Abundance for the New Year

The Green Book: On Saving

I found this lone piggybank in a toy store and embraced it right away, looking suspiciously to my left and to my right to check if someone will get it from me.

No other takers.  I breathed a sigh of relief.


But to tell you the truth, when I got it, I initially thought of giving it as a gift to one of my nephews or nieces but then as the countdown to Christmas lost digit after digit, I started wanting it for myself (it would be perfect too for my daughter…).

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Baby Economics

The Sweetest Thing

I always knew that I will be having 2 children.  But child number 2 took a long time in coming. Nine years in fact.

I do not know why we waited but economics figured prominently in our decision to postpone having a second child.  How much does a child cost? More than ten million pesos or some USD$266,698That figure is daunting.  Add to this the fact that our financial planner is saying that we have to have an obscene amount for the college funds of child number 1.  Consider too that Filipino children stay in the coop for much much longer (say, forever).  Thus, for a long while, child number 2 seemed a distant possibility.

But then, every time I looked at babies, I looked at them wistfully and felt the pang of wistful.

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(Not) Growing Up Hungry

St(r)oking the Dragon

I could not believe it.

We were at a store.   I knew she needed shoes.  I knew she has been needing them every now and then because her feet are getting big at least every two days.  I led her to a store, with prices ranging from $30 to $40.  I told her, “Choose whatever you want, hon.”  She looked around, tried some on, looked at the prices and then sat down by me.  “I don’t want to, mom.  They’re too expensive.”  I looked at her aghast and wondered what I would have said if my own mother offered me a buffet of shoes.  I would probably have 5 in hand in 5 minutes.  It’s just that it never happened.  And now I have here my own daughter who can have every shoes she wanted, at any price, and then she tells me no.

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Teaching Kids Money Matters

Happy Thoughts

Happy Thoughts

I am not sure that I learned about money when I was young.  Actually, I am almost sure that I did not.

To be fair to my parents, I think there was no consciousness yet, at that time, on the importance of teaching kids about money.  What they knew was that they had to provide and that was the end of it.

But the power to dream of riches and making it come true lies at the core of one’s life – in one’s childhood.  His views about poverty, about money, his poverty mindset (money does not grow on trees) and his wealth mindset (money grows on trees) start at that time which is at the root of all his memories.

And so we as parents have a duty to make those memories good ones, and that the mindset we cultivate is one of wealth.

Are you willing to take the step?

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Having Children, More Children


Pitter Patter of Little Feet

Pitter Patter of Little Feet

First comes love, then comes marriage…

You know what comes after.  Children, lots of children.

Like some of my peers, I opted for one.

The One Child sat me up and told me in the most serious tone that she could muster, “I want a sister.”  I sat there, uncomprehending.  She tried again. “Or a brother…”  I thought I detected a note of desperation on that one.

Why?  My voice was incredulous.

“So I have someone to play with.”  Now, that one’s easy. I told her she has her friends, her classmates.  She said, “No, at night, when you are not yet here.  Yoyow bites (she’s our Maltese) and Yaya always has to finish something…”

What do I say to that except that as an only child, she did not want for anything.  We went on fancy vacations, she had shoes when she needed shoes, she went to the best school, did not have to go mano y mano for a toy, or food, or her parents’ affections.

She does not know what she is asking for.

And it also does not help that BabyCenter.com calculator estimated that raising a child would cost some USD$266,698. (to check how much your child would cost you, click here)

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Of Mothers, Children and Money



I wanted to give my mother some money.

“Oh good!”, she says. “I can have your brother borrow it because he just got his credit card statement and he owed so much… You know your brother, he and his wife, they spend so much and they are at the mall all the time, buying this and that, and you know, they spend so much on their children, all the time…” She went on and on.

I was not sure I liked where the conversation was going and I told her so.

I asked her, trying to control my emotions (it is after all my money), “But mom, tell me… what good will that do? What will that achieve? Will that stop him from using his credit card or make him money smart?  And you, what will you gain? She said, “Well, I can nag him.” My mother’s not-so-secret and ineffective weapon. “But that would only make him deaf, mother, not make him learn life’s lessons.”
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Crocs: It’s True

Still Life: Shoe

Still Life: Shoe

Ever since the world was captivated by colorful kiddie shoes with the crocodile insignia, horror stories about traumatized children and mangled feet have not been far behind.

Google search alone has yielded 425,000 results for Crocs + escalator + injury.  Ranking first is the lawsuit filed by the parents of a 3-year old girl against the company for $7 Million for an accident which happened at the JFK airport in November 2007.

I would have dismissed these news, or they would not have come into my orbit, except that it happened to C.

9:50 p.m.  We were going up the escalator of one popular mall in Quezon City when C suddenly felt her Crocs being pulled by the escalator grills.  She tried to pull it but it would not budge.  Looking up, she saw that she was nearing the top, the end of the escalator.  She had the sense to pull out her feet and hop to safety.  Horrified, she saw her Crocs go deeper into the grills, which kept going and going and going.

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A Summer to Remember

Hand to Heart

Hand to Heart

My daughter comes up to me and says, “Mom, I want to rest this summer.”

I shake my head in amazement.  I look beyond her and am transported to hazy images of a time not long ago when I wanted to be ballerina, dancing in my pink tutu, crown on my head, traipsing over imagined ledges and leaping.  Leaping! But money was spread too thinly over four kids and there was just no money for ballet classes, or extra classes for that matter. I can even see my mother and her worn out face, hear her “No”, touch her despair, wonder why in my looking glass I seemed nonchalant.

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