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I could not afford it but now I can.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

In the past, my mattresses cost between $150 to $400 each. I am usually not very picky and the price is more important a consideration. 

My last mattress was a queen size mattress from IKEA that cost about $400. Maybe, a bit lesser than that.

However, as I age and am more prone to aches, I have become more aware of why I should get a good mattress that is suitable for me. So, I decided to "invest" in a good mattress in the hope of sleeping better. 

OK, we can have a debate on whether a good mattress is an investment or a consumption item later.

Anyway, I visited quite a few stores and two of them were branches of big local chain stores. There were so many brands available and almost all of them had some kind of special offer going on. The many different types of mattresses on offer were impressive.

Some salespeople were very good while some really needed more training. Some stores had more ammunition to help their salespeople get more business too.

I lingered on a couple of mattresses because I rather liked them. They cost between $3,000 to $4,000. 

Almost right away, the salespeople would say how I could pay for them with easy instalments and that I should not have to worry about the seemingly high prices.

OK, it might be my fault for giving them the impression that I needed to pay by instalments because I was wearing a very worn (and some parts torn) cargo pants and a ratty looking t-shirt. 

However, I wondered how many people bought those mattresses even though they might not have been able to pay $3,000 to $4,000 in a single payment?

"I could not afford it but now I can."

Sounds good?

That sentence is incomplete, actually.

"I could not afford it but now I can because they are letting me pay in instalments."

Doesn't sound so good anymore, does it?

In fact, even if we had the money to pay $3,000 to $4,000 for a mattress in a single payment, we might want to try delaying gratification. Put the money to work and, then, buy the mattress 10 years later.

OK, I can imagine some readers getting ready to give me a piece of their minds on this matter now. 

Just because I waited almost 20 years to get an atas mattress doesn't mean that others must do it too.

Well, it doesn't have to be a mattress per se but you get the idea.

Could be mistaken for a mattress.

Payment by instalments for consumption items is really giving in to instant gratification

It does nothing to create wealth and, in fact, holds us back for as long as it takes to make full payment for these purchases. The opportunity cost could be quite astounding too.

So, what would sound good?

"I could not afford it but now I can have it and keep my money too."

Wait, I close my door first. OK, you can start throwing things at me now. Nothing explosive, please.

Related posts:
1. The evil instalment schemes and their minions.
2. The Millionaire Next Door.
3. An easy way to improve cash flow in life.


Sillyinvestor said...

Hi hi AK,

How about the salesperson? He shocked when u pay in full?

Pay tax by instatements?

Contribute SRS by instatements ??

JK Holdings said...

Haha ... You spent half of your life on the bed !

I invested S$5,690 for a Simmons - Back Care Advanced S3000 . Trust me , you will love to goto sleep every single day !

JK Holdings said...

Pay using Manhattan card and get 3% cash back !!

AK71 said...

Hi Sillyinvestor,

I thought those salespeople were a bit pushy and didn't buy from anyone who tried to persuade me to buy because installment plans were available. ;p

In the end, I bought from an atas brand mattress boutique which was having a sale too and I spent less than $3,000. No mention of installment plans throughout the visit and I got a better deal. ;)

Income tax and SRS contributions? Aiyoh, those are not consumption items lah. LOL.

AK71 said...

Hi JK,

Half my life in bed? That sounds dreadful. I like to think that I spend only 1/4 or at most 1/3 of my life in bed.

OK, maybe if you include the last few years in a nursing home, it could creep towards 1/2 but, seriously, I hope not.

Anyway, I paid for my mattress using discounted vouchers which I blogged about not too long ago. So, on top of the discounts given in store, I am effectively getting another 9.1% discount. Happy enough. ;)

JK Holdings said...

Hahaha ... Exaggeration is always good ! :)

E H said...

Good mattresses really make a difference for me.

Lizardo said...

We typically spend at least 1/3 of our life on our bed. Surely it deserves the right level of 'investment' to secure our health? No health, no wealth. Get a really good bed.

As for installment payments, it's really similar to companies that issue bonds and secure loans despite being in net cash position?

pf said...

Ak....can i remind u that some young couples really do not hv the cash to make single pmt...when they first get married?

Esp if one is just 28 or 29 (by right that shld be the age to get married)....Combine income 8k per mth gross. Happen to buy resale flat.

After spending for a wedding, cash downpayment for resale flat, renovations....ok, don't say extravagent. Just normal banquet net loss 10k, wedding expenses 5k, downpmt 25k, renovations 30k...thats total 70k. Divide by 2 also need 35k.

To stop the gushing of blood from wallet, pay furniture by installment lor...

AK71 said...

Hi E H,

I hope my new mattress with barrel shape pocketed springs will make a difference for me too. ;)

AK71 said...

Hi Lizardo,

Debt can be a good thing if it helps us to make more money. So, I guess that is why good companies have some debt too. :)

AK71 said...

Hi pf,

OK, this is not made up. This is actually my cousin's experience.

After getting married, she furnished her flat room by room, year after year. Took her a few years. It was like a long term project. She refused to buy anything using borrowed funds or installment plans. :)

Solace said...

If someone needs to buy a good quality mattress for a goodnight sleep, it is hard to argue against.

For me, i count myself as an easy sleeper. It is a good fortune.

So to me, sleeping in a 1K, 2K, 3K SGD bed would make minimal differences. I think i would still fall asleep easily in all 3 beds haha.

But then of course, if need to spend to enable a good night sleep, by all means go ahead.

Ok, Need to sleep now zzzz

SMK said...

my mattress is a sponge mattress costing $20 from close to 20 years ago.

E H said...

It will make a real difference if someone is sleeping next to you on that new mattress.

pf said...

Really depends on how basic one can live with.

I think livable is
1) bed, washing machine, fridge

But livable to some might be
2) bed, washing machine, fridge, sofa, wardrobe, tv...

I'm incline to buy on instalment when i get my flat too if its those interest free type :D

AK71 said...

Hi Solace,

Indeed, you are blessed. I have friends who can fall asleep anywhere, on any surface. LOL.

However, falling asleep is one thing. Being able to wake up feeling fresh is something else, isn't it?

AK71 said...


Wow! 20 years on a $20 sponge mattress! Thumbs up!

However, you might want to get a replacement sponge mattress after so long for hygiene reasons. ;p

AK71 said...

Hi E H,

I bought this because I read about how it would keep my spine straight when I sleep. I sleep on my side.

Hopefully, this will help to eliminate some aches I get sleeping on my current mattress now.

AK71 said...

Hi pf,

Haha... Don't mind me. This blog article is just my personal opinion, after all. ;p

Also, it is aimed more at people who don't make as much money and are interested in building wealth more rapidly through investments. Need capital for that. :)

We are all different, after all. Like you said, it depends on what we can live with. ;)

Sillyinvestor said...


I have been sleeping on the floor since I am a kid, of course with a mattress.

In fact, when I do NS, I find the mattress more comfortable than the one at home.

In a way, when we get our first home, I blow 2000 on our Mattress, I told my wife I like a better bed to reduce the aching...

Fast forward to now, I am still sleeping on the floor LOL.

The baby sharing the bed with my wife now. Also, because I have been sleeping on the floor for so long, (I slept on the floor during NS some days too as it's cooler) I couldn't sleep well as I cannot turn twist and move around as much... I sleep on my side, back, front everywhere, I am néed anchor points for my neck, leg etc...

Hope after 20 years, you will enjoy the fruits and not suffer "withdrawal symptoms" like me

AK71 said...

Hi Mike,

Thanks for sharing your story with us. We are all creatures of habit, I guess. LOL. ;p

Looking back, in the years I spent travelling for work or vacations, I always wondered why I slept better on some beds. Anyway, I know why now. :)

temperament said...

Hi AK,
If money can solve your problem (backache and sleeping well), it's definitely no problem for you. i have shared before in Bully the Bear's blog i will test sleeping on the bed after bed before i buy. i think after a certain price, it's quite tricky to choose a bed that suits you. In some countries (Western countries) the shops even allow you a trail period sleeping at home. They have an exchange policy if you find the bed not suitable or comfortable enough. i think of course the shops have already a "build-in" costs of this policy.
Will you pay extra for such privilege?
i think it's a good bargain. Consider you paying a little "insurance premium" for this service? Why no shop adopt such policy in Singapore?

SMK said...

Been thinking of upgrading but can't bear to part with it. It's really comfortable.

No worries on hygiene. Used a thick covering (or do you call it bedding?) that is washed and sun dried regularly.

dorshii korshii said...

Hi AK :)

If you can afford it, you should buy a suitably good mattress to protect your spine. Years ago, I bought a $3,000 mattress which I plan to use for 10 years………… is $0.82 per nite. It is worth every cent. For hygiene, I change the mattress protector every year.

My 90-year old mother, regrettable has a very brittle spine due to child-bearing and poor diet during WW2. No wonderful mattress will bring her joy. I am happy for you, no pointlessly waiting till late old age to enjoy a good mattress.


AK71 said...

Hi temperament,

Trial mattresses? I didn't know there was such a service. It is a good idea, I feel. I wonder if any stores in Singapore offers such a service.

I guess I will just have to cross my fingers. I have high hopes that this mattress is the right one for me. :)

AK71 said...


Ah, I know what you mean. It is a bit like my worn and a bit torn cargo pants. They are just so comfortable to wear. Cannot bear to throw them away. ;p

AK71 said...

Hi dorshii,

82c a night for 10 years. That is a very good way to think about it. Less painful. ;p

The store is throwing in two pillows and a mattress protector. I like the idea of changing the mattress protector every year for hygiene reasons. Didn't think of that. Thanks! :)

Ana said...

I am sure you would not regret your purchase. a good mattress does make a world of a difference - but it does cost so much more, doesn't it? If only...!

I got a Simmons, but for S$500, with a mattress protector thrown in. Most people would not do that, but i got it from an expat garage sale. I went to the house, and the mattress in an excellent condition... i know what people say about 2nd hand mattresses...

and as a mitigation, we have two mattress protectors over the mattress....

AK71 said...

Hi Ana,

I know landlords who wouldn't mind buying used mattresses cheap but for personal use, I am a little hesitant, you are right.

If you don't mind, it makes good money sense to do it especially if the expat family were here for only a couple of years. Good deal. :)

Wealth Journey said...

Remember the motto : Y.O.L.O ...

All the money you made this life cannot be brought over to the next and you also don't have to give all to your children.

As long as you can afford it and desire it, Buy it! :)

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