A Love (and Budget) Story

by Monchi Ampil

It was American statesman Benjamin Franklin who said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” That’s exactly how important preparing for the future is. Now that we are in the middle of a pandemic, lockdowns can happen anytime as these are the government’s measures to prevent the COVID-19 from spreading. These extraordinary circumstances have led to some people losing their jobs and businesses. A number of them have also depleted their savings.

With these in mind, we asked our colleague Rafael “Paeng” Roque from Docs Control to share his thoughts and experiences on preparing financially and how they budget as newly weds in the midst of the pandemic.

In the early days of pandemic last year, Paeng started to be more mindful about his spending habits. There was so much uncertainty. He was worried about what could happen next. The possibility of losing his job made him feel anxious. So, he avoided non-essential purchases. He has stuck to the practice even if things are slowly getting better these days. 

Last June, Paeng got married to fellow NLEX employee Sandra Estabillo who works in the Supply Chain Management (SCM) department.

Photo taken after Paeng and Sandra’s wedding ceremony

Naturally, the newlyweds had to agree on a financial strategy that suited them both. Paeng learned that it’s important to know each other’s strengths and capabilities. Once you are aware of each other’s spending and saving techniques, it’s easier to manage your finances.

Paeng revealed that he and Sandra used to be fond of buying items on sale. But then they realized that they didn’t really save money from that. They weren’t able to use the items they bought, and some just reached their expiration dates. It was a tough lesson learnt.

Coming from the tough life lesson, the couple developed a habit of setting a fixed budget for groceries and other basic needs. They learned that just because there are things on sale, it doesn’t mean you have to buy them, and that one should think before buying anything on sale. Otherwise, it’ll end up costing more than one would realize.

Paeng and Sandra’s Pre-nuptial Photo

Besides managing their purchases, the couple’s openness to discuss finances with each other led them to also be financially wise together, learning habits such as paying their bills on time so they won’t be burdened with penalties.

Discussing finances between couples is a crucial element for a harmonious relationship. For Paeng, his deepening relationship and financial discussions with his wife Sandra includes their learning of having a fixed budget, and managing their bills well.

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