Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Need-To-Have vs. Nice-To-Have

With August already in and half of 2012 already gone, it’s nice to look at how things went during the 6 months that passed. 

As a mother,  I’m happy to say that my kids are doing well in school. My little girl recently won another prize in school, I’ll share about that in my next post. My little kulitog boy is enjoying school immensely; he thinks it’s a bomber that classes are always suspended due to rain. He now recognizes and can write more letters of the alphabet. His social skills has also improved; he tries not to take matter into his own hands but report it to teacher or his yaya. Mommy can’t be happier.
On work life, it’s been busy as hell with so many major programs that launched in the first and second quarter of the year. More late night extensions for me and sometimes weekends are not spared. But I try to keep the rest of work commitment within it’s time and delegate as much work as possible to my team so that my weekends with family is strictly spent with my husband and kids. We are all hoping that the remaining months will have much lighter load at work (but it doesn't look that way).
Financially, during our evening talks, my husband and I have agreed that this (half) year was better than the last. Why, we even afforded those trips to Palawan, Boracay and Ilocos. We are truly blessed.

At this time, hubby and I also discussed and agreed on strengthening our emergency fund. I read that your emergency budget should be 'between three and six months worth of your living expenses set aside...' and should be spent strictly on emergency purposes. Very timely example of an emergency situation is the effect of our weather nowadays, causing parts of Luzon to be flooded. Houses and establishments being flooded waist deep causing property damages and family members getting sick. When the flood water subsides, people will try to get back to their normal lives, repair their houses, have their kids checked by the doctor for any infection, etc. All this will require money. What then if there's no emergency fund? Ika nga nating mga Pilipino, kung may isinuksok may madudukot (if you stash away something, you have something to take out). And no, a year-end sale does not constitute as an emergency situation :)

Please bear in mind that an emergency fund should be different from savings to ensure that the latter will not be affected everytime we have an emergency. What happens if we use our savings as an emergency fund? It's get depleted everytime we use it for emergencies and before we know it, it's savings no more. 

For us, it's something that we somehow put into the sidelines when we made major purchases the previous years. Now, we want it to become one of our major goals. So how do we go about that? It's definitely not going to be easy and that's an understatement. 

For one, I know that we really have to be strict with how we live by our Nice-To-Haves and Need-To-Haves. Group buying sites certainly made me buy those nice-to-haves at some point as a gullible group buy member. Now, no matter how tempting that set of cake decorator is, I know that it’s something that I don’t need right now (some of the parts on the set I already have anyway). 
So what other nice-to-haves I gave up this year? Top of mind would be that Nikon D300 that a coworker offered me at a really good deal compared to its brand new price tag. I would say if I was single, no school fees or kids’ summer classes to consider, I would've gotten that camera without batting an eyelash. Not so because I’m a mom who needs to make responsible decisions. Heck, I could very well bag that camera and tell my little boy, ‘anak, next year ka na mag-aral, bata ka pa naman (son, start school next year, you’re too young anyway) because mommy needs to buy this dreamy camera. It’s the same price as your tuition fee.' 

If only it could as easy as that... 

Then came the moment to prioritize, weigh what is nice to have vs. need to have and make a wise decision: my dream dslr or our 3-year old's dream of school? Weighing the situation under those considerations, I made a decision and sent our sweet son to school. He gave me this as a gift together with non-stop thank yous, hugs and kisses. Priceless right? :)

Of course there are those moments when you can't figure out which aspects in life goes to which category.
The key words in categorizing would be priority, want vs. need, essential vs. frill. I know it will be a struggle at first especially because I sometimes decide on the virtue of  'life is all about living to the fullest' or 'living the moment' but when we want to be financially free, we need to set goals and work on achieving them. 

Let's create the future today.

Have you thought of your Nice-To-Have and Need-To-Have list for this year and next year? 


Spanish Pinay said...

Can't agree more! Sometimes it's really hard to give in to temptations especially when you are presented with delectable offers on those nice-to-haves. and it's always easy to find "justifications", you know? :) But yeah, being a mom, we do need to be more responsible and be aware of our budget, savings, future, emergency fund, etc, etc!

Ang hirap maging adult! LOL

Spanish Pinay

march on... said...

You're right, it's hard to be an adult making adult decisions but someone's got to do it.

Shivam said...

Nice articles I like and I am agree with you thanks.

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march on... said...

thanks Shivam :)

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