Are you Inge, the Photographer?

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This morning I received a call and she asked, “Are you Inge, the photographer?”

Since I have never considered myself as a photographer, I said no, thinking she might have mistaken me for someone else. Then she asked again whether I was the one who often took photos at Vihara Dhamma Sundara. It was not a mistake, so I said yes.
She asked whether I could take photos of her child’s engagement party. I told her that I was not a professional photographer, so I declined.

She was quite insistent. She said that I had good camera equipment and surely I could take a simple assignment like taking photos of engagement party at home. Once again, I felt that I was not good enough to be called a professional photographer, I declined for the second time.

Somehow she believed that I could do the job and kept asking me, explaining that it was a simple engagement and she only needed 30-40 photos printed for the occasion. For the third time, I declined because I did not good enough editing skills for post-production.
Finally, she took ‘no’ for an answer.

After saying ‘no’, I could not get this incident out of my head. I wonder why I declined this opportunity.
First, I feel that I am not good enough to be called a professional photographer. I have never been paid for my photos or services. Did I refuse because I was just too afraid? Did I refuse because I felt unworthy?

Second, I have expectations regarding the role of professional photographers. A real professional photographer has the ability of editing in post-production and will produce good results. I have no editing skill other than cropping, adjusting brightness and contrast.

Third, I consider whether this assignment is worth my time and effort. It may be an experience but I do want to be compensated for my effort. It is called professional service and not volunteering to help anymore.

Last, if I want to be a professional photographer of my choice, I want to be a travel photographer.

What do you think? Should I have said ‘yes’?

52 Week Saving Challenge

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I am taking a 52-week saving challenge this year.

I’ve seen many variations of this 52-week saving challenge on the web. I choose the random amount method and highlight the amount that I save that week.

For example, last week I saved Rp 300,000 and this week Rp 400,000 then I highlighted the amount that I have saved. Until the end of the year, I would have saved Rp 13,780,000.

I’ve put up the easy, medium and hard challenge if you want to do it as well.

Get on track with your saving!

Create your own saving challenge and share with us.

Learn and Grow!

What does money mean to you ?

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What does money mean to you?

Is it something to buy happiness? Some people use money to buy stuff to make them happy. Unfortunately that happiness will never last because once we buy the stuff, we tend to lose interest in it over time. When new things come out, we want the next thing, thinking that it will give us happiness again. It goes on and on.

We cannot be happy just by buying happy meals Smile

Fooled by Our Senses

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Curbing impulse buying is not easy because our senses are flooded with so many stimulations when we go shopping. We buy something not just from what we see or hear, but also because of what we smell.

I remember when I studied in Perth years ago. Every time I went home, when I got off the bus, I could smell KFC fried chicken and it was pulling me in. I don’t know how many times I bought those fried chickens just because I could smell them from the bus stop.

So what can we do? Be aware of those sensations and let them go. Stick to your shopping list!

Inge Santoso, B. Com, CFP®

Sweeping Under Pouring Rain and Emergency Fund

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Last Sunday I was enjoying a cup of hot mocha latte at Starbucks while watching the rain outside. I saw one guy sweeping the water away from the walkways and stairs. It seemed like a futile thing to do because the rain water kept on pouring down and when he got to the end, he had to come back and swept again.

What would you have done in that situation? If this was your own house, you would probably have waited until the rain had stopped before began sweeping. Well, I would anyway.

We often do not like doing something that seems futile and has no immediate or apparent results. For example, building a sizable amount of emergency fund. There seems to be countless emergencies popping up draining away our emergency fund, and we keep on trying to replace the depleted account. It may feel futile and sometime we just want to give up.

When you want to give up, remember the lesson from the sweeper. He kept on sweeping because he wanted to minimize the risk of people falling down due to slippery walkways or stairs. It was not futile because it was about minimizing loss and risk.

When we build our emergency fund, it is also for minimizing loss and risk. We reduce the risk of falling back into debt. It is not a futile thing to have a money cushion in the event of emergency or unexpected situations.

If you are still struggling to build your emergency fund, don’t give up! You are on the right track and sooner or later you will get there. Press on!

Learn and grow!
Inge Santoso, B. Com, CFP®

Credit Card and Airport Lounge

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One of the reasons I have a credit card is free airport lounge access. A few years ago, gold card could get you a free airport lounge access. Nowadays you need to have at least a platinum card or higher (titanium, privilege, emerald or whatever they want to call it) to have a free access. If you have a gold card, then you may be able to use your reward points to get access.

Is it really free? No!

If you are paying a yearly fee for your platinum card at about Rp 600,000 to 750,000, then it is not really free.

If you carry a balance on your credit card and you are paying interest, then it is definitely not free. You are actually giving subsidies to those people who pay their balance in full every month.

If you are offered to apply for a new credit card just to get an airport lounge access, be smart! Ask yourself how often you are going to use the facility. If you travel less than 10 times a year, then you’d be better off just paying cash Rp 50,000 for one time access. If you only want some ‘free’ food available in the airport lounge, it is better to get a proper and more delicious food somewhere else.

If you have a credit card that give you free access to airport lounge, then use it and enjoy yourself! If you have access for two, then get acquainted with someone new and use it to make friend.

Learn and Grow

Inge Santoso, B Com, CFP®

 

Budget for Toilet Fee?

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When we arrived in Stockholm, Sweden, we were dropped at the Gallerian mall in the city centre. My mother and I wanted to go to the toilet. When we got there, there was a coin machine next to the door into the toilet. The fee to enter the toilet was 10 Swedish krona, about Rp 15,000. We thought that it was rather expensive, so we decided to go somewhere else.

When we were walking outside, I saw McDonald’s and I thought they had to have a free toilet there. We went inside to order some food (chicken nuggets combo). After we sat down, my mother went to the toilet and she came back telling me that it was not free either. It cost 5 kr. Aargh I was wrong! It was not free!

After we finished eating, we went to queue for the toilet. There was quite a long queue (perhaps because it was still cheaper than the mall). We saw in front of us there were three ladies waiting for the handicap toilet because they wanted to come in all at once to save some money. My mother and I waited for the other one. When there was a guy coming out from the toilet, he was holding the door to let us go in, but my mother did not understand, so she let the door closed. Everybody was looking at her with disappointed face. She had to pay 5 kr to open the door. When she finished, I told her to hold the door, so that I could get in without paying another 5 kr. After I finished, I also held the door for the next person.

What happened was that everybody going into the toilet really did not want to pay! It did not seem fair to pay for toilet after we patronized the store, especially we were talking about McDonald’s here! We were cheating the system and helping each other to avoid paying for it. In this case, being kind towards other people really saves everybody’s money.

Although I still feel guilty for cheating, at least we did pay a bit, 5 kr for the two of us.

Perhaps if we live here, we should even have a budget for toilet usage!

Learn and Grow!
Inge Santoso, B. Com, CFP