They Call Me “Kuripot” (Stingy)

I get a lot of “love” because I am a bit… uh, how should I say it… cautious about money. Most often than not, my colleagues and acquaintances will say the same thing: that I am too cautious with money.

People also take note of how I usually take note of whatever I spend in a day, be it a few coins or bills, I see to it that I save it somewhere on my phone, and by the end of the day, save it on an Excel file. I use this data to look at how much I spent on a given month, and where I spent the most for that particular month, and why. For some, seeing me do this is too much, especially when they see me write down “1 Peso for candy”. This gets everyone in stitches.

Tight Fist

So, they call me tight fisted. In our vernacular Filipino, they call me “kuripot”. In English, stingy or parsimonious. Although, I do believe that these words are too negative. I like to describe myself as an obsessive financial self-analyst. I always have my money on my mind.

Money on my Mind

I never really paid much attention to it, until one recent meeting, they talked about me and my activities to monitor my daily expenses, and some more things that I do that they find, uh, quirky. Listed below are some of the things that they mentioned:

1. My Financial Excel File (FEF) – One particular morning, when everyone was about to go home, I stayed a little bit longer to update my FEF. I normally do this by the end of each day, if I have time. One of my colleagues happened to be walking behind me, and noticed what I was doing. Next came the barrage of questions. “Do you do that everyday?”, “for all expenses?”, “no matter how small?”.  I answered “Yes” to each one.

spreadsheet

2. My Refusal to SpendThe data that I get from my FEF leads me to be wary when I am nearing my budget limit. You see, whenever I get my pay, I take off a set amount that I determined is both sufficient and attainable for me to be able to save consistently, every month. Next, I deduct specific amounts for my monthly bills, and whatever is left, I use for my daily expenditures. This, in turn, keeps me from spending too much on a given month, and it keeps me on my toes whenever I have to shell out. One instance is our team building activity. I have been refusing this activity, however my manager said we need it to establish our team’s relationship, so I relented. However, I had to make sure that I spent lesser to accommodate the payment for the activity.

Keep Calm

3. My Brown Bag – I never fail to bring my own food. This prevents me from eating out too much, which can be costly. Sometimes, this gets in the way of my teammates wanting to eat out as a team activity. I normally refuse politely, pointing my brown bag out as my reason. Their response usually is to make me bring my brown bag to the fast food/restaurant/whichever place they selected to eat. I never join, of course. One, because I have to microwave my food (our pantry has a microwave, free to use) which is not present in fast food/restaurants/etcetera.  Two, the temptation to spend is always present when you go out. “Maybe just a drink” or “a dessert looks nice” adds up, and to me that is not part of my budget.

brown bag

4. Match What I Spent – This actually made me a legend in our team. I don’t really observe traditions, even Christmas. But every year, my colleagues hold a Kris Kringle to celebrate Christmas, and I am not allowed to back out because if so, there will be an odd number of participants. I don’t really ask for too much, normally I ask for stuff that I really need. For example, office supplies. Last year, I haven’t thought of anything to ask, when I saw what my Kris Kringle was asking: an expensive T-shirt! I immediately looked for it and gasped at the price. I thought it was going to ruin my budget for December. No, it was definitely going to ruin my December budget, so I did what a normal, smart person would: ask for my Kris Kringle to give me cash, equal to what I am going to spend for my Kris Kringle. I told them too, that I will start doing this every year instead. Good plan!

secret santa

I will stop at number four, since I may be able to write a whole book about this, and who knows? I might make a fortune, having people laugh at my stingy ways!

Now, let me plan on a no spend week!

Missing

UPDATE: I just got word that Yeya (Sophie’s nickname) has been found! I have no details yet, but my colleagues have just informed me that she was found along Molino Road, one of the main roads in their area.

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Of all the things I have experienced, I never thought that this will ever happen. My colleague’s daughter is missing, and I am hoping that this will reach anyone who can help.

Vlle Sophia Reyes

I am no direct relative of this child, but when I heard the news, it hit me hard.

It’s hard to believe that this will happen so close to home. A child gone missing is one of the worst things that can happen to a family.

I am posting this as a way to disseminate the information. Any information can be coursed through the phone numbers in the picture.

I hope they find her soon.

I hope this little angel finds her way back home.

Juvenile Delinquency

Earlier today, I became a witness to a theft, and all I was able to do was feel pissed off. I saw 2 kids grab and snatch a lady’s item (I am not sure if it was her phone or her bracelet) while I was about to cross a pedestrian lane. The lady was on a jeepney (pictured below).

Jeepney

There are no windows, as you can see, so the lady was exposed. One of  the kids grabbed her arm and yanked something and then bolted. His accomplice was waiting a few feet away, also ran to the same direction.

Unfortunately, this is starting to become common in the Philippine streets, so much so that the juvenile creeps start to bring a copy of their birth certificate everyday, so they can use it to avoid jail. When they get caught, they give it to the police and the police, according to the stupid Philippine Juvenile Law, are not allowed to arrest minors or anyone under 18 years old. These criminals proliferate and even murder innocent people, without fear of being punished.

I wanted to run after the thieves, but being wise to the ways of the streets, I knew that they have other accomplices. This is what pisses me off a little more: The police station is not even a block or two away, and still the thieves are running rampant. Juvenile protection my ass. The  “smart” lawmakers does not want any juvy to be persecuted until they reach the age of “discernment”. I wonder what the hell they are smoking? These kids have all the fucking “discernment” in the world, enough for them to decide to kill people.  

These kids do not have an excuse. So what if they are impoverished? So what if they have family problems? I grew up with the same circumstance and never resorted to crime. I grew up with next to nothing, but our family chose to work honestly, and work hard for what we need. They do not have an excuse for killing people for material possessions.

My dad and my brothers got pissed too, when I told them what I saw. We all wished that our neighborhood start to realize that if we let this continue, then we will succumb to crime. I hope we start to eliminate the pests and bring mob justice. I don’t want to be a hypocrite, so I will say this: I hope that they get what they deserve. Stealing from people is bad, especially if they worked their asses off for what they have. I wish they die too so the world is a bit safer. There I said it.

If they kill, they deserve to be killed too.

The Road to Promotion

I am guilty of neglecting this blog for too long. It is high time for me to get the flow back and maybe start writing consistently again. I have an excuse though! I have been attending an on boarding with our Learning Specialist for a possible Instructional Designer position, which may be available next year! Take note of the keywords, possible and maybe . I am not sure if there will be a business need, but I am hoping that there will be! For those who are not familiar, I am working as part of the Training team in an international company, and an Instructional Designer  is a person who creates materials needed for training (in a jist). I have been assigned several ID specific tasks, and I have been working hard to accomplish them, thus lesser time to write.

This, however, is not all sunshine. There are resentments within the team with me being picked for the next possible promotion, mainly because of my age. I am relatively young (24), but they might have forgotten that I started really early as well (I was 19 when I became a part of our Training team, so that gives me about 5 years of relevant experience). Plus, if I get the post, I will be vacating my current  position, which means one program will be left without a suitable trainer. We came up with what we thought was a great solution: get someone from the program and train him/her to be my possible replacement. The only problem is, the guy that we got was a dumb-ass (not to sound arrogant, just saying). My manager was struggling to get a candidate, because of the shallow talent pool, but my teammate vouched for this dude, so my manager decided to go with my teammate’s advice. Bad move. No matter how I try to coach him, I just end up getting frustrated. He is in a one year contract, and we’re just waiting for it to pan out. I don’t want to start ranting but he does not possess any skill that we need, nor can he acquire the skills that we need, no matter how hard I try. Plus, his attitude changed from bad to worse the moment he got in the team.  I can’t see myself passing the torch to him, definitely.

Is that too mean? Sorry. But I have learned to avoid trusting people’s suggestions 100%.