I earned my first salary of just over RM1,000 when I was 23.
While I was grateful to be earning a salary at all, I also knew that it wasn’t much.
Questions about money started running through my mind. Questions like…
“How long will I have to work so I can retire comfortably?”
“How much money will I need to retire?”
“Will I even want to retire?”
“What does money mean to me?”
“What happens if I lose my job unexpectedly?”
“Is a 9-5 job the only way to earn a decent living?”
“How do wealthy people earn as much as they do and manage their money?”
and later on….
“How can I earn more?”
“How do I let go of my scarcity mindset?”
“How else can I earn money without needing to work at a 9-5 gig?”
Now, having navigated through life and work, as well as the ups and downs of managing my financial life for almost two decades, I’ve realised the following:
1. Your money mindset is everything.
If you feel poor, you are. If you feel rich, you are. If you believe that you’re bad with money, guess what? You will be. Keeping an open mind so you can learn from your mistakes and building a healthy, abundance-focused mindset is absolutely essential when you’re neck-deep in the grind of earning your way to financial freedom. Hope (when paired with action) will keep you going and your dreams, alive.
2. You have to save and make your money work for you.
They say that it’s not what you earn — it’s how much you keep that matters when it comes to building wealth. Not the sexiest get-rich tip out there, and it definitely doesn’t get your quick riches, but it’s absolutely true. In fact, I’d add another caveat to this fact: Whether or not you invest can mean the difference between living abundantly and surviving with barely enough once taxes, inflation and emergency expenses have had a go at your nest egg.
3. Living a rich, abundant life is different for everyone.
Don’t let our consumption- and status-obsessed culture suck you into spending your hard-earned cash — or worse, going into debt because of it — on stuff you don’t need or even want just to keep up appearances. It’s up to you to decide what matters most so you can make smart money decisions that enrich, not drain your bank account. It all comes down to this: Would you rather look rich or be rich?
My approach to money.
I’ve worked at full-time jobs for most of my career, but I believe having multiple streams of income is the ultimate safety net that that everyone should be building for themselves.
I’m not perfect, but I aim to save 50% or more of my monthly income whenever possible.
Automation and setting an investment schedule for myself has been my key to investing consistently. To me, it’s a must for anyone who’s serious about growing their wealth.
Money is essential, but it isn’t everything.
I’ve experienced money highs and lows, and come out of these situations knowing that my financial health absolutely affects my mental health and vice-versa.
I invest in what I’m comfortable with, but recognise that some risk is necessary for growth. I never put all my eggs in one basket and diversify so I can sleep peacefully at night.
I’m no personal finance expert, but experience has taught me this: Money won’t buy me happiness, but it’ll afford me freedom and more options in life, which is reason enough to give my financial health the attention it deserves.
What’s Ringgit On Fire?
ROF is a space where financially-aware humans who happen to live in Malaysia can seek refuge from our material-obsessed society and get to work on building a brighter, more secure and joyful financial future on their own terms.
Whether you’re working your way out of debt, saving for retirement or doing everything you can to carve out your own path to financial freedom, I hope you’ll find your time here well-spent.
Disclaimer: Everything on this blog is published for informational, personal point of view and entertainment purposes only and is not a substitute for professional financial advice. Please consult a certified financial planner or legal professional for advice on your own situation.