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Opinion Piece

My say on current events.

How You Behave With Money, According to Your Personality

Because money and personality are two topics I love to mesh together.

Your Personality, Using the Big Five Personality Traits

Before we go on, we have to spend some time talking about personalities – what is its definition? In comes behavioural science.

The book Me, Myself, and Us: The Science of Personality and the Art of Well-Being by Professor Brian R. Little gave me some great info about the categorisation of personalities, so I’m going to use that. There are many ways to test personality types, including the popular Myers-Briggs model, but Prof Little said the one I’m about to share is the most peer-approved one.

Note: It’s important to remember that for most people, it’s never as clear-cut as A or B (ie, introvert or extrovert). It’s more like a spectrum. Not only we can have qualities of both, we can adjust it to the situation as well.

The Big Five Personality Traits which can be used to explain the spectrum of our personalities are:

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Why We Can’t Stop Spending Money

Look up any commentary or news piece about poor Malaysians and the (sad) state of our finances, and you can find discussions about our self-control. Apparently, some of us lack self-control so much that we simply can’t help buying all the H&M clothes and trying out all the Starbucks drinks against our better judgement. That, said the commentators, is the reason why many of us complain too much about the cost of living, so stop complaining and just buy less lah!

This shallow reasoning makes me angry.

Are we simply going to ignore decades worth of behavioural economics research that is used to influence our purchasing behaviour and habits? Or do we just not take into account thousands of people employed in big companies whose jobs is to develop and execute sales, advertisement and marketing strategies?

And you expect me, a mere individual, to be able to resist all these combined efforts and temptations, 100% of the time? And tell me I lack willpower?

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What Malaysians Found Out After GE14

This is a commentary post on GE14. Not about who won – although I am elated about that – but about things that was suddenly unearthed after the results came in. Wherever possible, I added a personal finance element (gotta keep to the theme of this website), but some of them are just musings about what we just experienced.

Special thanks to post-GE14 TwitterJaya. I wouldn’t have been able to give these observations if not for them. Where possible, I’ve added the link to the original poster.

What Malaysians Found Out Post-GE14, In No Particular Order

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All The Mafan Things About Personal Finance and Life

Mafan = slang for ‘annoying’, ‘malasnya nak buat’

If you find personal finance mafan, you’re not alone. Heck, I still find it mafan. I’m lucky to get a head start on it, but actually it’s still really quite the mafan. There are just so many things that you have to sort out to be at least semi-good at it.

But that’s adulting for you. You just have to do it, don’t you? Because no one else will. And I’m not going to be that person who lets my partner/parents take care of my finances and life for me, nope. I’ve heard enough stories. We’ve all heard the stories.

This post is all about things we all have to do in order to be ‘good’ at personal finance and life. Some of them are more mafan than others. I’ll explain. And use cat pics.

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4 Things Guys Can Do For Women

Things Guys Can Do For Women

I don’t shout out this fact often, but I used to work at an international women’s rights organisation. I can answer most questions you have about women’s human rights, or at least point you in the right direction.

Personal activism is important to me, and I try to implement the lessons I learned during working in NGOs in this blog, in a way that is non-discriminatory to all. I hope that showed through.

If you haven’t noticed, the subject I am most passionate about is financial literacy. In this post I want to invite you to do some personal activism to help the gender that tends to be both overworked and underpaid. Women, in general, earn less than men, retire/stop working earlier than men, and has a longer retirement period to worry about (longer life expectancy). This post is written for the male reader in mind, but I invite everyone to do their part.

Here are 4 things guys can do for women in their lives.

#1 Talk to her about investing

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How the Fashion Industry Makes Money (Credit: Fashion Babylon)

 How the Fashion Industry Make Money

Since my post on saving money on fashion, I am on a fashion roll. I’m actively trying to dress better – this does not mean choosing exclusively branded clothes and accessories, this means paying more attention to quality fabric, good stitching and well-cut, well-fit clothing items.

I even read about them, to find out more about how the fashion industry makes money. Read on. 

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33 Thoughts on Paying Zakat in Malaysia

 paying zakat in malaysia

Disclaimer: Not a zakat expert. If any info is wrong, please help me learn by commenting

As a brainwashed Muslim (I say this with a bit of both resignation and pride – it’s a very odd feeling), I’m generally OK with paying zakat in Malaysia. I accept it as a responsibility, plus I believe it’s a way for me to ‘cleanse’ my earnings. I was told early on that as much as I try to generate halal income, some of my money will not be halal due to imperfections of the system.

Here are my thoughts on paying zakat in Malaysia. I littered this with plenty of my own questions as well, but I hope it’s useful for you guys.

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10 Ways to Retire, From Awesome to Depressing

retire early

I’m just 28, but the idea of retirement have fascinated me for a while. I still don’t know how I feel about it. Sometimes I think that retirement is an entitlement for productive members of society, while other times I think it’s incredibly wasteful, even discriminative, to suddenly force someone out of a trade, profession or career due to her or his age.

Growing up, I simply assumed there is just one type of retirement. You serve your company for decades, then receive pension/retirement savings to retire at 55-60+ years old to make room for younger folks. I think many of us have this impression as well. This is the traditional formula in life, isn’t it? Birth, Play, School, Work, Family, Work, Kids, Work, Retire, Die.

This formula doesn’t particularly appeal to me, but I admit that I’ve never been drawn to the Kids part. My ideal family structure for now is DINK = Dual Income, No Kids. Also, I’d like to retire early and retire young.

Thankfully, I’ve met some people during my travels and read first-hand accounts of actual retirees (thanks, Internet). Some of them have kids, some of them don’t, but they do have one thing in common – they like the idea of being self-sufficient and not being a ‘burden’.

Here are 10 ways to retire. Some of them may overlap.

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