27. Finances 101: 10 Perspectives - From my point of view. 1. My Objectives and Goals


Hello everyone! Welcome to the 3rd series of my weekly blog posts here at my website: www.johncheah.my

My 1st series touched on Essentials in Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), a topic I cover at work.

My 2nd series chronicled my personal journey in public speaking, covering 5 and a half years of my life from 2007 onwards, living the life of a Toastmaster from new member to achieving the level of Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM).

In this 3rd series, I have decided to focus on the area of finances. Like it or not, finances cover most if not all areas in life. I personally believe, in this day and age, personal financial management is more important and crucial than ever before.

As I am getting on in years in life, I realise that finances take up a lot of time, effort and focus in our lives. I would like to take the next 3 months or so to share some thoughts on how an average person living in the world today can try to navigate the world in as balanced a way as possible.

In financial management, whether we start from young or not so young, I would recommend setting our objectives and goals in life first. From there, we can thus focus on what, where, when, and how we want to channel our focus.

I started my journey when I was 17 years old, when I graduated from high school.

Even way back then, I decided to start goal setting. These decisions made then were the foundations for my future planning. I knew then that those goals may go through fine tuning but that would be later.

These were my goals from the various roles in my life.

  1. Faith: I was a Christian, so I believed that all that I have or will have, come from God…. And I will keep that in mind in all that I do moving forward

  2. Studies: I was unsure of what to do for my studies, but I wanted to study something that did not cost too much, but after graduation, can make back my costs as fast as possible.

  3. Career: At 17, I was still unsure of what I wanted to be when I graduated fully from university, so I left this open for that time.

  4. Family: I had a vague idea that I wanted to look for a future wife, and maybe God willing, have one or two children. With that in mind, I knew that there was a high possibility that my home would be double income at some point, and that my financial goals would have to take into consideration providing for little ones.

  5. Calling/Vocation: What is this? No idea then

With those goals and objectives in mind, I purposefully steered my life in those directions, especially when it came to finances. Will it make me financially free faster? At that time I did not know yet, but I made it my plan… and I intended to stick to them...

20 years later, did my goals and objectives change? Of course. How do they look like now? Let's see…

  1. Faith: I am still a Christian, and I continue to believe that all that I have and will have, come from God…. And I continue to keep that in mind in all that I do moving forward

  2. Studies: Over the past 20 years, I have continued to study to improve myself from time to time.

  3. Career: Since then, I have moved into accounting, then external audit, then risk management in banking, then compliance, and then Anti-Money Laundering, and then focusing on review, advisory, and training, up to date.

  4. Family: I have since then got married, had one, then two, and then recently three kids….. My financial goals continue to evolve, but I am glad the goals have helped me focus….

  5. Calling/Vocation: I am passionate about sharing and teaching and training and preaching....

Points to ponder:

What are your goals in life?

Staying single? Planning to get married? Want kids?

The answers to these questions will greatly act as pillars in your decision making in the area of finances, and should be seriously taken into consideration.

Still single? Already married? Already have kids?

Employed? Feeling contented? Not contented?

Not too late to take a snapshot of your financial situation and get better at managing it. Goals may be different, but goals will always help with our focus, and planning moving forward.

Next week onwards I'll go into more details, first looking at the major values that guided my life, and then later focus on specific financial goals over time.

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