Skip to main content

Posts

How I Saved $200,000 in 3.5 years Without A Degree (Part III: Maintain + Invest + Others)

Please click on the link to read Part I and Part II
Maintain
25. Take care of my things
I put in the effort to take care of my things because I want to be able to enjoy using them for the long term
It doesn't mean that I live my life around my things because after all, they are just tools to make my life more comfortable and convenient, and make me happy. I just take care of my stuff when I use them and maintain them whenever necessary. This allows the things to last longer and reduce the need for repair or replacement
Another perk of taking care of your things is that they will retain a higher resale price when they no longer add value to your life, and it would be easier to rehome them than to trash them unless they are beyond  
26. Repair my stuff
That's right. I don't throw away my stuff once it's damaged or spoilt. 
It probably runs in the blood.
I have repaired my alarm clock, mended my clothes, stitched my backpack, replaced cracked screens, fixed furniture and electr…

How I Saved $200,000 in 3.5 years Without A Degree (Part II: Live + Spend)

Following up on Part I
Live
11. Develop good habits
I don't smoke, go clubbing, or gamble (includes lottery). 
Bad habits are bad for a reason, and bad habits are expensive now, or when accumulated into the future (think health problems)
Good habits, on the other hand, are good for our health and our finance.
Drink lots of water, have a good night's rest, eat more veggies, exercise, maintain a good posture, go for regular dental and health check-ups. 
Develop good habits. They are good not only for your health but for your wallet in the long run.
12. Consider a low-cost or free hobby
There are many hobbies that can keep you healthy, occupied, or even enriched with low or even no cost at all. 
Before reaching my first 100k, I used to spend my free time reading, swimming, rollerblading and playing my keyboard under the guidance of YouTube tutorials
Since then, I have tried out a few paid activities and committed to those that I enjoy greatly. Even though they have become a recurring fixed …

How I Saved $200,000 in 3.5 years Without A Degree (Part I: Earn + Save)

Last month I wrote a post about this but it wasn't saved before it was published so I had to rewrite the post. During the past month, both the equity and crypto market have been volatile and that affected my net worth but as of now, I'm still safely above $200k :)
Despite still in my 20s, I'm already well known for being a long-winded naggy person who is bad at summaries and extremely good at complicating simple things (it's a skill), and that is further proven when I finished writing this post with close to 36 points (gasps!)
I have been contemplating on cutting out some points, but it's hard because it's really all those little things that add up and help me reach my milestones.
So instead, to save the readers' attention span and prevent this tab from getting closed out of boredom, I have broken this long post into 3 parts: Earn & Save, Live &Spend, Maintain, Invest & Others  
Without further ado, allow me to share how I achieved my 200k milestone

It is important to leave a toxic environment

The last time I checked the definition of 'toxic', it means poisonous, which is a substance that can cause or be capable of causing death or illness if taken into the body.

So anything that is toxic is bad for you. Toxic relationships, toxic plants. Stay away from them.

There is also such a thing known as the toxic work culture.

I have to agree that stress is necessary for growth and learning and if you are not stressed, you are not becoming better. And tired is normal after a long day of work. 
But I think there must still be a limit to it. 
A toxic environment is one that harms your physical health by overworking and mental health by constant exposure to negativity. We are more easily influenced by the environment that we thought we are. It also hinders your opportunity to develop your career unless you participate in the right clique of office politics and belittles you making you lose confidence in yourself to get a better position.

But the bottom line is if your work is …

Why you need to differentiate investments capital from your budget

If you ever lose money in the market, don't bother to think about how you could have used the money to spend on something else.
I know a lot of people who lost a few thousand in the market and regretted investing their money, whining that they could have used the money to buy a branded bag, shoes, gadgets, or dine in a Michelin-star restaurant.
And some of them were actually foolish enough to really go ahead and spend another few thousand on the stuff mentioned earlier to make them feel better about the loss. Honestly, I'm still trying to figure out how does that works for them.
Just like how we differentiate investment from insurance, we must also separate investment capital and budget for spending.
When we are saving aggressively in our 20s, we are usually saving up money to invest for wealth accumulation or to spend for enjoyment. 
Investment capital is money that we are going to put in the market in the hope of appreciation and be willing to bear the risk of losing everyt…

The right way to 'Pay Yourself First'

When personal finance articles advise you to "Pay yourself first", they usually mean to save up a fixed portion of your income and then spend the rest. 
I find this relatively inefficient. 
I do it the other way round whereby I give myself a fixed allowance and save the rest. 
This removes the ceiling of my savings as I don't set a fixed proportion or amount aside.
Instead, I allocate a fixed amount for my living expenses to maintain my existing lifestyle.
This means that I still maintain the same level of spending while my income and savings are increasing.
Of course, there are times when I need to do additional top-ups because of big-ticket purchases or other needs.
But just like how easier it is to notice how much you are spending on commuting when you top up your ez-link card at the ticketing machine instead of setting up auto top-ups; limiting yourself to a fixed amount of money and topping up when necessary rather than having access to a large pool of savings in the…

Owning one credit card is enough

This may not be a very popular thing to do as I know a lot of people who have a stack of credit cards in their wallet so that when they buy something or dine in a restaurant, they can ask " Any card got any discount?" or simply just to figure which card would give the highest rebate on their purchases.
Not that this is not a good thing, but it isn't really applicable to me because I don't spend much in the first place.
I may consider starting to analyse which credit card offers the highest cashback/rebates if I'm expecting to buy a lot of stuff or spend a lot of money, but for now, one credit card works just fine for me.
I'm have been crediting my salary into the UOB One account and using the UOB One credit card for the since I finally hit their minimum annual income requirement.
I don't see the need to increase the credit limit now even though I could because I hardly buy anything that is beyond the limit. 
It makes it easier for me to track my spending and s…