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I am giv­ing so much thought for this past few years if I will go back to school for a grad­u­ate course. It’s been on my buck­et list to have a master’s degree in Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion, and on the oth­er side, it is also on my buck­et list to start my own start­up.
I remem­ber what Robert Orben, a com­e­dy writer said: if you think edu­ca­tion is expen­sive, try igno­rance. I am a fair­ly new employ­ee in Shell, a strange indus­try for me plus a new field to begin with. First, it is a strange indus­try for me because, for the past 6 years of my pro­fes­sion­al life, I’ve been in the I.T Indus­try and new field because I’ve been used to the process­es of I.T Field and as of now, I’m in the Human Resources Depart­ment. There are so many adjust­ments on my part just to begin the new sea­son of my pro­fes­sion­al life.
Now, why I am shar­ing these things? It’s because most of us pre­fer to invest in things. We are giv­ing so much thought to it. Like for exam­ple, this hap­pened to me two months ago;  I was giv­ing so much thought whether I will buy a new mac book or buy a sec­ond hand. My ratio­nal brain was telling me to buy a sec­ond hand but my emo­tion­al brain was telling me to buy a new one for the peace of mind. Well, I end­ed up buy­ing a sec­ond hand from a trust­ed friend and now my client.
There was an arti­cle about Li Ka-Shing, a bil­lion­aire from Hong Kong, shar­ing on how to be rich in five years. He said: “No mat­ter how much you earn, always remem­ber to divide it into five parts pro­por­tion­ate­ly.”
  • The first set of the fund is to use it for liv­ing expens­es.
  • The sec­ond set of the fund is to use it to make friends and expand your inter­per­son­al cir­cle.
  • The third set goes to invest­ing in your­self.
  • The fourth set goes to trav­el over­seas. and last­ly,
  • The fifth set; invest your mon­ey, so it will work hard for you.
If you observe, you can­not see any tips there to invest in things because stuff gets old. I am a fan of Apple not because their prod­ucts are awe­some but because I find sim­plic­i­ty in it. I remem­ber the first time I bought an iPhone was 2013, it was nei­ther a brand new mod­el, but I got bit frus­trat­ed when Apple start­ed to release new mod­els of their flag­ship phone twice a year. Today, I have a sec­ond-hand mac, it was ear­ly-2015 mod­el but I didn’t real­ly much care about it.
How about cars? I own a car and it was brand new not because I want­ed to keep up with peo­ple who have new cars. I just want­ed peace of mind so when­ev­er I dri­ve, I am not anx­ious whether it will fail me or not. 
The same thing goes on to bags, shoes, toys, lap­tops, com­put­ers, and oth­er stuff. Things get old but the lessons you’ve learned, the mem­o­ries you’ve expe­ri­enced, and the rela­tion­ships you have will last a life­time. 
This reminds me of my expe­ri­ence when I was 21. I find it hard to save mon­ey and kept up with my work (not being able to per­form very well) because I am not invest­ing in myself. The day I decid­ed to start to invest in myself, my life starts to change. The first sem­i­nar cost me around 5,000 pesos, and then fol­lowed by 10,000 pesos, and then fol­lowed by 25,000 pesos. And nev­er did I regret spend­ing mon­ey to those expen­sive sem­i­nars because in the end; I learned a lot, I applied it, and most­ly I gained new friends and men­tors (men­tors in every area of life, I pre­fer that some of them are not in church, because the real chal­lenge was out­side of it) that will help me to achieve my max­i­mum poten­tial. 
Going back to Li Ka-Shing’s’ five sets of funds, I’ve learned these past few years:
  • That sav­ing mon­ey is not adjust­ing your bud­get for the next month, you have to stick with it. Sep­a­rate the mon­ey you will tithe and save, and then bud­get the remain­ing.
  • Not every­thing that remains from your bud­get will be used for liv­ing expens­es, use some of it to treat a friend or a men­tor who have more expe­ri­ences than you, and spend time with the cur­rent friends you have.
  • Have a bud­get for books, sem­i­nars or con­fer­ences. It doesn’t need to be expen­sive, you can just watch TED Talks or lis­ten to pod­casts rather than spend­ing most of your time in enter­tain­ment.
  • Have year­ly trav­el. I com­mit­ted myself to go out over­seas every year not only for trav­el pur­pos­es but for mis­sion trips if God is will­ing.
  • Invest your mon­ey. Do not invest in some­thing you do not know. Invest a lit­tle then increase it from time to time. Remem­ber that invest­ing takes a lit­tle while.
So the next time you will give so much thought whether to buy a new toy col­lec­tion, shoes, a new car, or a new gad­get. Ask your­self, will these things can add val­ue to the qual­i­ty of life I have right now?

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I blog about my dis­cov­er­ies and learn­ings with per­son­al devel­op­ment, blog­ging, writ­ing, pub­lic speak­ing, and pub­lish­ing. I am a Jesus fol­low­er. Each month, I send out a newslet­ter with free tips on those top­ics.
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