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Deaf girl’s experience of challenges in managing money

Saving money for goals
I learnt about how to save money when I worked with my teammates on a project several times. My teammates and I went regularly to faraway places like Dengkil, and Putrajaya for the film-production of, Gunung Tebu, ; Terengganu for nature photograph shots; and Kota Bahru, Kelantan for looking for the history of popular wayang kulit. We also discussed about how to plan our finances, - how much we should spend, and budget for.
My teammates and I decided to sleep in a Surau – it did not have fans, pillows & blankets because the entrances of Gunung Tebu was closed, we arrived late and could not go inside Gunung Tebu and set up the camp because we travelled so far and were tired. Thus, we could not spend any more money for the taxi and hotel – it would be very expensive because Gunung Tebu was very far from the city!

In Kelantan, the six of us were lucky to stay in an old couple’s kampung home. When they realised we had walked so far from the city, the old couple kindly lent 2 rooms to us, and brought us to meet an important person, tokoh. They brought us to the expensive wayang kulit, and we managed to do film on them. We bought cheap food, such as ikan bakar without rice because we needed to some left over money for production and transport budget.

So, my friends and I learnt from each other that we had to work together to make sure our project would look great with our hard work and that everything okay, especially our safety.

Doing freelance jobs during my university studies
Since I started studying in the university, I work on a freelance design basis to earn extra money because I wanted to pay the tuition and hostel fees without burdening my family and buy precious art materials. Dealing with many different clients allowed me an opportunity to understand their needs while ensuring at the same time, my prices remained competitive and included the costs of various materials and labour.

Get a second job
I decided to blogging as my second income job because this one of the easiest ways to reach my financial goals. For example, when you want to sell the product online as a part-time job, your income can double.

Learn important lessons from my family
My mom is an excellent advisor when it comes to money. For example, my mom taught me how to work out my monthly budget when I started my first job, and she encouraged me to use a notebook with columns to track my income and expenses. My uncle also taught me that I needed to save half of my salary while I was working with him in his business company. Sometimes, my mom also gives a few tips about long-term investment of shares, house prices, credit cards and insurances so that I could be financially savvy.

Example of my expenses
  • Groceries, clothing, food, work materials - 25% 
  • Debt-s; credit cards, life insurance and student loan - 15% 
  • Transportation; car payments, petrol, tolls - 15% 
  • Housing; bills - 25% 
  • Savings, Emergency fund; 20% 
Image credited by ishockphoto.com
How to keep my income stable?
I do own credit cards but, I try not to use the credit cards, so that my debts would not increase. but, if there is an emergency - when I suddenly have no money, or something is expensive and I don't have enough cash, or something happens to me, I will use the credit card.

I also work out a goal to use money on what I really desire. For example, I planned to go to Turkey in December last year; I scrimped and saved as much as I could within 3 months. While holidaying there, I never spent more than my limits.

I like gadgets and interesting technology stuff but they are always expensive, particularly when they are first launched. I try to wait for the price to go down in 6 months or 2 years, or keep a look out for promotions & discounts. I can then buy my fix to make myself happy.

At the same time, I have an emergency fund and insurance. If I get involved in car accident, or in a medical emergency, I can make use of this medical insurance/fund.

I also do research on how to grow my savings because I make sure have enough money available for my own activities and needs. Saving is currently my highest priority because this money can be saved for my own self and family.

Set goals - it's the key to financial success.
Spend less than you earn - it's the secret to creating wealth. 

Written by Selina Ooi, Deaf co-founder of Deafmoolah, Designer and Blogger, http://www.selinawing.com 

An article published by DeafMoolah - a collaborative non-profit organization envisioned to be the information centre of all pertinent financial information for the Deaf community.  It is an organization managed by the Deaf for the Deaf. DeafMoolah team is made up of Selina Ooi, Daphne Eng and James Chua with Carol Yip as Advisor.

DeafMoolah’s facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Deafmoolah


  1. Anonymous1:39 PM

    Hi Seline.

    Thanks for sharing me your article on a blog. I did love it read and exciting. I couldn't agree more with you all the truth and financial planning. I support you help to encouraged all deaf awareness over an important financial very care before too late reach at 55-years-old a time retirement.

    Banderas Lee.

  2. Hello Banderas,

    I am happy when you love to read my blog so much. Yeah, thisis why Deafmoolah need to do research on Deaf financial as we can try our best! :)

    When Deafmoolah get the workshop in future, I will inform you all ya!

  3. Anonymous11:02 PM

    Sure... waiting for your processing the future if have an issued announcement that, Deaf Moolah.

    On another matter, I want to know if available an investment for workshop a suit all deaf join?


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