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01 Jan 2019

Lianhe Zaobao, 1 Jan 2019, Teaching others to diligently save money (summarised translation)

24-year-old SUTD-SMU dual degree programme student, Tan Jia Hao, comes from a moderately well-off family with his father as the sole breadwinner. His mother taught him the importance of saving money from an early age, and he has been working hard at it since he was six, having saved around $10,000 even before he completed Secondary Four. 
Tan Jia Hao, together with fellow classmates, Ng Zheng Nan (24) and Tan Jia Wen (21) are all SUTD-SMU dual degree programme students. Last year, the three-man team participated in the Citi-SMU Financial Literacy Challenge and designed an infographic poster about the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrency in an easy-to-understand way, which won them the competition.
The three students revealed they all came from middle-income families and knew the importance of saving and managing money from an early age. When interviewed, Jia Hao said his mother is a housewife and his dad is the sole breadwinner for the family. “My mother paid great attention to financial management, and she helped open a savings account for me even before I was six years old, and told me to be diligent in saving money.”
Since then, Jia Hao would diligently save the money that he received from Chinese New Year red packets, education scholarships and even his own pocket money, and after 10 years of saving, he managed to save $10,000, even before he completed Secondary Four. He said: “When I entered university, I realised that savings alone may not be enough to cope with future expenses.”
After attending the Citi-SMU Financial Literacy Challenge, Jia Hao gained a deeper understanding of investment, blockchain, cryptocurrency, etc. The biggest takeaway from the competition was the opportunity to share with other students the cryptocurrency chart that he and his team members, Zheng Nan and Jia Wen, had designed.
Tan Jia Hao added: “Cryptocurrency is really an unfamiliar field for the three of us, but due to this competition, we spent a few months doing research on it. We now have a basic understanding of cryptocurrencies and can share with friends interested in investing, and this really gives a sense of satisfaction.”