Asked on 06 Mar 2019
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I have 3 short stories to share.
Let me detail it here:
My Mother: Who has been a working mother for the past 20 years of her life and raised up 2 kids from young till they have grown up to lead their own lives. Also, she’s probably the smartest and savviest person I know about saving money but also investing in stocks and funds (every month my brother and I pass her money, she’ll RSP it into a fund and is looking to grow it for us, instead of spending it) she has also grown her property portfolio with my father and it was truly and amazing experience to see it all happen and how she managed to climb the ladder of today’s capitalistic Singapore.
My Fianceé: Whom will become my wife really soon. Also a very strong lady with strong money habits inculcated since young. Becoming very savvy with the big money decisions, so it’s a real blessing that I have her in my life and for my future kids as well
The ladies in our Seedly team: We have a bunch of amazing ladies at work! They work really hard and most importantly smart. The financial element here is that we are all working for each other to make this a success as work contributes to the largest portion of our time. So, thank you to: Cherie, Xinyi, Yixuan, Charmaine and Min Sun!
I'd have to give it up to my mother. Not because she's a shrewd investor or saves a lot, but because she showed me the value and the reward of hard work.
Teen mom, had me at 16 going on 17, was unable to finish her O levels. Almost certain that future was bleak, my mom decided that wasn't going to be another statistic.
She worked her butt off, doing part time gigs, and soon found herself in sales.
But it gets worse, a blessing with my sister just 4 years my junior, was followed up with a divorce. Now single mom of 2 juggling a few jobs at the same time to make sure that we have a good life.
But she never made it seem that money was tight, I still got my pocket money, and we still go to the cinemas every other weekend.
Soon after, when I was 10, she then introduced me to business, and with the help of my step dad, keeping accounts and ledgers of my sales and inventory.
A primary 4 kid was making 100% profit every week, started with 6 dollars and turned it into 300 in 3 months. Amazing.
This turned me into a serial entrepreneur, and I kept on finding more ways to make money.
About a few years ago, through hard work, my mom became a senior marketing manager. From an O level dropout, to a mother of 3, earning 5 digits monthly.
Truly my hero and inspiration.
I once had an ex who feels the need to spend to make life meaningful.
Being in love, I choose to embrace her vision and did not ask her to change.
Instead, I choose to change my life style to fit her lifestyle.
The spending goes from travelling to buying non stop online and all her shoppings can only be placed on her bedroom floor.
Even the startup Carousell, did not assist in reducing the shopping but increase the storage issue.
The moment I realised this is an addiction, it was too late.
I was labelled a control freak when I request her to stop buying and start selling.
Then we broke up because I could not fit into her lifestyle anymore.
She made me realised that if we really love a person, we must not embrace her bad habit and we must try our best to let her realised if there is any changes needed, is for her benefit in the long run and not for the partner who cares for her.
In the financial journey, is about teaching her the right way to save and to spend.
Save for retirement.
Spend for commitment.
By supporting her with financial support might do her more harm then loving her.
By allowing her to learn how to grow her savings, it give her more freedom in spending and in a more meaningful ways.
My Financial Journey is never about myself, is always about us.
1 more comments
07 Mar 2019
There's one line that my mom shared with me that I will always remember, "You earn money to spend it, when you spend you will be motivated to earn more." She taught me that the mindset shouldn't be "save more" but to "earn more". Maybe it's to justify her handbag buying habits but she's an incredible risk taker and entrepreneur.
She took a leap of faith and came to Singapore with my father 23 years back with nothing in her bank account. We lived in a rented room in commonwealth at the start, which took up half of my parents' paycheck. But they worked hard (and smart), my mom eventually opened up her own fashion business and was earning even more than my dad.
There were many more smart financial moves that my mom made but her mentality was always to take the risk and not be afraid to spend. (My mom got mad at me once in Paris cause she said I was being very controlling with the things she wanted to buy haha)
So here's to this wonderful capable lady, who taught me to spend instead of scrimp!
Everyone knows the Korean gesture of love which involves the thumb and index finger. But do you know that if you repetitively rub these two fingers together it becomes a money sign?
It is, in my family.
Growing up in a family with destined disability, we learnt to communicate with sign language. 4 years ago, I showed my mother this money sign along with 10 of my fingers and 3 zeros at the back, she was happy but with tinged of sadness. Not because I asked her for RM10000 to ease me in the first month of working but because she won’t be seeing me that often as I moved to work in Singapore.
She earns an equivalent of less than SGD250 per month. No EPF, no insurance, and no retirement fund. Yet without hesitation, she saved enough and supported me.
Through her, I learnt the importance of saving and along the way I value to invest better with my savings.
And now, when I do go back and visit my mother, she will be the one signing to me the money sign.
My beloved mother.
In 1989, she started her business literally from zero. Being pregnant with my eldest brother, she opened a stationery retail shop alone (my dad was an accountant in a small company with salary of SGD30/day) and only selling plain books, which are the cheapest item at that time.
She learned how to live within means. She taught me how to spend wisely - spending money is easy but earning is difficult. I learnt how to save, not spending unnecessary items and be content with my life. Although life is tough, never ever give up and do not be lazy to work. In addition, she cautioned me not to put all my investments in one basket - always diverse (note: she bought properties and fixed deposits in Jakarta which gave 7% per annum).
Fast forward, from 1 tiny shop (around 10m2), I graduated in private university and spent my last year in US. My brothers went to UK for masters accordingly. My parents own several properties. All paid without worry.
Now, I am eager to learn more on how to diversify and build my wealth overtime. And hopefully, will be able to be an enterpreneur like her!
My wife is the who influenced me the most. Before knowing her, i was living the Yolo life style and personal financial planning for me was a thing for "uncles".
The 1st thing i learnt from her was to do simple budget every month. She has been doing so ever since she started working. From that point onwards, there is no turning back. I have been reading and studying about personal financing and this will be a lifelong journey for me.
I am satisfied with our current financial situation and we are working hard towards our common dream which hopefully can be achieved!
Thank you so much, Laopo (Vivienne Low)!
Goes to my mum. She's very frugal, picked up investing on her own after I shared a bit with her when I first started out in investing myself. She'll spend her days looking at share prices through teletext, and ask me to buy shares for hee through my broker. She taught me to look at letting go of positions once profits exceed one year's worth of dividends and then wait for pull backs. Which I still put into place when possible.
Sadly she's no longer around. Strong woman, she survived 3 rounds of cancer and succumbed to the fourth over 19 years. What I received from her through my dad after her passing became the foundation of my income ceiling portfolio. Gonna build this as a heirloom for the next generation and thereafter
I was going to write my mother, but scrolled down, and sure enough...
I'll try to make it a little different - my girlfriend is a huge influence on my financial journey. I've written about her here (https://www.moneymaverickofficial.com/posts/7-financial-lessons-i-learnt-travelling-1900km-to-surprise-my-girlfriend-for-valentine-s-day) and here (https://www.moneymaverickofficial.com/posts/an-earnest-conversation).
The thing consistent about those two stories is that my girlfriend is very poor in Thailand.
I was not a particularly good student or son (still not, but a bit better). For myself, I have very little ambition. I would have been very comfortable slogging it out till 65 and retiring with the occasional holiday.
But things really changed quite a lot when I got attached.
I saw how hard my girlfriend worked for very little money.
I saw how dangerous it was to be poor. How careful they had to be with their spending on even basic necessities, which affected their living conditions - like food and medicine.
Somehow, through it all - she's never asked for a cent.
In the first few months of our relationship, like everyone new who talks to me today who's a bit more honest and direct - I was worried. I imagined she just wanted a rich singaporean boyfriend.
After all, who would want me on the merits of being me? I was just a poor student. But I was a Singaporean, and she didn't know whether I was rich or not.
Instead, she showed me that she loved me and accepted me for who I was. And it really struck me - that she deserved better than what I could currently offer her.
So I've gone from a penniless student to a financial planner who's doing pretty decently. I put aside 80% of my money for our future, trying to invest and save up to 2.2 million in the next 10 years.
A lot of my financial planning has been based on the idea that we will have a life together. That I could make her safe, happy, comfortable. That she never has to think about what she wants to eat, where she wants to go or whether she should see a doctor. And she would support me.
Sometimes that's all a guy needs to change his financial life.
Topic: Surrounded by woman, inspired by woman
I grew up in an environment of 3 sisters (1 elder, 2 younger) and despite working in IT field of work, I am surrounded by woman (again), 5 powerful woman.
The person whom inspired me the most is my current team lead (TL), 1 year my senior, mother of 2, mighty woman at work.
To earned my respect and to get me inspired is never easy, I often play the card of “morale authority” where I been there done it (perhaps better than you), I can never get inspired by someone whom is below my standard from my tainted glasses.
My TL is well respected within the department and cross functional departments. Apart from work, she manages her home finances, from holidays, to groceries, to investments. In short, she’s the CFO at home, which might be a rising trend in woman power.
As an “absolutist”, I believe in results oriented and often disappointed when I get poor returns / results. My TL led by example by sharing her stories as well as asking me to focus what I can consider focusing on which is sustainable, which is strategies. You may get poor finance results from your planning now, but if you constantly refine your strategies, results will follow.
For someone whom you respect at work’s context, you know you can trust her for personal finance context to a high level of trust too. We briefly discussed on the strategies and action plan, just like work. A regular review should be scheduled quarterly and revised according to your situation.
Ultimate respect and inspiration:
To be honest, the discussion and advice on financial planning could come from anyone. However to come from your TL whom you respect a lot and led by example, it ignite the passion of F.I.R.E within you.
Someone whom manages their finances well at home, have a happy family, super awesome at work, still need to spare time to pump milk for baby at work, and plan for family bonding activities. Feeling inspired and confident that I can do the same.
What is the outcome?:
Apart from being (very) result oriented, I adopted to look at personal finance from a strategic level. This is often misunderstood that you need to have a lot of monies that’s why you are doing this, however it is exactly the opposite. Because you have limited funds and you want to fully maximize your spending power without compromising the enjoyment, the nice food, the nice holiday that you can have.
What I learn the most from my TL is also the power of family, she might not have the same power if she didn’t get good support from her family. I do believe the smile from her kids when she reach home, her husband warmth hug and great colleagues to keep her going, thus keeping her charged up to face many difficult and challenging situations.
I am inspired and I will continue to inspire people around me on personal finance management. I met many strong woman in my life and I hope to have a strong woman by my side in time to come.
Happy International Women's Day!
Investing is the Key to Wealth shared by Ms Indra Nooyi (Ex-CEO of Pepsi). How she achieved her financial freedom working in MNC as an executive and at the same time investing in financial instruments. She always insisted that
1) we should start saving at least 20 to 30% from our salary from the young age. The reason is a) investing to beat the inflation b) saving as an habit irrespective of expenditure we have.
2) Never borrow money for investing. Means borrowing is like gambling and it creats cascading effect and influence a) borrowing from friends and families b) debt will start increasing. there is something called good debt and bad debt on borrowing. Sure never enter into the trap of bad debt.
3) always need to have financial goal with SMART approach. need to be specific, measureable, Achievable, Relavent and Timely. each word has high implact on financial saving.
4) Diversification on different asset class: Stocks, bonds, futurs, options and Mutual fund.
5) Invest in long term for stocsk (equity), which has strong business propostion ( Ex: Amazon, Netflex, google, oracle, sales force etc...).
6) Mutual fund - invest in fast growing sectors like dealing with india / indonesia etc.. (Bricks sector can be).
today getting insight from her speech and others big investors i could able to take my 4 digit US$ cash to 6 figure in equity. similary i have invested in endowment, mutual funds etc....
My Mother: A widow with 5 children, my mother had to be money savvy and careful with spending money. She taught my siblings and me that one cannot keep spending money on things that one does not need. Otherwise, eventually one has to sell away things that one does need.
Fortunately, I do not need to learn this the hard way, as some of my close friends did...
Also, she showed me how with simple tricks and touch ups, many things that look old and word and be made like anew again!
So these influence by my mom on my spending and saving habits, allow me to get it right in adult life fast. Thank you, Mother!
The woman who has influenced my financial journey the most would definitely be my mother. Although my parents earn a comfortable living, she is still thrifty (not frugal!). She does not spend a lot on her wants, and goes for less expensive alternatives as she knows that these items/services may not be worth the money. When eating out, she only opts for a restaurant or cafe when it’s a special occasion, or when the whole family comes together. If not, she chooses to eat simple yet satisfying food from the hawker centre. Not because she does not have the money, but because she wants to save for bigger, more important things - our family’s needs. She saved enough money to pay for my sisters’ and I education, up until University, and for that I am grateful. It shows how careful she is when it comes to financial planning, and how disciplined she is to save for what is truly important. She has inspired me to plan my finances and I opened up another bank account specially for my savings for bigger purchases, as well as an emergency fund. I have learnt to save whenever possible, and only splurge on necessities (and of course, look out for promotions too 😉). Thank you mummy for instilling this in me - I promise to always try to be thrifty and save for my future family as well! And of course, treat you to something from Sephora if I win. 😌
We get influenced by happy events and sad events. My aunt probably thought what she did made me very happy, but it was probably the saddest I've ever felt. And it gave me a good lesson on personal finance.
Some years back we received a call from her. She was packing her stuff because the family was shifting, and she had alot of clothes, shoes and bags to give us. Happy event? We sure thought so. She was in the banking sector, and she dressed and accessorised immaculately.
Days later, gigantic canvas bags left her luxurious home and arrived in my humble HDB flat. Yknow, the huge bags that pasar malam stall holders keep their wares in.
My mom and i opened the bags and were dazzled by so many brands--LV, Gucci, Armani, Agnes B, YSL, Miu Miu, Coach, Steve Madden, just to name a few. But it quickly turned into a sad event because we realised many of the leather goods have been damaged probably due to improper storage. And most of the clothes were brand new with tag, same design different colour, and...not my aunt's size.
These stuff probably came from shopping sprees all over the world. But for commoners like my mom and i, looking at the sad state of some of the expensive stuff broke our hearts. The money could be so much better spent elsewhere.
We had to throw away quite alot of the stuff, and only a fraction fit our lifestyle.
We were already a frugal family, but this incident reminded me to spend only on what i need. I wouldn't want to make my imaginary niece so sad some day in the future.
Like most people, my mum influenced my financial journey the most. She was really supportive in terms of financial decisions I make throughout my life and would even pay for me to learn those mistakes.
Here are a few examples:
1) she was my first math teacher. A skill that personal finance depends a lot on.
2) she supported my first MLM product, know it was a scam. (Investing in Iraq dinar. Who does that?!)
3) she insisted that I open a CDP account while in university and handed me a bit of money to learn to invest.
4) she's a homemaker. And every single cent in her savings account is from scrimping on her own expenses. That taught me how to save better by observing some of her life habits.
Also, the ladies in Seedly! Even more so for Xinyi and Cherie in the content team who share the same mission on helping Singaporeans make smarter financial decisions. Thanks for the constant teamwork and hardwork! You ladies rock!!
For me, it's - perhaps like many others - my mother. My parents own a small business which they founded quite close to when I was born. When I was young, the business was doing ok, and I never had a problem with most things. They're Gen X-ers, never had much education, and certainly none in financial literacy. Despite that, my dear mother never failed to always remind me to consider what I spent on - her refrain was typically: "When you spend $10, alway remember that that can feed a family of 5 for a meal" (that was of course when mee pok and chicken rice was S$2).
I still remember it to this day, even though I'm well in my adulthood and she hasn't said it for a long while, and I like to think I consider my spending well.
Fast forward to when I was in my teens. The financial crisis had just hit our shores, and being small business owners who were focused on expanding their business, were over leveraged through their LC facility. The bank through which the facility was granted was taken over by another bank, and the LC facility was cut and the owings demanded at short notice - the family went through some difficult times, but I never had to worry still about having what I need for school.
Looking back, I've learnt from their lesson that one should always have reserves, and black swan events do happen. For those who are old enough, the bank was Kwangtung Provincial Bank, which was a decent sized trade bank, but which was nevertheless merged.
Fast forward again to today. I'm a working adult, making sufficient for myself and to contribute to the family, and still have some reserves. I keep the habits of being careful with where I spend my money, sometimes almost to the extent of being seen as miserly. Enter my mother again, this time with the benefit of having gone through much of her life, who tells me - sometimes, after you've worked so hard, it's ok to just spend a bit on something you like.
I'm a lucky man.
My mother, who always inspires me to be the best that i can be. She have many good traits of a strong woman which is attributed to whom i am today. In times of obstacles, she never gives up and she always try to think of ways to encourage and improve lives around us! Be it monetary or not.
She always try to help those in need whenever she can. Eg a cleaning lady at the marketplace nearby who singlehandedly raised up 3 children who are not blood related to her. My mum will help her by collecting empty cans and bring them to her every week.
She always believe in the power of money! The beauty of it, not the ugliness. With this power we have in our hand, we can do many great things in life, not only helping ourselves by keeping ourselves afloat in the materialistic world and if possible, help others who are really in need of it. She often nags at us to save more money as she knows how cruel this world can be. Never be at others’ mercy when we can feed ourselves. Never let others leech on us when they have the capabilities to work. She wants us to work hard in life and never rely on anyone but ourselves. My mother has been a thrifty woman since young as she know how hard it is to earn a decent amount of money to live by. She was a smart businesswoman who keep every penny by her side yet so savvy in her investments. Always looking for opportunities yet so cautious in her approach.
Hope to surprise my mum with this lovely giveaway (what a great way!) to celebrate this wonderful International Women’s Day!
My sister introduced me to Regular Savings Plan which i have been doing, and DCA really shows as the months that it got cheaper helps bring down the average cost!
My friend who would occasionally send Seedly short reads/ blog posts on financial tips, like " Best Saving Accounts in Singapore", "Things you need to know about singapore saving bonds(SSB)", "Insurance for Undergraduates What are you covered for?".
I am usually a creature of habit so I would tend to stick to my usual savings account despite it having lower interest rate of 0.05%pa. There was a roadshow in school that encourage people to open up CIMB Fastsaver accounts previously but It didnt really make an impression. She introduced me to CIMB Fastsaver account that have 1%pa interest and i got $1.90 interest for just a month!
She was talking to me about SSB and I realised that when it first came out in 2015, i was excited to get some and went to create a CDP account. But fast forward to last month, I kind of procrastinated and hesistated until I only bought my first SSB last month.
She also introduced to me the Seedly Expense tracking application. Hmm that I yet to try ...
but tldr i guess sometimes all you need is a little push to start your financial journey! (if you are really lazy like me)
My grandmother who supposedly borrowed 10 cents from the shopkeeper to make a phone call on the shopkeeper's public phone. She is very rich but it is because of her saving habits and good investment decisions. It's a living mantra for me that every cent counts and to make every investment count.