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Delaying gratification and getting stuff we want for free.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


What does the word "resist" mean?

I have mentioned delaying gratification and the pluses of doing so. Well, you know, here and there.

This is taken from a longer email by a reader:

"My girlfriend saves money so that she can go travelling. I tried suggesting we should save money to invests for passive income but she argues that now if we don't travel now, in the future we wont have time and money after being married and have kids."

Alamak! Domestic squabble alert!


I actually said:

"I don't know how to answer your question regarding your disagreement with your girlfriend. The coldest thing I could say is to find a partner who shares your goals and beliefs. Yikes. You really have to sort this out yourself."



I am terrible, I know.

Bad AK! Bad AK!




I like sharing the story about how Jim Rogers convinced his first wife when they were newly weds not to use her savings to buy a sofa she liked. They could still use their old sofa. They later got the sofa for "free", using money generated by her savings which he invested. Nice!

Wouldn't it be better if we were able to use money generated by our investments to pay for stuff we want (overseas holidays included) instead of using money we had saved from our earned income?


I have also shared my own story about how dividends from my investment in ST Engineering paid for my annual holidays to Japan for a few years in a row. I remember telling my dad this when we were on the bus to the airport at the end of a holiday in Osaka. He smiled indulgently. I didn't think he believed me then.

Anyway, the sooner we realise the benefit of delaying gratification and the sooner we start investing for a more secure future, the better.

Do you believe me?
Related posts:
1. Two questions which help build wealth.
2. The mystical art of wealth accumulation.
3. At what age to start investing in stock market?
"Getting dividends from investing in SPH has demonstrated to my niece the power of delayed gratification."

Cookie Monster learns a lesson.

23 comments:

betta man said...

I bought a new pair of running shoes yesterday (13 Oct 15), the same day that First Reits announced its quarterly result. It feels good that First Reits pays for my new running shoes :)

AK71 said...

Hi betta man,

I am sure you bought the shoes with a big smile and when you run wearing these shoes, you will enjoy a feeling of freedom, financial freedom! ;p

yada_yada said...

Hi AK, I am a fellow dreamer and chaser of passive income and a true believer of delayed gratification. :) It is definitely ideal to have free money paying for your wants or even needs - but life is unpredictable.

If I were you and happened to get a crippling illness (touch wood!) right now and am unable to do all that I want with my however much passive income, I may not be giving the same advice anymore. So from that perspective I definitely understand where the girlfriend is coming from.

Its all about achieving the right balance and compromise!

Sillyinvestor said...

HI AK,

Enjoy life, delayed gratification not equal to no gratification.

Go for the trip, still save ...

It is true that we might not have the young heart with our partner when our passive income pays for the trip.

Because when your passive income pays for your annual trip, u want it to pay for your mortgage. When it does, u want it to be enough for u to retire.

If saving and earning that money for FI is that fulfilling cool and good, but money buys "smile". I decide my family's smile is worth it.

But of course, when my wife ask for long Australia trip, I simply replied :" no la, no money la. U pay?" Lol

Sillyinvestor said...

Actually, I regret not learning dancing when my wife wanted me to join her. I am not a "dance person", but ask me again if I can turn back the clock to a decade ago, I say yes.

AK71 said...

Hi YY and Mike,

I hear you! I guess it really depends on personality too.

I guess it helps that I am a boring and rather unadventurous type of person. I am as happy watching Japan Hour as making an actual trip to Japan. ;p

So, it is probably easier for me than some to avoid big ticket items. Wait a minute, I have a car and I bought a condo. What am I talking about? LOL. I spend money on different things, I guess.

YY, alamak, simi crippling illness? Choy! -.-"

aceirus said...

I think I can understand where that girlfriend is coming from.... imaging by the time you managed to achieve that level of passive income but it took you longer (not all people are that good, or you started late) and your health or legs can't let you walk... then it defeats the purpose. I guess for some, it works better if you have a separate savings for investment and another for play (holidays, buy things you like)!

AK71 said...

Hi aceirus,

I guess we will all have to find our own way. Certainly, it is never my way or the highway. :)

Happiness in life is important and different people find happiness in different things. I dare say most people don't find happiness in socking away most of their salaries and investing for higher income. I think I am in the minority.

Kyran Tan said...

For me i will always try to seek a balance in everything that i do (as much as the situation allows me to). So on one hand i could be seen spending while on the other hand i will be holding back other purchases or put aside some $ for investments. This is my typical libra self. It can also be called pai mia because i am always trying to seek balance. Haha

The Sun said...

Hi AK,

Warren Buffett once remarked to Bill Billig, a golfing friend of his, after he found out that his (1st) wife Susie had spend $15,000 on home furnishings: "Do you know how much that is we you compound it over 20 years?"

AK71 said...

Hi Kyran,

Ah, you are a Libran. ;)

We hear people talking about striking a balance often and it always sounds good but it is difficult to have a perfect balance. So, don't beat yourself to death over this, OK? Agar agar can liao. ;p

AK71 said...

Hi Sun,

Hahaha... Good one. Thanks for sharing this. :)

I am lucky I am not particular about furniture. Cheap IKEA furniture is perfect for me. The function is more important than the form for me. ;)

Having said that, there was a time when I would always think of opportunity cost. I have learnt to be less tight fisted in recent years.

Siew Mun said...

On average, I plan to use 50% of the investment gains for family vacation of 6. With that amount of gains, we can take a vacation to a further place once every 2 years. On alternate years we go on a staycation or nearby.

Sanye ◎ 三页 said...

Hi AK,

Delay Gratification is good, but we should not drive it to extreme. We should set a target on our savings and investment plan. Beyond that, we shouldn't be too tight fisted with money. I agree with SI that "smile on love one's face is worth it."

"Do you know how much it is when compounded over 20 years?" I know, but I might be dead in 20 years and if I am dead it doesn't matter to me anymore, does it? LOL

AK71 said...

Hi Siew Mun,

I like your plan. :)

I also like staycations. They are less stressful and, seriously, there are many things to do in Singapore and many places to see. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Sanye,

Haha... For older people, certainly, we should learn to be less tight fisted. I agree, I might not be here 20 years from now. -.-"

Just yesterday, a friend told me how her 80 year old parents are still quite tight fisted with money. Alamak. They are actually pretty well off and need not be so.

For younger people, however, I would encourage them to be a bit more tight fisted. I know I was. OK, sorry. Bad AK! Bad AK! ;p

Joyce Leong said...

Hi AK,

I think I was in a similar position in the past. Looking back, I wished that we did go for maybe one or two holidays to far flung places. Now I'm doing that so better late than never.

AK71 said...

Hi Joyce,

Whatever decision we make, there will be trade offs. Our decision depends on what is more important to us.

Unless we are born with a silver spoon in our mouths, I think certain sacrifices have to be made to ensure that we are financially secure in future. This is the prudent thing to do.

I have a friend who is just a year older than me but his family is very rich. So, his life is always very different from mine. There is no way I could ever live a life like his but, today, I am able to have a rather comfortable life without having to worry too much about money and that makes all the sacrifices in the past worthwhile. :)

hydrogenperoxide said...

Hi AK,

I don't really think that it's wrong to go for overseas trip. My advice will be go for it, try to save whenever possible (find promotion ticket, stay in backpacker hostel).
Don't spend excessively.
Don't chase for passive income. Take the middle road. Live's still long, you may not even live long enough to enjoy it.
On a side note, do some side work (I know I'm workaholics), but that's how I pay for all my little indulgence. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Pero,

Oh, I didn't say it is wrong either. :o

I am just sharing the virtues of delaying gratification in this blog post and also how it is easier to work towards goals in life if our partner shares our vision. ;)

Solace said...

Have a brief read on this post on my way to work 2 days back. Decided that not much to comment on, since, this topic was discussed a few times before. However some of the comments I read on both FB and blog borders on 2 sides of extreme, so I decide maybe I should input a bit.

I would suggest practicing moderation and adopt a "middle path" approach which I think AK might be familiar with haha.

Being frugal and have delayed gratification is a corner stone in wealth building. Failing to even realize that would jeopardize the journey to financial freedom years down the road. I very much value this Príncipe and is one of my core value in life.

Having said that, one must also know that there is a very thin line between frugal and stingy. We must also not fall into the category of " Penny wise and pound foolish". If there is a rare chance whereby one can spend quality time with family by going on a short retreat and ended up with everyone having wonderful time that resulted in closer ties, by all means a one should go ahead. Not spending quality time with your loved one could very well be a regret if such a chance never come again in the future. The trip can be planned in way where it is financially prudent.

As Christmas is coming, I recall the novel "Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens. I do hope while striving for financial freedom, I do not end up like Scrooge at the end of the journey, becoming a "bitter old miser"

A spendthrift wastes money without thinking of consequences, a miser saves money to the point that is detrimental to him and people around him. As I journey on life, I hope I have the wisdom to tread carefully. Not going to the 2 extremes.

I think this makes a good guest blog lol.

AK71 said...

Hi Solace,

Yes, I agree this would have made a good guest blog. LOL. ;)

What is the point of growing old, rich and miserable!

You might remember this blog post of mine:

Blogs that show the ugly truth about AK. ;p

AK71 said...

From the comments section of another blog post:
My passive income all gone!

Singapore Man of Leisure said...
AK,
Now we're talking!
Limpeh got car! You have or not? Don't have? Then don't talk "male-chicken"!
Song-bo?
You have another ace - Limpeh got freehold condo - but we save that for when you get hit in the face by a shoe again... Shhh...
LOL!
-----------------------------------------
AK said...
Actually, not just this car. My last car, the Mazda, was free too. I won that in a lucky draw...
Oh, yes. My condo is free too due to downsizing. Your memory is good. ;)
To everyone out there, throw only branded shoes at me, ok? I can make some pocket money selling them. ;p

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