Are we “Earning, Saving, Investing and Preserving?”

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Some say money is the root of all evil. Well, I am not sure what we should say with reports that people like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and even Mark Zuckerberg will be leaving most of their wealth with charity instead. I think money is a great enabler, a tool to do a lot of good as well. As for the root of all evil, well, that’s human nature and has nothing to do with a piece of paper or perhaps billions of pieces of printed paper.  Oh yeah, here’s one recent article about all these multi-billionaires of the world today. CNBC.com: Billionaires who won’t leave their fortunes with their kids.  Anyway, for most of us, there’s no way we would ever catch up with these businessman. Yeah, I am speaking for myself, as a working professional. However, we still need to move towards having enough so that we do not struggle when we could no longer work full time or even believe we should work full time, right? I think there are just 4 things that will matter when it comes to money.

#1 – Earning. The first thing is NOT saving, okay? The first thing is earning. If we do not earn enough, there’s no need to talk about saving. As for earning enough, it’s really up to us. An office boy could still have an e-commerce business in the evening. A receptionist could become a GRAB driver for a couple of hours everyday. Even senior managers could still choose to start a blog about an interest and turn it into generating extra second income! I think there’s enough examples. At the SAME TIME however, we must choose to read more books (lots of them in the many libraries around us, usually close to being free.). Question is, are we watching the TV or reading a book week after week and later year after year? When we improve ourselves, we improve our career outlook and when we improve our career outlook, we improve our earning.

#2 – Saving. We can earn RM10,000 and we could still be in heavy debt. Or, we could earn RM3,500, rent a cheap place, give our parents RM700 per month, drive a reliable but old second-hand car and still have savings in the bank every month. Oh yeah, not buying that iPhone latest edition for just 3 years would have saved us easily RM10,000 or more. Crazy but true. Having nasi ekonomi versus sushi (or similar priced meals) will save us thousands every year too. Do our math and we realise that it’s really possible to save enough down payment for an affordable home of RM250,000 after 5 years. A good girl friend thinking the same or a wife would help tremendously too with the savings. My close friend, Mr. C’s wife SAVED all his and her earnings every month. I think Mr. C has a very good wife. 🙂

#3 – Investing. Note the word investing. It has nothing to do with speculating (super fast returns, super high risks for example). It has nothing to do with whatever get-rich-quick schemes in the market today. However, it can include buying a property and stretch ourselves to the limit BUT we rent out two of the bigger rooms and we stay in the smallest room. This meant we pay nearly nothing for rental and we have capital appreciation every year. It can also include buying good stocks which we UNDERSTAND and keep them for dividends. Of course, before we start investing, always ensure we know what we are doing. That means studying, learning and implementing what we studied.

#4 – Preserving. My dear friends, regardless of how much we have, an admission into the hospital for a appendicitis surgery with complications would easily cost RM15,000. (I know because I was hit with one before many years ago). Do we have sufficient medical coverage even if we are currently covered by our company. No one would have any idea if the company shuts down suddenly yeah. What happens if we could no longer work, will our whole family suffer because of this or do they at least be compensated by the insurance company? Remember, if we stop paying the mortgage, the whole family may lose a place to stay! This is why it is good to have a good insurance agent friend who’s able to provide sound advice on how to preserve whatever wealth we have as we continue to build it up.

My wife and I saved as much as we could for 5 years so that we could buy a 700 sq ft apartment at RM123,000 and spend RM35,000 on renovations and furnishings. Our savings was wiped out totally then. Well, I worked hard and we have more salary and thus more savings. That apartment in terms of price did not increase by leaps and bounds but after ‘fully utilising’ it for 8 years, we sold it for RM215,000. In those 8 years, we stayed, my brother stayed, my wife’s brother stayed, my sister stayed and later it was rented out too. If we did not invest into this tiny apartment, imagine the $$ that all would have needed to spend on the rental alone. As for how to spend wisely, well it’s always about choices, really. Choices, Choices, Choices, really  Comparisons are easy to do these days. Yes, you may also read kopiandproperty.com for free too. During my time, I did not have a blog I could read for free… Happy earning, saving, investing and preserving.

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written on 24 Aug 2018

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