Monday, 10 January 2005

Money Mantra

These days, I think about money a lot. My line of thinking branches into a few areas:
1. How to save more money – been doing the household budget and careful with my spending, but my savings have not grown by much.
2. How to make more money – am having problem with this. I’m not business minded and I do not like meeting people, so I suppose direct selling business is not for me. I thought I would offer services through the internet, but what? Must think, think, think and think some more.
3. How to settle my loans faster – I could withdraw from EPF to reduce my housing loan. I could refinance the loan with a cheaper rate housing loan offered by my employer too, but I have not done the calculation to see the savings from this.
4. Further education - I find personal finance an interesting field. Perhaps I should enrol in a course and get myself certified. But then, I also want to pursue post-grad education so that I could switch into teaching later. Which should get a higher priority?

Financial planning became more important after my DD’s birth. Previously we could just not think that much about the future. Our thinking was more short-term, like making sure we had enough money to settle current month’s loan installments, or keeping some cash aside for a new furniture, or save a little for a short holiday. DD changed that. Now we have to budget for life insurance, DD’s education, and the extra living expenses of bringing up a child, among other things. And bringing up a child is expensive. Diapers, formula, clothing, toys, books, childcare, playschool.. the list is endless. Don’t get me wrong, I have no regret about having a child at all. In fact, DD is the greatest thing in DH’s and my life so far. Perhaps, when I’m ready, I will write about our long and heartbreaking journey to have a child. Save that for another time.

I remember an ustaz telling us that when we wish for something, we should doa (pray) to the Almighty. According to him, you should doa 44 kali (pray for 44 times) for the doa to be more mustajab (effective). So, an old friend of mine recited the doa based on her own interpretation of the ustaz’s advice, “44 kali… 44 kali… 44 kali… 44 kali.” Needless to say, she didn’t get anything out of it, except perhaps a hoarse voice as she did her recitation loudly.

In my prayers, I ask for financial health, among other things. Perhaps some are bound to think that I’m materialistic, and I admit money is important to me. I don’t need much to be happy (of course, the more, the better), but I want to have some savings for DD’s education and as a buffer for rainy days. Some people would say that money does not bring happiness, but have this same people experienced real financial hardship in life? I’m not talking about missing on one month’s credit card payment or not being able to buy that new shoes that you like so much, but about not having enough money to bring food to the table or buy new shoes for your child to replace the only pair she has which is badly torn that is shows her little toes and soaks muddy water when it rains.

I’m always hoping that God will answer my prayers, though at times I feel shame for asking for so much despite doing so little. But I never lose hope. And last night, my prayers were answered in a way. DH’s father has bequeathed (is this word appropriate for someone who is still alive?) some of his funds to his children. After the financial headache we had because of the water problem, this comes as a very nice surprise. InsyaAllah, we will keep the money in our savings as you would like us to. Thank you, Abah.

1 comment:

Bustaman said...

Whether you are rich or poor, it is nice to have money.