How My Financial Journey Started

Financial Freedom
One day, I bumped into an old friend.

Hey, I saw your blog!, right?

I smiled and nodded.

What happened? he asked. I looked confused. I didn't get his point. 

Your blog, he said, how come it's not about the way it's supposed to be?

I was lost.

I know you're a great programmer. Why did you not start a tech blog instead? That's where you're good at! You're faking yourself to write such articles. he said in a glorified tone.

Finally, I got what he's trying to point at. (You think I was a little slow that day? I do.)

I realized we're not on the same page.

I calmly inhaled.

I knew I'm up for a lecture yet again.

I love programming, and always will. I love my job. I started. But doing my job alone is getting me nowhere near the results that I've always wanted.

But your salary is 3 times my salary! he exclaimed.

Yes, that's why I pay taxes 3 times more than you! I quickly replied.

But still!

Man, sometimes it's not just about your salary. It's how much is left with your salary.

I asked him back, "How long have you been working?

3 years.

And how much savings do you have right now?

Well.. he said softly.

I teased him,
So my 11 year old niece is richer than you are?


'Coz at least she has 1,000 pesos on her piggy bank. You have zero. I said, grinning. If Mark Twain was quoted saying that a man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them, then in the name of personal finance, I would love to be quoted saying that a man who works but does not save is no better than a man who does not work at all!

Don't give me those blatant lines. Save them for your next article!

My friend's face turned pale.

Don't worry. I said. You have just given me an idea what would my next article be. You're a really nice friend, dude!

So? Why are you telling me this? he asked. inspire you? Ha-ha!

We both laughed.

To answer your question, I think it's more of a shift in direction on a financial perspective. Honestly, I've tried tech blogging before. I've managed to write few articles related to coding, which did not become a success. I realized that there were already a lot of great resources out there to help programmers like us. On the other side, personal finance resources were so few. Yet people from all walks of life, regardless of their profession, badly needed it.

I see. So blogging is what you wanted to be your way to help address this issue?

Yes. I embrace it as a humbling task to help people achieve their financial goals. No, I'm not an investment guru nor a financial expert. But I believe we all just need someone to show us the first steps, and we'll make leaps from there! So through this little way of keeping them informed, I know it all makes sense. Plus, it's a win-win situation for me. I've always loved to write, so why not make that interest beneficial to me and my readers?

But why PisoandBeyond? I can see that there are some articles that have nothing to do with finance or investments. he asked.

Piso and Beyond!"Because I have always believed that there is more to life than just money. I would like to be an advocate for personal finance. But writing all about money or investing will make it either boring or uninteresting. I wanted to reach my audience and make them feel I'm just an ordinary person like them. You know, say the word invest or money to someone uninformed or misinformed and he'll run away. But ask the same guy about his love life and you're in for a good discussion. 

For me, people should not just invest in businesses or focus on their finances. 
Moreover, they should invest in what we call life experiences
That's what makes us human, after all.

Amen! He said. You never failed to impress me, man.

I told him,
I used to think like you, like everyone else who has not gone through some self-realization.

Realization of what?

It started when I resigned from my 2nd job.

Ha-ha! I know the story behind that one! You're a bunch of morons!

Ha-ha! Come on, man. That's another side of the story. Forget it!

So what happened then? What were the realizations you had?

Two years, and the very day we resigned, I have 200 pesos on my wallet.  Two years, and I wasn't even able to buy my simple dream - a laptop. I like to think that I actually represented those working people with low salaries then. We spent and just saved what's left. Unfortunately, there's almost nothing to save because there was so much to pay! That was my first realization.

And what's the second one?

After 4 months, I found a great company that's willing to pay me a higher salary. I won't forget how shaky and wet my palms were while signing that contract! Ha-ha!

So you're journey started there?

No. Not yet." I said. "That's why I can attest that higher salary won't end your financial troubles. Sometimes, it worsens.

Why is that?

The first time I was to receive that salary, I hardly slept! Why not? It was the first time I'd receive a huge sum of money! But when I did balance inquiry on the ATM Machine, I was really surprised! Not because how huge my salary was, but how huge a portion of my expected salary went missing. Of course you know what happened. The government said 'hi!' to me.

Tax? he asked in confirmation.

Yes. I said. Yet the frustrations didn't end there. My salary increased, so were my expenses. So I worked even harder, rendered a lot of overtimes thinking that it would somehow raise my salary. To my surprise, it did not. Because the more I worked, the more I got taxed. And the government couldn't be happier than that. The most painful part? Having lost our quality time together, my girl broke up with me. Ugh.

I see. he said, tapping my shoulders. You realized two things. One, it's not how much you earn. You should start saving regardless how small your salary is. Save before you spend. Two, work alone will not make you financially ready. Because more work just means more tax. Correct?

Exactly. I said, nodding in agreement.

So what helped you move forward?

Oh, I've met great, influential people! I've met Bo Sanchez, Robert Kiyosaki, Warren Buffet, Vic Garcia, Francisco Colayco, Fitz Villafuerte, Caleb Edpao and many more! Do you know any of them?

No. he answered.

But you know Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Piolo, Marian and Ding Dong, right?

Yes, of course. So?

Everyone Needs A Direction
People will fail to learn the first step unless someone shows it to them. Yet if given an option, they would choose, in any given day, to see Ding Dong rather than meet someone like Bo Sanchez. It's a simple choice. But the difference of the outcome is massive.

And what have you learned from them so far?

They taught me how to save, invest and give. I now invest in the stock market and mutual funds, insured myself, run a business, know advertising and of course, help people by blogging. Oh, and I now have some savings, too!

Who are these people by the way? he asked again.

They're investors, businessmen and personal finance advocates. I consider them to be my mentors.

You must have spent a lot to meet such people, no? he asked.

Ha-ha! Not much. Let's just say a frappe is a little more expensive than meeting them.
Huh? (Now he's lost.)

I just read their books and attend their seminars. As simple as that. Now if you still find that expensive, you can try a cheaper way.

Try ignorance. It never fails the poor.


How's your journey towards financial freedom? Receive FREE updates on great articles like this when you subscribe to PisoandBeyond!


  1. never had the subject of money told this good and fun! hands down author!!

  2. Let me borrow the line what your "friend" told u in this story: "You never failed to impress me, man."

  3. anong books po ba mganda basahin?

    1. Hi Ram, I personally recommend Robert Kiyosaki's "Rich Dad, Poor Dad"
      and Bo Sanchez's "My Maid Invests in the Stock Market", especially if you're
      starting. Ok din 'yung "Kasusweldo Pa lang, Ubos Na?" at "Kuntento Ka na ba sa
      Kaperahan Mo?" nina Vic at Avelyn Garcia

    2. kuya jeff salamat pala sa pagpahiram ng mga books. binabasa ko na yun iba .. :D

  4. woohoo! worth reading..thanks Jeff!

  5. pwede naman pala pag-usapan ang pera ng hindi ganun kaseryoso at "ukward" na way eh.haha. gr8 post!!

  6. Thanks kuya jef. Dami ko tlga natututunan sayo. :D

  7. AnonymousJuly 05, 2014

    I've learned a lot from all the stories here that's why I sign up to newsletter. While reading all of the stories I realized one thing, mali ang paggamit ko ng personal finances ko. San ba pede makabili ng mga books na yan? How much?

    1. Hi,
      Thanks for reading my posts and for subscribing. As for the books, you can buy them sa National Bookstore. "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" is worth around 390 Pesos I think, while Vic & Avelyn Garcia's books were at 150 Pesos only. Mura na 'yan to teach us on how to handle our finances wisely, 'di ba? Cheers! ^_^

  8. AnonymousJuly 10, 2014

    Caleb Edpao is my mentor too :)

  9. This blog is very informative. A very good avenue to individual like me who has problem with personal finance. I've been thinking in investing in UITF now after I read your blog. You've help a lot of people here Sir Jeffrey. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and time to people like us. I just subscribe to your newsletter. I will definitely recommend your blog to my friends. Please keep it up sir. Kudos.

    1. Thank you for your inspiring comment. It's definitely one of the many things that keeps pushing me to share more ^_^

      Good luck to your financial journey and I hope you start investing as well. Thanks for subscribing! Cheers ^_^


Join the Discussion!

Contact Form


Email *

Message *