Thursday, January 26, 2023

"Have I Only Kept My Pay Slip Virgin!"

If there is something that I regret the most about my previous financial decisions, it was when I lost my pay slip's virginity due to my lack of financial literacy. What I mean by losing my pay slip's virginity is by having it dented with salary deductions I've incurred from multiple loan applications.

  • From Private to Public School

It was in 2015 when I left the private school where I was teaching to apply as a public-school teacher. From 9,000 pesos monthly salary in the private school, my pay suddenly increased by 10,000 as I luckily got an item to teach in a large secondary high school. The salary of Teacher I then was 19,077 pesos which gradually increased through the SSL V Program of the former President Rodrigo Duterte. 

  • Upgraded Lifestyle

Though my salary increased more than a hundred percent, I started upgrading my lifestyle, so once I received my first payment (which was accumulated and was released after three months), I bought my new laptop, smartphone, bags, shoes, and clothes. I thoughtlessly spent everything in shopping and dining out with my family thinking that I will receive my salary regularly for the succeeding months.

After a few months of being a one-day-millionaire, we finally received the copy of our appointment. This made us eligible to apply for salary loan. This term is actually new to me, but as time passes, I started to rely on and get addicted to it.

  • Introduction to Salary Loan

After a few months of spending my whole monthly salary, without saving anything, and just patiently waiting for my next pay, I happened to talk to my colleague (who was appointed to the same school together with me) and he shared how he was able to buy a new car and a laptop. That was how I learned that by presenting my appointment and 3 latest pay slips, I could easily apply for a salary loan in any bank with an interest that is as low as 7.5% per annum and payable for 3 years. 

  • Salary Deductions

"Aha!" I secretly smiled and started thinking of how much I should borrow to buy the things that I really want to buy! That weekend, I was already in the bank together with one of my colleagues who will sign as my comaker. My first salary loan was 100,000 pesos which I spent in less than a month for material things. Looking back, I wasn't able to buy any valuable items or invest my money in some profitable investments. I only spent it on travels, eating out, buying clothes, and treating my friends and families. After 2 months, my pay slip was no longer as virgin as the monthly amortization for my first loan started to get deducted and reflected on my pay slip.

  • Loan "Addiction"

Months passed by and I reapplied for an additional loan on the same bank. All I wanted to do was borrow money so that I could buy whatever comes in my mind. I did not care about the deductions until I realized that my net take-home pay is nearing the minimum which is 5000 pesos. That was when started to ask myself where I spent all those money, because after 3 years of being a public-school teacher, I was only able to buy myself a motorcycle, a laptop and a phone.

  • Feelings of Regret
After accumulating too many loans, I started to regret applying for it from the very beginning. If I had only known how to use money correctly, by investing and saving, I should have been able to maintain my pay slip's virginity. Well, as they have said, "Nasa huli ang pagsisisi" (Repentance comes later), so now I had to face the consequences of my actions and I hope that soon, I could achieve financial independence.

  • The Lesson
If I could go back in time and undo my "bad" financial decisions, I would definitely do the following instead:
  1. I would never take out a loan for my personal consumption, unless I would use the money to generate more income such as starting my own business.
  2. I would put a portion of my salary in time deposits which could generate more dividends.
  3. I would spend money within my means and would strictly follow a budget.
  4. I would learn how stocks, cryptocurrencies, and other promising opportunities works before investing my "extra" money on them.
  5. I would engage with side hustles which could generate extra income.

Right now, I'm doing my best to get out of all the debts I've incurred, and one of the most helpful sources of the money I use to clear off my debts are my side hustles such as working with Quadrant Resource, Clickworker, Involve Asia.

Keep posted as I give regular updates in my journey into becoming debt-free!


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