Over the years I have tried many methods in helping me manage my money. Being able to jot all incomes and expenses everyday is already a success! If you do this daily, I’d like to congratulate you!

As we grow older, with more sophisticated assets and liabilities, we need a more reliable money management system. I have tried budgeting, using excel files, spent hours at the beginning and end of the month but eventually those methods never last. I tend to abandon them easily, then went on a few months not managing my money and then back to square one restarting a new system.

Finally, at the Millionaire Mind Intensive seminar, T Harv Eker taught a street smart and easy method to manage using the 6-jar system.

SIX JAR SYSTEM

Basically we divide all incomes into 6 portions. The 6 are
1. NECC 55% – Necessities (for all necessary expenses like food, lodging, rental and bills),
2. FFA 10% – Financial Freedom Account (money saved which will NEVER EVER be spent unless is to grow or invest)
3. EDU 10% – Education (to spend on books, seminars, education programs which will help us learn)
4. LTSS 10% – Long Term Savings for Spending (savings to spend on things we like ie. Gadgets, Car, House, Yatch)
5. PLAY 10% – all work and no play makes us dull so this is to spend on sports, relaxation like a massage or spa
6. GIVE 5% – to give for charity

The % percentage given are mere suggested proportion for each jar. Say if your income is RM1000 per month, then 55% or RM550 goes into NECC, 10% or RM100 goes into PLAY, EDU, LTSS and FFA each, and the remainder 5% or RM50 goes into the GIVE jar.

The jars are adjustable. You may have debts to settle of which you want to create an extra jar called FREEDOM jar which takes 5%-10% off your NECC to pay off debts. If your NECC jar is not enough to support your lifestyle, you will need to rethink your expenses. For a whole month, try collect every single bills and receipts that eats into your wallet. Yes, every single bill and receipt even at the char kuey teow stall! Try to relook at the pile end of the month to see what you can cut, say for example
1. Downgrade your home? Getting a smaller home or a lower loan rate. A home is a roof over your head so as long as it serves the purpose, why not a smaller home which means you could spare more to invest now for the future?

If you think the size or luxury of your home is a show of wealth, think again. Even Warren Buffet stays at the same house most of his adult life! Read here
2. Cutting bills. Recently, I have cut one of my handphone lines as well. Am now using only 1 phone line and even contemplating cutting the home broadband or downgrade it because the current package seems to be quite a lot! Phone is a mean of communication so if one line is enough, why two or three?
3. A less expensive car? Or walk to your nearest groceries, saving petrol
4. Cut on expensive gourmet coffees
5. Off electricity and tap when not in use. The little little things could save a pile!
6. Buy just enough food so you don’t throw expired food often
7. Clean your own home so you cut on maids
8. Eat at home – learn easy simple recipes instead of eating out. Pack lunch to work or school – a healthier choice too!
9. Cut down on alcohol and smoking
10. Reuse or restyle your clothes so you don’t need so much for new clothes
11. Cut on monthly pay TV or downgrade the package. Free TV has enough movies and dramas for you to waste your time on

Many people now complain that their income is never suffice with their lifestyle. In fact, people determine the insufficient income by looking at their expanded expenses. Yet, very few will determine their expenses and lifestyle by the income they bring home.

The 6-jar system allows us to relook at our budget and live according to what our income allows. Look at our parents or grandparents’ time. They too became frugal and adjust their lifestyle or worked extra hours to make ends meet. My parents did.

APPLICATIONS AND SOFTWARE

Harv suggested having 6 bank accounts for each jar. When your salary comes in monthly, write a cheque to divide the portion into each bank account. When the credit card bills come, check each item if it is NECC, EDU, PLAY or GIVE. Let’s say a RM300 credit card bill consists of RM200 of NECC, RM50 EDU, RM30 PLAY and RM20 GIVE, he suggested to write 4 different cheques from your 4 different bank accounts respectively to pay the bill.

For me I use a simpler method by using an application (Financisto) on my phone.

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I use one Maybank account to keep my EDU, GIVE, NECC and PLAY. I may need a little more time to sum up all figures in my apps to tally with the total I have in my bank when I do monthly review of my finance. I have another CIMB account for FFA and LTSS. My tenants bank in rental to Maybank so I reserve a FFA slot in this Maybank account which will be transfered to my CIMB at month end.

The 6-jar system helps a lot for people with irregular income like me. Sometimes I get rental, sometimes payment for consultation and my services come more in a month or two, or none at times. Sometimes I even spend for a project and often without income first. So each time any income comes, I divide them into 6 portions accordingly after business expenses and costs.

MANAGING EXPENSES

Often, applications can also help to categorise expenses, so my expenses are categorised also using the 6 categories so I know monthly where does my money go.

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Even managing my credit card bills is easier. I merely have one more account in the apps as MBB Visa and everytime I spend, I categorise the expenses. The report from the apps can detailed out credit card expenses for each category and I merely pay from the respective jars I have.

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I keep my expenses very low as you can see. Income can sometimes be positive or negative depending on the months I operate my business.

I hope the 6-jar system could help you get started in managing your expenses well.

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All of us know the impprtance of money yet part of our sub conscious tells us many opposites like
1. Don’t be greedy
2. Money is not everything
3. Other people need more – is okay to have just enough
4. If I make more money, other people will have not enough
5. Money is the root of all evil

Well, let’s think about it. The moment you are born, even when you are conceived, money starts flowing. My pregnant cousin told of her preparation and needed RM20,000 just to prepare for hospital charges.

From then on, milk powder, baby clothes, toiletries, baby toys, cradle, chairs, trolley, every other thing need money.

As you grow up – education – God knows how much! Medical bills can be a bomb even for basic medications. Health and well being all need money.

Even if you become a monk or a nun and renounce the world, you still need food and lodging – both at the expense of devotees or yourself – still MONEY.

So those who say money is not the most important thing, don’t be greedy, just have enough and that money is root of all evil – let me help you.

First, since everything is money, why must I be considered greedy when I only think of getting money for survival? If money is the root of all evil, think again. Actually, NOT having enough money IS the root of all evil.

Think about it, when petrol price increases, people who have not enough money to spend start to complain. People who have enough care less and focus on making MORE because they know the truth is complaining will never help but making more money can prepare the future.

Money Game

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It was "raining money" time!

I had a money game session yesterday at Personal Growth Centre. Our teacher, Helen told us to write the amount of money we desired, what are we going to do with the money and how will we feel if we reach these goals. It is important to know how you will feel if you reach the goals. Begin with the end in mind – if you don’t even know how much you want or what you want to do with the money you have, how could the universe trust you with a pile of money?

The teacher puts a pile of money on the floor in the middle of the class and asked 2-3 people at a time at the pile to pick one at a time, pick as much as they want.

The first 2 people helping themselves with the pile, the rest watched and noted our feelings. At that very time, most of us felt inside “Hey, don’t finish taking all the money! Leave some for us!” The relationship – money is rare and if I take more than my fair share, it will not be enough to go around for the needy. Wrong! In fact, although the pile looks so thinly spread on the floor, after all of us took our share, there was plenty left. In the real world, yes is real. The world has ABUNDANCE and enough for everyone and more! It doesn’t matter if you are greedy and take more of your “fair share”, the world will still have more!

Trust me, you will never ever amass too much that there is not enough to go around. Let’s live in the world of abundance. Whenever any resources in the world is found lacking, human always find new resources to replace the old. When someone amasses a lot of wealth, in time he will also leave the world and the money behind.

If you allow yourself to live in a world of “lack”, you will suffer and always think is never enough even for you. Discard that belief and start thinking abundance!

One participant yesterday shared that if she wants or when she gets more money, she seems to need to work harder or do something to justify that amount of money. I wouldn’t ask you to sit and think abundance and money just drop from the sky but that thought of being afraid money comes because I need to work harder is actually stopping more money coming to you. Let’s think about it this way – the universe wants to pass you some money to do good. So when money reaches you, the universe trusts you to spend it wisely – for nurturing yourself, your family members and even for charity.

One participant was asked to take a piece of his banknote, smell it, love it and say “I love you” to it. He said, “money is very dirty, how can I do that?” There you go! If you think money is dirty, how would you even want more money? Your mind is just denying yourself of money and deter having “dirty” things in your life. I always interact with my money, talk to them, see the designs, smell them so I know well the smell and I respect them by arranging them well in my wallet all the time. In fact, I feel gratitude everyday of the money I have now and I made sure I spent them wisely.

Some of you who think others should have more may have a problem with your self dignity. In fact we had a participant who only think of others. The teacher asked us to help her. We told her “I love you, Siti” (not real name) and she had to repeat the same word to herself. The first time, she said “I love all of you too” She really puts others above self! But teacher said no, she had to follow and repeat the exact words. She cried. She took her time to finally say, I love you, Siti! And we repeated several times.

How many of you tell yourself you love yourself? How many of you really spend time for yourself and take care of yourself well? Try take a moment to say, “I love, xxx (your name)”. Repeat it aloud a few times!

Think of yourself as value and worthy of receiving. If you think, I’m not worthy of receiving so much or others need more than me, you are depriving your self values. YOU are worth MUCH MORE than you think you are!

Thanks to the Money Game session, I have identified what blocked me recently which stopped me from growing my wealth even further. Learning never stops with the amount of money that you have.

Since entering politics, I always do not like showing my wealth. Wealth when in politics always make others think of dirty money and money that politicians have are from corrupted source. Yet, my money never came from politics. Every single cent came from my hard work and sweat I blogged about. All money from the election funds was spent back to the PJ Utara community where I served. So why must I be afraid to show my wealth when it is blood and sweat! In fact now I blog about being rich because my success inspires and helps others to be successful as well!

I hope you will renew your relationship with yourself and money. I summarize:
1. Have a goal and feel how is it like to reach your goals. I suggest doing this everyday for a few minutes
2.Think ABUNDANCE. The world have enough and much more for everyone!
3. Paradigm shift – I dentify what’s blocking you having the amount you really desire and discard that belief to replace with a new supportive one
4. Interact and play with your money. Believe me is FUN, smells really good and is entertaining
5. Value yourself – you are worth millions and even billions, why would you deprieve yourself your self worth? Say I love you to yourself daily

Let’s start having a good relationship with money!

It has been a long time since posting. And many also asked me when is the next organ donation video release. Had to stop all those for a while. My family and I have been in the kitchen for some time. We cooked, prepared food and tested many recipes.

My mother plans to open a cafe at Ipoh, utilising the shop she bought a few years ago which was fully completed and can be used now. The rental yield will not be high as the premise is located at a more deserted area in Ipoh, facing a Malay school but surrounded by housing areas.

In 2009, I decided to restart new year resolutions. Before that I seldom achieve what I resolve to do every year so what’s the point of having resolutions?

So I started with small resolutions which I can achieve small successes daily. Simple thing like drink a glass of water every morning as soon as I wake up (I was always dehydrated and sore throat leads to fever and flu every 3 months). Another resolution could be saving RM1 everyday. Small, simple, achieveable everyDAY! That keeps me going daily till I achieve my resolutions for the year!

I also resolved to do one big thing every year. Something new, something out of mind, something in my bucket list, something out of comfort zone. One a year should suffice. 2009 – I donated part of my liver to a stranger. 2010 – I published a book on my liver donation journey. 2011 – I kayaked 300km from Mukah to Kuching to promote organ donation. 2012 – I decided to stand for elections. 2013 – GE13, New Movement – a group of radical aggressive MCA members calling for MCA Change which Joe started and I start shooting as a sport – not one but THREE big things last year!

I kept having my “big thing” calling almost every November or December but this year, I was struggling. What’s my next BIG thing?

I spoke to a few friends. I told them what I do now – I trade/invest in stocks and still learning and polishing the skills while attending courses which I invested over RM10k. I invest in properties, I teach emceeing and I maintain a number of blogs to inspire giving, organ donation and share emceeing skills. One of my friends said, “Those are not big enough? You are semi retired and living a flexible life many people would desire at age 33. That’s BIG!”
I now realised that doing only ONE big thing a year coild expand so much in my both mind and body, and within a few years the things I am now doing became so small. Things achieveable daily became so small that I never considered them big.

Yet, I still want my big thing this year. 2014 – I will be having a 6 pack abs! Big for me!

So, what’s your next BIG thing?

PS: My small things this year?
1. Be more polite everyday, speak softer
2. Be very focused with time, more productive and waste no time
3. Don’t waste food AT ALL – buy fresh, buy just enough everytime, keep the refrigerator/ food at home just enough (not stuffed/ overstocked), order just enough (or lesser) food

Take actions!

Take actions!

About 8 years ago, I was already equipped with a lot of knowledge in property investments and how to invest in properties for rental returns. I was having tea with a friend who just graduated and with his father’s support, started an internet cafe business. We were discussing ways to make money, a topic I favoured, although only a student about to graduate at that time.

I discussed with him about property investment. I took a piece of paper and wrote a lot of notes, wrote the numbers and calculation on how property investment could make money. My friend was amazed with what I knew and the more questions he asked, I could also handle them. And then, there came a few more questions I couldn’t answer.

Then he threw me a question which woke me up. “Why are you not DOING it?” 

“I don’t know…,” I lifted my shoulders a bit. Questions played in my mind too, “Not enough money? Ain’t Robert Kiyosaki said you do not need money to make money?”.. then, it occurred to me, really, I knew a lot but I did not START DOING what I knew. I studied many book about investment and property. My book cabinet was previously filled with self-help books by Napoleon Hills, John Maxwell, Stephen Covey, Brian Tracy, Clement Stone, Billi Lim and a huge pile of Buddhism books. Then property investment and business books by Robert Kiyosaki, Dolf de Roos, Azizi Ali, Milan Doshi, Peter Yee, Renesial Leong, Alan Woon and Ho Kai Soon took over the space.

I invested in seminars and courses, learning diligently until I find myself a serial seminar attendee. I realised I have not START ACTING all because I thought I was not ready. As soon as I started working, I made sure I managed my finances well and within a year, bought my first investment property. True enough, those questions which I could not answer with scores of studies, I can now answer them because I DID IT! I learned more through that first investment and the process, as compared to the 4 years of studies and attending seminars.

Life is hands-on! Start ACTION today!

 

I have previously blogged about The Secret and how law of attraction worked in my life to attract the people I want to meet and opportunities I wanted.

My friend who read the last blog, was curious how “I attracted to me free tickets of seminars I really really wanted to attend and learn.”

The answer was… The Secret. I may not be able to tell you step by step how to attract things in life, but I could share you my experience, particularly on how I attracted the tickets to Napoleon Hills Convention.

Yes, The Secret and Law of Attraction did worked in my life. Somehow, Napoleon Hills seems to be always shining my life. First, I read “Dare to Fail” by Billi Lim. I didn’t really like the title but a friend brought the book to a camp and I started reading the book at night and fell in love. In the book, Billi mentioned he read the book “Think and Grow Rich”, so obsessed by it that he even attended a “Think and Grow Rich” course.

I searched and searched for it. I also heard the book being banned in Malaysia, of what reasons I am not sure. Yet one day as I was having lunch at a coffee shop, something made me walked towards a small little bookstore just two doors away. I walked in, browsed for books and eyed upon THINK AND GROW RICH! I was only a student at that time.  I read the book and love the philosophy taught by Napoleon Hills. I became a great fan of Napoleon Hills.

Then, there was a Napoleon Hills International Convention advertised in the newspapers. The course fees were four figures and as a fresh graduate and just started working at that time, I could not afford that figure. I remember in one of Robert Kiyosaki’s books and audiobooks, Robert warned against saying “I can’t afford it”. He said that instead of saying “I can’t afford it”, change it to “How can I afford it?”

I thought, why not put it to test. Almost everyday for 2 full weeks, I kept asking myself, “How can I go to Napoleon Hills Convention?” As I woke up in the morning, as I was having breakfast, as I drove, I kept thinking of that same question. It was already 2 days away from the convention and yet I have no idea how I can attend the convention I so wanted to. I told myself, there will be miracle and kept thinking how to go.

While I was driving, the phone rang. I put on a earphone and answered the call. A friend, Edward, called. He said, “There is an event this weekend and I have some free tickets. Would you like to attend Napoleon Hills International Convention?” My eyes almost popped out listening to his question, I answered with an immediate, “YES!! I was thinking about it all week! YES I want to attend!!”

A few years after the first convention, I was taking a course to be a certified Napoleon Hills trainer. The year when the convention was held at Kuching, Sarawak, I was serving as the youngest moderator at that convention. Till today, I still read a few paragraphs of Think and Grow Rich everyday. Every time I read it, different thoughts and experience come alive.

THANK YOU, Napoleon Hills for writing books that inspired hundred of millions of people and for sure billions of people who have yet to read.

Being rich is sometimes about forcing yourself to do something – a WILL to do it. Most people will create excuses NOT to do something and that’s the main reason why people do not jump into the risky zone and do something different. I grew up in a family where we do not manage our finances. Well, we have not much to manage anyway. My parents divorced due to financial problems and as I grew up with my aunt, she always advised that I study hard, get good grades and get a good paying job. In school, I was asked NOT to hold the position of a treasurer because refrain from money means refrain from managing it. I was told money does not grow on trees and of course, money is the root of all evil! Sounds familiar? Way back before year 2000, my “financial blueprint” was a map to the poor and middle income group. Very often, I always said these:

  • I must work hard for money
  • Money doesn’t come easily
  • Money was the culprit for my parents divorce so money is evil
  • Having a lot of money means greed
  • Business is for the greedy people
  • Investments are risky
  • A steady, well paying job is enough to survive
  • If I save enough, I will be well off till retirement
  • My EPF savings will sustain the rest of my life
  • If I don’t invest, I won’t lose money to risky investments
  • Fixed deposit is the safest guaranteed investment
  • Mutual fund is the second
  • People always lose in the stock market
  • Since I won’t do business or involve in money, I don’t like reading books on these subjects

Twist of fate landed “Rich Dad Poor Dad” on my hands in 2003 and the list of books I read changed. From 2003 onwards, I read so many books about finance, business, investments and managing money that I can start sharing my knowledge “theoretically”. I realised that it is my THOUGHTS that determined my FEELINGS towards the subjects of money. It led me to ACTIONS avoiding these books and the RESULTS was poor financial knowledge. I need to start from the THOUGHT process. Not only do I read, I researched and listened to audiobooks. It was sometimes difficult to understand Americans when they speak, and my hearing wasn’t good. I was born with hearing defect on the left. Yet, when my friends are busy listening to radio on the way to work, listening to the latest music and songs, I listened to audiobooks. I’d asked my employers to sponsor my seminars like property investment courses and seminars on stocks and options. I even sent sms-es to family and friends asking for “sponsorship” to attend these courses. At times, believe it or not, I attracted to me free tickets of seminars I really really wanted to attend and learn. I changed my thought process.

  • I must work hard for money – or should money also work hard for me too?
  • Money doesn’t come easily  – how do I attract it to come easier? 
  • Money was the culprit for my parents divorce so money is evil – come to think about it, it is really the “lack of money” that’s the culprit. If I’d avoid finance problem, I should first face it, make it, manage it!
  • Having a lot of money means greed – If I can’t be rich and successful, how can I inspire others to be rich and successful as well? Why must money means greed? Money is a necessity for all people, so is everyone on Earth as greedy?
  • Business is for the greedy people – I later realised, if there is no bread business, I will need to knead dough and bake a bread everyday. If there’s no food business, then I will need to cook all my meals. Business is an exchange of money for services and products that we need, in turn generating cashflow. That’s economy. So if I choose to be in business, I must ask myself, what goods and services should I provide to add values to people’s lives? Business is not that bad after all, eh?
  • Investments are risky – Even walking across the street can be risky, but I do know how to watch for cars or cross with the pedestrian bridge to reduce risks. So, how do I minimise risks if I were to invest? 
  • A steady, well paying job is enough to survive – It doesn’t take more than a calculator to prove this wrong
  • If I save enough, I will be well off till retirement – If I want to retire early, I will need to do more, make more and put my money to work harder too
  • My EPF savings will sustain the rest of my life – will it really?
  • If I don’t invest, I won’t lose money to risky investments – If I don’t start managing risks, I will end up risking more in a job, “secured” investment and EPF
  • Fixed deposit is the safest guaranteed investment – but not a buffer for inflation. If I want to beat inflation, there must be a better way. If I need to retire early, there must be a even better way!
  • Mutual fund is the second – If high risk high return, why don’t I take some risks, educate myself by attending more seminars and courses to learn how to manage risks? 
  • People always lose in the stock market – People lose and make money in stocks, people also lose and make money in business. I have also seen people lose and make money in properties, as well as made money in a job to end up losing all in expenses. Do I stop doing everything? 

My “financial blueprint” is now very different and that should be the starting point of all riches. I’d recommend everyone to attend the Millionaire Mind Intensive, an intensive 3-full-day (may start as early as 9am to 10pm EVERYDAY!) to change your financial blueprint. I’ve done that, attended more than 3 times and even changed my political blueprint there too.

(Yes, I know many typical minded people will say, “But I heard the trainer will sell you courses there.” I am more concern of what I will LEARN than what the trainer will sell. I always believe I can learn in every situation. Even when the trainer was selling his courses, I was quick to realised that they actually had a template and the same selling method could be used in my daily life. I always identify if I am being sold or whether I really wanted to buy the products/seminars.)

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HL Money Making Journey

HL Money Making Journey

It has become a habit to do a check and balance every year end and reflections on how I came to who I am now. I started having time to think and plan for myself after donating part of my liver in 2009. Prior to that, I kept a very hectic schedule, with 2 to 3 jobs at a time and active participation in up to 12 community organisations, of which I held positions in 8 organisations with responsibilities.

Looking back, I really had no idea how I managed my time and life prior to 2009. I recalled I kept telling myself that I will sleep more tomorrow, so is okay to sleep less tonight. I remember telling myself the same thing everyday for the past many years. As I reflected and asked why I did all these, I pictured a scene of my aunt who cried when I was young. She blamed herself for being unable to bring up 2 of the 3 children under her wings, up to a point she could be proud of. I was the third and I knew I won’t want her to regret her whole life. I planted a seed in my head and said I will make her cry again but it will be because of my success, not my failure.

Very early in life in 2006, I was awarded the Selangor Youth Award. I didn’t make her proud enough. In 2008, I delivered to her The Great Woman of Our Time Award – a huge crystal trophy and a certificate, which comes along with 2 full page photo and brief in the prestigious Malaysian Women’s Weekly magazine. She cried and proudly told my father, “Hey, I am also responsible for your daughter’s success.”

After working so hard for years just to see that moment happening right in front of my eyes, I then asked myself, “What’s next?” It was funny, because you have done so much just to see that moment and then you don’t know how else to move forward in life! I then resolve to do one BIG thing a year. 2009 was donating part of my liver, 2010 published my book, 2011 I kayaked from Mukah to Kuching (300km) to promote organ donation, 2012-2013 I focused in the 13th general election as an MP candidate in PJ Utara.

This coming 2014, I’d like to focus on my money making journey, a plan I put off in 2012 to focus on the elections. Reflecting on my journey to make money, I find myself very lucky to have maintained a love-to-learn attitude, started very early in life, being frugal (although I am actually a spender!) and being able to build a small portfolio by now.

I may not have a big home and car yet, but my portfolio is destined to be bigger in the coming years. I plan to retire by the age of 40. The journey wasn’t fun, it was lonely and it was challenging.

I remember when my friends were busy arranging a movie outing or a party, I was busy reading the next books on investments.
When my friends were busy looking for a job, I ended up in a multi-level marketing business. I learned a lot in the process.
While my friends were busy recollecting about movies and fashion, I find myself having no topic to talk about.

When I spoke to my family members about investment, I was being poured cold water. An uncle would say buying property to rent out is the most stupid decision. Tenants will spoil my house, they won’t pay rental on time, they are difficult to manage and bla bla bla…. When I now start sharing about stock investment on my Facebook, too many people will argue that stock market is not a way to make money and that more people lose in stock market.

Well, I have proven my uncle wrong in a small portfolio of rental properties now. I will also continue with my plan no matter what.

I have seen people make money and lose money in properties. I have seen people making money and losing money in business. I too seen people make and lose money in stock market. The same goes to a job – people make money in a job and lose more than they earn in expenses. So do I stop working, stop investing in properties, stop trading and stop doing business? Definitely not!

Come 2014, I am putting everything on sabbatical, focus on building my portfolio and polish my skills in investments. I will continue to write and share about “Being Rich“. 2014 will also see a new accomplished writer named Chew Hoong Ling. I will continue writing, finish the writer’s course I bought from UK and polish my writing skills to make decent income from writing.

Happy New Year!

 

I was having a conversation with a close friend yesterday. He poured out and told me about his expenses, rising cost of living and finally he said, “We now seems to be working for money to continue working. Our salaries seems to only support our transportation, petrol, toll and parking and then not much left for the others.”

I somehow agreed with him and I really pity those in the same situation. I then told him, “You must let your money work hard for you too!”

We had the discussion centered around this topic for the whole 3 hours car journey up north. He said he was now lucky to know these but how about those who don’t? So I share this to all…

Allow me to share how I first started. I’m extremely lucky to have found the book “Rich Dad Poor Dad”, read its subsequent series and never stopped learning. That was during college days, I considered it very early in life. Over the years in college, my books centered around authors like Robert Kiyosaki, Dolf de Roos, Azizi Ali. While I was on the LRT to college and fro, I listened to audiobooks on financial management.

I was a TV Presenter at RTM for Selamat Pagi Malaysia talk show every Saturday. I was paid RM300 per week, a total of RM1,200 per month which supports my education and students expenses.

Right out of college, I quit RTM and landed in a job with an NGO because I learnt

Lesson 1: Have a job you have passion in and work to learn, not to earn

My salary was RM2,500. I put RM1,000 in the share market every month leaving only RM1,500 for my expenses. My car was around RM350 per month for installment and another RM300 for petrol. I have RM850 left. My Dad pays rental so I survived on RM850 per month.

Lesson 2: Always pay yourself first. Putting RM1,000 in share market was a way to pay myself first before anything else.

At the end of the 11th month, with returns from share market almost at 12%, I cashed out around RM12,000 to buy my first auction property. It was hard work. I browsed almost thousands of properties, visited hundreds of properties for auctions and had a full list of properties market value, rental rate, monthly maintenance fees, sinking fund etc. I had a list at that time – you could ask me any apartment/condo in Pandan, I can tell you its numbers. From the list it is easier to spot properties below market value and which rental could cover its monthly expenses. Then I put the property up for rental.

Lesson 3: Do your homework. People say it takes money to buy property yet many people do not realise that it take no or very little money to do homework. That homework pays many folds in return

Then I found a part time online job which pays (if I remember correctly) around RM800 and I volunteered my service at my then MP’s office, Dato Sri Ong Tee Keat to be exact. After a few months, he offered me to work there at weekends at RM600 allowance.

I had 3 jobs with a total salary of RM3,900, with RM150 surplus from renting out my first property. I literally had only 3-4 hours sleep a day. Imagine working 5 days full time, with 2 hours commuting daily. After work is the part time online job which I spent about 2 hours and on weekends at MP’s office. At times, I brought work back home. If that’s not enough, I also browsed and scanned shares every midnight and browsed for auction properties every night. I spent time before bed to continue reading how to grow financially. At that time my passion was to serve the community, something in my blood! I ended up being a committee member in almost 8 NGOs.

Lesson 4: Educate yourself financially (something not taught in school). It is always worth it to spend time and money to educate yourself in a new area of life by reading books, attending seminars and courses.

If you ask me how I manage my time, I really got no idea! Now, looking back at my life just about 8 or 9 years ago, it was just amazing!

I put RM2,000 in the share market every month and I was left with RM2,150 for myself. I started to pay half the rental of the apartment I shared with my Dad.

At the end of second year, I found another auction property. I bought it by cashing out from the stock market again and put it up for rent.

It was at this point of time that my uncle scolded me to wake up. “Look at your face! You look so old now. Don’t work so hard, relax” I realised I’ve worked too hard to make money. But then again, I’m extremely lucky to put my money to work as hard as me VERY EARLY IN MY LIFE.

Lesson 5: Are you working hard for money? Is your money working as hard as you too?

I looked old, I was 25 and people guessed my age was 30. When I was 28, people guessed my age around 33.

But I’ve never regretted all that I’ve done. My three properties now give me a capital returns of more than RM300,000 (if I sell them), an amount I may not able to gain if I only work for money.

I’d like to continue the money making plan and definitely willing to share more things I’ve learned at this blog.

Start looking at how to make your money work hard for you!

Dear Editors,

Festive season is here again. We will be celebrating Christmas, New Year and then Chinese New Year too. However, it is this very season that always sadden me.

On one hand, I do appreciate the many Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects towards the end of the year. On the other hand, I pity the children from welfare homes and orphanages who are forced to perform in the public in return for donations to their homes.

I thank all corporate which would think of the underprivileged. However, there are companies who donate money in return for something – one thing they always do is to ask children to perform during their annual dinners, celebration dinners and many other events. More insulting to these children was when the public relation officers at times demand the children to make thank you cards for the donation they have made. While these companies save on money to hire professional performers, they do not pass 100% of these savings to the children’s homes. Only part of the savings were given as token of appreciation to the homes as donation. Ask these children if they are happy to perform or are they forced to do so. Most of them will answer the latter. This does not only violate human rights but further hurt the dignity of these children and also shows advocacy to child labour.

I feel that such CSR is not appropriate unless of course if the children are really proud and happy to perform for them. I hope that this festive season will be merry and joyful for all parties involved. For those giving sincerely without expecting anything in return, rest assure the returns will be more abundant in the future. For those who would like to ask children to perform, please do ask these children if they really want to do it.