Navigating Inflation, Finances, and Life: A Guide from a 36-Year-Old Handicapped in Taiwan

Navigating Inflation, Finances, and Life: A Guide from a 36-Year-Old Handicapped in Taiwan

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Hey there, dear readers! If you’ve stumbled upon this blog post, you’re in for a treat – or at least, I hope you are. I’m a 36-year-old handicapped daughter living in Taiwan with my spry 70-something mom. We’ve weathered several storms together, including the GD recent economic tempest known as inflation. In this post, I’ll share my unique perspective on how we are adjusting our budget and handling personal finance along the way.

Inflation Hits Hard

Life was already a rollercoaster, but recently, it’s feeling more like a financial horror movie. Inflation is creeping in like an uninvited guest, wreaking havoc on our monthly budget. As prices are soaring faster than my wheelchair racing down a hill, my mom and I have to adapt. Luckily, we stumbled upon a site called calculator.me, the ultimate financial planner for those who know nothing about finance and can only do math in single digits like me. The site includes a calculator for every spending, including a “loan amortization calculator,” “mortgage/ real estate calculator,” “auto/car loan calculator,” “credit card calculator,” “savings, investment & financial planning calculators,” and “retirement & financial planning calculators.” The “savings calculator” even has a column to input the”Inflation rate” to give you the most accurate estimate for your savings. It’s your personal financial advisor in your laptop from the comfort of your home. After analyzing the numbers it gave us, we came up with some excellent money-saving tips that I am sharing with you:

Reining in the Budget

 

The first thing we do is to sit down and scrutinize our budget. If you are familiar with my blog posts, you know I’ve been battling eczema for 3-some years already. Eczema is known as the “herpes of dermatosis.” There’s no known cure as of now. While most people’s first reaction to my condition may be, “Oh, mi dispiace. (I’m sorry),” I see it as a wake-up call to my unhealthy binge-eating habits. Gone are the days of carefree spending on Pizza Hut delivery every other night. We’ve become experts at home cooking. Although my limbs don’t work, I aced my nutrition course in college. I’ve also had the pleasure to dine at numerous 3-star Michelin restaurants worldwide, so I know a thing or two about whipping up a scrumptious meal with the simplest ingredients. With my knowledge and my mom’s super hands, we make a perfect team. We’ve even started calling our home-cooked meals “Michelin cuisine” to add a dash of humour to our situation.
Our strategy? Cutting out non-essential expenses, like those streaming services we never had time to watch anyway. We’ve also become avid coupon clippers and sale hunters, turning our weekly grocery trips into an episode of “Extreme Couponing” (minus the dramatic music).

Embracing Financial Calculators

Navigating the labyrinth of finances can be daunting, but we found a lifeline – financial calculators. Our trusty companions in this quest for financial stability include calculators for loans, savings, and retirement planning. Let’s not forget the budgeting calculator, which has become our virtual financial advisor.
The best part? These calculators aren’t judgmental. They don’t scoff when we input our modest income or grand retirement plans. Instead, they help us visualize our financial goals and create realistic plans to achieve them. Think of them as our digital sidekicks in this superhero mission against inflation.

The Not-So-Sweet Escape: Holiday Planning

Now, let’s talk about holidays. Remember when we used to plan vacations without a care in the world? Yeah, those days are long gone. But fear not, fellow adventurers; we’ve devised a plan to keep the holiday spirit alive without emptying our pockets.

Staycations and DIY Delights

Since exotic vacations are currently off the menu, we’ve embraced staycations like never before. We’ve turned our home into a cozy retreat, complete with indoor camping, movie marathons, and themed dinner nights. Who knew that our living room could double as a beach resort with a bit of imagination (and a lot of inflatable palm trees, which you can occasionally throw in a few punches to release the frustrations during this period)?
Heartfelt gifts have also become our go-to for celebrations. Nothing says “I love you” like a homemade, hand-painted card or composing heartfelt lyrics which bring tears to each other’s eyes, like the one I wrote for my mom for Mother’s Day, right? And if you’re wondering how I managed to paint with limited mobility, let’s just say that the results were hilariously abstract.

Life Advice for the Young and the Restless

As I navigate the treacherous waters of adulthood, I often find myself wishing I could share some wisdom with my younger self. So, for all you youngsters out there, here are a few nuggets of wisdom from the school of hard knocks.

Embrace Imperfection

 

Life isn’t a perfectly crafted Instagram post; it’s more like a chaotic TikTok video. Embrace your quirks and flaws. They’re what make you unique and interesting. Besides, perfection is overrated. Who wants to be the bland, generic oatmeal of humanity when you can be the spicy, exotic curry?

Money Lessons from Mom:

My mom taught me some invaluable money lessons. One of them is natural beauty. Real beauty reflects from the inside out. In Asia, people judge you on appearance, accessories, and things you possess. Women are objectified from childhood. While a typical Asian mom would teach their daughters to look pretty, my mom always emphasized elegance and etiquette. I even know a particular Asian country hands out money to their daughters as their high-school graduation gift for plastic surgery. Growing up, I’ve always wondered why my insults never harmed nobody seemed to hurt any girl. I’ve been called “ugly,” which hurt. However, my best comeback was always, “Well, you have no class and lack etiquette.” Although I hold a few LV bags, none came from my desires. Invest those unnecessary expenses into that emergency fund, invest wisely, and watch your money grow. It’s a slow burn but pays off in the long run.

Laugh in the Face of Adversity:

Life can throw wild curveballs like a rogue baseball in a dark comedy. When things get tough, channel your inner comedian. Find humour in the absurdity of it all. Trust me; laughter is the best therapy. Plus, it’s free!

Conclusion

 

So, there you have it, folks – a glimpse into my life as a handicapped daughter in Taiwan, battling inflation and finding humour in the darkest corners. If you’re facing financial challenges, remember that you’re not alone. There’s always a way to adapt, adjust, and even find joy in the chaos.
As for our trusty financial calculators from calculator.me, they’ve been the unsung heroes of our budgeting saga. Whether you’re planning for your future, managing your debts, or simply trying to make sense of your finances, these calculators are your companions in this adventure.
This is not an advertisement; consider it a friendly recommendation from one friend to another. And if you find this post helpful or entertaining, please share it with your friends on social media. After all, laughter is best when shared, just like financial advice.
Until next time, keep laughing, budgeting, and navigating the crazy journey of life. As the wise ones always say, “When life gives you lemons, make a lemonade stand and sell it for a profit.” Cheers to that!

Lessons from My Tiny Corner of Taiwan

Living in Taiwan has been a bizarre experience, to say the least. While it’s said to be a beautiful island known for its stunning landscapes and bustling cities, life here has its quirks, especially concerning personal finance.

Thrifty Taiwan:

Taiwanese culture values thriftiness. It’s not uncommon to see people meticulously counting every coin before making a purchase. Even those foreigners spending US dollars in TWD currency. This frugal mindset has rubbed off on me, and now I find myself meticulously budgeting every expense, just like a true local.
One tip I’ve learned from the locals is the art of bargaining. It’s not only accepted but expected in many situations, from buying fresh produce at the local market to negotiating the rent for a new apartment. If you’ve never haggled for a bundle of bok choy or a better deal on your monthly rent, you’re missing out on an authentic Taiwanese experience.

Calculator.me: The Unsung Hero

Now, let’s dive deeper into how calculator.me has been our financial lifesaver during these turbulent times.

Retirement Planning: A Ray of Hope

Picture this: I’m sitting at the kitchen table with my mom, mugs of coffee in hand, pondering our retirement. It may seem like a distant dream, but it’s never too early to plan for the future. Calculator.me’s retirement planner came to our rescue.
We input our current savings, estimated future contributions, retirement age, and voilà! The calculator gave us a clear picture of whether we were on track or needed to make some adjustments. Knowing that we’re making progress towards a comfortable retirement, even on a limited budget, brings a sense of peace amid the chaos of inflation.

Life Lessons and Dark Humor

Life isn’t just about numbers; it’s about experiences and the lessons we learn along the way. As a handicapped daughter, my journey has been filled with its share of challenges and laughs.

Finding Strength in Vulnerability

Living with a disability has taught me that vulnerability is a source of strength, not weakness. Asking for help isn’t a sign of defeat; it’s a demonstration of resilience. It’s like summoning your inner superhero when you need it most.

Laughter: The Universal Language

Dark humour, as twisted as it may seem, is a lifeline. When life throws curveballs, laughing in its face is an act of defiance. It’s like saying, “I may be down, but I’m not out.” So, don’t hesitate to find humour in the absurdity of everyday life; it’s the secret ingredient to surviving with your sanity intact.

Wrapping Up

Inflation may have barged into our lives like an unwelcome guest. Still, with a bit of humour, some thrifty wisdom from a handicap, and the help of calculator.me’s financial tools, my mom and I are navigating these turbulent waters with grace and resilience.
Remember, life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain, even if you’re doing it from a wheelchair. So, whether you’re facing financial challenges, seeking inspiration, or simply looking for a laugh, I hope this blog post has brought a ray of light into your day.
Until next time, keep counting those coins, find joy in the little things, and, most importantly, never forget to laugh. Life’s too short to be serious all the time, especially in the face of inflation.

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