Saturday, January 19, 2013

Setting priorities.




Have you read about the Professor in the Philosophy class that took an empty jar, golf balls, pebbles, sand and a glass of wine. If you haven't, I recommend that you read it.  It's worth your time.

I've read that story several times and today I made a note of it with a little twist in my own version.

I noted it and post it my mirror to make sure to read it every morning before going to work and evening before I go to sleep.

The first yellow post it is an empty jar which represents my life.

The second yellow post it, is a jar with golf balls inside of it.  The golf balls are the important things in my life.  These are my family, children, health, friends and favorite passions.

The third post it, was added by pebbles and these are the other things that matter like, my job, house, car. 
Also, added by sand, these represents everything else-the small stuff.

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.  If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.  Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.  Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.  Take care of the golf balls first—-the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Information Security and Risk Management in Context


It's my 2nd week in this online class and I captured this screen to share with you what we were before and what we are now.

Working in the Information Technology field, these all make sense.  With this graph it make me crave to study more.  I wish to have my change to have my master's degree to climb up high to the corporate ladder.

Image were captured from the coursera.org

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

100 ways to save money in 2013


In my previous post, I listed down 3 reasons why I want to save money.  

Then I came across to this website 100 ways to save money in 2013 and it is really helpful.  Below are my notes.

1.  Budget - To able to achieve "save money" learn to budget.  Period.  It could be by monthly/weekly/daily expenses.  It is painful, but I already started this, and I will continue doing this, until I see the result :)  

I created a spreadsheet in my Google drive called, "expense tracker".  The main purpose is to track the in/out of my money.  In this way, I would know if I am spending too much and how much I've save for this month.

2.  Leave the credit card at home - Thank God, I don't have credit cards.  I am done paying all of them and canceled them.  I don't have plan of getting.  I do have a debit card though for my salary :)

3.  Turn off the lights when you leave the house - Conserving energy.  I agree on this, who doesn't.  Even though, the company is paying for my electricity bills, I still switch off the electricity when I leave.  

4.  Double your recipe so you'll have leftovers - I agree.  I don't mind eating the same food.  Actually, when I cook.  I always, cook for 4 people :)  I don't know why, but my recipe end up always for 4.  So I end up eating them for 4 consecutive meals :)  which put me up on a good budget.

5.  Pack your lunch - I don't have problem with this, the company that I am working have a cafeteria and provide free 3 meals for the staff.  Are you getting jealous now :)

6.  Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth - Water conservation.  I was trained to do this, from childhood back in my country and as I grow, this became a habit. 

7.  Use curtains in lieu of a thermostat or air conditioner - I have my own explanation to this.  I open curtains in the mornings as there was a saying from my family that, it enters the good blessings in the house (could be health or fortune).  I close the curtains at night to avoid neighbors to see me walking around the flat and also I close the curtains in the mornings only if migraines attacks.  But if the curtains are open in the mornings that save you to switch off the lights and save money.

8.  Opt for extra layers instead of turning up your thermostat - again, this doesn't apply to me, as the company pay my bills as part of my benefits.  Though, don't make me wrong.  I do conserve energy.   

9.  Use cold water to wash laundry - I guess.  Again, doesn't apply to me.  Though, I prefer, using cold water to wash the laundry as the water here in Dubai is naturally hot.

10.  Keep the thermostat set to 78 degrees in summer - I agree.  Let me convert this to Celsius, this is what we use here.  22C is normal and not bad at all.


11.  Skip the bottled water - hmmm... let me think about this.  I guess this apply to US or other countries wherein they were blessed with good water supply.  Living in this country where water supply is coming from the sea, I cannot skip the the bottled water.  Anyway, there are cheaper bottled water which are locally made and ISO passer.

12.  Air-dry your clothing - :) I do this all the time and as an Asian, yes this is will save us our pocket.

13.  Cancel your cable package - I already did.  I used to pay 50 dirhams every  month for my cable which I don't use/watch.  I am not a TV person.  I canceled it 12 months ago which means, I already saved 600 dirhams.  Yeepee!

14.  Check for cable benefits - I don't need this.

15.  Try tucking ten bucks into a shoebox each week - why not?  I'll try this.

16.  Join Netflix or get movies at Redbox in lieu of going to the theater - I am not a Cinema person, Theater person, Movie person or whatever.  Downloaded movies from the internet is fine with me.  Old or not-so-clear copy is still fine.  As long as I understand it.  All I need is, internet connection.

17.  Watch TV online - I do this.  I can watch online.  Local news back home and even Hollywood.  All I need is, internet connection.

18.  Don't pay for music - Why should I?  I can always download it from youtube and convert it to mp3.  That's how I save my money, than purchasing it in iTunes or the likes.

19.  Skip the satellite radio - What?  Say that again?  Sound so old?  I do listen radio stations in Manila (Philippines) but I live in Dubai and that is for free.  All I need is, internet connection.

20.  Skip the gym and use Mother Nature as your playground - I agree on this. But I guess this depend on your location.  But anyway, in my case, my gym fees is only 15 dirhams every month which is somewhere 4$.  Don't get jealous.  This is just part of my benefits at work.

21.  Workout with friends - I like this.  This is a good idea.  I will keep you posted who I can grab on this one.

22.  Improve your karma - hmmm...  I wonder if they have that here in Dubai. I can practice for free in exchange for spending a few hours each week to clean the studio?  I wonder :)  I will ask around though.

23.  Try at-home antacids - No problem with this, I have a good health benefits which I don't need to spend money on it.

24.  Look for gym specials - I am paying 15 dirhams monthly fees to use the gym and the quality of the facilities is as good as what we have in the hotels.  The problem is, I don't have a trainer.  

25.  Have a spa day (at home) - I am not really a fan of spa or spending time and money in spa.  I find it really expensive.  My own version of spa is relaxing at home.  The advice of oats and honey, I'll try this soon.

26.  Get your Groupon - Hmmmm maybe and maybe not.  I would say.  I will only purchase, the things that I really need.  I will not get addicted on purchasing something that I don't need.  So beware friends.

27.  Find at-home beauty remedy - For example, cucumbers for the eyes, instead of buying expensive stuffs.  You know, you can have beauty products at home than purchasing over-priced beauty products, go ahead Google it.

28.  Support your local economy by hitting up the farmer's market - I agree.  But living in this country, the local products is not that, pretty.  But don't make me wrong, I still do support, they do have products that I like.

29.  Ditch the delivery - I am not really a big fan of delivery.  Pizza, burgers and the likes.  I love to cook my own food and I find this inexpensive and healthy.  Double jackpot!

30.  Skip the ice cream shop - Thank goodness, I am not a big fan of this.  Again, my pocket is saved.

31.  Buy a big container of yogurt instead of individual servings - I normally buy the smallest container that is available.  I am alone in the apartment and normally yogurt's span is 3 to 4 days only and I don't like food to expire.

32.  Use Dryel instead of taking your clothing to a dryer cleaner - Again, the company is doing this for me, I mean, paying this for me.  So, this save me again.  Don't get jealous :)

33.  Use around-the-house cleaning products -  I will try this, using rubbing alcohol.

34.  Don't go to the nail salon - I don't.  So my pocket is saved.

35.  Evaluate your waxing habit - I don't wax.  I don't have a problem with that though, I have my ways.  Again, I saved my pocket.

36.  Throw clothing swapping parties with your pals - Thank goodness, I am not a party animal anymore.  I've been there, done that.  

37.  Dress for less - I like the line "if you have style, you have style" period!  hahahaha.  I agree on that.  You really don't need expensive clothes to be the  heard turner.  You can be one, by knowing how get your own style.  You can be wearing cheap ones, but still beautiful :)

38.  Clip Coupons - I know right :)

39.  Evaluate your cellphone plan - I prefer what I have now.  Prepaid.  That's it.  At least, I can monitor my usage.

40.  Purchase a prepaid cellphone plan instead - Exactly!

41.  Carpool to work with a co-worker or a neighbor - In my case, I use the company bus that is provided for us.  I actually sold my car, since I don't use it anymore.  It save me more.  Clever that.

42.  Get on the bus, gus - Now, that I don't have a car.  I use the public transportation.  I love riding the bus and train.    

43.  Cut your cabbing costs - Taxi is expensive here.  

44.  Potluck party - Saves the money for out of town and restaurant bill.  Getting to try out new recipes from your guests.

45.  Use your talent - Knitting and sewing is not my thing.  Though, I have a broken wall clock.  Instead of throwing I turned it to be a memorabilia.  I put all the collection of wine corks, alcohol covers on it and made it as a display.  That's art, without any costs.

46.  Get rich or dye trying - I stopped dying my hair 12 years ago and promised myself not to color my hair anymore.  Which means, I've already saved my money on that 12 years ago.  Thank goodness.

47.  Be a hair model - No thank you.  I know it's free.  But I don't want to be the guinea pig. 

48.  Subscribe and save - Hmmm... Not really a fan on this idea.  I can almost have everything I need in Internet.

49.  Brew coffee at home instead of swinging by Starbucks - I know right.  I agree on this.  Thank God, I am not a big fan on this. 

50.  Halve the coffee shop habit - Good thing the doctor told me to stop drinking coffee.

51.  Shop at Costco - Here in Dubai, shop in Co-Op.

52.  Be a savvy beauty addict - I am not.  I believe in simplicity is beauty :)

53.  Don't be afraid to return your purchases - I think in the US they do this.  We don't do this in Dubai and even in Manila.  We can return purchases within 48 hours though, that's it.

54.  Sell stuff on consignment - I agree on this.  I have sell some of my stuff already.  Car, piano, computer, etc.

55.  Pay your bills online - Let me try if my internet company accepts my debit card though :)  Haven't tried that.

56.  Fill up before you fill up your cart - I agree on this.  In fact, I always make sure, I fill up myself before going out of the house.  In that way, it won't tempt me to eat outside.  That save my pocket.

57.  Use your dishwasher - I use my hand.

58.  Be a Mr. or Miss Fix it - Thank goodness the building maintenance do this for us for free.  Don't make me wrong, not everything is free, but this is part of the benefits I am getting from the company.

59.  Buy store brand (generic) medications - I agree on this.  But then it doesn't apply to me as I have a good health benefits.

60.  BYO bags - I do use reusable plastic bags.  I go green.  Save the planet. Save my pocket.

61.  Get a lower APR - I don't have a credit card to begin with :)

62.  Practice delayed gratification - Good idea :)

63.  Extra!  Extra!  Read all about it - If there's a sale, I don't care.  I want to save money.

64.  Wash your hair every other day - Good.  That will save the shampoo cost.

65.  Always keep your eyes for freebies - Agree :)  I love freebies.

66.  Ask for a trial size - I don't do this and I will never try.  

67.  Towel-dry your hair instead of using a hair dryer - I know right, this save electricity.  Love it.

68.  Re-use wrapping paper - Oh yes!  I do this all the time :)

69.  Get crafty - I have a lot of things that I gave them a second life and I will post them here soon.  The good thing about it, it didn't cost me a thing.

70.  Be your own picasso - I already started this.  I have already started doodling.

71.  Remember:  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - Whenever I have old shirts, instead of throwing it away, I use it as rags or towels :)

72.  Always look for free shipping on websites - I agree.  

73.  Shop around - This is good.  Compare prices online before actually buying it.  I will do this.

74.  Use a credit card that gives back - No thanks.  I don't like credit cards.

75.  Shop the online sample sales - All I know is, we have to save money.  Even the sample sales, means spending money.

76.  Buy beans and legumes in bulk - But cooking these, will eat up the electricity/gas.  This take about an hour or 2.  So which is which since I am alone.

77.  Try a staycation instead of traveling during big holiday weekends - I am saving now, so to have a big holiday on September 2013.  I haven't been home for 5 years.  I miss my Mom.

78.  Buy your airline tickets early - I agree, this make it cheaper.

79.  Keep a join jar - Done.

80.  Volunteer - I will do this and keep you all posted.

81.  Pull into the first parking spot you see - I don't have a car, so I don't have any problems with this.

82.  Open a savings account - I was thinking of buying more on nationalbonds.ae as my savings and it interest more than in the bank.  Aside from that they have weekly and monthly raffle draws.

83.  Make a grocery list and stick to it - Ok.

84.  Opt for the store-brand cereal and treats at the grocery store - I agree on this.  I normally buy the store-brand :)

85.  Be crafty with car maintenance - I don't have car.

86.  Walk it out - When I sold my car, my first ride in the public transport bus and train were amazing.  It feels good.  I started walking again.  It just feels good, cause it feels healthy.

87.  Buy boxed wine - I don't have a liquor license.  Yes.  In Dubai, even if you are an adult, you still need a liquor license to buy liquor.  

88.  Brunch is the new dinner - Good idea.  I'll try this.

89.  Bring your own snacks to work - Not applicable to me.  We have free meals at work.

90.  Bulk up - I am not really a fan of bulking up foods.  Since I am alone in the flat, I don't like bulking up food in here.  I don't like eating expired food :)

91.  Spread out the time between haircuts - My haircuts is like, once a year only.

92.  Visit half.com - No thanks.

93.  Kick the carbonated habit - OMG!  I cannot promise.  But I will try.

94.  Skip out on storage units - I don't need this.

95.  Quit smoking - I don't smoke.

96.  Read your city's weekly paper for free events - Good idea.  I'll try this.

97.  Use cloth napkins instead of paper napkin - Another good idea.  I will do this.

98.  Plan your driving routes to avoid left turns - I agree.  But I don't have a car.  Shout out to all who have car.

99.  Do your holiday shopping for next Christmas this Christmas - Not this time.  My goal is to save.

100.  Cut dryer sheets in half - Not applicable to me.

So there it goes, my version of 100 ways to save money in 2013.  If this goes well for 2013, I will continue doing this and with a little revision.  

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! 
This is my longest blog ever, since it is the year of the snake :)