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Greater financial well-being is not beyond most of us.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I know that some people are very critical of me. Some have also been verbally abusive. I used to confront them (online) but, these days, I don't bother.


These critics say that I try too hard to save money and that the savings couldn't possibly amount to anything significant. I must admit that they could be right. What did AK just say? Well, I am just being rational.

To the very rich, $5,000 a year might indeed be a drop in the ocean and I do know that there are some very rich people reading my blog. They are millionaires and many have income of $50,000 or more a month. Yes, not in a year but in a month.

我的天阿!

Well, most of us are not like that but it does not mean that financial well-being is beyond our reach.




Take an hour or two to reflect on the way we are spending money and explore ways in which we could do things differently, if we have not done so before. We could surprise ourselves with how much money we could save if we just do two things:

1. Cutting down on wants. "Is it something we can do without?"
Example: I really want a home theatre system but I know I can do without it.


2. Simplify our needs. "Is there a less costly alternative?" 
Example: Meals at home or the kopitiam is just as good as meals at restaurants.

The Chinese people have a saying:

"万丈高楼从地起。"

It means that even the construction of very tall buildings will start from the ground up.

Greater financial well-being could be closer to most of us than we think.

Related posts:
"Keep our needs simple and our wants few." AK

25 comments:

yeo eng seng said...

You have done a marvelous favor for those who are not financially well versed.
Ignore the comments of loosers and narcissists

pf said...

Hee hee...can't help but laugh. Coz u said u were being rational. But being rational to 1 may not be being rational to another.

Nevertheless, great post! Some r good at making money, some better at saving money.

U know what....the best is to keep busy, spend time to make money. No time to spend money. Lol....

Just Some Thoughts said...

Couldn't agree more with your blog, though not all of us are able to generate the large incomes and have the capacity to save a lot of money for our different needs quickly, we should start small and save in whatever areas that we can start saving from.

I am also trying to start my own journey to better financial well-being and try to save in whichever little ways I can and to start investing small sums in the stock market and enjoy your blog as one of my sources of information when investing.

(To your critics, I think that most of your readers still appreciate the blog posts that you write)

amoose said...

Here is someone who is supportive of you! I would think that your frugality is something the late Mr Lee would approve of :)

AK71 said...

Hi Eng Seng,

I won't call them losers and narcissists but I would say that they are sceptical (and these are usually people who would benefit a lot by saving a bit more) or contemptuous (and these are usually very rich people who might not understand those who are not). -.-"

Thank you for the encouragement. I appreciate it. :)

AK71 said...

Hi pf,

I will add that for those who are good at making money, if they are not good at saving money, they might never be rich. ;)

"People sometimes think that high income earners are wealthy people. This might not be true..."
Source: The Millionaire Next Door.

AK71 said...

Hi JST,

I feel that most are appreciative of my blogging efforts and that is one major reason why I keep blogging. Thanks for the affirmation. :)

I just hope that everyone can be kinder and more understanding. Know that we are all dealt different hands of cards in life. There is no need to be rude or to step down on others. Well, I can always hope, right? ;)

AK71 said...

Hi amoose,

The late Mr. Lee was a shining example when it comes to frugality, I agree.

Why have I been silent on Mr. Lee's passing?

Siew Mun said...

I have been a frivilous spender. I changed my lifestyle and benefitted much from your blog apart from the death of my late father to catch up on my asset building. Even though I am at the 20 percentile of IRAS bracket.

Keep it up to evangelize !

AK71 said...

Hi Siew Mun,

Alamak. Evangelize? Makes me sound like a religious leader. -.-"

I am rarely dogmatic and understand that there is no one size fits all solution. However, I believe that everyone's life could be better and, unless severely disadvantaged, we have the power to help ourselves. :)

look-good-feel-good.com said...

Hi AK, your post reminded me of this farnee text my friend sent me recently sharing here just for laughs as the fact is there isn't much difference between the rich and poor if only people can just see the ironies.

sorry its a tad too long, I have already edited out some. Btw translations not done by me ok... lol (let the rich eat their wild vegs in restaurant! we enjoy our kopi o and kaya toast haha)

'沒錢的時候,養豬;
有錢的時候,養狗。
When you don't have money, rear pigs;
When you have money, rear dogs.

沒錢的時候,在家裡吃野菜;
有錢的時候,在酒店吃野菜。
When you have no money, eat wild vegetables at home ;
When you have money, eat wild vegetables in restaurants.

沒錢的時候,在馬路上騎自行車;
有錢的時候,在客廳裡騎自行車。
When you have no money, ride bicycle;
When you have money, ride exercise machine.

沒錢的時候,想結婚;
有錢的時候,想離婚。
When you have no money, you wish to get married;
When you have money, you wish to get divorced.

沒錢的時候,老婆兼秘書;
有錢的時候,秘書兼老婆。
When you have no money, wife becomes secretary;
When you have money, secretary becomes wife.

沒錢的時候,假裝有錢;
有錢的時候,假裝沒錢。
When you have no money, act like a rich man;
When you have money, act like a poor man.


人生是什麼?
What is life about?

1 歲時出場亮相
At one, YOU are the top priority

10 歲時功課至上
At ten, academic excellence is the top priority

20 歲時春心盪漾
At twenty, dating is the top priority

30 歲時職場對抗
At thirty, a good career is the top priority

40 歲時身材發胖
At forty, keeping your body in shape is top priority

50 歲時打打麻將
At fifty, beating others at mahjong is top priority

60 歲時老當益壯
At sixty, staying healthy is top priority

70 歲時常常健忘
At seventy, remembering something is top priority

80 歲時搖搖晃晃
At eighty, moving around is top priority

90 歲時迷失方向
At ninety, knowing directions is top priority

100 歲時掛在牆上
At 100, having your portrait on the wall is top priority!

祝大家愉快,好好做人!

STE said...

Hi AK , Be yourself ... Everyone have their own way of living n lifestyle .. No need to bother much about how others think or comments ..just be happy !! Many people have benefited and gain knowledge from your post ,, Gambbate !!
STE

RayNg said...

Most people talking about saving, what about pay yourself first as a "force saving"?

Pay yourself means you have a system to allocate, say 20% of your net income (after mandatory CPF contribution) into a separate saving account and deploy this saving into investment.

Balance 80% on your Needs and Wants... on transport, housing, groceries, insurance, clubbing, etc. Choose most value-for-money means to spend your necessities. Any saving from here is bonus to add into your separate saving account.

Life is short..... enjoy your life journey along the way whenever affordable. Some life event is age sensitive one.

Someone told me "Money not spend is not yours". I think it is kind of truth as we can't bring our money with us when we die. So, spend you must, leave some behind.

p.s. whispering to myself.....

E H said...

I adopt a 'pick and choose' mindset when it comes to advice dished out, whether online or offline. I can pick some gems from AK which I think is workable in my situation, while choosing not to go for the rest.

It's a big menu out there.

owq said...

I think we have all forgotten about our dear Mother Earth. We shouldn't spend money just because we can afford it. When we spend money, we are indirectly taking resources from earth (even for services -- the demand will lead to supply from some raw material in most cases, like paper). Look at America and the growth in consumption. Our descendants will soon have to find another planet to settle down.

Kyran Tan said...

Love the caption to your picture! That's really funny!

Richard Chu said...

Good article. Even not for the purpose of saving money to invest, we should also lead a moderate life. Volunteer frugal ppl are also happy ppl as they have cut off the link between spending and happiness.

starlight said...

Hi AK
I like reading your blog. Your posts are inspirational.

dorshii korshii said...

Hi AK71

It's so sad to learn that some readers have verbally abused you for your views! Honestly, how many 'samaritans' can we meet in one's lifetime. No1 is asking them to live with you and so bear with you!!!??? I know some people only appreciate pearls of wisdom if they come from the likes of LiKaShing or Warren Buffet. But these gurus are outliers. A path well-trodden by any samaritan is a good case study to learn from.

Kind Regards.

AK71 said...

Wow! So many comments! First, a big "THANK YOU" to all of you. :)

Elsie, your comment made me laugh. LOL. Droll. What if we have money and still eat wild vegetables at home? ;p Actually, wild vegetables at the economical rice food stalls are quite reasonably priced. For $1.50, I can get a small plate of nicely cooked kailan or choisum. :)

STE, I am not so bothered with the negative things people say about me these days. I am not as fiery as I was in my younger days. The ego is also not as big. I just want to be left alone to do the things I love most of the time. Old man wants to avoid conflicts. ;p

RayNg, please whisper to yourself more often here. Appreciate it. ;) Well, that is why I still have a car, I guess. I used to need a car because of work. Now that I don't need the car for work anymore, should I get rid of the car? It is definitely a luxury but it improves my quality of life. Decided to keep it until its COE expires. Will decide what to do again then. :)

EH, indeed, pick and choose. It is not as if it is a religion. We choose to do what we think will work for us and we should take personal responsibility for the outcome. Being too obsessed with anything is not a good idea which is one reason why I always reject statements about having "fans". Add 2 syllables and the word becomes "fanatics". It scares me. -.-"

Owq, yes, it is about reducing our carbon footprint as much as possible too. Consumption will create carbon footprints. There is no help for that but we can help the environment by making our footprint as small as possible. :)

Kyran, LOL. Glad you liked it. I felt like that at times in the past. I would wonder why some friends were paid two or three times more than me? Quite depressing. ;p Now, being in my mid 40s and having the option of retiring from active employment, I think my life hasn't turned out too badly. This makes this blog post more poignant for me. Even if we are not high income earners, we can achieve financial freedom too.

Richard, in a word, materialism. Most people I know are slaves to materialism and they don't realise it. In fact, they are quite happy to be so. I know a friend who is like this. Maybe, I will blog about it later. ;p

Starlight, I am glad. :)

AK71 said...

Hi dorshii,

Thank you for your kind words. You have always been encouraging. :)

Well, I try to look on the bright side. Is there a bright side to this, you might ask? LOL. Well, picking up my reply to EH about my fear, at least, I know that these critics are not my "fans". A consolation. ;p

yeh said...

Hi.
Ak. I hope I didn offend you as i always comment you eat too unhealthy and too stingy.

:)
Actually I also stingy person.

AK71 said...

Hi yeh,

No, don't worry. Thanks to you and a few other readers who "nag" at me, my diet has become healthier. I am making a conscious effort to change my eating habits. I am eating more fruits and vegetables. I am also eating less processed food. :)

I don't think I am stingey. I only say it. LOL. Really, I have a car. ;p

AK71 said...

Save money! Be inspired!

This is the latest update from W:

May 2015
Meal allowance : $190.00
Taxi : $30.00
Total : $220.00

June 2015
Meal allowance : $300.00
Taxi : $450.00
J : $150.00
W : $100.00
Total : $1,000.00

GRAND TOTAL : $1,220.00
( May & June )

Chiong ahhhhhhhhhh

AK71 said...

A reader on FB:

"You are influencing my daily decision man. I start to eat at food court instead of restaurant and try to cook even when I am tired. We are having stay cation instead of vacation to cut down the travel cost."

:)

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