When I moved to Singapore from the US 7 years ago, I knew I was moving to one of the most expensive cities in the world (now ranked #1, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit). As a former “couponer” and bargain hunter who lived in one the least expensive cities in the US, I was determined to maintain and even outdo the frugal lifestyle that I once had. My goal was to save even more while living an even better life here.

Many people thought it would not be possible. But I was up for the challenge. After all, I’ve faced and overcome many obstacles in the past that seemed impossible. Things like poverty, supporting myself financially from when I was a teenager, getting university degrees (including a masters degree in engineering) while working at the same time, dealing with a rare medical condition, and cultivating a happy and healthy family despite not growing up in one.

Why am I so passionate about saving money? Having grown up in poverty, I know how it feels to be financially insecure. To be hungry and rely on other people’s scraps. And to constantly worry about how to make ends meet. Now as an adult, my goal and passion is to encourage others to achieve security, happiness, peace of mind, and better living through frugality.

In addition to being an engineer, I also became a certified financial planner. Unlike most financial planners, I did not sell any products but instead focused entirely on financial education and planning. What many financial advisors don’t tell you is that saving money is just as important as making money. And one is much easier to control than the other. It’s these small changes and habits that over time can really make a difference.

– Spring Sun, MSc, CFP®