*Apologies to everyone who read double. I have made a serious mistake of leaving the other 1st draft inside the post. It's now corrected."
2017 is coming in a little less than 1 month! Hence, it's time for a reflection to see how I fared throughout 2016. It's also time to take stock of all my growing up years and plan ahead for 2017.
On human capital,
In 2016, nothing has changed.I graduated from polytechnic in 2015 and I have less than a year now to completing my National Service. I have been thinking about furthering my studies and it's an answer that I am still unclear of even after a year into NS. Do I apply for full-time university or join the grind and study part-time? To be honest, I won't have to face this dilemma if my grades were good enough for full-time NUS or NTU. I believe a few other factors hold me back from even trying for the other university, SIT.
The age factor is always at the back of my mind. I'll be more than 25 years old. It doesn't help that I was from the Normal Academic stream so that added a year of studies. I feel old.
On the other hand, I see an incentive for me to join the grind and study part-time. At least if I find what I really like, then I can go for part-time studies in that field while earning an income. There are even options like the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme where fresh ITE/Poly graduates hitch up with companies and even get paid cash(Singapore Citizens only). Any readers in this programme and would like to share your experience?
Earlier in the year, I started basic Japanese classes over the weekends and it's a huge joy in learning. I hope to continue learning in 2017, but may have to pause going into the later half. For now, I hope what I have learnt will come in handy next year in Japan, even though it's probably a speck of English and Japanese.
On financial capital,
My Financial Goals is on track, with a comfortable surplus. I count myself lucky as I only pay for food when I'm out with friends and I don't pay my own bills. So far, I have managed to save a few thousand dollars from National Service allowance. I have tracked an entire year of my expenses and Nikko AM STI ETF investments on Excel. It's a habit now and it's this conscious effort and reminder that I am ultimately responsible for my financial health.
I made my first real stock transaction by making a purchase of some CapitaMall Trust (CMT) shares at $1.91 recently. I think the purchase of shares will be in another post and I hope to document the rationale in my decision.
Insurance is particularly important to me as I don't want to be a burden on anyone if something happens to me. I upgraded the Term Life Insurance to $250k and $500k for Personal Accident under the SAF Group Term Life insurance. I will pay greater attention to Critical Illnesses in the coming year.
On the intangibles,
Over the years, I came to realise that the initial thrill that came with purchasing material things did not last long. In a graduation trip with my friends, the leather bag that I bought for a discount is now rarely used, but the memories of doing crazy things together stay with me forever.
By being actively conscious of my expenses and also trying to mimic a minimalistic style, I believe my financial health will also thank me in the long run. It's the simple things in life that matter. Moving forward into 2017, I hope to spend less time and effort on pursuing unnecessary material things, and improve my kinships and friendships.
Many questions lie ahead for me in 2017 and I am apprehensive but also optimistic. A reflection would not be even possible if not for the fact that I am still alive. I'm grateful that I am still kicking and wish for good health for everyone in 2017!
I shall end with a quote by Abraham Lincoln: "In the end, it's not the years in your life that counts. It's the life in your years".
Merry Christmas and an Early Happy New Year?
Till next time,