*Note: I wrote this post back in 2015 (and reposted in 2017) as a guide for fresh graduates to have a simple guideline on how to handle money. Some things have changed so what you will see below in bold are my updated views of “The Money Code”.
Stay debt free
This is the #1 rule. ALWAYS stay debt-free. Credit card debts have over 20% interest rates. You don’t want that accumulating! I have since had more understanding about debts and realised low-interest debts can actually be used as leverage so long as we understand the consequences. So the key would be: Stay away from high-interests debts and understand the risks involved before taking on low-interest debts.
Pay bills on time (or ahead of time if possible)
This goes hand in hand with staying high-interest debt-free. Also, to avoid accidental late payments, it is good practice to pay ahead of time. This is always true regardless of high or low interest. Additional admin fees are best avoided.
Keep an emergency fund
Keep 3 to
8 6 months of monthly expenditure (this includes insurance, family contribution and day-to-day expenses). Emergency funds are great protection against any financial stress. It helps fight against emergencies, job losses and over expenditure.
Refrain from unnecessary expenditure(s)
As a rule of thumb, always ask “Is this necessary?” before any purchase. I usually add an item into my online shopping cart and think it through for around a month before making the purchase.
Calculate the odds before getting the lottery
Basically, treat lottery as a form of entertainment. It is never a form of investment.
Reduce routine expenditures
You know what I am saying. Yes! The Mr Bean / Ya Kun during breakfast as well as the Starbucks during lunch or tea time! The key is to not develop bad spending habits.
Wake up early
No, I am not saying this to be health conscious or for self-help. I am saying this to remind you to avoid taking the taxi and to let you have ample time to prepare your own food or snacks. I now make a cup of keto coffee every morning before I head to work and I love it.
Moderate entertainment cost
Instead of a movie night in a theatre, suggest movie night at someone’s place instead. It is a lot of fun and you get to talk and be as loud as you want. Pick up cheaper or free hobbies. Also, go for the cheaper alternative. Instead of buying books, borrow or get the e-book instead. E-books are usually much cheaper. And many of them are free! I now cook for my friends and I enjoy it. 🙂
If you cannot afford it, you should not get it. Well, unless there is a special promotion for instalment payment. Make sure you have enough money to pay it all!
Subscriptions are just as bad, if not worst than instalments. Many people do not fully utilise the subscription and money just goes to waste! I am actually worried about the future, especially for software, since many companies are embracing the subscription model.
P.S. As can see from the image above, the title of this post is actually inspired by The Bro Code from How I Met Your Mother, and not the other books titled The Money Code. Just thought I should clarify some stuff. Also, big fan of HIMYM. Not the ending, but still love it.
P.P.S. I just realised I have posted this back in 2017 and I noted that I love HIMYM back then, too!