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Just start somewhere.

Dear FFL supporters, 

 

For someone who actually enjoys writing, it took me the longest time to pick up my invisible virtual ‘pen’ to start writing this first blog post for Fun(d) for Life. 

 

Do I give life-changing financial tips for youths? 

 

Do I share shocking statistics about personal finance (or the lack of it) by Malaysians? 

 

Do I start with fancy financial quotes by financial gurus? 

 

..and the list goes on, while my draft remained blank.

 

Total word count 0 meme

 

But today, I’m putting aside all my fears and self-doubt *cue song in the background* ‘At first I was afraid, I was petrified..’ and channeling this squirrel’s inner-spirit..

 

Meme of at first i was afraid i was petrified meme

 

and taking a dose of the timeless advice of: Just start somewhere. 

 

And this luckily doesn’t only apply to starting blog posts, but also to learning personal finance! 

 

 

I’ll be honest with you: I’m no finance expert. I don’t have masters in finance nor do I have financial planning certification. But what I do have now (compared to 20 years ago) is alhamdulillah, a financially-comfortable life.

 

This wasn’t always the case. I remember having to ikat perut during my uni times, waiting for PTPTN money to come in, or always looking forward to gaji time at the end of the month. I didn’t even realise managing money is a THING to-do. Was never even exposed (or rather, was oblivious) to the word ‘personal finance’ or ‘financial education’ until much later in my 20s when I probably stumbled across the world of personal finance blog posts and that opened my eyes to another world I didn’t know existed and made me feel ‘ruginyaaa wei aku tak tau benda-benda ni lagi awal’. 

 

ruginya tak simpan duit awal-awal

 

Sebab tuuu laa basic personal finance has been one of my favouritest subjects to learn and share about since. 

 

Thanks to informal personal finance lessons (yang diperturunkan oleh tok guru in the form of leteran by my mom #thanksmom) and all the things I continue learning about personal finance, I’ve been able to do so many good things in life:

 

  • I was able to quit a job without a plan and had the luxury of travelling for 2 months until I could figure out my next life plans. 
Koh Phangan quit job
Thailand: After quitting my job without a plan, I had the luxury of figuring out my next life plans with this view every morning
  • I was able to leave the high-paying corporate world and take a paycut in the more fulfilling world of social work (not saying this has to be the case).
Teaching English to students from Thailand
Teaching English to Thai uni students who came to Malaysia. such sweethearts. Neung, song, sam!
  • I’ve been able to spend more time on the things that matter to me.
I have the flexibility to take time off work to spend time with my 2 sons on weekdays

…..

This said, I am not blind to my privilege – I grew up speaking mix of English and Bahasa in a middle-class family with bumiputera status in a lovely small island which wasn’t yet affected by consumerism (never had to worry about peer pressure on branded stuff where I lived – we didn’t even have McDonalds apatah lagi Guess, or whatever brand was the rage among teenagers in big cities then). 

 

But, that can only get you so far and instead of choosing to focus on one’s privilege while sulking, I choose to learn what I can from them and make the best of it 🙂

 

So, I hope you’ll join me on this journey of learning about Money 101 and how we can make it easy and fun from a young age (I have 2 young children of my own so I’m personally invested in the topic!). 

 

We’ll have a few bumps on the road and there may be times we might not have the answer. But I think that’s also part of the money lesson we’re trying to teach our young ones – that it’s OK and perfectly normal to not know at first, but to not let that stop you from learning and sharing! 

 

Along the way, I’ll be sharing my thoughts and learnings about ways to manage the money in our lives so we can benefit from financial independence and improve the way we live our lives.

 

If you’ve not familiar with the world of personal finance, join me and don’t worry, bak kata orang tua: Just start somewhere 😉 

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