Category Archives: Money

Mau Jadi Kaya Dan Bahagia?

Kalau Anda ingin mendapatkan penghasilan 1 Juta Dolar, maka sekarang adalah saatnya bagi Anda untuk berhenti bermimpi. Tidaklah cukup hanya dengan bermimpi saja, tetapi Anda juga perlu belajar bagaimana Anda bisa mengubah mimpi Anda itu menjadi kenyataan sekarang juga! Sebenarnya, Anda tidak memerlukan sebuah gelar sarjana dari universitas ternama, Anda juga tidak butuh keberuntungan atau modal yang besar untuk menjadi kaya. Dengan keinginan yang kuat, pikiran yang positif, dan strategi yang tepat, semua orang bisa menjadi miliarder.

Beberapa hari yang lalu, saya sempat mengunjungi sebuah website tentang bidang keuangan yang mudah dipraktekkan untuk menciptakan, mengelola dan menikmati kekayaan Anda:

Anda harus mengunjungi website ini kalau Anda ingin menjadi seorang pengusaha, manajer, professional, atau eksekutif yang sukses. Kalau Anda ingin keluar dari keterikatan pada gaji dan masuk ke dalam dunia kebebasan finansial, Anda juga perlu follow akun twitter nya @BisnisIndeks adalah website edukasi bagi nasabah, marketing, perusahaan atau siapapun yang tertarik kepada sebuah proses bisnis. Membahas solusi seputar profit dan loss, mental trading, strategi marketing, kepemimpinan, pembentukan tim, planning, presentasi, motivasi dan etika keterbukaan pelaku bisnis.

Melalui akun Twitter @BisnisIndeks Anda akan dibimbing secara pribadi oleh seorang pengusaha yang telah mempunyai pengalaman belasan tahun di dunia bisnis dan saham.

Anda akan belajar banyak strategi yang telah terbukti seperti:
- Bagaimana mencapai keadaan keuangan yang berkelimpahan
- Bagaimana kebiasaan orang-orang sukses di dunia bisnis dan saham
- Bagaimana orang kaya mengelola uang mereka
- Bagaimana cara meningkatkan penghasilan Anda tanpa berhenti bekerja
- Bagaimana menciptakan sebuah bisnis ‘rumahan’ yang sukses
- Bagaimana mengelola keuangan Anda
- Bagaimana mengurangi pengeluaran Anda
- Bagaimana membangun investasi senilai miliaran rupiah
- Bagaimana mendapat profit yang baik dari pasar saham
- Bagaimana menciptakan berbagai sumber pendapatan melalui bisnis dan investasi
- Dan masih banyak lagi…

Semoga apa yang Anda temukan di sana bisa bermanfaat.
Selamat Belajar! :)

From -$40,000 to $1,000,000

You've read about how I've made my birthday resolution, which eventually changed my life.
But some of you are probably wondering,..  After having a clear vision, What's next ?


There was another significant event that drove me to become an entrepreneur. During my third year in the University, I was doing my Industrial Attachment with an American-based semiconductor company. It was my first official nine-to-five job in the working world. Initially I was very excited about it. But after working there for a few weeks, I realised that I could never achieve my goal of achieving success and financial freedom if I were to work in a nine-to-five job.



The Missing 3Cs

One obvious alternative that came to my mind was to do some kind of business. But soon I realised that most of the things that I wanted to do needed some amount of capital in order for it to work. In fact, I think there are three Cs that you need to do well in business. They are: Capital, Contacts and Capabilities. Those were the three vital elements that I was lacking at that time. Since I was on a student loan, obviously I didn’t have much capital on hand (My study loan was $40,000 !)  I also didn’t have any contacts since I was new to Singapore. The only people I knew at that time were my peers in school. On top of that, my  English at that time wasn’t very good. And I studied Electrical and Elecronic Engineering, I definitely don't have any skills and capabilities in doing business.


But the drive to succeed early compelled me to try out a lot of different things. While I didn’t have a clear plan at that time, I was determined to find a solution. I thought maybe I could try to gather the three Cs one at a time. One of the things I tried was trading stocks and shares to raise my capital so that I could start a business. But instead, I ended up losing most of my savings. It was a very painful experience. However, I kept moving forward and experimenting with new things. It was like a process of elimination.


It wasn’t until later that I realised I could capitalise on sales. I saw that many successful people had a background in sales and thought I could start out from there. Going into sales would not require much capital. As long as I could sit in front of someone, I could do my job. In fact, sales would help me get capital and grow my contacts and network. At the same time, I could build my capabilities and skills along the way. I also realised that my biggest assets were my time, energy and my willingness to put in the hard work.


I’m Free To Live My Life

Immediately after graduating from school, I was $40,000 in debt and cut off from any income from the student loan. I had to start earning some income fast; for my living expenses as well as to repay the student loan debt. I had decided to become an entrepreneur and do a business in sales rather than to take the traditional safe path of an employee. But I faced a lot of resistance for my decision, from my parents, teachers and friends.


My friends thought I was crazy when I told them about my thoughts of becoming an entrepreneur immediately after graduation. Some of those who were not close to me even thought that I was forced to become an entrepreneur because I couldn’t secure a proper job. While those closer to me knew that I chose this path because of my goals, they were also sceptical and tried to discourage me. My teachers, tutors and lecturers also thought that it was a bad idea to go into business based on sales upon graduation. Of course going into sales would give me less stability in terms of my monthly income. There was also no guarantee that I would be successful. All of them advised me to pursue a more stable career in the engineering field instead. These opinions didn’t really bother me or deter me in my determination to do sales. After all, it is my life, and I am free to live it the way I want.


However, I still decided to get my parents’ consent for my choice of career. As I had expected, they were extremely uncomfortable with the idea of me wanting to do my own business in sales right after graduation and with a $40,000 debt to repay. They wanted me to get a stable job with a fixed income instead. After much persuasion, I eventually came to a compromise with them. I promised them that I would only try out this business for three months. If at the end of three months there were no signs of growth or success whatsoever, then I would stop and give up. I assured them that when that happens I would get a normal nine-to-five job with a stable pay just like what they wanted. They finally agreed and with that, I started my first business in sales.


A Million-Dollar Stepping Stone

The initial resistance that I faced spurred me to want to prove myself even more. Of course it was not always smooth sailing. I faced a lot of rejections and disappointments. Being human, I had moments when I felt down and disheartened. But through it all, I never seriously considered giving up. What made me go on was my desire to provide a better life for my parents and the goals that I wanted to achieve. I’m also very fortunate to have had the support and encouragement of my husband, Alva, who has been my business partner since the beginning of my journey.


By the third month after I started the business I was already making more than the salaries my peers were earning as a fresh graduate. So I saw the potential of the business and I focused all of my efforts in it. As I said, my biggest assets were my energy, time and willingness to work hard. So that was what I did. I was working 14 hours a day, seven days a week. If you calculate mathematically, I was doing three years of work in just one year.


As a result, I broke many records and won many awards in the industry. In my first year, I was the TOP ROOKIE CONSULTANT in the company and not only that, I am also win the title of STARCLUB PRESIDENT for having the highest no of sales, beating other 3,000 experienced and senior consultants at that time. It was something that I feel ready proud of since no one in the company has ever done it before. 


My first award


Because of that, I was then featured in The Strait Times. That was actually my very first Media Appearance.




And for the very first time I really felt like a Queen. When I went for overseas trip, they flew me in First Class Singapore Airlines, and when I reached the airport, while the other consultants were fetch by a Tourist Bus, the one already waiting for me is a limo, complete with its personal driver, ready to take me anywhere I want to go during that whole 5-day trip. So cool !




It was the moment that I would never forget because from there I was again convinced that we can be anything we want to be.

That same year, I earned over $200,000. I paid my student loan in one lump sum of $40,000, in cash. That felt really great!
And in just four years, I earned my first million dollars.

The reason why I'm sharing with you all this is not to impress you, but to really impress upon you that everything is possible.
Hardwork always pays off, it's just a matter of time.


I'll continue my life story in my next post

How to have a guilt-free Christmas Shopping

6 steps to have a guilt free christmas shopping


I believe everyone now is already in the Christmas shopping mood. It is proven by how many people were spotted at Orchard Road, Singapore last weekend. It’s just mad. I know shopping might be fun (especially for most women out there), and this festive season will give more valid reasons to spend more. Some of the reasons that are probably on top of your head right now:


  1. It’s a once a year thing, must buy presents for my loved ones
  2. Good bargain, discount everywhere. If not now, then I’ll miss the good deal
  3. It’s ok to spend a bit more this month, anyway I’ll get my bonus soon.


Are those valid reasons? Well, could be. But while you are doing all those shopping and hunting for good bargains, let’s not forget that whatever money that you spent is your hard-earned money. Why have fun spending money at Christmas and realized in New Year that you are in debt and worried for not having enough money?


While we are spending money this festive season, let's remember that there are many people who are working very hard earning it.


I believe the most important thing in managing our finances is to simply do a proper planning. Most people overspend because they never do any planning. They buy things at the spur of the moment. Today, I would like to challenge you to do this very simple exercise. It will be fun, and yet it will also help you to have more control over your money during this period of time.


Step 1: Decide how much budget you want to set aside (Theoretically, budgeting will take much more comprehensive steps, I’ll share it in my other posts next time. For this post, I’ll just simplify it). Whatever amount of budget that you decide, make sure that the amount is not more than what you have. Do NOT use credit card to pay, unless you have the money to pay it back at the end of the month.


Step 2: Write down on a piece of paper the list of people whom you want to buy Christmas gifts for.


Step 3: Write down how much money you want to spend on each person.


Step 4: Do a reality check! If the total list is more than your allocated budget, then you have 2 choices: a. Eliminate some of the names on your list b. Reduce the amount that you want to spend on each person


Step 5: Once you have your final list, write down a couple of gift ideas for each person This is the fun part, because now you can explore and search for the best deal in town to make sure that you give the best gift and yet is still within your budget.


Step 6: Now that you have your list completed, the most difficult part is when you go out and make that purchase. Surely you’ll be tempted to buy more stuff. You must stick with your list and do not give in to impulse purchases.      


If you can follow all the 6 simple steps above, I’m sure you can still do all your Christmas shopping without feeling guilty. On the other hand, if you don’t really have any budget to be spent, don’t force yourself. You can give something that is handmade or you can simply give the gift of time, e.g. spend a day with your loved ones. These gifts are often more meaningful than material goods.

Don’t forget the real meaning of Christmas. It isn't about the gifts but the spirit of togetherness. And that's something money can't buy.  

Making friends with your money

Whether we admit it or not, money plays an important role in all our lives.

In my book "A Gift From A Friend", I wrote that money is NOT the MOST important thing in life; however, money can affect the most important things in life.

Money is a life-enhancer. It can enhance love, it can enhance relationships, it can enhance the quality of life that you have in your family, and many more.

You can become the master of your money or you can become its servant.
The choice is yours.

Choose to be smart and make friends with money.
Here's some simple steps to help you making friends with money.


Step 1
As always, it all started with your mindset first.


Is money a blessing in your life? For many people, money are a problem both emotionally and practically. Most of us feel we don't have enough of it. Frequently we don't manage it well. Often we inherit our negative attitudes about money and don't even realize it.

The way you feel about money is important. Never feel embarrassed for having a healthy respect for money and what it can do for you and others. When you look at all the good that money does, admit that money is the root of much good. Be positive about it !



Step 2
Appreciate it.


Don't take money for granted. Analyze how you use money. Make a list of how you have spent it wisely and how you have not.


Step 3
Take control of it.


If you are not careful, money can enslave you. I've seen a lot people simply just cannot control themselves when it come to managing their money. But if you learn how to tame it and master it, however, it will do whatever you tell it to do. You can decide how, when and where it will be used.


Step 4
Don’t spend money. Allocate it.



Save at least 10% of every money that you earn.
In my previous post, I've shared with you how I allocate my money every single month.
Basically, I will allocate it to 5 different accounts. You can click on the link to know more about it.


Step 5
Protect it


Protect your money from fire, theft, death and disability.

You can work a lifetime and then lose everything you have achieved if your house burns down or is robbed, if you die prematurely or become disabled. You need to protect it from theft, fire, death, disability and major illness. Use insurance –- mortgage, house, life, disability and health — to protect your money and your family.

When you make friend with money, your money will make friend with you too
… and eventually, they will stick with you !) :)


10 tips on how to save more money

In this current financial crisis, many people do their best to cut down some expenses.

Today, I'm going to give you 10 very simple things that you can do to help you to spend less.



1. Master the 30 days rule. Whenever you’re in doubt whether you should buy that item or not, wait 30 days and then ask yourself if you still want that item. Very likely, you’ll find that the urge to buy has passed and you’ll have saved yourself some money.


2. Give up expensive habits, like cigarettes, alcohol, and clubbing. Those habits cause money to flow away from you with nothing in return. If you can't give up straight away, at least do your best to cut down slowly every single week.


3. Save the electricity. Use less energy, especially when you are not using it. Be diligent about turning off lights before you leave, keep your air con at 25 degree instead of 18 degree, use energy-saving electronic product. You will be amazed to see how much different will it make in your electricity bill.


4. Hide your credit cards. Put them in a safe place in your home, not in your wallet where it’s easy to spend them. Make sure you do so until you have the willpower control your temptation of spending.


5. Don’t spend money just to de-stress. Many people used to spend money just to wind down from a stressful day at work. Try something FREE. Some people often feel much better by going home and spend some quiet time just to relax and then meditate. Or you could just exercise, go for jogging to de-stress, or maybe just sleep early.


6. Eat at home. Home cooking is cheaper and healthier than take-out or dining out. Even better, you can spend more time with your family member at home. It is definitely more fun.

7. Cut down your hand phone bill. If it is difficult for you to cut down your talking time or sms, one way to help you to minimize your hand phone bill is by checking your hand phone bill and look for services you don’t use, and cancel them. Things like an international roaming, caller number non-display, web access, etc

8. Cut down on your vacation spending. If you need to go for a vacation, try to go for budget vacation instead of going on a big, extravagant trip. There is a lot of choices that is currently available for you to choose.

9. Turn off yout TV. By watching less television, you'll have less exposure to guilt-inducing advertisements, and also less electrical use, therefore less expenses.

10. Home entertainment. Invite friends over instead of going out. Almost every activity at home is less expensive than going out. Have a cookout or a potluck meal, then play some cards and watch DVD.



Merry Riana's Giving Account

Finally, it's time for me to share about my last account, my Giving Account.


This is the account that actually gives me the most inspiration and motivation to continue my hard work in building my businesses to earn even more money.


This is the account that also gives me the most satisfaction when I use the money inside it.
This is my purpose in life.
As the name suggests, the money in my Giving Account is for me to give away.
I've given to many churches and many Christian organizations previously.
I've also started many non-profit initiatives using the money from this account.
To know more about my non-profit initiatives (there are about 5 of them at this moment), you can visit my website


The more you give, the more you'll receive. :)


Touching Hearts Changing Lives,
Merry Riana
Merry Riana's Fun Account

Now is the time for me to share about my Fun Account.

Actually, many people have already been distributing their income to different accounts such as Necessity Account and Business Development Account.

Probably, they don't label them as such, but most people usually either spend their money for expenses and save/invest the difference.
But, I seldom know people who have a Fun Account.

I usually put around 5% of my income into my Fun Account.
The money in my Fun Account can be used for whatever purpose, no matter what it is.
I can buy anything I wish with it, whether it's useful or not :)
I can even give it to anyone I want.


Basically, I have total freedom in using the money in my Fun Account.
As long as it let me enjoy and have Fun.

Having this Fun Account will motivate me to make even more money.
Because I know that 5% of whatever my businesses and investments earn for me is actually going to let me fulfill any wish that I've ever had.

And without feeling guilty that I actually use the money that I've worked so hard for.

Are you motivated to work hard? if the answer is NO, is it because you seldom have fun with the money that you earn? :)

Touching Hearts Changing Lives,
Merry Riana
Merry Riana's Education Account

So far, I've shared about my Necessity Account, my Business Development Account, and my Income Generator Account.


Now, I'll share with you about my Education Account.

I'm a firm believer in life-long learning. I believe my life is a journey of learning more about myself and about the world around me.
I also believe that the our capacity of success depends on the level of our skills and knowledge.
To achieve more success, I must be a more skillful and a more knowledgeable person.

Thus, every month, I set aside 5% of my income for my Education Account.
I use the money in this account to buy books, buy audio CDs, attend seminars, etc.

I believe these are not 'expenses', but 'investment'.
When I educate myself, I am basically investing in myself.
And just like my businesses and my rental properties, I believe when I invest in myself, I'll be able to generate even more money as the outcome.

When was the last time you invest in yourself? :)


Merry Riana's Income Generator Account

Today I want to share with you about my Income Generator Account.

I usually allocate around 20% of my income into my Income Generator Account.
I use the money in this account ot build Income Generators for me.
For those of you who are not really familiar with the concept of Income Generator, you can read my book 'A Gift From A Friend'. My book is available at all the major bookstores in Singapore, Indonesia & Malaysia.

Basically, Income Generator is something that generates recurrent income for me, even though I may not be doing anything much to actually work for it.

Let me give you a good example of an Income Generator.
I have a couple of properties that I rent out to tenants. One of it is being rented out at $2500 per month.
After paying all the expenses (i.e. installment, maintenance, etc), I still earn $1000 left every month from that rental property.
I don't need to even think about it, and I will still get $1000 nett from this particular property every single month, without fail. :)


This is what I called an Income Generator.
So, I use the money in that I gather in my Income Generator Account to create even more Income Generators in my life.

How to get pay raise in this financial crisis ?
I just finished watching "The Office" Season 3. It was hilarious !!


The episode that I watch is about "Negotiation" – there is this one employee (Darryl) who is doing his best to get his pay raise. He listed down all the good reasons why he deserve the raise and really persistence about getting it. On the other hand, the boss (Michael) knew exactly that Darryl wanted to ask for higher salary, therefore he did a research in wikipedia and found 20 tricks about how to win negotiation. And as you've probably guessed, he is using those tricks to withstand Darryl's request for a raise. It was so funny.. :)


I actually searched on youtube to see whether the video is available so that I could show it to you. Bad news is I couldn't find any. But Good news is I found another clip which I found it is equally funny. It is also about an employee who is asking for a pay raise.



After watching the 2 shows, I really felt very fortunate.

Simply because I never have to face the problem of asking for pay increment. I can decide how much I want to earn and I can have control of how much pay rise I want to get since I am doing my own business.


Immediately after I graduated from my university (NTU, Nanyang Technological University) in 2002, I started my very first business. So, actually, until today, I've never had the experience of working as a 9-to-5 employee. Well, except during my Industrial Attachment period, because at that time I had to worked in an engineering company for 6 months, as part of the academic modules that I needed to pass in order to graduate from NTU.


At this moment, I actually owns and manages 3 businesses in different industries:
1) Financial Services
2) Training & Consultancy
3) Non-Profit


But no worries.. !! I am not suggesting you to quit your job and start your own business. If you are reading this blog and working elsewhere, you can be as successful or even more successful than other business owner too. Just continue to be the best that you can be wherever you are !

And if after reading this blog you are so inspired to ask for a pay rise,


well at least I can give you 1 tips from my point of view as an employer.


To me the principle is actually very simple.

As long as you can convince your boss that your value are worth more than what your boss is paying you, and that your future value will be making your boss more money than your financial package cost him/her, I believe your boss will grant your request for the pay increase. :)


But if the above tips doesn't work, well… you might want to try the other method that you just watched in the youtube video… hahahha… *lol*


Wish you best of luck ! May you get what you deserve to get.