I have been reading a number of personal finance blogs and I realized that I have a number of things to thank for.

  • I did not have any student loans – Unlike other bloggers who started their blogs to document their journey to pay off their student loans, I did not have to get a loan for my education. I was a university scholar. The university paid for both my tuition fees, my dormitory fees and monthly allowance. I do whatever I can to pay this forward.
  • I did not have any credit card until I was 27 years old – My first credit card was a corporate credit card. This means I did not have to pay for any annual fees and I mainly used it to charge expenses related to company-sponsored business trips. I was never and still am not a fan of credit. I believe in delaying gratification and does not buy anything unless I have the money to pay for it. I only have one credit card today and I always make sure to pay the entire amount every month.
  • I do not have any credit. – I make it a rule not to buy anything unless I have the money for it. I am not really a fan of credit. I use a credit card but I make it a point to pay the full amount every month.
  • I grew up not feeling entitled. – I had a happy childhood although we only had enough to survive. I learned the value of living below our means and never really had the need to acquire material things.
  • I’m done with consumerism. – During my first 5 years of working, I splurged on branded clothes, CD/DVD collection, action/figures collection, etc. I guess I really just needed to experience that before I get married. I learned that money is a tool to make you happy but not the real source of joy.
  • I am financial educated. – No, I do not have a financial-related degree but I keep myself aware of how to manage personal finance. I keep track of our family expenses, identify financial goals, save for the future yet still enjoy the present, maximize available government grants and have the eagerness to continue learning from other people’s experiences.
  • I have a spouse who share my principles. – My wife and I track our expenses together. Although we know we have to save for the future, we both agree that the money we’re earning will also be used to enjoy the present. This year, we noticed that we can allocate more money to eat out every weekend. This is one thing we enjoy as a family and we are happy to allocate budget for it.
  • I had and have great jobs. – I’m not really into stocks and investments so most of our savings are coming from my salary. Our family is a SIWK (Single Income With Kids) family. Although I have had higher than average salary in my previous work, we did not change our lifestyle (too much).
  • We can afford to give to charitable organizations. – I have always believe that inequality exists to give people opportunity to share. I myself was a recipient of charitable organizations.
  • I know how much is enough. – I recently worked overseas and away from my family. The money was great but with a lot of sacrifices involve. Knowing how much money is enough is the key to contentment and happiness. I feel rich because I have something that money can’t buy, my family.

Obviously there’s so much more to be thankful for. Health, security, family, friends …. but these are topics for another post.

What about you? What are you thankful for?