My Utang-Free Diary is Chinkee Tan’s third instalment in his Diary ng Pulubi series of books with a fourth and possibly final one to arrive later next year. Sir Chinkee is in his usual witty self in the book as he writes in the vernacular (Tagalog) and in an easy to understand, contemporary tone.
Wittiness aside, My Utang-Free Diary is a very helpful and practical book especially for those whose are, you know, dealing with a lot of debt. The book describes the people who you and I may encounter at least once in our lives, who will ask for our help, and by help, means to make utang…a loan.
Sir Chinkee, as I fondly call him, is particularly clear about the goal of the book: to help the reader, the reader who is in deep debt, get out of debt. Sir Chinkee will describe this reader and it is my sincere hope that this reader will be able to relate and identify himself and take the measures outlined in the book to get out and stay out of debt.
Sir Chinkee, as I fondly call him, is particularly clear about the goal of the book: to help the reader, the reader who is in deep debt, get out of debt.
On a personal note, it is such a tremendous blessing that God has not allowed me and my family to be in serious debt. Sure, I made a few mistakes (who doesn’t) that caused me to be in debt a few times, but those are the exemptions, rather than the rule. Me and my wife have struggled greatly keeping ourselves away from the traps of debt; we try to save money to buy stuff that we need…and even those that we want, and in the few instances that we do buy something on credit, it is always through 0% instalment. One thing to note is that we do not pile this kind of debt on top of each other, we really try to save, then buy. There is one part of the book where I am kinda guilty about and its about that part when we say that, “I earned this money through hard work and I should be able to enjoy its benefits.” Let me tell you, whgen you buy an expensive item the joy that you will feel is going to be short-lived.
One thing to highlight about the Utang-Free Diary is that there are interactive parts. There is an Utang-Free challenge much like his challenges in his first two books, the “52-week Ipon Challenge” and the “52-week Badyet Challenge.” I think we can safely assume that the last book will also have another set of challenges. There are also stickers attached to the back cover that you can use to label debt that need to be paid, and the most important is a pledge of commitment that you need to sign to pay off debt and stay out of debt.
I asked Sir Chinkee what was his motivation in writing his “Diary” series of books and this is what he told me, “Aspiration natin lahat talaga na guminhawa ang buhay, umunlad ang buhay natin. Wala namang tao na gustong maghirap. Pero ang problema minsan, wala talagang nagtuturo at naggagabay sa atin, nagbibigay ng parang financial roadmap: saan tayo magu-umpisa at saan tayo magtatapos. So by God’s grace nabigyan tayo ng opportunity for us to experience from nothing to something, so right now ang ginawa ko, na-document ko talaga lahat yung proseso from ‘Diary of a Pulubi.’ Kunyari pulubi ka, anong next na gagawin mo? Kailangan marunong kang mag-ipon, tapos marunong ka dapat mag-budget, tapos dapat makalabas ka sa utang, tapos dapat matuto kang mag-invest at magpalago ng pera. Pag ginawa mo lahat ng proseso ang ending nyan, ‘Diary of a Mayaman.’”
Sir Chinkee promises that “Diary of a Mayaman” will be intriguing and we need to look forward to it but first, they need to know how to invest their hard-earned money first which will the theme of his next book in the Diary ng Pulubi series. 😉