My Husband, the Financial Advisor

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Look at my husband’s big, wide smile after finishing his training and starting his new career. This is something he’s so passionate about–helping people with their finances by teaching them, walking with them and providing them with solutions so they can reach their financial goals.
One of the things the Lord amazingly considered when He brought me & my husband together is the value of proper financial management & stewardship. Having experienced how poor financial decisions and bad spending habits can affect a family, I remember praying to God for a job that would pay me well enough so I wouldn’t have to resort to taking loans. If that meant that I’d skip eating out and just make my own baon everyday, so be it. If that meant that I couldn’t buy my wants immediately, then I was willing to wait it out. It was important that my basic needs were covered and that I didn’t have to go into debt just because I overspent. Hearing Dave talk about similar financial viewpoints while we were dating admittedly caught my attention (aside from our shared interest in Biblical exegesis). He didn’t brag about cars, gadgets or a luxurious lifestyle. I remember trying to hide my kilig when we were talking about life insurance and investments during our dinner date at The Happy Garden Cafe. In my head I was screaming “SHOOOOCKS. A GUY WHO TOTALLY GETS IT AND DOES NOT FIND ME WEIRD FOR BRINGING THESE UP!” He actually had a lot to say about the topics too and I knew that he wasn’t faking it. It was something that he believed in and was in his system.

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We’ve been doing budgeting and financial tracking since we started planning our wedding. Our spreadsheets are certainly different now that we’re married and living on our own but we find that recording our income, expenses, investments, savings and bills (although tedious) helps us plan, project and adjust our finances better.

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Hindi ba nakakaloka na na-eexcite siyang gawin to? “Na-challenge yung brain ko, sandali.” Tapos uupuan niya yan, magcocompute just to show what’s more practical.

Since we got married, we have long been praying for God to give him a new job opportunity. He’s certainly learned a lot and has gone through massive character building while he was working in the government but he eventually reached his threshold. He’s been sending out applications since last year, some got back to him, some invited him for interviews but things just did not move forward. Though it did make us sad, we continued to pray and trust God that He knew better. When the opportunity finally came this year, we were both taken aback by the order of circumstances. No amount of human manipulation could make the timing so smooth. Clearly, God was on it.
We know that this job won’t be 100% stress free. It does come with it’s own set of challenges and areas of growth. I’m just happy to see my husband do something he is so passionate about and flourish in the midst of a motivating team. I’m happy that his job allows him to help people plan and protect their finances (and loved-ones), prepare for the future and unforeseen circumstances.
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If you are interested to talk about finances, capital/wealth protection, retirement planning and investments, you may get in touch with my husband via email: davidingridpagulayan@gmail.com or send him a PM on Facebook. 😀

The Art of Laundry + Detergent Powder Review | INGRID NIETO Vlogs

Laundry should be basic. I mean, we wear clothes, sweat in them and change. We have beddings, towels and kitchen linen which need to be washed, cleaned, disinfected so we can use them again.
I give a quick compilation review in the video of some of the powder detergent brands (Ariel, Tide, Breeze, Surf and Pride) in the Philippines

Post-Wedding Reflections

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If you asked Ingrid three years ago if she envisioned herself tying the knot, she would outright tell you–NO. It’s been an interesting journey from being a lovestruck teenager who couldn’t wait to find true love, getting my heart broken, being made to hope and then finally surrendering to God in the area of relationships. I settled into my single life, enjoying and living every moment of it. I wore the NBSB (No Boyfriend Since Birth) tag like a badge of honor, thinking “No man has ever come close and all the others who tried were just not serious.” I envisioned myself devoting my life to media and ministry, traveling the world and just living the single life to the hilt AND THEN DAVE HAPPENED. If you watched these videos, I talked about how I came to a point of confusion. How I was already happy as a single but then I began developing feelings for Dave. I asked God if I was sinning and during my plane ride to Singapore then, I felt the Lord assure me that it was okay. That Dave was from Him. Some people thought our romance was a whirlwind: We became a couple in October 2017, Dave proposed in January and we tied the knot on the exact day of our first year together.

Looking back, I really saw God’s involvement in everything: from the schedules, to the suppliers, the venue, financial provision and the availability of people we chose to be a part of our wedding day. The wedding planning was also an avenue for God to teach us about the essentials of the covenant of marriage. See, we had a very intimate wedding of just 80 guests. Of course it was daunting to put the guest list together. “Baka sumama loob nito pag di natin siya ininvite.” “Should we include him/her? Kilala ba niya tayo talaga or baka acquaintance lang?” Dave and I both are practical with our finances. We could have gone with a 250-person guest list but how would that affect our life after the celebration was over? We wanted to cover our bases, meaning after ng wedding, kailangan sigurado na may pambayad kami ng housing and utilities namin, our transportation, basic needs and the other things for us to build our home. There is nothing wrong with those who choose to splurge on their wedding day–that is your wedding, this is ours. That is your budget, we also have ours. 🙂

I guess through this whole process, one thing I can impart to fellow brides (and grooms) is to not be pressured to mount an extravagant wedding just because someone you know did so. Do not be pressured to avail of all the wedding trends just because a lot of couples have been getting them too. One question that I found very helpful every time I was tempted to avail of a wedding add-on was this: “Will the wedding not push through, if this were not included?” (Hindi ba matutuloy ang kasal kung wala yan?)

It’s been several weeks since we said our vows. As we joyfully build our home together, we’ve been affirmed that we made the right choice to prioritize our life after the wedding day, without any fear of huge debts or the fear of not having enough to sustain our daily living.

 

Our Wedding Day Vlog

I thought it was highly possible for me to vlog the whole wedding day. I needed help! I’m thankful that our wedding photographers, my bridesmaids and maid of honor were more than happy to step in and tell the story of our wedding day.

Things I learned?

  • Matagal pala talaga yung prep shoot. Of course it looks so easy and fast when the photos are put together na for the SDE but… haha let me tell you NO. With all due respect to our photographers, they really did a great job and I know they wanted to get a lot of amazing shots because this is their craft. I guess I just had to properly psyche myself. Hindi kasi professional mowdel si Ingrid. :p
  • EAT. AS IN. It’s bound to be a long day.
  • We should have taken pictures with our family and other guests in our photobooth. 😦 I’m thankful that our supplier Photomocoh extended their hours just to make sure that Dave and I had shots of ourselves at the photobooth. That was very nice of them.
  • Even if you think you’ve planned everything, you have to learn to let go and entrust the execution to the coordinators and people involved. Yes, there will be things that won’t go according to the outline but you just have to let go and ENJOY EVERY SINGLE MOMENT because the time just zooms through so quickly.

Enjoy our wedding vlog!

#WeddingVlog05 Meet My Wedding Gown Designer! | INGRID NIETO Vlogs

Hanna and I know each other for several years now and I’ve actually asked her to make some of my dresses and gowns in the past. Knowing her design philosophy, her kind heart and her being so intentional to be a channel of Christ through her designing business didn’t make me think twice na she would be my gown designer. At first, I sent her pegs of gowns I liked.

She noted my preferences but surprised me with the sweetest, personalized designs, factoring in how well she knew me, my love for Disney and what would work best with my body type.

We met at the school program of BSF International (Ortigas Evening Women’s Class) where we both served as CLs. It’s been wonderful witnessing how Christ has been journeying and refining her through her family, ministry, design business and clients.

Check her out on Instagram: JohannaBespoke

#WeddingVlog04 Rings and Our Final Meeting with our Caterer | INGRID NIETO Vlogs

Today we had our wedding rings made and also had our final meeting with our caterer. Our jeweler Amy Derricks, was referred by Dave’s mom. It was interesting to see how gold is melted, weighed and formed. When gold is melted, a percentage of the total amount gets lost in the process so your jeweler might have to add a bit more gold, just to keep up with your chosen design and ring preferences. In our case, Ms Amy added a little bit because we wanted our rings to be a bit thick and sturdy. We also intentionally made it a bit loose, just in case we get chubbier fingers in the future, masusuot pa din namin the rings. Hehe.

We then headed to the Josiah’s office for our final food tasting and to settle our payment. We’re very happy with the package Josiah offered us earlier this year—they gave us additional pasta, meat dishes, welcome treats, beverages and they even included our wedding cake! Apart from the reception package, since our wedding is just in one venue, we availed of their ceremony set-up for an additional P15,000. To get a glimpse of what we’re having for the big day, watch the vlog!

#WeddingVlog03 The Marriage License Process | INGRID NIETO Vlogs

You can’t get married if you don’t have a marriage license! 😀 Before applying for anything, we suggest securing all of the requirements since that takes a bit of time. You need to furnish a certified true copy of your birth certificate and CENOMAR, which you can order online and pay via credit card from http://www.psaserbilis.com.ph. You can get your barangay certificates and CTC/cedula at the barangay hall (at your place of residence).

One of the requirements for the marriage license application is the pre-marriage counseling certificate, meaning you have to attend the pre-marriage seminar first at your City Hall and then get the certificate right after. You will need to submit this along with the other requirements. Just so it’s easier, here’s the step by step process:

1) I called the city hall, asked for the available slots and paid for the pre-marriage counseling fee (P100)
2) We attended the scheduled seminar from 8am-12nn. While waiting for the certificate, we were taught how to fill out the marriage license application forms (4 copies, hand-written by both the groom and bride)
3) Once we received the certificate, we went to the cashier, paid for the fee (it’s P200, folks. Please make sure you check the change given to you and keep the receipt) and went to the City Civil Registrar section and submitted the requirements:
-Pre-Marriage Counseling Certificate
-Birth or baptismal certificate (both the bride and the groom)
-Cenomar (both the bride and the groom)
-Barangay Clearance
-CTC/Cedula
-1×1 photos (bride and groom)
-Marriage license application form

4) We were then given a reference number and had to come back after 10 days to get our license
5) After they post the notice for 10 days, return to the City Civil Registrar and then give your reference number. The marriage documents will be handed over to you, sign the receiving log and off you go! Please take note that the marriage license is valid only for 120 days. You have to get married within that allotted time or you will need to reapply again.

Kindly check the website of your own city hall, just to make sure. There are also additional requirements if you:
a) are a widow/widower
b) are a foreigner
c) have gone through divorce or annulment
d) are 18-25 years old

#WeddingVlog02 Pre-marital Counseling | INGRID NIETO Vlogs

Pre-marital counseling is one of the things couples have to undergo in preparation for the wedding. Since we’re getting married at our home church and our Senior Pastor is officiating our wedding, he and his wife, Tita Joy handled our pre-marital counseling. Apart from them, we’re grateful that some of our principal sponsors have been able to spend time with us before we tie the knot.

There are several sessions for the church pre-marital counseling. We get to discuss the Biblical roles of husband and wife, the importance of a Christ-centered marriage, the role of the couple, leaving and cleaving, finances, sex in marriage, showing Christ-like love to your spouse, submission for the wife and leadership for the husband. While there were concepts that we were already familiar with, it was good to expand our knowledge and also learn from practical, real life examples.