So, in an attempt to stray away from the typical advice which you may already know, written below are some points that will hopefully change your perspective when it comes to personal finance.
Daniel is a fresh graduate. He takes home $3,000 a month. From this, he manages to save $1,000. He decides to invest his savings every year (meaning, $12,000 annually). He knows that he will get an annual return of 6% on his investment.
After 30 years, he eventually invests a total amount of $360,000. How much do you think will Daniel have in total, assuming that he has been consistently reinvesting his savings every year?
The answer is just under $1,000,000 - almost triple the amount of what he originally invested! From this, we can pretty much see why Albert Einstein famously once said:
“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world.”
Debt works by borrowing money that you hope to earn in the future - basically money you don't even have in the first place. It can also lead to having you pay more than what you could have from buying it outright with cash.
Debt can also hurt your credit score, which affects the cost of other products such as insurance.
Money allows us to purchase what we need to survive: food, clothes, and a place to stay. Time, on the other hand, is what we need to live: developing loving relationships, realising our purpose, and reaching contentment.
It's all too easy to get caught up with making more money that we forget the value of making just enough so we can be more financially free.
Almost all of our expenses can be grouped into 7 categories: bills, transport, food, entertainment, clothes, health, alcohol and tobacco. Once you realise this, imagine how simple things would be if you could just sum everything up into a nice little pie chart so you can see which expenses you can afford to shave off.
Most of us are conditioned to follow the basic set of milestones as we go through life: get our degree, go overseas, pay off our student debt, buy a car, own our first home, get married, and have kids.
The thing is, our lives drastically differ from one another, each with their own set of circumstances that don't necessarily play well with these milestones. Some of us may not have been fortunate enough to be able to afford a college education or may have even consciously decided to start working right out of high school. Others may prefer to spend their money on investments and just rent instead of tying themselves down to a mortgage. Some people may even prefer not to have kids altogether and instead spend their time and money travelling with their partner or even on their own.
No matter what the case may be, blindly following these basic set of milestones without considering our unique set of circumstances and goals will end up causing you to pay significantly for things that, in the end, don't matter as much for you.
Personal finance is often oversimplified to a recipe-like set of steps that people ought to follow to grow their money. While not entirely incorrect, supporting these general steps with a strong foundation of values and purpose will help this process become part of your lifestyle rather than a fleeting habit that you will eventually break.