The ramblings of a self-proclaimed call center veteran - on surviving the Philippine Call Center industry.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

TIPS ON GETTING A HOUSE THROUGH PAG-IBIG



As I have mentioned in my About me post, I managed to get a house through a Pag-Ibig hosing loan while being a Call Center Agent.

After investing some years in the Call Center Industry, you should be roughly making about 15-20k. Impossible as it may seem, this should be enough to start and pursue your dream of owning your own house.

I have already given lots of tips about saving money - and this is the first step you should take.  If you have no discipline and no goal, then you will end up spending all your money.  Think long term, and start investing on your future.



NOTE:  You must first be eligible for a Pag-Ibig housing Loan.  See this link for eligibility.


1)  Start looking!

Use the smartest entity in the world (GOOGLE) and look for "Cheap Rent to Own Houses Pag-Ibig" you should be given links to OLX, Facebook, and other brokers that offer rent to own housing.  Start reading through the ads and get the dream started.

"Umpisahan sa isang pangarap..."

2.  Note the Monthly Price.

As you read through the ads, you should note the monthly fee or equity (what you pay per month), the Downpayment Price, and the reservation fee.  There are lots of properties that have 3-5k monthly fees.

Then get a piece of paper and plan out how much you spend in a month and see the best price that fits your salary.  You may have to eat packed lunches moving forward, but at least you have a goal.

3.  Location, Location, Location.

Most cheap rent to own houses are located in San Mateo Rizal, Antipolo, Laguna, Cavite.  So try to see what location suits you best.  YES these places are far, but think about the future -- there will come a time when transportation to these places will be easier.  Ask your colleagues and Friends who already come from these places how much their daily fare costs, and what they ride to work.  Place all these factors into your consideration.

4.  Contact the Brokers for tripping sessions.

All the Ads for houses should have the broker's contact numbers - the tripping should be Free. Contact these brokers, and schedule a tripping session.  This way you will actually see the location and the actual setup of your future home.

WARNING:  Most brokers will convince you to reserve on the spot -- do not be taken in by sales talk.  Brokers aim to sell, but buying a house will affect your future. so use your brain.

Ask your broker questions as well, make sure you do not leave the place without understanding everything.

"Walang manloloko kung walang magpapaloko..."

5.  Know your Developer

Before paying that reservation fee, make sure that the Developer is a trusted one.  Search for old projects and try to talk to people who already live in their established communities.  Again, do not easily get lured in by the broker's sales talk - always be a skeptic.


6.  Pay and plan for the fees.

Once you find a home you would like to live in, then its time to see if buying this is feasible.

- Make a Monthly budget and cut back on expenses
- Save what you can, you may have to sacrifice certain things to achieve your dream
- Compute your daily fare once you start living in your new home, see if your salary evens this out
- Make a plan on who will live in the house you bought
- Factor in the renovation and other fees needed (make sure you clarify this with your broker as well)


7.  Attend the Pag-ibig seminar and get the loan approved

Once you are done with the reservation fees, and the downpayment, and the house is actually constructed, then you can proceed with the Pag-Ibig seminar.  Contact your broker on when you will be scheduled.  You have to prepare the documents beforehand which your broker should have discussed already.

Once you attend the pag-ibig session, the loan will then be released to you.

Congratulations!

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Bottom line, getting a new home is not an easy task, sacrifices have to be made, and you need discipline and planning.  However, countless numbers of us have already done it, and we are normal call center agents with families and responsibilities as well.  If we can do it, then so can you!

Do share more tips on getting your own home...









Wednesday, March 25, 2015

TIPS ON - INVESTMENT IDEAS FOR CALL CENTER AGENTS - Part 2

In this post, CCSP contributor Jeff shares his investment ideas.  A former Call Center agent turned entrepreneur, who works with MoneyMaxPH.  Through hard work and proper financial sense, he has managed to get his own Bar and Restaurant.

If he could do it, so can you!  Allow him to share his tips.

Check out and like his Facebook page: Black Kings Bar.

Make sure to check out Part 1 of this post: TIPS ON - INVESTMENT IDEAS FOR CALL CENTER AGENTS - Part 1

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Here are tips urging call center agents to not waste the money they’re earning and instead, put their hard-earned cash to good use.



1.  Stock Market

You’re probably thinking “Whaaaat? But only millionaires get rich on the stock market!” Uh, not true. Even if you set aside just PHP 2000 a month to invest* in stocks, you can see surprisingly good returns for your money.

*Invest, not trade. There’s a big difference between the two.

You’re guaranteed to see tons of stock market guides for newbies on the Internet. A common piece of advice you’ll come across is having a diverse and well-researched portfolio made up of stocks from different companies. Once you’re confident enough, you can expand your portfolio to include bonds, commodities, forex. and other investment instruments.

2.  Mutual Funds

If investing in the stock market is too scary or complicated for you, you can let somebody else do the hard work by putting your money in a mutual fund instead. A mutual fund is a collection of money from you and lots of other investors. A fund manager (either a single person or a company) then takes care of that money by investing it in stocks, bonds or both.

Mutual funds are one of the most popular investment options for beginners. By investing through a mutual fund, you can lessen the risk for yourself while still earning good returns if your fund manager’s investment decisions are successful. Again, do your research and make sure you place your money in the right fund.

3.  Real Estate

Thinking of buying your own condo unit to live in? Why not buy two and make some extra cash along the way? A lot of people make money from real estate by investing in a condo unit (or several), then either renting out or reselling the unit/s for a profit.

When investing in real estate, location is key. Start your search in high-demand areas like those near the Makati Central Business District. Go for properties by established developers with a good reputation, and look for units that are both affordable and well-maintained. If you need help financing a real estate purchase, get help from the government by applying for a PAG-IBIG home loan.

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Think investing your money is too risky? Instead of having second thoughts, revisit your college economics classes and think about your earnings in terms of opportunity cost. By splurging on that fancy new iPhone now, you lose the opportunity to put that money in a business or mutual fund where you could have earned some extra dough in the future.

It also helps to remember that instead of letting your emotions dictate how you spend, use your head to make smarter budget decisions. Your cushy call center paycheck won’t last forever, so why not take the time to invest it now and give yourself some peace of mind?

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This post is brought to you by:


MoneyMax.ph is the Philippines’ leading financial comparison site where you can save money by comparing financial and car insurance products and services – fast, comprehensive, and free. We aim to give the power of smart purchase decisions back to Filipino consumers by providing everything they need to become financially savvy. Like us on Facebook to get the latest tips on how to save.

TIPS ON - INVESTMENT IDEAS FOR CALL CENTER AGENTS - Part 1

In this post, CCSP contributor Jeff shares his investment ideas.  A former Call Center agent turned entrepreneur, who works with MoneyMaxPH.  Through hard work and proper financial sense, he has managed to get his own Bar and Restaurant.

If he could do it, so can you!  Allow him to share his tips.

Check out and like his Facebook page: Black Kings Bar.

***



What lures countless Filipinos to the call center world is the promise of higher pay. As your salary increases, so too does your disposable income, a.k.a. more money for spending.

In my experience as a call center agent, I've often seen fellow agents spend their salaries on something nice for themselves, like a new pair of shoes, the latest mobile phone, or a meal at their favorite restaurant. I’m not sure if any of them manage to save some money for a rainy day, but somehow, I get the impression that a lot of them don’t.

In the beginning, I’m guilty as well of living paycheck-to-paycheck but it’s a good thing I was later on able to break away from this cycle. I pursued a business venture I’ve long been planning, which is to run a bar. It comes with its ups and downs but I don’t have any regrets because I’m doing something I am passionate about, music and well, making money.

I strongly urge call center agents to not waste the money they’re earning and instead, think for the longer term. Put your hard-earned cash to good use now. Here are some ways how:

1.  Insurance

A good insurance plan is one of the best long-term investments you can make. If you prefer things safe, this one is for you. Insurance comes with relatively smaller risks compared to investing on a business or stock. Plus the security of not having to blow off your savings in case of an unexpected turn of events.

You can buy insurance for your house, your car, and especially for your own health to save money when you get older. You don’t want your entire life savings wiped out just because of a single road accident or hospital stay.

I personally never thought that this is important until my sister’s operation. We had our family’s savings wiped and even got into debt. Now I know better.

Make sure you do your research first though. Before anything else, make sure to know the details of the policy you’re signing up for. Never settle for what was offered to you first, as many other deals can be better. Shop around and look for online resources on life insurance costs, compare car insurance policies, or check comprehensive health insurance offers for all kinds of medical emergencies.

2.  Side Businesses

Another way you can increase your savings is to start a small business or sideline for additional income. I went through a lot getting the required permits and certifications before I could set up my bar, but there are online platforms like oDesk offering an easy way for your to make some extra money without taking away from your regular duties.

You can also make money from your hobbies like writing, baking, or graphic design. All you need is dedication, some business capital, and killer time management skills.

I once had this TL (team leader) whom one day, just decided to put aside a little of what he’s earning to start a small business. He saved up enough and bought himself some kitchen supplies and a huge mountaineering backpack. Everyday he’d fill this very huge bag with packed lunch and merienda and sell them to people on the production floor for extra income. Now that was a better investment than a new pair of shoes.

3.  Franchising

Don’t have the time or know-how to start your own business? Why not be part of a bigger business as a franchisee? Try your hand at direct selling, or running a food kiosk, or driving other people around through a car-sharing service.


One upside to this is you’re buying into a business that someone else already made a formula for. Now, don’t get your hopes too high, just as any other business investment, it gives no guarantee. I personally tried this when I was working as a technical support agent. It was for a small siomai stall near a school. It wasn’t a success, but nevertheless it was my first try on an actual business, and the experience I gained more than made up for the money I lost.

Continued in Part 2...

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This post is brought to you by:


MoneyMax.ph is the Philippines’ leading financial comparison site where you can save money by comparing financial and car insurance products and services – fast, comprehensive, and free. We aim to give the power of smart purchase decisions back to Filipino consumers by providing everything they need to become financially savvy. Like us on Facebook to get the latest tips on how to save.