just dropped the bomb to Coleen. Coleen took the news HEAVILY pero wala ng usapan; continued her MBA by herself and left Ann. Masakit? Oo naman, dramarama moments ni Ann yun.

Months passed, Coleen and Ann still met each other regularly, Coleen updating Ann her new adventures in the MBA world. While Ann happily listens to her, she decided, she will also study — on her own. So she bought a lot of books – business and finance-related and started reading them. She also put them into practice and started businesses that eventually lead her to real-life teachers. She failed too (a lot, if I may add) and had her REAL CASH LOSSES in between.

Two years after, Coleen graduated from her MBA and Ann was very HAPPY and PROUD of her and her accomplishments! Ann could not be any happier; she was able to PUSH her best friend achieve SO MUCH! As for Ann, she has her own winnings as well. She had her businesses running and still in the process of learning because she knows, there is NO graduation in the course she took.

Ang pinaka-nakaka “ALIW” sa lahat, Ann was OFFERED the MBA-grant by her boss, AGAIN. Pero this time, Ann politely declined, kase blah blah blah…

In life, we are all striving for BALANCE. Ralph Waldo Emerson referred to it as the “Law of Compensation.” Pwedeng frustrated ka, or sad because of a loss, or disappointed for some reason. During these times, you can immediately search for the counterbalancing POSITIVE ACTION to it.

This is a flawless UNIVERSAL LAW: an OPPOSITE condition must emerge to OFFSET the initial condition. Pwedeng hidden or obvious, BUT IT IS THERE. Creatively SEEK OUT the new direction that will EMPOWER you in a way unlike ever before.

Kaya smile ka na and keep in mind, “When God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.”

or… isa ka ng BUTTERFLY!


What does it mean to be WEALTHY?

by Keng dela Cruz

After the SUCCESSFUL meeting I had yesterday, catch up with good old friend and PM messages I am getting about difference of being DEBT-FREE and FINANCIALLY FREE, I formally DECLARE, I had a very fulfilling and jam-packed day! VERY BLESSED – yan na ang MIDDLE NAME ko ngayon!

My MENTORS always emphasize that the “attitude of gratitude” is an IMPORTANT key to attract the UNENDING abundance of blessings in this world. And they are ABSOLUTELY right. Because of that, I will serve and pay it FORWARD by sharing more life-changing TIPS in life that CAN help you as well.

What does it mean to be WEALTHY?
Can you tell if a person is rich by just looking at him? Well, pwede…

Most people, pag sinabing mayaman, eto ang picture that comes into their mind:
1. May panalong bahay at lupa sa exclusive subdivision (yehey!)
2. May magara at magandang kotse (sports car, why not?!).
3. Di tatak at mahal ang damit pati mga relo and alahas (christmas tree?)
4. Sa Michelin-recognized restaurants kumakain (masarap kaya!)
5. Bakasyonista (hehe, pila tayo dito!)
6. Elitista, powerful at sikat ang palaging taong kasama (who’s who in the society!)
7. Naliligo sa bath tub, hindi sa BAT TAB – (BATyang may TABo; hahaha, maisingit lang!- credits to our lovable Coach GM!)

Yeap, mayaman nga most of the time ang taong would fall under these categories, but NOT ALL of them are. Why? Kase some of them could be FINANCIALLY DISTRESSED, just like many ORDINARY Pinoys.

Wanna know 2 NAKED TRUTHS? Here goes (kapit sa upuan please!)…
1. Maraming mukang mayaman pero HIRAP din pala tulad ng karamihan (hehe, credit card galore!!)
2. Marami din CAN AFFORD to have extravagant lifestyles kase maganda ang sweldo or negosyo (pero pag nawalan ng work or their business fails, PALIT lifestyle ang peg).

Lets face it friends, these people are NOT YET rich or wealthy.
Kaya nga, bago ang lahat, let us DEFINE first what does “TRULY RICH and WEALTHY” mean?

WEALTHY defined: If you can continue to live your DESIRED lifestyle COMFORTABLY even if you NEVER WORK for another day again.

Yeap, I am happy to tell you, you are truly rich and wealthy if you have FINANCIAL PEACE OF MIND.

Not anymore 3 months away from bankruptcy.
No more consolidation of funds for payment of outrageous monthly credit card bills.
No more limits on giving to your favorite charity.
No more WORRIES about scarcity of money.

Ang saya saya diba? Ang the BEST NEWS is, so many people have gotten this peace of mind already. And the path is SO DOABLE. Yeap it may not be easy, but it is DOABLE.

Because of that, may I quote the famous Zig Ziglar,
“Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs.”

Have a BLESSED day ahead everyone!
Dreams do come true — if you WANT TO!



Still “No Savings” even when working for the longest time? Know the reason WHY?!

By Keng dela Cruz

Wuhuu!! Ako na talaga ang SWERTE!!! Another business LEAP and more blessings are pouring down. I am still in AWE, how friends, OLD and NEW just approach me and wants to be w me in this JOURNEY for the simply TRUSTING me in what I am doing! Its so much fun learning and EARNING at the same time. Heaven’s BLESSINGS FLOODGATE has been opened, and I am basking in its abundance. The best part? All the people who trusted me are CELEBRATING w so much JOY in our hearts! WUHUUUU!!!! I LOVE IT!!!

For all of these blessings, PLUS your big trust, please allow me to share TIPS on how to BUILD your WEALTH sa kahit anong INCOME RANGE. Yeap, 4, 5 or 6 digits man ang laman ng payslip mo, pwede kang maging 7 digit KEEPER. Fin lit basics (financial literacy) ang tawag dun kaya KEEP yourself INFORMED.


  1. 1 out of 10 Pinoys make an effort to save (are you one of them?)
  2. Average Pinoy’s savings is good for only 9 weeks (a little over 2 months away from bankruptcy, ikaw ba yun?). If you get laid off, sick or have an accident (knock on the wood) and unable to work, how far can you go? Take note, what i am referring to are people w average income of Php30,000 ha, so imagine people living on the lower income bracket.
  3. MOST people have endless EXCUSES to justify they don’t savings, hehe. Believe me, their population is BIGGER than the SOLAR SYSTEM!!!

So what’s the MOST BASIC STEP to start going for that 7-digit IPON (liquidity)?
UNDERSTAND these BARRIERS and TAKE ACTION to overcome them.
Then MOVE TOWARDS your pinaka-AASAM na Financial Freedom.

Below are TOP 9 obstacles for your understanding and CONQUERING!

  • 1. Kulang ang sweldo (income shortage)  – “kulang pa nga sa gastos ko everyday yung sweldo ko KENG!”

Hehe ok fine, I hear you loud and clear. My 2-cents-worth-of-thought, we are all born with a BRAIN so intelligent and CREATIVE. And you can use that to increase your MEANS. Try to STOP making excuses and BEING LAZY, then RISE above POVERTY. Being POOR is a STATE of MIND, not status.

  • 2. Galit sa PERA (Poor Spending mannerisms) – Pinoys have VERY POOR spending habits, need i say more? Nasan ka pag SUSPENDED ang pasok at WALANG KURYENTE or ILAN sa 54 weekends ng isang taon mo ay spent in SM? (may attendance sheet ka?) To buy a new bag, shirt, or shoes EVEN IF the last piece you bought was sitting comfortably in your cabinet for the last 2 years, WORN only ONCE or TWICE. (Guilty?)

Hard truth: People are mad with their PESO bills. They HAVE to spend them all off once they have it in their hands. And what’s worse, some even spend what THEY dont have YET using the magical plastic called CREDIT CARD.

All of us are CAPABLE of saving (i would want to use INVESTING but for beginners, i would stick with the basics). Saving and building your wealth is NOT a question of HOW MUCH you are earning, its how much you are KEEPING (and growing).

  • 3. Walang Pasensya (Lack of patience) – kung may nabibili lang sa MERCURY DRUG ng PASENSYA, mag hoard at overdose ka na! Most Pinoys have so short supply of patience on almost all things. All the more, when it comes to saving and growing money. They want to get rich QUICK, di inaaalam mga business dealings and don’t check the credibility of the people they partner with.

Sama na natin ang mga gamblers who are putting their fate on LUCK. Try mo bilangin nakapila sa LOTTO linggo linggo. Kung alam lang nila, may sure way to get their millions by just KNOWING how.

  • 4. “Tsaka na” Style (manana habit – take note, HINDI hakuna matata, hehe parang nag eenjoy ako masyado dito noh? ikaw din?)

Ikaw na ang may perennial “Mamaya na” ang peg. “I want to save Keng, pano ba yan? OR I want to do stocks, I dont know how” (familiar?). Then si Keng, super excited to share how to do it, like SPOON FEEDING. Then it STOPS there. Sayang kase all the knowledge just goes SLEEP MODE inside your precious BRAIN. If only I can literally PULL YOU sa PSE para mag enroll and start your INVESTMENTS, I would do it. You don’t know what you are missing when you say MAMAYA NA. I cannot overemphasize the fact that “TIME is of the ESSENCE”. Cliche, but really, 95% of the people who gets a wake up call says, “SANA dati ko pa alam”. Well, now that you KNOW, I do really pray you DO something about it.

  • 5. “Bahala na” Style (mas matindi to, “KEBER” ang peg!)

We do not get wealthy by ACCIDENT. We STUDY, PLAN and SET ASIDE funds monthly, CONSISTENTLY to make it HAPPEN. It is a deliberate ACT. Your financial future is your RESPONSIBILITY, no one else’s. So please please please, take hold of it and ENSURE to make it BRIGHT ONE.

  • 6. “Ayokong yumaman” Attitude (ito ang dapat BIGYAN ng AWARD! – bigyan ng JACKET yan!)

Really, need I say more? We meet people everyday with this kind of attitude. I don’t really understand if its because they lack self-confidence that they don’t believe they can be wealthy if they want to. Or they simply just want to live a life in scarcity. Or they dont want to try getting wealthier because it scares them to fail.

  • 7. “Resign na ako!” or “This is it!” Attitude – Pinoy families are very close in nature. We are told, we think the same way with the people who surround us, same sentiments, same attitude. As the saying goes, “Birds of the same feather flock together.” Reality check lang, did you ever see a MAYA (yes yung brown na maliit na bird) together with a DOVE?

Growing up in a LESS fortunate community seems to prevent most people from doing something to make their financial state BETTER. Although they DREAM for a better life, they don’t have the DESIRE to go for it. This is very sad and the culprit is none other than their LIMITING BELIEFS. Mind you, this is DEADLY! Again for the simple reason that being POOR is a STATE of MIND, it is NOT a status. Still, for some, its an end-all scenario, as if it’s a GIVEN already that they were born poor and die poor.

  • 8. The curse of FAILING TO PLAN – If you are parents already, please listen closely. This is harsh but I have to break it guys, kaya hold on to your seats.

Parents who failed to plan for their own financial security – sooner or later, you will depend and PRESSURE your children to give you FINANCIAL SUPPORT. Not to mention demand that they take care of the education among many other concerns and needs of their other siblings. Seriously, these demands AFFECT SO MUCH the capacity of a person to save for his own future.

You are NOT special in this case, whoever you are feeling HURT while reading this. Marami tayo, and the point is, we CAN stop the CURSE!!! We can make SMALL steps to financial freedom. And for BIG DREAMERS, these small steps can become GIANT STEPS in time, with the right guidance and education.

  • 9. Low Fin IQ – Citibank survey confirms that we Pinoys have low Financial IQ. Sorry, that is a VERY STRONG statement. Oo, kahit summa cum laude ka pa, or doctor or lawyer or engineer like me (except kung business-minded ang family mo), most of Pinoy’s have low financial IQ. Samahan mo pa ng pride of “AKNY attitude (alam ko na yan!), it is really DEADLY.

We all have started from not knowing all of these things. Kaya naman, at every opportunity, please please PLEASE educate yourself in FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT. There are lots of people who are willing to help, attend seminars (like kerygma conference) or financial literacy workshops. Read books, surf the net or ask people who are doing stocks or mutual funds and businesses – why are they doing it, and how? Stick to these kind of people and be totally SHOCKED how workable it can be. Promise, di yan gastos friend, INVESTMENT yan sa sarili mo!

Let me borrow this from a MENTOR when I say “Learning about personal finance does not require a college degree and you DON’T have to be an expert on the subject to become WEALTHY.” At the end of the day, if a person DOES NOT WANT to get wealthy, then he WON’T. Again, being POOR is a STATE of mind and allow me to remind you, it’s so easy TO BE poor, but it’s so difficult to LIVE as one.

Yeap, you can be a 7-digit keeper if you want to. And if you do well in your learnings, the possibilities of ADDING more zeroes in your account is TOTALLY possible.
As the famous Lao Tzu said, “The journey to a THOUSAND miles starts with a SINGLE (deliberate) STEP.

Life is all beauty if your EYES are opened to see its BEAUTY.
What does it take to open your eyes? COURAGE to know the truth and ACTION make things in your life change.

For me? Like a snowball that rolls, it all STARTED small, and has gone BIGGER and BIGGER. This is how I describe the BLESSINGS that has been RUSHING into my life. At first, I thought it was just a FLASH flood, but you know what? God’s ABUNDANCE does not run DRY.

The gameball is YOURS. It has always been.
Take the first STEP, its worth HUGE and HEAPS.
Have a very wonderful day!




How I helped my friend solve her 2-year debt in 3 months!

by Keng dela Cruz

Many people ask me how did I help my friend resolve her 2-year debt problem in 3 months. I said its simple.

  1. I asked how much she is earning.

  2. I asked and WROTE down all her expenses per month according to her. The food, electicity, water, baon, transpo, etc.
    By doing this, i now know her lifestyle.

  3. I computed how much falls under the wants and how much falls under the needs.

  4. I proposed a new budget allocation, showing her the target monthly amount allotted for PAYMENT FOR DEBT.

  5. I walked w her journey by literally requiring her to report to me her daily expenses.

  6. I congratulate her every month of our little success.

And voila! We were fully paid after 3 months.

Simple lang diba? Kung kaya nya, kaya nating lahat! You are entitled to be free!






Photo credits:http://500px.com/…/25245595/blue-mountains-by-andor-auber