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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