Asked on 09 Jun 2019
For me, it was the impending birth of my Son. It made me download an expense tracking app and drew me to spend more time here at Seedly. Keen to hear everyone’s Money Journey!
This is a great question. For me, the trigger point was when I was in secondary school and I didn't have enough money to buy what I wanted. From then on, I decided to track my expenses by using a manual expense tracker app (back then, there wasn't Seedly app) so it was a lot more tedious but important.
After knowing how much I was spending, I managed to reduce my expenses and saved up some money. At this point, I still didn't have enough money to do what I wanted to do. This was another trigger point for me and I realise the importance of making money work for me (aka business/investing).
A book that also changed my perspective along the way was Rich Dad Poor Dad. Highly recommend a read!
For me, it was when I had to pay for my university education myself, and I made the decision not to take a student loan.
I still remember when I did the back calculations for how much I needed to earn + how much I needed to save - I essentially had to do a paid internship + teach tuition at nights + study for a full time degree.
Being in jobs where I was putting many hours for $500 (that was my internship pay), and topping it up with $800 coming from tuition, really taught me the hardships of earning money. That was also when I learnt the value of prudence because personally, if I had to work so hard to get that amount of money, I'm surely not going to splash it on a chanel bag as some of my friends were with their first pay check. Today, I still look to exercise prudence in my spending, but also look at how to make money work for me, instead of the other way round.
When i realised the ocbc 360 account gave better interest. Then i tried to structure my expenses, and eventually slowly explored other financial tools.
Top Contributor (Jun)
My trigger point is actually when I met an old friend who joined manulife insurance.
Was recommended some manulife policies and before signing I looked the at amount needed annually, it was shockingly high. I did not sign, and after that just starting doing my own heavy research into personal financial planning.
When I was broke as a student. Paid the ‘school fees’ to start the investing journey.. back then no Seedly or other good online sharing platforms to learn from and its a lot of trial and error. Needless to say, had to pay ‘school fees’ to learn about the value of money the hard way.
There’s a saying. Don’t keep up with the Joneses. Ironically, the trigger that started me on this journey, is the comparison of my lifestyle to others. My peers were getting married left, right centre and here I am being Mr Lonely. In a way, I feel that they have a better, more blissful life than I do. If my life is not as good as theirs, then at least I should “win” in one aspect of my life. That desire to win is the first few foundation brick of my life. My idea of love is similar to most people. I don’t want my loved ones to suffer and I equate that with having enough resources, aka money.
Before I start, I wanna said the Answer Button is Nice and the Bump Button might not be necessary simply bcos the objective is to get an contribution. I came from a low income family.
I walk to school and try to save on bus fare from Primary to Secondary. And I dun understand why I never slim down from the long walk to school.
I go for CDAC tuition center because I am an average student.
A bowl of Laksa is already a delicacy to me.
My parent do not drive and I work part time to fund my driving license journey. My family do not own a car.
I was a fat boy who people turns their head away.
I didn't give up and allow myself to be Fatter and being Average.
I look up to my closest Good Example who succeed in becoming Fitter and Better in Standard of Living.
I did not choose to touch the sky but choose to believe in hard work and hit realistic goals.
With each goals hit, I made new goals that gave me the power to protect my families.
It doesn't have to take a big unforeseen event to get one to progress.
It simple take the power of AWARENESS.
When I got married.
I was a high earner in my young adult life, but I didn't have much to show for it by the time I managed to find a wife... ^.^
Most of it is spent on lifestyle, bad debts to "friends", my car, and failed business
1 failed business took away quite a fair bit of my wealth (did I regret it? Absolutely no)
So when i got married, i didn't have too much cash for a new home. took us sometime and luckily my wife has more CPF than me... :P
I started to be more calculative in my spending, and saving up more.
i started staring at stocks, taking less risks at stocks.
I learnt more skills and trades for business income.
I started finding out more on alternative investments to make my money work harder.
by the time my son arrive, I think I am spending and saving healthily. :)
It all started when I was 16, I applied to study in one of the local polytechnic. Many students always thought that poly is all about fun, eating out with friends at cafe etc. I was about to do that until I started browsing Hardwarezone forum. Reading Hardwarezone forum taught me one important thing and inspired me to invest.
Hardwarezone forum made me realised the struggles Poly applicant faced when applying for local uni. It taught me that poly is not all about fun and I have to study hard to get an offer.
Hardwarezone forum inspired me to start investing after reading market chit chat thread on Money Mind or SSI. I came across StockBot or Felix Leong who advocates value investing. He shared with people how to spot undervalued stocks using P/E ratio and P/B ratio for Banks and REITS. I learnt a few through him too. Hardwarezone has this Shiny Things thread where I got exposed to investing in ETFs.
Fast forward to now in 2019, I feel that I am on the right track and would continue to do so till I can announce that I can retire officially.
10 Jun 2019
I would say NS give you lots of time to think about what you really want in life and so on,i started my personal finance blog: https://sonicericsg.blogspot.com/ during NS as i had lots of free time, and spent time reading various investment books and what not
For me, I've always known that I need to make money work for me since my family isn't doing well financially. Therefore, since secondary school, I've been scrimping and saving. It wasn't until I was in the army that I had some free time to start learning about investments. Started from there, learnt a few lessons from my mistakes, and here I am, still learning!
It was HUNGER.
When you've been working 9am-6pm, paying for bills, groceries, essentials and running out of cash before the next paycheck, Reality hits you in the face.
And I love food, I love eating a lot, and being unable to afford the $3 wanton mee was the breaking point. My colleague kindly offered to treat me for lunch but it's not a situation I would wanna face every month.
Started budgeting better and relooking past expenses, seeing if I can kope food from home, cutting down on dining out with friends, finding other options to make more $ and make do with less.
Also, on the point of donation, always assess the reliability of the platform and never hesitate to give a pulling hand when you can, like towards Happy People Helping People.
When I was on exchange last year. Grew the habit of tracking every single expense and cutting costs as much as possible. Realised how little money and things you need to simply enjoy yourself and how far you can go on a budget. The free time also gave me a lot of time to read up about investing and ways to squeeze each dollar to the max! Discovered minimalism theough this YouTube channel: Matt d’avella !
When I got my 2nd retrenchment letter!! Lol!! Now preparing for when I get my third retrenchment letter!!
Also sometimes I wonder why my peers can afford landed or condos, cars, children and still can have regular family trips to exotic places, and dont pay taxes because they have children, I feel down and like my whole financial structure is not very competitive / out of whack. I do realize sometimes I get a bit crazy because each of my benchmark peers for these categories can be different though LOL, so in a way I lose to everybody. But they are my best in class benchmarks.
Now I guess my goal is just to grow my BS, aim for FIRE, and get ready for the next stage of my life.
My next planned milestone is to target annual dividend + interest income > annual home loan payments.
One day I started discussing about retirement with my colleagues and how much money we’d need to retire comfortably. That shook me up pretty good.
My family was not well off; so I watched my mom worked multiple jobs to raise us up. That point onwards, I decided to save my money for my uni education. I managed to save but my mom lost it on a "loan" to her friend for their business which the friend never returned and it totally thrashed my confidence in savings and investments.
I ended up earning and spending in equal or more ratio and resulting in debts (I took out student loan for my studies as well and while I did save some for repayment; tbh by % im just a -ve).
Then one day I wanted to buy a flat on my own (despite not being at the age or having a spouse yet) and noticed I don't have enough $ so I started reading up again (thank goodness for seedly too) and upon seeing my friend getting into HUGE debt; it spurred me harder to curb my senseless spending on everyday luxuries even though I was saving already.
For me is the point of my life when I just ORD, get married, had my house, took up a renovation loan and took up part time degree. All of these in consecutive years. All of those stack up on each other and worse of all I do not have any savings or any investments of sorts. Was struggling and surviving day to day meeting ends meet with my debts and what not. That's when I told myself that it's not too late to start putting money aside for investment and savings money. Every little bit counts. So now even though I'm still struggling financially now, I know that at least I have both savings and investments to help me as a fallback and safety net.
Mine was when I enlisted into NS and I challenged myself to depend only on my NS allowance and not from my parents. Nevertheless, I somehow spent $150+ on weekends treating myself to good food. Being short haired and wearing green also made me an attractive target for Singapore's insurance agents and was impressed by the orgy of numbers they presented in their benefit illustrations (although only achievable 20+ years on the policy). I asked myself, how the hell have I spent so much and how can an insurance company sell me something that 'promises' such a wonderful return?
Started tracking my spending on this app called MoneyLover (sorry seedly! I just enjoy more flexibility in categorising transactions) and started reading lots of informative, colourful financial articles on seedly regarding investments and everyday adulting.