Who is Budget Babe?
I am not keen to reveal my identity, as most of my friends know me to be a rather private person. I share willingly and openly with my friends, but to strangers, I try to be a bit more wary. When I set up this blog, I never expected it to go viral. My only intention was to blog about my lifestyle, money and career, as a lot of my friends and juniors seem to take interest and come to me for advice pretty frequently.
I am currently in my mid-20s, working as a manager in a corporate, 9-to-6 job. Pretty much the same as most people out there.
I don't think I'm pretty, although my closer friends and boyfriend tells me otherwise (but then again, they are biased, aren't they?).
I am the eldest child in my family, and went independent and pretty much stopped taking money from my parents at the age of 18. In fact, I remember when I was 17, I had to "borrow" money from my dad because I wanted to have tuition for a subject I was particularly weak in. I promised to pay him back over the years once I started working.
My Family...and My Independence
My parents are the typical, Asian type of folks. They show strict love, and are reserved in expressing it. We don't have a culture for praise or hugging at home, and my parents never tell me directly that they are proud of me. The first time I realized it was when I topped my school when I was 18, and my aunts / cousins / dad's colleagues were telling me that my parents had been "boasting" about their daughter's results to them. Haha.
Growing up, I was an average kid. I saw my friends going on family vacations overseas, but I never had that opportunity (unless you count driving up to Malaysia when I was less than 10). I took my first airplane ride when I was 19, paid out of my pocket.
My childhood ambition was to become a writer, but my parents did not allow me to pursue it back then. Instead, like typical Asian parents, they made me study the sciences and math, which I am relatively bad at. When I was 18, my parents told me they had no money to send me to university, and that I had to go find a job to support the family (and my sister) from then on. However, I badly wanted to go to university as I knew that without a degree, I wouldn't be able to go far in the future. I considered taking a bank loan, but my dad was too old to be my guarantor, and my mom could only be a guarantor on one more loan - which she reserved for my sister. I was stranded. I went knocking on relatives' doors, but couldn't find anyone willing to be my guarantor. In the end, I prayed hard and studied hard, hoping that I would get a scholarship instead so that my problem would be solved. And I did, unexpectedly. None of my classmates nor teachers believed it when I got straight 'A's for my national exams, myself included. But somehow I was blessed enough, and received 3 scholarship offers in total. My path to university was settled.
Studying on Overseas Exchange
I went to a Western country for one semester of exchange studies. However, again, my family did not have the money to pay for me. Instead, I juggled school with teaching tuition to 9 students in my first year of university, but it still wasn't enough to cover my six months overseas where the cost of living was higher. My aunt was kind enough to loan me a sum of money to make up for the shortfall, on condition that I start repaying her regularly upon finding a full-time job, and I am currently still paying her back for it.
I am currently still building my career, but have been very blessed on my career progression thus far. I went from an Executive to a Manager within less than a year. I worked in an agency, but have since moved over to client side. My first full-time job was at a very bad company, where I made the difficult decision to move after almost one year into the job. Management was the main reason I left - and turned out to be the right decision. I recommended a friend in with me when I landed the job initially, and have since asked him to leave the company on multiple times, but he did not. The latest update I heard, the CEO of the company (whom I felt was an unrighteous person who did not know how to separate his work and personal matters) had fired my supervisor, my Managing Director, my friend, and a number of other employees in less than a year after my resignation.
A more detailed post on some career mistakes I made (and lessons I learnt) will be coming much later, so if you're interested, do check back then.
Because of my independence, money is a very sensitive area for me, and I make a lot of effort in trying to manage my finances well. I do not come from a rich family, neither do I earn a lot from my corporate job, so I try to supplement with part-time income on weekends. Currently, I am a freelance PR consultant for a small handful of clients. I also teach JC GP tuition. My sideline income is not fixed, neither is it very high. But it helps to supplement a few hundred dollars a month, which goes a long way.
I give my parents $200 each a month.
Investments...is something I am very much interested in learning. But my dad once burnt his fingers and lost a lot of money in the stock market, so I am wary. Plus, I am not very numbers-savvy (remember that I studied arts), so I will slowly learn, and share my insights as I go along.
Note to My Readers and Friends:
I sincerely thank you for your support on this blog, as it means a lot to me, and encourages me to keep writing :) For my friends, I appreciate you helping to keep my identity secret, as I have no wish to expose myself to all these "haters" and "keyboard warriors".
I blogged on the Gushcloud Saga which happened last month. Bloggers Xiaxue and Yan Kay Kay have both received so many hate comments that it is very sad to watch. It got even worse when the Whatsapp chat was leaked publicly online, and as I watch Ms. Yan Kay Kay's reputation go down the drain while her haters continue to leave nasty comments on her Instagram and blog, I truly feel very sorry for her. As a result of all these (and many other online incidents), I have no wish to expose myself and my loved ones to this kind of scrutiny, so I hope you can understand my desire to remain under my online moniker,