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Most people don’t want to read a long essay about my life, here is the short version :)

Hi, I am Cammi (@cammipham), an average marketing girl in a cosmopolitan city who wants to live a fabulous life on a budget without selling her soul.

From my roller coaster of life , I know that fame, power and wealth don’t last. My father always tells me to “live like the rich and think like the poor”; enjoy the best of the best but  think  like I am living on the edge. It is very important to be financial independent but life is too short not to fully enjoy it.

Can I drink champagne on a beer budget? Can wear designer clothes at H & M price? Is it possible to live a fabulous life without a millionaire’s bank account?

Of course everything is possible, if you try hard enough.

Most people forget that the best things in life are free.

The long version

I was born into old money, grew up with new money, and have no money.

That line pretty much sums up my life.

I was born into a family that used to have everything: fame, power and wealth ,but at the wrong time. We had the old money status without the benefit. But if I can go back in time, I wouldn’t change a thing. I am proud being a member of this family, rich or poor. People can take away almost everything my ancestor left. Fame can fade . Power can move from one hand to another. Wealth can be stolen. But they left knowledge and class. They are in our blood, and will always be there.

After US lifted the trade embargo against Vietnam, my parents worked hard to rebuild the legacy. I was very lucky to grew up among the elite. I went to the best school, ate the best food, wore the best clothes. Everybody were nouveau riche because before that nobody had money. At that time I thought life was good. Everybody were sweet and happy. I was wrong.

Like any perfect fairy tale story, it did not last long. My father was falsely accused of a crime he did not commit. It didn’t take long for his business to fall apart. Building a business in Vietnam is like having a beautiful sand castle, it never lasts.  Many years later, my father won the law suit but he lost everything. Everyone who used to be friends and family acted like they didn’t even know us.

When you have money, your friends know who you are. When you have no money, you know who your friends are.

My mother wanted to go back to the Western world and rebuild our lives. My father wanted to rebuild his legacy where he lost it. Just like a famous Vietnamese legend, my mother took my litter sister and me to the North, Canada where her family lives; my father took $1000 to the South and rebuilt his businesses.

“The illiterate of the twenty-first century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” Alvin Toffler 

And today I am a little princess-turned-pauper who is working hard to build her own legacy with  two hands and a brain. I had a very interesting childhood which made me who I am today.I have learned a lot of things then learn to unlearn them. That is life.

From all my experience, I learned 3 lessons

  1. The old money taught me “Making money is hard but keeping money is harderIt is important to be financial independent because anything can happen tomorrow. Always live below your mean. Looking rich doesn’t mean you are rich. You can have the money but you may not have the education to manage wealth and maintain stabilities.
  2. The new money taught me “Life is too short to blend in.” It is easier to play safe and blend in, but great risk comes with great return.
  3. The no money taught me “We need a balance in life” Nothing is totally right or wrong.

This blog is about my journey to unlearn everything society told me and find my own path. It is a search to find the balance in life


This blog wouldn’t be the same without the help of

  • Monster and Alicia, my 2 little sisters who are always here to support me.
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