Fun Fact; Science says, human brain fully developed (mature in a sense) around the age 25-30. I think mine was around 26 where I came to realise, a lot of things I didn’t know despite being an internet literate person. I was prepare to be a full grown adult and be responsible to the things I do and not relying on other too much. As such, I quit my first job and move away from my parents.
The things I wish I knew and should have done as a young adult in no particular order:
1) Dropping out from University
I was majoring in Computer Science (Software Engineering) but at the same time, I was doing my full time job at my first company. The studies took 6 years of my youth and I spent more than RM20k for study fees and I didn’t relied on any student loan. It was really difficult situation to handle the schedules as I was preoccupied with major project in my real job and then I had to allocate time for my studies.
In the 3rd year of my career, I was promoted as a manager and things went even harder. I wanted to quit my studies because managing team member, acquiring new client project, programming and studying at the same time were a hell. As during my studies, I was also a team leader and I also need to manage the team. Hah! So, I got burnt-out and was on medical leave for 1-2 weeks because my body got shut down.
After I quit my first job and created my own company. I needed to build up my portfolio so I work hard (and who say doing business is easy?). This create Work On My Own + Studies = Hell. And I wasn’t earned enough. However, In my mind, if I got a degree, I won’t be worry to find a job then. So I continue my studies until I got graduate this year.
Thinking back of how much money I took out from my EPF and spent it on studies, it doesn’t feel worth now.
2) Save, Invest and Make Money
I was those kind of people who spent money on the greatest and the latest tech gadget like buying a new smartphone every year. Do I save money? Yes, I do some save but the amount was little. Do I invest? I do invest but I lose money.
So if I do make savings and I do investment, why is this on the list? Because I did not take saving money and investment seriously. I lose money and I was “Heh, no problem”. For me, each time I wanted to invest, I got this desperate feeling “Oh, I want to be rich”. Stock price went down, and I wasn’t sure what I’m doing and keep on losing money. I didn’t do my research well. What I wish I’d do was to be patient, invest slowly since I was new to this kind of things. And save more money and distribute it to different accounts.
Now I have created multiple stream of income, I managed to save more and invest more.
3) Buy Cheaper Car
I was on my old car on 9 years loan. And before I manage to finish the loan, I created another one! Buying another car on a 9 years loan. I’ll be honest, I like my second car. But the monthly repayment and in total with my old car, it was so high! And this contributes to my lower monthly savings. Fortunately, I have settled my first car loan this month, phew.
When I started to think what if I buy a cheaper and comfortable car instead, and I would not have to pay a lot and I won’t be having few savings at the end of the month. Now, I am not worried with the monthly repayment for my second car but I came to realise that “what is the point of buying an expensive car when you can just brag it for 3 months and no one would bother about it anymore?” and when my windscreen got a crack due to super hot weather or after 3 years of driving, a lot of issues started to show and I had to fork out cash for repair, I began to think “Car value drop, I guess its no use of buying new expensive car, too much money to cash out. It’s not worth it. “. Because when I created my own Financial Planning on Spreadsheet, I saw a lot of my money bleeding out just that and my car contribute most of it.
4) Stop Buying The Greatest and The Latest
As I pointed out on point (2), I change my phone every year. And sometime I spent on new camera and new notebook. I had this FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). Whenever Samsung announced a new smartphone, I’d shouted “I need to buy this! Take my money!”. I brag to others that I have a new smartphone, a FLAGSHIP smartphone. But people doesn’t seem to care though.
When technology mature year by year and when smartphone makers are getting good, the feeling of changing to the greatest just gone. I wasn’t excited as I used to be. My friends that used to be excited with the greatest and the latest, weren’t excited as they used to be as well. Budget phones are getting better compare to the last few years except a few caveat; Camera. So many (including me) can’t justify on buying RM4,000+ phone anymore.
But I bought an iPhone X with 3 years warranty so that I can use it for 3 years or more. Tech enthusiasms inside is still there, I still wanted the greatest but I’m not desperate for the latest anymore and my next phone would probably be a budget smartphone instead.