Your Finances: “No Money, No Honey”

Today we’re going to talk about Money and why it matters so much..

Try to set aside any preconceptions you have about money.  We are going to look at money as it relates to you making the most out of your bachelor life.  This is where the rubber meets the road.  This is foundational and essential to you making the most out of your bachelor life.

Rule #1:  Money CAN buy happiness.

Can money buy true love or fix a bad relationship?  No.  But happiness.. yes, money can deliver that.  Think about it.  How happy can you really be when you know you don’t have the money for next month’s rent?  Or this month’s electric bill?  Or today’s groceries?  But, add some money into the equation and.. bills are paid, stress goes away.  This is not rocket science.  The idea that money cannot buy happiness is most quoted by those who figure they will never have all the money they really need.  It makes them feel better.  But it doesn’t line up with Reality.

Here’s a little experiment.  Go out today and hand $20 to a dozen random people.  Just give it to them.  How do you think they will respond when they realize you really did hand them free money?  Hint:  They will be HAPPY.  The simple fact of the matter is that money can solve ‘most’ of life’s problems.

Rule #2:  Money makes for new opportunities.

Without money, your opportunities are limited.  The more money you have, the more opportunities you have.  If you want to get a university degree.. you need money.  Want to start a business?  You need money.  Want to travel?  You need money.   Once you buckle down and work out how you intend to make more money, you will be on the path to expanding your possibilities in life.  And if you budget properly, the world suddenly opens up for you like an oyster offering up a pearl.  You can see places you never imagined existed.  Do things you never thought possible.  Meet people you otherwise would never have met.

It’s a sad fact of life but, let’s look at poverty for a moment.  You’ve seen the homeless guys.  It doesn’t matter ‘how’ they ended up with no money, the end result is the same.  Life becomes so hard at that level that just ‘surviving’ consumes all their time and energy.  At that stage of poverty, forget about travel or hobbies.  Forget about dating or dining out.  Finding a warm place to sleep and some food for the day is the only goal they can prioritize on.  Without money, life gets hard.  That’s a fact of life.  I’ve worked with the homeless for years, and trust me.. happiness is not what that life is about.

Rule #3:  Money comes with EFFORT.

Unless you were born into a wealthy family or won the lotto, any money you earn from this point out is going to require effort.  There is a saying, “Nothing worthwhile ever came without effort.”   If you already have a solid income stream going, focus on the other articles about maximizing your leverage.

But if you find yourself limited in opportunities to do what you really want to do… there is ONE solution for that; money.

So what you need to do is take an assessment of yourself.  I’m talking about a hard, honest, look at what your real strengths are.  Are you mechanically inclined?  Are you an intellectual?  Are you a creative person?   Your first step in designing your life is to look at what raw materials you possess to make your start.

You also need to prioritize how you use your time and energy.  When you have ‘free time’.. do you spend it on something that will make you more money?  Or do you spend your time and energy ‘goofing off’?  I’m all for some goof-off time, but earn that money first.  In fact, the more money you have, the more you can just chill and enjoy life.

books earn income online how toSo maybe instead of arguing politics on Facebook for hours, cruising pornhub or drinking beer in the garage with your buddies all afternoon.. use your free time to get online and READ, READ, READ.  Do some research.  Check out websites like and get some ideas going for making some side-income online.  Check out or and crank up some extra cash in your spare time.  Or even just get on and do searches on how to earn side-money, trade schools in your area or small business ideas.  If you want different results in your life, you gotta change what you’ve been doing so far.

“Okay, I know I need money.  But how do I get it?”

Back to effort and putting on your thinking cap.  Look at the world around you.  Look at wealthy people.  I recommend a book I’ve read called, “The Millionaire Next Door“.  The author interviewed self-made millionaires to try and figure out ‘how’ they succeeded.  Are you willing to put out the effort and do some reading?  What is an awesome life worth to you?  I will tell you this much, if you don’t begin doing things differently by putting forth some effort to educate and strengthen and change your habits.. nothing will change.

But if you are willing to learn and adapt, you can transform the entire direction of your life.

Let’s take a look at ‘some’ of the avenues to increase your financial status.

Investing In Yourself and Making the Effort

Think about ways you can increase your knowledge or change your efforts in specific ways that will result in you being able to earn more money.

Sure, getting through med school and becoming a surgeon will make bank.  But that requires.. money.  Maybe money you can’t come up with realistically.  But there are trade schools and certifications which in a matter of six months can increase your earning ability.  Research that.  It might be welding, or medical transcription or learning how to fix air-conditioners.  But you need to invest your time and energy into raising your earning value beyond what it is right now.

And see this as the first stepping-stone to your final goal.  You might be a skilled plumber this year.  But next year, with the money you earn, you start your own business.  Not doing plumbing, but running your own plumbing business and sub-contracting the work.  My youngest son was working as a mover just a few years ago.  He worked his ass off.  One day he came to the conclusion that there was no reason why he couldn’t be the guy taking the phone calls and sending out OTHER guys to do the moving.

So he started his own small moving business.  He didn’t have any money to “start a business”, so he would secure a job, then rent a U-haul truck and do the move.  Pretty soon he had enough jobs to begin hiring more guys.  After a year he was purely administrative, focused on marketing and logistics.  It took a few years but now he has a moving company that handles all of Southern California, including charging others for storage in a warehouse he leases and ongoing deals with major companies like PODS.  How old is my son?  26 years old now and he started all this when he was only 22.

But none of that would have happened if he didn’t stop and take stock of things.  You have to think outside the box.  Beyond next weeks’ paycheck.  You have to dare to dream.  You have to be willing to make the effort.  Because if your hope is to earn more money without some effort, good luck with that.

Other excellent books I recommended to my son, which he eventually read with a passion, wereself-helpThe One-Minute Manager“, “The Richest Man In Babylon” and “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People“.  Prior to him investing in his reading, I myself had evicted him out of two of my homes for being so flaky and aimless with his life.  But it was when he was ready to look up from his daily routine and put in some effort.. that is when everything began to change.

So the question now.. for YOU is, “Are you willing to put your thinking cap on?”  Are you willing to begin brain-storming on how to maximize your talents, age, interests, intellect, skills and focus all that into a new direction that will make you more money?  Whether you read the books or not, this is what it all boils down to.  Are you willing to put forth the effort so that at some point in the future you will be doing what YOU want to do?

What is your goal?  I’ll share a bit about my goals.  

In 2008 i found myself divorced and very depressed.  I had quit a high-paying career of twenty-one years as a medical engineering tech to get my realtor’s license and invest in some homes.  But the housing market chose that year to go into a total nose-dive.  I lost two homes in the process and was barely hanging on to the remaining two.  One of which went to my ex-wife.  I got out of real estate and began my own computer repair business.  Before long I had a long list of steady clients and referrals in the wine country community of Temecula, California.  Things got better, but I knew I wanted more out of life.

As fate would have it, one day a client wanted to meet at a Filipino restaurant to pick up their laptop I had repaired.  It was there I met a wonderful Filipina woman and soon the idea of living in Southeast Asia began to appeal to me.  Warm beaches, the resort life, beautiful women and island-hopping.. yah, that was the life I wanted.  But I knew that if I didn’t focus ALL my time and energy on that goal it would never happen.  So, guess what?  On July 4th, 2011, I sat down in a casino bar with a glass of wine and told myself i would not leave until I had figured out a way to make that dream come true.  Three hours and two glasses of wine later.. I made it my resolve to relocate to the Philippines within one year.

And one year later, on July 14th, 2012, I was on a one-way plane to Cebu, Philippines.  I had all my ducks in a row.  I figured out my finances and did my online research for my journey.

So, since then.. I’ve been “living the dream” in Southeast Asia.  Now I am looking to relocate to Vietnam in 2017 so I can explore Cambodia and Thailand, possibly Malaysia.   Check out my slideshow below, this is just a glimpse of how I spend my time now..


But maybe the tropics isn’t your thing.  Maybe you want to live in Italy.  Or maybe you want to own your own garage that restores classic cars.  Or you want to get paid for your paintings, your band or your writing skills.  Maybe you want to backpack Europe and meet new people.  But spend some time thinking about it.  Ask yourself, IF.. I could be doing right now whatever I really wanted to do.. what would it be?  Only you can answer that question for yourself.

When you see that vision of where you want to be, remember this;  Money is the bridge to get you there.  But you gotta be willing to shuffle things around, prioritize your life so that you are daily making some progress toward increasing your earning ability.  It is a stepping-stone process of moving yourself up, one stone at a time until you can leverage your skills and time to more than meet all your needs and desires.

Do you want the milk and honey in life?  Money is the bridge to having it.  Stop.  Think about it.  What changes can you make to improve your situation, even slightly?  Do not give up on this until you have an idea and a new direction in life.  And then, take action on it and stick with it.  Modify the plan as needed.  But start with a Plan-A and keep going.

Chief Editor
philippines survival guide advice expats

Author: Reekay Velez

Living the bachelor life since 2008, started and ran a successful computer repair business and catering company before deciding to travel and live in the Philippines in 2012. Created a successful travel vlog,, in 2013 with over 7 million views. Reekay also does a podcast,, and is slated to explore Southeast Asia in 2017 with a tour of Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. He is the chief editor of and is also available for private consults via Skype.


  1. Hi Reekay, great article. I’m a little sad to learn you’ll be leaving the Philippines, which is a place near and dear to my heart. Having said that, we only live once so I recognize it’s a good idea to check out Vietnam and neighboring countries to see what best fits your needs. I assume Lyn probably isn’t coming with you to Vietnam. How is she handling the upcoming transition?

    1. I began discussing this plan with Lyn since back in February/2016. So we’ve had plenty of time to work it out so that it’s a smooth transition. In fact, I decided to delay leaving the PH until perhaps June/2017 so she and I can spend more time together.

  2. I don’t know if you considered taking a crash course in Vietnamese or locating whether there is a English/Vietnamese (or vice versa) translation app before you relocate. Unless you’re in an area with a lot of expats that speak English. Exchange rate, however, is better in Vietnam as it is currently 22,769 (to round off) Vietnamese Dong to the US Dollar compared to 50 (to round off) Philippine Pesos to the US Dollar

    1. This is amusing, the idea that the more of a local currency you get for a dollar, the better off you are. It simply isn’t true. What matters is the relative price levels between Vietnam and the Philippines. How much does rent cost in Vietnam versus the Philippines? How different are the costs for food, maid service, a night on the town? Yes, you should always convert those prices into dollars first and then compare them. Whenever you get a fistful of foreign cash in exchange for one dollar, that is usually a sign of high inflation. If your income is in dollars, you are sitting pretty. But don’t sit on that 22,769 Dong for very long or you will find out that what earlier cost 22,769 Dong now costs 46,000 Dong and you have lost over half of your purchasing power. Sorry, if this is all very obvious, but your comment indicated some confusion.

      1. if an expat was going to thailand and converting his entire retirement savings into thai currency, you’d have a point. but not many expats are that stupid. they keep their money in dollars (or euros or aus dollars) and convert on a monthly basis to dong for their ongoing needs. if the dong were to take a drastic drop, not much exposure. Sorry, if this is all very obvious, but your comment indicated some confusion.

  3. Henry,

    Good luck with your travels and new adventures to come. Selfishly, I was sad to hear you will be leaving the Philippines. I am hoping to move there in the next few years and I would have liked to meet you. I have been enjoying your videos & writings since I came across them in September 2012. Out of all the vloggers, regardless of locale, I have enjoyed your work the most. You appear motivated by a genuine joy for sharing your experiences to the benefit of others, rather than pure vanity like most vloggers. I will continue to enjoy your writings, videos, etc. Hopefully, I will be fortunate enough to bump into you in the future.
    Take care,
    Mike Sabala

  4. Reekay …You going to leave the PH for good , or ? Would Lyn come with you … or would be back and forth ? Sounds like another adventure… on top of an adventure !

    1. If all goes well, I plan to tour more of Asia for a few months, but then return to the PH. Lyn will remain in the PH since she wishes to keep her job and continue to see her parents on a regular basis.

  5. Hey Mike , I will be coming to the PH soon ( within the next year) after a sort a few personal things out here. I could use a good wing–man. I may use Dumagete as a base or Bohol , so I hope to see you there soon. We can learn and grow together if your in the area !

    I dont know about you Mike, but I’m getting out of this rat race here- I hope for good. I will likely live longer and happier too ! : ) . Your from the USA ?


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