Personal Finance - Never too late

Personal finance is essential for every stage of life, it is the security that will help us to have the freedom to enjoy doing things we love. Be it spend more time with the family, have the means to live in luxury, increase social status or even the capacity to do good and spread wealth in your favorite charity.

My first thought back in my 20s is to save, save and save. Things don't turned out the way we plan however. We tend to digress and just be in position to fit in.  I splurged more than I should and at the end of the day I didn't really save much. There were challenges and heartaches. At time your investments on people yield zero return but you learn valuable life lessons along the way. 

Now with families and in my 30s, I have been putting small amount of money for retirement and emergency funds. It feels easier now because I have a clear path what this money is for. I draw my strategy by first setting a goal. This is not how much money I wanted to spend but HOW money will help me achieve. Things started to fall into place and now I have the motivation to save. 

Here is the list of things you will need to have:
  1. Retirement Fund - take advantage of employer match program
  2. Emergency fund - enough to cover 6 to 8 months expenses
  3. Health Insurance 
  4. Life Insurance- opt for term insurance 
  5. Will
  6. Revocable Living trust
I am pretty sure some culture doesn't want to associate with the idea of death in financial planning but when you have families, you have responsibilities to ensure your love ones is taken care of if "touch wood" anything happens to you. 

I don't have great advice that you haven't heard before, but it will put you in the right perspective. Have a date night with your partner or even doing it solo, yes, do your bills and balance your budget. 

Live beyond your means, find a good inexpensive place to live in that is close to work or has a good commute system.  Do not get pressure into buying a house if you are not ready financially. You will need at least 20% down to be comfortable in owning a house. Shop around for low interest. You can learn to be emotionally prepared being a house owner by putting away "loan payment" a year before you started paying for the house payment. The house payments should be no more than 1/3 of your total salary. 

Transportation is important for work commute, you can choose to ride public transport or bike to work to save more. Either way, buy affordable perhaps used car so you be able to pay them off in 3 years. Now, those are two major expenses you need to be able to pay for, if you can't, you will have to consider getting a higher paying job or a second job. 

Groceries could get expensive at times but I learn if you plan your meals ahead, checking for recipes and buying only what you need will help cut the bills significantly. 

There is no shame going to thrift store or hand me down fir childrens clothes and toys. In fact, you are being green by recycling used items. 

Stay healthy and involve in sports that you enjoy. I loving taking a walk during my lunch hour in the walking path at work. It clears my head and help me focus better. I also use part of my lunch hour to visit my son at daycare. The little time between work truly make my day.

There will be many more years before My family can be financially independent but we know we are in the right path to get there. 


  1. Dear Fred,

    i would like to ask you a personal question if you dont mind
    can you email me when you read this post?
    thanks so much!


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