Before Paypal became fully operational here in the Philippines, I have always received my blogging earnings through check payment. Marc and I had to open a dollar savings account when I started monetizing my blogs about a year ago—besides, we needed a dollar account for clients who preferred paying through bank wire as well—and I deposited all my dollar blog earnings there (well, maybe except for those earnings I got from local direct advertisers).

A check I deposited usually took about three weeks to clear, aside from the fact that it takes about another two to three weeks for the check to get delivered. Until then, I wouldn’t be able to do anything with the check I received. Marc and I basically just left our dollar account be, and spent the earnings we got from our web design business for daily expenses.

We don’t normally spend money from the dollar account mainly because we’re just too lazy to withdraw from it 😀 It’s not like an ATM account, where you head over to the nearest machine or use your card to pay for purchases in stores that allow EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer). You will have to go to the bank during banking hours (9am to 3pm), wait in line to withdraw the dollars, then have it exchanged to Philippine Pesos before you can actually spend it. If you wanted to exchange your dollars at a higher rate, you’d even have to go to a money changer. Hassle, isn’t it?

It was actually a good thing that getting money from the dollar account was so much of a hassle—Marc and I unintentionally put away some cash as savings. We sometimes even forgot that we even had a dollar account, and just remember it whenever we wanted to buy some “luxuries” such as mobile phones, my sister’s PSP, my graphics tablet, etc.

But I think this savings account came in handy the most just recently, when Marc received notice from the salary loan he made when he was still employed (he borrowed the money for our wedding expenses and a second-hand car). As it turned out, the loan was not deducted from his last pay, so we had to settle the accumulated months after his resignation plus the fines in order to continue the loan. It was bad timing, I’ll tell you that—the notice came just when Marc and I had more receivables from clients than we had actual cash.

Lucky we had old faithful: the dollar account. Thank goodness for blogging, we were able to pay off the loan.

I’ll have to be honest. I didn’t feel that bad parting with the money that paid off the loan. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I feel that I didn’t really work that hard for it. Blogging isn’t something that I lose sleep over (unlike some of our web development projects), it’s something I do for fun. Earning from it is just an added bonus, but there really isn’t pressure in it unlike my work where there are definite deadlines and requirements to meet. I wasn’t cussing when we withdrew some cash from the blogging earnings, but I have to admit that I expressed some regret parting with it—I’ve been considering using that cash for a trip to the Singapore Zoo with my younger sister and Marc. But other than that, I can’t help but heave a huge sigh of relief.

My parents have always taught me the importance of saving for a rainy day, and it was during our “dark days” when we had to spent a lot of money for my sister’s and my mom’s medical expenses that I really understood what it meant. But the thing is, my dad and I were together helping each other out pool money to cover the expenses. I didn’t really panic. Knowing my dad is with me in that instance gave me some emotional and psychological assurance that everything would be ok. It really is different when you handle major expenses like that by yourself—or in my case, just me and my husband. We share the same source of income, and that makes the feeling different. It’s like you don’t have a backup, you know?

I just can’t help but to say it again: Thank goodness for blogging!