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4 things about personal finance we need to do nowadays.

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When I was younger, everything seemed cheaper. The bowl of noodle at my school canteen? 20 sen. Add extra noodle? 30 sen. Haha. Okay, those were the days and only some of you will identify to that. For the rest of us, a cup of kopi-O in the mamak is now RM1.50, right? This tells us that the value of money continued to go down and this is why the price which we pay will have to go up. Fortunately, there are still some choices.

Let’s understand that if value of money kept going up, then there is also no need for us to keep asking for higher pay every year… There is also no need for us to keep saving more money and certainly we do not need to invest to earn more. We only need to preserve what we have and not lose them all at once, right? Here are the 4 things we have to do today.

#1 – Earning. Are we earning enough? If the current job is underpaying us, is it because we do not have the skills to ask for higher pay? Why do we not have the skills? Why not we learn and become very good at something which the company needs? What’s stopping us? Maybe it’s not the company. Are we in the wrong industry? Sometimes, the wrong industry may just wreck havoc to our career plans yea.

For those who are in fixed salary group, there’s also that sales specialisation which will enable us to earn a lot more than fixed salary. Are we prepared for it? Do we want to do it? How about doing extra work after your official work? GRAB perhaps? Burger stall, perhaps? Online retail store in Shopee, perhaps? Oh… you are not doing all these extra things because you are already tired? Then, you can skip this article already. All the best to you. It’s your life, yeah, not mine.

#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. Plus this person who has a just a salary of RM3,500 per month could also be owning TWO properties. Yes, she is a friend of mine. The two properties are just the typical RM300,000 ones but she has TWO with a tenant covering her mortgage for one.

Oh yeah, not buying that latest and most premium smartphone every time they come up with the latest edition for just 3 years would have saved us easily RM12,000 or more. Crazy but true. Having nasi ekonomi versus sushi (or similar priced meals) will save us thousands every year too. Else, find a partner who will SAVE up all our money so that we could not spend it. 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 from the BURSA 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. It may also include spending time learning a new skill and doing videos and become a successful YouTuber. It could even be writing a blog where NOTHING happens for the first 2 years and today (after 7 years), it has been a profitable Sdn Bhd for the last 2 years…

#4 – Preserving. My dear friends, regardless of how much we have, an admission into the hospital for an appendicitis surgery with complications would easily cost RM15,000. (I know because I was hit with one before many years ago). It may be more in the future.

I know many of us are covered by the company’s insurance and medical coverage but could we guarantee that our company will be around forever? Could we guarantee we will stay with the same company forever? No one would have any idea if the company shuts down suddenly yeah. Even if the company is already over a hundred years old…

Are we covered by insurance in case we lose our job and we could not continue paying our mortgages? Would our family have to sleep on the streets? Please stop thinking that it may not happen and we are just going to be paying for nothing. That’s why it’s called an insurance and the main reason to pay for it would be to preserve what we have accumulated. For many of these insurance, it’s best NOT to have to apply for it.

What is personal finance, really? I do hope that everyone is clear here that personal finance is not just about saving money and buying less stuffs or even going for holiday when the flight tickets are cheap. It is way beyond just saving money tips yeah. Personal finance is all about EARNING (as much as could) and then only followed by SAVING (as logically as possible) and must be complemented by INVESTING (due diligence and understanding is needed) and all these which we have accumulated must be protected by PRESERVING what we have.

Losing focus in anyone of these and the personal finance journey will become shallow after sometime. The world is moving way faster than yesteryears. We need to keep up. Working until we retire is no longer enough. Savings alone is no longer enough. Investing into just Fixed Deposit is definitely not enough anymore. Last but not least, whatever may go wrong may still go wrong, we need to try out best to protect it as much as we could.

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Next suggested article:  A supper. Kids and their choices.

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