Saturday, June 27, 2015


It is beyond our own comprehension
exactly when and how enlightenment happens.

Simplifying what "enlightenment" means, it is the act of becoming aware of something. It could be of knowledge, discovery, existence and emotion. Awareness is the key to gauge how wide somebody's perception of something is and usually, this is the most essential factor that feeds the conscious mind impregnating it with a realisation. And just before a change is about to occur, there's a fine line that gets crossed. With respect to such realisation, I would name this process a "paradigm shift".

Halfway thru 2015, a paradigm shift concerning 3 important discoveries of the human race happened to me:


The actual moment time was discovered, and as to how, remains a mystery. Being considered the 4th spatial dimension, it's very hard for philosophers, scientists and analysts to pinpoint its exact beginning. There are times that its beginning is described as when men got "enlightened", some uses the past, present and the future and some measure it according to how the moon changes. Hence, the usage of hours, months, years, decades and centuries. I am very sure time had existed way before men did and I know that time never waits for nobody. I've always mentioned in my posts that time is the only thing that's constant in this world. It's because I never really appreciated the concept of time because for me it's the greatest thief. 

I never wouldn't want to dwell with a negative understanding of time. In my pursuit to work my way around it, I had found out that TIME is the most essential gift you can give somebody for it is a commodity that you can never take back. Because of that fact, I realised how precious it is. So, I had a phase in my life that my concept of time was so limited that I keep on convincing myself that it's just really how it is. That I just have to make the most out of it. Y.O.L.O. ("You only live once") if I may label it so, as this is the trend nowadays and it can be easily put this way. I strived to be in the present. Every single time! It's not bad at all. Actually, I believe, this is the secret to a happy life. And then I gave birth to my daughter that countered time's constant power. She made time stand still.

I admit, I wanted to defy time because of my daughter. I had that great desire to destroy it. I even prayed as of how I can make it happen. 6 months of silence. Honestly, I was desperate for about half a year. My throat constricts thinking that no matter what I do, I am at the losing end. I knew I had prayed wrongly because every effort that I made to make this goal happen, never did me good nor was it near to getting accomplished. Then I prayed back to God, and asked, empower me to make your plans happen within the time You would be giving me. Then I saw a sign.

A free seminar was shared by Ela Lisondra, a Filipina gracing the West End with her talent as one of Miss Saigon's cast at the present. This seminar is called Brick Buy Brick (Click Brick Buy Brick if you'd like to schedule and attend a free session). One of Robert Kiosaki's introduction to his Rich Dad Poor Dad Education Series focusing on investing in real estate. One thing that I learned from there is that your mind, is the greatest tool you could ever make use of and that time is your greatest asset. From there, I realised I can work with time for my own advantage. I didn't quite comprehend at first when he said the best asset you could have is TIME. It made me more confused. But then I went back from the beginning and assessed my perception, now infusing everything that I learned from the free seminar, and there it was, a paradigm shift happened.

Let me start with one of the greatest lessons Robert Kiosaki's book had taught me, the difference between assets and liabilities. Assets being anything that puts money in my pocket and liabilities taking out money from the pocket. So, with that given definition, how can TIME become an ASSET? When all it does was just pass by? It doesn't put money in my pocket alone.

But since the shift happened, I understand that TIME, if used wisely in the beginning, may give you timeless rewards. You may find that statement quite weirdly formed but if combined with patience, it may buy you more time. It sounds bull shit perhaps by now since, you cannot make a day extend to another hour, making it 25 hours.

Picture your typical day. How many hours do you allot at work? I bet it's lesser than the leisure hours you normally have. Sometimes you go for an over time, or a 6th day work, compromising your weekend that instead of spending that precious time with your family, you'd go for it just to be able to keep up with your expenses. After the financial literacy from the seminar, I came to realise that saving early could buy me more time of not working and instead, spending that much time with my loved ones. This is what we call financial freedom. So, understanding the beauty of it made me look at TIME differently.

It all boils down to that saying, "Pay now, play later. Play now, you pay later." You may not be able to make your life here on earth longer. Even the best magician could never find that elixir of life just yet.   But you can take advantage of time by using it simultaneously with saving.


With all honesty, who amongst you feel too obligated to save that they don't do it? I, for one, am a victim of instant gratification. Short term happiness sometimes outweigh what I know should be done because I feel like I owe it to myself every pay day as a form of reward. In the end, I always feel guilty for spending too much and then I'll just go back to convincing myself again that I deserve it and that I wouldn't be able to bring the money in my graveyard anyway. I usually think of saving as something that deprives me of what makes me happy at the moment. And this was pretty much the same time when I was doing YOLO with my time. Same paradigm shift happened when my biggest REASON for doing this was born. My daughter.

You know when they say that it's all different as soon as you have a kid? Pretty much, it's true. It's the maturity of the mind that comes along with the package. You don't want to just live out your life however you want to because somebody is actually looking at "everything" that you do. And, they always copy "everything" that you do, you can't afford to make a mistake. If before all I had purposely done was collect shoes and bags, now, I squeeze my mind into how I can save more to aid my daughter in having a new start. What does that mean?

This may sound morbid but all of us aren't exempted from dying. Of course, you don't want to leave debts nor the responsibility of your own death, for that matter, to the remaining ones. We can't deny the fact that death can happen anytime. With that existing credit card you got? If you die this instant, then your family will have to deal with it. And if that will happen, the coffin you're going to lie in or the urn where you want to be kept in, who's going to pay for that? Let's say these living people got savings, they would have to get it out to pay for everything I said YOU left. So, in my case, my daughter isn't even one. Do I want her to have an underlying debt already? Of course not!!! I want her to have enough funds to start her own life and not deal with a part of mine. She should be able to start anew using her own money. I hope I made sense.

You see, I grew up that the bank can help you save your money. In fact, it helps you to keep your money safe. Little did I know, it actually makes you lose a lot of money. It's not good to save your money in the bank nowadays and to answer the expected WHY from you, I need to present to you the amount of interest the bank gives you. It's usually 0.1% to 1% only per annum. On the other hand, inflation rate in Hong Kong as of May 2015 is at 3%. That simply makes you lose the worth of your money by 2%. Depending on many factors, inflation is always going to be volatile. It can be from -3% where the country's monetary exchange is doing great to a whopping 16% inflation rate when there's global crisis. Check out this diagram.

If you'd look closely, the worth of $20 in 1998 can buy you that much but in 2005 and in 2013, it constantly gave lesser goods. Ladies and gentlemen, this is exactly what inflation is all about and it worsens as time goes by. The value of money depreciates greatly and it's a very sad news. In addition, this will happen to your money as it gets saved in the bank alone. So as I have said earlier, saving "the right way" is the key. How do we do that? By taking advantage of COMPOUNDING INTEREST.


I never knew the power of compounding interest but it was already happening with my credit card. Let's look at what Albert Einstein had to say about it.

"Compound Interest is the 8th wonder of the world.
He who understands it, earns it.... he who doesn't, pays it!"

This had made me upset because for 8 years that I'm having a stable good paying income, I am paying a compounding interest because of my credit card. It is good that I'm not holding a personal one anymore right now. My husband and I just have one for booking important stuff. And we consult each other in using it. But to share to those who usually swipes it for buying "wants" instead of "needs", beware of the compounding interest that comes with it. Don't just settle the minimum payment highlighted in your credit card bill. Since this is how credit card companies earn, they'd always give irresistible deals for you to use your credit card when you were not planning of doing so. The thing is, it boosts your confidence when you actually paid at least the minimum amount because you feel less guilty. Paying the minimum due makes you think you have followed an effective budget. You are settled into waiting for the next bill and you'll be ok. But actually, it's pulling you down the quick sand. Before you know it, the principal amount you have borrowed before had been imposed of an interest and 6 months after, the initial principal amount + interest had regained some interest again.

For example:

You saw a 1,000 worth of shoes. Let's say your credit card's monthly interest rate is 10%. So, if let's say your extra income (shopping money supposedly) was just 200 but you liked the shoes so you used your card for it, you would end up paying only the minimum because there's no way you can pay it in full with just a 200 worth of shopping money.

1,000 x 0.10 = 1100             1st month
1100 x 0.10  = 1210             2nd month
1210 x 0.10  = 1331             3rd month

But your minimum pay will still be the same. So if you'd only pay the minimum every time, the interest will compound until you are just paying the interest, which the first interest + principal had earned. With that being said, we will get to understand the definition WIKIPEDIA had for a "compound interest".
  1. "Compound interest
    is interest added to the principal of a deposit or loan
    so that the added interest
    also earns interest from then on.
    This addition of interest to the principal is called compounding."
Having credit card bills means only one thing. I'm sorry to break it off to you my friend but, YOU HAVE AN EXISTING LOAN. Now, that's not bad. Depending on the loan that you took, it may be at your own advantage or own grave. I won't be tackling here the advantage of having a good debt with bad debt but I am going to present to you how driven I felt to impose a paradigm shift with how compounding interest would be acquired when I had an idea of putting it in "savings". Imagine if that compounding interest would be put into your savings. Now that's a different story.

Now let's put all three together.

Before, I thought, time is actually a cheater, that savings actually deprives me from living life and compounding interest to be such a culprit to financial freedom (when actually, it is the key). As soon as I realised, a paradigm shift had happened, it empowered me to pursue saving up because of my daughter. I continuously find insurance companies of its lifetime savings plan which offer a percentage greater than the inflation rate to make my money grow over time that even if I sleep, it's earning than just letting it sit in the bank. Finding out that the secret to all of this is "to start early", time actually may work into your own advantage once you find out the secret. Now I'm in no 20's, but I believe it's not too late for me to do it for my daughter who is not even one. Now that I'm going to my second year of marriage, I am thankful that a light had shone on me as I keep retirement and my kid's education in mind.... my daughter's sake, as a matter of fact. She is my biggest WHY behind investing NOW. I'll see you in the other side as you figure out yours, YOUR OWN BIGGEST WHY .

Relate posts:

1. HOW FINANCIALLY HEALTHY ARE YOU? - 6 Steps that could help you assess your financial status.

2. A STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL STOCK INVESTING WITH THE EIP COL EASY INVESTMENT PROGRAM - the most affordable way to owning mutual funds thru stocks and bonds

3. RICH DAD, POOR DAD - why this is one of the best books ever written about money in the 21st century

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