Life Sifu
by
Shong Jay Shen
(Contact)

Life Sifu is a project borne out a desire to address financial literacy among the Malaysians. The project will start with sharing my personal system on keeping my finances in balance. When the users sees some results, I hope to expand on it and increase their financial literacy along the way to prepare for their retirement.

FOCUS AREA

Youth Development

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Target : 50 votes
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STAGE

Ideation
Fundraising

Problem

This article got me started on this project - https://themalaysianreserve.com/2017/10/04/bnm-malaysians-find-hard-raise-cash-emergencies/.

"Financial education is vital for Malaysians as more than 75% of them find it a challenge to even raise RM1,000 of immediate cash money for emergencies, said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM)."

Adding on to the statistics were 32% can only survive for 1 week if they lose their job today. 38% of youth has personal loans and 47% has credit card debt.

While financial education is the obvious solution, based on observation and sharing from young adults, motivation to monitor finances is the biggest issue. Most young adults find it "too much work" to spend their time to jot down their spending on a daily basis, to monitor their cash flow, savings accounts and credit card accounts. They are perfectly content to not check further if they are able to see that they have money in the bank, eventhough the house is burning.

Solution

The solution has to address their motivation, and it has to require minimum effort. My solution also latches on the typical behaviour of unlocking their mobile phone every few minutes in a day. As far as effort goes, they just need to decide how much they can afford to spend in a day.
 

What happens now is that whenever Malaysians unlock their phone, they will see this "daily spending quota". It will instantly remind them that they have that much of money left to spend that day. All they need to do is to keep the quota positive. Only basic education is required to follow this system. When the "daily spending quota" is set appropriately, they would not only be able to save every month, they would also be able to make a real attempt at improving their quality of life and have better retirement years.

For now, they would have to inform the app whenever they spend their money, but hopefully with help from the government, we can automate this process.

Target Beneficiary

Who?

While I hope to address the whole population, I would start with the college going youths as well as he young adults going into the workforce. These are prime time because they would begin to be given more control over their finances by their parents, and they are eligible to work from more income. The likelihood of spending beyond their means would also begin during this period.

Why?

A better future could only be formed when the population are looking to make a better future, and that cannot happen when their daily concern is their rumbling stomach and piling loans.

Size and measurement

There are about 200k university graduates a year in Malaysia.

What?

The project sees itself as a personal financial buddy for each person. Attention is spent on providing financial education to each person at their own pace, while the app acts as an enabler to make the management easier.

How is it measured?

I will reach out to these people via workshops in collaborations with universities as well as corporates. The workshop will motivate them to start thinking about their finances. If the students find that they need to simpler way than the traditional methods to get started, they may consider the app.

Shong Jay Shen

Individual

Shong Jay Shen has wide experience in financial audit and knowledge management from his years in PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).In PwC, he has taken on the role as field Team Manager, to lead a team, manage workflow and provide external audit services from planning to completion. Significant audit experience in various industries not limited to property development, retail, consumer goods manufacturing, information technology, logistics and supply chain solutions, semiconductor manufacturing, pharmaceutical and medical devices distribution. Key clients include local public listed companies and multinational corporations headquartered in United States of America, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong.

 

He currently organizes Business Support Groups to help new and young entrepreneurs manage the transition from a student or employee to a business owner. The Business Support Groups operates on a peer group model, where with careful selection of peers and with the right environment, will provide each person ample opportunities for personal and business growth from each session. The group serves as a private platform where each person are tasked to ask challenging questions, so that they may learn how to widen their considerations on any matter, as well as receive new perspectives to process any issues they may face. Members often feedback that with the group, they begin to know more of what they do no know, and have a stronger clarity of what needs to be done immediately.

Jay Shen graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Accounting and Finance, from the Australian National University. He is now a Chartered Accountant of Australia and New Zealand.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jay-shong-792ba7a2/

Type of help needed

Funding
In-Kind Contribution

Project Cost

RM 3001 to RM 10000

Describe Needs

1. In a world flooded by financial apps, I would need help to persuade the audience that this is different, where it focuses on behaviour change, rather than merely record keeping.

2. I would need help to reach out to universities and corporates.

3. Funding to pay for the running costs would be much appreciated, up until the revenue streams become more reliable.

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Project Quotation

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Short Term

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Pledges
Votes
Name Date
Aina125 19 Dec 2017
Shaza Lina 26 Dec 2017
lina 28 Dec 2017
Samuel Mayor Santana 17 Jan 2018
Fabien Bouhier 17 Jan 2018