Money Love Story Part 1: Tell Your Story

I don’t remember much about childhood and money. I know my mom has a lot of money, she’d buy me things. My dad don’t usually agree. I think he likes the status, but he doesn’t actually have the money.

I remember him going to the lottery, nombor ekor. And I remember Pak’s driver asked me for a number and kena a bit. I guess… money is luck?

I also remember thinking (in my uni years), that duit boleh cari. At that point, I really felt like fuck everyone, I can find money myself.

My mom divorced her second husband, and was cut financially. She’d sell the Penang apartment that belonged to my elder sister, had her give her credit card to my mom and my mom maxed it out. I also think she used up the savings my grandpa had put aside for Hanin. I’m pretty sure of it.

Both sides are fucked up la.

I remember Kak Cik also been taking money from Pak’s business and Mak’s account. That poor lady almost had a heart attack when she found out her bank account didn’t have any money. Kak cik was supposed to bank in every month from Pak’s business, but she didn’t and took it instead for her lifestyle. Her husband doesn’t work, sort of like a good for nothing, so she has to support all of them.

When Pak passed away, ada perebutan harta plak. I see greed. And I hated it. I could never understand how family members can be torn apart simply because of possessions and money.

Greed. Hmph 😏. Is that my obstacle? Is that my blockage? I’ve only just realised that feeling. I think that was the seed to me thinking that I don’t need anybody’s money. They can have it all. I can find my own.

I was what? 12?

My sister was different. She loved money.

Oh I remember Ijan used to take the change whenever he was running errands. And he’s tell me to keep quiet.

I used to steal too. I remember I stole a Sesame Street interactive CD from MPH Bangsar. Mama used to leave me there while she does her hair or something. I don’t know. But I was there a lot of time.

I don’t feel so good remembering these. But I must. It’s so fcuked up to leave a 9yo at a bookstore for long hours.

I also remember trying to steal money from Pak Mir’s wallet. We were at A famosa waterpark and it was getting dark. He had his wallet at the back pocket of the passenger seat of his car. I went in and I saw he had a lot of RM50 notes and I thought he won’t notice it. So I started to slowly take out the note bit by bit while he was busy talking outside in the carpark and when Ayu wasn’t looking. But I was too slow and the note was already quarter way out when he came to take his wallet. He looked puzzled at the wallet, and I just pretended that it’s always been that way. He didn’t say anything, he shrugged it off and took the wallet. I kinda regret not being fast enough, but also thankful I didn’t get caught in the act.

Back to when I was in Uni. I thought it was unfair that I had to take PTPTN, because I knew my mom had money. But she wanted me to feel the “struggle”. I don’t know what nonsense is she talking about.

Anyway, at this point it fucking shitty because she’s single and is not getting the money she wants. She’d lie to her ex-husband, Babah. Told him that I’m taking advance degree shit and needed money. And made me play along. She’d make up stories to Abang Non about me, about how I’m asking money from her. Fucking sob story. I knew because I heard her.

Granted, at that time, I wasn’t doing well in MMU. I was skipping classes. But I did assignments for other kids. I’d build websites for them for money.

But at that time, I didn’t know how to keep money. It was more like, dapat duit, belanja. Panik. Cari kerja. Rinse and repeat.

Then aku sewa jauh and all that. Then I moved back to Cyberjaya, I think. To straighten shit out. Can’t remember that part in order. But I remembered being an intern at Motiofixo. First time earning money.

I had skills. Coding. I wasn’t disciplined, definitely. But I got skills. I applied for a job at Antics Studios. Got my first full time job there, salary RM2,500. Did some part time work on the side as well. I loved coding.

It makes me sad to write it in past tense. Because I don’t know if I still have the skills. I’ve left it for so long. I don’t have confidence anymore.

Anyway, I got married. To be honest, I didn’t know how we were going to have the ceremony. I just thought that it’ll settle on its own. I didn’t have money to buy hantaran and all that. Syam took a loan out. But that’s his story, I’m talking about mine now. I didn’t have savings, I was really bad at retaining money. I’d have like… RM5 in the account by the next paycheck. Didn’t help that Antics was paying late, but still, I wasn’t any good.

My mom, because she likes the status, of course doesn’t want her first wedding to be biasa. So she paid for all of it. By this time she had another husband, so she has money. And she’s calmer, because she had money. My mom has never worked (ada la sikit, I’m exaggerating), she DOESN’T know how to make money. She knows how to RECEIVE money, and spend. Even when she was low on money, she’d spend more. It’s like her coping mechanism or some shit, being in denial that she doesn’t have money.

Omg. It’s a really bad memory for me. I feel it in my chest everytime I think about it. I hate it. I hate the memory, I mean. Maybe that’s also my blockage. I feel really strongly about that two memories.

Anyway, fast forward. I had a kid, I still didn’t have any savings. I’m in debt. I’m very keen to clear off my clear debts. My debts used to take 60%-70% of my salary. I would feel heavy after paying my commitments. I did manage to save money, after struggling so long.

At this time my dad was having money problems and had been borrowing money from his friends and all of us. Needless to say, he borrowed my savings and I had none left. I paid for his house, which was RM2500, and his credit card, I can’t remember how much.

God, I hate talking about this. Very bad memories and lessons about money from my parents. Very very bad.

Even after he passed away, we found out about more debts he was in.

So anyway, I didn’t build up my savings after that because I thought there was no point. I thought building it back up was pointless, takes a lot of time, I might as well invest it somewhere rather than to just keep it.

At one point, I did 3 jobs at once. It was tiring. Hmph. I always felt stressed to about money. I’d check my balances, I’d plan for the future. I’d resent my husband for making me sign up for a vacation subscription which we didn’t go to at all because he wasn’t working and we had no money.

Our trips to Europe was sponsored by my mom. Although we had fun. but I felt like we had to do stuff for her because we were using her money for the flight tickets and passports. She gave money for us to clear off my credit card but I think my husband used it for something else. And I was really pissed.

I always felt like a fraud before and sometimes during the trip or when my friends commented, because I didn’t go there using our own money. My mom paid for me. I feel embarrassed that I’m piggybacking.

Even right now, like, I have money in my bank account now, I don’t have to worry about that anymore, but I don’t have freedom. I can’t quite explain it. Like, I can’t simply buy a house. I can’t take a loan or something like that. That’s probably not true, it’s just something I feel like I can’t do.

Let me quickly recap my “official” commitments: ASB loan (RM570), PTPTN (RM10,000), credit card, MyVi (RM10,023.36), Centrus.

I think I’m just not confident to make my own money? Or I prefer easy money?

I still don’t have a savings. I don’t know what savings are for. I don’t see the point.

I’m making less money than before, but I seem to have enough by the end of the month. Which is good. But I still don’t feel free.

And I don’t or can’t attribute myself to that achievement. I mean, I feel like I don’t deserve it, I don’t earn it. And it makes me feel bad. I mean, I know I do the work, but somehow I’m still undermining myself. My mindset needs to change. My thoughts about me. And money.

What do you think?

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