2021 New Year Revolution

Start a Financial Revolution Not Resolution in 2021

It is 2021. I find it annoying that there are still tons of articles out there will tell you to write down New Year Resolutions such as paying off debts, spend less than you earn, set a budget, drink less Starbucks etc. It is 2021. You already know that. In the new era, it is not about finding information. It is also not just about finding the right information (6 Steps Wealth Karate). In the new era, it is making use of the right information easily.

Some of readers have shared with me they fall short of their 2020 financial resolution because they have the lack of clarity or strategy. I wish to take this one step deeper. It is not that you did not know what to do. It is also not that you did not know how to do. However, psychologically it is not easy.

In this article, I will be writing how to start a financial revolution so that you can create the right environment to win psychologically.

Now, all this can only be done after done this: You can only start 2021 properly after doing these 3 things. Start here first.

 

2021 New Year Revolution

2021 New Year Revolution

2021 New Year Revolution. Photo from Huffpost.

To put yourself in the right environment, you need to first understand yourself. I summarized this by a quote that I frequently used.

There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self. ~ Benjamin Franklin

After understanding yourself, then you can create the right environment for success. You want to create a system that is psychologically easy to win. Here are 4 ways to put things in your favor psychologically. I bet you will not be able to find this easily elsewhere.

 

#1: Set Weekly Budgets Instead of Monthly Budgets

Ever wonder how we could save so much when we were students but not now? The trick is that most of the students are given a weekly allowance instead of a monthly one. When students then track their budget on a frequent basis, this creates a saliency effect. The more we noticed something, the more we are aware about it, the more we will review it.

For majority of us, we are now following a monthly budget. We don’t review it as often and so become surprised when we overspend during the 3rd or 4th week of the month. If budgeting is an issue for you (psychologically), set weekly budgets.

If you are planning for big ticket items, you can consider using this to help you. If you have spending issues, do read our Ultimate 4 Quadrants Shopping Guide.

 

#2: Audit Your Finances

Just like teachers marking the examinations paper for students, or MAS checking the quality of consultant’s advice, we feel a certain pressure and would want to make sure that our work is correct. It is the same for finances. It has came to my attention that most people don’t audit their finances at all. This means we will not know if we are on the right track when it comes to finances.

Auditing your finances is very simple. Just like a teacher marking each question, ask yourself if an expenditure is reasonable. Notice that I mentioned reasonable rather than “correct”.

For example, one of my friend have been subscribing to Spotify for $9.99 a month. He initially subscribed to Spotify because he wanted to listen to ads-free music on the way to work (I think that’s pretty reasonable). However, in March 2020 he has started to worked from home and he realised he has forgotten about it and is continuing to pay for Spotify but have not been using the service for the past 7 to 8 months. He has now stopped the payment but will be taking it up again when he needs to travel to work again.

I recommend you to audit your finances once every half a year. Spot those that are “unreasonable”. They could help you save a lot in the long run.

Financial Revolution 2021 Audit

Financial Revolution 2021 Audit: Source: CIA

 

#3: Allocate More

Do this only after you have already prepared your emergency funds. After that, yes. Allocate more.

It is very natural to feel happy when you see your bank account increasing. However, you will only realised the effects of inflation after many years. I strongly recommend you to allocate more when you have the opportunity. Whether it is an insurance policy, an endowment policy, an investment policy or buying into stocks or property, I encourage you to add more when the time is right.

To psychologically help you, you can employ certain tools such as regular saving plans to deduct a similar amount every month. This automation will help you allocate more and yes be on your journey to financial freedom.

 

#4: Sell Things That Are New That You Don’t Want

Look around your house right now, I believe that there will be some items that have been there sitting in the cupboard for a while. Be it a gift from a friend or a book that have not been touched or a lucky draw that you have won, there will be some item that has been around but have not been used.

Take this opportunity to do some spring cleaning and make some money. Put it on carousel. You will be surprised at how much money you can make out of your own room.

Before selling them, ask yourself 3 questions.

  1. Have you used it for the last 3 months?
  2. Will you use it for the next 3 months?
  3. Does it have sentimental value?

If those answers are no, those items will not be missed. This is where I personally sell my own items. Check out my Carousell items to give yourself an idea.

 

Final Thoughts By Wealthdojo

Don’t start a resolution, start a revolution! If you haven’t been successful in your financial journey, just pick one of the above and commit to it for the next 3 months. I assure you that you will look back at 2021 and be proud of yourself.

For those of you who want to kick start your Wealth Management journey in 2021, why not consider joining my telegram channel?

Join my Telegram Channel for a tip a day! In Wealthdojo, we dedicate a small amount of time daily for learning new things. Continuous learning is one of the greatest secrets of success.

For those of you who want to turbocharge your journey, contact me at chengkokoh@gmail.com. I would like to hear from you what your experiences are currently and from there, we develop a plan specially catered just for your journey.

We wish you all the best! Stay Safe and Take Care!

Chengkok, Sensei of Wealthdojo.

 

Trace Decay Theory

You can only start 2021 properly after doing these 3 things

Oops, is it 2021 already? If you are like me, the last few days was like a blur. A combination of Christmas, New Year and wine probably pushed the thoughts of wealth management to the back of our minds. But that’s alright, that’s what Wealthdojo is here for. In 2021, Wealthdojo will focus more on emotional finance (something that isn’t really talked about among financial experts).

But wait!

Before you get busy into life (again), take a step back. Don’t be a hamster in a wheel and start grinding/hustling. Take a step back and ponder on what worked last year, what kind of fruit your hustle bore and also your achievement you had. It is easy to continue forward. I challenge you to take the next 15 minutes for this exercise. I guarantee you that the next 15 minutes will set the stage for your 2021.

 

#1: 13 Milestones of 2020

It is very human of us to forget after we finish something. According to Trace Decay Theory: The theory that if memories are not reviewed or recalled consistently, they will begin to decay and will ultimately be forgotten.

Trace Decay Theory

Trace Decay Theory: Did I watch this movie last year?

We quickly forget about projects we completed whether professionally or personally. One very popular response I get when I remind someone of their achievement is this.

Me: “Remember you achieve XXX in 2015?”.

Someone: “Got meh? Now you say it, seems very familiar”.

Today, I challenge you to write down 13 milestones that you have accomplished in 2020. This is very important because we tend to discredit ourselves for things that we have done. By writing down our wins (even small ones), we are training our brain to appreciate the success we are achieving. It is also a strong intrinsic motivator for ourselves. Whether it is big or small, write it down. It is your milestone for 2020 and no one will be there to judge you. For those of you who have more, go beyond 13.

If you wish to read more, I will share 3 of my milestone in 2020.

 

First Death Claim

One July evening, I was having dinner with my friends when I received a text from a client, David (fictional name to protect the identify of the client).

“Hi Chengkok. My wife passed away this morning.”

I stared at my phone for a few minutes before my friend poked me in the ribs. I was slightly dazed and felt as if my mind was floating. I excused myself to go to the toilet still thinking of what to say, how to reply and whether to call David. With what felt like hours, I could only muster a simple “My condolences to your family. How are you?”.

“I’m fine. Could you help me with my wife’s death claim?”

I doubt David was fine that day. During the day when I met him, I could see the dark rings under his eyes. His eyes were puffy and seemed unfocused. It was a hard conversation even for me. I repeated to him what his wife shared with me when she first bought the policy. It was a policy that will mature in a few years time, the time when their children will be all grown up and she was hoping to use the money for their retirement holiday. It wasn’t much. The maturity was in the range of few thousands but she was very enthusiastic about it. I heard a big sniff and a very soft “Thank you”.

In the next couple of weeks, I settled the claim for his family. In the financial services industry, I am no stranger to death, critical illness or hospitalisation. I have done numerous big claims and small claims amounting up to 7 figures and in the course of it impacted and changed many lives. However, my first death claim stirred many emotions in me and reminded me how fragile life was. It was really my pleasure servicing you.

 

First Roadtrip in Australia

It is strange that having a first road trip in Australia is a milestone. For the many drivers out there, you might think this is a joke. Except for someone, who had a driving accident before.

Breakthrough

Breakthrough

In Nov 2016, I was young and wanted to “save time in my itinerary”. The result was a very tired driver (me) and a crashed car. I was alone in New Zealand when I crashed. I was very tired and fell asleep on my wheels. One second. One second was all it took. I nodded off and the next thing I knew, I was skidding down into a rocky path. I honestly thought I would die. When I crawled out of the vehicle, I was trembling. As I sit down on the rough rocky road, I couldn’t help but notice that the surrounding was so beautiful. Thank goodness it wasn’t my turn to go.

Ever since then, I had a fear of driving. My senses will be heighten whenever I had to drive. Driving a mere 10 minutes felt like running a marathon. I knew I was holding on to a high amount of mental tension.

In 2020, it was decided that I would go on a road trip in Australia. The first day experience was extremely tense. I was horned at, the cars around me was going very quickly and I felt paranoid from the constant pressure from the car behind me gave. However, after 2 days, I felt more comfortable and more confident driving. Though I still feel the tension, I learnt to be aware of the tension but not let it overrun me. It was certainly a breakthrough.

 

First MDRT

I got a surprise when my Director called me up to share with me that I was very close to MDRT (Million Dollar Round Table). During the time, we were in the midst of the circuit breaker. COVID-19 literally paused the entire economy in Singapore and World Wide. I thought this would be year of survival. Never would I thought this is the year I would achieve my first MDRT.

For those who are new to this term, it represents a milestone for financial consultants as it means that we are among the top 5% of consultants world wide! I never dreamt of achieving such accolades in my career. My intention was to help the Educated Poor elevate themselves to achieve the financial success they would given the right tools (6 Levels Wealth Karate) and right mindset.

This success is build on trust and referral from my clients and friend. A big thank you for helping me achieve this milestone in 2020.

MDRT Chengkok

MDRT

Hope you enjoyed the read. Now it is your turn, what are your milestones for 2020?

 

#2: 20 Things to be Gratitude for

Our brains have been trained to look out for threats and worries. That’s how the human race has survived for the many years. It is not difficult to think about something that we are worried about. However, remembering what we are grateful for can help to tip our brains to thrive instead of survive.

I challenge you to make a list of 20 things you are grateful for in 2020.

These are a few of mine.

  1. Healthy (no major sickness)
  2. Can work from home
  3. Self invented tofu sleeping technique (to sleep within 5 mins)
  4. Trust and referrals
  5. Having a listening ear
  6. Parents fast technology adoption rate

What’s yours?

 

#3: Who do you want to be?

In the last 10 years, I have been taught to write out your goals, what you want to achieve in the upcoming year and our New Year Resolution. However, these New Year Resolution rarely make it pass February. The reason why it is so difficult to “lose that weight”, or “save that amount of money” is because these are tasks that we have to complete.

As human beings, I believe we are lazy in nature and these tasks (especially if they are difficult) tend to be put off until the last minute or the next year. Instead of having goals/tasks, I challenge you to write out who do you want to be list. Create an identity that you can be proud of.

Instead of “Lose 5kg”, consider “I want to be fit”.

Instead of “Save $10,000”, consider “I am accountable to my money”.

Instead of “Read 10 books”, consider “I want to upgrade my brain”.

The actions will follow. Personally, I want to be a thought leader in personal finance. I want to be an inspiring leader and I want to be physically active and strong.

What’s yours? Share it in the comments below.

 

For those of you who want to kick start your Wealth Management journey in 2021, why not consider joining my telegram channel?

Join my Telegram Channel for a tip a day! In Wealthdojo, we dedicate a small amount of time daily for learning new things. Continuous learning is one of the greatest secrets of success.

For those of you who want to turbocharge your journey, contact me at chengkokoh@gmail.com. I would like to hear from you what your experiences are currently and from there, we develop a plan specially catered just for your journey.

We wish you all the best! Stay Safe and Take Care!

Chengkok, Sensei of Wealthdojo.

The 4 Quadrants of Spending

The Ultimate 4 Quadrants Shopping Guide Especially If You Are 28 and Older

It is getting easier to buy things now. With Shopee, Lazada, Taobao working their magic with their 9.9, 10.10, 11.11, 12.12 sales, consumers like you and me are finding it hard to resist buying. You are not alone in this. Shopee, Lazada, Taobao’s amazing algorithm makes sure that they show us things that are of interest to us and will keep reminding us until we press “add to cart” to achieve our happiness (or end our misery). It is only at the end of the month that we log into our Ibanking account to see that we have already spend over hundreds or thousands of dollars shopping.

 

First thing first

This is not a post to advocate not spending. I believe expenditures are important and necessary to our productive and creative self. It will be quite lame to live a life saving every single cent and not enjoying the joys of the world. Thousand of blogs out there are advocating on “saving money on the Starbucks” or “stop buying the avocado toast”. While it certainly makes financial sense, it is also certain that it will be a miserable life. Let me give you a real life example.

When I was 24, just graduated from University. I was poor and was determined to save every single cent. In the months to come, I only ate at the mixed vegetable rice stall at hawker centers. It costed me $2.90 when I bought a combination of 2 vegetables and 1 meat. I also refused to buy coffee/tea. This saved me a lot of money but I assured you that I was not looking forward for my meals at all. Financially, it make sense. Psychologically, it took a toll. I change a lot after that and you can read more here.

My suggestion in this ultimate shopping guide aims to help you find a balance financially and psychologically. That being said, saving money and investing them is the cheapest way to become financially free.

 

The 4 Quadrants of Spending

After sharing about personal finance for over 8 years, I realised 99% of what you buy will fall into the 4 Quadrants. I will sharing real examples and also for those of you who needs rule of thumbs, I will be glad to provide that for you.

The 4 Quadrants of Spending

The 4 Quadrants of Spending

 

The Cheap and Useful

The cheap and useful is the most straight forward of all. Just buy it. This is because it is going to help you with your pursuit of growth and it is also affordable. An example of cheap and useful will be like a book. A book increases your knowledge in the subject matter. You may get more insights after reading a book. You can even read it again and still get insights for it. I buy books almost on a monthly basis and I can feel myself growing in knowledge. (Sidenote: I’m in the process of getting a affiliate program with bookdepository. I strongly believe in daily learning and hope you can do the same too). In this quadrant, it is your cheapest opportunity to succeed. Previously, I wrote about 3 books to read during COVID-19. I’m probably going to update that soon.

 

The Expensive and Useful

There will be times when the product or services is expensive. However, my advice is invest and buy it. This is because these product or services will probably allow you to be more productive and more effective. Some examples of the expensive and useful are an IPad, a good handphone, a good powered laptop (especially if you are doing video editing) or standing desk. These will increase your productivity on a daily basis. The last thing we want is to create a bad experience when you hustle. Some other products or services includes a gym membership, a coaching or investment class.

4 years back in an feeble attempt to save money. I settled on a Xiaomi 3 phone. The specs were okay and I got it because it was cheap. The phone started to lag after 6 months. It was such a pain finding information on a phone. On one fateful day, my hands slipped and the Xiaomi 3 came crashing down on the floor. When I picked it up, the phone screen was already died. The phone refused to reboot and I spend the next day and a half buying a new phone and transferring all my data to the next phone. I probably missed out a day of text. As a self employed helping clients, the worse thing that can happen is to suddenly become uncontactable. I bought Huawei’s flagship P10 Plus after that and never looked back.

Invest when you need to.

 

The Not Useful (Be it cheap or expensive)

The expensive and the not useful will usually fall into the luxury market space. I once knew a lady who spend $800+ on a pair of slippers. She has worn it once before and she stopped wearing it because she’s afraid the slippers will be exposed to the rain. For those of you who are curious, this is the slipper.

The Ultimate 4 Quadrants Shopping Guide Especially If You Are 28 and Older Expensive and Not Useful

The Ultimate 4 Quadrants Shopping Guide Especially If You Are 28 and Older Expensive and Not Useful

On the other side of the quadrants are the cheap and the not useful. While it seems harmless due to the same quantum, the accumulation of these products will add up. Examples of these are like a low quality shirt (you know you can feel it).

I once when to taobao to buy a pair of jeans. The jeans cost only $5 and I felt that it was “useful” for me. When it arrived, the cutting was terrible and there was this weird smell on it. After wearing it for one time, it went even more out of shape and my pocket had a hole in them. I threw it away and swear by Uniqlo now.

A very general rule for those in the not useful quadrant is to not buy it.

However, like all things in life, you can be flexible. If the part of Hermes Slippers is essential for your happiness (or for whatever reason logical or not), consider buying a second hand one. The second hand market is a big one. You probably will save lots just buying on a second hand market. The best part is that no one will ever know that you got it second handed! Hang on for another tip coming below.

 

Disclaimer: Useful or Not

One of the most common question my client ask me is “How do we know if this is useful?”

The fact remains that the usefulness of the item is subjective and highly dependent of oneself. For example, the gym membership is expensive and “useful” ONLY if you go to the gym and workout at the gym. Otherwise, it is not useful at all. To help you further if you are unsure if the product or services is useful or not, I have created this rule of thumb for you to consider.

If you are NOT SURE that the item is useful, and it cost > 15% of your monthly income, then don’t buy it.

If you are KNOW that the item is NOT USEFUL BUT you know you will feel happy, and if it is > 5% of your monthly income, then don’t buy it. If you still want to buy it, consider a 2nd hand version.

 

Final Thoughts By Wealthdojo

Hopefully, this guide can help you make better decision in your next shopping session. Be it Cyber Monday, Single’s Day, Boxing Day, you will be prepared. Wishing the best in your financial journey.

 

Join my Telegram Channel for a tip a day! In Wealthdojo, we dedicate a small amount of time daily for learning new things. Continuous learning is one of the greatest secrets of success.

For those of you who want to turbocharge your journey, contact me at chengkokoh@gmail.com. I would like to hear from you what your experiences are currently and from there, we develop a plan specially catered just for your journey.

We wish you all the best! Stay Safe and Take Care!

Chengkok, Sensei of Wealthdojo.

3 Money Beliefs That Will Destroy Your Life Sharpen Your Axe

3 Money Beliefs That Will Destroy Your Life

3 Money Beliefs That Will Destroy Your Life Worried

3 Money Beliefs That Will Destroy Your Life Worried: Image source

Much of our lives revolve around money. In a sense, money does make the world go round. We rely on money to get things done and fulfil our basic needs each day. 

As a result, money can be the source of a lot of our worries and problems. A lack of money can cause a high level of stress and lead to negative thoughts. 

The set of beliefs that we have about money can either make things better or worse.  When we have disempowering beliefs, it’s difficult to see opportunities and possibilities since we’re so focused on the negative. E.g. I can’t, I don’t, I’m never going to, It’s hard. 

These negative thoughts lead to negative feelings, which then go on to impact every other aspect of our lives. 

I believe that having the right mindset can change the way that we perceive and experience life. Here are three money beliefs that can hold you back from living a fulfilled life, and ways that you can shift your perspective on them.  

 

Belief #1: If you work harder, you’ll be able to earn more 

This might’ve been true back in the day. But nowadays, with the possibilities that the internet affords, more and more people are finding ways to work less and earn more. Your income no longer needs to be tied to the amount of hours you put in. 

Instead of working harder, you can work smarter. It’s like the difference between trying to chop down trees with a dull vs. sharpened axe. Spend some time sharpening your axe (upfront effort), and you’ll be able to get the job done much faster. 

3 Money Beliefs That Will Destroy Your Life Sharpen Your Axe

3 Money Beliefs That Will Destroy Your Life Sharpen Your Axe Image source

Internet entrepreneurs who sell a product that doesn’t require a huge ongoing time commitment can work fewer hours and might eventually even earn more than salaried employees. The internet enables you to reach customers at scale from all over the world and earn money while you sleep. 

One way to start selling something online without needing to spend much money upfront is teaching something that you know. 

For example, you can use platforms like Skillshare or Udemy to create an online course. You create it once, and each time someone enrols, you get paid!  

Of course, this will require some time and effort upfront, but once it’s done, the money will keep coming in without you having to lift a finger. And this is just ONE potential business idea. A quick Google will enable you to find many, many more. 

3 Money Beliefs That Will Destroy Your Life New Skills

3 Money Beliefs That Will Destroy Your Life New Skills: Image source

Nevertheless, if you think that the internet entrepreneur thing is not for you, there are still ways that you can increase your income potential without working harder. 

You can learn some new skills online through the very same platforms that I just mentioned (+ many more) and increase your value to an employer. If you’re a Singaporean over the age of 25, you can also make use of your SkillsFuture credit

Instead of waiting and hoping for a promotion, you can make the leap to a new field with skills that are in demand, e.g. digital marketing, AI/machine learning, data analytics. 

Of course, don’t learn something for the sake of learning it — ideally, you’d actually have some interest in it! Otherwise, it’ll be very painful and it won’t be a career that you’ll enjoy. 

 

Belief #2: It’s not possible to become wealthy without a good family background 

It’s true that being from a well-off family provides you with many opportunities that might not be available to others. You can move in the right social circles, get access to a good education and have more financial resources at your disposal. 

But there are many examples of people who became wealthy despite not growing up with a valuable network, getting a prestigious education or having money readily available. 

You shouldn’t let your upbringing or circumstances hold you back, nor complain about all the entitled people who seem to have an easy life because they got handed a silver spoon. 

Daymond John from Shark Tank was raised by a single mom in a rough neighbourhood and is dyslexic. He’s now got an estimated net worth of $300 million. 

3 Money Beliefs That Will Destroy Your Life Daymond John

3 Money Beliefs That Will Destroy Your Life Daymond John: Image source

He didn’t win the lottery or have it easy. He started a business called FUBU from the ground up, and their “office” was his mother’s house. He even closed the business three times from 1989-1992 because he ran out of capital. 

You might think, “oh sure, he’s probably one of those rare lucky people,” but there are also quite a few (largely unfamiliar) examples of Asian entrepreneurs going from rags to riches. 

Just because these people are not famous in mainstream media and their stories are not well-known, it doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. There are probably many more people out there who haven’t had a story written about them. You could become one of them. 

 

Belief #3: Money can buy happiness 

Money can buy a lot of things. And it can definitely help you solve a lot of problems. But it can’t buy happiness, because that’s something that can only be achieved internally. 

Our minds are programmed to keep wanting something new, something better, something different. We build up a sense of excitement and believe that getting X thing will bring us long-lasting happiness. 

We may be really happy for a moment, but the feeling will soon pass and we’ll be back to wanting something else to experience the same high. 

Having a good meal — that’s great in the moment, but forgotten in a few hours. 

Getting a nice bag/car/house/[insert other material thing here] — that’s great for a while, and then you get used to it. What’s next? 

3 Money Beliefs That Will Destroy Your Life Shopping

3 Money Beliefs That Will Destroy Your Life Shopping: Image source

And for the people who want the money not for the high of consumption, but for the high you get by showing off your status, when will it ever be enough? 

The truth is, we don’t end up happier after fulfilling our wants. 

We just end up wanting more. 

It’s funny, though, because our happiness actually comes from the absence of wanting. When we’ve gotten that new [insert material thing here], for a moment we don’t want anything else. But once our mind gets bored, it looks for something else to focus on… 

To find more lasting happiness and fulfilment, we should work towards things that also benefit others, or things that have a sense of profound importance to us (e.g. things we want to do before we die).  

Having a daily gratitude practice is also beneficial to remind us of everything that we already have and lessen our urge to have more.

 

Change your beliefs, change your life

We always act in accordance with our beliefs. That’s why a simple mindset shift can do wonders. I believe that we should seek to learn about different perspectives and find role models who have achieved what we might’ve once thought was impossible. 

Have you had any of these beliefs? If so, will you take steps to overcome them? 

This is a guest post by Rachel from Hey, it’s Rachel. She writes about mindset, personal finance, and all things personal development. She’s on a mission to empower millions of people around the world to live their best lives through education on mindset and growth.

 

Final thoughts by Wealthdojo

These are my favorite quotes from Rachel. Thanks for the beautiful article.

  1. Money can buy a lot of things. And it can definitely help you solve a lot of problems. But it can’t buy happiness, because that’s something that can only be achieved internally. 
  2. It’s funny, though, because our happiness actually comes from the absence of wanting. When we’ve gotten that new [insert material thing here], for a moment we don’t want anything else.
  3. Instead of working harder, you can work smarter.

 

Join my Telegram Channel for a tip a day! In Wealthdojo, we dedicate a small amount of time daily for learning new things. Continuous learning is one of the greatest secrets of success.

For those of you who want to turbocharge your journey, contact me at chengkokoh@gmail.com. I would like to hear from you what your experiences are currently and from there, we develop a plan specially catered just for your journey.

We wish you all the best! Stay Safe and Take Care!

Chengkok, Sensei of Wealthdojo.

Once Upon a Time, You Met Money

Once Upon a Time, You Met Money

Once Upon a Time, You Met Money

Do you remember the day when you first met money? Perhaps it was when you went to the store with your parents. Or perhaps it was before entering primary school, when an adult or older sibling sat you down to learn how to use the various metal discs and paper slips to buy a meal at the school canteen. Adults never seemed to have enough of these coins and notes and it was what they suffered at work for. With other priorities in life such as catching the next episode of your favourite cartoon, you did not think much about how money would affect your life. Little did you know then, that from the time that you were born, you have already involuntarily entered an inescapable relationship with money.

Once Upon a Time, You Met Money

Once Upon a Time, You Met Money.

Back in the days of your childhood, your relationship with money was like a series of summer flings. Money came and went. There was no need to work very hard to keep money with you, or find ways to grow your relationship with money. What for? Money always came back to you whenever it was time to get your allowance from your parents. An extra fifty cents or dollar gifted to you would brighten your entire day, much like when your crush flashed a smile at you, but you were fine without money for you had your parents to feed and clothe you. Oh the simple days of puppy love.

 

Some years go by and as you grew, involuntarily once again, your relationship with money got a little more serious. You started to see the nice things and experiences that money could give you.  For this reason you probably started to take a little more initiative in sustaining the relationship, putting in more effort to help money grow and stay by your side. Maybe you started taking part-time jobs while studying, and maybe you started learning to save a little bit more for days when you really want that new pair of jeans.

 

In the blink of an eye, you have now entered adulthood. A relationship with money is starting to become more and more of a mainstay of your life. Yet it feels like the more you need money, the more it gets further out of reach. You constantly complain about money to your friends and family, about how insecure money is making you feel.

 

Sometimes you try to turn a blind eye and pretend that everything is going to be fine as long as you keep working. However, you know that a healthy relationship is hardly sustainable when you are putting in the bare minimum, for no one can predict when sickness or misfortune will hit them. Is your relationship with money strong enough to withstand all possible tribulations in life? Is it strong enough to give you enough capital when you need it to achieve your goals? “Heck, they never taught us this in school”, you may lament.

 

What are you going to do about it? Perhaps it is time to realise that just getting a paycheck every month is no longer enough to sustain a stable relationship with money. Are you willing to take steps to fortify the relationship to ensure that money will not leave you in times of poor health and adversity? Or to ensure that money can help you get what you want?

 

Just like how far you have come from that awkward first kiss in your romantic relations, the skills to maintaining a healthy relationship with money comes with practice and research. It is impertinent that you start this journey with a resolute belief in the benefits of prioritising a stable relationship with your finances.

 

It is understandable that this task can appear arduous and overwhelming, especially with the gargantuan amount of information out there relating to personal finance. One may even say that the thought of having to do it is repulsive. However, a healthy relationship with your money would reap immense benefits, just like how a healthy romantic relationship would.

 

Final Thoughts

There are a plethora of resources out there to aid your efforts. If it all seems overwhelming, you can start by following channels such as Wealthdojo’s Telegram channel to learn bite-sized tips in handling your relationship with money. Gradually, whenever you feel ready for more, you can reach out to our Sensei, Chengkok, with an email to chengkokoh@gmail.com. Be bold in your endeavour to become a better partner for money, for there is nothing embarrassing about wanting to become better.

Good luck, and may you find your ‘happily ever after’ with money!

Article by: Michelle Er