Ladies, at some point in our lives, we’ve all had to face some unwanted attention especially from our close male peers. You like him, but you do not see a romantic future with him and would prefer to maintain an amicable relationship as before. So you wanna friendzone him.
The problem is that some guys may take it the wrong way and the relationship is completely ruined if not handled properly. Now, I’m no expert, but here’s some of the things I’d do to keep that friendship with a male peer without causing any heartache.
Note that this applies to the guys who have shown obvious interest in you, but have not said so directly. If he has expressly shown that he likes you and have told you before, then you owe him the same courtesy by telling him straight up that you’re not interested. Harsh, but in the long run, it really is the kindest thing you can do instead of wasting his time and keep him hanging.
Its like pulling the trigger, causing a quick death, instead of a slow torture of hitting him again, and again, and again, and again with spoon repeatedly for years until he dies. Same thing.
1. Never Allow Him to Treat You
The #1 rule I’d always follow is to never take advantage of the guy. Do not let him pay the bill, do not let him drive you around (unless you’re in a group), don’t ask him for favours. Nada.
When it comes to favours, there’s always an expectation from these gestures. Do not owe him anything, and always pay for yourself whenever you can. The only time I allow a man to buy me dinner is only if I like him. As a formal rule of etiquette (yeah, I’m a little traditional), allowing a man to take care of the bills shows that they can take care of you, and that you can depend on them in the future.
However, if I’m not interested, the feminist in me comes out and I will insist on paying for my own bills and I shall drive myself home, thank you.
2. Always Include a Band of Friends
Friends can be the biggest cock blockers. Use it to your advantage!
Whenever he wants to ‘hang out’, always offer to include some friends to come along with you. Going out for coffee? Sure, let me call Susan, Jess, Pete and Mel too!
Never go out alone with him. Otherwise, that could be a date. Sure, they always say its ‘just as friends’ but you and I know better. Always bring friends along.
3. Keep Dropping Hints
“Oh my, you’re such a good friend.”
“You’re just like the brother I’ve never had!”
You know, those few hints. It makes the message pretty clear and if he gets it, hopefully he backs off. Never get physical by touching his arm or play footsies under the table or nothing.
For me personally, I’m only touchy feely with a few close people like my mom or aunt and a few close female friends. That’s when I’d like to hold their hands when we go out. If its with a guy I like, I might hold his hands if I like him enough.
4. Be Nice, But Don’t be a Bitch
If he texts you, don’t ignore him, or be so cold. Talk to him and be as nice as you usually are. However, if he starts getting flirty, just divert to a different subject by asking about the weather or something. Try to avoid getting in that conversation and always keep to neutral subjects unless he gets direct.
5. Match Make Him with Other Female Friends
If you can’t be The One for him, you can certainly do him a favour by matching him up with someone you think he might like. That way, it shows that you are certainly not interested in him and maybe you might be able to divert the attention away to someone else who might appreciate it more than you do. It’s a win-win situation!
So there you go! Hope these few tips are helpful in successfully maintaining that friendly relationship without hurting any feelings. But even if they do end up getting hurt, at least they can’t blame you for the way they feel. Always be kind and try to treat them the best way you can to a human being.
Congratulations! You've just graduated with a degree and got your first job, Woohoo!
Like any fresh grad, I too was really excited about the prospects of landing my first job and earning a monthly income. At that time, all I thought about was what I can now afford to spend on myself, like going shopping, or hang out with friends over drinks, etc.
But then, reality strikes and I realize that I was living on paycheck to paycheck, always depending on the next salary to come and on top of that, I wasn't too happy at my previous company. If it wasn't for my family, I'd be fucked if I were living on my own.
That was how I decided that I wanted to grow my wealth. I may be young, with a starting salary that could make a common thief take pity on me, but I learned that I have one advantage that could help; Time.
If you're a young fresh grad and still thinking about why you should invest but can't, here's a few reasons why you should invest, even when you're broke.
Now, the reason why I'm sharing this is because I'm sure there are a lot of young people like myself who are struggling in finding their way. In no way do I consider myself an experienced investor, or God forbid, an expert. But I learned that the more you share, the more you gain, so I thought I'd share my experience on how I got started in my investment journey.
If you're a fresh grad (or even a first time investor, no matter where you are in life now), here are some of the things I believe you can do to build a good foundation.
1. Save Money
This is a no brainer, but its still one of the fundamental things a lot of people don't really do. Growing up, we've always been taught to save money for the future, but we've never been told about WHAT we can do with those savings.
I'll tell you why you should save, and what you should tell kids on why they save. To build a capital.
In any investment, you need a significant capital to start on your journey. What's the point of wanting to buy stocks when you have nothing to buy with? If I had known this much earlier on, I would've been able to invest a long time ago, but I didn't. So I hope you learn from my mistake.
Saving money also doesn't mean to spend away your salary and save what's left. Fuck no.
You pay yourself first. Open up a separate bank account which is dedicated to your investment journey. Nothing that comes out of that account is for anything BUT to invest. Its important to keep that separate if you have very little discipline like myself. Every month when my salary comes in, I now make sure I schedule my account to transfer 20% of that amount into my investment account. This is to maintain consistency and slowly build that capital.
2. Find a Mentor
Similar to learning something new, whether its learning how to exercise, play tennis, or riding a bike, having a mentor to guide you is very important. Especially if it involves your money.
I find myself very fortunate to be working under my current boss. He's been working in the field of personal finance and entrepreneurship for years and he's always been very passionate about poverty eradication. It was really because of him that I got to understand more about managing my wealth and getting started in investing.
What I find personally touching is that even though its not related to my job, he's always genuinely interested in seeing my personal wealth grow and is always happy in sharing tips about investments. Not a lot of bosses care about their employees that way these days.
If you don't know anyone personally who could be a good mentor to you, we are living in the world of the internet where knowledge is vast. Ask anything under the sun and you will be answered (including asking what how high kangaroos could jump if they were on a trampoline, but we'll get back to that another time).
However, if you could find a good mentor that could personally talk to you, someone who is very encouraging and supportive, and someone whom you hope to be like one day, you know you're on the right track.
Name me one successful investor who has been able to make it to the top without reading a single book, and I will happily run down Bukit Bintang in nothing but a Barney suit.
According to a study about self made millionaires and their habits, one of the top things they do is to read. Based on their study, 85% of millionaires read two or more books a month, and they choose books that help them grow, including topics like careers, biographies of successful people, self-help, health, current events, psychology, and leadership.
I used to think those books were very boring and I was always the kind of person who indulges in fictional books like Sophie Kinsella, or Stephen King. But when I got interested of possibly becoming wealthy in the future, I became genuinely interested in the subject and the world of business magazines and books were things I loved to devour in my spare time.
If you're clueless about where to get started and what to read, here are some of the reading materials I've been consuming that helped sparked my interest (this includes books, blogs and newspapers):
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
A classic self-help book that has been recommended over the years. While there were some subjects in the book which I read with a pinch of salt, I mostly agree with the basic principles that were taught in this book. Not only was this book very relatable, interwoven with tales of his childhood, it wasn't very technical at all which is perfect for beginners.
The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
Another great book about investment that wasn't dry to read. Not only did Graham talk about the principles of analyzing a business for investments, he also placed a lot of emphasis on psychology and temperament, which is also very useful in real life.
Malaysia Young Investor
A very informative blog which I came across one day. Not only is the writer just one year younger than me, but he seems to have a lot more experience and knowledge about investing in the Malaysian scene. I highly recommend you to check out his blog.
Another great blog to follow that talks about the different types of investments out there and the writer's portfolio. At 29 years old, the writer is already achieving a net worth portfolio of 6-figures!
The Edge Malaysia
As an old school reader, I still enjoy reading the papers in the morning. The Edge is a weekly business newspaper that talks about the current markets and businesses going on. In the past, I used to think it was quite boring to read, but lately, I like how the personal wealth section is trying to be more relatable to the young people. Once you read the business papers more often, it also helps train and expand your business vocabulary so it could help with decision making when it comes to your money.
4. Identify your Goals
To have a goal is to work with a purpose. Similar to losing weight, or passing an exam, we all have to have personal goals that keeps us in check.
Personally, I hope to be financially independent by the age of 35. By then, let's hope my future husband never finds out so he can still take care of me for years to come anyway. Hohoho.
Its also important to know what kind of investments you'd like to have and the kind of outcome you're looking for. If you're looking for something that can be liquified, stocks may be your thing. If you want a sense of ownership in an asset, perhaps properties may be of interest to you.
Its important to first check out your options before deciding on what you want in life. To have a better idea on what you can invest in, here's this great article I came across that could be of help to you.
5. Set Up Your Trading Account
Finally, you got a significant amount of capital in the bank, your mentor's got your back and you've been consuming a wealth of knowledge about investments. Time to get your hands dirty.
I really wanted to invest in stocks because even though its very volatile, its also very exciting. Plus, its one of the easiest entries to get into since you can now buy one lot at 100 units instead of 1000 units in the past. So if you wanna buy stocks, getting a trading account is the first step into the world of trading.
All you have to do is to call up your local bank and let them know that you'd like to open a trading account. However, do note that there are many brokers out there so make sure you find one that suits you best. You can check out a comparable list in this article here.
There are a few options out there, but I recommend you to just open a Direct CDS account. CDS stands for Central Depository System and it is largely managed by Bursa Malaysia. All you need for documentation is your IC and 3 months of your payslip. Once you got that set up, you're already on your way on becoming an investor.
So there you go! I feel that these are some of the essential steps on building a foundation as an investor. Very basic stuff, but I think its a habit that's very important to cultivate and develop over time as a young person. Hope this is of help to my friends who are also struggling like me, and feel free to share your experiences as well.
Ahh... youth. For us millennials, its the time when we're all starting to work, earn a monthly income, and enjoy life! We have no responsibilities, no commitments, no pressure. We have all the time in the world and this is the best time when we can party, and enjoy our youth to the fullest.
Then, time comes creeping up. Slowly. Silently. Next thing you know, you're in debt trying to pay off your credit card bills and student loan, you're living on paycheck to paycheck, and you have plans on getting married, but all you have is RM2500 in your bank account. Also, you can't continue to afford feeding your pet octopus rubies every week.
At some point in our lives, we will all come to the realization that living in the present is not what is all hyped up to be. Mine came last year, when my manager at that time threatened my job security, dangling my salary up in the air. I felt helpless and that's when I knew I will never allow anyone to have that kind of power over me again. I wanted to be financially free, with multiple sources of income, never depending on anyone again.
No matter where you start, or how much you're making, anyone can invest and grow their wealth - with the right attitude. Here's why you should start ASAP, even when you're broke.
1. It helps you develop the right discipline - for life
Too often, I find that most of my peers tend to live off their monthly paycheck, waiting in anxiety for the next one to come, before spending it all in the blink of an eye. I do admit, however, that the current economy is tough, with the rising costs and stagnant growth of income, anybody could go broke.
But with the right habit and discipline, anyone can grow their wealth, no matter how small you start. I remember as a teen, I've always wanted to own a red Mini Cooper S (still do, actually). I'd keep every single allowance I've collected and even worked part time for it until I eventually accumulated a saving capital of 5-figures. Even though I was bad at accounting, I still made sure I wrote down every single cent that goes into my hidden stash and how much I took out. I trusted no one.
Unfortunately, I was very financially illiterate and I knew nothing about growing my wealth. By the time I went into college, I spent on useless stuff recklessly and nearly spent away most of my savings.
But here's the thing. If a teenager, who hardly earns a thing could save up to that much of a capital, why can't you? By developing a certain level of discipline, you will find that you're increasing your net worth every day - even if you're putting aside RM100 a month.
2. You can make as many mistakes as you can
There's a huge advantage when time is on your side; mistakes are more forgiving on you. Take for example, you lost RM10,000 at 28. With your youth and employability, you'll still be able to bounce back as compared to a retiree at 60.
I remember losing RM3000 over a mistake I made once. At that time, that was A LOT to me and I felt so bad about it. But when I look back at it now, I prefer to see it as a valuable lesson worth RM3000. Plus, as you fail more in life, you gain invaluable experiences no money or courses could ever give you. By the time you're at your prime at 30, you'd already be a pro in the game.
3. No commitments
For most of us in our 20's, I assume that we don't have much commitments in life; no spouse, no kids, no mortgage, etc. When you live for yourself, this is the absolute best time for you to develop yourself and grow your wealth. Why? Because nobody depends on you and so you are able to dedicate more of your income to your savings and wealth.
Once you start having a family, your time and money is needed to sustain them. If you've never grown your wealth before, this would be even more difficult for you. Of course, having a family is one of the reasons why you'd wanna grow your wealth, but that's why its always best to start young, when you can fail with no pressure. What's there to lose anyway?
4. You may lose out on opportunity costs
So you're young and broke. There's no way you can possibly invest, so might as well save whatever you can and put it into the bank account as a fixed deposit so there's NO WAY you can lose money, right?
Yes and no.
Thing is, you may not necessarily lose your money, but in time, you can certainly lose out in the value of your money. Why? Inflation, that's why. If you think about it, the value of our money tends to depreciate over the years. Take for example, RM100. Back then, you can shop for a whole trolley full of groceries. Now what can you buy at the store for just RM100? Maybe cat treats, and some milk if you're lucky.
With the annual inflation rate in Malaysia since the 70's, it increases by 3.65% on average. That's way more than you can hope for even from a fixed deposit account, let alone a savings account. By staying out of the game of investment young, you're certainly losing out. In fact, you're potentially losing money that way.
5. You learn to be tough as nails
Investing is scary. Nobody who has ever gotten into it thinks that its gonna be easy. But it takes balls to have the courage to take the first steps forward. Once you have that going, you build your confidence, and should you ever face the down times, you know you'll be able to pick yourself up and soldier on.
I was never a gambler. I hate taking risks and I've always had the fear of losing. Every Chinese New Year, I'm always the first to opt out of the gambling games and prefer to watch my cousins play. "Well," said my dad. "Obviously, you're not very interested in winning either."
And that really clicked in my head. If I wanted to win, I need to take risks, even if there's a potential of losing. So that's what got me started in the world of investments.
Want to get started in investing but don't know where to start? I'll share my experience on what I did to get started in my next write up, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, test your financial literacy here. Apparently, two-thirds of the world can't pass this simple 5-question test. Let's see how Malaysia fares and let me know how you did!
Anne is the author and founder of this blog. She likes to write about current issues, travels, food and the general struggles of a millennial.