Category Archives: Personal

Mind Journal: Trying to adult and tackling financial challenges

“The thing I have discovered about working with personal finance is that the good news is that it is not rocket science. Personal finance is about 80% behaviour it is only about 20% head knowledge,” – Dave ramsey

For the longest time, I am so ignorant when it come to personal finances. As far as I am concerned, I started working when I was 18 years old and I have plenty of time to safe my money for my future.

Well, girl… you couldn’t be more wrong!

Fast forward to now, 16 years later, I still do not have savings nor assets to my name, despite working full time for a good 10 years of my young life. Isn’t that ridiculous? Luckily, in Australia where I live, anyone working is set up with a superannuation fund, which pretty much our retirement funds. Aside from that amazing security, I pretty have no other savings. Shock horror!

As we grew in both maturity and age, we started to receive few reality checks every now and then from life. Whether it is a small health challenges or a challenging financial situation, like getting into credit card debt, things happens that pretty much will burst your bubble one day. For me that bubble was burst because COVID-19 happened. My bubble of always feel secure in my 9-5 job, has suddenly became obsolete. Luckily, I did not loose my job but what if? I am sitting on $7500 credit card debt which I realised I needed to tackle luckily, earlier pre-COVID but I do have few thousand dollars left to tackle plus still a large lump sum of student loan that still needed to be paid off. WIth all that is happening, I have decided that I am turning my financial illiteracy around and stop making excuses for my past. Therefore in 2020, I am kicking start my financial journey to get to a point where I feel comfortable enough to be able to gain personal independence as well as, personal financial freedom.

Step 1…

I am getting some education in my brain. If I could do over, I would totally pay more attention to my finance classes at university, but well that is all in the past so forward, I am putting time and effort into financial education in ways that are available to me. I just finished re-reading, properly this time, Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and really listen to what he is saying. Digesting the informations and relook at more explanation where needed. On top of that, I have ordered and will adding to my learning two more books, The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey and I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi.

Step 2…

Get my finances sorted. This started in 2017, I finally admit that I am out of control and brave myself to book an appointment with a financial advisor at the bank that I am with. Most banks I believe, offer this service for little or no charge. I love my financial advisor and here are few things she changed in my life,

  • Tackling down my $7500 credit card debt. Most credit card debt has high interest, therefore she proposed to take out a personal loan with smaller interest (still a high interest), with 3 years term, weekly payments coming straight from my everyday accounts
  • Creating separate banking accounts to enable money management and budgeting. Therefore I started to have more than 1 bank account in 2017. I have one account for my daily spending, one account where my salary and bills comes in and out from and finally, one online savings account.

Step 3…

What am I doing right now to further my knowledge and commitments to this adulting business. In 2020, I decided to learn more about education and how I can reduce expenses as well, here are some things I have change,

  • Creating a new bank account that allow for higher interest for Online Savers. I did some research in order to find a bank that can offer a higher interest for my savings, therefore resulted in me opening an account with ING Direct, who gave my online savers a high 1.65% interests to my online savings
  • Budgeting – woohoo… onto the fun stuff. I have decided to be honest with myself and look at my finances in order for me to be able to create an honest and realistic budget. The hardest part about this budgeting is actually disciplining myself in order to stick to budget that I have set out, but again, finance is 80% behaviour!
  • Track my expenses – know where I spent the most money and learn from my spending habit every month. When I track my expenses, the aim is to learn from it not to punish myself or feel guilty because I spend. Part of educating myself is to learn from my mistakes as well as other people’s

Have you thought about your finances lately? What are you going to do to get your finances sorted, I you haven’t already…

-k.

Mind Journal: What in the World is going on?

In today’s uncertain time, I just want to share small thought bubbles to start with, before I begin decluttering my thoughts,

“Impact. You never really know the true impact you have on those around you. You never know how much someone needed that smile you gave them. You never know how much you kindness turned someone’s entire life around. You never know how much someone needed that long hug or deep talk. So don’t wait to be kind. Don’t wait for someone else to be kin first. Don’t wait for better circumstances or for someone to change. Just be kind, because you never know how much someone needs it,” – Nikki Banas

As I am writing this, from Melbourne, Australia, like every other country in the world, we are battling the one common enemy, Covid-19 virus. Let me just say, as someone who in my own personal opinion, do have a positive outlook on life in general, 2020 has been rough. We started the year with horrendous bushfire season like none we have seen before, the amount of loss we experienced both in human and wildlife were undoubtedly most distressing for so many of us.

Now, Australia currently has 11 deaths and over a thousand people affected by the virus and yes, I understand this is nothing like what is facing Europe right now. However, if nothing changes in the way people behave, Australia might face similar outcome as Italy or France. The government has been slightly confusing when it comes to restrictions they placed to its people. We are not allow to shop, but shopping centres are open. I understand the importance of maintaining the economy, but what will happened once all of that crumbles cause the virus has spread out of control? The economy will crash anyway…

Amidst all these uncertainty, I could not grasp my head around the fact that these uncertain time, bought out the worst in human’s behaviour. I have heard stories about racism towards people who are Asian, people selfishly panic buy and leave many people in actual need struggle for basic needs. I can not believe that in Australia, after the disaster that was bushfire where we are all came together as people, this pandemic managed to divide us apart!

I will not dwell on the anger or negativity, but I thought I just want to share small thoughts here. No matter how dire your situation might seem to you, most of the time there are other people who struggles more than you. Now it is not the time for competition of who gets it worst. Rather than looking inwards, why not try to look around and see if you can be of help to others. What we are experiencing is an unprecedented time in our history, how would you like history to remember us throughout this time? Would you rather be remembered as the generation that is filled with selfish, self-absorb people? Or would you rather history remember our generation as the group of people who come together in an unexpected tragedy and become closer, stronger and came out of the situation as one? I do not see another alternatives, we have to come together, we have to be kind…

-k.

A New Beginning

The thing I love the most about life is every time the sun rise, it is a brand new day, which for me means a second chance to do over. And today is no different than any other day, is the day I decided to start over with my blog.

I’m not planning to go too crazy and re-start from zero with this blog, as I feel that I have worked hard for it to be what it is up to today. Basically, what I’m saying is I’m planning to commit more towards the maintaining of this blog and hopefully, will be able to grow this blog and take this space further into the world. Having said that, I want to also make sure that this blog has a focus that is still me. And I am so many things in one being, I enjoy different aspects of what life has to offer, which also means that I have to curate what interest me the most.

SO… content wise, I will focus on topics that I am truly passionate about and here are the breakdown:

  • Beauty – will include both make-up and skincare, but I do believe in maintaining healthy skin and using less make-up, so I might end up writing more about skincare. I don’t discriminate on skincare meaning, I will try anything from Department Stores brands all the way to Korean Beauty Brands. Along the way, I hope I can also share few knowledge I have gain working for a natural beauty and lifestyle brand
  • Art & Culture – will includes snapshot overview of exhibitions happening in and around Melbourne, but also (cross all our fingers people) will includes exhibition or galleries I visit in my travels
  • Food – as a foodie and a cook myself, I will be sharing brunch places around Melbourne as well as healthy recipes I whipped up in my kitchen every now and then
  • Life – will be about my life in Melbourne or when I travel. I will also include personal opinion posts on certain topics that might affect me at the time. All in all, this section of the blog will hopefully be a small corner for life lessons, shared experiences and spirituality

My commitment for now is that I will post twice a week on the day that I have off from my full-time job, which will be Tuesday and Saturday. I will see how I go and will adjust accordingly in the future. I hope you can stay around and enjoy what The Lifestyle Monolog has to offer for you soon…

Thank you for staying around. See you on my next post 🙂

-k.m.

True Love, a grand-daughter remembered

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I have such fascinations with b&w photographs, and finding this treasure of an old b&w photo of my maternal grandparents bring a certain sense of nostalgia for me. Both my grandparents passed away within a year of each other about 8 years ago. Lucky for me, I grew up with their love and supports. Today the impact of their love for each other and their family, sets such standards for myself in what I’m looking for in my future family.

Classic Romeo and Juliet story, my grandmother came from a successful Chinese immigrant family in Indonesia. My grandfather is the son of 3rd generation vegetables seller in their local market. The story goes as per usual, they met, fell in love and without stating the obvious Shakespearean plot, her parents forbid her to see him. Her father said to her, “A rose should not fall in love with cow shit”, please excuse my language.

But my grandmother was determined, she will only marry the man she loves. So she asked him to elope! They did and her parents did not attend nor approve of their union. She did not speak to her parents until their first child, a beautiful baby girl they named Marianingsih was born in 1951. The first of seven, my mom is their third born.

My grandfather’s entrepreneurial tendency proves positive for his family. He started a mushroom plantation, moved on to Batik (Indonesia’s traditional hand-painted fabrics, used to make apparels) factory and finally a successful taxi company which still runs to this day. With such loving and positive influences in their lives, all their children grew up to be successful individuals.

They are inseparable, and my grandfather was there to love and support my grandma when she became paraplegic and bound to a wheelchair. In her despair, he’s the only one that made her laugh out loud, everyday. When he fell ill at the end of his life and was admitted to the hospital, my wheelchair-bound grandmother attempted the impossible and forced herself to walk to my dad’s home office, my family lives next to my grandparents. She demanded my dad to take her to the hospital to see her great love. This moment always brought tears to my eyes and proves to my cynical self that there is such thing as a great true love…

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I’m forever in debt for all the love you both shown and showered me with throughout my childhood.

-love K.