Tag Archives: serious

How To Change Your Life, One Step At A Time.

We are all afraid to change, change means risk, danger, uncertainty or even perish since ancient time. In modern time, we gained more control over our life from risk of weather, animal, change of season or lack of food source. Our food production is now abundant, enough for every human being on this planet, but unfortunately very unevenly distributed.

Change is difficult, we don’t know how to get started to change our life to the better although most of us want it. But wants alone is not enough, only action bring changes. If you want to be healthier, don’t start running 5km tomorrow morning, instead spend 5 minutes walking if this is the first time in 5 years you are doing exercise. If you want to be better at work, spend more time learn about your job, get to know what is required to complete the job quickly and perfectly. If you want to have a better family relationship, make time for your family. Plan an outing with your family away from work and all other commitment, talk to them during the trip, pay attention to them during normal days, spend time celebrate special event with them instead of staring at the computer screen in the office.

However, talking is cheap. Anyone can write some thing on the internet like this post to tell you to change, but only you yourself hold the power to change your life to the better, one step at a time. My life has completely changed for the past few years, it took me many years to slowly improve my life for the better. Paid off student loan, bought a house, accumulate saving, started a blog, learning new skills at work, drafted a plan for early retirement, all this take time and effort to commit to it. And I am glad I took the steps and effort to complete all those goal.

I won’t tell you to set a goal or write down your goal and past all over your house and the place you will pass by daily. I believe there is always one thing that is always on your mind and that thing would be the most important and most suitable goal to chase for. For me, I don’t achieved all those thing on the above in one step. At any point of time, my focus is laser sharp, I would focus only on one goal unless that goal can be accomplished automatically like paying off student loan. During my paying off period, I basically did not have to put in much effort, I still maintain my usual spending habit and work my job. The only difference is I channeled my money toward clear off that debt. During buying house  period, thing is a little bit different. There is research to be done, where and what kind of house are we looking for, is there any new launch happening in the location we are aiming for? If there is, is the price point right for our budget? How big is the house we want to go for? What are the options available and which developer is reliable? All this question need to be answered before we can made one of the most decision in life, buy a house.

It is still a long way before I can see the early retirement light at the end of the rat race tunnel, now I am focusing on become the best employee I can be and fight for the highest income I can get. No matter how impatient I am now, I still maintain my pace and changing my life, one step at a time.

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3 Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes That Improve Your Finance Immediately

I see finance as the most challenging part in our retirement journey (maybe because I don’t have a million of them yet.) In our current world, we still need some money no matter how frugal you are because this is how the system works. Beside money, we are now lacking of time to do anything and I think I will just take 5 minutes of your time to share what I think can improve your finance.

1. Calculate your total net worth

Spend 5 minutes to calculate how much have you accumulated over all your working years so far. If you still have debt (student loan/credit card bill/mortgage/other loan), you might be in negative net worth. For me, this is an easy exercise because all I need to do now is to look at my bank account and I can know my net worth immediately. Being aware of how much money I have helps me make better purchase decision and also my progress towards my retirement number.

Things could be complicated if you holds much more investment tools than me, but isn’t that a good news?

2. Get a free/profitable hobby

My hobbies used to be very expensive (at least according to my current standard). I spent a lot of money on buying book (but not reading enough of them), I also spent a lot on sport equipment like sport shoe, badminton racket/string, roller blade although I only play badminton fortnightly, run maybe once a month and I don’t know how the roller blade works.

After I get to know the blog of early retirement extreme, I get a few ideas from the blog about creating free (or profitable) and enjoyable hobby. Nowadays I spent more time reading than buying books (library is a great source), making full use of my running shoe now (run 2-3 per week), starting a blog (this one, it cost some money but I view it as a investment for me to learn about how to manage a blog as a business).

3. Get started at financial education

Property, stock, business, antique, painting, etc… There are so many investment choices available on the market now and it is confusing for me. I first learn about index fund through Mr Money Mustache blog and Early Retirement Extreme blog, it sounds like a reasonable choice t me. But I also agree with what is written by Jacob on his ERE blog about investment, we should understand investment enough first before we put in our hard earned money into it.

I have received many recommendations of books and online course about investment from few forum posts I posted. You might want to check them out if you are interested.

Although I start this post with things you can do in 5 minutes that helps your finance but I think every item listed above require time and effort to learn. I think the time line for me will be 5 to 8 years based on my current saving rate.

Let me know what you think is the next important thing during your retirement after you have taken care of your finance.


Filed under Personal Development