I’m praising God for the blessing of children today, for a very, very special reason! :) Some people may consider having children a burden, especially under difficult, challenging, seemingly “impossible” circumstances — but God’s Word assures us:

TRM-children are a blessing

No matter what the events that led to your becoming a parent…

No matter what trials you faced or are facing as a parent…

No matter what quirks or “special needs” or “different abilities” your child/ren may have…

No matter how tiring and draining child-rearing, child-raising and child-DISCIPLING can be…

No matter how many times you just want to throw in the proverbial {parenting} towel… (oh yes, I’ve been there too, my dear!)

Remember that children are a blessing. They are God’s gift to us.

So celebrate your child/ren today… and always. You don’t need a special occasion to do so. Our kids are part of the reason why we can call ourselves #trulyrichandblessed.


Love and prayers,
Tina

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on April 22, 2015 · 0 comments · Family, Parenting

how to feed your family if you earn minimum wage

There is no doubt about it — raising a family these days can be challenging (but oh-so-fulfilling!). Besides the emotional and spiritual “nourishment” that our kids need, we also need to nourish their physical bodies too.

Now, for a Filipino worker who earns a minimum wage of just P404.00 or roughly $9.00 per day, or around P10,000 to 15,000 each month, budgeting for a family can be tricky (and believe me, I speak from past experience!).

Of course, if you’re earning minimum wage, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to feed your family properly, or that you have to struggle just so you and her family can eat .

I know most moms are used to making sacrifices for their families, even if it means some discomfort for them.

For example, some moms might even decide to just walk to work, especially if their office is not that far from home. This saves them around P320 to 350 monthly — which could then be used for food and other expenses, such as water, electricity, and house rental payments.

Another way to maximize your income (yes, even if it’s just minimum wage!) is to create a budget and stick to it. Here, we share with you specific tips for creating a food budget for your family.

Budgeting for Food

how to feed your family if you earn minimum wage

Below is a sample food budget that you can use for doing the groceries at least twice a week, or 8 times a month. Some mothers say that it’s better to do the groceries twice a week, so they don’t spend all the money right away, so let’s take it from there:

1 kilo of chicken             P136.00

A loaf of white bread    P50.00

1 kilo rice                        P44.00

1.5 liter of water           P41.00

1 kilo potatoes              P68.00

1 kilo tomatoes            P58.00

A dozen eggs               P77.00

A pack of cheese         P95.00

Total                             P569.00

This means that you can allot P1,138.00 for a week’s worth of groceries, and P4552.00 for a month, if you go to the grocery or the market at least twice a week.

Of course, there are also times when the family has to eat out, like at a fast food restaurant or somewhere else.

To give you an idea of how to include that in your budget, here’s what you could expect to spend:

Value Meals at Fast Food Restaurants – P55 per person x 4 = P220.00

Now, let’s say the family goes out every Sunday. This means that in a month, P880.00 goes to fast food restaurants.

Of course, there are times when the amount goes higher because the kids want to try something else on the menu, which means that around P6,000 to 7,000 goes of your monthly budget goes to food each month—and this doesn’t include snacks, or food that kids buy or bring to school, and all other expenses.

So, what should be done to make sure that you stick to your budget?

Plan Well

Well, the key is to write it down. Write down your budget.

Planning is extremely important, especially if you ask most homemakers, because this makes them feel that, at least, they have an idea about where their money should go.

This way, they can tick off items on the list once they have bought them and they can be reminded about what needs to be done—and won’t be tempted to do otherwise.

how to feed your family if you earn minimum wage

When making a budget, prioritize only what’s important (i.e. your and your family’s needs), so the rest of your money can go to savings in the bank and investments, and for your other expenses.

A sample budget could be as follows:

Food                                   P7,000.00

Water/Electric Bills        P1,500.00

House Rental                  P4,000.00

Total                                 P12,500.00

This leaves you around P3,000.00 for all your other expenses and savings. (Realistically, this may be challenging, I know, but the key is to make and stick to a budget!)

Don’t forget to save

Of course, you shouldn’t let all your hard work go to waste. Keep in mind that it would be good to save around 5 to 10% of your salary (actually, 20% if possible, as this is what most financial experts would recommend).

To do this, you can set up an automatic transfer account so that every time you get your salary, some money will automatically go to your savings account—and before you know it, you already have saved a considerable amount of money, which you can then use to build up your emergency fund and invest in stocks and/or mutual funds.

At the end of the day, remember that becoming “truly rich” in the material sense isn’t impossible — you just need to work hard, be disciplined, and learn how to make your money work for you, too. (Drop me a line here if you want to learn more about the latter.)

Of course, we also need to remember that everything we have — even our income — comes from God. So we should also be generous in giving of our “treasure” (i.e. our finances) to Him through tithing and love offerings! :)

How do you budget your income? Share your tips in the comments!

**********

Part of the contents of this post is brought to you by our partners from eCompareMo.com. eCompareMo.com is the country’s leading and complete comparison portal intended for Filipinos looking for quick, secure, and complete banking and insurance products in the Philippines. They streamline the comparison and application of financial products to help Filipinos make informed decisions when it comes on choosing the best credit card, loans, insurance and more for free. (Currently, they are having an iPhone 6 giveaway promo on their site, which will end on May 31, 2015. Check it out here.)

 

*Image credits: First photo courtesy of eComparemo.com | Other photos courtesy of Dan via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on April 22, 2015 · 0 comments · Advocacies, Family, Finances and Families, Financial Literacy, I Recommend, Truly Rich Tips

How is the Easter season going for you so far, friends? I hope it’s been a blessed time of rejoicing so far. As for me and my family, we had an amazing time at the Grand Easter Feast last Sunday! Here are a few photos, from The Feast PICC’s Facebook page:

divine mercy divine mercy divine mercy divine mercy

I couldn’t help crying during Mass and the praise and worship — I was overwhelmed again at how much God loves me and my family. I am an imperfect, broken sinner, yet He still chooses to by my “Forever.” He still loves me and gives me chances every day to repent and renew myself.

Some of my biggest takeaways from the Grand Easter Feast (image credits go to the Light of Jesus Family’s Facebook page):

divine mercy

Everyone has problems, right? Sometimes, we are so burdened by them that we end up wallowing in self-pity and negativity (like I was, just this past week — YES, what a way to “celebrate” Easter, I know! Thank God for His mercy and grace, though — He, through my family, helped me all the way!).

And while there are no “instant” solutions to our problems, we can carry on with hope, believing that God is at work, creating miracles for us and sending them our way at the exact time we need them. After all, He did say this:

divine mercy

And because He will never leave us nor forsake us, we can be assured that He will be with us throughout all our trials and sufferings.

But you know what really, really struck me during the Grand Easter Feast?

It was these words:divine mercyMore than receiving miracles, God wants us to be miracles to others.

You’d think that after more than 10 years of fulltime ministry work, I’d remember this every day, even if I’m not a fulltimer anymore.

But the reality is, I don’t. Heck, I even forget to be a miracle to my own husband and kids. Every.single.day.

In fact, instead of “refreshing” them, I become a source of stress. Of criticism. Of pain. Of suffering.

I get impatient and angry and “lose it.” I yell and say mean things (and become a “misbehaving adult,” as my friends who conduct Positive Discipline workshops would say).

So it was great to be reminded of my greatest “mission” in life: to be a Kingdom-Seeker (living out Matthew 6:33), and help my family to do the same (especially my kids)! And also, this:

divine mercy

This is one of the reasons why I consider my blog, my writing, my Facebook posts, and my soon-to-be-launched online TV show as my “mission field.” Being a hands-on mom with no helper/yaya, I can’t really be “out there,” doing mission in far-off places like I used to when I was still single. (I know there are families who do do this though, and some of them are even friends of mine. But that’s not our family’s calling right now.)

So I’m going to make do with what I can for now, and thanks to the Internet, I hope to still be a “miracle” to the wounded outside the Church, even if I’m just at home, typing away on my laptop. ;) (Though going on mission again as a family can still happen — if it’s God’s will!)

Today, Easter Saturday, is the last day of the Octave of Easter, and tomorrow is Divine Mercy Sunday. God calls us to be instruments of His Divine Mercy to others, but we need to soak ourselves in His mercy and love first. We all need to remember this:

divine mercy

 

God is our Forever. His love knows no bounds. His grace is sufficient. His mercy is limitless.

And speaking of His mercy, I thought I’d share the following links to help you celebrate the great feast of the Divine Mercy tomorrow:

Catholic Culture: Find more information about the feast, plus links to prayers, activities, related readings, and even recipes!

Catholic Icing: Catholic blogger and mom Lacy Rabideau has great ideas for celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday (and Saint John Paul II, because he instituted Divine Mercy Sunday) with kids.

Family Formation: This downloadable PDF document contains worksheets that help teach kids about the Divine Mercy, plus the corporal and spiritual acts of mercy. I love the fact that the makers emphasize the importance of dads in making the “lessons” in the worksheets meaningful!

Saint-Faustina.com: This page has 3 coloring pages featuring the following: the image of the Divine Mercy, Saint Faustina, and Pope John Paul II. It also has two word search activities.

May we never, ever forget God’s great mercy, compassion and love for us, and may we become channels of His mercy, compassion and love to others!

 

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on April 11, 2015 · 4 comments · Advocacies, Catholic, Living the Liturgical Year, Truly Rich Reflections

Today, Holy Thursday, is the first day of the Easter or Paschal Triduum, and in the spirit of making the coming days more meaningful, I thought I’d come up with a list of specific activities we can do to make Easter Sunday more memorable, too.

easter sunday

Our traditional “Easter party” cake

Don’t get me wrong — I don’t have anything against individuals and families that choose to celebrate Easter Sunday by joining Easter egg hunts and other similar activities. However, I would like to propose that we celebrate Easter Sunday with our families in other unconventional ways as well. Head over to Philstar.com for my suggestions. {Thanks for reading!}

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on April 2, 2015 · 0 comments · Advocacies, Catholic, Family, Living the Liturgical Year

philstar.com-first photo

Holy Week is upon us! While many of us may be making plans for going back to the province or getting some R&R during the holidays, let’s not forget the true reason for the break, i.e. to have some time to reflect on the passion, death and Resurrection of Jesus.

Without further ado then, here are some suggestions for a more meaningful Holy Week (please note that some of the ideas here were inspired by Kiendra Tierney’s blog Catholic All Year):

Palm Sunday

– Wear red to Mass, and explain to your kids that red reminds us of Jesus’ suffering. Point out to them that the priest at Mass is also wearing red.

– Join in the palm-waving at Mass. Once it’s done, take the palms home and display them on your family altar.

– Read Matthew 21:1-11 together as a family.

– You can also make it more fun for your kids (especially the younger ones) by having family members act out the abovementioned Bible reading: One person can be Jesus, another the donkey, then the other people will be waving palms. (To this day, my kids still remember us doing this one Palm Sunday years ago!)

{Click here to read my whole post on Philstar.com. {If it doesn’t work for you the first time, please do try again later on. Thanks for reading, and may you have a truly holy Holy Week and a blessed Easter!}

Posted by Tina@TrulyRichMom on March 29, 2015 · 0 comments · Catholic, Living the Liturgical Year