Monday, February 29, 2016

How to reduce your taxes

1. Own your business.

It’s more efficient for your taxes if own your business than if you work for an employer. If you have a business, you pay income tax on your profits or after you deduct your costs from your revenues. If you are an employee, your employer witholds your income tax based from your salary or wage after deducting a fixed amount of costs and benefits. Overall, it’s more tax-efficient to be an employer than to be an employee, but being an employer involves more risk.



2. Invest in tax-efficient sources.

If you have enough compensation income to support yourself and your family, you may want to invest in income streams with smaller tax rates. Interest income in banks are taxed only at 20% income tax. Capital gains tax of real property that are capital assets, or assets that are not ordinarily used in business, is 6%.

Buying shares of stock in listed corporations has an income tax of 1/2 of 1% of the net profits. For shares that are not listed in the stock exchange, the income tax is 5% for transactions of up to P100,000 and 10% for any amount in excess of P100,000.


3. Give to or build an accredited charitable organization.

If you earn much, the government will still tax you a lot even if you own your own business or invest in tax-efficient sources. One way to reduce your taxes and increase your tax credit is to give to an accredited non-government organization. If your business can support a foundation, you can consider building one, especially for education and health care. This way, you not only help people improve their lives but you also get a tax credit and reduce your taxes.

Repent or perish

Moses repented when he answered the call of God.
In the First Reading today, we see God calling Moses from a burning bush to save his people. Now, Moses was in the land of Midian and on Mount Horeb because he was a fugitive of Egypt. Years ago, he killed an Egyptian worker who was abusing an Israelite slave.
Yet Moses answered the call of God to return to Egypt and to save his people. He could have stayed in Midian and lived a peaceful life. But he chose to obey God and to return to the place of bondage that is Egypt. He was still afraid for his life, but he still followed God and his conscience.




The Israelites did not repent, so they perished in the desert.
In the Second Reading today, Paul talks about how God blessed the Israelites who fled Egypt into the Promised Land. God let them pass the Red Sea, gave them manna and quails in the desert, and provided water to them from rocks.
However, the Israelites did not have faith in God. When the twelve tribes sent representatives to see the Promised Land, they saw that the place had giants so they did not want to go there. Only two of them, namely Caleb and Joshua, had faith that God will deliver Canaan to Israel. Most of the people did not have faith, so God let them stay for 40 years in the desert. Only a few, like Caleb and Joshua, lived long enough to see the Promised Land.




Jesus calls for us to repent. Otherwise, we shall perish.
In the Gospel today, Jesus tells people that the manner of death does not mean that one is guilty of great sin. Jesus explains that the Galileans who died by Pilate's hand and the people who were killed when the tower fell were not greater sinners simply because they died a gruesome death. Maybe those were accidents. But we must repent or we will face the same kind of death.
Jesus then tells the parable of the fig tree. A man has a fig tree and wants to cut it down because it bears no fruit. But the gardener tells him that he will cultivate the soil and fertilize the tree to give it a chance to bear fruit. If after a year, the fig tree still does not bear fruit, then it may be cut down.




Why must I repent when I live a good life?
If you believe that everything in your life is good, and there is no need to repent, kindly give me your name and contact information, so we can find ways to nominate you for your sainthood. Otherwise, there may be some ways or several instances in our lives that we need to repent.
God always gives us a chance to repent or to change our ways for the better. If we do not change or improve, we can become stagnant and stuck to our old selves. If we do not become better, there will be no growth in our lives, as though we are dead.




Why should I repent when we will all die?
Everyone dies, but not everyone will perish. In fact, some people may feel dead even before they actually die. They may feel depressed, angry, or fearful. As Christians, we are called to love and care for one another. We forgive another if they have wronged us, and help each other walk on the path of love, truth, and life.




Do I need to repent when I have time?
We do not know when we will die, so we need to be ready to face our death and meet God every day of our lives. My father was a healthy man who jogs and bikes everyday. But he passed away suddenly in a vehicular accident last year.
We do not know what will happen in the future. But we can act now, repent of our sins, and live the Gospel.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Repent or perish

Moses repented when he answered the call of God.
In the First Reading today, we see God calling Moses from a burning bush to save his people. Now, Moses was in the land of Midian and on Mount Horeb because he was a fugitive of Egypt. Years ago, he killed an Egyptian worker who was abusing an Israelite slave.
Yet Moses answered the call of God to return to Egypt and to save his people. He could have stayed in Midian and lived a peaceful life. But he chose to obey God and to return to the place of bondage that is Egypt. He was still afraid for his life, but he still followed God and his conscience.


The Israelites did not repent, so they perished in the desert.
In the Second Reading today, Paul talks about how God blessed the Israelites who fled Egypt into the Promised Land. God let them pass the Red Sea, gave them manna and quails in the desert, and provided water to them from rocks.
However, the Israelites did not have faith in God. When the twelve tribes sent representatives to see the Promised Land, they saw that the place had giants so they did not want to go there. Only two of them, namely Caleb and Joshua, had faith that God will deliver Canaan to Israel. Most of the people did not have faith, so God let them stay for 40 years in the desert. Only a few, like Caleb and Joshua, lived long enough to see the Promised Land.


Jesus calls for us to repent. Otherwise, we shall perish.
In the Gospel today, Jesus tells people that the manner of death does not mean that one is guilty of great sin. Jesus explains that the Galileans who died by Pilate’s hand and the people who were killed when the tower fell were not greater sinners simply because they died a gruesome death. Maybe those were accidents. But we must repent or we will face the same kind of death.
Jesus then tells the parable of the fig tree. A man has a fig tree and wants to cut it down because it bears no fruit. But the gardener tells him that he will cultivate the soil and fertilize the tree to give it a chance to bear fruit. If after a year, the fig tree still does not bear fruit, then it may be cut down.


Why must I repent when I live a good life?
If you believe that everything in your life is good, and there is no need to repent, kindly give me your name and contact information, so we can find ways to nominate you for your sainthood. Otherwise, there may be some ways or several instances in our lives that we need to repent.
God always gives us a chance to repent or to change our ways for the better. If we do not change or improve, we can become stagnant and stuck to our old selves. If we do not become better, there will be no growth in our lives, as though we are dead.


Why should I repent when we will all die?
Everyone dies, but not everyone will perish. In fact, some people may feel dead even before they actually die. They may feel depressed, angry, or fearful. As Christians, we are called to love and care for one another. We forgive another if they have wronged us, and help each other walk on the path of love, truth, and life.


Do I need to repent when I have time?
We do not know when we will die, so we need to be ready to face our death and meet God every day of our lives. My father was a healthy man who jogs and bikes everyday. But he passed away suddenly in a vehicular accident last year.
We do not know what will happen in the future. But we can act now, repent of our sins, and live the Gospel.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

How to decide who to vote for

Know yourself. Ask yourself about what you hope and expect from a leader. Do you want a leader who is more conservative or someone who is more liberal? If you are part of a organization or sector, you may want to consider the leaders that are aligned with your group. For example, if you are a business owner or laborer, you can look at candidates that represent your organization and beliefs.
Vote for incumbent officials if they did well. If your current leaders performed well during their tenure, consider voting for them again if they are up for re-election. Why? It's simple to vote for someone you already trust and who  made the  community  better. of course, if they did not improve the lives of their fellow citizens, do not vote for them or their family members into office.




Be informed about candidates and parties. Read the news and search information about political parties and candidates. You can also ask people who personally know local candidates about their first hand information. Watch television debates, listen to radio commentary, and read social media about candidates and parties during the election season.




Write your list of candidates. After you have informed yourself about your elective candidates and political parties, you can now decide intelligently and wisely about who to vote for. Write your list of candidates before election day so that you will not feel rushed while voting. It is easier to shade the proper candidate on the ballot when you have your list with you. Happy voting on election day!

Friday, February 26, 2016

How to decide who to vote for

Know yourself. Ask yourself about what you hope and expect from a leader. Do you want a leader who is more conservative or someone who is more liberal? If you are part of a organization or sector, you may want to consider the leaders that are aligned with your group. For example, if you are a business owner or laborer, you can look at candidates that represent your organization and beliefs.
 
Vote for incumbent officials if they did well. If your current leaders performed well during their tenure, consider voting for them again if they are up for re-election. Why? It’s simple to vote for someone you already trust and who  made the  community  better. of course, if they did not improve the lives of their fellow citizens, do not vote for them or their family members into office.


Be informed about candidates and parties. Read the news and search information about political parties and candidates. You can also ask people who personally know local candidates about their first hand information. Watch television debates, listen to radio commentary, and read social media about candidates and parties during the election season.


Write your list of candidates. After you have informed yourself about your elective candidates and political parties, you can now decide intelligently and wisely about who to vote for. Write your list of candidates before election day so that you will not feel rushed while voting. It is easier to shade the proper candidate on the ballot when you have your list with you. Happy voting on election day!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

How to make a contract

A contract is a meeting of minds between two persons whereby one binds himself, with respect to the other, to give something or render some service.

 

We make a contract whenever we buy something, work for pay, or use public transport. In fact, many contracts are unwritten. But for major transactions, it can help you to think of ways on how to make a good contract.

 

Make contracts with people you trust.

 

Even the best contract in the world won't protect you from someone who will default on his obligations. So ask around and get references before making a contract. If a person can be trusted in little things, he or she will tend to be trustworthy in more important matters.

 

Take steps to protect yourself.

 

If you are unable to know more about the person that you are dealing with, you can take steps to protect yourself and your money. If you are going to buy an item, you might want to buy it from a merchant store with a return or exchange policy. For services, you can require an upfront fee or down payment for a service contract, so that you are paid beforehand before you start work.

 

Get the contract in writing.

 

Many contracts are required to be in writing. For example, a written special power of attorney is required for an agent to sell a parcel of land. So if you are dealing with real property, it is good practice to get everything in writing. The same principle holds for employment contracts and service agreements. If the parties want a change in the contract, get the modification in writing, and agree on the modified contract.

Monday, February 22, 2016

How to make a contract

A contract is a meeting of minds between two persons whereby one binds himself, with respect to the other, to give something or render some service.

We make a contract whenever we buy something, work for pay, or use public transport. In fact, many contracts are unwritten. But for major transactions, it can help you to think of ways on how to make a good contract.

Make contracts with people you trust.

Even the best contract in the world won’t protect you from someone who will default on his obligations. So ask around and get references before making a contract. If a person can be trusted in little things, he or she will tend to be trustworthy in more important matters.

Take steps to protect yourself.

If you are unable to know more about the person that you are dealing with, you can take steps to protect yourself and your money. If you are going to buy an item, you might want to buy it from a merchant store with a return or exchange policy. For services, you can require an upfront fee or down payment for a service contract, so that you are paid beforehand before you start work.

Get the contract in writing.

Many contracts are required to be in writing. For example, a written special power of attorney is required for an agent to sell a parcel of land. So if you are dealing with real property, it is good practice to get everything in writing. The same principle holds for employment contracts and service agreements. If the parties want a change in the contract, get the modification in writing, and agree on the modified contract.

How to change your life

Are you in a bad situation that you want to stop?

 
Do you have a dream that you want to achieve?

 
If you said yes to either question, you are human, and you have something that makes you want to change your life. But self-improvement can be a challenge, unless you know how. Here are some ways that you can use to change your life.




Have an epiphany.

 
Epiphany means manifestation or revelation. The Bible shows many people who changed their lives after God revealed himself. Abraham moved with his family from Mesopotamia to Canaan, hundreds of miles away, after hearing the call of God. When Saul was on his way to Damascus, Jesus Christ revealed himself in the form of a bright light that blinded him. Later, Paul changed from being a persecutor of Christians to being an apostle of Christ.

 

In the Gospel, Jesus called his disciples, Peter, James, and John, to a mountain to pray. While they were praying, Jesus showed himself in his glory and his clothes became very white. He was also talking with the prophets Moses and Elijah. This event is the Transfiguration of our Lord.

 

For many of us, we do not see Jesus manifest himself or hear God call us to do something. But we sometimes experience small miracles or realize something profound. We can pray everyday so that we can understand the will of God for us. For people who are not religious or spiritual, we can reflect about how we can do better in our life.




Read the Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.

 

The Purpose Driven Life takes readers on a 40 day journey on how to discern God's purpose. I read this book while I was on break from school and was thinking about what I should do with my life. Everyday for 40 days, I copied the Bible verses and wrote my answers to questions in index cards. After 40 days, I felt blessed from reading this book. While I still do not know the exact path that I should take in my life, I have faith that God has called me to do good things and to bless people.




Know the reason why you want to change.

 

Many of us want to change to prevent something bad from destroying our lives. We exercise and eat healthfully so that we do not get sick. We save our income so that we do not have to borrow money. We work hard in our jobs so that we are not laid off.

 

But fear is not the only thing that can move us to change. Love is another reason to change, and it is also better for us. When we do something because it is good, we feel happier and we can sustain these actions for a longer time.

 

Read "The Secret to Succeeding in Anything" by Jomar Hilario.

 

Jomar Hilario, the Philippine expert on online work and author of Virtual Careers, tells us to think of an unstoppable reason why we want to change our lives. The unstoppable reason must be someone that you love.

 

For me, my unstoppable reason is my family. I want to do online work so that I can eventually stay at home and be with my family while earning dollars. I still want to read everything and solve problems, but it would be great if I can do most of my work at home.




Change your attitude.

 

We often change our lives because we realize that our previous behavior is not helping us. For example, a doctor may tell us to stop smoking or to eat less fat, so that we can live a more healthful lifestyle. If on the day before payday, we have many loans and debts, then we may decide that we will make more income and save more money so that we can pay people what we owe.

 

But we do not have to wait for something bad to happen before we can change our lives. We can change our attitude for the better even if we are already satisfied and content with our lives.

 

How can we change our attitude? We often change when we have a different perspective. We can seek advice from people, read inspirational books, and listen to motivational messages. Taking courses and watching TED videos can show us a different way of thinking that can change our attitude. Outreach activities can also help us be grateful about what we have.




Read The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino.

 

In this story, a camel boy becomes the best selling carpet trader and the greatest salesman in the ancient world. How does he do it? By reading ten scrolls that change his attitude and his habits so that he can sell better than anyone else.

 

I read this book in grade school because the text is simple and easy to understand. Ever since I read this short book, I also tried to read the scrolls three times everyday, but I cannot get past The Scroll Marked I. Now I am reading the scrolls again, and I hope to finish all of them by the end of 2016. Wish me success!




Change your environment.

 

If you surround yourself with people and things that lead you to your goal, you make your life goals easier to achieve. If you want to live a healthy lifestyle, take away the junk food and replace them with vegetables and fruits. If you make your home more orderly, you can focus on your work and leave the clutter behind.




Read the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

 

Marie Kondo is an organizing consultant who wrote a bestselling book on how to tidy. The book tells us how to tidy up by only keeping that things that makes you happy or sparks joy. First, you organize by category: clothes first, books second, papers third, and miscellaneous fourth. Then, you take the item in your hand, and ask if that thing sparks you joy. If the item sparks joy, you keep it. If an item does not spark joy, then you can dispose, donate, or give it away.




Change your habits.

 

Habits are actions that we repeat over time. If you want to change your life, you have to change your habits. Why? Because habits are automatic in our lives. Once we have a habit, our first instinct is to do the habit. We can change all our habits, but first we have to take action to build them. The key to building habits is to start small, or even tiny.

 

Start Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg.

 

This is a website that teaches people how to build small habits. A tiny habit is an act that takes less than 3 seconds that is done after an existing habit. The website teaches you how to build tiny habits and asks for feedback on how you did your habits.

 

For example, I want to exercise after I wake up. So I make a tiny habit of putting my shoes and tying my shoelaces. Then I anchor or do this habit after an existing habit, such as waking up. After I signed up with Tiny Habits, I got emails from Mr. Fogg daily updates of my tiny habits.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

How to change your life

Are you in a bad situation that you want to stop?

Do you have a dream that you want to achieve?

If you said yes to either question, you are human, and you have something that makes you want to change your life. But self-improvement can be a challenge, unless you know how. Here are some ways that you can use to change your life.

Have an epiphany.

Epiphany means manifestation or revelation. The Bible shows many people who changed their lives after God revealed himself. Abraham moved with his family from Mesopotamia to Canaan, hundreds of miles away, after hearing the call of God. When Saul was on his way to Damascus, Jesus Christ revealed himself in the form of a bright light that blinded him. Later, Paul changed from being a persecutor of Christians to being an apostle of Christ.

In the Gospel, Jesus called his disciples, Peter, James, and John, to a mountain to pray. While they were praying, Jesus showed himself in his glory and his clothes became very white. He was also talking with the prophets Moses and Elijah. This event is the Transfiguration of our Lord.

For many of us, we do not see Jesus manifest himself or hear God call us to do something. But we sometimes experience small miracles or realize something profound. We can pray everyday so that we can understand the will of God for us. For people who are not religious or spiritual, we can reflect about how we can do better in our life.

Read the Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.

The Purpose Driven Life takes readers on a 40 day journey on how to discern God’s purpose. I read this book while I was on break from school and was thinking about what I should do with my life. Everyday for 40 days, I copied the Bible verses and wrote my answers to questions in index cards. After 40 days, I felt blessed from reading this book. While I still do not know the exact path that I should take in my life, I have faith that God has called me to do good things and to bless people.

Know the reason why you want to change.

Many of us want to change to prevent something bad from destroying our lives. We exercise and eat healthfully so that we do not get sick. We save our income so that we do not have to borrow money. We work hard in our jobs so that we are not laid off.

But fear is not the only thing that can move us to change. Love is another reason to change, and it is also better for us. When we do something because it is good, we feel happier and we can sustain these actions for a longer time.


Jomar Hilario, the Philippine expert on online work and author of Virtual Careers, tells us to think of an unstoppable reason why we want to change our lives. The unstoppable reason must be someone that you love.

For me, my unstoppable reason is my family. I want to do online work so that I can eventually stay at home and be with my family while earning dollars. I still want to read everything and solve problems, but it would be great if I can do most of my work at home.

Change your attitude.

We often change our lives because we realize that our previous behavior is not helping us. For example, a doctor may tell us to stop smoking or to eat less fat, so that we can live a more healthful lifestyle. If on the day before payday, we have many loans and debts, then we may decide that we will make more income and save more money so that we can pay people what we owe.

But we do not have to wait for something bad to happen before we can change our lives. We can change our attitude for the better even if we are already satisfied and content with our lives.

How can we change our attitude? We often change when we have a different perspective. We can seek advice from people, read inspirational books, and listen to motivational messages. Taking courses and watching TED videos can show us a different way of thinking that can change our attitude. Outreach activities can also help us be grateful about what we have.

Read The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino.

In this story, a camel boy becomes the best selling carpet trader and the greatest salesman in the ancient world. How does he do it? By reading ten scrolls that change his attitude and his habits so that he can sell better than anyone else.

I read this book in grade school because the text is simple and easy to understand. Ever since I read this short book, I also tried to read the scrolls three times everyday, but I cannot get past The Scroll Marked I. Now I am reading the scrolls again, and I hope to finish all of them by the end of 2016. Wish me success!

Change your environment.

If you surround yourself with people and things that lead you to your goal, you make your life goals easier to achieve. If you want to live a healthy lifestyle, take away the junk food and replace them with vegetables and fruits. If you make your home more orderly, you can focus on your work and leave the clutter behind.

Read the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

Marie Kondo is an organizing consultant who wrote a bestselling book on how to tidy. The book tells us how to tidy up by only keeping that things that makes you happy or sparks joy. First, you organize by category: clothes first, books second, papers third, and miscellaneous fourth. Then, you take the item in your hand, and ask if that thing sparks you joy. If the item sparks joy, you keep it. If an item does not spark joy, then you can dispose, donate, or give it away.

Change your habits.

Habits are actions that we repeat over time. If you want to change your life, you have to change your habits. Why? Because habits are automatic in our lives. Once we have a habit, our first instinct is to do the habit. We can change all our habits, but first we have to take action to build them. The key to building habits is to start small, or even tiny.


This is a website that teaches people how to build small habits. A tiny habit is an act that takes less than 3 seconds that is done after an existing habit. The website teaches you how to build tiny habits and asks for feedback on how you did your habits.

For example, I want to exercise after I wake up. So I make a tiny habit of putting my shoes and tying my shoelaces. Then I anchor or do this habit after an existing habit, such as waking up. After I signed up with Tiny Habits, I got emails from Mr. Fogg daily updates of my tiny habits.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Be a virtual professional

I hope to be a virtual professional who earns more than P100,000 per month on or before 1 June 2017. Why this date? Because I have a two-year gentleman's contract to work with my law firm. If I can earn double or triple my law firm salary, I can retire already after ten years.