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Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Pact

Some of you are probably wondering why I made such a pact with myself when it comes to my purchasing habits. It's not like that happened overnight but it also needed a little work. Now I know that if I tell you the reason, it might bore you but I'm doing so anyway. I'll tell you how my life has changed in the past few months. 



In the last quarter of 2011, when I was taking a little time out from blogging, I was busy at work, getting shocked and eventually getting used to it. And most importantly, I was doing a bit of reflection. See, from the corporate world, I made a drastic shift when I accepted a job offer from a cooperative, which is pretty much the same as credit unions. I won't tell the specific cooperative I am working at but it is pretty much known in the whole Philippines. Anyway, here's a little flashback on my first month at work.

It was a culturally-shocking first month for me because it is so much different from the corporate world, more so, the people are so much different. These people are so simple. So simple that anything more than Php 250 (less than $6) is already expensive for them. Why? They definitely know the importance and value of money. With the little pay they get because a large portion goes to paying off their loans from the coop, I know that every little cent counts. 

I remember the first time I did the payroll and made a mistake (her salary was short by Php 18 (less than $0.50), she called my attention and wanted to know where it went. That's when I realized that every single cent do count for them. I also remember when I was computing their overtime pay when I noticed that some of the security guards do double shifts even on their supposed rest days. For what? To get an extra earning of Php 2000 (less than $50). At that moment, I had to excuse myself and go to the bathroom. That hit me hard and made me realize how materialistic I have been over the years. How selfish I was to complain that what I was earning wasn't enough when it was actually more than enough for someone else's family. Yes, it wasn't enough only for my material wants and not even needs. I felt guilty that I spend that much on just one single foundation when someone does not get enough sleep for a day just to earn extra money so he can feed his family. 

I felt bad because I also wanted to help them but knowing that I cannot do much is even more frustrating. And I cannot believe how annoyed I was at first when they keep checking out my things and keep saying "Mahal siguro yan" (that's probably expensive) and "Mayaman ka kasi" (because you're rich) and I am not. I think it was pretty normal to get annoyed but the moment you understand why, you'll realize it's nothing really annoying. 

So I asked myself, "What if I want to try something and my lemming's really strong?". That's when I thought of making a pact. Instead of buying and buying, I should let go of something in exchange for that new item. So instead of spending the extra money I have, I can use it to help others instead. I'm helping two people from work who are both old enough to be my parents. When they no longer have money left even for fare, they come to me and I'll give them something. It's an arrangement I made with them. I don't care if they use it somewhere else but all I know is that I am doing that in good faith. 

Yes, these people are so much different from the people I used to work with. They don't care much about material things. They'd rather spend their money on their family than buy something for themselves. Most of them are from the provinces. Most of them only finished high school. But that does not make me any better than them. They are the simplest people I have ever met. The ones who made me realize the value of money. They are the ones who taught me that we can be happy even without having too much material things. That I have been selfish all along. That I can live a minimalist life. They helped me become a better person and appreciate what I have. 

Then I realized another thing.. Maybe there is a reason why I keep quitting my jobs back then even if they pay really well. And that is for me to be able to work at this company so I can be a better person.

That, my friends, is how my life has changed in just a span of a few months. Of course, I am still a work in progress but I am getting there. I am not the same impulsive buyer that I am. I now know how to eat at turo-turos, and best of all, I have quit smoking (hey, I wasted a lot of money on cancer sticks). My mom even said that I'm no longer as snobbish as I used to be. Yey!:) Anyway, you might not have finished this post out of boredom but a huge thanks for bearing wit me. 

Please do note, however, that this post isn't meant to insult anyone. I am only sharing my story.

Have you realized anything lately?

Happy Thursday, super awesome peeps! :)

Cheers,

28 comments:

  1. What a touching story Ms Pammy. That's just what I admitted lately, I'm a work in progress. No more complaining, just be contented and thankful. And it feels good to admit and realize what matters most importantly in life. Thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. So true. Life is so much better if you stop complaining and appreciate what you have. Thanks. :)

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  2. Just wanted to let you know that I think this is a very beautiful post. Made me remember to always count the blessings I already have. Thanks for this! <3

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  3. no, this entry is not boring. In fact, I hope this will reach other people as well for we have to value of money.

    I am so proud of you!

    *hugs*

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  4. I can relate to this.

    One effective way to curb spending is to have a purpose which is bigger than your spending addiction. Like helping other people, taking care of the environment, stuff like that.

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    Replies
    1. I couldn't agree more, Rae. What you said is absolutely true.

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  5. This is inspiring, sis! Many things in life can really hit you by surprise, especially when you hit something that really makes you reflect on how you've been in the past. Personally I need to do some reflecting like that again. Thank you for this post!

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    1. I completely agree and I totally wasn't expecting it. I thought the shock would get the better off me but it eventually taught me things in life. :)

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  6. Does blogger come with a "like" button? ^^;

    Thanks for sharing, Pammy. :) My own jaw drops when I look at the prices of most high-end makeup in magazines and stalls. Even the "mid-end" ones. A blusher can be equivalent to a week's worth of groceries! X(

    Good luck with the pact you've made with yourself. :) You're also such a dear to help those people in need. :)

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  7. Pammy I admire your will and determination to do something to help others.

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  8. Awww... not everyone can do that but i'm proud that u did!!

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  9. to be honest, this is one of few blog posts i've read in full - meaningful content!

    i've had the same realization when i became a Christian - that being overly obsessed in cosmetics and other material things doesn't guarantee self-contentment and happiness. i commend you Pammy, great job! of course, we can still reward ourselves from time to time but being wise in our purchases, be it cosmetics or not, is the way to go. you are a good example of how people should look at spending money!

    way to go dear! xoxo

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I remember your post about it on your blog as well. :)

      Yes, we can reward ourselves every once in a while, but we should not keep doing whatever we're doing because we know there will soon be a reward. Agree? :D

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  10. I'm proud of you pammycakes! ^_^ it's good to know that you've done well for the past few months and that you've changed for the better. I too haven't been hauling as much as I did before. I do understand where you're coming from. I also quit my old job even though it paid really well. My current job pays 7K less than what I was earning before so I had to adjust. But I'm happy where I am, definitely no regrets!

    and I also do what you are doing now. I de-stash before I buy new products or better yet, I finish them... Good luck with your pact! hugs ^_^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Holliewood! :P I earn almost 10k less than what I used to earn but all these self-realizations are making all the financial "losses" worth it.

      Good luck as well! :P

      Delete
  11. Nice one Pammy....

    That is so true, we never know how much we have until we see and realize there are people who are less fortunate than us.

    We need to balance it out.. Triple "S"..have enough to Save, Spend and Share...

    Will share my formula on handling finances:
    Income - Savings = Expense...
    and NOT
    Income - Expense = Savings :)

    Ingats you lagi :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Nice one Pammy....

    That is so true, we never know how much we have until we see and realize there are people who are less fortunate than us.

    We need to balance it out.. Triple "S"..have enough to Save, Spend and Share...

    Will share my formula on handling finances:
    Income - Savings = Expense...
    and NOT
    Income - Expense = Savings :)

    Ingats you lagi :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey hey, W! I agree, especially with the formula. :)

      On a lighter note, I still don't get the punch line with my nickname. :D

      Delete
  13. wow! A great post! Such a nice read this morning. I may not know you personally Miss Pammy, but I am really proud of you. This pact might not be the easiest, but you've let your heart and mind work on it.

    Keep it up!

    And fyi, I didn't get bored! Read it till the end. :)

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  14. i read the whole post. this one is very inspiring. =)
    good for you. and i hope everyone realize that too..let's appreciate the simple things in life =)

    ReplyDelete

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