As I write this post, it’s exactly 6:00 PM on September 9. My emotions are filling up I couldn’t help but start drafting my year-end post for 2018!

I started this year with a blank page and a fresh start, literally. New relationship, new job, new place. If you’ve read my 2017 year-end post, you’d know what exactly I’m referring to.

april perez 2018 year-ender post

With every new year is the start of a blank page that’s filled with goals and resolutions. With my girlfriend beside me who is equally driven and inspired as I am to claim 2018 as our year, we made a list of goals we want to achieve this year. I am blessed to have such a loving and supportive partner as she pushes me to step out of my comfort zone and take more risks in life!

The Goals

  • A new car
  • Health card
  • Life insurance
  • Invest in real estate
  • Untouchable savings
  • Travel the Philippines

Looking at this list, I have to be honest, I was a bit skeptical if we were going to tick everything off of our list. We both started new jobs and we just moved into a new apartment so just imagine how our finances were at that time.

Arrival of Raj

Deciding to get a new car wasn’t really something we both agreed on. I wanted a new one because my old Mazda was giving up on us already while Jek wanted to just get it fixed because getting a loan and paying for monthly amortization isn’t something we need right now as it might put a strain on our budget. Regardless, I was able to drag her to sign up and try our chances if we’ll get approved or not.

We applied during the busy season of the Holidays so it took about a month ’til our agent called and said we got approved. We didn’t expect anything since it’s been so long since we applied so believe me when I say that I got really surprised and happy when we got the call!

red mistubishi mirage hatchback 2018

Here’s Raj. She’s a 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage Hatchback. It’s got all the specifications we want for a car: compact so we can park it anywhere, fuel efficient, and fits our budget.

Goal met: January 27, 2018

Real Estate Investments

Both Jek and I never thought at our age and status, we’d be able to afford to invest in real estate. With lot prices going up, we were pressured to look for a lot that meets our specifications. It must be:

  1. In a gated community
  2. Flood-free
  3. Quiet neighborhood
  4. Has good cell reception
  5. Fits our budget
  6. Situated in a lucky area as per Feng Shui

The search was long and hard. We spoke to different agents, almost to the point of giving up. We prayed so hard to find something that fits our specifications and lo and behold, God really does work wonders!

I was able to get in touch with a former schoolmate who directed me to the agent who assisted us. After tripping 5 potential lots, endless phone calls, and late night research; we were finally able to score the lot we plan to build our future home in! And yes, it does meet all our specifications!

Goal met: July 13, 2018

You might be wondering why this section’s sub-header has an “s” in it. Well, there’s another one we recently acquired. We decided to get a rent-to-own house that allows immediate move-in. Low and behold, we were able to get one just about a month after we paid the down payment.

I have several requests to post before and after photos as well as steps and some tips on how to score a low priced house and lot. I’ll most likely have that published some time in January.

Goal met: September 18, 2018

New Family Members

We got 2 babies this year and it’s not something we really shared a lot on our Instagram account. However, if you guys are following us and have watched our stories, you may have seen few snaps of Vee (Chihuahua) and Toffee (Mini Dachshund). 

dachshund chihuahua


I cannot stress enough how important it is to get a health card and life insurance. Here in the Philippines, only a few believe and fully trusts the system of investing in these 2. (Blame it on the companies that are scammers!) We want to be able to secure our future by not having to cram if something bad happens to either one of us.

Earlier this year, Jek signed up for life insurance under Pru Life UK. I’m not here to endorse any insurance companies but I wanted to specify which company we ended up using because we did a lot of research before finally signing up. Some tips we can give you:

  1. Decide how much you’re comfortable to spend on monthly.
  2. Search for each of the company’s withdrawal policy and fees, penalty and late fees, product offerings, and what their current state and ranking is.
  3. Sign up with an agent whom who felt the most comfortable with and who expressed the most concern during your meeting. We’ve talked to a lot of agents and some of them are people we personally know but we didn’t sign up because we felt they were just selling us the product and will not entertain our concerns after giving them our money. We went with someone who guided us every step of the way and has been so hands-on since day 1.

We also both signed up for health cards. I personally am suffering from multiple illnesses such as asthma so having a health card is a blessing because you pay less to almost zero whenever I get rushed to the ER.

Traveling Together

This blog has been the way in order to widen our network. This year, we were given opportunities to travel and explore the Philippines. It’s not much but it’s a great start!

lesbian couple

We were given the chance to stay at a newly opened resort in Zambales. We were also able to stay at a hotel in the heart of the capital that exudes old-Manila. We also got invited to experience pool parties in Okada which was definitely something new for us!

We also had some road trips here and there especially during the time that I was really down.

Before the year ends, we squeezed in a small trip to unwind and just relax.

pico de loro

pico de loro

The Struggles

I have to admit, this year was full of struggles! But as what I keep on telling Jek, if we let it consume us, we won’t be able to push forward and achieve our goals. 

We both faced a lot of hindrances, negativities, and blockage along the way. I’m very thankful to have her by my side because I honestly wouldn’t have made it through if it wasn’t for her. 

april perez and jek balingasa

We pray for you and your family’s happiness and well-being. May you all have an amazing year ahead. 

Here’s to an amazing 2019!

Read previous year-end posts: 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014

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