I'm young but ready to build a solid retirement portfolio!

As a relatively fresh grad, you could say I just joined the workforce. Some of my peers are thumbing their noses at me because I'm thinking of retirement this early. But I don't care if it seems square. I mean, that's the whole point: It's so much easier to plan for retirement when it's still far away.Everyone works, but not everyone retires wealthy and comfortable. According to a survey of workers, nearly a third of them have less than PHP45,000 (USD1,000) in retirement savings and investments. More than half - about 57 percent of those surveyed - admit to having less than $25,000 in savings and investments! This is surprising, considering how simple it is to plan for a quality retirement....more

How to get help that a loved one needs for drug addiction

It wasn't too long ago when I wrote about what we don't know about a drug addict's state of mind and about treatment right here at BlogHer. It's been about six months, in fact, since my first post about drug addiction. I mentioned how I thought it was something that happened "only to other people", only for me to find out that a cousin was an addict. It's so shockingly common - I did a little Googling and according to American Addiction Centers (1), there were more than 20 million people who suffered from substance abuse problems in 2013. Unfortunately, only about 11 percent of them sought treatment.That number is far too low.I write about it again because I received bad news today: My cousin is having a hard time staying on the program. Long story short: He relapsed and is confined in a hospital after overdosing....more

Finding long lost family and reuniting relatives

Family is something we all have, but not everyone is part of one. Isn't that just sad?My boyfriend told me that his uncle's family had just rescued and adopted a little girl - I think it's heroic. And a little sad. After all, before that little girl finally found her true home, she had been abandoned by her original family....more

The better blog: self-hosted website or not?

I've always wondered if I should have my own blog hosted independently instead of through Blogger or Wordpress. My tech-savvy friends have been saying I should get my own hosting if I'm serious. The only issue is - and I know you already know this - hosting costs a lot of money.Although I'm exploring the possibility of my blog having its own "house", I don't know if I'm ready to commit to hosting. A web domain, yes. Hosting is another thing!...more

Fashionista Fix: How I plan to shop in the UK while in Asia

Say, what now? That title probably sounds confusing! However, you’ll see soon enough why I phrased it that way.Where I live, we all know – and love – Topshop. But when I ask my colleagues which British brands they love, they really can’t say much. I feel that we are generally deprived of UK fashion.It’s frustrating, since I absolutely love the many looks I see coming from England. I see all the get-ups on Instagram and I keep thinking about how I and my friends are missing out on a lot when it comes to fashion.Staying UK-hip in the tropicsThe difference in climate isn’t even a reason for people like me – that is, those who live in stifling-hot, tropical countries – to ignore the scarves, boots, and layers of clothing very much famous in the UK. We spend a lot of time in air-conditioned buildings that feel like freezers. We even wear jackets in the mall!In fact, we would wear so much more if not for the government memo that buildings around the metro should save on electricity by cutting on air conditioning use. As it is, even with temperatures that make us sweat, we still wear boots, thin scarves, sweaters, and knits.Here, we are exploring what it means to “dress inappropriately” without being seen as silly. We are going outside of our comfort zones, finding out how the rest of the world dresses up, and trying it all out.The only problem is this: We don’t have enough British clothing brands in the country!Shopping in the UK – without living in the UK?I voiced out my frustration while having coffee with a friend of mine who’s rather well-versed in everything techie. (He was the first person to ever mention bitcoin to me, but that’s another story.)His advice was this: I should avail of mail forwarding....more
Why not buy from the US where the same stuff is MUCH cheaper!! And similar services consolidate ...more

A Drug Addict's State of Mind: What We Don't Know

By now, almost everyone knows someone who is addicted to drugs – I know I do, as I shared in this previous post. It used to be weird to me that we still make the mistake of treating addicts as if they were just having a bad spell, but it no longer is. Now, I understand.I know now that it’s not just a matter of willpower. It’s not as simple as that. When a drug controls you, it owns your mind – and if you’re addicted, you can’t get over unless there is some form of intervention. Thinking otherwise reveals a fundamental miscomprehension of an addict’s mental state because in a very real sense, he is not the same person as the one you have come to know and love....more

Dengue hemorrhagic fever - first me, now my boyfriend

Last year, I was diagnosed with dengue hemorrhagic fever. Just a few days ago, it was my boyfriend's turn.I never thought I would ever suffer from dengue fever the time I had it. It's the kind of denial that kicks in when you're healthy, young, and feeling rather invincible, right? It was only when I tested positive for the dengue antigen that it hit me: I can die of this....more

Stretching the Family's Finances: Getting More Miles Out of the Car

I remember when a friend told me, "Why don't you get your own car? The money you spend on commuting would have been your payment for a car installment plan." It sounded like good advice - besides, I had always wanted my own car, imagining the comforts it brings: no more waiting for a cab, no more really bad service, and no more life-or-death commutes....more

Ever Met a Mom Who's Overwhelmed? Motherhood vs Postpartum Depression

Every expectant mother dreams of the day that she’ll be able to hold her baby in her arms... or so I thought. When someone you love doesn't exactly feel that way, what do you do? When do you say that sadness (and all other extreme emotions) is normal after giving birth, and when do you say it's postpartum depression?I was watching a soap opera yesterday and I couldn't help but think that the lady who spank the lead star on TV might be antagonistic because she just gave birth and she might be a little out of sorts. It started as a passing thought, but as the day progressed, I wondered if that kind of melodramatic spanking happened not just on TV, but in real life. ...more

Your boss asks you to do more than agreed upon: What do you do?

Whenever I post here, it's usually to share information with others. Today, however, I would love to hear your thoughts about what an employee should do when asked to do more than he should.My friend, also a fresh grad like I am, just got accepted as a social media manager. We were so happy for him because he thrives on the internet. To him, getting paid to manage Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram was like getting paid to breathe!...more