I thought I'll create a video on what financial coaching is and explain a little on how I work with my clients and my process. Enjoy! If you want to get notified of new LIVE videos I'll be creating, Please go ahead and "LIKE" my FB page at https://www.facebook.com/TehFinancialCoaching. I also welcome feedback. If you have any particular topic you want me to talk about, please comment below. Thank you!
Apologize for not writing in awhile. My change in career last year have made me neglect my site a bit. I will work on trying to get regular posts in as I have a lot to share when it comes to finances.
So what have I been up to? Last year, I switched careers to be in corp finance doing FP&A (financial planning and analysis) from more than a decade in the Data Analytics (DA) field. I wanted to be in finance at my day job as working with numbers (especially money) really excites me so I decided to switch. Plus I was getting really bored with DA and don't see much of a future there. When I finally got the job, I was really excited to learn everything about finance, our business partners and the different products that our company Visa had to offer. It was a very exciting time for me indeed; and have consumed a lot of my energy. Now that my excitement have calmed down a little, I'm back to putting more attention to my main passion - helping individuals achieve financial freedom!
Aside from my day job, I continue to have sessions with my coaching clients outside the regular business hours. I also continue studying and learning whatever I can get my hands on to help me be a better coach. I've been studying tax as I get a lot of clients who ask for tax advice during our session. I started with taking the class at H&R block, then working for an individual tax preparer last year, and then this year I decided to volunteer for VITA preparing taxes for low income households (picture at the VITA site below). For more information, please refer to this link. I realize that I really enjoy doing tax as well so I want to take it to the next level by studying and committing to getting my Enrolled Agent (EA) by end of this year. So stay tuned for this service to pop up. I am really looking forward to offering this so I don't have to refer my clients out. This will make it a lot more convenient for both of us.
Before my bf and I left for our vacation to Japan and planning our trip, the friends I asked about how much to budget for a one week stay were not able to give me any specific answers. They just gave a general cost of $1000 per person so I thought I’ll write a blog about our actual expenses for a week stay in Japan. We weren’t the most frugal nor a spendthrift but hopefully this blog can help with your budgeting when you go to Japan for the first time.
All the breakdown below are for two people. I am only listing the expenses we have spent as a couple, not including the discretionary items we have bought individually. That would be up to you how much more you are willing to spend for fun stuff.
So to start, we flew during the off season from April 10 to 19th; when the cherry blossoms are dying and all we caught were the petals falling down (at least in the cities we have visited). Therefore, the flights were cheaper. Round trip flight with JAL (Japan Airlines) from SFO to Japan then to Taiwan and fly back to SFO was $1844. Once we arrived at the airport in Tokyo, we immediately rented a wifi router for one week, it's called NinjaWifi ($65.54). I highly recommend getting one since we would not have been able to go around Japan without Google maps and Google translator. We arrived Tokyo on the 11th and stayed there for 3 nights ($261.50) then stayed at a Ryokan in Kyoto since we wanted to experience what's it like to sleep Japanese style. We stayed there for 5 nights ($786.35). We only charged 4 times for lunch / dinner on our credit card that totaled $127. The rest were all in cash. We withdrew about 80000 yen (about $750), 10k yen each withdrawal - the currency exchange we got through ATM at that time was around 106.61 to 107.18. I recommend opening a debit card that does not charge a foreign transaction fee like Schwab. There is no need to bring USD since you will get a really bad exchange rate. It was a bad idea for us to bring USD, we walked around Japan trying to find the best rate but all we found were between 100 to 106.2 (this last one was very hard to find). Just bring enough cash for when you get back to the US. Trust me 7/11 ATMs are everywhere so you will not have a problem getting cash. ATMs or credit cards that do not charge any foreign transaction fee is your best bet for getting the best currency exchange. We also spent for two tickets to take the one way Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto ($254.54). We flew out from Osaka airport to Taiwan so our ticket for an express train from Kyoto to the airport was $29.86. I will not go through the details as to what we spent our cash on but they were mostly for food and some fun items and souvenirs.
If you add all of the above, we spent about $4100. Probably isn't the most frugal but we were comfortable and enjoyed our stay without consistently worrying about money. You might get away with spending less if you can get better deals with flights, hotels and not spending a lot but I think budgeting at least $2000 each person for a one week stay that includes everything from flight, hotel, food and transportation should be about enough. Also, we are not frequent travelers so we are still learning as we go. If you have any suggestions, please free to make a comment below or email me at Christine@TehFinancialCoaching.com. I'd love to hear from my readers!
As far as Japan; below are some of my observations:
I hope you enjoy this blog and got something out of it. 😊
Below are some pictures. First 2 is the ryokan we stayed at in Kyoto. Pic 3 is the Japanese cheesecake in Dotonbori, Osaka (it was the BEST cheesecake I have ever tasted! It's not like the American hard cheesecake but this one almost melts in your mouth, almost like a blend between very moist cake and cheese). The rest of the pictures are some cool sights and food that I have enjoyed throughout Japan.
Before getting too excited about getting a new addition to the family. In addition to the emotional and time investment, be prepared for the financial responsibility as well. I thought it would be good to write a blog detailing all the expenses you will incur the first 2 months since we've only had our dog for 2 months at this point. In addition to the financial breakdown, I'm listing out some tips for first time dog owners that I've learned from my first experience adopting a dog in this country. It's definitely not the same as owning a dog in Asia!
There will always be new things to learn from being pet parents but the above are the most important in my opinion or at least should get you started on the right foot. So to date, I have spent $1800 in 2 months for my dog and they went mostly to what I've listed above.
I'm very happy to say despite the expenses and time, she's a great joy to be around. She's always so excited to see us when we get home, she's very playful and loyal to us and provides a lot of laughter due to the little cute stuff she does.... Below are some photos of her. She is turning 3 years old in August and currently weigh 36 lbs. She is of a Jindo (South Korean breed) and we also named her Jindo. Who names their dogs the breed, probably no one so we are unique 😄
Update for 2019: We just got a second dog in May. I will write a separate blog on that as well. Stay tuned 🙂
what can I say, she's content 😇
waiting calmly while we eat our lunch at a restaurant
This is going to be a long blog but I thought I'll share my journey as to how I decided and ended up being one.