When I was young, I attended a church camp for young adults where I had the opportunity to chat with the camp speaker. The speaker shared with me that his dream during his youth was to buy back time for the freedom to do things which he perceived as valuable and meaningful. He actually had achieved that goal at time of speaking when he was at the age of 40. His sharing has a huge impact upon me, so I decided to set for myself a similar goal in life which is to achieve financial independence during my life time and to possess the freedom to do what I wish and to lead the life that I want. My life will no longer be enchained by the monetary and material needs or desires!
But for a person who was still studying in tertiary level with no extra money to spare, it was a seemingly distant dream. After my graduation, I landed with my first job earning a mere RM 800 as starting pay, my dream appears even more ridiculously incredible! However I did not give up on my first dream, so together with my husband who was then my boy friend, we decided to set short term targets for fund saving such as to save for wedding and buying a house. Meanwhile we continued to work diligently like ants accomplishing little by little. During that time, our net combined monthly income was barely two thousands ringgit. So we started giving part time tuition to supplement our income. At our workplace, we worked diligently, striving for the best performance to win the recognition and appreciation from our superiors and the chance for better pay and increment. We were also frugal in our daily spending so as to put more saving into fixed deposit for higher interest return.
After saving for two years , we decided to buy a house of our own. Due to the lack of capital, we could only afford a low cost 2-room small house of size 16 x 45 ft in Subang Section 19. After taking over the house, most of the renovation work and repainting were done by ourselves after work in order to save cost. We were thankful to a group of good friends who were kind enough to come after work or during weekend to render us some helping hand.
As we were also planning for our wedding during that time, we tried to organise a simple , low key and no-frills wedding ceremony without the usual extravagant and romantic excess. Our guests were invited to a church wedding ceremony and treated with buffet lunch. As wedding gifts , we have boldly requested for suitable home appliances or ang pao instead. After completing these two major tasks in life, we have only little saving left so honey moon was never in our package.
After marriage, we set a new mid-term target of settling the housing loan and a long term goal of accumulating enough fund for investment and business venture. Therefore we continue with our frugal lifestyle saving every penny for the bigger goal. After ten years of simple but disciplined living and working lifestyle, we have managed to pay off our house mortgage and accumulated a tidy sum of capital which would allow us to resign from our job and begin our journey of entrepreneurship, heading towards our first dream.
At the beginning stage of our entrepreneurship venture , we have to commit all our saving into the operation of our company. But our financial planning method remain unchanged where we started afresh from zero using the past 10-year planning model, setting a new target and working diligently towards its achievement. Naturally the second 10-year cycle progressed with a faster speed as compared with the first 10-year though bearing a greater risk too. Benefiting from the accumulated experience, matured business sense and the availability of more resources, we have the opportunity of utilising different financial management tools. Now as we moved into the third 10-year cycle, our financial management model has taken a different form which varies from the previous two cycles, with more emphasis on planning and creativity .
We believe that having a dream is the main motivation force to implement financial planning. Setting an envisioned ending from the beginning helps us to set our short-term, mid-term and long-term targets as the direction pointer for our continuous effort. This conviction enable us to move against all odds, to endure willingly the restrictive constraints but in the process we have successfully strengthen our resolve to work towards our dream. At the same time we have learnt to resist the material temptation, willingly to bear with the frugal lifestyle and dull daily routine while still working diligently and investing time in equipping ourselves by reading the relevant literature. It is by this inner conviction that we could keep our first dream intact despite of encountering numerous challenges, comparison and mockery which we took in stride.
However I have already achieved my dream when I reached 40. During that time , I could afford to stay at home to guide my two young daughters in their growth. As for my hubby, he too had fulfilled his entrepreneurship dream. Today we still harbour new dreams and are passionate in our work and our life. Everyday we continue to manage faithfully all that we have in the same manner as before which is to begin with a set goal in mind as how a good financial manager will do.