*This blog post is my personal opinion only and contains affiliate/referral links.

The title is a prompt question in Quora. It’s a very popular thread and needless to say, the answers are varied and interesting.

I did not answer it because i wanted to expound it here in my blog.

And i don’ think i have anything substantial to add on that topic. My upbringing is not so much rooted with financial literacy nor business orientated. That’s just how it is, and i don’t blame anyone.

I was actually happy that i did not bother about money matters in my childhood. I was not privileged and I had a family that was not rich but there was food and laughter in the table, and that was more than i can ask for.

I pondered about it today, and tried to trace how i taught myself to save and invest.

I like to start this paragraph by saying giving your own hair a haircut is not fun. I thought i could do a decent job because i cut my three year old son’s hair and also trimmed two inches of my wife’s hair, but the truth is i care less about my look these days (wife helps out with the haircut and is ok with the final cut and i am happy with that) because i know we are in the middle of a quarantine, and deeply i’m kind-a pleased that i was able to save up.

Being practical is a mindshift that develops overtime, and so my story goes.

As i grow older i learn that life throws you in situations that hone your survival instinct and you learn. And you learn, and you carry on.

I think i start to pay close attention on my financial IQ only after i live on my own and work. Just like any son or daughter who wants to prove that they can make it on his/her own, i want to prove that i can be financially independent. And so the money management begins.

First i realized that getting a steady paycheck is not enough if you are not 1) saving and 2) investing.

Organizing my finances is the key. From groceries to banking and credit card expenses, budget planning is your greatest friend. You want another eye to see where your money is going, and that eye is your expense spreadsheet.

Naturally, i want to make my money to work for me so i explore ways to earn more from what i already have. Pushing money in my choice of investment is the easy part. The research and the conviction that guides me to choose this or that investment vehicle is the hard part.

I find out that being aggressive is ok if it is within my risk tolerance. But for better sleep and less worries, i sometimes like to lean on conservative holdings. Whoever said “stocks let you eat and bonds let you sleep” knows this gem is true in investing (make a note of that beginner investors).

There’s always an implied risk on any venture, and that is something that has grown with me, and ultimately leads me to accept that the business of investing is a game. Tell that to anyone because that is the truth; the Gods in Mt. Olympus may be deaf to everyone’s prayers but they do answer them. Believe me they do, because fortune favors the bold.

Conclusion: we all have a story to tell on how we started with saving and investing, and each story is as good as any other because you want to better yourself and your family. It may not be in your nature to save and invest, which is my case early on in my life, but it will ingrained itself in you if you let yourself be nurtured by it’s principles. By setting your priorities in life, you will be able to make informed decisions on your financial future. And finally, winning or losing is all part of the game, so don’t let this hinder your dream.

Thank you for reading.

Jay

Please feel free to share your story in the comment section.