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I was invited to contribute my thoughts for Personal Finance Blog Carnival.

The question goes…

“What is the single most important lesson you learnt in personal finance?”

Here are my thoughts 🙂 

Managing your personal finance is the responsibility of every individual.

Be it, if you are a student, an employee, a business person, a full time investor, EVERYONE, I meant all of us, has the inherent responsibility to manage our finance well.

The most important lesson, I learnt in personal finance, boils down to setting financial goals.

In my capacity as a financial associate in Singapore, I get to talk to lots of people, every single day.

I realise most of them have an insurance plan, have an endowment plan, have an investment linked policy, yet many do not set that OBJECTIVES for having those plans.

When asked, “Why do you get that endowment plan?”

Most will answer, “For savings purpose.”

When pressed for specific objectives, most will retort, “Don’t know. Just savings”.

You need to set your objectives right.

You need to set up your objectives clear.


A soccer player can’t score goals, if he does not know where his goal post is.

An athlete in the Olympics cannot win the game, if he is not clear on the perquisites to winning.

You get life insurance, for your coverage against death, permanent disability and 30 critical illnesses.

You save your money in the bank as a form of contingency funds for emergency use or for your everyday use.

You save your money in endowments, in investment linked products for child’s university education, for your retirement or simply to improve your living standards in the future.

The goal, the time frame and where you money is allocated to; everything is instrumental to your financial success.

Being clear of what exactly you want, and how much exactly you need, will help you in achieving your financial goals.

When setting financial goals, I always share with my clients this simple acronym, simple formula, which I termed as SMART.

Your goal must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

1)     Specific.

What is your OBJECTIVE of getting that savings plan?

How much money exactly, do you want to accumulate?

2)    Measurable

Your goal must be measurable.

If your child is 8 years old, and 10 years later, she wants to go to a local university; do you have at least $84,000 for her 3 years university education?

3)    Attainable

When you identify the goals that are important to you, you must find ways to make them come true.

Align yourself with professionals to ATTAIN your goals. 

Align with people who already achieved the outcome you want, and learn from them.

4)    Realistic

If you have been saving only $100 per month, to save $1000 per month in an endowment plan now, may seems farfetched.


Set yourself, a realistic goal.

5)    Timely

When exactly do you need, the money that you has saved?

10 years? 15 years? 20 years?

You decide!

So, just remember, setting financial goals are important, and when you set those goals, make sure it is SMART financial goals.

Thank you. We will catch up soon. 🙂 


p.s. By the way, if you wish to discover a simple & halal way to create a positive monthly cashflow and calculate your net worth for FREE, then please click here…

Helmi Hakim