The Pros and Cons of Having a Credit/Debit Card

When I was in high school, anyone with a credit/debit card was #goals. 

It always seemed so glamorous and cool to be able to purchase things online, buy music, apps - anything I set my heart to - and with some relatives talking about how easy it was to acquire gadgets and how they often get freebies at their favorite local stores and restaurants, I knew I wanted to have one the moment I started working.

Fast-forward several years later, I am now a member of the working tribe - with a debit card.

Photo from oraclefox.com
In less than three months, I had spent a lot. The figures don't even matter. The point is, if I usually thought about buying something before, I would put it off until I had really thought about whether it was a necessity or a luxury. These past months, however, I would buy things whenever I felt like it - or whenever I had money in my card.

So, to help out my fellow starters in the working world, I've put together a list of pros and cons I have personally experienced and thought about since acquiring one of those fancy modes of payment. I'm still learning, but hopefully, this helps you avoid the mistakes I so immaturely made. 

The Pros

1. Everything online is available for purchase.

Items that are sold at one place aren't necessarily found in another, and thus, there's a distance barrier we're immediately faced with. PVC dolls or high-end clothing and jewellery are hard to come by in the Philippines (and I expect in other countries too), and without an online mode of payment, they get even harder to purchase. Imagine wanting to buy a best-selling, hardbound book that can only be bought online but not having any means to get it? Or, say, wanting a product that will be released in the US ahead of your country and wanting to have it at the same time? With a credit/debit card, buying is literally just a click or tap away.

2. There are bulky wallets no more.

Of course, depending on the type of spender you are, you may or may not need a wallet that has multiple pockets and coin space once you own a card. In college (a.k.a. a time not so long ago), my wallet would look like it was about to burst. All. The. Time. Coins took most of the space, followed by other cards I use (like the National Bookstore Student Card or the Starbucks Card), then the receipts, then the bills. It was horribly stuffed, in other words. Nowadays, my wallet isn't as fat as it once was, all thanks to my card.

3. Paying for online services has become a breeze.

I love paying for online services that give me great content. Sites like Hulu and Netflix are my current favorites, along with Apple Music, Kobo, and Kickstarter (I might write a separate post for these guys). Just recently, I backed Batband, a project on Kickstarter that promises to give you an audio experience like no other and still hear whatever's going on around you. Awesome, right? It's the little things like these that make having a debit/credit card the greatest thing on the planet. 

4. Eating out has become a better experience.

I'm not sure if it's just in the Philippines or if it also happens in other countries, but if you own a debit/credit card and use it to pay in restaurants (or anywhere in the mall), the waiters/cashiers treat you better. I've had an insane amount of experience with this (combined with a few social experiments) and it's incredible. It's not like you're trying to be someone else and pretending you're filthy rich, I assure you. Sometimes, the waiters don't pay much attention to me when I give off a normal vibe (this is quite hard to explain - perhaps another dedicated post for this?), but when the bill has arrived and I whip out my card, they suddenly change their mood. It's weird, but awesome.


The Cons

1. There's a tendency to spend a whole lot more than usual.

The fact that anything can be bought online means we might not realize that we're spending more than ever. This happened to me around a month ago, while I was browsing through the iTunes store for new tracks to add to my list. Since the price for each song tends to be around 0.69c - 1.29c (depending on the track), my brain thinks I'm spending very little by buying one by one. After looking through my purchases at the end of the day, I realized I had spent at least $12 worth of music.  That's around P560 in the Philippines. While there's nothing wrong with buying and supporting music (which I really fight for), I had never spent that much money on iTunes before. It was quite shocking, too.

Aside from online purchases, buying form physical stores really prove the efficiency of having a card in place of cash and coins. As I mentioned earlier, I usually spend time to think about buying a product, but since I know I can easily pay for it, the decision-making process is shortened. Want that cool statement shirt? Swipe. Like that hip sweater from H&M? Swipe. 

I think you get the point.

2. Materialism takes on a bigger, clearer form.

What we don't have, we really want. Be it gadgets, clothes, or other things, we try to acquire that item that we think will make us happier. With an easier means to support our materialism, we can get easily tempted. I know that from experience. Simply put, because I have money to spend, it no longer matters where that money goes, as long as I feel satisfied for a little while about something I bought online. Not good.

3. Maintaining the balance between card and cash gets trickier.

Well, for me, at least. I rarely have any cash on me these days. Since I've begun to rely on my card to buy things, I've seemed to have forgotten that I need coins for transport and lunch with my co-workers. The place we eat at doesn't accept debit card since it's a small eatery/canteen. Although this isn't a huge problem, I thought I'd include this also as a reminder for me to be prepared for emergencies when I need cash on hand.


While I'm not going to ditch my debit card anytime soon, a little separation wouldn't hurt I guess. There are a lot of advantages with owning a card and a few cons that go along with it. I would've applied for a credit card instead (a bigger problem in the future, I'm sure) but I'm 9 months shy from being qualified. That's for the best, it would seem.

If you're thinking about getting a credit/debit card, I hope this post helps you become more aware of some things to consider and keep watch over when using it. It's not all glamour.

Either that, or I'm a shopaholic.

I'm Going to Bloggys 2015!


At this point, I don't even know what to think.

Of all the amazing things that's been happening to me, being one of the very limited guests to Bloggys 2015 is placed extremely high on my list.

This will be the first time I'll be attending such a huge (ehem, red carpet) event, and I know I am meant to go because it'll be held on a weekend, free from work and other weekday commitments. Cha! No words. Really, no words.

In case you're reading this and thinking, "What the hell is she going on about and what is Bloggys 2015?!", here's a brief:

Bloggys (Philippine Blogging Awards) is a nationwide blog awarding event in the Philippines. It’s that time again to recognize the most relevant and engaging blogs owned and written by Filipinos – From Luzon to Mindanao.

Basically, it's an event where Pinoy blogs get nominated, voted on, and celebrated. I've never attended, and I'm very excited to be part of this. Though my career has taken me closer to the visual, illustrated field, the writer in me still wants to be heard.

It seems to me like November 21 is taking forever to arrive, but that means more time to get ready. I know it'll be an event I'll remember for years to come, and I don't want to mess it up. One of the greatest perks for getting into the guest list is (1) I get to attend it for free and (2) I get to have a plus one! I already asked my cousin to tag along, and she's equally as stoked.

So, if you're a blogger who wants to attend as well (maybe we'll bump into each other and share a drink or two), head over to Bloggys 2015's ticket reservation page. There are limited slots, so you better hurry!

Also, to join the hype, use #bloggys2015 in all your socials and share, share, share!

I'll see you there!

Filler

Not feeler, but filler.

Doesn't it amaze you how much work (and free time) you get in a day, yet it is never, ever enough? Somehow, the day still needs to be 24 hours longer and the night - well, it should probably not exist.

I've had moments where I had so much stuff to do that I just gave up on sleep and watched shows on Hulu and Netflix a whole 24-35 hours (probably not the best way to spend that much time, but Kitchen Nightmares and documentaries like "The Real Texas Chainsaw Massacre" get me so energetic).

This week and the week before has been amaze-balls, and though we've lost another member of the clan (R.I.P. lolo Uben), there's no time to sulk and be all depressed. He led the life he was supposed to and in the end accepted the Lord into his life. This was why I didn't wear black to the funeral.

Buuuttt... enough with the depressing stuff! Here are a few things I've been up to (and experienced) in the last two weeks. I'll be lying if I told you this was everything, but some things are best kept private.

On with the show!


Breaktime and my Tiffany

I just have to share an awesome experience. Just two days ago, a package arrived at home. Now, there are three packages I have been waiting for for forever, and when I got news that one had arrived, I got tense. Which one would it be? The Google Cardboard? The Tiffany necklace? Or the Tiffany set bought for me by a certain someone?

Needless to say, opening that package and seeing the Tiffany blue box made me feel like a kid opening presents on Christmas morning. It is beautiful. I've always wanted a Tiffany since I learned about it in high school, and to think that someone gave it to me (the whole $375 worth of it) as a gift made it even more special. I've been wearing it ever since. I can't wear the necklace everyday since it's a little too formal. I'll just wait for the one I ordered and wear that.

The fashion illustration is the freshest out of all the photos here today. It was created around 30-45 minutes ago in the office (where I am now) in 10 minutes. I'm still not over the New York Fashion Week, so that's a little smear to last week's hype. The next thing on my to-go-to list is at least one of these shows.



More drawings

If you can't find me reading, I'd be drawing. Or maybe watching Youtube. Or a lot of other things. Point is, drawing has never been away from my system. The first image was taken a few days before the New York Fashion Week, just to show hoe excited I was to know there'd me new fashion trends this year though I wouldn't be able to go personally. It wasn't originally supposed to be a poncho over a pencil skirt, but my hands have a life of their own. Ta-da.

Watercolor is about the third medium I want to be really good at (after digital and pencil). With a little help from a black Sharpie and a white Uni pen, this turned out okay. I can never get the illustration exactly the way I pictured it in my head, and that's really frustrating. That's probably why no matter how many times I fail, I keep trying. Someday.


There's so much more to tell you, but I have to get back to work, haha! I love how we get time to relax and just be creative when we feel tired from staring at the computer screen. Just great.

Ciao!

The Second-Month Mark + iTunes Weekly

You guessed it right!
Today marks my second month at Nueca!
To celebrate, here's a list of my recent purchases on iTunes.

Yeah, that's right.
Nothing related.
It won't be until after my third month that I'll feel a legit "Nuecan".

But, onto the purchases!


1. JoJo's Tringle - III


This has been sooo long in the making. Super long. Jojo had some issues with her past label (if you didn't know) that prevented her from coming out with more albums on a regular basis. She had to settle things with them before moving to a new label and if there's any sign (aside from the obvious) that everything's done with now, it's this album.

The first thing I thought was, "Dang! Finally, JoJo's back!" and instantly purchased her "Tringle" off iTunes the day it was released. This was my first ever purchase on iTunes (since I only recently got a card to use for the store) and I LOVE it so much. Out of the three, I'm really digging "Save My Soul" and play it on repeat everyday.

JoJo is back, everybody.


2. Black Magic - Little Mix


I am INSANELY digging them now. Okay, so the first song I ever heard form them was Wings and thought I thought it was good, it wasn't enough to make me a fan right then. I skipped a year or two from listening to them and finally got back on the wagon when they released a new music video/song called Black Magic. People were talking about it so much that I couldn't not watch it for myself, and probably because I also wanted to get updates on if they got worse or better.

They really got better since Wings came out. Perrie got prettier and the voice that once annoyed me so much before didn't sound so draggy anymore. I'm still not familiar with the other three (I love the voice of the girl on the left though), but I bought this track anyway. It has such a catchy tune and is easy to play on the guitar, which is a double point in my books, haha.

Also on replay forever.


3. EMOTION - Carly Rae Jepsen


I'll admit up front that I was not fond of her first song (I don't even remember the title) and figured she'd be a one-song-hit kind of artist. After I heard her for the first time, I didn't look back - until she came out with this album.

While I didn't buy the whole thing (I Really Like You is on Apple Music, and I'm having second thoughts buying it), these two tracks stood out and earned my money. It has this indie-ish, hip kind of vibe that makes me just want to go out and dance like no one cares. Haven't rated them since I haven't got to listen to them more than 5 times. Then I'll know if I actually really like them.

I am now fully aware of her presence in the music industry and the fact that maybe, artists that don't seem too great at first will eventually come back with better tracks. Maybe. (Oh! The song title was Call Me Maybe! Finally remembered it.)


4. Better Together - Fifth Harmony


I know this is a really old song, but do you ever experience hearing something years back and not liking it and being extra fond of it a few years later? This is the case with Fifth Harmony's Better Together. I preferred Little Mix more than this group before, but after watching their live performances and acoustic versions, I was hooked.

Honestly, one of the reasons I looked back on their history was because of Worth It, which is a little too noisy and repetitive for me. I might change my mind in the future again though.


5. Pentatonix (Deluxe) - Pentatonix


Can acapella get anymore perfect? PTX is really pushing this genre to its peak, and I doubt it'll reach the other side of the slope soon. And that's a good thing.

Watching their progress from Sing-Off, then on Youtube makes me hopeful that great music is still floating around somewhere. With all the auto-tuning and other synthetic voice effects these days, pure talent is not hard to find, but hard to sell, especially with this generation's music preferences.

Their release is set for October this year, and after hearing Can't Sleep Love and buying it wholeheartedly, this album will be explosive.

Finally September!



It's officially the start of the "Pre-Christmas" months!

I have no doubt there will be a LOT of happenings this month, be it at work, at home, or just some event I might become a part of. There's already something happening on Friday this week, and if my confidence doesn't fail me, I might be able to take quick snaps. *Have butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it.*

But anyway, aside form the event on Friday, September 6 will also be extra special since a good friend of mine is hosting a Basic Calligraphy Workshop in Naga (I've mentioned this in my previous post, I think). Though I won't be an attendee, we might get to meet before or after the event. It's been way to long, right bae? Hahaha.

On that same day, I'll be celebrating the end of my 2nd month at Nueca. I have one more month after that to prove I can handle the tasks they need me to do. It's either I get absorbed into the company or I find another job someplace else (abroad, preferably, though I really want to get as much experience as I can on the ground for a little longer). As much as I know working abroad will provide more for my family financially, my skills aren't quite there yet, I feel. Needs more tweaking.

Then, by the third week of September, Bicol will be celebrating the Pe├▒afrancia Festival. Since I'm a non-Catholic, I don't participate in it. I think we're having a long-time family friend stay with us for a bit (or for longer, if she wants) during that time and we'll be staying at my grandfather's house in San Jose.

Before the end of the month (hopefully), the items I and my brother ordered online will arrive without damage. I'm *really* looking forward to getting my hands on them. Very much.

I've got a gajillion things to do at work tomorrow (plus a Skype meeting with the Marketing people in Manila), and I should (should) be resting right now.

But, all for the blog.

Happy first of September everybody! Make this month count in the best way possible.