My dad is the best man I know and I love him dearly. He is a true family man and has kept his family intact since 1986, steadfast with his faith and he has molded me into the man I am now. He started working since before I was born and he still is after almost 30 years. He made his way up the ranks from being a medical representative, management trainee, supervisor, sales manager, operations manager even up to vice president of a company. He has his master’s degree in business administration from a prestigious university here in the country and has been a provider all his life. Our lives have been up and down and up again thanks to him. However, due to his advanced age and his major operation back in 2009, he is currently working as an operations manager handling 10 people in a small, local call center. The job is not to be taken for granted but the number of people I currently handle and my salary is almost double of what he currently has. He wasn’t able to start investments, he doesn’t have his own house, he sold the house his dad gave him when our family was down once, and he doesn’t have his own car. My grandmother (dad’s mom) is living in an apartment owned by my mother’s parents. She has ailments due to old age but my dad has limited resources to help her out. I do not intend to belittle my dad’s life accomplishments but should I take that same road my dad took? If I did, should I expect myself, and my family, end up differently as my dad did?
My wife and I are renting an apartment and we have asked my parents to join us so they can care for Siansian while we are at work. Our house is home to 2 families; my family of three and dad’s family of 5. As a supervisor, I take home about 32 thousand pesos monthly while as a staff, my wife takes home about 22 thousand. We average at about 50 thousand per month from our salary. Dad shares 7000 from his salary We tithe at a 10% rate = 5000 (based on our salary); the rent costs 14 thousand per month, electricity is at an average of 3500, water is at 1300, cable is at 500, phone and internet is at 1300 and mobile at 1000. That is a total of 21600 just for the house and utility bills. On top of these, total food consumption is at 14000 per month plus my wife and I’s allowance at 8000 (transportation, meals, etc.), Siansian’s needs is at 5000 per month and our stock investment is at 3000 monthly. These are the families’ fixed expenses every month and it totals 56600. Considering our average monthly salary of 50000 plus dad’s contribution of 7000, we are just at 400 pesos excess for all expenses. This doesn’t include expenses for when somebody gets sick in the family, Siansian’s vaccines and our days for R&R.
Believe it or not, I prefer it this way. I know that no matter how hard I work as an employee my our expense cycle will be the same every month. Sure, I may get promoted but it’s the same thing: I move a pay grade higher but it’s still fixed. This urges me to work harder not in the office but to find other means to earn more. I do not want to ask dad for more because he has given his fair share of the work for almost 30 years. My sister, Karen, is working in the call center industry as well. I want to ask her to contribute but my parents won’t allow her to. They want her to enjoy her money as they let me do years ago. I know that the practice is not right because she will not learn to value money with her way of handling it but I believe that she eventually will. My brother, Carlo, is in college and is, thankfully, being sponsored by mom’s sister so that is covered. My little brother, Raymond, is our special child, who teaches and reminds us, together with Siansian, to enjoy the little things and we appreciate his presence in the family.
My wife and I work nights since our clients are based in the Central US. Our daily routine, in Manila time, goes something like this:
6:30pm – 7:30pm = Wake up, eat dinner, give Siansian his night bath, and prepare ourselves for work
7:30pm – 8:30pm = Travelling through traffic toward the office
8:30pm – 6:30am = Office hours, working
6:30am – 7:30am = Travelling through traffic toward our house
7:30am – 11:00am = Eat breakfast, give Siansian his daily bath, do household chores, play with Siansian
11:00am – 6:30pm = Sleep time depending on Siansian (if he’ll wake up, wanting to play, eat, sleep, other baby activities)
And then again..
There are days where Siansian is cooperative, days where he’ll be sleeping for an hour and be up for 4 hours at a time, etc. Regardless, the point is you don’t schedule when a baby is to play, sleep or eat or drink milk. Your schedule needs to adjust according to your baby’s needs. Being there is definitely more important than being able to provide. This is difficult for working parents which is the reason why mom had to quit her job when I was born. Imagine either my wife or I, quitting our job to tend to our son. How will we be able to cover our expenses?