Money Matters

Been thinking a lot about money lately. How to earn it, how to save it, how to grow it…and yeah how to spend it…and I realised…I have literally put all my eggs in one basket…I work for my money and then I get money… I put money in the bank in a savings account..and I thought I was doing good. Getting like 1.59% interest for my savings. But ACTUALLY, I just found out that I am doing pretty bad! I am doing the safest way to hold onto money. But pretty much the worst way…

Due to my Christian upbringing, I know of a story of a rich man who entrusted three servants with varying amounts of talents (a form of currency back then). The first man who was given the most… say 10 talents -doubled the number of talents he had by trading and had 20 talents to give back to the master when he came back. The second man who was initially given 5 talents, also invested his talents and came back with 10 talents for his master. The last servant who was given one talent, was lazy and buried his talent into the ground, so that he could, according to him, “keep it safe”, because he knew how hard-working his master was. The master praised the first and second servants and said that they were faithful and that he would promote them. However, to the last servant, he called him wicked and lazy and he cast him out. He told the last servant, at the very least you could of put the money in a bank and get interest payments from it…

I think this is a concept I need to put in my life a bit more. I am always so afraid to take risks…scared to lose what I worked so hard to earn. But being scared is holding me back from my potential to earn. It occurred to me that I am relying on my ability to be able to work crazy hours as a source of income. How about instead, I make my money work for me? In the past, I have done long-term deposits with my money…and yes they have a slightly higher amount of interest that you can get, but they have so many terms and conditions and exit fines if you withdraw deposit early…You basically are lending your money to someone at a super low-interest rate. I have been looking at ways of investing lately…my long-term goal would be to get an investment property…BUT I realised in order to get there I need to earn more…sure my job salary is great…but I am really not working the money I already have. So…I have taken an interest in buying stocks. I never really understood stocks previously… It seemed so adult..a foreign thing that I did not understand and I did not take the time to understand.  Until I realised, I am an adult now..and I should think about other sources of income..to prepare for my future…and life post-work. Passive income, that’s what they call it. In stocks, investments, bonds, etc…many I don’t understand. But hey, it is never too late to start right?

My plan is to start with a small investment initially…and hopefully when I get some dividends from the company…I will use that to reinvest to buy more shares…and hopefully, that will grow and grow!  Yes, initially it will hurt to use my money to buy a piece of the pie…but if that pie grows and becomes more valuable, then that’s when I will know it’s a worthwhile investment.

Oh gosh, who would have thought I would be writing and interested in the share market?

 

Am I growing up now?

 

2020… What other surprises will you bring?

Grief

Somebody once said something along the lines of, “It is better to have loved and lost, rather have never loved”. I believe strongly in this statement, as we would never have realised how much someone or something meant to us until it is gone. This post will examine a few different aspects of the subject of grief.

I still remember the first time I experienced grief and loss. I was in the week before my final exams in my last year of high school and I was just about to attend a maths tutorial class when I got the phone call. My mother had found my dog, ‘Coffee’ lying on the ground and vomiting in the morning. They rushed to take him to the emergency vet and hopefully they would be able to save him. A few hours later, after the class had finished, I received a text message…Coffee had to be put down, the snail poison he had accidentally ingested had gone throughout his whole body, and there was nothing they could do about it. I took the bus home, and while walking towards my home…the reality became clearer and clearer…he was gone…he really was gone… There would be no one waiting for me when I get home…no one to accompany me on my walks around the neighbourhood…no one to hug and talk to. As I walked into the backyard where his body lay in a box, I broke down in tears and overwhelming sadness washed over me. I didn’t know what true grief was until that day…so many feelings washed over me…Regret. Why hadn’t I gone with them to the vet? I could have caught a taxi…who cares about how much it costs? Money cannot turn back time. Why did I care so much about attending some stupid course that probably won’t be beneficial at all…especially since all I could think of was of Coffee during that time. I questioned myself, did I ever get to say ” I love you” to my dog and appreciate him for all he did for me? All the times we spent together…my first-ever best-friend.

In saying that, after the passing of my beloved dog, who had been part of my family for over a decade of my life…I did fall into some sort of depression, (not that I knew what that was back then)…I did not feel like studying, could not concentrate on whatever I did, and I would tear up when the feelings of grief became so strong that it overwhelmed me. Even now, writing this blog makes me relive those feelings of sadness to me. Grief makes you afraid to love again, because the fear of losing a loved one again is one that is hard to forget, no matter how hard you try.

Grief is a powerful and overwhelming feeling, it is not pleasant, but it is somehow necessary to teach us to appreciate what we have. It is an inevitable part of life, unfortunately. However, prolonged grief can, unfortunately, lead to mental illnesses like depression.

 

 

Can you remember the first time you felt grief?


 

re: Employment

Someone once said, “Work a job that you love and you will never have worked a day in your life”.  Or something like that. Working is an integral part of of the adult life in the current day society. Because we work, society is able to function as well as it does. While there are many benefits to working, there are some major disadvantages as well. This post will discuss both sides of this area further.

Employment is vital to an adult’s life, this is because we all know we need an income to survive and by survival, I mean having a roof over our heads, food to eat, clothes on our backs, and money to buy food and clothing. Work also provides a routine in our lives and gives our life some type of purpose while on earth and perhaps could help answer the question of “Why am I on Earth?” (or not). Having a job can also boost our self-esteem and self-confidence especially if it is something we are proud of telling others, but even if it doesn’t, at least it shows that you are earning your own income. Other additional benefits of work include the social aspects of meeting new people, working together, or talking to clients or patients. Our workplaces also allow us to learn new skills and help keeps our minds active. By working, we decrease our reliance on government handouts. For me personally, working throughout my university has always been my means to be able to travel to different places in the world. Now that I have graduated, I am working to save up for a deposit for a house. Money is a catalyst for some sort of happiness, temporary or not.

In saying that, there are some negative aspects to being in employment. In Asia specifically, where the working day tends to go into the night and there far fewer holidays, there are increased cases of people dying from overwork. One particular case was that of the death of a popular animator, Kazunori Mizuno, of the well-known series ‘Naruto’, his cause of death being overwork. The Japanese even had a word for those who die from overwork, which is ‘Karoushi’. Asides the possibility of burning out at work, the workplace environment is also a very important aspect to consider. A toxic work environment can be detrimental to your physical and mental health. Workplace bullying is one of the biggest cause of anxiety and depression. Work also takes up a lot of time in your day and hence hindering to do what you like. However, without money, there is a limit to what you can do. It’s a catch 22.

Work plays an important part in our lives and is a central part of helping society to function. It has a beneficial way to learn new skills, increase our self-esteem, and giving us a routine for our lives. Whilst there are many benefits, unfortunately, workplace bullying and burnout from overworking are some serious concerns that arise from unhealthy working conditions.

 

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Travel is like medicine for the soul

While I was studying at University, I would always go overseas each year in the Uni holidays, without fail. It was the event that I most looked forward to at the end of the year. It was the sweet reward for my hard efforts that I put in through the year…Working hard to pass my subjects and then working hard after class in my part-time job to save up for my precious holidays. To me, travelling was medicine for the soul. Unfortunately, since I have started working full-time, it has been incredibly difficult for me to go on holidays because this is subject to being able to take leave, and if you have enough annual leave left.

There are many benefits to travelling, this includes benefits to one’s health. It can decrease stress and also be good for the clearing of the mind and allow you to relax. It also has many physical health benefits, because it will force you to get moving around and doing different activities that you normally would not do. It is good for your mind to because you get to become familiar with a new culture and the customs of a society that is different from your own. You get to meet new people, taste exotic foods, and see beautiful things that are greater than anything you have ever imagined. I firmly believe that those who travel have more stories to tell and are more interesting people to talk to and spend time with. Travel can teach us an invaluable lesson in life, teaching you to appreciate what you have, or encouraging you to try harder to achieve what other cities have. Basically, you are going to ‘A Whole New World’. Pun intended.

In saying that, there are a few things that travel is unfortunately not good for. Travel costs money. Usually. A LOT of it. You need to buy flight tickets, accommodation, transport, food, travel insurance, and so forth. It is not a cheap activity, especially if you are struggling to survive day by day, how can you afford to travel? Or if you are trying to save up for a house or something else…it just sometimes doesn’t seem necessary. It can be risky too, especially if you are going to third world countries where you may contract an infectious disease. You could also be at higher risk of being mugged, or a target of scammers because you are a foreigner. For some, who have a fear of flying, water, or motion sickness in general, travel could cause more headache than it is worth. It is also a time-consuming activity, which generally requires lots of planning…and if you factor the time you spend ‘travelling’ it could be days of precious annual leave that is being used up, in which you could be ‘Chilling at home’.

Travel has a multitude of benefits for one’s mental and physical health and allows us to become more culturally informed. However, it is not a luxury that everyone can afford and it also comes with some risks and dangers. However, for me, travel is a medicine for my soul and the longer I don’t travel, the less alive I feel. Even if it is a temporary medication that drowns my sorrows, only for a moment, it is worth it.

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Can’t believe it is 2020.. This year i am going to be posting short like essays like this, which I use as a preparation activity for my exams 😀 …

2020 Values

Another year has passed, another decade is here. Strange to think that I can still remember when it was the year 2000, and we were in a new Millenium…I remember these gummy lollies that started selling pretty well back then, I think it was the Millenium bugs or something..so tasty.

I sometimes wonder how the mind chooses what to remember and what not to. I would say it would remember the happiest moments and also the saddest moments of our lives…then anything in between could be a coincidence or something out of the ordinary that made us remember it.

If I were to reflect again on 2019, it would be a year where others have already said, a year of ups but also downs, love but also heartbreak, regret and the fear of not trying.  I honestly look back at myself and think I was a different person than to who I am now and I think this will always be the case as I continue to grow, continue to make the same mistakes in the past, one step forward, how many steps backwards…as long as I am moving somewhere.

2020. A year in which I put high hopes for. It is the year that I leave my 20s…how scary. A year in which I hope is full of travel, goals being met, and relationships strengthened. Hopefully. 2019 drained me…in a whole different way. I think it’s a combination of working too much, committing so much, and studying too much. Too much of anything is bad, isn’t it? All work and no play makes for a sad joy. I always seem a bit out of balance in all things..either I do nothing or I try to do all over it. Either I love someone or I hate them. A black and white world, that is a scary thing.

I faced many trials while working at my casual job, from workplace injuries to bullying, the anxiety of not having worked…because my manager hated me. To becoming a nervous wreck at my other job from dealing with clients that are abusive. Why did I try so hard? But, I am thankful for my new job, where it seems alright. The only major anxiety now is that 1. I can’t progress from where I am at the moment. 2. I don’t know how long my next contract will be. But, I like the immediate management..and the pay is good. So I should, not I am grateful.

2019 was the year my gym closed down. I didn’t gym for two months while I contemplated where I should go. I felt like a headless chook not knowing where to go. It was a big thing for me because it made me lose my routine…exercise is so important to keeping you feel sane after a long day at work. I had my favourite Zumba class where I can dance away my worries…when it closed…I didn’t know what to do..so I did nothing… I am grateful now for my new gym..no it’s not the same…1. It’s a mixed gym, not an all-girls gym that I am used to. 2. The Zumba classes there aren’t that great. 3. It costs a lot more than my previous membership, but the benefits are that parking is easier as it located near my house and not in the city. The distance between home and the gym makes it easier to bring me to go to the gym. Exercise and staying fit will always be an important part of my life, and I can tell when I haven’t exercised my mental health going downhill. SO make sure you guys exercise okay!

2019 I worked on building my self-confidence. I still am working on this and will continue in 2020. I learnt instead of focusing so much on makeup to cover my flaws, to instead trying to take proper care of my skin instead. To be preventative rather than treatment orientated. I am not sure if it’s a side effect of the pills I take, the lesser use of makeup, or the skincare products I am using…my skin is far from perfect and I still get the odd pimple here and there, but I am comfortable going to work or out with no makeup on. I have also been trying to lessen the use of my hair straightener (I sold the old one and bought a new one last year) and try to leave my hair as natural as possible. When it’s messy, I tie it up in a way that looks nice and no one would guess how messy it is! I realise, that by not using the straightener as much my hair has never been as healthy…I use daily some leave-in conditioner as well… With the exercise thing that I mentioned above, I want to be more comfortable with my body shape. I have always felt shy about my body shape, thinking I am too fat and wearing just loose clothing…safe clothing I say. But I would say I am broadening my “look” and trying to “my style” that makes me look good (in my eyes).

Something which I am going to focus on 2020, is “Saying NO” and taking a risk. I feel my health is deteriorating because I place a lot of importance in working a lot…and for the last five months, getting one day off every two weeks is my norm. It’s exhausting. But, I fear the consequences of what will happen if I stop one of my two jobs. Money is so alluring. It makes me temporarily “Happy” when I get paid. But…working so hard and not having the ability to enjoy it or friends to enjoy it with me…makes me feel empty.

Relationships. I had a lot of failed relationships this year. Whether short, long, or fleeing. I made a lot of “new” relationships, but whether or not I really made any super close friends…I don’t know what I was trying to achieve, but I think I was trying to fill that emptiness inside of me.  This year, I want to be wiser. Learn to love my own company. Let’s hope 2020 will be a good year to strengthen relationships with those I do want to…and break free from some that are not healthy.

Studies. 2020 will be the year I finally finish my graduate certificate in disability studies… phew…Took me two years to get there…but I got there. I also am planning to take the Gamsat in March this year. Again… I think its 5th or 6th time? All that money… is an investment I hope, it’s only wasted if I don’t keep trying…right? I remind myself, by studying Gamsat materials, it is a good exercise for my brain and to help me think outside the box more. Yesterday, some friends and I went to do an escape room activity, and it’s so exciting to be able to crack codes and figure out riddles. Let’s do our best! I remind myself here, that it is about the quantity of time I spend studying in books and text, but the quality and the way that I can learn and prepare for the exam. This time, I will think outside the box for different ways to prepare for the exam. Maybe reading books, maybe talking to people, maybe doing a new hobby…who knows…But I will make the journey a more enjoyable one than before.

Cleaning, almost forgot about this. I had a major clean up in 2019 and I hope that I can continue ‘cleaning up’ the rest of the house in 2020. I did the Marie Kondo style clean up in my room/..I got rid of a mountain full of coat hangers…clothes, and things I never use. Who knows how much rubbish we can collect over the years? It’s liberating to know where things are (most of the time), and having things so neat and easy to use. I hope I continue the Marie Kondo way in 2020 and improve upon it and continue to be disciplined daily to put things away.

Family. So important, I am so lucky to still have both my parents and my siblings here in Adelaide. I also have an awesome aunt and uncle who live so close by and the really feel like my substitute grandparents who have already passed. I have to say, I am so guilty of not spending as much time as I should with them…Also, I can’t forget, 2019 was the year my nephew, Jaxon, was born! This bundle of cuteness lighted up so many of my dark, sad, and lonely days. Here’s to hoping I can spend more time with him and enjoy his first few years of life.

Travel. I didn’t travel anywhere overseas in 2018 or 2019. But now, that I finally have the funds and the annual leave to travel. I am happy to say I have booked my first overseas holiday in three years for next month! Yes, it’s just to NZ, but that’s still counted as overseas for me! I am so excited, it’s always been a place I needed to visit at least once, just as Canada was…I am excited to see beautiful scenery and amazing sights, it will also be a good chance to become closer to my friend whom I haven’t spent a lot of time with in the last few years…I hope I can travel to somewhere new each year in the upcoming years! Travel is like medicine for the soul.

I think these are all the values I have worked on in 2019 and hope to continue building upon in 2020. If I think of anything, I guess I will edit or post again.

 

Thanks for reading my random ramble!

 

Happy 2020 to you!

 

EDIT: Just remembered as I posted, I forgot to say that 2019 was also a great year in which I gained new subscribers to my blog! i am amazed that there are so many people from so many different countries randomly coming here and reading my blog. Thank you to you all! I hope I will continue writing my random thoughts and feelings towards life, adulting, and etc in 2020.