1. Don’t pay too much attention to trends
In the age of social media, we can easily fall into the trap of trends. While the internet has enriched pop culture greatly, it has also promoted a new brand of consumerism where people are encouraged to buy according to the latest viral trend or internet fad.
But what you should be more concerned about is whether or not you truly need those items. Even if you’re Kanye West’s biggest fan, you don’t really need to buy his RM400 plain white T-shirts. You can get a white T-shirt for less than RM5! Focusing on your own lifestyle and only on what you need is the first step towards financial freedom.
2. Save, save, save
Saving is truly important because that rainy day WILL come. And it is much easier today to save money thanks to the abundance of financial apps around. You can simply track the money you spend and save it in an Excel spreadsheet which you can then access anywhere via your smartphone.
3. Start something on the side
The advent of social media has given rise to the whole new world of business avenues and opportunities. Scrolling through your Facebook feed will allow you to see your friends’ problems, interests, passions and buying trends. A quick analysis of what you see on your feed can give you initial ideas on what you can sell to solve their problems and improve their lives.
This isn’t limited to the online world though, as you can go old-school as well and find side jobs at places that fit your schedule.
4. Stay (credit) healthy
The better your credit score, the more likely you are to be approved for a loan. A healthy credit score is what you should always maintain when you’re planning to apply for a car loan, or a loan to continue your studies.
Things that can negatively affect your credit score include: not paying your PTPTN loans on time and not paying your credit card bills. So, avoid starting a new credit card if you can’t handle the payments and pay off your PTPTN loans! To be credit healthy is to be financially free.
5. Switch to term life insurance
Having life insurance is important, but if you find that the monthly premiums are a bit expensive you can opt for term life insurance. Term life insurance offers life protection at a lower premium while also allowing you to opt for the specified period of time covered e.g. 10 or 15 years.