How should I start telling something about myself? It sounds like I’m in a job interview.

I am Allan but everyone calls me “Lan”. I am the father to my lovely, ever-energetic Adriana and husband to my dearest wife, Anne. I was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to the US in June 2004, two months after my college graduation. I am no financial-savvy or finance whiz by any stretch. I had a few financial missteps in the past, which cost me in excess of $25,000 in debt (i.e. combination of loans and credit cards). I gotta say the red number was a wakeup call, a big wakeup call if I should be more precise.

Like many of those who want to manage their debt, I became proactive in finding ways to cut down my debt. While working on stuff here and there for few dollars, I applied for better job opportunity, which I was fortunate to get one. Well, I got one after applying for more than 400 jobs, getting interviewed for at least 50 companies, and so on. In not so distant time in the past, I also married my wife and we eventually had Adriana. A new family and a car (loan) plus a mountain of debt equaled catastrophe. I wasn’t saying that having a family is a problem (No, No, No, not all). My family is the greatest thing that happened to me.

I was determined to clean up my life for my family. I took a grip on my personal finance and learned everything I could (and still learning and exploring) even to just save a few dollars. After all, few dollars is better than nada. Luckily, in under 2 years, I was able to pay off my debts. Some of the actions I adopted were creating and religiously following a budget, using coupons, cut out a lot of unnecessary bills (e.g. cable subscription), and using various apps that paid me cash.

Ever since I experienced being in that scenario, I have come to pay close attention on what is going on around me and ways that I can re-invent things for savings. I just don’t want to go back there ever. In the process, many people have dubbed me as cheap or call me “El Cheapo”. I’ll take that as a compliment.

Mission
Ok, enough of me and more of this blog. The reason that I really started this blog is to not only share my perspective on money but also of life, and happiness. In short, this blog is about family, life, and money. I have realized that at the end of the day, money is good but a good balance between money, life, and happiness is key to better life. I like to share the ideas, which may seem way far out there, but does the trick of helping people and some others. I always like to use the phrase “Pay-It-Forward”. I hope that by sharing my thoughts, you guys get to think about them and use them for your benefit and, in turn, share them to others.

I will attempt to not bore you because I’m just like you. I don’t like reading and getting bored at the same time. It should be the former and not the latter.