November 2020


When someone tries to borrow money from you, it can be difficult to say no, especially when you know you have the cash and they have a real need. However, this also puts you in a vulnerable position. After all, you’re never sure if they’ll be able to pay you back or how lending them money now will affect you in the future. That said, knowing what to expect may help you be wiser about whom to lend your money to. Here, we list down five kinds of borrowers and how to deal with them.

Who: One-Time-Big-Time
What: They’ll only borrow once, but the amount in question is so big that once is more than enough.
How to Deal: Regardless of their reason for borrowing money, make sure you have a signed formal written agreement for this. Draft a document that includes all pertinent information, such as the complete names and addresses of the lender and the borrower, date and place of signing, the amount loaned, and the payment terms, among others. Ask a lawyer to help you create this, and make sure both you and the borrower sign all copies. It might be prudent to have the borrower assign a guarantor, someone who’s willing to take on the debt in case the borrower fails to meet the payment terms, and to have witnesses be present and sign the copies as well. Make sure you have all documents notarized and double-check other precautionary measures you can take with your lawyer.

Who: Small But Terrible
What: These are the people who borrow only small amounts, but do so often.
How to Deal: Lending someone money once is admittedly already a terrible inconvenience. Imagine having to keep track of several IOUs from the same person all the time. If you want to put a stop to this habit—and it has become a habit—you’ll need to take yourself out of the equation. The next time they ask you for money, firmly tell them no. And if you find yourself struggling to come up with reasons why you’re refusing to lend them money, remember that you don’t need to explain yourself to them. If, however, you don’t mind them borrowing money from you, you can at least make the arrangement more convenient for you. Have them transfer the cash directly to your account or impose interest rates so that there’s something in it for you.

Who: Latecomers
What: These people never pay their debts on time. Most of them probably subscribe to the old adage “It’s better late than never.”
How to Deal: Affixing fees, interest rates, or some sort of consequence to the debt in case of late payment is one way you can encourage people to pay on time. Having a signed formal written agreement with set dates of payment can also go a long way into making sure you get paid on time (see details for drafting a legal document under “One-Time-Big-Time”). If the person is a friend or a family member, you can also consider setting up calendar notifications that will inform both you and the borrower, possibly even the witnesses, when their debt is due.

Who: Feeling Close
What: These can be friends or family members who think that they have a right to borrow money from you whenever they want.
How to Deal: It can be hard to say no to people, especially from those who feel that you will not refuse them, but the more you do it, the easier it gets. Again, you don’t need to provide an explanation for why you don’t want to lend them money. Your money is yours to use as you will. If you do lend them money, especially if the amount is significant, don’t let your relationship get in the way of drafting a legal document (see details for drafting a legal document under “One-Time-Big-Time”). Sometimes, it’s your friends and family members who actually betray your trust.

Who: The Vanishing
What: Perhaps the worst of the lot, these people will borrow a certain amount from you and then completely disappear from your life.
How to Deal: Consider whether the amount they borrowed is worth the effort of chasing after them. If it’s a negligible amount, you might be better off letting it go. If the amount is significant enough to hurt, draft a game plan. Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get your money back. People who have no intention of paying their debts have a talent for making themselves scarce.

What should your game plan include? First, check if you have a signed formal written agreement that they owe you money. That will make your case stronger. If everything has been communicated verbally or if you no longer have evidence of the debt, try to create a paper trail when you reach out to them. Through email or SMS, get them to acknowledge their debt—if they respond to you at all. Although this might not hold up in court, it’s something at least.

As tempting as it might be, avoid insulting or threatening them with bodily harm. You can also go to the local barangay hall where the person resides to report them after which a hearing will be scheduled or hire a lawyer to help you manage the next steps.

Disclaimer: I’m not saying that Bitcoins are a good investment nor am I recommending it as a money-making venture—I’m not. If you’re interested in Bitcoin, I simply hope that my take on it can help you come to your own conclusions about it.

You’ve probably heard of Bitcoin, a form of cryptocurrency that first made waves back in 2008. Since then, big and small businesses, most of which are based in the US, have started accepting it as payment. Curious as to why it’s been gaining traction these past few years? Here are six popular advantages of using Bitcoin:

Limited supply

Unlike most bills and coins or fiat money, which can technically be produced as many times as issuing bodies want, Bitcoins are not supposed to exceed 21 million in circulation. While this might change at some point in the future, seeing as there are only close to 2.644 million bitcoins left unmined as of April 2020, the current situation makes them a limited commodity, which, in my opinion, gives them more value.

A digital substitute for gold

Like gold, the value of Bitcoin doesn’t depend on a central body, a nation’s economy, or government stability, but on supply and demand. Another similarity is that both gold and Bitcoins can be exchanged for fiat money. In case you’re wondering, one bitcoin is, as of press time, worth P782,809.10. Don’t be too alarmed. Most people don’t go out buying one bitcoin just as they don’t casually go to a bank to buy one whole gold bar. They buy just a percentage of a bitcoin, which, fingers crossed, will increase in value in the long run.

Potential for growth

Right now, most of us still use fiat money, especially in the Philippines, but the economic landscape is changing, and there may come a time when most, if not all of the world, will use Bitcoin as the primary currency. Once that happens, the value of Bitcoins will likely increase, and early adopters will be glad to have invested in it early.


Military-grade cryptography protects every Bitcoin transaction, making it practically impossible for anyone to override transactions (provided you take proper precautionary measures on your end). But what makes Bitcoin most interesting to me is that it’s not governed by a single body like a bank or a credit card company. Rather, it’s regulated by a community, allowing for all transactions to be recorded at the same time and making anomalies immediately noticeable.


The fact that no singular body is controlling the strings means that no one has monopoly on payment fees or flow of currency. This makes the use of Bitcoin cheaper, even if you use it in  different countries.

Fast transfer

Without the middlemen, Bitcoin makes money transfers so much faster, too. No need to wait for several days or abide by cutoff periods before you can receive your cryptocurrency.

These advantages of using Bitcoin aside, the idea itself isn’t infallible. There are some areas where the cryptocurrency can still improve, and even if the concept itself is sound, not all institutions that make a living out of trading Bitcoin can be trusted. However, I believe the future of currency will continue to evolve, just as it always has, and I’m interested to see what happens next.

Interested in other forms of investment? Check out our investment stories here!


Big companies often offer their employees medical benefits as an additional perk of working for them. We’re not talking about PhilHealth contributions—those are actually required by the law—we’re talking about the benefits provided by a health maintenance organization or HMO like MediCard, Maxicare, and Intellicare. In fact, an HMO form is one of the first forms they’ll ask you to fill up upon regularization. But, first things first, what does HMO mean?

What is HMO?

HMO stands for health maintenance organization. It’s a type of health plan that gives its clients access to a specific network of hospitals, clinics, and health care practitioners. Some HMOs are paid annually while others come in prepaid packages. 

HMOs aren’t just limited to members of the workforce. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, an investor, or a freelancer, you, too, can benefit from one.

How is it different from health insurance plans?

Like regular health insurance plans, HMO plans have a specific set of benefits depending on the coverage amount. They also have certain limitations when it comes to the kinds of health conditions they cover. 

However, unlike regular health insurance plans where you can choose where to use the lump sum or allowance (within their set guidelines, of course), HMO plans actually tie you to specific health care practitioners and health institutions. This means that if your chosen doctor or hospital is not on the list, you won’t be able to use your HMO plan. 

What’s good about HMOs is that your health card is as good as cash. With regular health insurance plans, you’ll still need to pay the hospital or doctor upfront and get reimbursed by your insurance provider later. 

How do I know which HMO is right for me?

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right HMO and the right HMO plan for you. On top of your list should be dependability. Has the HMO done a good job of servicing its clients? Scour the Internet for reviews. You don’t want to end up with an HMO that doesn’t deliver when you need it to. 

Another thing to look at is compatibility. Are both the HMO and the plan in question a perfect fit for your needs? Don’t just consider your present situation. Skip to years ahead in the future. If you have a preferred hospital or doctor, are they in the HMO’s list? If you want to get an HMO for your loved ones, you’ll have to consider their needs as well.

Affordability is another thing to consider. What can you realistically afford? Which plans are actually worth it and which ones are overpriced? However, don’t make this the primary basis of your decision. 

What HMOs are available to me?

What HMOs are available to me?
These are the most popular ones:

Choosing the right HMO and HMO plan requires a lot of cross-referencing. However, you’ll breathe easier at the end of the day, knowing that you’ve chosen the best possible option for you. 

While we’re on the subject, you might want to think about getting a life insurance plan or upgrading your current portfolio. Click here to see the Top 10 life insurance companies in the Philippines.

Wondering if you need life insurance to begin with? This article might shed more light on the matter.


Financial advisors often help us choose insurance and investment plans for ourselves and our loved ones, but have you ever thought of asking what they’ve purchased themselves? We asked a few friends in the industry about some of their own policies as well as why they decided to get them in the first place. Hopefully, their answers will give you an idea of why life insurance is important to Filipinos and help you choose the right policy for you.

Adi, 29

Life insurance company: Sun Life of Canada Philippines
Life insurance product bought: VUL
Reason for buying it: I got a VUL for my husband when my mother-in-law decided to liquidate her non-earning policies and diverted part of the funds to pay for the first annual payment for his VUL. I particularly chose that plan because the only insurance he had so far was a critical illness policy that his mom got for him when he was young, and it would be better if we both had an insurance policy that had an investment linked to it since we’re both not as well-versed in that space. On top of that, it gives us both peace of mind that if one of us [passes on], the other wouldn’t be as stressed when it comes to money.

Steph, 36

Life insurance company: AXA Philippines
Life insurance product bought: AXA’s HealthMax
Reason for buying it: While we can keep saving for that dream purchase or retirement plan, unexpected needs such as being stricken with a critical condition can easily drain what we’ve accumulated.

Russell, 35

Life insurance company: AXA
Life insurance product bought: HealthMax (health insurance for critical illness)
Reason for buying it: I had just gotten married and my wife and I were looking for health insurance for extra security and additional investment at the time; we both only had life insurance back then. We were in our late 20s and we figured it’s best to get additional insurance while we’re still young—so it’s cheaper, too! We opted for HealthMax because it comes with built-in life insurance and you can maximize your premiums even if you don’t get sick.

Kevin, 33

Life insurance company: FWD Philippines
Life insurance product bought: FWD Set For Health
Reason for buying it: I was opening an account in the company’s affiliate bank when I realized that my current P1M critical illness plan (from a different company) wouldn’t be enough for me should something unfortunate happen. Since I was already processing my application anyway, I decided to get the complimentary plan for it. I already had life insurance that ensured money for my beneficiary, so I signed up for another P1M coverage worth with FWD because I wanted peace of mind. I didn’t want to keep checking my bank account only in case something should happen. I’ll let my insurance policy worry about that, and use my liquid assets for daily needs instead.

Life insurance serves to protect your hard-earned income and is the third phase in the wealth generation cycle. Find out more about the role it plays in managing your money here.


With financial institutions making most—if not all—transactions, possible online, banking has become considerably easier. One bank that has embraced digital banking from the get-go is CIMB Bank. Launched in the Philippines in December 2018, the most awarded digital bank allows you to create an account and start saving in just a matter of minutes. All you need to do is download the CIMB Bank PH app and follow the instructions. There’s no excuse not to open a savings account anymore. Find out how you can do this with CIMB Bank today! 

What savings products does CIMB Bank offer?

There are a couple of savings accounts you can create: The CIMB Bank Fast account, the CIMB Bank Fast Plus account, the CIMB Bank UpSave Account, and the CIMB Bank GSave account.

What is the CIMB Bank Fast account? How is it different from the CIMB Bank Fast Plus account?

The CIMB Bank Fast account is a basic savings account that doesn’t require an initial deposit nor a maintaining balance. What makes this an appealing gateway into saving is that you can start earning a .50% interest rate (subject to change) per annum for balances deposited into the account, paid out at the start of every month. You’re also free to withdraw your cash without penalties. By depositing a minimum cumulative cash of P5,000, you can also acquire a Visa card with your savings account.

With the CIMB Bank Fast account, there is a maximum cumulative deposit of P100,000. Account validity is only for 12 months, and foreign remittances, whether inward or outward, aren’t allowed. See full details of the product here!

If you’d like to upgrade your account, you can choose to apply for the CIMB Bank Fast Plus account. This allows you to start earning a 0.75% interest rate (subject to change) per annum with no initial deposit or minimum balance required, paid out at the start of every month. See full details of the product here!

How do I apply for a CIMB Bank Fast account? 

After downloading the app, you’ll be asked a couple of questions to check whether you’re eligible for an account or not. Like any account, you’ll be asked for certain details:

  • First name, surname, and middle name
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Mobile Number
  • Email
  • Username
  • Nationality
  • Country of Residence
  • Source of funds
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Nature of Work / Business
  • ID Type
  • Present Address

You’ll also be asked to agree to the bank’s terms and conditions and submit a photo of your valid ID, which you can take a photo of using the app. The list of accepted IDs are as follows:

  • Passport
  • Driver’s License
  • Postal ID
  • SSS ID
  • TIN ID
  • Unified Multi-Purpose ID
  • Voter ID
  • National Professional ID Card

What is the CIMB Bank UpSave account?

For higher interest rates, you might want to look into creating a CIMB Bank UpSave account. It promises an interest rate of 3.00% (subject to change) per annum with no initial deposit or minimum balance required, paid out at the start of the month. Like the other accounts, you can also withdraw your money without incurring penalties.

If you’re able to maintain a minimum daily average balance of P100,000 for one month, you also get to enjoy free life insurance. See full details of the product here!

How do I apply for a CIMB Bank UpSave account?

The process of applying for a CIMB UpSave account is similar to applying for a CIMB Fast account (please see information above) except that you’ll also be asked for a digital signature. Virtual verification, on the end of the bank, is also required.

What is the GSave account?

If you already have GCash, you can easily upgrade to a savings account by applying for a GSave account. Like the CIMB Bank Fast account, this has a maximum cumulative deposit of P100,000. Account validity is also only for 12 months. However, you get to enjoy a 3.10% interest rate (subject to change) per annum to be paid out monthly. No initial deposit or minimum balance required.

Those who can maintain a minimum daily average balance of P100,000 for one month can also enjoy free life insurance. See full details of the product here!

How do I create a GSave account?

Simply go to the Save Money feature on your GCash app and click “Open a Savings Account.” You’ll then receive an SMS with temporary log-in credentials you can use to log in to the CIMB Bank app. Note that once you’re on the CIMB Bank app, you don’t have to create a new account—simply log in using credentials given to you. From there, you’ll be able to reset your username and password. Just a few more clicks—provide basic information, agree to terms and conditions, and verify email—and your GSave account will be up and running. 

With so many different savings products out there, you have plenty of opportunities to save and grow your money. Choose the one that works best for you today!


These days, almost anyone can work from home if they have the right skill set! In the Philippines, becoming a virtual assistant with lots of in demand skill can be a very good advantage. If you’re thinking of transitioning to a work-from-home setup, here are some of the skills that are worth looking into.


As long as people continue to consume written content, whether online or offline, there will always be a need for a copyeditor. At a glance, it might seem like a copyeditor is only in charge of checking grammar or spelling. However, they’re also responsible for making sure that the text is cohesive, consistent, and coherent.


The creative industry is rife with work-from-home opportunities. If you enjoy drawing, don’t be shy to advertise your work online. It might lead to projects such as logo creation, art commissions, original comic strips, and editorial images among others. It doesn’t matter if your illustrations don’t look like the ones you see around either. That’s the beauty of creative work: Everyone has their own style.

Video Editing

In the last few years, online videos have become a popular storytelling medium. The fact that content creators on YouTube have become as big as they are is evidence of that. The good news is, these videos don’t edit themselves. Many of your favorite YouTube influencers actually offload the editing of their videos to freelancers. One of these days, that just might be you.

Social Media Management

Another skill that will allow you to work from home is social media management. This isn’t just about creating a social media account, but also about planning content and coming up with strategies to grow followers or engagement. Nobody is born with innate social media skills, so management is something that everyone can learn and eventually become better at.

Website Design

With so many people exploring e-commerce and digital marketing opportunities today, it’s no wonder the demand for web designers has gone up. Everyone wants to strengthen their presence online. If you know how to design, code, or even guide someone through creating a website using ready-made templates, you’ll find no shortage of clients.

Search Engine Optimization

Hand in hand with the increase in demand for website design is the rise in search engine optimization or SEO work. Helping website owners rank on Google search results ultimately helps them become discoverable online. This is a valuable skill set. And like other digital skills, you can learn how to do SEO by taking the time to learn the basics and honing your capabilities based on further study and experience.

Project Management

Since so many projects are now being conducted online, the need for a manager has become more crucial than ever. After all, someone has to make sure that all the tasks are completed on time. Project management is a skill that is flexible enough that you can jump from industry to industry so as long as you take the time to understand the basics of the work required and have the capability to herd people along, follow up on deadlines, and understand timelines.

Looking for more opportunities to earn from home? Here are a few more suggestions!


Online selling has really boomed these last few months. If you’re thinking of jumping on the bandwagon, one of the first things you need to decide on is whether you want to make use of an existing e-commerce community or build your own.

Each type has its pros and cons. By piggybacking on already existing online selling giants, all you have to do is upload the items and manage fulfillment. In some cases, however, a percentage of your sale may go to the e-commerce website. Going the DIY route, on the other hand, will allow you to customize as much as you want, but this is more expensive.

While you’re thinking about which way to go, why don’t you check out what options you have for both? This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s a start.

Existing e-commerce platforms

What: Shopee
Cost: Free / Commission-based for Shopee Mall

The great thing about popular e-commerce websites like Shopee is that most people go there specifically to make a purchase. Most of them also do a good job of getting customers to visit them what with their irresistible sales and other cash back incentives. But is Shopee the right website for you? If you’re hoping to cast a really wide net and if you don’t mind competing with other sellers, it might just be right up your alley. Shopee is known as a veritable rabbit hole, a place where you can find anything and everything, so whatever you’re selling will not look out of place there.

What: Carousell
Cost: Free

Carousell has earned itself a reputation for being a treasure trove of secondhand items (although you can still sell new items there), so if you’re trying to de-clutter or if you specialize in pre-loved items, this is a great place to set up shop. We’re not just talking about old clothes or appliances though. Carousell is also being used to find new owners for used cars.

What: Lazada
Cost: Free / Commission-based for LazMall

Lazada is another popular e-commerce website where people expect a wide variety of items. It has similar perks to Shopee, but if you’re selling fresh items, you’ll be interested to know that Lazada also has Lazada Fresh, which specifically caters to sellers of fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh meats and seafoods, frozen and ready-to-cook food, and bread and pastries.

What: Facebook Marketplace
Cost: Free

Facebook’s advantage lies in the fact that it has a massive market pool. Everyone, from your former high school teacher to your 77-year-old grandmother, probably has an account there. The fact that it has integrated itself so seamlessly into our daily lives doesn’t hurt either.

What: Instagram
Cost: Free

There’s a reason why hashtags like #aesthetics and #foodporn are popular on Instagram. This is a platform where visuals take center stage, so if what you’re selling is a feast for the eyes, you won’t find a more advantageous ground. Like Facebook, it’s also an app that we already spend a lot of time on, so your chances of being discovered are already better than if you’re building a new website.

Tip: When it comes to choosing the right e-commerce website, type the product you intend to sell online on Google and see which ranks first. This will give you an idea of which website your products are mostly sold on.

Customizable e-commerce platforms

What: Shopify
Cost: USD13 per month (Basic Shopify)

Shopify is one of the most popular customizable e-commerce platforms in the world and in the Philippines, not just because of the user experience, but also its price. Among its competitors, it has the cheapest monthly subscription at USD13. A basic account will get you the actual online store as well as blog to help you with your marketing efforts. There are no limits to the items you upload, and you can even offer your own discount codes.

You can check out their plans here. 

What: Big Commerce
Cost: USD29.95 per month

While a little more expensive, Big Commerce’s standard account does offer more as well. For starters, you can open as many staff accounts as you want no matter what your plan. Shopify offers limited accounts even with their most expensive plan. Another interesting draw is that Big Commerce offers a mobile app even for standard users.

You can check out their plans here. 

What: Wix
Cost: USD17 (Business Basic)

You’ve probably seen those Wix ads on YouTube a million times, so you know that it’s not a service exclusive to e-commerce. Another good thing about Wix is that you can technically use it for free. However, that will come with ads that might just turn your customers off.

You can check out their plans here.

What: SquareSpace
Cost: USD26 (Basic Commerce)
Like Wix, SquareSpace isn’t just limited to e-commerce. You can use their service to build other kinds of websites, too. Its clear advantage, however, is its design arm. SquareSpace has award-winning templates available for you to use. If you’re serious about developing your branding, this might be the right platform for you.

You can check out their plans here.

Looking for ideas on what to sell online? Check out these suggestions!


With All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day come interesting superstitions that are unique to every culture and individual. This got us thinking about some of the interesting money superstitions that Filipinos still follow in this day and age. Some of them are followed worldwide, while others are a result of Spanish and Chinese influences through Philippine history. Here are some of them!

The concept of buena mano

Translated as “good hand,” buena mano typically refers to the belief that if your first sale is good, then so will other sales for the rest of the day. In fact, salespeople will often take the money of their first customer and brush their bills on the other items displayed to bring in more luck!

Never an empty wallet

Giving someone a wallet? Whether it’s made of real leather or not, make sure you slip at least a P20 bill in there. It’s been long believed that doing so will ensure that the wallet will never be empty.

To itch is to receive

If your right palm feels itchy, you will, according to superstition, be soon in the possession of money. If it’s your left palm, you will almost certainly lose it. These days, however, most people no longer discriminate between the right and the left, preferring to believe that both palms will bring in money.

The more, the merrier

It’s not uncommon to find Maneki-neko statues, lucky bamboo plants, and fortune frogs displayed in places of business in the Philippines. That’s because these items are said to attract prosperity. The Maneki-neko or beckoning cat attracts money with its right paw and customers with its left paw. Lucky bamboo plants represent more than just money, depending on how many stalks it has. Generally, six stalks are associated with greater wealth. Fortune frogs, a mythical three-legged frog with a coin in its mouth, attract wealth and prosperity, too.

Whether you truly believe that these superstitions have power or not, there’s no harm in keeping your bases covered. However, you can also choose to create your own luck! Work at propagating the wealth generation cycle. Strengthen your powers at income-generating, saving, protecting, and investing! Learn more about that here