Tuesday 20 November 2018


That's the most tricky part when talking about personal finance... it is often seen as unsexy. Almost synonymous to do not spend a single penny and do not enjoy life vibe altogether. What's sexy though are the endless shopping hauls, 'you-need-this-in-your-life' and 'game-changer' type of contents. I honestly enjoy those youtube videos and blog posts but after quite some time, I got this eureka moment! These adverts are well crafted to lure us into buying things. As I watch videos on minimalism, this resonated on me: These companies do not care about your personal bottom line. They don't care if you have money to cover more important aspects of your life, all they want is for you to click on the check out cart icon and put in your card details. Then repeat.

I am very pleased that there's an emerging trend about living a simple life lately. Finally, someone out there gets me. I say this on my every single entry on topics like these. It's not about sucking the joy out of our lives but telling ourselves that whilst buying stuff brings us happiness, this is just one of the many ways to celebrate life... which brings me to my first point:

(1) Answer the WHY factor. Personal life stories are the strongest exhibits, in my opinion. There was a phase in my life that I go shopping almost every day. It makes me feel uncomfortable typing this but looking back it's so clear that I've used shopping as my emotional crutch and ... get this... without even noticing it! I was having issues with my weight and the fact that I am single and I felt ready to have someone to share my life with. Those things are seemingly beyond my control but I do have a say whether I'll buy this purple blouse or a black one, or maybe both? It took me years to deal with these questions and then the penny has dropped! I don't need to use shopping as a band aid but address my underlying feelings head on.

(2) Open a separate spending account. This one's super practical. I was never a believer of this until this year. Bearing in mind I've started a MONEY MATTERS series way back five years ago! I was reading a magazine one night and this is one of the things listed. I've opened a Monzo account and it's so handy. Did I mention their card's colour is hot coral?! Seriously, the idea is to give yourself a budget for a month. Monzo automatically put your spending by categories. So, in one glance you can see how much you've spent on grocery, shopping, transportation, eating out, etc. This is not a sponsored post, btw.

(3) Research and then invest intelligently. Did it ever occur to you why is it that the average standard interest rate when you buy something is 6.9% per annum but only 1% (yes, that's per year too) when you save your money in the bank? Point is: banks, while handy, don't have your best interest at heart (pun intended!). There are many ways to invest but unlike flash sales, they are not popular and served right in front of us. So we need to do our due diligence and invest properly. You can either invest in mutual funds like Nutmeg, open a stock investment platform like Hargreaves Lansdown (if you're in the UK) or COL Financial (if you're in the Philippines) or invest on property developments.

(4) Give. It may seem counterproductive but I've always been a believer of giving. While majority of my income is kept aside to gain wealth, secure our future and live our best lives, a portion of my income is set aside for giving. I practiced this habit since I was 10 years old and what I know for sure is I was never in lack as I give to causes close to my heart.

(5) Create a 'fun' fund. Because life is short and I'm all about having fun too! Bonus tip: On Google Keep, I created a checklist of my personal wish list. As of this writing, there's yoga mat, YSL Opium, Uniqlo Heat Tech, glass kettle (don't judge me!) among many others. Will I buy them in one go? No. Have I bought some of them? Yes! One good thing about living a minimalist lifestyle is since you will only have a handful of items, you want them to be of good quality. 

I hope you've learned a thing or two. It's not the most exciting post to read, I know but hey, that's what friends are for. To remind you even of the not-so-glamorous things in life! PS: If there is Ole & Steen in your area, try their cinnamon social. See picture above. You're welcome :) -CMK

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