After high school I decided to delay my higher studies due to financial constraints. I moved to Manila from the province to seek employment or any income generating activities. Way back 1995 I was 17 years old back then and getting a job is not a walk-in-the-park considering my level of education and having grown up in the far flung village. Moving to the big city for the first time definitely daunting, especially if you came from an island away from the big crowd. City life and countryside life are obviously different in several ways, you maybe prepared for the obvious differences like traffic and pollution but there are imperceptible differences that can only be felt until you actually live in the city. Living in Metro Manila were a big challenge for an islander like me. I applied for work in a Fast-food-chain as a crew but I wasn’t lucky enough to land in that industry. Being a minor and new in that community are two of several reasons that I couldn’t apply to any job placement that are posted in the broadsheets. I had difficulty looking for a job that could sustain a living until such time that one of my relative offered me to work with him in construction company as a laborer. I applied without hesitation and luckily I was hired.
Working in hazardous and hard-hat required places is so risky for inexperience young like me but at that time it was the only open door for me to earn a living. I learned to do masonry and carpentry first hand from them. I enjoyed being with them but deep inside me there is a voice telling that this is just temporary. When I turned 18, opportunities in other field opened and I did not waste a single day to find a new job. I landed in a super market chain as bagger. I felt a bit comfortable with that job not just because it is air-conditioned but I felt more respect to my self. I was paid for a minimum salary plus tip from generous customers. My first few months of budgeting my salary was a messed. I don’t have control with my expenses even though life then was so simple and the technology is just about to take the center stage. I find it hard to budget and I had trouble making ends met.
One day, I assisted one of our customer outside of the supermarket to unload purchases to his car. While waiting for his driver, I engaged a short conversation with him. This was about “Earning, Savings & Investing“.
It was an eye opener for an impulsive person like me. I asked my colleague on how they budget their salaries but most them are on the same situation as me. One day, I pass by in one of the bank near bus terminal and I asked if I can open an account. They are attentive and they assisted me in opening an account for just Php500 maintaining balance at Security Bank. I felt happy holding my first bank book even if it is only contain small amount. On that day I realized that I need to set aside amount for every expenditures and the big amount of it will go to my savings. From there I developed the habit of frugal living.