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Monday, April 28, 2014


Before the start of the condo  renovation, we already had like P350k in our home sweet home fund, enough to cover the renovation contract price.  I thought we were financially prepared.   However, conversations like these happened.

Me:  Parang mas maganda yung bathroom tiles na nakita ko sa net.
Dan: Sige, punta tayo ng Binondo. Let’s check.

Additional P30k plus…

Dan: Pagawa na kaya tayo ng  bed frames and sofa
Me: You sure?

Additional P48k plus…

Me:  Gusto ko yung may bathroom enclosure para di nababasa yung floor sa may toilet bowl.  And parang mas okay na may sliding mirror sa closet.
Dan: Sige. You ask for quotation.

Additional P15k plus

At madami pang iba…

So, our savings went down the drain.  My husband’s entire sweldo from January to April less the amortization of the condo went to renovation expenses.  Our everyday maintenance came from my paltry salary.  

During Holy Week, while others were on vacation, we decided to stay at home.    It’s primarily because  we didn’t have (we still don’t have) travel fund to answer for out of town vacation.  Second, we felt the need to have “just the two of us” time at home. Third, I had work backlogs.  So, our plan was to reflect, sleep, work and clean the house.  Then, came Friday, I was preparing to go to Quiapo church when my sister-in-law, through phone broke a very sad news.     My father in-law passed away. 

My father-in-law  (also known as Ama )and I weren’t close. But from my husband’s stories, I can say that, though not perfect (who’s perfect, anyway?), he was a good and  loving father.

Although our travel fund was nil, we travelled to Naga City for Ama’s wake and burial.   Good thing, I didn’t stop building our emergency fund.    It’s where we charged  the miscellaneous expenses incurred  during the wake.   

Right now, our emergency fund is almost zero.  However, I never regret spending it for Ama.

Monday, April 7, 2014

On Building a Home and On Decision-making

In my previous post, I told you that our home sweet home is the fruit of hard work (my husband’s…I never consider myself as a hardworking kawani) and frugality.  But, truth be told, it’s also the fruit of stress and discussions.  Renovating our house was ten times stressful than planning our wedding.   Perhaps because during the wedding preparation,  Dan, my husband gave me the general power to do whatever I want. He only had one request…no dramatic vows.  Generally, I  made all the wedding related decisions.   On the other hand, during the renovation, we were both hands-on (perhaps because we were both excited).  I bought Real Living  magazines and browsed internet sites for inspiration.  My husband consulted his friends for suggestions. 

 Being two different individuals, our ideas most of the time clashed.  I wanted white kitchen cabinets and he wanted black.  I wanted pink or lavender walls and he wanted neutrals. I wanted this, he wanted that!  When I was still a girlfriend, I was the boss.  I’m not proud of that.  That was one of my weaknesses.  I was control freak. I was the “Miss Always Right”.  However, when I got married, I was advised to be submissive.  SUBMIT – big word!    Admittedly, for me, submission is a difficult biblical concept.  I’m certain, however, that it does not mean following a husband’s every word.  It does not mean tolerating a sinning husband.  It does not mean not having your own idea.  It does not mean being less intelligent.  Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I simply construe it as “me, not being the boss”.   Now, I respect the fact that my husband is the leader.    However, as the wife, I believe that I am entitled to be involved in every decision.  While I need to listen to him, I know that my voice must also be heard.  As my mom would always tell me, “kung sino ang tama, siya dapat ang masunod.”  I would jokingly answer, “eh ako, parating tama eh…” lol.  

So, after countless debates, we met half way and finally, built our home.  Our home is a fusion of two personalities.  I am glad I listened to his ideas.  I am also glad that I stood up with what I thought was right.

My take-away: if you’re married, you need to compromise.   You need to consider the needs and wants of your spouse.  Make decision as a team.  

 Thanks for reading!