A Solid Financial Action Plan for Stronger Middle Class

I always love books. I love fiction works for the emotional purgation, moral and life lessons. Non-fiction ones, on the other hand, generally offer  a step-by-step guidance to deal with everyday problems.

Ligwina Hananto, to be honest, gave me this book almost 8 months ago. The book was given as a gift for the question I asked her at the occasion where she captivated the entire audience with her outspoken style.

My question was simple, something every social and economically climbing middle class person can easily relate to. “I got terribly sick of saving like crazy. I want to save some of my income but still at the same time can enjoy my life,” I blatantly leaked my financial problem.

As long as my memory serves right, the chatty author of the book titled “Untuk Indonesia yang Kuat: 100 Langkah untuk Tidak Miskin” (roughly translated: “For Stronger Indonesia: 100 Steps to Not Becoming Poverty-Ridden”) said I had to improve my overall financial mindset, which she supposed entailed having a series of financial goals. Without that changed, I can only keep on working hard to save more and more in my bank account. Simply put, I work hard without even learning what I do it all for.

Ok, the advice did hit the bull’s eye right away. I have to admit I have arranged no real concrete financial plan thus far. Not to mention a series of clearly articulated steps and golas to achieve for a certain period of time. I should’ve cried for being so ignorant like this but hell yeah, the fact that million other people on the planet have no such an advanced financial literacy but still manage to survive eases me to a certain extent. Only to a given extent. And I don’t have any plan to extend it. Enough said.

One point I can understand now is that one cannot reach a better financial status only by saving and saving a part of his/ her monthly income relentlessly. It won’t get me or anyone richer at a relatively faster pace. I can be as rich as Donald Trump. Yes, no doubt about that, ONLY IF I live for aeons and spend my entire life time mostly working at the office. The question is  now: If I work too hard and too long, how can I spend all my savings to enjoy this already harsh life? That’s the oxymoron of modern human race, I should say.

“Ok ok, so what’s the plan to prevent me from being trapped in this deep dark financial abyss?” You may ask me impatiently. Mrs. Hananto (tweet her @mrshnanto) presented a simple check list containing 100 smaller financial goals to achieve.

Well, apparently some , or most, of them  are not that small at all. As soon as I spotted point 94, for instance, saying “”Having total current assets worth more than Rp 10 B”, I at last came to understand that the whole plan may take a life time to achieve. You need a lot of help from others too to achieve all these goals. Why they are called goals. They’re supposed to be ambitious in some way.

At this point, I only managed to tick several points of 100 in the list, like (1) Having income, (2) Separating monthly expenses from weekly ones, (3) Withdrawing at ATMs only once a week (I’ve been doing better, only once in a fortnight), (6) Paying taxes and reporting a notification letter called SPT, (7) Having a simple financial plan (Does having one on mind with saving as much as I can as the one and only financial goal qualify?). The rest are more intricate and advanced to newbies like me.

Obviously it is a book of practice that one ought to refer to on and on.  To conclude, let me write a quote I wrote about three years ago:

“Pecunia, si uti scis, ancilla est; si nescis, domina” (If you can use money, money is your slave; if you can’t, money is your master”)

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