Friday 24 July 2015


LIFE is a balance between rest and movement. Life, by itself, is a BIG WORD to fathom. Let alone living a balanced one. However, it's true. We need to find balance in everything we do. Otherwise, life will be some series of boring routines repeated day after day. I've come across a quote and, despite being simple, it pretty much encapsulates everything we need to know about life's balancing act.

BE aware of wonder.
LIVE a balanced life.
Learn some and think some and draw and paint 
and sing and dance and play and work everyday. -Robert Fulghum

These are some areas in my life that I know I'm still a work-in-progress. And that's okay. If you're finding yourself on the same boat, take heart that you're not the only one digesting life's amazing way of turning things left... right... then round and round!

PS: I decided to break this mini-series in chunks to make it a light read.

Spending and Investing Money
I remember that scene quite vividly. It was 9th of May 2008 and I was coming home from a graveyard shift (yes, I've had my share of those days). I was contemplating in a bus and thinking: where have all my income gone? Last year, I've earned so-and-so but where are those now? That's the time I decided to open my very first savings account. Nothing fancy, I just want to see my money is 'kept' somewhere. Come 2013, I discovered the beauty of investing and so MONEY MATTERS series on Call.Me.Kristine (CMK) blog was born.

That's just the other side. On the flip side, I am a girl who loves to travel and shop! I like to try on new stuff and be on places I've never been. We were on a car yesterday and one elderly said: "I've worked hard for my money and I will never 'waste' them by traveling. After your trip, your savings will be gone just like that."

Maybe there are people like her. I can't blame her. As I've shared, BALANCE is such a big, deep forest to tread upon. That's her view and it's okay. However, I'd go mental if I subscribe to that perception. To me, traveling is a necessity. It's a way for me to appreciate life and my routines that I somehow abhor after months of repetition. Traveling gives me proper perspective and for that, it's a must-do rather than nice-to-have in my book.

Fact: We need money to enjoy the finer things in life. Likewise, we have to work to sustain our needs and wants. How to deal? I wish there's a cookie cutter approach but you and I know there's none. And so, here are my suggested 3 BALANCING ACTS:

1. SET APART A FUN FUND. It's true that you need to have fun,  but it's true-r (is there such a word?!) that you need to have more funDS! Live within your means and don't ever swipe that credit card relentlessly. I'm telling you that's disaster waiting to explode.

I usually set aside 15% of my salary for fun. I don't need to wreck the whole budget if I don't fancy anything but if I need to buy some big-ticket items, I'll put things into proportion.

2. INVEST AT LEAST 20%. I don't like to sound like a parrot but you'll thank your younger self that you decided to invest and prepare for your future. There are so many ways and as they say, everything is possible to those who are willing.

3. GIVE. This may sound a bit strange but I'm a living testament that giving works. Call it whatever you want, tithing or charity or anything. Please know that you have to share because that's how the universe works. I personally believe in the power of giving.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38

One of the things my favorite speaker always tell is: We cannot out-give God. When we give, He will find ways to replenish. This is true not only physically but in all facets of life.

It's tough, I hear you! It's a hybrid of self-discipline and life appreciation. But life is like that. A mish mash of everything. Go figure! :) -CMK


  1. I am sometimes go through the same limbo.

    There's this desire to boost your savings/investments, yet there's also a longing and the need to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

    There's the difficulty in finding the balance between enjoying the present and saving up for the future.

    Your solution to save for 'fun fund' is a good solution. :-)

  2. As a traveller myself, I so agree with you Kristine. Travel for me is worth it and the memories (videos photos to look back on later) last forever! I recently went on a trip to Europe last spring and while it was very "spendy," I would not have gone any other way. It was a trip of a lifetime no doubt about that! Nonetheless I always advocate paying for trips in cash.


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