Financial tips to save more money before you move abroad

Episode Description

Coming from a country like Hong Kong, Cindy’s decision to move to Canada was odd yet fulfilling. With her brother studying in England at the age of 15, Cindy was motivated to follow her brother’s path. Being the youngest in her family was something that Cindy wanted to break free from to start living an independent life. Although moving to Canada was reasonably comfortable for Cindy because of her aunt’s great help, she was a woman who did not settle for comfort.

Cindy sets her perspective on the future, leading her to switch multiple careers because of her advanced thinking. From fashion designing to becoming an IT, and now, a financial advisor, Cindy surpassed her limits and found herself what she’s passionate about doing. It is at this moment of our life where we realize our purpose. And Cindy’s purpose was to help people with their money to use this money not for lavish but to reach their most unselfish dreams.

Most people say that money is the root of all evil, but it’s not. Money is one of the best tools to help people’s lives if we just learn to use it well. Just like Cindy said, “Learning about finance is a life skill.” As emigrants, we need to grasp the importance of managing our finances because it will significantly impact our future abroad. Start saving and investing wisely!

About Cindy

Born in Hong Kong, raised and studied at the Capital City of Ottawa, Ontario. Cindy has worked and lived in Toronto and Seattle before settling in beautiful Vancouver, BC.

As a Financial Consultant and Financial Literacy Educator, Cindy has been helping people build their financial dreams, goals, and freedom.

“You have to be able to believe in yourself because anything is possible if you believe in it”

Get in touch with Cindy

Email - Website

Tips and key takeaways


Episode Transcript

Cindy 0:02

I was a professional student because I don't want to go out to the real world and earn money because I don't know how the only thing I know how is to study and get A's. But that's all I know. But I wish I have come out to the real world and experience the real world, and to do more, to move for myself to more for society. And then I can do more for my family and my parents.

Daniel De Biasi 0:30

Hi, everyone, and welcome to episode number 56 of the Emigrant's Life Podcast, where we share stories of people who left their country to chase a better life. And through these stories, you can find ideas, resources, and motivation to do the same. I'm Daniel De Biasi. And with my guest this week, Cindy we are going to talk about finance, which is one of the main concern when deciding to leave your country and start fresh in a new one when I decided to leave my country, Italy to move to New Zealand, not being able to find a job and run out of money was the thing that scared me the most. Finding the job wasn't the real problem. If I had a lot of money, for example, in my bank account, that wouldn't have been an issue. In fact, my problem was that I didn't have a lot of money in my bank account. If you are listening to this podcast before, you will know that with a good plan and preparation, moving abroad can be done even with a little money. But who doesn't want to have more money, right? Cindy is a financial consultant and a financial educator. But as you will hear in our conversation, her career started in a completely different field. It was resilience and adaptation made her change her career multiple times in very different industries. So without further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Cindy.

Hi, Cindy. Thanks for being on the show.

Cindy 1:44

Hello how are you Daniel?

Daniel De Biasi 1:46

I'm really good, I'm really good thanks. I'm now I'm really excited to having you on the show. So Cindy, let's start like from the beginning of your story because it's pretty interesting. And so you are originally from Hong Kong, China, but you left from when you were pretty early, like you left China when you were 16.

Cindy 2:02


Daniel De Biasi 2:02

I want to understand like, why did you leave China and what was your dream? Because when you're like 16 I guess you have dreams right? And like what what was the reason for you to leave China at such a young age?

Cindy 2:14

Well, when I was young, I wanted to see the world. I always want to be independent because being the youngest in my family, everything is being done for me. And I was like what is on the other side of the world? I think my biggest motivation was when I see my brother's study in London, England and he got to see the world and he got to go and study abroad and I wanted to have the same thing. I was lucky because all my auntie Cath, who is the youngest sister of my mother, always invited me to come to Canada, come to Canada. come to study in Canada and come live with me. The story goes is my auntie Cath actually is the youngest sister of my mother who my grandmother has 12 kids like in the olden days they have a really big family so 12 and more. I think my grandma is very very fertile lady. But anyways my grandmother having so many kids doesn't want any kids anymore and especially for girls, right? They love boys, I don't know. They're like, Oh girls, you know it's gonna marry out, it's not going to be with the family. So my grandmother, the story goes is that my grandmother always tried to bring my auntie Cath to the orphanage house, but luckily, the orphanage house is always full of kids and they have refused to take a my auntie Cath for like several times. My mom back and back, my grandmother please keep Auntie Cath and I promised to take care of her as my own child. So when Auntie Cath grow up and then study and live in Canada she always want to pay back my mom and she always invite me and I'm very close to her and she's very dear to me. And I take up the opportunity to study in Canada so I begged my dad, Please let me go and live with Auntie Cath and he did. I know he wasn't happy with it.

Daniel De Biasi 4:13

Yeah, cause you're like pretty young. Like 16, then let you go and like on the other side of the, of the other side of the world with the still like in a different you know from China to go to on the other side of Canada is pretty much the other side of the world, yeah?. So it's just such a young age but it's interesting that you were like trying to follow your like brother's footstep. Like, experiencing these abroad and you kind of want to do the same thing and luckily for you that you had the opportunity, you had a family member in Canada. So was Canada the reason just because your aunt or just because there was something about Canada that you wanted to see or something like was interesting about Canada?

Cindy 4:49

I think I was too young to know any other place other than Canada. And I know I know, London, England because my brother, my brother went to study there when he was 15 actually even younger than me. And I just because of my aunt and I have nothing but thank, I feel very grateful for my aunt, for the opportunity and very grateful for my dad for letting me go. Yeah.

Daniel De Biasi 5:17

And what was your experience? So, you move from China to Canada, which is completely different culture at such a young age and like with this idea of like a dream to visit the ward and explore the world. What was your experience when you landed in Canada?

Cindy 5:31

I don't remember what it was like when I was here. But I remember that one moment. That one moment when I was here, and I look at Canada, and I look at my school, my high school, when I entered that door, and I just feel like I belong. It's kind of weird I don't remember what I did yesterday. I don't remember fairly remember what I had for breakfast. But I remember that one moment that I feel relieved. I feel like I belong. It's almost like a calling. You know how I don't know if you believe in second life or previous life, right? It's like I'm supposed to be here you know, I don't know. Yeah, I just feel like I belong. Yeah.

Daniel De Biasi 6:09

What was the feeling? Was iy because the people because the environment, because of the language, what was it? That felt you like you belong, that it was like your home?

Cindy 6:17

It's very hard to put it in words because it just have that one minute that you just feel it out of nowhere. It's very hard to explain. I think it could be the culture too because like I landed in Ottawa, and people were very very friendly in Ottawa. Very lovable, very acceptance of people from different nationality and culture. Yeah, very friendly. I feel like I'm totally embraced by the people there, and my auntie, she was just so sweet, she's just adore and she made me feel like home and my uncle, which uncle Ken, which my auntie married to. He's just a superstar to me. He's smart. He's very funny. Yeah, they make me feel like home and yeah, they make me settle in very fast. Unlike other people that migrate in other country, I feel very fortunate now that I look back I thank them every time I see them.

Daniel De Biasi 7:12

So is it fair to say that we're kind of the people you found in Canada that make you feel belong in that place?

Cindy 7:18

Yeah, at that time when I was young, I was very lucky. My auntie was a nurse, my uncle was a chemist, so they both work for the government in different department and they were surrounded by really educated people and really nice people as well doctor, nurses, chemists, and they're all very nice to me. I didn't really get a taste of the real world or people have different opinions until I move out of their house. So that was a different part when I have to move out, and I have to learn on my own how to pay my bills. I don't know that I have to pay my bills. Yeah, I just know that the letter is here. It's a it's a different is a different world. Yeah.

Daniel De Biasi 8:01

Then you moved from Ottawa to Vancouver at some point. Was that in life, was like later in life or was like after you moved from your aunt?

Cindy 8:10

So I was born in Hong Kong, raced in Ottawa. And then I moved to Toronto to study fashion design. And then I worked there briefly before I moved to US then in Vancouver. And the reason why I stayed in Vancouver because I find the love of my life. Ken, who you just met, yeah. So he was very nice and then and the rest was history.

Daniel De Biasi 8:34

And what was the thing that made you stay in Canada and not explore other countries like, was it the fact that you felt belonged in that country that kept you stay or was just the fact that fulfilled moving to Canada, moving to different new environment fulfilled your dream of like exploring the world?

Cindy 8:51

Yeah, although I live in Canada, because I used to work in IT. I was able to work in different industry and also I was able to travel the world. I traveled the world also through the eyes of others like people that I have been close with, they travel the world as well and I see how it was like, the reason why I picked Vancouver and decided to stay besides my husband is because there's no place like Vancouver. I sound like it's heaven. The weather is nice, the people is nice. And most of all, the food is fantastic in Vancouver. Because you will travel in other places, the first thing we come back is to have Chinese food and I love the Chinese food. I'm very foodie. And my husband is also very foodie. We love to taste different food. But ultimately, our heart and soul belong to Chinese, Asian and my husband is Japanese and I love Japanese foods so yeah, it's the culture, it's the people and Vancouver, it is a very nice place to live to.

Daniel De Biasi 9:59

And you mentioned that you started working in fashion and moved to IT and now into finance. So, I'm curious to see like why did you decide because like they're not gonna like slightly changes into your career or like a big change from fashion to it is completely different a different industry, now from IT to finance. So, I like to to see or I'm, interested to understand why was looking back in this jumps into a new career.

Cindy 10:22

Yeah When I was young I always like to draw like a little girl like to draw picture like to put clothings on the door and I like to sew, so that's why I like to study fashion. But before I studied fashion, my dad is like you know, fashion is great. But this is more important. So I graduated in university, actually I have a business degree. But after I finished business, that was a recession so I've asked my dad you know, there's not much job out there. Can I study fashion now that I've studied business? And he actually say yes. He's so nice to be and I become a professional student I have to say you know, thanks to my dad. So I studied fashion but during the years I've studied fashion, I always try to work in a summer job in the fashion field. And that's when I see that what the fashion field is like you need the capital, you need to investment, you need a lot of people involvd. It's not just an idea of dressing up people or having beautiful materials and whatnot. And I learned a little bit about the business part of the fashion and I thought to myself, every fashion house only have one fashion designer. So if I started why at the bottom, how long does it take to go to the top? And there's only one designer so the opportunity is not that great. And at that time, the person that I was hanging around with they are all in IT. And I saw that this is very easy, they just program and they make the money and they make good money. And I say how I think I can do that too because when I was in high school, I was really good at computer I was told. So I started to study computer part time. Luckily, the fashion house that I was working for at that time when I was young and it was my first job also have an IT department just like a lot of the industry. A lot of company have the IT department so the transition was very smooth when I finished my IT degree, I was able to go to the IT department of the fashion house. So I transferred to IT. Once I get into IT, the life was good. I become a consultant in Y2K and it was great and it wasn't until I saw that it is slowly transferring and outsourcing. And I say okay, what is next? I don't want to be obsolete. I don't want to you know, always have to people to tell me that I can be dismissed and I started to look for a plan B. I tried lotion, I tried potion. I almost want to be a naturopathic doctor because I want to sell the vitamins and then I say oh, my English is not good. You know those medical term is just too big for me.

Daniel De Biasi 13:07

You can;t pronounce

Cindy 13:10

Yeah, but I do know I'm Chinese and I'm okay at math. And I know one plus one is two. If I can make one plus one is three, and I learned finance maybe I have a chance. And I come across this company that also opportunity, like almost like a franchising company but it will teach you about how money works and I used to hate how like people always talk about money. It's like money money money. It's like, so money hungry. But it boils down to what money can do for me, what money can buy. If I have enough money, I have the freedom to do what I want, when I want, with whom I want, and I have the freedom. I can still go to work or not go to work. So I want to learn about money so I joined the company and before I know I was working with the company. Now I'm helping other people find their financial freedom and I got to find the truth, fulfill the dream. Because one of my other dream when I moved to Canada is I want to be able to contribute to the world. I was so young I don't know what I was doing, what I was saying but I always want to give back to society but then I have no skill. But now I have this one skill that I can give back to people and I feel very thankful for it and that's how I jumped.

Daniel De Biasi 14:25

Yeah, I love the fact that you were like a kind of like a few steps ahead. You saw that inside of the fashion industry was like really hard to get where you wanted to go, so you have to change your career to adapt to just continue and I love the fact that this adaptation and like resilience in you that which is kind of something that I can relate to because was the same for me like, you're always like see the industry you are in. Like, is this gonna be my future? It's gonna be like, how long can I be able to work in the industry? And you started having a plan B. Like I love the fact that you had like this, which I think is something That many immigrants have because you have to adapt to the new environment. The environment changes we all have like, I think it's like a skill that we gained like just being abroad, like studying fresh in a new country, there's like this kind of adaptation for like a new opportunities. So I love that. I love the fact that just like changing career just because you see different opportunities or like, I don't think this is like future proof. So I need to find a plan B just to because I want to be have a safe future, that kind of thing. And I love the fact that now you're into finance, you can give back to other people and give back. And while we are talking about finance aspect, like I know that, I mean, atleast it was for me and her another few people as well, like when you're moving abroad, when you're thinking to move abroad, one of the biggest problem, one of the biggest challenges or one of the biggest obstacles in front of you is usually money. It's going to be, do I have enough money to make it in the other country? How long it's going to take before I can find a job. Is my saving enough to sustain myself until I find a new job, that kind of thing. So now that you are in finance, you probably spoke with hundreds of 1000s of people. What advice would you give to the people to the listeners who want to move abroad and they have like this doubt about finance or the things that they can do, the things to get ready for them to be prepared to move to a new country?

Cindy 16:18

Yeah, in terms of finance, I would say, of course, exactly. Like you say, it will be good to have some nesting, have some money set aside. But sometimes it's, like what is the figure, what is the number and how long? It depends on your lifestyle, it confirms your need, you can live very basic, or you can live very lavish. So you can never have enough money, right? So I think, even for now I was just talking to people was like, if they're thinking about finance, if they're planning for their future, what is one thing that they can do? When should they start? And how much just like you said. It's not about how much, if I would really answer the question. It's not really how much. It's about doing it now, doing it tomorrow, doing a little at a time. I will say there's 2/5 to money. That is universal. One is inflation, the other is taxation. Because inflation, it doesn't matter where in the world you go to. There's always inflation. Things get more and more expensive every year. I don't know why, but it happens. When I was young. It cost me I think me and my family $2, $5 you can go from one side of the Hong Kong to the next. But now I think you have to put to more or at least $500. Maybe to go somewhere where you want to go not from one place to the other, right? So how can your money stretch, right? If you put it in the bank, what is the rate of the bank now? It's .005 in here in Canada, I don't know about worldwide. So you need to do something about your money so that it keeps up with the inflation. Another thing is about taxation, right? When they pay you, they already taxed. When you buy things, you're also taxed. At the end of the year, you're taxed again. And then when you migrate to an angel, they tax you again, because everything that you own will be liquidated, will be calculated as a market value. And then you'll be taxed at the highest bracket here in Canada. I don't know about other countries, they do tax you as well. So how can you keep up with the two? So if you plan ahead, if you plan yourself, if you pace yourself, if you put aside something even $1, you're $1 ahead, if you put aside $1 and then invest it properly invest it, do your homework, or maybe talk to a good financial planner, you should be able to grow your money. And then that's how you start. Between the amount of money and the time, I would say it is the time. With time, any money can grow. If you put a lot of money in, but the rate is the same, the amount of money, it doesn't have to be a lot. It could be just $1, it could be $2, it could be $3. But if you have in time, your money will grow. Because as you can see the index, the stock market, it always go up and down. But it will always bounce back, it will always go up .It will goes up because of the inflation. Your money will grow if you plan it properly. And in terms of the amount of money, before you come, of course three months, half a year, one year, it doesn't matter, right? But it's something is good. But there's two types of people. There's one type of people that employee people and the other type of people, they are business people. I have come across people that comes from other country to Canada, that they have business also in their home country. So they just keep the business while they start to establish themselves in Canada. That's one way to, right, you don't have to give up everything,

Daniel De Biasi 19:51

Which is probably the best because you still have an income from your business in your country or you've started a new life and a new one and maybe open a new business in a new country.

Cindy 19:59

Exactly, if you are individual, you don't necessarily have to move all your money here too, I also come across people that has money saving over there, and then all of a sudden they want to buy a house here, then they can still move the money here. But while they are, the money is growing in their home country. So the thing is, it's like a chicken and egg, I always say, right? Make sure you build up the chicken, and then don't eat the chicken, just eat the egg, which is the interest of your money, right? The growing of your money. So just put aside money every day, every month. The rule of thumb that I always share with people is not to sell, say 1% 2%, just work up to 10% of your income will be a good nesting thing for you to begin with, for your short term, for your long term necessity, no matter where you live, or no matter where you want to move,

Daniel De Biasi 20:49

And for your experiences, any platform that people can use, because I know wealthsimple, which is probably the only one I know, because living in your bank doesn't give you any like interest. It's just like 0.00 something percent. So there's no point to keep it in your bank. Which platform will you recommend atleast for Canada, not asking for the whole world, probably you don't know, but at least for Canada, is there any platform that you will recommend for people to put the money aside?

Cindy 21:13

I say exactly like you said, putting in the bank, it doesn't give you as much interest because the bank, it doesn't matter what anywhere you go in the world, the bank will just take your money, they are just a transaction base, right? They're not there to grow your money, because that's not their the business model. The business model of people that grows your money is the investment company, I would say. So if you can find good pick, in casting company, not small company, big investment company, they should have some association with advisor, or they have their own advisor, or you can go to professional advisors that help you grow your money. And for people that is more hands on, they can also study on their own as well, because there's a lot of seminars, a financial seminar. My company and me also into financial education because the model or the mission of our company, and our hope for a lot of financial company is no family left behind. It's to help anyone who have interest to learn about finance and to grow their money. And then one other things I want to add is, remember I was telling you sharing those two things about money, it's the taxation and also the inflation, right? There's also one other thing is you want to think about whether your money, do you want to be taxed now, taxed later? Or is there any product that you can have tax advantage? Like say for example, in Canada, TFSA is a very good tool that you can use to put your money aside after tax money, but to grow your money, and you don't have to pay tax after that, for your growth, money growth.

Daniel De Biasi 22:53

Yeah, because there's two different accounts, which I don't remember the names. One, you pay the taxes every time you put the money on or every year you pay taxes and if you want to pay the taxes at the end when you take the money out, right? So there's two different.

Cindy 23:05

Yes, the one that you talk about is the RSP. The RSP model was a previous model that the government suggests over to Canadians, when they take the money in, they will give you a portion of the, a portion, because people think that they will give your money back. Fully no. They give you a portion of your money back based on your taxable income level. So that's the RSP. So the theory goes is they'll give you the money right away at that taxation year, and at the end of the RSP journey, which is when you're 7. When you tax, take your money out, which is usually 71, you will be retired, you'll be at a lower income bracket, so that when you take out your money, you will be taxed less. But then the question I asked you Daniel is or anyone that is listening to this, if you give me $1 I grow to $1 million, would you like to pay the tax on the dollar or the million? So I would rather pay the tax now than the tax later because if I can grow my money, I rather pay the tax now than tax later, I guess it's a personal preference too, right? And the TFSA is after tax dollar, whatever, however the money grow, you're not going to be taxed and that helped people. But the problem is and another hand the problem is a lot of people think they open a TFSA account that's it. They save the money But what they don't know, a lot of people don't know is the money just sitting there in the TFSA account not being invested. So that's one step that we're trying to educate and share with people that they can grow their money even further by investing within the TFSA account.

Daniel De Biasi 24:49

Speaking about education and learning about finance and all that because seems like atleast it's a myth, I don't know, but seems like it's you should learn about finance once you got the money and not If you don't have any money, but I think that's just a myth, like I should be probably learning about finance and started investing, even if you have a little money, you don't have to wait until you have $10,000 or $100,000 saved in your bank account, you can start even like you said, like $1, over $50 a month, just to start investing. So I guess there's no like a point where you should start learning finance today, or even yesterday, you mentioned that last time we spoke like the best time to start investing was yesterday. And the second best time is today. So the same thing is applied to like learning about finance, the best time to learn about finance was yesterday. The second best time is today, right?

Cindy 25:39

Yeah. Unfortunately, I felt I personally felt that the education system does not talk too much about finance, the importance of finance in our education school system here in Canada. I don't know about not in Hong Kong, I don't think I don't remember,

Daniel De Biasi 25:58

Because your system they don't teach you about finance.

Cindy 26:00

Yeah, and it is a very important skill. It is a life skill, in my opinion that people should learn about money. Even in high school, that will be great. I have sessions with kids. And they pick up very fast and it's very fun to see them grow. And their fun to, to hear them what they say it does it has dividend? Does it give me income monthly? I was very happy, when I hear that. And I remember I have a session with a mother and a daughter. And because I was having the meetings, so meeting with the mother, the daughter was there and curious to see who I was. And I said, Why don't you come and listen. So I was teaching the rule of 72, which is the theory of how you double the money and how long it takes to grow your money and how much money you need to put and etc, etc. And as I haven't even finished the session and the daughter said mom, can you put aside some money for me now? And I'm so happy, so happy for her. I'm so happy for her mom said, I change your thinking or change your life. And I hope I can contribute to their life. And that makes me happy.

Daniel De Biasi 27:03

Yes. Hopefully even the listeners that are listening this right now and they're planning to move abroad, just put some money aside today and maybe planning to move next year, at least you have some money saved instead of spending them. Yeah, because there's another theory, I think is the, I call it the Parkinson's Law.

Cindy 27:21

What is that?

Daniel De Biasi 27:22

The principle is that if you're like plate is bigger, you fill up with more food, you eat more food, but if your plate is smaller, you will eat less food. It's more like, if you have like less money, you figure out to like sustain yourself with a smaller amount of money. It doesn't matter if you've got the same amount of money, the saving you got is pretty much the same, it's pretty much spend them all right? So with the same principle, if you put the money aside, I don't know, for example, you earn $1,000 a month, for example, if you don't put anything aside, you're going to end up spending all $1,000. But if you allocate $50, every single month, on the side, you're gonna spend 950. It's not going to make a big difference for you. But at the end of the year, the $50 just keep increasing and with- exactly. You're just gonna have quite a bit of money at the end of the year.

Cindy 28:09

Yes, a lot of people doesn't know what the difference between the simple interest and the compound interest as well. I'll tell you a funny story. It was like when I was young, my very first job in Canada was $5 an hour. That's how long ago. Those flights are- and that was before tax. After tax is like $3 something is like, I don't know how to live. And it's just something that I wanted to do. I just want to work, I don't want to just spend my time working or I mean on studying and not doing anything. I thought I want to help my dad with supporting me. So it was $5 an hour and I was happy. But my first feature as if that $5 become $3 or something because of tax. And that's one. And the second year later when I was working with the bank and the IT company and I have a bigger paycheck. And exactly like you say, guess what? I still have no money. Isaid, where did my money go? I spent just as much as as fast as I earn. And I didn't understand I wish I know then what I know now, then I will have more money, a little bit more money, maybe a little bit more, and I don't have to worry as much. And I'll be able to contribute more to my dad and I give back more to my parents and that will make me happy.

Daniel De Biasi 29:25

Yeah, absolutely. And speaking about that your family and giving back to your family and being probably away from your family. Do you have any regrets about leaving Hong Kong, leaving your family?

Cindy 29:34

Yes and no regret. I regret that I'm not able to take care of my parents directly because time and time again. They're not getting any younger. I wish I can be there. The first time I won't reason, first time I want to go back to Hong Kong, there was a riot in Hong Kong. The second time I want to go back to Hong Kong is COVID. So I haven't seen my parents for three years so I wish I can be there just to enjoy them while I can, so to speak. But I don't regret it because if I haven't left Hong Kong, I'm sure I will not have experienced, I would not have learned I would not have grown as much as I have now. I will be a different Cindy, because most of my girlfriend I know they just graduated high school, and they all become secretary, I don't think I'll be happy if I'd be a secretary not to put down on secretary. It's just I want different things in life. It's just different. I just want something different than having marry, have kids and be a secretary or, or not so much for secretaries. It's because I have to work for other people. I should say that, yeah. I won't have the opportunity to become an entrepreneur like I do now. So yes, I should say that.

Daniel De Biasi 30:47

And in your journey in moving to Canada and building your life in Canada, what was the most challenging thing that you have to come across with?

Cindy 30:55

I think one is being alone. Sometimes you have to be your own best friend. You have to be able to be strong. You have to be able to be resilient, you have to be able to pick up yourself because the world might not believe in you. You have to be able to believe in yourself. Because anything is possible if you believe it, and you can make your dream come true. If you don't believe in yourself, how can you make your dream come true? And I think thinking about thinking of myself, one of the hardest thing is when I have my divorce, it was very hard for me to overcome and to face the truth that this is not going to work. Sometimes it's better be friends than alone than in misery, right? So he might be better, that person is not to say he's good or bad. It's just, it's not a good fit, right? But to be able to pick up myself and restart my life, it was very hard for me, it takes me a while. I think it was it takes me some time for me to pick up myself and be able to face myself and to be able to restart myself. The second biggest challenge I think I faced during this whole journey was to learn to love myself. When I was young, I always think that if I want to love myself, I'm being selfish. But now that I think back, being a woman, I think maybe we're genetically wired hotwire to always think of others first and sometimes forgot about myself. I'm not saying not to think and care for others. But while we do that, we should not forget ourselves and not put ourselves last. And that's what I learned. And now I learn to love myself more. Yeah, that's the two biggest challenge for me, I think.

Daniel De Biasi 32:41

Okay, that's interesting, then. Yeah, that's a good takeaway, because yeah, like the first one I can totally relate with, probably with both but mostly the first one like, being okay with being not home because you've moved to a new country you were you were lucky enough to have a family to go to. But most of the listeners, including myself, you moved to a new country, you're pretty much alone, you don't know anybody, you have to start like completing your life making your friends and all of that. So, being okay with yourself being okay with living alone, it's a thing that you need to be ready to be in like the situation need to be okay to be in because you are going to be alone, unless you move in with a partner, you move in with friends or whatever. But mostly will be, you're going to be on your own and you need to be your best friend.

Cindy 33:28

Yes, I know, I'm very fortunate in the sense that I have my auntie, I'm living in a very loving family, I would say and I've nothing but thank and appreciation for my aunt. But there are moments similar to yours that I know I will be alone, I have to be able to. I asked to learn to be independent. So I have to learn to love myself learn to be able to step out of my comfort zone and to make new friends and to build my life, so to speak, right? And to build my circle of friends. So those are moments that that are new for me when I move here, and I learned to enjoy it. Because like I was just saying the other day to one of my friends is just so she's so ready to finish a project finish your project, but she forgot the journey. And sometimes I think as an immigrant, when you move to other places, maybe whether it's finding a job or finding a group of new friends or whatnot. Don't forget, it's not just finding the friend, but it's also the journey that you should enjoy, the view that you enjoy and the lessons and the experience. And that's part of life too.

Daniel De Biasi 34:29

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I agree we do. And now with experience of living abroad for so long and like all the things that you've been through, imagine if you could have like a magic telephone that you can phone yourself when you were 16. It has a magic phone. What would you say to yourself if you'll be able to make that phone call? What would you say to yourself, to your younger self?

Cindy 34:50

If I have a magic phone call or if I can say to myself it's definitely when I was younger. Cindy, study hard, play less. I think sometimes I enjoy myself too much. And that's something that when I look back, I wish I had studied hard a little bit more. And the second thing is very related to what I do now. And what I enjoy now is to learn how money works. Yeah, because then I can take care of my parents. Yeah.

Daniel De Biasi 35:20

But from what you you told me before, like, it seems like you studied quite a bit in your life, because it changed career, you're like, going to school quite a bit. It seems like you're like, pretty well, academically.

Cindy 35:31

Yeah, I was a professional student for a while. You know, I was four sessions through the ateliers secret. I was a professional student, because I don't want to go out to the real world and earn money, because I don't know how. The only thing I know how is to study and get A's. But that's all I know. But I wish I have come out to the real world and experience the real world, and to do more, to more for myself to more for society. And then I can do more for my family, and my parents. And that will make them happy. Because I don't know about other culture, for my culture, for my family is like, you're not a grown woman until you're working. You're not a grown woman until you're married and have your family. So I mean, I can certainly maybe put a peace of mind to them earlier in my life, than to just stay being a student and study. So yeah.

Daniel De Biasi 36:22

And do you have any particular advice you gave to the listeners that are in the process of either moving abroad or specifically moving to Canada?

Cindy 36:30

I think number one, like I was sharing with you the other day, I would suggest everyone to join Toastmasters. Don't worry, I don't get any benefit from it. It's a nonprofit, worldwide organization that helps people find their voice, build a confidence in a very supportive environment. The reason why I say Toastmasters is because it helped me find my voice. I was the youngest in my family, I was very shy, and being coming to Canada, although I know English before I come to Canada, I don't have the chance to practice. And being able to talk to strange people is very scary to me. I think I can associate with other people. Maybe they move to a foreign country, although they may or may not know the language, speaking to strangers or speaking a foreign language may be hard to people. So join Toastmasters can help build your confidence and find the voice in you. And that's one thing. I want to ask people to join or check out Toastmasters, Toastmasters is international. It's worldwide. It's in a lot of countries. And the second one, like I have been saying, like I think this is the first time is to learn how money works. Because it doesn't matter where you go, where you live, in which stage of life you always need money. To live, to buy groceries, to get your car, to feed your kids, if you have them, entertainments, right? how money works can take care of all those basic things and need and then you can enjoy life and enjoy your family.

Daniel De Biasi 37:57

And for like will be as usual in the link, that will be in the show notes. Do you recommend like a Toastmaster event to like learn English or that will be for like already really good English to join Toastmaster?

Cindy 38:11

I think you need some basic understanding about English. But I do have other people that is very fluent in their language, in their own language in their own culture. But just a little shine in English. Lack of practice just like me, but they understand a little. They come to Toastmaster and they were able to learn and pick up English as well, in Toastmaster. But if you really learned English, I suggest people to one, two things is one, you can read newspaper, the headlines, that's good for reading and to know how the structure of the English and to watch television, watch the kids cartoon. They have the best English. It's short, it's concise, it's to the point and is very, very ideal. And you can pick up your vocabulary very, very quick. If you listen to the cartoon.

Daniel De Biasi 39:03

Yep, yeah, I heard that like multiple times, just because like when you would like to learn a new language, you're like a little kid. Like, those cartoons are made for little kids and you're on the same level that we're learning. Like we're on the same level of learning the language so that's why like cartoons, I heard like multiple times that cartoons was actually really helpful to learn the language.

Cindy 39:20

Yes. And regardless of the language, right, regardless where you going in the world, right? Even reading cartoon, cartoon books, right can also help you pick up the local language, wherever you are. That's one.

Daniel De Biasi 39:31

Yeah, absolutely. And for the second part that you say to like, learn about how money works, do you have any particular like, website, magazine or where people should start from like learning about money and how money works?

Cindy 39:44

There are lots of money books out there. You can pick in in chapters in Amazon, about how money works as well. There are also free financial seminars like I hope financial health seminars or weather. Also, if people are interested into learn more as well. So just start educating yourself and try to free yourself so to speak, right? And you can never have too much money like I was I was trying to invest for my daughter, and she say mom, you know you're putting my money as I you know, but I don't have as much money now I say okay, let me ask you a question. Do you want to have too much money when you're older, and you don't have to worry about it? Or do you want to have to worry every penny you spend, which would you prefer? Then of course you pick Okay, I don't have to worry about money. I say well put aside $1 or two a day. And then it will make a difference when you need it. Especially for COVID, right? A lot of people find that they didn't have enough saving or don't have enough saving and they didn't put it, tight? They were in financial strain. Because they don't and they can't and they think they can, but even $1 they will make a difference.

Daniel De Biasi 40:49

Yeah. And I think the first book I read about finance about making money and how money works was like Poor Dad, Rich Dad.

Cindy 40:57

Yes, that's a good book. That's a really, really good book about money, finance and how it works. Yeah, that was a good book. That was actually one of the first book that I read, that changed my life, and that I started to hungry, look everywhere, how I can free myself, What can I do? What can I do? That's one of the books so, thank you. Yeah, thank you for reminding me, it's been so long. It's been so long, I wish I have more time to read. And to learn more. With the COVID. A lot of things has changed. A lot of people needs more about learning about money. So business getting busy. And I'm happy to make a difference in people's life. And I hope your listener would just think about change their thinking as well, and be able to contribute to a difference in their future as well. That will make me happy. Yeah, that will be great.

Daniel De Biasi 41:48

Absolutely. Even because like people, they usually move abroad. I don't know if it's just my perspective. But I heard like so many stories of people that move abroad, discover more entrepreneurial mindset, trying to be like, as you said, like your experience, like adaptable, so you adapt to new circumstances, sometimes adopting means open your own business, because now why would wait for somebody else to give you work when you create your own work. Right,

Cindy 42:11

exactly. And also, I think, very quickly, I know, we've been talking for a little bit. And also you remind me there was a gentleman that I met when I was in Toronto, I met so many immigrants, they are so educated doctors, nurses, accountants, lawyers, they were driving taxi, they were doing whatever, just to put food on the table just to get started. But just be adaptable doesn't mean that you cannot go back to your own profession. Unfortunately, for some people, they might have to get some credential back. Or they may or may not have the time or my mind, I'll have the money, but just get something first, and then see, like as a stepping stone and then see what are the next thing that would make you happy besides putting food on the table, but at least get something for us do something? Something is better than nothing, right? So like there's people ego is not your amigo. Some people is that okay, I'm a lawyer, Doctor, dentist or whatever. And I can do this. I can do that. I can do that. When you say that, you are limiting yourself. But when you are more adaptable, just like you said, just you know, go to a shop or or grocery store or whatever Home Depot, just something first. And you can still make your dream come true. You can still be the professional that you want to. But have something first. Yeah, have something first do something first. Yeah, we'll be good to be friends with your amigo. I guess. Yeah.

Daniel De Biasi 43:34

Yeah, no, you're totally right. Even in Vancouver, like, even like in New Zealand, probably. I met so many people, like you said, Doctor, they were the doctor back in their country, but in the new country, their profession is now recognized so you have to go through a bunch of new like schools and courses, and maybe they move into like an older age. So going back to school, it's not that easy. So it takes years for them to go back to the level they were back in the country. So they have to adapt. And as you said, most people that were driving taxis, people working for like in the security like would be like a security guy, that kind of stuff. Just like a low paid work just because they come do the same job they were in the other country. But as you say, like stuff somewhere and go from there just to get- be adoptable, and adopt and be resilient and just do your best to whatever circumstances you're in.

Cindy 44:23

Yeah, I have a lady that I met very recently. She's an accountant in her own profession in her own country. When she came here, she had four jobs, for jobs just to provide for herself and to provide for her young one and her family in her home country. But then she's thinking about what's next to make her dream come true, and to provide for her family. I have all the respect from her. And she putting money aside to help her family in her own country.

Daniel De Biasi 44:51

That's so inspiring.

Cindy 44:52

Yeah, it's very inspiring. But you want to make a difference in your family, right? Yeah.

Daniel De Biasi 44:56

Oh, totally. Absolutely. Especially if you'd like the family. They supported you and your decision and help you to move abroad, absolutely, just keep back either your family or your friends or whatever you want to do.

Cindy 45:05

It's very difficult to have to give up all those things by all those profession, all those lifestyle and just come here, like some people that I used to know when I was in in University, it was the Vietnam spirit, that a lot of people, they have everything in Vietnam, but because of the war, they have to give up absolutely everything, give up the gold, give up their house, give up their servant, and to come here and to start, but to have freedom for their family for their kids, right? So yeah. It's tough, but they make it happen.

Daniel De Biasi 45:35

I just want to go back a little bit when we were talking about Rich Dad Poor Dad books and just for the listeners out there are interested in this topic. There's even like a game which I used to play in New Zealand. I have a group of friends like meetup, we just meet up like once a month. I feel like there's a game like I think it's called Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Yeah, game, is like a pretty much like, monopoly, buy more like advanced, and you can learn how to money works, and how to invest, how to get out of the rat race. For listeners foundation are interested. I probably add that on the show notes as well. But there's even a board game that makes the whole like a process to learn how things work, like more fun.

Cindy 46:11

Yeah, I know. I know that gentleman that was hosting that group in the middle. He came to my Toastmaster one time. He's very, very inspiring. I can't remember his name. Now. It's been some years ago. But talking like that is also very good to teach kids, like monopoly, teach, teach and share with kids like how money work, right? So that's a good game to, yeah.

Daniel De Biasi 46:32

It's not just for kids, even for adults.

Cindy 46:34

For the adults too, yeah, you're right. Yeah. kids and adults yeah.

Daniel De Biasi 46:38

I think it's time to wrap this up. Cindy, where people can find you if somebody wants to get in touch with you, or wants to learn more about you. Or maybe they heard your story and resonate with you and wants to get in touch with you, where people can find you?

Cindy 46:50

I guess they can email me send email to And I'll try to answer as many questions as you could. And if you want to learn more about finance or join my finance session, which is free. Oh, actually, you know, we had a promotion just yesterday that we were saying if you if you give me 15, 20 minutes of your time, so I can share with you some financial concepts, you will be eligible for a draw for $100. From now to Christmas. $100 in Canadian.

Daniel De Biasi 47:20

Do you have to be in Canada or can be from anywhere in the world?

Cindy 47:23

It could be anywhere in the world.

Daniel De Biasi 47:25

Can I join as well?

Cindy 47:26

Yeah, of course you could join. $100 for 15, 20 minutes, but I think there's a pretty good deal for a chance to draw, yeah.

Daniel De Biasi 47:35

Absolutely. Everything, as usual will be in the show notes. People can reach out to you email you and get up to $100.

Cindy 47:42

Yeah, yeah, get $100. Yeah, why not? Yeah.

Daniel De Biasi 47:46

Awesome. Thank you so much, Cindy, for sharing your story. It was like it was amazing. I really, really enjoyed it.

Cindy 47:51

Yeah, thank you so much. It is my honor to share with you in the audience. And hopefully I give some feedback on for my journey to help them to go to wherever they want to go. And if they do want to migrate, just do it. Like how Nike will say it. And just be resilient and enjoy the journey. It's not just a destination.

Daniel De Biasi 48:09

Then start saving money on the side.

Cindy 48:10

Start saving money on the side. Yes.

Daniel De Biasi 48:12

Actually, not saving, investing,

Cindy 48:14

Investing. Saving and investing. Yeah, yeah, that's it. And work up to 10%. Remember,

Daniel De Biasi 48:19


Cindy 48:20


Daniel De Biasi 48:22

Thank you so much Cindy.

Cindy 48:24

You're welcome.

Daniel De Biasi 48:24


Cindy 48:25

Bye bye.

Daniel De Biasi 48:26

Thank you so much for tuning in this week and staying until the end. If you enjoyed this episode a want to support the show. You can share this episode with your friends, and you can leave us a review on Apple podcasts or Podchaser. Also, you can find the show notes with the links inside the full transcript of the episode and more by visiting If you want to connect with us on social media, you can find us on Instagram and Twitter at Emigrant's Life and Facebook at Emigrant's Life Podcast. And one more thing before we go. Our goal is to helping you moving abroad and live your best life. We know that even though the story we share are very inspiring and our love information and resources. being ready and make the decision can still be challenging. I just wanted to know that if you need any help, you can reach out to me via email at daniel You can DM me on our social media or through the contact page on our website I look forward to meeting you and helping you reaching your goal. Thanks again for listening. Talk to you on the next one. Ciao!