strictly business

it’s been done.

what stretched out to a seven-month long inception finally wrapped up the preparation and opened its door. my internet cafe, The.Crib Cafe, is finally open for business.

traditional as we are, my uncle (a lay minister) and a local priest blessed it before mother started distributing snacks and drinks to the customers eagerly waiting. seriously, it doesn’t matter how insignificant the snack servings are, the fact that it is free makes people drop at the front of the cafe like flies.

i saw all of these from a webcam as the cafe opened in the province and i am back here in Manila. i saw it getting more crowded after school hours when my brother came home with a pack of fellow freshmen students in tow. gaming is particularly big in that sleepy town of San Carlos (Negros Occidental). although, the students wasting their money away renting a pc to virtually kill enemies is so not financially-wise, i am not the one to yell wolf. this is purely business.

do you wonder what the feeling was? quite surprisingly, i felt kind of proud. this is the fruits of working my asses off and putting importance on my cash management. wasn’t it just two years ago that i was drowning in debt and has absolutely zero savings? if i have not cleaned my act and admitted i needed financial revolution, i would probably still living paycheck to paycheck now.

do not get me wrong. i am not expecting the internet cafe to start fattening up my net worth. no, it still has a long way to go before i start reaping off an income from that venture. but the venture has finally took off.

i told a friend about this business and he teased, “ooooh, spending money.”

i am not touching this business. not the cashflow, not the income. i learned almost too well how destructive it is to mix personal expenses with business affairs. that was how my family’s business dwindled and got us bankrupt when i was in high school. we should learn from our mistakes the first time because that is where we can make the biggest difference.

so, looks like i am almost done with all my 2007 financial objectives without being too frugal and paranoid about it. i still had too many of those unplanned holidays. i still splurge on capital expenses sometimes. but i know my limits now.

what have i done this year?

1. remain debt-free
2. i set up 6-months worth of expenses as my emergency fund.
3. i allot 15% of my take home pay as compulsory saving.
4. i put aside additional 5-10% savings where it is possible.
5. i created a holiday fund for the said purpose.
and finally,
6. i have started a business.

i am maggie. i am 27. and i just took the first step to start my journey to financial freedom.


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