managing your money? you gotta duit


“Personal finance”, “money management” – such big, scary words, it’s no surprise that people shut off completely when the topic is brought up. You’re probably thinking oOoh  white-haired men in ties and dark suits, briefcases and stock markets, charts like a mountain range; up, up, up and then PLOOM down it goes.

But, this isn’t the reality of personal finance at all so please get that image out of your head. Get rid of it – now. Throw it away! Let’s start fresh. Close your eyes and imagine… A little piggy bank. A coin box. Or even a shoebox hidden under your bed.

This simple image is the core of personal finance.

Personal = That’s you.

Finance = That’s your money.

And “money management”? That’s what you do – with your money. To make sure it’s safe. To make sure it doesn’t disappear. To make sure it grows. (Unless you have bad money management, in which case it might go bye-bye.)

Trust me – Personal finance is not a big, complicated topic at all, and it’s certainly not difficult to understand. And it’s important for you to get into it, as early as possible. It’s something very basic – like a good diet, or regular exercise, or even something as simple as brushing your teeth every day. It’s okay to have “cheat days” or even cheat phases; nobody eats healthy every single day, and even if you won’t admit it – I’m pretty sure there are some nights when you “accidentally” fall asleep without brushing your teeth 😛

The important point here is knowing what is healthy and what is not healthy, what is good for you and what is not good for you. We’re only human – getting educated about personal finance doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to SAVE SAVE SAVE all your money all the time and never buy a new phone, never go shopping, never eat out, and to be a responsible robot every single day. It’s about achieving a balance, and being knowledgeable and conscious about our actions (to some degree), and learning enough so we are able to make educated decisions wherever possible.

And one thing that I have to emphasize is: it’s never too late to start (!) There may be a degree of shame if say, ten years ago you got your first job and got a little too overexcited and now (it’s ten years later) and you’re buried under a mountain of debt and there’s very little rattling about in your coin box. That’s okay. I mean, sure, you could’ve done better. But there’s no point crying over what’s been done and mourning over lost time – all we can do now is pick ourselves up, use what we have, where we are, and what we’re capable of right NOW and put that into making the future better. Paraphrasing a quote I read on Instagram somewhere, thinking “it’s too late” is like saying you can’t shower because you’re too dirty.

Let’s get started – here are some notes:

An idiot’s introduction to personal finance (which I have not finished heh):

Looking to save money without thinking? Try the Five & Fifties game:

Put your money somewhere it’ll gro’ sum mo’:

Other stuff which I’ll lump here until I get round to making a proper archives page for easy reference:

Recommended blogs:

(Author’s note – list will be updated and rewritten properly soon!)

  • BBC Capital – great quick-fix articles on personal finance and career
  • Najibah Abdullah – the first Bruneian personal finance blog I’ve come across; her goal is to retire early with passive income from real estate
  • Stay-At-Home-Mom Economics – Najibah from above has moved here!
  • Mr Money Mustache – some great posts on this site but he does have quite an aggressive (and usually condescending) tone which you might not like if you’re easily offended and terasa haha