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Tea with Ms. Y: 3 points to share with fresh graduates.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A regular reader graciously agreed to contribute a guest blog and here it is:

I'm very honoured to have AK71 request for a guest blog post from me. I would like to share some of my experiences and hope that people would benefit from these.

1. Get a job before graduation.

In my last semester in university, I was busy writing resumes and sending them out. My goal was to get a job ASAP. To me, the ability to secure a job at graduation or before demonstrates how good a student is. It is not just the grades we get.

Moreover, a few months of unemployment would set me back financially. We all have some living expenses to take care of, right?

2. Save money: Keep it away until you forget you have it.

I'm not inclined to save money. I find going the extra mile to hunt for cheap deals or reduce spending is quite troublesome and tiring. I like to spend money. I like to go for holidays, shopping trips etc. 

However, I do know the importance of having savings. One thing I learnt from my mother is to keep some money away until I forget I have it. So, I have some endowment plans and monthly savings accounts.

These tools are very useful especially in terms of timing my savings to prepare for my resale flat purchase. Of course, this method might not be good for everyone but it forces me to save.

3. Invest in yourself.

Take courses to improve yourself. The journey just started.

I believe that if I am not giving real value in my job, my employer has no incentive to give me an increment that is beyond inflationary rate. My real wage will be stagnant.

Plan your career path. Invest in yourself to cross disciplines. Employers pay good money for people who can bridge gaps.

I realized that when I took courses, I had less time to spend money. That resulted in more savings for me.
Focus on doing what will secure higher pay for us. Seriously, because it's just going to get more difficult when the bigger demands of life kick in later on. For examples, getting married, setting up a family, buying an apartment and taking care of parents who are aging with medical needs.


jason said...

I beg to differ on the spending part - its useful to rein in the propensity to spend at such an early stage of working life; once it becomes a habit/lifestyle then later on in life cutting back will be harder. Make the best of your early years to scrimp and save (not to the extent of becoming Scrooge!), then reap the fruits later.

AK71 said...

Hi Jason,

I am curious what kind of person would you consider to be a Scrooge?

I know that it is probably subjective but some people think I am a Scrooge while some don't. I get so confused. -.-"

E H said...

It should be Scrooge vs Frugality. Some will admire you for the ability to prioritise and save money. Others will chastise you for the incredible lengths you go to for the sake of saving money. A few will take the middle ground and learn the plus points of frugality from you but yet not project the image of a scrooge. Don't be too confused. Just live your life.

jason said...

use calculator when going out? dividing everything out equally down to the last cent etc. U buying rolled oats from NTUC or buying/bringing cheap lunches doesnt make u Scrooge, i daresay u do splurge once ina while? besides, being a car owner is also draining but also means u are willing to spend if necessary.

SMK said...

A scrooge is one who scrimps even on important things.

Other people have different important things from you. :D

AK71 said...

Hi E H,

Yes, I am sometimes confused why I am confused. If people think I am a Scrooge, then, so be it. ;p

AK71 said...

Hi Jason,

I am a creature of comfort. If spending a bit more money than usual would make life more comfortable, I don't mind spending the money. :)

I can also be extravagant at times and my car is proof. ;p

However, I do flip out a calculator in supermarkets sometimes to compare prices to see which option provides the best value for money. :(

So, what am I? I am confused again. -.-"

AK71 said...


Oh, for sure. What is a want to us might be a need for someone else. ;)

pf said...

If a fresh grad attends classes 1 or 2 nights a week, diligent at study, work on assignments and all....

Typically, no time to hang out with friends, no time for shopping, really not much time to spend money....

I remembered that the expense which i felt i was a spendthrift is taxi fares to my classes when i was running late from work and from classes to home as it was late.

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