A colleague enlightened me a few weeks ago when we met for a cup of coffee. She said, she told her son that he must move out after he has finished his secondary school. He has to somehow finish his university on this own with loans or working part-time. She told him that by then, anyone without a degree is going to live a very poor life. Her kid is ONLY 10 years old. Before she told him about this, his son has never thought about money or money management. After she has told him this, he asked more questions like how much would the university degree be, how much would be the rental for a room be and many more questions.
Beginning that day, whenever they go out for meals any leftover change (coins) from the bill would be kept by the son. He would ask politely, ‘mummy / daddy may I keep the small change?’ He is also very careful with his pocket money and would always seek to maximize its value. He used to take his piano lessons lightly but ever since his mother told him that if he is good in piano, he can teach other kids for tuition fees, he took the lessons very seriously! A 10-year old could understand the value of money and tries to save whatever he could. He does not know exactly how much he may need but he knows he needs a lot; this is still budgeting conservatively. He invests in his future by learning his piano lessons attentively.
A 10-year old who does not know much about the world understood enough about money to be able to learn about saving, budgeting and investing with the mother’s guidance. Many of us do not save enough, some of us do not even save. Without this habit, it is very hard for us to do any budgeting. Without the ability to do budgeting, it is even tougher for us to invest. In the end, when we look back we suddenly realised that time has passed very quickly. My friend’s son is definitely on the right track. A better question for anyone who’s earning below RM5,000 per month but holding the latest Samsung or iPhone model should be, ‘Is this luxury worth more than my future.’ Whatever the answer may be, all the best for your future. What you do today determines what you achieve in future.
written on 27 Nov 2015
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