From Broke and Stupid to Content and Passionate

Chee Chaw

  • Financial Coach Master Training (FCMT) certification.
  • Personal Finance Facilitator/Coach at my local church for the past 3 years. 
  • 8+ years co-managing family finance with my wife (debt-free minus the home mortgage)
  •  Debt free from going to state and private university for my undergraduate and master degrees.
  • Employed as IT for 16 years. 
  • Ongoing student of life

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My Story

I grew up on an island called Borneo in Malaysia, the third largest island in the world. After finishing high school back in my hometown, I came to United States to go to college. With limited financial resources and international student tuition, I had to work part time while enrolled full-time during semesters. Then during the summer, I worked full time in order to support myself and have money to pay for tuition.

After finishing my undergraduate degree, I moved to New England for a job opportunity. Since I knew how to save, I was able to buy what I wanted and needed. I purchased one house and one rental property before turning 30 years old. Life was really good until I was hit by a personal tragedy.  After the sudden death of my father from an accident and the housing crisis in 2006, my world was turned upside down. As a result, I lost all my assets and cashed out half of my 401k.

After losing nearly everything, I started to question about how I handled money and credit. Not long after that, I met my wife and we made it our goal, early in our marriage, to educate ourselves about financial strategies like debt management, retirement planning, risk management and most of all, achieving contentment. Right now, we are in the “messy middle” stage with two careers, two young children, a house and a future that needs to be planned wisely. Financial independence is not our only goal, we also want to share any financial knowledge and experiences we are learning with individuals and families who are in the same journey. Please join us in our journey to financial stability and contentment!   

I am also a member of the Financial Coaches Network to support me in continually becoming a better financial coach through continuing education, implementing coaching best practices, and other resources.