October 3 marked another milestone for TGFI Singapore. It was the first time that we had an open forum about Personal Finance where 15 people from different walks of life shared their thoughts and experiences about the following topics: Luxuries, Financial Education, Budgeting, Savings, Emergency Fund, Philhealth/SSS/Pag-Ibig, Diversification, Financial Monitoring and Tithing/Outreach Programs.
Initially, I was hesitant to join as I was running late from another appointment and also because I knew I had to open myself and talk about my own experiences. Before I started blogging, I was actually hesitant to blog because I knew that I have to open myself to the public and I am actually a very private person. What more so for an open forum where you will bare your soul to people face to face? But I decided to face my fears and chase my demons away by going to the open forum and I didn’t regret my decision.
Some of my key take-aways/learnings:
- Teaching personal finance starts at home with our parents teaching us how to save, manage our allowance. Indirectly we also saw how they managed their money which can influence our own perception of money and how we handle our money
- Because of our parents’ limited experience and exposure to investing, usually it will only be savings account, time deposits and real estate, our own view of investing is also limited.
- Savings account was a good vehicle investment during our grandparents’ time due to the high interest rate but now it cannot even be considered an investment vehicle because of the minimal interest rate. So, with the changing times we also need to change our strategies in handling our money.
- Our current obsession is based on a psychological factor from our childhood. Example: if we are deprived of shoes when we are young, it can lead to our over-accumulation of shoes in the future and the classic example of this is Imelda Marcos.
- We are all at different phases in our financial journey. Let us be inspired by stories of other people and make it a motivation to keep improving ourselves. Ultimately, this is a race against ourselves and not against others by choosing the appropriate investment vehicle depending on our risk tolerance and risk capacity.
An open note to all the participants in the forum: I must say it is not easy to open yourself to others. I admire the trust you have given to us by sharing your own personal experiences. I really loved the interaction, the honesty and being open about our experiences. Thank you for the trust and I surely learned a lot from you. I look forward to the next open forum and learning more about you and from you. 🙂