“Who is Professor X-Perience?”, you may ask. It is a persona that I created to embody our experiences.
Our experiences consist of the overall process of sensing and doing things. As far as I know, not everything can be learned from the pages of the book! Exploring the world with your own eyes gives you the most valuable lessons about money.
On that note, here are some of the financial realizations that came from my experiences:
1. GIVE AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE
Whether you want to admit it or not, it is rare that we receive something without doing anything. This statement does not only pertain to finances as it can be applied to other areas in life like opportunities and friendships. If you want to increase the perceived value of what you receive, you must give it out first.
Why is this so? I realized that you reap what you sow. Almost everything that happened to me was a result of my actions. I was able to enjoy an overseas trip because I worked for extra hours and saved up for it.
2. EARN YOUR MONEY HARD
Since you worked hard for your money, you must spend it wisely.
I never saw the true value of money until I had my first full-time job. When I was younger, I spent my part-time pay on shoes, clothes, tickets, and other materialistic things. The feeling of satisfaction was short-lived as these things are superficial. Nowadays, I spend my money on long-term investments.
Being independent with my finances made me realize how important it is to practice budgeting and tracking your expenses.
3. DO PRIOR RESEARCH
Days before a job interview, I make it a point to do prior research regarding the company and the position that I am applying for. Make your way into the basics such as the company’s mission and vision as well as the position’s duties and objectives. Then, dig deep into the issue that is rarely spoken in our Asian culture – the salary. Be prepared to provide a salary range.
4. EXPLORE DIFFERENT JOBS
Some people are so creative that they cannot be confined in a cubicle. If you are one of them, do not limit yourself to the 9-5 PM office jobs. Learn to explore other opportunities such as working online.
Saying that Internet changed our generation is an understatement. Personally, it influences my bread and butter. I am freelance writer that is able to choose from a variety of markets. And, you can too.
You can write for online or print media that go beyond magazines and newspapers. Setting up your own website or blog is also doable. Furthermore, book publishers are always searching for the next big thing. They are in need of people to write their marketing letters, announcements, e-books, and more. An ambitious scribe may dive in to freelancing and get its profits. Note that training, skill, and experience affects your rates.
5. REWARD YOURSELF RESPONSIBLY
According to studies by Behavioral Psychologists, positive reinforcements motivate people to work more. I support these studies as I savor rewards after a long month of work.
Rewarding yourself with a responsible amount of 5-8% of your monthly salary is recommended. Find interests outside of your job such as painting, dancing, yoga, or cooking to ease your daily stress. Also, rewarding yourself with a hobby is a good way to keep you motivated.
6. KEEP YOUR COOL
When faced with embarrassing money-related situations, it is best to keep your cool.
I was working as an administrative officer at a fitness studio a few years back. A rising Hollywood celebrity came to pay but her credit cards got declined. She was furious at me and gave her debit card instead. Thankfully, the transaction was successful.
You can handle this situation better by being calm. Talk to the personnel privately and arrange an alternative form of payment. Consider going to the nearest ATM to withdraw some cash.
Comment down below to share your own experiences with money.