“There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal. I am frugal, and there is nothing wrong with being frugal.” – Christine Teh

 

Overview of the Episode

How do you become the boss of your own money?

I’m excited to have Christine Teh, a personal finance coach who helps working professionals get their finances in order. She quit her job to become a full time personal financial coach. But it took her nearly a month to hand over her resignation, fearing that she may not be earning enough income to cover her living expenses.

Here’s a snapshot of a few things we talked about

  • Treat money the same way you treat every other aspect of your life. If you have a good relationship with food, you’re probably eating healthy. Having a healthy relationship with money is the same concept.
  • Make your money work for you and know where your money is going. If you look back on the month and don’t know where your money has gone, then you need to adjust your spending habits accordingly.
  • You want to learn about how to use your money correctly. If someone is managing your money for you, then you are not taking charge of your personal finances.
  • If you make a bad financial investment, ask for advice. Financial advice is available so look for it.
  • Use positive affirmations to get yourself out of your negative headspace. Sometimes you are your own worst enemy, and using positive affirmations helps to switch your brain’s natural tendency to think negatively.
  • Give yourself a break. Learning to forgive yourself for past failures is essential when taking charge of your finances. You cannot change the past and fixate on it will not help your financial situation now.
  • Be frugal with your money and understand how much your time is worth. If you are losing a whole day cleaning, hire someone and use that time more efficiently.
  • You have to be happy to enjoy what money can bring you. Not the other way round. It starts with you first. Enjoying money will follow once you are happy within yourself, regardless of the amount of money you have.

 

Fire Questions and Answers

 If you had just a laptop and a hundred dollars, what would you do?

I will tell you to hire a coach; it is the best investment of all. If that hundred dollars can buy you a coach or a course, then that is investing in yourself, and it is going to bring you back more dividends. My motto is: I will teach you how to fish. So, I’m all about you investing in yourself, so you know what you are doing, instead of relying on your coach. I want you to fly free.

 

What is Financial Freedom for you?

I am doing what I love, and I am not always stressing about money. I am profitable, and I’m living the kind of life I want with a schedule that I want. I am my own boss, and I do not have to ask anyone for permission. I really hated that. I am like a corporate rebel with these compliance policies. I want to call my shots.  I am doing something I love and making money from it too. I get the best of both worlds, and I love seeing the money coming in.

 

What is your definition then of meaningful work and meaningful life?

I’m doing meaningful work. I am always drained after my sessions because I give it my all. I give more than a hundred per cent. That’s why I will do a maximum of three, one-hour sessions a day. I get far too drained to do more than that. Afterwards, I have to nurture myself so that I can give energy to my client again the next day. So that to me is a fulfilling life.

 

The last piece of guidance to do more for meaningful work and live a meaningful life.

Knowing yourself is very important. When people told me to find myself in the past, I wondered what they meant. Nobody explained it to me, so now I will explain.

To find yourself, you need to pay attention to what you like and what makes you happy. When you pay attention to yourself emotionally when you do something that makes you happy, you will find inspiration.

I believe everyone should be happy 90 per cent of the time every single day and 10 per cent of your day can be spent feeling low as we are human.

So how do you do that? You need to follow your gut feelings, and that means pay attention. I love hugging my dog and taking him to the Dog Park. So I just pay attention.

I always do more of what I enjoy and do less of what I don’t enjoy. It is as simple as that, but too many people believe they have to stick to the usual narrative of work, career ladder, etc.

 Is that what your heart and your instincts are telling you? Always listen to your gut, your heart, and then you will live a happy life.

Quotes by Christine Teh

  • You are the boss of your money; you should give each dollar a job so that money works for you.
  • There are very rich people and there are people who have no money, both usually have the same problem.
  • You cannot change the past; you need to focus on the future and learn from your mistakes.
  • There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal. I am frugal, and there is nothing wrong with
  • Budgeting is simple. You can start with a pen and paper or a spreadsheet.

 

Action points

What is your key takeaway from this episode? What are you committed to doing today to find more meaning in your work and live a more meaningful life? Share your thoughts on my Facebook page.

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