I have a very simple goal, to be financially free by 30 years old. Some people laugh at my goal, calling me delusional and insane. Very few people think I’m serious. But I am.
With the utmost respect to everyone out there, I think there is more to life than working your ass off till the day you die. Some might argue with me now that they won’t be working till they die and will retire in their 50s. But “retiring in my 50s” doesn’t sound appealing to me. With the average life expectancy for Singaporeans in 2020 at 83.66 years old, you’ll have at most 33 years left to enjoy life? From the day we were born, we study and grow. Then we get a job, pay bills and start a family. Only getting to enjoy life freely without any financial worries at 55? There’s more to life than just that. There is a quote that I’ve come across that I will always live by..
Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.
But why can’t most of us break free from our job?
It’s because we want to “enjoy life” as we work. From the very first full-time job that we land, we see that as the opportunity to buy everything that we’ve always wanted like fancy shoes, clothes, the newest iPhones, expensive tech gadgets. You name it. Before you know it, you’ve been spending on items every month and you’ve been working for 2 years with minimal savings. This keeps up until one day you realise that you’re about to reach 30, you’re planning to settle down and get married soon. What next? You save up for your wedding and housing-related purchases like the downpayment, renovations and furniture. Guess what? Just after you think you’ve caught your breath, you got a kid. Once again, you need to provide for your kid’s education and living needs. When will it end?
How can we break free then?
It all starts from the very beginning. From the very first full-time job, you start accumulating your wealth. Stop buying stupid junk that will only waste away in a few months time. I used to buy fancy clothes when I was in my teens and realised that those purchases are worthless to me now. Those purchases were only temporary. Ever since I’ve came to that realisation, my focus has been completely shifted. I’ve made a promise to myself that my efforts will mainly be in accumulating my wealth and keeping me sane during this process. (Yes, it’s tough)
I hate the phrase “pamper yourself once in a while”. It’s a guilt-free pass to buy anything you want, as long as it’s not “often”. But how often does it have to be until it is considered as often? I feel like I had trouble trying to define that.
For example, from the moment I started working my first job, I was saving so much every month. My mom told me to get something for myself once in awhile. So, I went out and bought a 2-door coupe… Go big or go home right? Owning a car at 22 years old back then was hella fun, don’t get me wrong. All the late night drives with my friends and speeding tickets because I wanted to feel like Dominic Toretto in Fast and Furious, was definitely fun. Best big purchase of my life yet. But when my COE for my car ended and I had to sell it away, I immediately wanted to buy a new one. A fancier one. During that moment, I realised that there’s no end. Until we start being content with life itself, there will be no object, amount or status in life that can help to satisfy us.
So, live within your means. If possible, live way below your means. I only spend 30% of my salary. This includes my bills, food and family allowances. It was difficult at first. But what kept me under 30% of my salary was my determination to achieve my long term goal. I have this implanted in my head, “Financial Freedom by 30”.
I will release articles soon on how I plan to achieve my goals, so keep lurking.