Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Menuju Bebas Hutang

Dengan terjualnya rumah kami di SP dan Ampang nanti, In Sha Allah, kami dapat mencorak kembali pengurusan kewangan kami yang adakalanya banyak tersasar di waktu muda kami. Ya, kami akan membeli rumah baru kelak, namun kajian teliti kemampuan perlu dibuat agar tidak lagi terjerumus ke kancah membuat hutang-hutang mudharat. No more expensive cars for us. Cukuplah sekadar yang ada sekarang. Selagi masih bisa berfungsi tanpa masalah yang berpanjangan akan kami gunakan seadanya biarpun dikatakan tanpa prestij. Hutang PTPTN pun bakal selesai dalam masa 2 tahun ini dan duit yg selalu diallocate untuk itu boleh dibuat simpanan dan pelaburan di tempat lain yang lebih menguntungkan terutamanya bagi tujuan menunaikan haji. Mungkin juga boleh difikirkan untuk membeli rumah kecil lain bagi tujuan investment seterusnya, sekiranya semua hutang-hutang mudharat ini selesai.

Buat sementara, aku sudah pastikan semua ahli keluarga dilindungi TAKAFUL nyawa, kesihatan dan pendidikan, di samping menabung Tabung Pendidikan Anak-anak di SSPN dan untuk tujuan tunai haji mereka di Tabung Haji. In Sha Allah, by the time they are 18, paling tidak kami boleh membayar yuran pengajian mereka apabila mereka melanjutkan pelajaran di dalam negara dan sudah cukup simpanan bagi tujuan haji. Credit Card pun jarang digunakan kecuali bagi tujuan membeli buku secara online dan mengisi minyak kereta, itupun kerana nak mengumpul point mata ENRICH bagi tujuan membeli tiket kapal terbang yang lebih murah apabila perlu. Kadang-kadang point itu juga boleh ditukar menjadi voucher bagi membeli buku atau mengisi minyak.

Apapun aku banyak belajar perihal rezeki daripada buku ini. Highly recommended book! Aku galakkan semua membeli dan membaca buku ini. Sudah banyak kali khatam, tapi setiap kali pembacaan akan ada 'pandangan' baru hasil drp pembacaan buku ini, In Sha Allah sangat berguna.

Satu lagi blog yang sangat membantu bab-bab perancangan kewangan ini adalah blog En Mohd Zulkifli yang boleh dibaca di sini. Entrinya berkenaan "Seronoknya hidup tanpa hutang" amat terkesan di hatiku. Semoga Allah permudahkan perancangan kami untuk hidup bebas daripada hutang-hutang yang membawa mudharat lagi. Ameen.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

How to sell a HOME? ... With LOVE

"A House Is Not a Home" sang Dionne Warwick, but there's no denying that we've definitely turned our house in SP into our home :-) We had carefully chosen its location, the color of every walls and doors in the house, designed the cabinets for the kitchen, bedrooms, and study and installed all the safety measures that comes with raising small kids. Our choice was to make it a simple functional home, but vibrant and contemporary at the same time. It was a no brainer, we love the place. It's facing a big open field and the morning sunrise, so it has never felt 'claustrophobic' and the living area is always kept cool (due to the sun position). When we were in Melbourne, Aliyah would always ask me, when are we going to return to our house here in SP. We were no doubt about it, attached to the house. All my chidren grew up in this house, memories were and are still made in it throughout their childhood. It had brought us so much joy. We really took care of it, keeping it prim, proper and well maintained, which is evident from its overall looks despite its decade old age. In truth, it symbolizes our lives here in SP.

We are now at the juncture of our lives that we have to make a decision on the future on this house, we called home. My DH and mom have been pressing me to just hold on to it a little while longer, till the price is right. Several friends, knowing of our future arrangement have been asking about it. But I wasn't ready to make up my mind on the asking price and I am somewhat pained at the idea of renting it out. Although we have rented it out before when we were in Melbourne, we knew we can never get the future tenant to have the same kind of love we have for the place. Further, 'maintaining' a tenant has never been my best 'forte'. So I know eventually we have to let go of the house.

After some contemplation and persuasion on my part, we've agreed and decided to let go of the place if we got the price we're asking for. I named the price and my DH agreed with it. This also means both our properties are now up for sale. I've already found a buyer for the one in Ampang and the ding dong with the lawyers is taking longer than earlier anticipated. But we're not in a rush, so besides the annoyance and delayed caused by the so called legal firm, the property has a secured buyer. I will eventually settled the sale. The apartment was bought for investment, and letting it go also requires some persuasion on my part, but seriously, I need that extra peace of mind, so the decision to sell it was final. With both places up for sale, we might as well migrate to Melbourne hehe

It is said that selling a house is all about the first impression, but I believe selling a home requires more than just that. A home needs to be 'sold' with love. The prospective buyer should be able to see them living and leading their lives in it and you must show how that's possible. And on top of that, I also need to 'sense' whether they can actually also love the place as much as I do. It's one thing to find a buyer, but then it's another 'ache' to hear their future plans of 'remaking' the place, until it loses its original looks. Well, I guess the last part is too much to ask for, but the 'love' part, I really need to know that's possible.

Anyway, maybe, it was our rezeki, as soon as we've decided on the price, a friend called us about the place one day and wanted to come inspect the next. I showed her some teaser pictures of the house and she was hooked even before she dropped by :-)Deep down I really wish she would love the place, since she had a small family and we knew her well. Once she'd even taught Aliyah during one of her English Camps. So even Aliyah knew her :-) Since Aliyah had been wondering if we can come visit the place from time to time if it were to be sold to someone else, selling it to her would be a lovely arrangement. I can easily see us visiting in the future if she bought our place.

The Study

My kitchen, then

We both took the whole day getting the kitchen as 'glorified' as it was in the picture 9 years ago and the whole house ready. I know I only have one chance at this. If they are not interested, then they will move on to the next house in their list. So we manage to get everything ready in time for their visit :-)

My kitchen, now

The children's room

Our Master Bedroom

She didn't take long during the inspection though, but the next day, I bumbed into her and she immediately confirmed her interest. She negotiated a little discount. Although we've fixed our price, but truthfully, just the sense that she had fallen in love with the house and would love it the way we do, In Sha Allah, made me persuaded my DH to discount the final price eventually. My mom still wished I'd wait, but I'm not sure I will find similar 'interest & love' in the future. I'm not merely selling a house, but our home. My friend upon hearing all this, feel honoured that we had chosen to sell it to her family of 3. I'm just grateful, that our home is going to make another family happy. I pray and wish it's going to be the best home for them and it will served them and be loved by them as well as it had served us and loved by us, In Sha Allah. :-D

Saturday, February 8, 2014


This week, Alhamdulillah, was 'unofficially' my last lecture for my 'Introduction to Jurisprudence' class this semester (lega!!!) Due to a different future commitment, I won't be teaching this course anymore in the near future (legaaaa!!!), well, especially not in UiTM Kedah that is.

So I took some time to wrap up about law & society, issues of welfare, even 'rant' about the position, policies and actions of the Republicans and Democrats in the US, and their somewhat 'similarities' to their 'so called' Malaysian 'counterparts'. I asked them to ponder upon all the issues surrounding them and 'see' with their minds, not merely with their eyes.

I think the most interesting about 'anecdotes-telling' sessions is to observe how your students listened & focused attentively to your 'stories' sambil melopong haha...Well, that, in my view has always been the best part about teaching I pray and hope they'll get something from it all, In Sha Allah.

Towards the end, I further emphasized that times are changing and we can no longer live 'exactly' in accordance with the ways of our ancestors, we need to change, evolve, move on to better ourselves, our way. In jest, I said, "in 4 years time once you graduated, the SPA form should not be the first form you filled up online. You CANNOT set your mind to work with the government (makan gaji with pencen), I repeat myself, sayang sayang semua, you CANNOT, CANNOT, please... Please, think of something else. You have 4 years to do that." Well, they actually smiled at the instant the word 'sayang-sayang semua' was mentioned, but I do hope I got my point across.

But then later, I found this article here. I read it with an open mind and smile regardless at the end. Well, at least I think now I know the 'real benefits' of being a civil servant, or more accurately the bosses of civil servants. Come to think of it, it made my 'callings' yesterday for my students to not work with the Civil Service seems rather 'counter-intuitive' ;-)