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When was the last time you took financial advice from an expert? Conversations on spending and saving can get too long, tedious and technical.  Serial entrepreneur Moh Hon Meng and author of Why Stock Markets Always Rise and Other Stories for Financial Success begs to differ. He would tell you it begins with the tiny actions, which go a long way to financial security. Starting from this week, we invite him to contribute useful financial tips you can easily grasp in 5 minutes.


Worthy You Are

Your financial situation is in a mess. Money goes in and out faster than you can keep track. Mounting credit card bills are giving you the chills – what if you’re out of a job? You start to stress over increasing expenses and feel defensive whenever your elders question you.

Sounds familiar? Well, the first thing you need to know is – you’re not alone. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and get up on your feet. Thoughts like “I am such a failure” constantly haunt you but you’re really not that bad. 

I promise you this blog post will be as jargon-free as possible. It’s so easy to understand that you are going to wonder “why don’t people just say it like this all the time?”

OK, let’s start. 

Yes, You Too Fat!

Do you eat three meals a day? That’s fine if your job is to carry heavy re-bars under the hot sun. If you’re just sitting on your butt pushing keys on your keyboard, eating three meals a day would take in way more calories than you need.

Hear me: skip breakfast. Don’t gasp. If you google “is breakfast the most important meal of the day?” you will find many articles written by professionals that tell you that “must-eat-breakfast” is a myth


What my friends and I do is that we drink up to a litre of water in the morning, plus tea or coffee (“O” and “kosong”) if we like. This wakes us up and gives us the hydration that we need. And then we have a normal lunch where we eat anything we want, and then a small dinner. It took a little getting used to in the beginning. Not only do we end up consuming fewer calories, we essentially fasted from dinner to lunch the next day. Google “benefits of fasting” to understand how great fasting is. And hunger, being the best seasoning, will make lunch taste better no matter what you eat!

Next, do you snack? It’s not just the munchies, but the lattes, fruit juices and sodas too. These things pack a calorie punch, and the sugar in them is killing you slowly. I’ve heard people say that they “need” caffeine or sugar to function. It’s like if Starbucks and the likes all decide to close shop tomorrow, people would die.

But it’s just social conditioning. We don’t “need” caffeine or that much sugar.

I understand that sometimes the workday just requires a lot of you and your brain calls out to you for help. So you give it a shot of caffeine or sugar. But what you should really give it is plenty of water and exercise

Yada yada, you’ve heard it all before. But if you think you get your best ideas from having coffee and sugar, you’d be surprise at the quality of ideas you get from going for a brisk walk.

I’m not talking about starving yourself or going on a diet. I’m talking about giving your body just enough calories that it needs and not more than that. For many of us in Singapore (myself included before I started on this), we eat way more than we need, and we always have a way of convincing ourselves that we need more food (e.g., “there’s always room for dessert” or “I so need a coffee right now”).

Besides giving you extra weight that you don’t need, which might lead to health problems later in life, it is also siphoning off money from your wallet. If you have never paid attention to the amount you spend on extra food, you’d be surprised at the number. By skipping breakfast, munchies and that latte every day, and saying “no” to occasional food opportunities that come up, you could save up to $15 per day. That’s $450 per month.

Or $5,400 per year.

This really is just one step closer to the goal. If you find that you can develop the discipline to say “no” to too much food, you will find that you will develop the discipline and will-power to do a lot of other things.

So, for your own physical, financial and mental health, eat right.

I’m not talking about starving yourself or going on a diet. I’m talking about giving your body just enough calories that it needs and not more than that. For many of us in Singapore (myself included before I started on this), we eat way more than we need, and we always have a way of convincing ourselves that we need more food (e.g., “there’s always room for dessert” or “I so need a coffee right now”.) A lot of us end up being on the plump side.

Besides giving you extra weight that you don’t need, which might lead to health problems later in life, it is also siphoning off money from your wallet. If you have never paid attention to the amount you spend on extra food, you’d be surprised at the number. By skipping breakfast, munchies and that latte every day, and saying “no” to occasional food opportunities that come up, you could save up to $15 per day. That’s $450 per month.

Or $5,400 per year.

This really is the first step. If you find that you can develop the discipline to say “no” to food, you will find that you will develop the discipline and will-power to do a lot of other things.

So, for your own physical, financial and mental health, eat less.




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