Getting the most out of life need not be all about money

There’s one blog I read occasionally, mr-stingy.com It has nothing to do with me being stingy. It has many good articles and I like the way the articles are written. Professionally written yet very real and touches my heart. Some very good ones are here: The Best  I like his story even if it would be some time more before I could do what he did; reject a 6-figure offer from his employer. How many of us could live the way we wanted to live? To decide based on what we would like to achieve out of life instead of how much our employer is willing to offer us? Aaron is the man behind Mr.Stingy.com Below is his sharing on “Getting the most out of life.”

1. You rejected a promotion with a 6-figure USD income. Were you earning too much? 🙂  

Actually in my previous job, I didn’t have a 6–figure USD (annual) income yet. What really happened was that my bosses wanted to offer me a promotion which would have paid me 6-figures USD. But at that point in time, I was already seriously considering leaving to do something close to heart: something related to training and developing people. So I said no to the promotion, and instead resigned.

 

2. For the next 12 months, what’s your investment focus and why?

I’m being extremely conservative right now — because I don’t believe the fundamentals of the current US & Malaysia bull run (longest in the world!) are that strong. So I’m actually investing in (local and Asian) bond mutual funds right now. If/when(?) the stock markets go down, I’ll be looking for some bargain stock buys. And likely some foreign-based ETFs too.

Besides that, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether fascinate me. I think I’m pretty late to the Bitcoin party, but if it drops to USD 500-ish, I’ll probably be buying some Bitcoin. I like the idea of the blockchain, Internet “money”, and the fact that governments can’t regulate it. Maybe there’s a bit of a rebel in me 😉

 

3. Seriously, do you think you will earn serious money with mr-stingy.com and are there any tips for aspiring bloggers out there?

No, it’s not likely that mr-stingy.com will earn me serious money. Not directly anyway. What it will do for me is to help me promote my brand and name. And also give me much-required writing practice. Which will hopefully lead to other lucrative opportunities in the future.

Here are a few tips for aspiring bloggers:
a. Start writing today. 

Your biggest challenge will be starting and gaining momentum. If you’re not used to writing (or thinking about writing every day), your natural self will default to doing a hundred other things. Because it doesn’t feel like “work”. So fight it with every ounce of your will. Don’t let your internal questions derail you: “What will I call my blog?” “What if my friends think I’m lame?” “What theme should I use?” Just block all that out and start, no matter how shitty it feels at first. You can figure everything else out along the way.

b. Write useful stuff. 

If you want to reach a lot of people, and help them — your writing needs to be useful. So yes, maybe ranting about your bad experience in the Post Office might be entertaining to a few people. But unless you can help your readers with something in their lives, it’ll be difficult to get lots of followers. How can you genuinely help someone through your blog today? That’s a good question to ask when you’re thinking about what to write about.

c. Write as well as you can, in your own way. 

I just read an article (from 2015) that says that every minute, 1400 blog posts are published on the Internet. That’s 33,600 new blog posts a day! And that hasn’t even taken into account everything else that’s going on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. On the Internet, it takes a lot to stand out. This isn’t to discourage you from creating content. But it’s to encourage you to create awesome content! Seriously, do it. Bring your best self to the writing table. The Internet will thank you for it.

d. Be prepared to hustle and promote your work. 

Creating awesome content is one side of the battle. The other side of the battle is promoting your work. This means that you need to actively reach out to editors, publishers and other writers who might be interested in what you have to say. Just hitting “Publish” and sitting back is not good enough nowadays. You need to talk to people and build relationships. Say “Hi, I hear you like burgers. And I just wrote an article about the best burger places in KL. It might be useful for you. Do you want to take a look?”

Remember — always try to help (bring value to) other people. Even when you’re trying to promote yourself.

4. It’s tough to save money these days with the rising living costs. Tell us your personal savings tips.

a. I use a phone app to track my expense. I never used to do this, but I started this year. The data has been great! It’s allowed me to really fine-tune my spending each month and reduce unnecessary expenses. I can control my spending and saving much better now — with just this really small change.

b. I pay myself first. The oldest and most boring line in the personal finance advice book is still perhaps the most important one. People like me have a tendency to spend every cent of their money, so the best thing for me is to quickly transfer money out into investment and savings early in the month. So I can’t touch that money any more. Even better — automate the process using standing instructions.

c. I read as much about personal finance as I can. Again, old but true: knowledge is power. Besides, the more you read about interesting personalities who’ve mastered money — the more inspired you are to master money on your own.

 

About Aaron

Aaron Tang is the founder of mr-stingy.com. He writes about optimizing time, money and relationships — to make the most out of life. You might have seen him at places like The Huffington Post, Business Insider, The (now defunct) Malaysian Insider, iMoney and SAYS.

In his day job, he works at a social enterprise — helping young people become better versions of themselves.”

 

Next suggested Expert Series:  Expert Series with Khalil Adis: The tough questions for those waiting to buy

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5 thoughts on “Getting the most out of life need not be all about money

  1. Yes, I find this blog very enriching. Mr-stingy.com’s write up is great. The advice dished out is first-class on writing and how to start. Initial period is the hardest. I believe the reason is the mind and fingers coordination. As one types, letter after letter, micro-thinking of correctness of spellings and thoughts of sentences, organizations all come to mind together can be daunting to newbies.

    Once the initial breakthrough is achieved, it is much easier. The moment you enjoy it, it will be difficult to restrain yourself from commenting every article you read. From then on, every article you read will include the author’s style of writing, his creative use of words and phrases and others.

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