4 Timeless Money Goal Tips

It’s July, which means it’s about time to do a mid-year check-in (WHERE DID HALF THE YEAR GO?!). Personally as I do my check-in, I’m keeping in mind that a lot has changed since January. Between political uncertainties and battling the pandemic, my 2020 goals look like they were written in an alternate timeline and require significant adjustments, if not overhauling, and that’s ok. The goals still did their job as a directional force, which was especially helpful in incredible times of uncertainty.

Now if you need some help readjusting your goals, here are 4 timeless tips I picked up from my conversation with Suraya Zainudin (Ringgit Oh Ringgit) and Aaron Tang (Mr. Stingy) at the start of the year about goals.

  • Break the goal down instead of having one big ambiguous goal like ‘save more money’. Try something like ‘I will save 10% of my income every month’. That will clarify the goal, and with that help you achieve it.
  • Build systems to help you achieve your goals. An example here related to the above-stated goal would be to automate your 10% savings, which is a feature available on most banking platforms. Set it up so that every month 10% of your income goes into another account so that you can’t “accidentally” use it up.
    • Pro Tip: Personally I’ve set it up so that the money leaves my account a few days after my salary comes in, to be specific the 1st of the month. This way I start the month knowing that I’ve put money towards my different goals and commitments.
    • Pro Pro Tip: Consider increasing your EPF contribution – that way you’ll tap into the power of compounding interest and you won’t be able to touch the money till you’re 55.
    • Super Pro Tip: Think about trying a digital investment platform, like Stashaway. This will also tap into the power of compounding interest but with more flexibility.
  • Review your goals. Take Mr. Stingy for example, he sets aside (a SMART goal approved) half a day every month to do a money review and keep aware of his finances. Don’t try and be a hero and say you’ll do it everyday, be realistic. I feel that it’s better to start small and grow, than to start big and stop soon.
  • Mistakes will happen. You’re not perfect, remember that it’s ok to make mistakes or even fail, as long as your making progress and taking the right steps. Example: Suraya had some pretty moonshot goals, (like earning RM100,000 in 6 months!), and although she knows she might not achieve them the process of trying to get them done will move her forward!

I hope that these were helpful and I’d love to hear your own thoughts, tips, and strategies for goal setting! Let me know in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter!

Now if you’ve got 20 minutes and want to hear more from Suraya and Aaron, check out the full episode on BFM, Spotify, Apple Podcasts or whenever you listen to podcasts. The episode is titled: Money Goal Tips With Mr. Stingy And ‘Ringgit Oh Ringgit


4 Lessons From The Pandemic

As some part of normal life restarts in Malaysia, we should take a minute to recognise the lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, especially considering that the world hasn’t seen this much disruption since World War 2.

I discussed this, and thoughts on investing during a recession, with Aaron Tang, a.k.a financial blogger Mr. Stingy, which you can find linked at the bottom. However if you don’t have 20 minutes to spare right now, below are 4 highlights from the conversation.

My conversation with personal finance blogger Aaron Tang on lessons from the pandemic, investing during a recession and his tips on managing personal finances.
  • Surprises Happen. The long bull market and global economic growth put many of us in a false sense of security, especially since Malaysia’s last major crisis was about 21 years ago. It’s essential to remember that surprises are bound to come up and we should be realistically prepared. As author and economist Daniel Kahneman once put it, “the correct lesson to learn from surprises is that the world is surprising”.
  • Survival. You have to build cash reserves, ideally 6-12 months of expenses. Now you won’t build it overnight, but you need to start now, doing so will provide you a buffer should you lose your job. This will also provide a sense of security to invest for the long run as it’ll minimise the risk of having to sell some of your investments in a cash crunch, which can be painful if your portfolio happens to be in the red due to market volatility.
  • Job security is not guaranteed. When the economy is hit and businesses are impacted, jobs are likely to be cut. We need to keep that in mind and prepare, especially if the potential disruption from COVID-19 could recur.
  • Consumerism is overrated. When life is turned upside down, we start reevaluating what’s important to us and our needs. While it’s nice to have nice things, this shouldn’t supersede your financial security. There’s nothing wrong with a little retail therapy as long, as it’s within your means, after taking into consideration your financial goals and progress on your cash buffer.

For more on this, catch the full Ringgit & Sense podcast with Aaron Tang, financial blogger at www.mr-stingy.com, on the BFM app or Spotify

Beyond GE14

GE14 was a big step forward; vital in reinstating belief in the rakyat that our votes mattered, that our voices could make a difference and in our abilities to make an impact.

However while the battle for GE14 is over, the Battle for Malaysia isn’t.

In fact it’ll never be.

Like everything else in life, It is and always will be an ongoing battle. And we just gotta Keep Moving Forward.

A constant and perpetual series of ups, downs, corrections and over-corrections, that hopefully form a desirable trend line — desirable being a subjective matter which we’ll get into another time. #KMF



Prevail or Fail, Endure or Die.

This quote, though not 100% sound, is something that I believe to be true and actionable.

In line with #Covey’s first habit, #Proactivity, these words from Collins’ illustrate that our lives are our responsibilities, that we are accountable for them.

Yes shit happens, I know, but how we react & deal with that is on us. And though unfair, there really is no use in bitching forever or blaming the world, without acting. That won’t help us move forward.

What we can do is learn as much as we can and Keep Moving Forward, to try again & try better, to use alternative routes & methods or even revaluate goals & expectations.

Whatever it is, the worse thing we can do to ourselves is to blame the world & our conditions & leave it at that.

Now I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking time to recover & deal with an event; scream, cry, pound on a punching bag or talk it out, express & deal with those emotions and feelings, and then Keep Moving Forward.

Now nothing last forever so repeat when needed.

Every few weeks I stumble, some stumbles harder than others but after some time of being upset & down, I learn as much as I can about this fall, and start taking steps to pick myself up (and if you need help doing it, ask for it, I know I have on plenty of occasions) and get back to business, whatever that may be currently.

Acknowledge. Express. Learn. Act. Repeat.

Storytelling, The Common Denominator.

In light of my recent post about passion, coupled with the writing of my resume cover letter and subsequent discussions and insights thereafter, a question arose.

Could it be that my passion, lies in the act of storytelling?

Over the years I’ve noticed myself being drawn to and appreciating great storytellers, whether they’re stand up comics, vloggers, filmmakers, public speakers and so on.

So is that the common denominator that lies beneath the media experiments I’ve undertaken, whether text, pictures, audio or video?

Is it the also then the common denominator of projects I see myself wanting to explore when I look forward?

Do I continue to see myself telling stories, irrespective of the medium?

Yes. Yes I Do.

I want to tell stories.

No, not simply my own, but also stories I’m drawn to, empathise with or simply enjoy.

Now all that remains, is to tell stories.

But where to start?

This post was originally written in July 2017


“Passion is not a job, a sport, or a hobby. It is the full force of your attention and energy that you give to whatever is right in front of you. And if you’re too busy looking for this passion, you could miss opportunities that change your life. You could also miss out on a great love. Because that’s what happens when you have tunnel vision, trying to find the one.” Terri Trespicio

I really enjoyed this talk, and while it may not speak to everyone, it definitely did so with me, and I’m sure it will for many others. This is not some war cry to throw passion under the bus, but to recongnise that not everyone has or needs one, and that you’re not ‘Lesser’ for it. They key is in knowing who you are, and that can take some time.

For a long time i didn’t want to acknowledge this, but I just don’t have a passion, and that’s ok. I don’t need it to be good at something, nor does it mean that I’m without ambition.

I’ve had various interests over the years, I’ve experimented with different subjects in uni, part-timed at a cafe, interned with the finance & management side of the same cafe later; i tried out blogging, then Instagram and later vlogging.

And while nothing really stuck, I enjoyed the ventures and learned a helluva lot from each phase.

But no, I’ve never been passionate about any of them, sure I was really interest and curious, and i wanted to learn from those interests, but i didn’t want them to be the rest of my life.

I consider life to be a series of experiments, if there’s something that interests me, I’ll find a way to do it. Some experiments work out, and some don’t; some scale & grow into something else, and some just die never to see the light of day again.

No, I don’t have a passion, but that doesn’t mean I’m not ambitious, capable or driven, it just means that i may need some time or help with direction, but once I get out of my own head and pick a direction, I will get on with it and I will excel.

This is not a dig at passion or the people who have it. It’s wonderful if you have a passion, I’m happy for you, maybe even a little jealous, but for the others out there like me who don’t, like Terri says, stop searching for your passion and do.

Maybe our passion lies in the actual journey, with the the learning, experimentation & growth. Maybe.

Whatever it is, it’s time that i pick a direction and Keep Moving Forward #KMF

Originally written in July 2017

“Sometimes you have to get off track to discover a better track.”  #RobinSharma #ArtisanCoffeeHQ

Hey guys, What’s up?

Just had my Artisan Coffee flat white while talking to Alan about coffee, practice, giving back and other general points of life; which got the brain turning a little and got me thinking about today’s QOTD, got me looking back at the detours over the last few years, when life went Off Track.

How life isn’t always smooth sailing and that the ideal route isn’t the only route.

“Sometimes you have to get off track to discover a better track.” -Robin Sharma-

I can definitely say, with much confidence, that leaving MUWCI (UWCMC) in 2010 and then having to take an Intermission from Monash Malaysia in 2012 counts as going off track.

Were these detours off track (amongst others) truly leading me to discover a better track?

At this present moment in life I’m going to say yes, although each time felt like a win for Fibro and pushed me to feeling like a failure, especially in 2012….

Anyway, with failure always comes the option to either give in or fight. And so I picked myself up each time, though not necessarily immediately, and Kept Moving Forward.

This lead to learning, growing and maturing much along the way; in mind, body and soul (as corny as it sounds).

Priorities changed and I discovered more about myself.

This is nowhere near what the ‘me’ 7 years ago would’ve envisioned.

So, is this the better track?

 I’ll never really know the answer but i’m going to say Yes:

Yes because I’m happy now because of who I am and not what i have.

Yes because the person I was then was a whole lot more Materialistic, Egoistic, Judgemental and Superficial and only would’ve gotten worse if i never fell.

Yes because the last few years have helped me develop and discover my passions, things that I might not have had time if things had gone the other way.

Yes because only through the recent hurdles and challenges did I learn what was truly important to me. (after being brainwashed and saturated by the images of the media driven, American Dream-esk, mainstream visions of a happy and successful life)

In a nutshell, I’m happy with the person I have grown into today but know that I can improve and develop more, but at my own pace and by my own benchmarks.

Now the question is, was this path meant to be or did I just make best with the hand that life dealt me? 😉

Straight From The Heart,
Roshan ‘Arkay’ Kanesan


So, my 11th day running at @artisancoffee 😬

“A goal without a plan is just wish.” – Anotine de Saint #Exupery

Anyway, the quote above is another one that hits close to home.

I used to make wishes, not have goals. Use to have dreams, without steps, that of course failed to materialized because I wished them to happen, I didn’t act to make them happen.

Now that I’ve taken my planning more seriously, now that I’ve built a better system, I see faster & better results than before.

Plans aren’t 100%, that’s true, but on the same note as yesterday, whenever a plan fails, I look to rebuild it taking into account the factors that lead to the failure, improving it and then trying again. And I’ll repeat it as necessary.

I’ve been building a new system over the last few months that has so far produced results with my health; the academic phase will kick in next march and my writing/blogging phase will kick off in either December or Jan. These systems provide structure for my plans which in turn help me reach my goals.

So yea, remember when shit happens and things fall apart, even when it’s no fault of your own, only you can decide whether you wanna remain stagnant or #KMF.

Keep Moving Forward

#arkaysqotd #arkaysthoughts #artisanroasthq #coffeeculturemy




Yes, I am back at Artisan Roast HQ for a 10th day running 😬✌️❤️

“The only people who never fail are those who never try.” #IlkaChase


Another quote that i relate to greatly. A lack of failure is not success, yes we want to minimize our falls but making #mistakes and suffering #failures are inevitable in our journey. They help define who we are; whether we let the fall break us or learn from it and grow stronger, faster, better. I’m on a pretty good run for now, healthy wise, #fibrofighting, but I didn’t get here overnight. I failed time and time again, saw my systems fail me, felt my mind fog out and my body shut down, so I rested up but didn’t stay down, I rebuilt the system, improved it, adapted and kept moving forward. Every fall has provided me invaluable insight; how much I can take now, how much further I should push next time & what I need to change.

Keep Moving Forward

#livestrong #fibroVme #fibrofighter #arkaysqotd #arkaysyhoughts #artisanroasthq #artisanhq #coffeecultureMY


Got my piccolo, taking a moment to reflect & appreciate how far I’ve come; since March last year & this year, especially with my health over the last 12 weeks. I’m feeling fitter, stronger, lighter, down to 84kg (6 months ago I was like 93), fresher, less fatigued, less foggy & I’m not done yet. #kmf.

Live is a line of best fit, there are going to be ups & downs, just got to make sure that we make most of the ups & minimize the downs so that the line of best fit is positive 🙂

Don’t Be Strong, Live strong.

Keep Moving Forward