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Fitness Tips That Will Save You Money

2017 is about to end, but before that Pasko na naman and that means working extra hard to keep in shape despite all the parties and free flowing food! How did you fare with your fitness goals for 2017? Congratulations if you’re on track. If you’re not and have stumbled upon some roadblocks such as finding a healthy lifestyle expensive, then this post is written with you in mind. Para sa’yo ito girl!

Many of us faced fitness challenges this year, lalo na with the rising cost of living plus the demands of modern lifestyle. Sometimes, not only money is scarce but also time. Here are tips that I tried this year which helped me stay on the fitness track:

 1. Say good-bye to the gym and workout from home – when people ask me where I workout this year, at first I was embarrassed to answer and wished I can say fancy gym names. But now, I proudly answer “sa bahay lang!“. Moving my workout purely at home made me more creative, saved me lots of money because working out at home is FREE, and gave me even more time to spare for work and family.

I only had to invest in a few items like a workout bench and brought out my old dumbbells. Here’s a photo of me and my son working out together, salingkit lang sha but I like how I can spend time with him working out at home.

How much you’ll save: Up to P2,500 monthly and a lot of time!

2. Join FREE community workouts – I’m not just talking about your baranggay’s free zumba class but I recently discovered that Sun Life Philippines hosts several workouts (almost every month) and for FREE! It doesn’t even matter if you’re a Sun Life client or not. All you have to do is join their GoWell community.

So far, I’ve attended  about 2 GoWell workouts – one at Shangri-la Fort BGC (wow) and another one in SMX SM Mall of Asia. These special workouts are normally just for gym members or you have to pay a special fee to join. Here’s one of my GoWell experiences where you can also get tips on how to join.

How much you’ll save: P1,500 + earn Instagram worthy photos that won’t break your budget! #Fitspiration #workout #fitnessgoal #fitness

3. Invest in financial products with Health & Fitness benefits – speaking of Sun Life, they have a product called Sun Fit & Well. This product has preemptive wellness benefits that allow you to proactively maintain your health. You can enjoy special access and privileges to various wellness activities that will help you stay fit and healthy – all while helping you save and invest for your own financial goals.

I encouraged my husband to get this product for himself (with the help of our financial adviser), in fact he’s not into fitness at all. So don’t think that this product is just for the fitness enthusiasts, everyone needs to be healthy and prepared for times of illness.

Read more about Sun Life Fit & Well

How much you’ll save: Up to 100,000 in case you get critically ill + wellness program (typically worth P25,000/month) + death benefit + earnings + so much more!

4. Local superfoods – Eating healthy may sound expensive, especially when you hear foods like chia seeds, kale, spinach, organic this and that. Superfoods are great but I have an alternative to kale and spinach that’s a lot cheaper and you can buy from your sari-sari store. These are saluyot and kangkong. You can use them for smoothies just like any “super greens”.

For other supplies like chia seeds, organic snacks, and food which I treat as “treats” for my body, I get them from local stores like Ultra Super Green. They are cheaper than health stores found in the mall and they also showcase locally sourced and produced whole foods.

How much you’ll save: Up to P2,000 monthly by choosing local!

5. Keep it up! – Leading a healthy and fit lifestyle can be hard especially we have other real-life responsibilities to fulfill. Get back up when you fall through the cracks and don’t beat yourself up if you miss a workout or enjoyed the buffet. Life is meant to be enjoyed. Being healthy is all about having a balanced life – physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Remember that when we exercise, we actually become more productive and have better clarity. In my experience, working out helps me excel better in my family and work life.

Not working out on the other hand may demotivate you from eating healthy, make you more sedentary, and increase your risk of falling sick or ill.

How much you’ll save: Lots of money from preventing sickness and living a brighter, active life for you and your family.

Remember, being healthy shouldn’t break your budget. Get inspiration from the things around you and your fitness level shouldn’t depend on how fancy your gym membership is. Hard work and determination are what it takes, enjoy every step of your fitness journey and don’t forget to think about your financial fitness too!

Do you have your own tips to share? Please share them below and good luck to all of us and our fitness and money goals!

Mommy Lace is a blogger from the Philippines. She started this blog to share information on pregnancy, breastfeeding, childcare, family, and health.

Planning for Retirement in Your 30’s

Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes. – Andy Rooney

It’s never too early or too late to plan for your retirement. It is inevitable that all of us will reach our senior years and be awarded our Senior IDs. Kaya lang, being retired will not exempt us from having to pay bills and incurring living expenses.

Do you remember that story in Maalaala mo Kaya of a former school principal who at her very old age now needs to work at the same school, but as a janitress? It tugged a lot of viewers’ hearts but I know her story is only one of many Filipino seniors who are unable to retire comfortably.

Ikaw, paano mo gusto mag retire? Do you want to remain independent and have the ability to pay for your own needs and wants? Or, are you planning to depend on your family or children to take care of you? Sabi nga nila, ang matandang may na-ipon ay pinag-aagawan ng kanyang mga anak. Ang matandang walang pera ay siyang iniiwasan. How true is this in your experience with your older relatives? Before we go off-track (I know we all have plenty of stories in this topic), let’s focus on our own future first.

If you’re in your 30’s like me then I’m sure you will agree that 30 feels like the prime of our life. Hopefully, we’ve found our own passion and honed our skills enough that we’re able to earn, save, and even provide for our family. Physically, our muscles and bones are also at their peak. Most 30 year olds have the energy, emotional and mental maturity, and drive to go after their aspirations – including financial goals.

 

4 Simple Ways to Start Your Retirement Planning Now

Disclaimer: I am not a registered financial adviser, these tips are based on my own research, aspirations, and dreams for my own retirement. Please research or contact a financial adviser before following any of these.

Magsimula na tayo! All of us have different skills, income, realities, and situation. These tips start from the most affordable to the more complex level of investments. Let me know via comments below which of these are applicable to you.

 

1. Keep Your PhilHealth Membership Active – Health is wealth. As we get older, the more aches and pains we will feel. Of course it depends on how we take care of our health right now. Having a PhilHealth membership will reduce your fear of hospital expenses especially when you need medical attention.

If you’re a mom like me, you already know how PhilHealth can reduce hospital bills especially when our children get sick. Keep paying your monthly PhilHealth premiums or if you don’t have one yet, it’s time to be a PhilHealth member now so you can enjoy senior health benefits when you reach 60.

2. Contribute to the Social Security System – Are you an SSS member? I only got back to my contributions this year as a voluntary member as I realize that SSS is the most affordable and dependable pension plan there is for Filipinos. That is just my opinion.

 

This is a good place to start when it comes to having a pension plan in the future. As seen on the illustration above, the more and longer you contribute – the higher the monthly pension you’d be able to receive.

While SSS pension may not be enough for many (let’s factor in inflation rates), it’s still good to have this monthly and stable source of income for your living allowance.

3. Mutual Funds – Investing in mutual funds is another way to accumulate wealth and earn profit that you can use for your retirement. Just a few weeks ago, the Philippine Stock Market kept on breaking record highs. This means that if you invested in mutual funds (usually comprised of blue chip companies like Ayala, San Miguel, SM, etc.) then the value of your investment would have also increased.

Mutual funds may sound intimidating at first but in simple terms, investing in mutual funds means investing in a group of big companies that’s been hand-picked by a fund manager. I’m not a financial expert but my Sun Life financial advisor introduced me to mutual funds 7 years ago and I started my investment with just 5,000 pesos.

Sun Life offers different types of mutual funds: Index, Equity, Balanced, and Bond. Which you’ll choose will depend on your own financial goals and risk appetite. Sabi nga nila, the higher the risk, the higher the returns. Iinvest mo lang ang pera na hindi mo kakailanganin sa panandalian.

Choosing mutual funds has several advantages, una sa lahat ay mas malaki ang maaari nitong kitain kumpara sa savings account mo sa bangko.

Read and Learn the Mutual Fund Basics direc from Sun Life Philippines.

4. Private Pension PlanKung may SSS, meron ding pension plans na ino-offer ang mga financial companies. What I like about pension plans is their “guaranteed benefit or returns” it is similar to investing regularly in a mutual fund but a pension plan will have a guaranteed return to be paid to you in a specific period. Sometimes on top of guaranteed returns, there’s also additional variable returns that will depend on the market’s performance such as dividend earnings.

Now that I am 32, I’m starting to imagine what my life would be at 40, 50, and 60. Will I still get to earn as much and how much would I need? While I try to invest regularly in mutual funds which I know are a safe investment (since I chose Sun Life), I also just like to know I can count on a guaranteed pension or passive income, no matter what the market or political situation looks like.

Mabuti na ang sigurado! In an ideal world, we’ll all follow these 4 ways to prepare for retirement – marami pa ngang iba na hindi natin napag-usapan. But, if we can’t make it through then it’s still good that we have set our goals for retirement.

One of my goals in 2018 is to be able to afford another financial product by Sun Life Philippines, this is the Sun Acceler8. It’s not marketed as a pension plan but it can be used for this purpose. Let me share with you some more information, continue reading below.

Sun Life Acceler8 as a Starter Retirement Fund

Sun Acceler8 is a protection and savings product in one that provides guaranteed cash benefits at specific periods throughout the duration of the policy, plus a lump sum maturity benefit at the end of 20 years. What makes this product unique is that both the insurance coverage and the guaranteed cash benefits accelerate over time, addressing potential loss of value of one’s money brought about by inflation.

The guaranteed benefits of the product may be withdrawn to alleviate education funding needs, or may be accumulated as a starter retirement fund.

What I like about this product is the guaranteed cash benefits starting at the end of the 8th year and every two years thereafter, until the 20th year. This means that if I invest in 2018, I can start reaping the rewards in 2026 until 2038 and by then, I’m already in my 50s. Another plus is that total guaranteed cash benefits is equal to 200% of the Face Amount! They say that for money to double in value, it will take 72 years but not when you plan and invest early. In this case, it’ll only take less than 20 years.

Who knows what my life would be like in my 50s, while it’s not yet the retirement age I’m worried about not having as much opportunities as I do now in my 30s and worried that I won’t be earning as much. I like to gift my future self with this Sun Acceler8 to kick start my “golden years” so I can worry less and enjoy life at any age.

Do you have any tips, questions, or experience on how to plan for a bright future and retirement? Please share them via comments below!

P.S. Watch this short film to make you think about planning for old age and inspire you in your financial journey.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPz5o0FvIgE

Mommy Lace is a blogger from the Philippines. She started this blog to share information on pregnancy, breastfeeding, childcare, family, and health.