I was tidying up my bookshelf and discover some of my old notebooks which I would scribble and write a lot of plans for the future. It feels nostalgic when you look back at them. Just want to take this chance to share my younger days and how I will write down my plans.
Income and Expenses in 2007
I started my working life in 2007, I remember my first pay was S$2,500. The above image is my personal finance planning then. I took home only S$1,999 after CPF and a contribution of $1 to Chinese society (cannot remember the exact name). After all the expenses which include giving my parents some allowance, general expenses, transportation, entertainment, and food expenses, I allocated $200 for insurance. I saved $650/month. I remember on top of that, I hustled by selling time for money by teaching tuition while working. I should be saving around S$1,000/month.
Some notes from 2010
I drew the below image sometime in 2010. I read “What should I do with my life”, I was trying to discover my career path after working for 3-4 years. I was 27 – 28 years then. This question of “WTF should I do with my life” was bothering me a lot then. To be honest, this is 2021 now, I still don’t know what I want in my life. I am in my last year of the 30s before I cross over to the big 40, I am still lost. I am pivoting within the oil and gas industry.
If you read the last two comics, I always wanted to become my own boss. That was one of my primary motivations to accumulate money. I thought of having one year of expenses before I launch my business. Even after accumulating sufficient emergency funds, I never did launch my business on a full-time basis.
See the below note, I believe I wrote them when I was working in Perth. I went to Perth to earn some Aussie dollars then as the exchange rate to SGD was really good. Was it like 1 AUD to 1.2 SGD? I was making an AUD 50 allowance per day and I live off on the allowance only, saving my entire SGD salary. It is very lonely to work overseas all by yourself. I was traveling so often, away from family most of the time, I was thinking of what I can do as a living. I even contemplated getting my PR in Perth then and further my studies at UWA.
Since the start of my working life, I started my pursuit towards financial freedom. As seen from the above note from 2010, my definition for financial freedom then was “Recurring Income/ Current Expense > 2x”. I did not cater for lifestyle creep with different life stages. If I can keep to the same level of expenses in 2007, I will be financially free by now. The mantra should be with increased income, I should continue spending like a student.
I have a beautiful family now and I thank God for that.
Before the recent mini hype on young people achieving more than S$100k in savings before they reach 30 years old on Seedly forum. I was one of the pioneers in that sense. In 2010, at the age of 28 years, I accumulated a savings of S$150,000 and most of them were in stocks. However, it was never smooth sailing but filled with a journey of volatility. I held Mapletree Logistic REIT and sold it off after making some gains as back then I was into trading. I lost 40% of my position when the Ezra share price crashed. I lost all S$8k in this company called Renewable Energy Group which was delisted in 2020.
Do you write a journal? I think it is one of the best thing you can do to crystalize your thoughts and plan for the future. We cannot control the future but we can make it a better one if we plan for it.