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Saturday, October 16, 2010

How I Became Financially Free: Introduction

"Lord, thank You for giving me the opportunity to achieve financial freedom. I am so looking forward to investing on my future. I can't believe it. My future...MY FUTURE! Before, I wouldn't even think nor dream of reaching my 20's, but now I am looking forward to reaching my 40's -- the time when I would become a millionaire and the time when I can finally fulfill my one unchanging dream: I can finally help others to receive the education they deserve by paying for their schooling! Not only that, but I can finally treat my parents and give back to them (in a way) what they have given me; something to show my gratitude and love for them. And most importantly, I can finally give myself what I truly deserve -- financial freedom!"

~excerpt, journal entry, 15 September 2010

Hi! My name is Joanne. I am 24 years old. March of this year, I received my Bachelor's Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. Not many know this, but one of the biggest frustrations I have in life is my lack of goals and dreams. Yes, I have a general idea on what I want to achieve before I die: to fulfill my purpose in life. Problem lies with what exactly that purpose is. I guess before I continue, I could give you a short background about myself so you will know where I am coming from.

The Hate Within

For most of my life, I hated myself. My daily mantras were, (but not limited to): 
"Stupid" ! "Worthless" ! "I do not deserve to be happy" ! "Nothing I do is ever good enough"
"I just want to die" ! "Lord, please kill me now" ! "I will die before I reach 21"

It is only by the grace of God that I am still here in this world, living and battling with my inner demons. So you see, I never really thought much about where I want to be and what I want to be in the future. For me, I only see my imminent death. 

Starting Life All Over Again

Maybe that is why when I finally decided to "live my life" and start my life anew, I have been so obsessed with finding my purpose in life. I want to believe that I am not an accident, that God has been so patient with me because He has this specific mission for me. I want to know where I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to do.This is why I have never thought twice in spending money on self-help and inspirational books. I have immersed myself to the stories and teachings of the likes of Bo Sanchez, John Maxwell, Joel Osteen, Rhonda Byrne, Oprah, Jack Canfield, and others.

You might think that this desire in me to become a better person is a great thing, but I tell you that it is not all good. I was doing something wrong somehow. Between my inner demon whispering my past failures and my inner seeker obsessing about my future, it is so easy for me to not be in the moment and embrace where I am now. For four years, I have been in the wildest ride of my life. I feel like I am a bipolar person. One day, I am at my happiest, then something happens and I am back to being depressed. It is a vicious cycle, one that I felt I would not get out of. There had been days when I told myself, "What's the point? I should have just killed myself back then."

But you know what? The greatest miracle happened just this year. Before I graduated from college, I have no clue whatsoever on where I will apply and on what kind of job I prefer. (Remember, I have no goals in life. I do not have a 5-year or10-year plan.) But I do know one thing, I want to have a job as soon as possible. No breaks for me. Why? Because I have already "wasted" my time before. (You have to forgive me though because the story on how I "wasted" time before is for another day.)

How God Prepared My Way

So, did I follow through with this plan of mine? A big NO! You see, I have this thing wherein I "think too much" and I "over-analyze situations" that most of the time, I get stuck while the opportunity goes away. I'm just not an innate doer. I'm a thinker, that's my nature.
So while my batchmates were busy sending their resumes and applying for jobs, I am at home reflecting on what I really want in life. But I thank God because despite my laziness to apply, He still gave me an opportunity to earn money while I am getting my life back on track. And He really knows how to bait me. 

While deciding on what I want, I have followed Bo's guidelines that if I want to succeed, my business or work should be connected to my life purpose and core gifts. But since I cannot answer my life purpose yet, I decided to determine my core gifts. I acknowledged that one of my core gifts is writing. So when I saw this ad looking for freelance writers, I grabbed the opportunity (after much-needed consideration of course) and applied even though I have no background on writing content articles. Amazingly enough, this stint lead me to my job now. 

When I visited my friend who lives in Bataan, I met her friend who is also a freelance writer. We just met that one short time the day we were leaving for Manila. I was so surprised to receive an invitation from him that his friend is looking for writers who can work full time or part time writing product descriptions, articles, blogs, and others. I started out as a part time writer for them, and now I am working full time as a virtual assistant (I just gave myself that title because I am not writing for them anymore, rather I am involved in numerous projects doing all sorts of things). And this job, together with the people I work with, is truly a gift from God.

Receiving Miracles

Because of this job: 

1. I now earn my own money. It may not be as big as compared to what my friends are earning now on their jobs in the Hospitality and Tourism industry, but it helps me pay our electricity bill. More importantly, I am now able to set aside money for tithes and for my future. Following Bo's advice on how to divide income, as soon as I receive my monthly salary, I set aside 10% for my Forever Fund (tithes), 20% for my Future Fund (investments), 50% for my Fixed Fund (electricity, internet, grocery), 10% for my Freedom Fund (savings), 5% for my Fun Fund (rewards for myself), and 5% for my Frivolous Fund (incidental  or unplanned expenses). 
2. I am better than ever. In the past 6 months, I had gone into a long phase of depression that has started while I was still in college. Now, I am back on my tracks and I am starting my life all over again. There are still the varying degrees of highs and lows, but I am happy to note that I am experiencing great days longer and I am able to pull myself out of the pits faster than before. 

3. I am embracing the Now. Finally, I am able to leave my past behind and not worry too much on things that are yet to come. Of course there are still some days when I feel anxious, frustrated, doubtful, and dejected, but I am now able to feel those feelings while allowing God to work in me and believing that I will get over those feelings soon.

4. I am given an opportunity to gain financial freedom. The first paycheck I received, I immediately joined Bo Sanchez' TrulyRichClub. Because I have yet to discover what I really want to pursue in my career life, I thought that I could at least start learning on how to take charge of my financial life. I figured that if I invest on changing my wealth mentality, the physical manifestations of this wealth will follow. And amazingly enough, it does. With the amount I am earning for the past four months, I was still not able to save Php 5,000 to allow me to open an account in CitisecOnline (the top online broker in the country that offers  an opportunity to invest on the stock market even with little time, knowledge and capital through their COL-EIP program). But then, when I celebrated my birthday last September, my father sent me Php 5,000.00 for my birthday gift! Without a doubt in my mind, I used this money to apply at CitisecOnline, and now I am a proud part-owner of three companies! The excerpt at the start of this blog entry was actually written right after I lodged my application. 

5. I now have a mission. This thought just came to me this week. God is really such a great planner. There is a reason why I am so passionate about learning from the great people I have mentioned earlier, why there are no second-thoughts whenever I purchase their books (really, I hesitate in buying shoes that are over Php 500.00 but when I see a book I know will help me on my self-growth, even if it is Php 800.00, I will immediately buy it). There is a reason why I did not find joy in writing product descriptions and articles and blogs about lighting, christmas trees, and other stuff despite claiming that I have a gift for writing. There is a reason why I became familiar of Bo Sanchez because of Kerygma and why I have considered him as one of my mentors. And the reason, I believe, is because God wants me to share my stories and learnings in life through my writings.

When Lyf Throws U Lessons
This entry is just the introduction to my series, "How I Became Financially Free". No, I am not there yet. BUT, I am now on that journey. And I am declaring through this series, that I will achieve financial freedom in the near future. With this series, I want to share to you what I have learned from Bro. Bo through his TrulyRichClub, especially the benefits of investing (not merely saving) your money. I will share to you the steps I have taken, am taking, and will take as I continue this wonderful journey towards true financial freedom. 

I hope that you take this journey with me, together with the others who have discovered this powerful blessing from God. It is about time for you to take charge of your financial life because you deserve to be financially free!

If you are taking charge of your financial life now and you want to share your own stories and life lessons, I would love to hear and learn from you as well. Or if you also want to change your financial life,  I invite you to declare with me your own affirmations of being financially free. 

Praying for your happiness!


  1. how can i be a blogger too? Pls send help asap.thanku.

  2. i saw your link thru bro. bo's fb does citiseconline work? hope you could help. thanks!

  3. SOOO PROUD of you! You're definitely on your way not just to Financial freedom, but as well as Self-Freedom

  4. sr.catherine,Oblates of the Monastery of TransfiguationOctober 16, 2010 at 11:23 AM

    i have read your story and i am interested to share my story as well as praying for your sucess. Thank you joanne. . . more power!

  5. joanne a book entitled pera mo palaguin mo could help also

  6. i pray for your continous happiness

  7. i read your story ...glad that its not only me who is feeling tha anger in life within ...the transition u got is just like mine but ur much younger ...a bigger room for improvement ...good luck and may god will bless you more and more.

  8. @blanca ortiz

    Hi Blanca! Thanks for reading... =D

    I'm not really an expert on blogging. Basically, I just approach blogging as my online journal with the purpose of sharing my stories and thoughts to others in the hopes that I can somehow lift up someone else's spirit. But there are other kinds of bloggers and their niches are very diverse.

    You can sign up at Jomar Hilario's Internet Marketing newsletter.

    He gives practical tips on how you can start earning from the internet, one of which is through blogging. Hope this helps. God bless! =D

  9. @joy

    Hi Joy! Thanks for reading this... =D

    From my experience so far, investing through CitisecOnline is such a breeze that I really recommend them for newbies in the world of investing, just like me.

    You can visit to see their requirements for opening an account.

    Once you have an account with them, you can now start buying stocks. The great thing about them is that they are online brokers so transaction is done in the comfort of your home or anywhere where there is a computer and internet connection.

    In their COL-EIP program, they are encouraging investors to buy small shares of stocks regularly. You can choose the amount you are comfortable with and the frequency of when you buy stocks. If you can only afford to buy shares for Php 1000.00 every quarter (just like me), then that is totally fine. In ten years time, you'll just find out that your total equity has grown! More importantly, CitisecOnline has listed 6 companies that they believe would still be here 10 years down the road, irregardless of the economic problems we are facing. The secret is discipline and consistency in buying small shares of stocks, and letting it grow for years.

    Are you a member of Bro. Bo's TrulyRichClub? Everything that I am learning from investing in stocks, I get from this club.

    Anyhow, I hope this somehow helps you. If you want to learn more about the COL-EIP program, CitisecOnline gives FREE briefings every week and this is open to all interested. I have attended one, and it really helped me understand things more. God bless! =D

  10. @Febe Grace

    Thanks, sis! =D

    I am also very proud of you! Just keep on doing what you are doing. You inspire me to eat healthier and some time soon, I know I will be doing exercises with you as well...Haha...Excited for our marathon tomorrow! God bless! =D

  11. @sr.catherine,Oblates of the Monastery of Transfiguation

    Hello Sr. Catherine. Thank you for reading this. =D

    I would love to hear your stories too. It's great learning from other's experiences. If you want, you can share it here or you can give me a pm at

    Thank you for your prayers and God bless! =D

  12. @Anonymous

    Thank you for reading this...

    Will check it out...God bless! =D

  13. @rey

    Thank you for reading this and for your prayers, Rey! God bless! =D

  14. @MEDSPED

    Thank, Lyn! =D

    I know how you feel. Before, I also thought that I was the only one feeling this way. But then, I met really good people who have gone through their own battles against their inner demons. I am so blessed to know that there is still hope and that it is possible to overcome my old beliefs and habits.

    At times, I feel like I am running out of time, and this is when the frustration comes in. Then I remember those people who have turned their life around even at their 40's or 50's or 60's.

    So yeah, I am just keeping the faith alive. I know God is already healing me.

    Thank you for your sharing. God bless and more power! =D

  15. am happy that you are able to reach your present disposition. i think what you went though was not an isolated case...somehow every person has experienced fighting their own demons during their self-discovery years. the only difference is how we handle this stage in our lives...and come out as a winner or a loser. and its now very obvious how you have become...and if we believe we have a real God who is always there no matter what, everything is possible.
    God bless and more power!

  16. @Anonymous

    Thank you for reading this. =D

    Ah, yes, I agree with you. It took me a while to realize that one. I think it's because we tend to magnify our problems and at the same time, we isolate ourselves from others, that we think we are on our own and that we are "carrying the weight of the world" so to speak. Lol.

    And you're definitely right! No matter what we are going through, what matters is how we respond to the situation. There are others out there who have it worse than I did, but they are living such marvelous lives and in turn, they inspire others as well.

    Thanks again and God bless! =D

    ...Hahaha, funny...I just received a GodWhispers message...It says,

    "Dear Joanne Christine,

    Life is easier than you think it is. But sometimes, you complicate life.
    That’s why you think it’s very hard.


    P.S. Take it easy, Joanne Christine."

    God's timing is really impeccable!

  17. More power to you Joanne..
    I agree with you, each and everyone of us has a mission or purpose in life. We just need to discover it and live our life according to our purpose.
    God bless....

  18. @jon

    Thank you, Jon! =D

    Indeed, God's will and not ours, right? It's the best kind of living!

    I checked your Pinoy Frugal Investor blog...And just by scanning your posts, I know I will learn a lot from them...Will surely add them to my references...

    God bless! =D

  19. Hi Joanne!

    I am so touched by your story! 24 and you've already found your road,your direction, your goal in life. at 24 I became a single mom and it took me 10 years to find that same road via Brother Bo. I'm glad to be on the same path with you and the many others who have been inspired and reawakened by the Word of God through our brothers and sisters from Kerygma, the Feast, etc.
    Though we are practically strangers, let me say that I am proud of you! May you continue to spread the Good News through your words! God bless always :-)

    Best regards,

  20. @Milli Reyes

    Hi Milli! Thank you for reading this... =D

    Wow, God bless your words. Let me tell you a little secret. Before (and when the occasion arise), I used to believe that I am starting out too late. I feel disheartened at times because I feel like I have wasted so much time already and I am not really the fastest person in making sense of things. But then people like you come along and tell me that I am still young and that it doesn't matter when you start. It took me a while to be at peace with this concept, but yeah, the important thing is that we are now taking steps (even if they are only baby steps) to make ourselves better. ;D

    More power to you, Milli. I'm praying for our success! God bless!

  21. Thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding pursuing other career path even if it is far from what one has taken in college. I remember so many person asking for help in the KerygmaFamily forum for guidance in what should they do... as said be brave enough to get your feet wet. Also thank yo for opening the idea of stock investing specially to the new graduates.... as also been said the earlier you start investing the greater chances of higher earnings... kudos Joanne :)

  22. @investinginphilippines

    Thanks, Louis. Right now, I am sharing to my friends how I am investing in the stock market to entice them to start investing, or at least, look for other income streams as they won't just depend on their jobs and bank savings... =D

    God bless and more power on your own mission to educate fellow Filipinos on how to invest in the Philippine Stock Market. Cheers!


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