Friday, October 9, 2009

Non Money Oriented Personal Finance Style

A few real life stories were told before;
Gabriel is the one who is NOT that RICH but financially quite independent and freedom he has.
Ahmad fights inflation by growing his own needs
Ah Dung is the RICH guy who didn't really get hurt by inflation
Mathew is the typical Average guy who is shocked by an effective inflation of 24% !!
In promotion of successful personal finance without money or at least without MUCH money, here is the story of Ah Yung.

Ah Yung is almost 70 years old now. At first glance, she has been earning her daily income from her morning market stall all her life. She made noddles when she was young and now she is only reselling whatever items she can carry ie. not so heavy. She never went to school. She has no idea what personal finance is. She doesn't have much insurance, no investment and only 1 or 2 saving accounts. She couldn't even tell if her business is earning profit. She just knows she has been surviving fine with what she does so far.

Her daily revenue ranges from $30 to $300. With a profit from $5 to $20, she is able to keep her stomach filled. Sometimes friends drop by and invite her to varies gathering which has a lot of fun and .... food. Sponsored by varies society clubs and semi-political parties, most of these events are FREE.

She lives in a house left by her belated husband, where the $40,000 loan has been fully paid off. The house is worth $160,000 now but she insists the house is the LAST thing the family has so it is there to stay "no matter what".

She traveled to work, the market, with her 30 years old bike. Almost everything she needs are obtained from the market too - cloth, food, drinks, fun stuff, blankets and business materials.

Despite living expenses day to day, she thinks she is quite alright. Although sometimes complain about politics and unfair treatment from the authorities etc. generally she thinks she has what she needs.

She has many friends. She is very generous to all her friends. Whenever friends need help, she is there. Even when money is needed, she lends as much as she could. Sometimes until she has to skip a meal or two. At her age, she has gone through quite a large number of weddings, birthday parties and funerals etc. She always shows up and she always bring present or whatever suits the occasion, by using up whatever money she has at that time. She has many friends, who call her friend as well.

Once she was in finance trouble. She lend all her money out and sales were slow. She had been eating plain buns for days. On the 4th day, her friends knew and they came to cheer her up. They had breakfast together right next to her stall. 2 weeks later, Ah Yung was backed on her feet. All friends were happy too as it was quite a good reunion for a couple of them actually.

Another time, she faced a robbery, fell down and her bike was broken. News spread so the local people and neighborhood found and captured the criminal in less than an hour. A mechanic helped her fix her bike with a very small fee. The Chinese practitioner in the market helped cure her health condition.

When her husband passed away, she didn't know what to do but about 200 good friends showed up and helped. 1000 to 2000 people showed up the funeral and helped her through the financial tough time.

Ah Yung doesn't earn much, doesn't save much, doesn't have a clue about finance planning. But through out her life, she made friends. Her human network is as big as a marketing company out there. When needed, friends will come buy from her stall even if the price is slightly higher than Carrefour. When needed, helping hands are just around the corner. There is no need to ask, people will just come to help. The same way as she has been helping so many others in her past.

Ah Yung is actually financially independent. She doesn't really go to her stall everyday. Now she and her friends always go out to parks to work out, then they go to new places to try out new food. When she is not working at her stall, someone will rent her place automatically paying her a net profit of $10-$20. A very strange passive income, no contract, no agreement, it just happen and it has been happening like that for more than 10 years. From time to time, her friends and her travel locally and overseas. Most of the trips are sponsored, either with some marketing purposes or simply privileges given to golden years people. She has friend who can get the linkage to get all these FREE stuff. Some other times when she feels bored, she visits her friends in another state or even country. She just need to get on a bus or a plane, her friends will settle the rest. Like wise, sometimes her friends come visit her from neighboring countries and she will take very good care of her friends too.

Ah Yung has ONE asset and no liability, a net worth of $160,000 and growing. She doesn't earn much but she doesn't spend any, resulting a long term positive cash flow. The only thing she has ever invested seriously is her time and dedication to the people she knows. And now she is receiving the return.

Ah Yung is a happy old lady. She has been having her financial freedom all this while.


Mrcoolku said...

Nice story.
Could it be another type of investment? Investing in people. Investment that I never think before. XD

Michael Tsen said...

the tricky part is, if we 'start' by thinking it as an investment with a 'target' return, I fear the effect may be adverse.

Just think of it as being friendly and sincere can bring many benefits, and this is just one of the potential benefits.

Nothing beats true friendship ... and it can come surprise us at the most unexpected moments.

this article just want to remind some that "money in bank" is not the only solution ...