Sunday, October 13, 2019

YOLOing the Right Way

For more than a decade, I was okay with having jobs that can provide our needs, pay the bills, and splurge a bit. I have never been in debt. And that's pretty much an achievement, especially for a then single mom like me.


I had no savings at all. I guess it's because I do not have the balls to do a walk of shame away from restaurants after seeing menu prices that trigger temporary paralysis. I also blame it to these shopping apps where they lure you to spend "less" on every sale event that happens every freakin month. Funny I don't actually have expensive items, high-end gadgets, and whatnot. But I do have these small and insignificant things that I bought at the thought that it does not really affect my salary. Phone cases, pens and notebooks that I do not use, or 90 pairs of chopsticks, for example. And lastly, the one that takes a large chunk of my income is my love for traveling. And I do it quite a lot compared to most nine-to-five employees in my generation.

I have never been broke broke though. I knew how to handle shit when my bank figures drop to nearly zero. I rely and use my artistic and writing skills to earn extra (which robbed me off a quality family time). I was lucky not to run out of resources. And it has gotten me dangerously complacent.

Work. Pay bills. Spend what's left. Give myself a pat on the back for staying afloat for another month. Repeat.

I have done a brilliant job in keeping myself perpetually stuck in a financial rut. But I was fine. I normalized it.

Like everybody does.

Because YOLO.

But somewhere along this phase where the internet pressures you with age-based accomplishments, things have suddenly changed. Pressure is understandably often attached to negativity. This time, however, I am glad there was pressure from the society. Friends who constantly post about their financial milestones and achievements pressured inspired me to do better with my finances. Yes, there's a good in posting stuff like that, you know. It's just a matter of perspective.

If they can do it, so can I.

So I took the first step by attending a financial literacy lecture only to realize that I have been doing things wrong all along.

You see, YOLOing has caused me to make impulsive and irrational financial decisions. I delayed saving and investing because I was living in the now. While memes have taught us to live carefree because you will never know what happens next, that's exactly when the striking question comes bustling in: what legacy are you leaving when that time comes?

I certainly do not want to be remembered as a burden. Not to my parents, not to my husband, and definitely not to my children.

Five or maybe even two years from now, I would no longer have the same skills. I would be trumped by people younger and more skillful than me. This job would not last me long and I would run out of resources eventually.

So finally, I stepped up my game. It's not an overnight process and I'm taking it one step at a time.

First, I got myself into business again. We will be launching a few weeks from now and I am excited and anxious at the same time. I know this isn't fool-proof and I know the risks of jump-starting a business. But, we'll never know if we'll never try.
Sneak peak. Spent a few sleepless nights for these samples.
Second, even though I have a husband who alone can provide well for the family, I believe two earners are better than one. And right now, to stop myself from constantly asking where has all my money gone, I have already started investing in stocks and mutual funds. I'm not savvy about it yet but I'm getting there.

I'm not posting this to brag (there's nothing to brag about anyway). But I understand that some people are just like me who get intimidated with anything that involves math and money. I avoided the words stock, funds, or investment like plague. I used to think stock market is only for the rich. Really.

But the truth is, and I bet not everyone knows this, YOU DO NOT NEED A LOT OF MONEY TO START. All it takes is financial education and everything else will follow. If I knew about this back then, I would have started ages ago and that would have made a looooooot of difference.

So whether you are fresh out of college, in the mid-30s like me, or approaching retirement, there is no better time to take advantage of an investment but NOW because...


P.S. If you do not know where to start, follow First Metro Securities on Facebook and be updated for more financial literacy seminars in your area that you can avail for free. I am not paid for this. But I believe they deserve a spot on my blog because that's where I initially learned. :)

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© Life is so full of tae!
Maira Gall