(Photo from Agence France-Presse) We hardly think about the few mouthfuls of rice left on our plate. Taken together, this daily rice wastage average 15 grams per head, or 1,280 tons per day and cost Filipinos P23 million. Did I say “daily”?! Mind-boggling. These are official figures from the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), the principal research arm of the government on food and nutrition, that I caught this morning from the television show “Mornings on ANC”. I tested this at home last week, in fact, and found that after every meal, scraping rice from every dish can collect a small pile of rice big enough to feed one or two more persons. The lesson on frugality is obvious. Find a way to minimize, if not zero out, rice wastage. The small morsels literally means millions in the trash, especially with rising rice prices. Just this weekend, I discovered that one serving of rice at Leslie’s (the famous Bulalo place
going on the road to Batangas and Tagaytay) already costs P40. Expect rice prices in general to continue going north in the coming months.
Children are best taught by imagery and less by Sermons on the Mount. I was taught while young never to leave a single “mumu” on my plate because each one represented one sweat from my mother’s hard work. You can bet until now, I still clean my plate even if that’s not considered “fashionable” by some.
Makes you think about all those rice wasted at eat-all-you-can places, huh? It’s high time we should get only the amount of rice we can consume.
Frugality Tip for Tuesday: Rice alternatives and extenders. Blog about it and email me at lightdream (at) gmail (dot) com, or if you aren’t a blogger, just fire away and send me an email!
Our personal finance feature today talks about ordinary things that may bring in extraordinary cash. Coins, trading cards, comic books and toys –- at just the right age -- may bring in moolah if you stored them well enough. Just look at this Amazing Spiderman (1963) first edition which initially cost 12 cents but now costs $32,500.
(Photo courtesy of MoneySense)
So What Chocnut Snippets
HSBC’s Fred Neumann got it right. At a press conference a few months ago, he predicted that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas would be shifting monetary policy and this shift would result in some changes on Special Deposit Account rates. He was right on the money. If you weren’t able to cash in on the high rates enjoyed by SDAs earlier this year, now it’s too late.
From P610 billion as of end-February, SDA funds have now gone down to P245.7 billion, mostly going to traditional time deposit, bonds and other debt instruments, and foreign exchange instruments.
Standard Chartered Bank has sounded the alarm on big wage increases, saying they will be more harmful than the rice problem. Too much money released into the system will cause prices of basic commodities to rise, it says.
Here’s a non-economist’s explanation for that: Imagine that there used to be two persons buying mangoes from this store. All of a sudden, there are ten persons who want the mangoes because their paychecks are higher. If you were the storeowner, you would be more confident about raising your prices because you know that there are more buyers and they will be elbowing each other out for your ripe mangoes. And that is how inflation is supposed to be born.
Standard Chartered, however, forgot one thing peculiar in the Philippine’s situation. Wage increases are not set across the board in the Philippines. Each regional wage board studies how much wage increase can be absorbed by the economy. So if the wage boards do their job, our much-stressed workers who have been suffering for quite some time may have their cake and eat it too.
Perhaps, Standard Chartered just doesn't want to pay its employees more. Boohoo. Big local businesses are already willing to pay, why not a foreign firm that pays its expat personnel dizzying rates?
Recently in alternative investments Category
Wrote an article for our personal finance section today. You might want to check it out:
Did you know that a good art collector could beat returns in the stock market in both good and bad times? Investment in well-chosen Philippine art pieces at a minimum of P100,000 to P150,000 could give a 10 percent to 30 percent in a year or two. For those who have a taste for the works of National Artists, the 1972 Bencab acrylic on paper, estimated at $19,000 to $26,000 eventually sold for $54,000, writes Giselle Kasilag in Kulay-Diwa website. With stock, currency, bonds and commodity markets all over the world always in a state of flux, investors may find it worthwhile and less stressful to buy paintings instead of financial instruments. Or at least use this alternative form of investment to diversify his portfolio and spread his risks. The real return, however, may not be in the form of cash. Despite the possibility of high earnings, art patron Rico Hizon, who is also BBC World’s lone Filipino anchor, says the enjoyment that comes from the painting itself should be the primary return every art investor should consider. “Look at it as something that will lighten up your living room, give color to your bedroom. You shouldn’t buy art because you want to make money in two or three years,” Hizon said in an interview.Read more here.