Back then, I did not think so much about achieving financial freedom. It was not my goal; my goal was to score well in exams as a student. However, I do not like to spend on new gadgets, new clothes, etc. It's just not in my nature to spend that much. My main expenditure was, and still is, on food, food and food! Yes, I like to eat :)
I have to say, I was lucky on my journey so far. I saved up nearly 10k by the end of serving NS... Savings from young plus army allowance, teaching tuition during army, and even doing 'duties' in NS for a token fee during weekends, all played a part in my savings. During my 2nd year in uni, I was lucky to get a 3 year scholarship for the rest of my studies. The scholarship is not as much as most of the government scholarships, but it is sufficient to boost my personal wealth.
Of course, I taught a little more tuition during my university days as well. I saved up during my industrial attachment, and managed to secure a scholarship for my student exchange trip to Germany, of which I spent little overall, nett of all the scholarships. My savings were put into fixed deposits, which yield nearly 3.3% in 2007. I was totally focused on my school work instead of the stock market. This sort of protected me from the down turn.
So when I graduated, I found myself with about $45k in savings which includes $36k of scholarship money, and excludes my $25k CPF debt for university fees which I decided to pay off slowly since the interest rate is very low. This is in May 2008.
Fast forward to Dec 2009.
Many things have changed. At the moment of post, I have a portfolio which costs me $101k. I have $10k in opportunity funds. My dividends stand at $460 a month on average. My job is stable. My tuition sideline is growing well.
The journey has been long and arduous. Hard work and actions played a major role. I dream, I have ambitions, and I take action to work towards them.
How should I proceed from here, how should I move on from here... That's my main question and concern now. It's becoming increasingly difficult to plan my life. Back then, it was easy... A student planning to get employment after graduation could seek a scholarship with a bond... Right now, I'm in the wilderness.... Should I stay on in the current company? Move on to new challenges in another company? Expand my tuition sideline by setting up a tuition centre? Or perhaps just set up some other business?
On the cards are also... Marriage... First property with my future wife... Any babies...
The burden on me is getting increasingly heavy. The rat race appears to be going nowhere. I'm starting to get a bit tired.