What On Earth Are We Doing With Our Money?

Compliance professional. Hong Kong. 31. Steady relationship but not married.

You may already know Refinery29’s Money Diaries… this is our own version of it! We’ve put together a few questions to understand what women are doing with their money. Let’s break the taboo and talk more about finances!

It’s short, snappy, fun and anonymous.

Compliance professional. Hong Kong. 31. Steady relationship but not married.

Financial goals:

Short term (1-5 years): Be comfortable with investing and buy my own home - I've been saving for 7 years so I can afford the deposit but the housing prices are just insane in Hong Kong

Medium term (5-10 years): Build up a solid amount of assets and save for any (future) kids (fingers crossed!)

Long term (10 years +): Have enough in savings, assets and pension fund to retire at 60, be financially secure enough to support my parents and also raise my kids (if any)

Best buy ever: My university education (HKD358,000 (c. £35,999)) and professional industry qualification (HKD100,000 (c.£9,700)) - it was the springboard for my career and earning capacity

Worst buy ever: Designer online shopping (about HKD5,000 (c. £480) a month)

Things you spend the most money on: Rent, eating out and clothes (sigh)

Salary / Income: HKD964,800 per annum (c. £94,000)

Net worth (what you own vs what you owe, or your assets minus your debts): HKD2,000,000 (c. £195,000) savings

Any side hustles: Sadly, no

Savings: HKD2,000,000, which coincidentally, is the same amount as what I have in my savings account (bad strategy, I know, but this is why I'm perusing your fantastic website!). I save about 30% of my salary every month after tax

Home: No, but planning on buying in next 5 years

Debt: Nil. I got by on a scholarship and part-time jobs during uni. I use a credit card to accrue air miles but I pay it off at the end of every month.

Investing: Only through my workplace pension (here in Hong Kong they're called "ORSO schemes"). My employer puts in 10%, then I top it up with a voluntary contribution of 2.5% which my employer matches, bringing the total to 15%. Apart from that, I have HKD500,000 (c. £49,000) in a term deposit and I don't invest in shares of funds even though I know I should (but I'm scared)

Pension: Yes, through my workplace but I can't access it until I'm 60.

Insurances: Health insurance

What is money for you? Freedom to do what I really love. Let's be honest, no one loves working in compliance, but the money it offers hopefully will get me to a point where I am financially secure enough to do what I love. Money for me also means gratitude - I grew up poor and I watched my parents sacrifice everything for me. I so want to be able to support them financially so that I can express how grateful I am for their sacrifices.

What is financial independence for you? Freedom to do what I love and support the people I love.


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