Saturday, 15 August 2015

About Frugal Daddy

Allow me to do a self-introduction.

Unlike most of the bloggers who are scholarly or at least good with academic or English language, I was not academically inclined and my English language was worst. I had no interest in reading and studying when I was a student. In fact, you could be surprised that I was from Normal Academic stream. I was better with my Chinese language and mathematics. I had an impression Chinese as a more "superior" language than English. Anything wrong about being bilingual? Why must I choose 1 language over another? Silly, wasn't it?



I was awakened when I failed my "O" level English so badly that I had to appeal to any polytechnic for any course. You may be amazed that I picked up my English and much academic knowledge after my formal compulsory education journey. Thereafter, I realised I have the ability to be scholarly-like, but I am already a working adult. I have to climb from near bottom of the corporate ladder.

My parent could potentially belong to the lowest 10% income bracket and I was always on my own. I have never stayed with my parents and I was so independent that I cycled half the Singapore when I was 14 years old, with a cheap bmx bicycle (very cheap type). At the demographic I was in, I was so lucky that I didn't go astray although I was very adventurous (By Singaporeans' modern city standard). Don't get me wrong, not poor people are bad people, just that the environment I had were mainly negative influences.

Today, I hold a degree and a specialist diploma, coupled with so many certifications and awards that I need to have a few portfolios to upkeep them. I paid for my polytechnic and other tertiary tuition fees. I contributed to my parent when I worked. For my career, my salary has jumped about 300% within 6 years. (Don't bother guessing, it is not important how much I earned, especially my starting salary was low). My life is meaningful and efficient (sound stress?). I have my best team with me, my wife and my child. I have filtered out most of the "unworthy friends" so I can spend my time wisely with those I valued. Now, I live simple and enjoying life simple pleasures.

My greatest financial strength is my efficiency in money management. I minimised money wastage and stretched my dollars to the near maximum, so as to achieve earlier financial independence.
According to Statistics Singapore, the average family expenditure was $4,724 (year 2013). Using it as a rough estimation, my family expenditure was $3,400. Using the difference of $1,324 per month with inflation rate of 3% per year, assuming I started to be money efficient at age 25 and live till age 85, the total saving is $2.76 million. I have yet to include saving from income before allocating to expenses. Is frugality being overrated? Think again.

We need to grow our money beside being frugal. My goal is to achieve financial independence by 40 and I am on track. With my child going primary school when I am 37 years old, I would like to achieve financial independence even earlier so I can better fulfill my role as a parent. With these in mind, I am on this journey towards earlier financial independence. Are you with me?


18 comments:

  1. Frugal Daddy,

    Interesting.

    A plain vanilla Earn and Save strategy towards financial independence by 40 :)

    No thunder as in 10 baggers, and no lightning as in 100K per year dividend income?

    Bit by bit, a little mound becomes a hill!

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    Replies
    1. Hi SMOL

      I did assume my money grow at 2.4% per year, which is the rate of upcoming SSB. With all planning, it is good to be prudent and give some buffer, isn't it?

      Anything I earned from the Mr Market will be a bonus. Seriously, if the older generation can earn $800 per month now and survive well, why can't we? I still visit restaurants often and spend my money according to my wants. The fortunate fact about me is that I appreciate life simple pleasures and I often know how to stretch my dollars. My most expensive hobbies should be my annual travelling vacations but it is still manageable. We DIY most of the decorations at home.

      I look forward to join you at the financial independence group. Cheers!

      Delete
  2. Hi FD,

    I think academic qualification matters lesser as we work more. The funny thing about employers is that when we have certs, they say we don't have experience. When we have experience, they say we don't have enough certs. When we have both experience and certs, they say we are too old. LOL

    Well done...I look forward to more personal sharing from you. I always prefer to read something personal than a dozen of advice spun out from Buffett and other well meaning guru. It's really just about how you make it that makes it inspiring. Well done!

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    Replies
    1. Hi LP

      Agreed on the employer part. Basically, they are looking for someone they are "comfortable" to work with.

      As my blog keep certain level of privacy, I will try to write as personal as I can. My little motivation is to write better posts along the way.

      Thanks

      Delete
  3. Super high savers may have no problem to retire well after XX years of earned income even without additional support from investment portfolio. I learned from some real folks in my office.

    For the rest of us; we will need to work harder on our investment portfolio to create sustainable income for life plus a Damper (something that I realized when I visited Taipei 101, a Damper as part of prudent financial planning to survive financial typhoon when it hit us in the future)

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    Replies
    1. Hi CW

      I think super saver plus super investor will be invincible. :) However, either one will be already above average.

      I do realised peace of mind is priceless after knowing more and more about finance and life. Thanks for sharing your nuggets of wisdom.

      Delete
  4. wow 40 years old and financially independent with a family. that is solid.

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    1. Hi Kyith

      Thanks for dropping by my humble blog.

      A lot of your posts have given the technical computation of how much is "enough". It is not rocket science, but depending on the priorities of individuals and their discipline level. I am used to my lifestyles and I enjoyed it very much. I don't really need a lot of money to began with.

      Not to overlook, this is with the help of my wife. Whatever I have done, you can basically multiply by 2. :)

      Delete
  5. Having enough is relative to everyone. Some having millions may not feel it is enough even though they are frugal too.

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    1. Hi CW

      If they are so frugal and have millions but can't attain the sense of security, they either need to sit down and do a serious calculation or they simply need more love to remove their insecurity :P Maybe they don't have a target what to do after financial independence?

      Delete
  6. Hi FD,

    You are a qualified sales person now hence a qualified early retiree... hahaha.

    Everyone has a history to tell. I remember when I was ur age, I also tell a wise old man similar story about my background. Then he tell me, hmmm... you are very Lucky!

    So nowadays I am less focus on telling about my past though I remind myself internally.

    To others, I always focus on telling them about my future,. this I going to do, that I going to achieve..

    Maybe when you are 37 you can look back this message...

    Wish you "five Tee five tee" success. ooops btw, I also fail england before, and speak Hokkien most of times and mingle with all Ah bengs with Number once upon a time. :-)

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  7. Hi Rolf

    Since when I am a sales person? haha.

    So you are the "wise old man" in my context. I lack of a "About Me" in my blog, so I am adding one. What past has past. What I have struggled through, it is experience gained. Glad that we are all moving on.

    I wonder what is "five Tee five tee" success. I used Hokkien, Mandarin and English but still cannot figure out. Enlighten me please.

    Don't come near me, you gangster.

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    1. haha... from the way u right. market urself haha.

      Try Cantonese!

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    2. Got it! Meh Meh you mean. Lol

      Delete
  8. Hello Frugal Daddy,

    I am new to your blog. I can see some similarities that we are both fathers, believe in frugality and are currently working towards financial independence. I gave myself 14 more years (2029), when I am at age 50.

    All the best.

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    1. Hi SS

      I have been reading your blog recently too. You seem to be extremely active with it and I am happy to see your post almost on a daily basis. :) We can together work toward financial independence. Cheers!

      Delete
  9. Follow wife's choice. She happy u will be happy.

    ReplyDelete