“It’s not easy to put into practice even though I have a financial plan.” “It’s hard to save up money.” These are things that we hear every day and anyone could have said them at least once. You want to try new things and play but you don’t have enough money. Although you have a monetary goal and plan, ‘how to’ is always a problem. So, we met an alumna who is playing an active part in the economic field teaching the secret of ‘how to practice’, which is difficult for everybody. Na-Yeon Kim has a famous blog about financial management called ‘Yonina’. She also runs an internet café named ‘Re:start’ which has thirty thousand members in it. She has written books like “Financial Investment for University Students - Revised Version”, and “My First Housekeeping Book” for money-saving beginners. She’s working as a finance teacher at FSS (Financial Supervisory Service) and actively playing a part as a 20s’ mentor, presenting monetary lectures in high schools, universities and corporate events. Now, let’s see what this excellent advisor says.
1. What does “Jae-Tech” mean?
People usually say that it is associated with stock, investment, real estate, real investment (raw materials) or cards. In this respect, you could say that university students don’t have enough money to put money into these subjects. However, in my opinion Jae-Tech is the same as money management put in a cool way. To put money in stock or invest in something, ‘money management’ is the most fundamental thing. Therefore, I highlight consumption, saving, and management more than anything in my books. You can easily try Jae-Tech if you think as I do.
2. Do you have any recommendations about saving money and things that students must avoid?
Most of all, if you are a university student, saving money is more important than anything. This is because university students have limited money and no regular income. I always say “savings first, consumption after” because if you don’t, you will have no money left. Moreover, you should know how much money you spend per month in order to save money efficiently. If you don’t, it will be too easy for you to give up saving money. After you pay fixed expenses such as transportation costs and cell phone charges, you might have no money for living. You might end up saying ‘I’m not good at saving money’. Therefore, knowing how much money you spend in a month is the first step for university students to save well.
You should avoid joining a financial product you don’t know well. For example, you might make a card at a bank because your friend told you it’s great, but it will mean nothing if it has benefits that are not applicable to you. You also need to be cautious about endowment insurance. Endowment insurance is a life insurance policy that pays the assured sum (face amount) on a fixed date or upon the death of the insured, whichever comes earlier. When you go to a bank, some bankers try to sell endowment insurance for their sales performance credit, so you should be careful. Therefore, you need to comprehend your financial situation, saving allowance, and consumption patterns before you visit a bank.
3. I wish to know if there is anything you want to say to students who have failed in saving money.
You can’t fail in saving money. If you do not save money, you can say that you have failed. What I can tell students who find it difficult to save money is to start with saving a little amount of money first. I always tell university students to make a habit of saving money little by little. This is because you have no chance to save a small amount of money later. There is a big difference between a person with the habit of saving money for long and a person without any previous financial saving habits. One tip I can give these days is that there are varieties of products you can join with only 1000 won or 500 won. It will help you to collect scattered money in one place.
4. I heard you saying money-saving is directly related to having a healthy lifestyle. Actually, it’s not easy for most people to change their lifestyle. Can you share your experience and give some advice?
Wise consumption is more important than just spending less or saving money. The most universal standard of waste is spending money on entertainment such as coffee, taxi or alcohol. However, I disagree with it. I’d say that there is a good coffee but also a bad coffee. A cup of coffee while you are with good people is a good one, and vice versa. Then you might want to decline those unnecessary meetings. A taxi is similar. Not all taxis are bad, but you need to reduce your use of cab rides when you are late. I used to be late, but I changed my habit by setting the alarm 10 or 20 minutes earlier, before leaving. Alarms that let me know when to leave have helped me a lot.
5. People usually know that there is saving and investment like funds and stocks in Jae-Tech. What do you think about investing?
I think that only investing or only saving is not good in the long run. Savings only offer low interest rates, so it is difficult to earn additional profits, even more difficult when you think about the rate of inflation; and investmenting is potentially risky. So, I think saving a certain amount of money through savings is first. In my case, the saving standard is one hundred million won, and if you put it in savings, the interest will be approximately 2 million won. Then I invest with one million won. I've both invested and saved my money. And as Koreans, we don't know much about stocks, which is why we tend to play in the short run, but the stock market should be a long-term match. Warren E. Buffett doesn't do it in a short period of time either. Think of the stock as if you don't have one and keep it at least for 4 to 5 years.
6. As you work in a freelance job, how did you overcome criticism (such as ‘it’s not a stable job’) around you?
Actually, people who said such words to me were all adults and my parents. What I have overcome by my freelance work is my low self-esteem. I have had very low self-esteem, and my mentor, whom I met during off-campus activities, helped me overcome it. She gave me a lot of advice, and supported me. I started my blog with her suggestion. My parents didn’t like it, of course. They wanted me to get a stable job. But I liked blogging and off-campus activities more than getting a job because I loved meeting and talking with people. Also, I usually show my parents the results, so I have just continued with my job. When I managed a blog, published a book and did interviews, they acknowledged me. Since then, I have been able to work more confidently, thanks to my parents' support. Breaking or changing your parents' thinking mold is something you need to put effort into. Remember that it takes time to get recognized.
Na-Yeon Kim says saving money is essential for your economic life, and it is important to correct bad habits. As a lecturer, she turns back and organizes her spending habits. She also practices to herself and practices her best spending plans to reduce unnecessary waste before she talks to others. It would be helpful for students of Gachon University to consider using her advice to reduce unnecessary spending and to figure out how achieve their financial goals. I hope you can build a desirable habit and pursue a successful and a more rewarding university life.< Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >