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  • How This Single Mom Built A House Without Borrowing Money

    She was able to have a family home built in Cebu without borrowing money
    by Cielo Anne Calzado .
How This Single Mom Built A House Without Borrowing Money
PHOTO BY Wendee Arriesgado
  • Achieving your own home starts with being financially-ready, but it's a big decision that will require you to be ready mentally, as well.

    While some people choose to file a housing loan or financial assistance, there are those who work within their planned budget to make it happen. In a post on the Tipid Living Facebook group, single mom of three Wendee Arriesgado proudly shared how she and her kids worked on their “pandemic achievement,” a debt-free home which they started in May 2020 with only a budget of Php200,000.

    Pandemic achievement! Wendee and her kids, Willem Van, Biel, and Von, in front of their house.
    PHOTO BY Wendee Arriesgado

    “Pagtitipid is the key! We left the big city for good, turned our backs sa urban lifestyle and moved permanently sa probinsya where the house is being built.

    “We were also able to get rid of mall shopping and dine-out expenses. Since the big move, we stopped splurging on groceries and we planned our meals and snacks around local produce,” Wendee shares in her post.

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    Construction of the home started in May 2020 then proceeded with Wendee overseeing the budget. The house stands in the family’s lot surrounded by trees.
    PHOTO BY Wendee Arriesgado

    Building a debt-free house

    Wendee was hands-on during the entire construction process, making sure the project stays within the planned budget.
    PHOTO BY Wendee Arriesgado
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    Building a house isn’t cheap given the materials and labor needed, but Wendee didn’t want to deal with “the burden of a bank or financing loan.” Her secret? Planning their expenses and managing the construction work that can be done within the budget she has set.

    This means stopping the project if there aren’t enough funds then restarting it when they have money to buy materials. “Kung ano lang po ang makakaya ng budget ko for the period, ‘yun lang po ang pinapa-trabaho ko.

    “To some, it sounds impractical and magastos, but for me na solo parent and full-time breadwinner, I can only do so much kaya I learned how to compartmentalize my budget,” her post reads.

    The house, which measures 49.89sqm, is a two-storey home built in Wendee’s family’s lot in Daanbantayan, Cebu. It was designed to have a covered deck in front plus a service area at the back.
    PHOTO BY Wendee Arriesgado
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    The hardworking mom gives credit to her children as well, praising them for helping her achieve the family home. “We have a system at home. The kids get Php20 per school day which they can save for buying personal things they need like craft materials or mobile game perks.

    “The same goes for me – if I need something for myself, I work extra hours to ensure I don’t take it from the salary or savings,” shares Wendee in an interview with SmartParenting.com.ph.

    Wendee built a good relationship with local stores, allowing her to maintain an open account so she can order the needed materials. In turn, she makes sure she pays them on time.
    PHOTO BY Wendee Arriesgado

    Aside from planning the budget, she also built a good relationship with local stores where she buys construction materials. Wendee pays them twice a month, every payday, and they let her keep an open account.

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    “It’s important that you keep your word with the suppliers when it comes to making payments and keeping the account current to ensure a smooth relationship,” she explains.

    Passing on the lessons of pagtitipid

    Dream team! Wendee with her three kids – Von, Willem Van, and Biel.
    PHOTO BY Wendee Arriesgado

    Teaching financial responsibility to her kids is important to Wendee as she recognizes that money will always run out and it’s crucial to have a nest egg. “You have to discipline yourself,” she says.

    “Every payday, before you even think about buying groceries or giving a little treat to your kids, compartmentalize your earnings and anticipate your expenses first,” Wendee adds.

    Despite the pandemic and stopping the project whenever the funds run low, the family is set to move in this December 2021 just in time for Christmas.
    PHOTO BY Wendee Arriesgado
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    She advises setting aside an amount to be deposited to a savings account then immediately paying monthly bills and tuition. Aside from keeping in mind construction expenses, the needs of her children, and their daily essentials, Wendee also experienced what it’s like to live with a huge debt.

    “Everyone has a chance to claim their goals. Tipid living becomes you if you practice it daily. You need to make it a lifestyle for it to work,” she says.

    Suffice to say that moving into the home signifies a fresh start for Wendee and her kids. Life in the province has been splendid for them and the children have adjusted not just to virtual learning, but to the surroundings as well. They have enough space in the lot for a front and backyard, plus, Malapascua Island is right across their shoreline.

    “We are no longer confined in a community at the back of a shopping mall and we can easily walk to the beach as it’s only five minutes away,” the mom of three shares.

    Moving to the province has been beneficial for Wendee and her kids, too!
    PHOTO BY Wendee Arriesgado
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    At the end of the day, teamwork made the dream work for Wendee and her family. “They can share the responsibility of the tipid lifestyle. No matter how you want to achieve your dream home, always factor in your capacity to earn, your ability to spend, and your willingness to turn your life around if you have to,” she advises.

    Read how one family became homeowners through Pag-IBIG Acquired Assets here.

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