The Financial Wheel

by Patrick Liew on November 17, 2019

The Financial Wheel

Financial wisdom is not just about getting the best financial results, but also about getting the best financial results in the best possible way.

It begins with being conscientious about spending every dollar and stretching every dollar for the best returns.

To illustrate, let me share with you a story that has become an integral part of my financial psyche and lifestyle.

At one point in my life, I volunteered to help run a non-profit youth organization during the day.

To support myself financially, I worked as a kitchen helper in a restaurant on what was known as the graveyard shift.

I worked from 6pm to 2am for $3.30.

It was a princely sum of money in those days, at least for a young man.

As a rookie, one of the major parts of my job was to peel onions manually.

Then, I have to chop the onions up without any help from an electrical appliance.

To help you understand the nature of my job, I need to explain to you about the onions.

The onions that we used in the restaurant were relatively large ones.

I have never seen such large onions in a supermarket.

They were not genetically modified as the technology did not exist at that point.

They were also not subjected to any gene silencing biotechnology to remove or reduce the emission of volatile gas that irritated the eyes.

The gas that was emitted would cause a stinging sensation to the eyes.

Any person, including hard-hearted ones would find themselves producing uncontrollable tears.

Despite having a huge industrial fan blowing the gas away from the eyes, I continued to literally cry throughout the evening.

As there was no public transport by the time we finished our work, the restaurant would arrange to drive about ten of us back to our homes.

By the time I reached home and changed, and if nothing stopped me from sleeping, I might have a short rest before starting on my day job.

Since then, I could not help associating every dollar with the amount of tears and sweat that I have to sacrifice for $3.30.

In other words, if I have to buy anything for $10, I associate that $10 with three days of hard work and crying in the restaurant.

Therefore, I have to make sure that I get my money worth.

I want to stretch every dollar to generate the best possible values and profits.

Many of our young people are living a relatively comfortable lifestyle and surrounded by modern-day luxuries.

They are well-served by domestic helpers and living in a relatively affluent environment.

My concern is that they may not be as conscientious about spending less and saving money.

They may not be as prudent about using money wisely.

At the end of my conversation with my mentee, I posed some key questions to him:

What’s your equivalent to earning $3.30 for a night of hard work and crying alone by yourself?

In other words, what’s the value of money to you in terms of leveraging on it to achieve the best possible results?

If you’re not going to be able to earn money in the future, how would you earn more from now?

If the money that you have is the only money that you’re going to have for a long time to come, how would you spend less?

If you are going to lose your job shortly, how would you save more?

If the money that you earn in your work is not going to keep you and your loved ones alive and living well in the future, how would you invest?

If your loved ones are going to go hungry in the near future, how would you improve your assets and grow your wealth?

If you know that there are many people who will do everything possible to steal your money, how would you protect your money?

As donating money wisely can help you live a meaningful, significant and fulfilling life, how would you give your money away for a good cause?

These questions form what I call the “spokes” of your Financial Wheel.

If you respond diligently to these questions, you will discipline yourself to value money, earn more money, spend less money, save more money, invest more money, protect all your money, and donate your money wisely.

By taking positive steps, you can push the Financial Wheel until it starts to move.

When the wheel reaches a tipping point, you can travel farther and faster to achieve financial freedom.Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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