Together, Towards “Financial” Summit - Marvin Germo

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Together, Towards “Financial” Summit

By: Marvin Germo | June 25, 2014

I just got married 2 years ago and so far it’s been an amazing journey weaving in and out of work, life, vacations, and everything else in between.  Things are great when shared together with your spouse!  But what do I like most of all? I love it when we do our budget’s together and we map out saving and investing as a couple.  In this article check what our Wednesday columnist, Ex-OFW, Entrepreneur and financial advocate, Gerard Cantor has to share about another inspiring couple and how this couple treats their finances.


Finances for Couples

Here’s an inspiring love story of a couple with a personal finance twist and money lessons worth emulating.

I met Adrian (not his real name) in one of Chinkee Tan’s Millionaire Mindset seminars.  He approached me to avail of the Registered Financial Planners consultation.  Eventually, both he and his wife, Paula (also not her real name) became good friends of mine.

Adrian is 38 years old and an IT professional while Paula is 35 years old and a bank employee.  They have a 1-year old son, named Tim.  As I came to know more about the couple, I just admire how they handle their family life, including their finances.

Some of their personal finance “best practices” include the following:

They budget.  The couple uses an Excel spreadsheet to monitor their expenses.  Every payday, Adrian and Paula contribute 40% of their respective salaries to a common fund.  This fund is used and budgeted for household expenses.

They save.  A portion of the above-common fund is also dedicated for regular savings.  Adrian also automatically contributes to his company’s cooperative.

They invest.  The remaining 60% of the couple’s income are budgeted for each individual’s personal investments and hobbies/interests.  Both have investments in stocks, mutual funds, UITFs, and bonds.  Adrian also invested in a residential lot and a mango farm.

They live below their means.  One word that best describes the couple is “simple-living”.  They live in a rented 2-bedroom apartment that is strategically located near their respective offices.  They do not have cable TV or internet connection at home. Actually, Adrian uses the WIFI connection of their neighbour!  In addition, Paula also uses a regular, “non-smart” mobile phone.  The couple recently purchased a car to replace a 1996 model, second-hand car which Adrian had been driving for more than 5 years.

They have “other sources” of income.  Adrian has a vendo coffee machine placed in a hospital which he visits once a week.  Paula, on the other hand, earns a share from her family’s retail business.

They have life insurance protection.  Both couple got their first life insurance policies at an early age (in their 20’s).  They upgraded their protection, with critical illness, when they got married and their son came.  Adrian availed of the cheapest form of insurance, i.e. “term insurance”.

They use credit wisely.   The couple’s new car is paid in full in cash (out of their savings) as they do not want to borrow from the bank.  Both Adrian and Paula have their own credit cards as it is easier for them to monitor their expenses rather than withdrawing from their ATMs from time to time.  They make sure though to pay their cards in full come due date.

They continuously study about personal finance.  They have a subscription with Money Sense, a personal finance magazine.

They seek professional guidance.  The couple obtained the services of Efren Cruz,  for a comprehensive financial plan.

They take care of their health.  This is also a unique “finance” strategy of the couple.  Adrian regularly joins marathon events while Paula started her vegan diet and exercises using a home-video tutorial.

They are preparing for life after employment.  The couple plans to establish their own real estate business in the near future.  To start with, they have already obtained their real estate brokers’ licenses.

They give.   Lastly, the couple practices tithing by giving to their local church and supporting different charities like World Vision and UNICEF.

Adrian used to be a “mountaineer.” When he was courting Paula, he professed to the whole world that she was the “summit of his life!”  Aww!!!  Now, with their disciplined and simple lifestyle, they are definitely on their way towards a “financial” summit!!!


Gerard CantorGerald “Ge” Cantor’s mission is to help Filipinos save and invest for their future while protecting themselves and their families for the present.  Ge is a Financial Adviser of Pru Life UK, a Financial Planning Advocate of Personal Finance Advisers Philippines Corporation, a Registered Financial Planner graduate, a  Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA).


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