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Tea with AK71: My briefcase.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

When I first started work as an adult, I spent almost $200 buying a leather briefcase. I saw it in a mail order pamphlet, thought it looked nice and the price rather reasonable. It lasted some two years before giving way. So, did I buy a new briefcase? No.

One of my vendors gave me a briefcase made of fabric. It was much lighter than the leather briefcase I had and it was free! I was very pleased with that briefcase and used it with pride until it too gave way a few years later.

My third briefcase was also made of fabric. Again, it was free! Wow! That was a free bag from a periodical I subscribed to. I believe it was Asiaweek. I don't see this periodical anymore. Could be defunct now.

Since the demise of the leather briefcase I first bought as a working adult, I have never bought another briefcase. Every single one was free since.

Over the years, I would collect free briefcases. Collect? Yes, they were free from merchants, banks or malls when certain conditions were met. In recent years, I also received two briefcases as presents from friends, a leather one and a fabric one.

My current briefcase is my favourite, a very lightweight fabric bag that has lasted me four years but it has finally given way. It has torn but I want to continue using it for a while more.

Free bag from United Colors of Benetton.

After years of faithful service, it is fraying.
This was a free bag from United Colors of Benetton. Yes, it is branded!

The bag was given free to my sister for purchasing a certain minimum amount from them. She didn't want it. So, I took it!

This was probably 8 years or so ago. I can't be sure but it was a long time ago. I think the shop was in Centrepoint.

Well, nothing lasts forever really, not even a diamond, scientifically speaking. I would have to retire this bag one day and choose a replacement from my ready stock of free briefcases at home. ;p

Related post:
Money management: Needs and wants.


INVS 2.0 said...

Hi Ak71,

Most of my briefcases were actually free gifts when I purchased new notebooks. :)

coconut said...

1 month after i started to work, guess what i bought? a second hand car! haha cost me 10K. thats the dumbest thing i did.

next i proceed to do the 2nd most dumbest thing, buy 4D on my car. 1 month later i strick 9k.

Singapore Man of Leisure said...


If I gold digger you would be an interesting catch!

Can earn, can save.

Jokes aside, your two feet are firmly on the ground. You walk the talk. Respect.

It's so easy to talk thrift. But acting on it?

I not so sure about myself. If I had a sudden windfall, I would probably spend it all in some hedonistic orgy or something...

LOL! (Man of leisure what!?)

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

Well, in my younger days, notebooks or laptops as they were known would set us back by at least $3K per unit!

$3K would be an entire month's salary for me then. Spending $200 on a briefcase or getting a free one with a $3K laptop? Hmmm... ;p

Things have changed so much. :)

AK71 said...

Hi coconut,

I have a car too and it does take quite a bit of money to maintain. It is my one biggest luxury, I believe.

You had luck on your side, I see. Your car was free, after all. Almost. :)

I got a free car once. I won it in a lucky draw. I sold it away and kept my old car instead of selling my old car and buying a COE for the new car. I figured it made a bit more sense.

AK71 said...


Hey, long time no hear. :)

I save a big chunk of my income but I don't think I earn a lot. Honest truth. Most of my peers are making much more money than me in their lines of work.

A gold digger has to suffer from severe myopia to choose a person like me. ;p

You also think too highly of me. I have my weaknesses too. Remember these?

Bought a new car!

Money well spent!

My weaknesses.

My weaknesses (Part 2).


SnOOpy168 said...

My 1st briefcase is still with me after almost 16 years. The leather around the handle has cracked but the rest of this German made soft leather briefcase, is still intact. Used it only on occassions that I need to dress up like a fine-dinning waiter for biz meetings.

The one thing I learned in trips is never to carry the "free" laptop bag. It has a "COME STEAL ME" flashing all over. Sometimes, I'd use a free bag and put it in. Looking like an uncle just coming back from marketing. hehehe

I'd prefer that run down looking Samsonite backpack. It's has carried & been thru a lot for me over the years. Cost S$50 4 years ago and still going strong. Guess it will break down after the 5 years warranty is up. Heheheh.

AK71 said...

Hi SnOOpy168,

Wow! 16 years! That is as old as my wallet which I bought with my first pay cheque! :)

Some of my stuff (Part 2).

I remember buying a Samsonite backpack in Changi Airport for about $50 too a few years ago. I remember taking part in a gameshow at the airport and winning $200+ in shopping vouchers that time. So, the bag was free. :)

I think the Samsonite bag had a name. Trunk and Co.? Dark blue color. Very nice.

coconut said...

not many won car in their life time. i guess luck always favour the well prepared one.

i'm ashame to say when i scrap that car of mine 2 years later, it was worth 15k (parf value). can't believe it, still thinking i made a bloody good investment. that was in 1988 i think.

AK71 said...

Hi coconut,

You got a really good deal back then. Lady Luck probably favours you even today. ;)

SnOOpy168 said...

i dunno what I did wrong in previous life, only touched 1 lucky draw and 1 toto ($50). Nothing as good as your prizes.

current wallet is some no-brand leather stuff that lasted me a few years. The old wallet's leather has faded & leather damaged due to my sweaty pockets. It is now used to hold some foreign currency cash.

Perhaps, Us guys are more luckier that we won't be frowned upon for using old or out-of-fashion colored bags. Just that right sized one that matters for the occasion. Which explains why I got so many camera bags. Leylong leylong, camera bags for sale or exchange.... ^-^

AK71 said...

Hi SnOOpy168,

I am quite Zen when it comes to lucky draws. It is like gambling but without having any monetary sacrifice. A game of chance, nothing more. :)

I always carry a sling bag (which happens to be a camera bag too) and my wallet goes into the bag as well. This explains why I am able to use the same wallet for so many years, I guess. ;p

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