It is always

I met my cousin this morning to do some paperwork to stop deduction for his CPF investment because of the new ruling for CPF investment this April. During our breakfast together, I learned that he is TOTALLY debt free at age 27! This is less than a full year since he graduated from university!

Cousin L didn't take the usual JC-Uni route which many many graduates took. He graduated from a good secondary school after 5 years through the Normal Academic program (rather than the usual 4) and chose the Polytechnic route. Inu

I received a letter from the Office of Finance for my tuition fees for my final semester in college last Friday. This term's bill: S$657.95 (including a $10 late fine).

Looking back, I'm amazed at how far I've come paying such an amount every term for the last 3 years (for 6 terms, the amount is close to SGD 4,000!). Much was done through scrimping, saving, budgeting, borrowing, school bursary and planning.

I was also fortunate to receive the better portion from the Government's GST credits in 2007 ($900) and the upcoming Growth Dividends ($500) during my term in school, which helps tremendously during crucial times when overdue tuition bills like this reach my mailbox.

Some of my schoolmates do not have to worry financial matters like this. After all, their parents are paying or subsidizing much of their expenses and sponsoring their college education. In fact, many of them will be going for graduation trips to various parts of Asia, America and Europe this May/June to celebrate their victory over the arduous curriculum on FMS (Father-Mother Sponsorship).

I used to be quite upset that my parents were not able to sponsor my college education the way many of my friends does. And since I've accepted responsibility of my financial destiny, I feel much more empowered to release myself of debt the soonest!

P.S: The cheque of $657.95 sits nicely in my drawer, ready to be sent out once my cash account gets topped up by the Growth Dividends at the end of April!