Category Archives: Ipon

Ipon – Saving by accumulating money

How to Spend Your 13th Month Pay

Merry Christmas!

It’s that time of the year when Filipinos are happiest.  Many are eager to receive their 13th month pay to buy presents for family and friends, and to splurge a little on gadgets.  For some, there are extras, perhaps even a 14th and 15th month pay.

How do I spend my 13th month pay?

How do I spend my 13th month pay?

How do you use it?  I strongly suggest you think a little beyond the holiday season, Christmas presents and merry making.  Why don’t you….

  1. Plan

Close to 70% of people who get large amounts of money go broke within 5 to 7 years.  This is because many people are so unfamiliar with having a large amount of money.  Plan how to use your money, and budget how much you want to spend for Christmas and how much you want to allot for more productive use.A good rule of thumb is 10% for your spiritual community, 20% for your future, and 70% for your expenses and lifestyle:

  • 10% for your eternity
  • 20% for your maturity
  • 70% for your family

And then you plan further.  How do you spend your 70%?

  1. Protect Your Family

Have you considered what would happen if the Lord decides to call you home early?  What would happen to your family?  You can be healthy today, but what if tomorrow, you meet an accident?  Will your family go hungry?Buy SUFFICIENT life insurance coverage.  There are inexpensive options available, such as term life insurance.  P6,000 annual premium at age 25 can buy you P1M coverage.Combined with some mutual fund investments, P3,000 per month for 10 years can  buy P1.2M of life insurance at age 25, slowly growing to more than P4.8M coverage ( or P3.8M cash benefit) by age 60.

Learn about protection, savings and investment in free seminars,  like the SAVING YOUR FUTURE seminars on Practical Money Management from IMG.

  1. Eliminate debt

The typical Filipino makes strange financial decisions.  Most save in banks where their money earns 0.20% per year (that simply means if you put P100,000 in the bank on Jan 1, then by December 31, the bank will give you P200 interest after withholding tax), but borrow from the “friendly Bumbay” at 5-6, or from the “sosyal” credit card company at 3.5% PER MONTH.

Pay your credit card debt. By paying  credit card debt you effectively invest your money at a rate at least equal to the 3.5% they charge you.

Read more about How to Invest by Paying Your Credit Card, and earn an equivalent compounded annual growth rate of approximately 51%

  1. Invest

Investing is increasing the value of your assets using your existing resources, like time and money.  While some consider investing a science, there are enough elements of creativity involved, I prefer to think of it as an art.Investing in your greatest asset – you – is probably your best investment.  You probably invested hundreds of thousands of pesos in your formal education (elementary, high school, college) so you can get a good job, and work for money.

Invest in your financial education, to learn how make money work for you, and to gain financial wealth and spiritual abundance at the same time.  Join the TrulyRichClub.

Start by taking a crash course in stock market investing.Invest in safe investment vehicles to build your retirement fund and your children’s college funds. Equity mutual funds and UITFs are good starting points.

  1. Setup Your Emergency fund

Setup your emergency fund, normally three to six months of your living expenses.  Emergencies are for emergencies or unexpected large expenses such as medical emergencies or temporary unemployment.  Sale in malls are not emergencies, even if your dream shoes are on sale at 70% off.

Keep your emergency funds in savings or time deposits.

  1. Indulge

Spend a little on yourself.  Save specifically on little pleasures for yourself, maybe an occasional vacation or adventure.  Save for your future, but  treat your present self every now and then.

A note on the 10% for Eternity

Share your blessings  to your spiritual community and to the less fortunate.  Remember we are merely managers of of God’s wealth.  Giving actually makes you feel more blessed, and appreciate the abundance of God’s universe.  Giving makes you win in all areas of your life.  In other words, TrulyRich.

Bobet Prudente is a financial coach and Senior Marketing Director at IMG TrulyRichMakers.  He is a member of Bo Sanchez’ TrulyRichClub .  He conducts regular FREE Saving Your Future seminars on Practical Money Management Techniques in Quezon City.


How to Invest by Paying Credit Card Debt

Do you have credit card debt?

If you have credit card debt, one of the best gifts you can give yourself is to pay your credit card aggressively. Paying high-interest debt is actually a very good investment strategy, sometimes “earning” you more than 50%

It isn’t enough to just pay the “Minimum Amount Due” every month. Create a payment plan, put it in writing, and attack your credit cards, starting with the highest interest credit card first. If the cards have the same interest rate, choose the one with the lowest balance.

Cut up your credit cards!

Aggressively pay your credit cards starting with the card with highest interest rate.

What happens if you just pay minimum? Let’s take a look. Suppose

  • you have credit card debt of P20,000 in one credit card
  • you do not add any more debt to that one credit card
  • your monthly interest rate is 3.5% and
  • you normally pay only the minimum P500 per month for this card
  • you keep your other credit card payments constant
Paying Minimum

Paying only the Minimum Amount Due will often increase your debt

After the first month, your P20,000 debt incurs 3.5% interest or P 700, and you pay P 500 only, so your ending balance is P 200 higher at P20,200. After 12 months, you would have paid P 6,000, but incurred P 8,920.39 in interests! Hence your ending balance after 12 months is higher at P22,920.39. Your debt and P 6,000 payment actually lost you P 2,920.39 or 49% loss!

But what if you decided to save an additional P10 per day or P300 per month to add to your credit card payments. That isn’t much, right? Instead of paying the minimum P500, you pay P800.

Pay more than minimum

Paying more than minimum, at least more than monthly interest, will reduce your credit card balance.

Because you are paying P800, or more than the interest (3.5% of balance), your debt actually shrinks every month. Specifically, your P20,000 debt will shrink to P18,539.80 in 12 months. This means your twelve P800 payments totalling P9,600 earned P20,000 minus P18,539.80 equals P1,460.20 or about 14.6%* !!!

But what if, when you get your 13th month pay, you use part of it to make a large payment on your credit card debt? What if, after deciding to save an extra P10 a day or P300 a month, you paid P7,500 on the first month?

Balloon Payment

Making a balloon payment reduces the interest rate

The balloon payment of P7,500 substantially paid the balance of your P20,000 debt, so after the P700 interest, first month ending balance is P13,200. Hence subsequent interest per month dropped initially to P450 then lower every month.

So your debt shrinks faster every month, up to P8,758 after 12 months! This means your P7,500 plus P800 every month totaling P16,300 earned P20,000 minus P8,758 equals P11,242 or about 69%* !!!

But let us make a real plan. Can you save P33/day instead of P10/day? The P23 difference is about the price of a cup of coffee at the cafeteria, or that modest ‘turon’ after lunch. That translates P1,000 per month. What if, in addition to your P7,500 on the first month, you add the P1,000 to the original P500, and pay P1,500 per month?

Aggressive Payment

Aggressively paying your credit card debt will enable you to quickly retire your debt

Wow! Is this for real? The P7,500 initial payment reduced the balance to P12,500 plus P700 interest increased the first month end-balance to P13,200. But the aggressive repayment at P1,500 per month very quickly reduced the balance to P1,022.81 after the 11th month, enabling you to fully retire the P20,000 debt after only 12 months!

Just think about this. Your P23,558.61 in payments earned you enough to fully retire one credit card with P20,000 beginning balance. That is like earning P20,000 on P23,558.61 in one year or 85%! Where can you find an investment that gives you 85% in a year?

After 12 months, it is time for your 13th month pay again. Time to start retiring your second credit card or next P20,000 debt. It will be easier for the second card. If you were paying minimum of P500 on your second credit card, you can then pay P1,500 more ( what you were paying for the first credit card ).

Pay high-interest debts! It is one of the best investments you can make!

* Strictly speaking, the effective interest rate is the same as the credit card rate, approximately 3.5% per month, or a compounded annual rate of approximately 51%.

Learn more about Practical Money Management Techniques in our FREE Saving Your Future seminars in

Related topics

Save Early!

Si Aga Maaga, Inna Sakana, Pol Pahabol at Loi Tuloytuloy

Let me tell you the story of four college friends, who  became millionaires when they retired.

The first friend, Aga Maaga, immediately started saving at age 21. He began saving P2,000 per month and investing it at 12% per year. After six years, he had a mini-reunion with two of his friends.

Aga Maaga

Aga Maaga started saving early, and invested P24,000 a year at 12% per annum. He did this for 7 years.

He told his friends, “Wow! I saved only P24,000 per year for six years, for a total of P144,000. But thanks to the power of compounding, my accumulated balance is now P218,13! But I am getting married already, and I can’t afford to save anymore, so I will stop saving.”

His two friends, Inna Sakana and Pol Pahabol  said “Wow! We’re 27 years old already, but we want to start now! We will begin saving P2,000 per month too, and invest the savings at 12%”

The three friends met again six years later, and compared their portfolio.

All three friends saved P2,000 per month, or P24,000 per year for six years for a total of P144,000. But Aga Maaga already had P430,562 after 12 years, while both Inna Sakana and Pol Pahabol had P218,136, just like Aga Maaga six years earlier!

They noted Aga Maaga‘s investment was already P430,562, or almost twice their P218,136!

Inna Sakana said “I will also get married, and have to stop saving. Maybe my investment will grow like Aga Maaga

Aga Maaga, Inna Hulina and Pol Pahabol

Inna Hulina and Pol Pahabol copied Aga Maaga’s investment, but started 6 years later. They saved and invested P24,000 per year at 12% per annum for six years.

Pol Pahabol said, “I want to catch up with Aga Maaga, so I will keep on saving and investing, until my accumulated investments exceed Aga Maaga‘s”

The three friends met many years later, when they reached 60 years old. They compared their portfolios.

At age 60, Aga Maaga, after saving P144,000 from age 21 to 26, and waiting till age 60, had P10,283,493 in his portfolio. His money grew 71 times from age 21 to age 60!

At age 60, Inna Sakana, after saving P144,000 from age 27 to 32, and waiting till age 60, had P5,209,938 in his portfolio, about half of what Aga Maaga had! The only difference in their investment strategy, is that Inna Sakana began saving six years later!

After 40 years

After 40 years, Aga Maaga and Pol Pahabol both had P10M pesos. But Aga Maaga invested onyl P144,000 while Pol Pahabol invested P816,000!

Pol Pahabol observed that because he kept on saving and investing, his portfolio grew faster and through the years, he was slowly catching up with Aga Maaga. Finally, at age 59, he finally had more than Aga Maaga. At age 60, after saving P816,000 over 33 years from age 27 to 60, he had P10,335,924 in his portfolio, his money grew only 13 times compared to Aga’s 71 times!

Inna Sakana said “Hay naku, nakakainggit si Aga!  Pareho lang ang aming na-invest, pero nahuli lang ako ng 6 years, tapos P5M ang diperensiya, kalahati lang ang aking investment ikumpara sa kanya?  

Pol Pahabol said “Hay naku, ang hirap naman habulin ni Aga!  Grabe! He saved and invested P24,000 a year for only 6 years, or P144,000!  And I invested P24,000 a year for 33 years or P816,000!  Tapos halos pareho lang pala kami?”

Then their fourth friend, Loi Tuloytuloy joined them. He said, that like Aga Maaga, he started saving P2,000 per month or P24,000 per year at age 21. Like Pol Pahabol, he continued saving P24,000 per year until age 60.

At age 60, he had P20,619,417, or about the same amount as Aga Maaga and Pol Pahabol combined!

Loi Tuloytuloy

Loi Tuloytuloy just kept on investing P24,000 per year for 40 years. At 12% per annum, he had more than P20M by age 60!

Who is your role model? Who would you like to copy?
Si Loi Tuloytuloy?
Si Aga Maaga?
Si Pol Pahabol?
O si Inna Sakana?

We’d all like to be like Loi Tuloytuloy, and accumulate P20,619,417, but if not we should be like Aga Maaga, who started early!

Are you ready to start saving and investing? Are you ready to grow your wealth?

Save Your Future by learning Practical Money Management Techniques in our FREE seminars. Register early, there are limited slots available!   Click below to register for the FREE Financial Seminar in

Can you Save a Little to Save a Lot?

Cut costs on the things you don’t need now, to get the most important things you need in the future: kid’s education, house, car, dream vacation, retirement and health care fund.

You can make a fortune by making small changes today.

Do you drink softdrinks? Twice a day? Everyday?
Do you buy hot coffee? Twice a day? Everyday?
Do you smoke? A pack a day? Everyday?
Do you have your hair fixed? If straight, curl it. If curled, straighten it. Every month?
Do you eat junk food?

Think about non-essential sale items. Many buy P 1,000 non-essential sale items per month. Times 12 months is P 12,000.

Is P 12,000 a large amount for savings? It probably is!

Think about softdrinks. Softdrinks probably cost P 20 per can. Twice a day is P 40. Times 30 days per month is P 1,200 per month. Times 12 months is P 14,400.

Is P 14,400 a large amount for savings? It probably is!
Is P 20 a small amount to save? It probably is!

Think about cigarettes. It probably cost P 50 per pack. Times 30 days per month is P 1,500 per month. Times 12 months is P 18,000.

Is P 18,000 a large amount for savings? It probably is!
Is P 50 a small amount to save? It probably is!

Think about junk food. Junk food probably cost you about P 100 per pack per day. Times 30 days per month is P 3,000 per month. Times 12 months is P 36,000.

Is P 36,000 a large amount for savings? It probably is!
Is P 100 a small amount to save? It probably is!
Learn more about financial literacy, attend our Free Financial Seminar

But if we do not want to completely give up softdrinks or junk food, or cigarettes or non-essential items, maybe we can just cut-down? Half the annual amount is still a lot of money!

Resolve to cut down on a lot of small expenses. Small savings many times, over the days, over the months, over the years will allow you to save a lot of money!

The Abundance Formula

The Abundance Formula

This is essentially the quick guide to the Abundance Formula.

The Poverty Formula

Many people are poor because they follow a very simple financial formula, which we call the Poverty Formula

Income – Expenses = Savings

This means people think of spending and paying others first before paying themselves.  This is why people remain poor.  If one is currently earning P20,000 per month, one thinks he will forever earn P20,000 or more.  Thus he spends P20,000 per month.  If anything is left over, he plans to use it as savings.  But more often than not, people spend the entire P20,000, and sometimes even more.  When they spend more, they go into debt, and begin spending money they have not yet earned.  This is a vicious cycle, and people go deeper into debt.

The Abundance Formula

We teach people to use a different financial formula, which we call the Abundance Formula.

Income – 10% Tithes – 20% Savings/Investment = Expenses

In this formula, we teach people to give 10% of what they earn as tithe, and 20% for savings and investment.  Then spend the remaining 70% on their other expenses.

Details of this formula are beyond the scope of this article ( and Brother Bo Sanchez wrote an entire book aptly titled “The Abundance Formula” to explain this simple formula, enumerating four simple steps that make good people rich ), but essentially it means pay yourself first, and save/invest 20% of your earnings for your future.

The Abundance Formula actually makes life very simple.  If one makes P20,000 per month, he gives 10% tithe (P2,000) to the Lord , saves 20% ( P4,000 ) and allocates P14,000 for expenses.  If one starts at age 25, a monthly investment of P4,000  translates to P48,000,000 (yes, P48 million) at age 65 if invested at a modest12% per year, or P88 million if invested at 14%.

But I am in Debt! How Can I Save When I Am In Debt?

The Abundance Formula works well even when you are currently in debt.  Use the 20% (or more) to retire your debt ( making sure you do not incur more debt ).

How Can I Save 20% ?

Many people say “But I spend 110% of what I make, how can I possibly live on 70% of my income?”

There are some who find it really difficult to make ends meet ( like if you are sending several kids to college, or feeding an extended family). But most people can find savings if they really want to.

Every P1,000 a month savings translates to at least P1M in 20 years.  That is only P33 per day.  Can you save P33 per day?

How much do you spend on softdrinks?
How much do you spend on junk food?
How much do you spend on Starbucks coffee, or C2 Iced Tea?
How much do you spend on short jeepney and tricycle rides?
How much do you spend on cigarrettes?
How much do you spend on cellphone load, lotto tickets?

Can you save a few hundred pesos every few weeks?

How much do you spend eating out?
How much do you spend in the movies?
How much do you spend in the beauty parlors? Spas?

Can you save a few thousand pesos every few months?

How much do you spend on gadgets?
How much do you spend on vacations?

Add up all the savings and if invested properly, each P1,000 can turn into P1,000,000 in 20 years.  For example, if you can save P3,500 per month, that can turn into P3,500,000 in 20 years.

Of course one should enjoy life and fruits of their labor, but just make sure what you spend for enjoyment is within budget in the 70% for expenses and not in the 20% for savings/investment.

Expand Your Means!

It is more important to increase your means than kill your dreams.  If  70% of P20,000 is not enough, do not take from the 20% you use to pay yourself.

The preferred way to savings is to find ways to expand your means and earn more.  Remember 70% of P30,000 is P21,000, which is even more than P20,000.   If you want to spend more, simply earn more.

If you are working for money 8 hours a day, five days a week, you have three options:

  1. work for money for more hours,
  2. work for money for more days, or
  3. make money work for you

Doing (1) or (2) is “easy” but you can only do so much because there are only 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week.  If you want to earn more and be rich, you need to be financially literate.

This will be a topic in a future article.

Attend a FREE Financial Planning and Coaching Seminar in Makati. to get you started with Financial Literacy.