Review on Start over, Finish Rich by David Bach

I have never read any of David Bach’s books until a friend recommended me to read this one. Apparently it was quite spot on. Exactly what I need since this month, yes, this September 2015, marks my financial freedom. I am going to be free of my education loan, which took me a good three years to finish. Back then, I would have moments whereby I would get anxious and worry about the future, my career prospects and how people would judge me for putting my life on hold. Now, I tell myself, the past is past, it does not mean I can fix things to make it better for myself and possibly, my loved ones.

Start over, finish rich starts and ends with traditional and simple advices, one, it’s never too late to start saving and always give to others. I would say live within your means and give more rather than raising your standard of living. It’s a tough one to follow, I have to admit, I have failed a multiple times as well. While writing this review, I am actually trying to put a plan in place, to get my personal finances right.

Firstly, I have decided to save the monthly expenses that I set aside for my education loans. I am going to split it into three portions, which are for master’s education, life savings and other random expenses such holidays or getting a new laptop or camera. I am lucky that I am not the type of lady who shops every month. Hence, I am able to plan my expenses and rate them according to importance.

So let’s start over. Firstly, we need to know where the money is and where it is going. So what it means right here is that we should keep track of all expenses, maybe in an excel spreadsheet. Depending on our background and circumstances, the folders that each folder one may have differs from another. For me, latter factors, expenditures and savings folders matter the most.

Secondly, one needs to know how to manage his or her’s credit card debt. In my opinion, one needs to be independent and responsible when it comes to paying off the debt on time. I personally do not believe in making a minimum amount instead, one should be disciplined to pay off the full amount. However, if one fails to do so, he or she should pay off as much as possible and finish the remaining amount within the next six months. In Singapore, it is important to maintain a good credit score on all their bank accounts.

Thirdly, the next important thing, at least for myself is to rebuild my emergency savings account. I had a hard time building my cash cushion three years ago as my bank loan was about half of my salary. Now that its over, I am going to save that money into three components, life and emergency savings, my future education funds as well as holiday treats. I will set it to be automatic and grow them separately in three accounts.

Lastly, the one thing that we will never go wrong doing, is giving back to society and charity. It can be in the form of monetary funds (set it to be automatic) or contributing your time. I must admit that I used to teach, but I quit after five years due to lack of time. Now, I guess I need to figure out how exactly I want to give back. It will be nice to spend some time out of your comfort zone, say maybe at a hospital. Oh well, I will figure it out soon.

In the meantime, here’s to a better tomorrow!

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