I want to be free. I don’t want to work for a corporation and have to deal with difficult and annoying people. I think everyone wants to be able to have complete freedom of where they work, how they work, how much time they want to spend working and whether they even want to work. Well, I want that - that thing people call financial freedom.
I don’t want to have to be stuck working just because I need the money to pay off debts and support my above-my-means lifestyle. In my thirties, I want to have enough money should I want to quit my job and do my own thing. I want to be able to not be afraid of losing my job because I know I have a fall-back plan.
Having this realization makes me less inclined to splurge and spend unnecessarily. I have a goal in mind and I intend to achieve it and this is my plan towards financial freedom:
1. Secure life and critical illness insurance. CHECK.
Why is this important? Should I want to leave the company at some point, I don’t want to stay just because of the benefits. Of course, my coverage currently does not include a medical plan, but if I choose to be independent, I can just add on the medical plan to my present insurance policy. I also have an agent that I trust and that’s very important to establish trust between you and your agent. I currently am insured under Takaful Ikhlas.
2. Set up an emergency fund for one-year sustenance. To do.
Why is this important? Who knows, at some point, I may take a sabbatical for whatever reason – post-graduate studies or worst case scenario, a family member has fallen sick. I may even be forced into unemployment. Under any circumstances, I want to have the security of knowing that I am able survive without a source of income for at least one whole year. My emergency fund should include one year’s worth of payment for car loan, allowance for my parents, mobile phone charges, fuel, transportation cards, insurance coverage and allocation for food.
3. Have a long-term savings plan. CHECK.
Why is this important? I want to be able to amass a large amount of money by 35, so that I will be able to spend out of my annual dividend pay out. That money will be for the purpose of enjoyment – be it travel or any splurge to indulge.
4. Get a Master’s degree. To do.
Why is this important? I want to be recognized as an expert in a particular field. That will allow me to be independent and to source for income by selling my expertise. I may even consider becoming an academician one day. I may even want to write for newspaper and relevant publications. However, in order to open doors and broaden my opportunities, I need the credentials to back me up and give me confidence to pursue my goals.
5. Absolutely ZERO credit card debt. In progress.
Why is this important? I don’t want to be stuck in the rat race – to be trapped living above my means and feel stressed out because of overwhelming debt. My credit card will be only for the purpose of paying for fuel at the stations and for absolute EMERGENCIES. If I do use my credit card for a purchase, I would need to pay it off immediately before the next paycheck. I don’t want to accumulate debt and use up my savings to cover it up. No point trying.
6. Borrow books. Don’t buy them. CHECK.
Why is this important? It’s the easiest way to save money, and save space at home. I’m not really the kind that re-reads a book so I see no point in purchasing them (unless in extreme cases where I just have to have it! Haha). I definitely plan to utilize the corporate library more now and take advantage of all those free resources.
7. Allocate money in separate accounts and containers. CHECK.
Why is this important? I’ve just started this habit and I find that it gives me security in knowing that all my monthly basic necessities have been separated from my primary account and I won’t accidentally use them up or overspend. Currently, I have budgeted a certain amount for multiple purposes and separated them into accounts and clear, resealable plastics and labelled as such:
- Work Lunch
- LRT – loaded up the month’s worth.
- Fuel – allocated in separated savings account
- Weekend and Additional Spending
- I plan to add a number 6 to the list: Charity. I still believe that I with good fortune, we have a responsibility to share it with people who have less and are struggling. I know that the money or privilege that I have been given by God is not for me alone. I may have been the receiver, but God may have intended for me to share it, not keep it to myself. I am accountable for the blessing I have, and I want God’s blessings to work in my favour, be it here in this world and especially, in the Hereafter.