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I Have A Mental Health Disorder; This Is How I Financially Support Myself

'I am undergoing treatment, so I plan my budget carefully.'
PHOTO: istockphoto

Name: Alyanna, 28

Occupation: Copywriter

Monthly Salary: P30,000

I’ve never been the “magastos” type. I have always been frugal and mindful of my expenses. Since 2012, I have been paying for life insurance that also doubles as investment. In 2013, I was able to invest on a property thanks to an amount of money that my paternal grandparents left me with. I used that money for the downpayment, and since 2014, I have been paying for its amortization (P13,068). However, in 2015, I was diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. Doctors’ fees and the cost of my medicines have burned a hole in my pocket. Until now, I am undergoing treatment, so I plan my budget carefully. My psychiatrist charges P2,000 per session, and I go to her once a month. Meanwhile, my medicines cost roughly P6,000 a month. My other monthly expenses are rent (P3,000) and electricity (around P300 to P450).


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Day 1 (Monday)

I am a bedspacer and I stay 20 minutes away from my office in Ortigas. I took a jeep going to work (P8) and bought ensaymada (P28) at Ministop for breakfast. The company that I work for provides the daily meals of its employees, so I do not spend anything for lunch. Before going home, I bought load for my Globe sim (P100). I don’t usually use my Globe sim to call and text, but I use it when I have to connect to the Internet while outside the office. For dinner, I bought a rice-and-adobo meal (P39) at 7-11.

Daily Total: P178 

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Day 2 (Tuesday)

For breakfast, I bought a pack of monay (P10 for six pieces) from the sari-sari store across our boarding house. On my way to work, I chanced upon an empty tricycle, so I hailed it and took it instead of a jeep. One tricycle ride going to work costs P24, but it is faster than a jeep ride. I was due to have my period on the latter part of the week, so I bought two packs of napkins (P70.75 each, P141.50 for two packs) and a pack of overnight pads (P45.71). For dinner, I bought tuna omelette with rice (P29) at 7-11.

Daily: Total: P250.21

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Day 3 (Wednesday)

For breakfast, I bought a pack of hopia mongo (P30 for five pieces) from our neighborhood sari-sari store. My boss asked me to process some papers at an agency in Makati, so I took UberPool from our place in Kapitolyo to Makati (P167). When I was done, I took UberPool from Makati to our office in Ortigas (P90). My UberPool expenses would be reimbursed at the latter part of the week because they were expenses I incurred for official business. For dinner, I bought spaghetti (P59) at 7-11.

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Daily Total: P346

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Day 4 (Thursday)

I ate my leftover hopia mongo from yesterday for breakfast. I had to go back to Makati to continue processing the papers I had with me yesterday, so I took an UberPool from Kapitolyo to Makati (P178). I ate at Jollibee (P121) for lunch. Then, I took another UberPool ride from Makati to our office in Ortigas (P164). When I got back to the office, I bought a jumbo-size mango orange juice (P30) from Ministop to quench my thirst. After work, I was to meet my boyfriend in Malate. I was supposed to take the train, but the queue snaked all the way down to EDSA, so I took an UberPool instead. There was a surge and my fare cost P314. Expensive, yes, but it would be a faster commute. And besides, time is gold.

Total: P807

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Day 5 (Friday)

I spent the previous night at my boyfriend’s place, so I came from Malate this morning. I took the jeep to LRT Pedro Gil Station (P8) and had my Beep card reloaded (P100). I also had my Globe sim reloaded (P100) because I used it to connect to the Internet to book my Uber rides for my errands in Makati. At work, I didn’t spend anything because again, lunch was provided. For snacks, our boss treated us to a box of doughnuts. That evening, I went home to my family in Balintawak. I took the MRT and got off at Trinoma. From there, I took an UberPool to our house in Balintawak (P126).

P.S. I had my UberPool rides to Makati and lunch the other day reimbursed. (P167 + P90 + P178 + P121 + P164 = P720)

Daily Total: P304

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Day 6 (Saturday)

I stayed home the whole day. The only thing I spent for was dental fees (P1,400) for cleaning and dental filling. I didn’t go out anymore so I wouldn’t be tempted to spend.

Daily Total: P1,400

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Day 7 (Sunday)

I spent Mother’s Day with my family and relatives. In the evening, my parents drove me to my boarding house in Kapitolyo using my sister’s car, which was still filled with gas, so I didn’t spend anything.

Total: P0.00

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Weekly Total: P2,565.21

(with a P720 reimbursement from the office)

I think I’m doing pretty okay in the budgeting department. Having free lunch at the office enables me to lessen my daily expenses and allot more for other things, like medicines, toiletries, and other personal needs. Weeks when I have more expenses are those when it’s time to pay for my rent, our electric bill in our room, the amortization for my property, and medicines and doctor’s fees. Those are the things I save up for, so I keep my daily expenses as low as I can. Soon, I’ll be done with my psychiatric treatment. When that time comes, I will have more money to put in my savings account. 

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