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An essential habit to becoming richer.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Someone who just started reading my blog recently asked me why am I so frugal. 

With the kind of income that I get from my investments, I should be enjoying life more, he said. 

Being frugal in my early years he could understand but why now too? 

Actually, on and off, I get similar comments from some people.

Do I really give people the impression that I am a giam siap (Hokkien for "Scrooge-like") fellow? 

Well, I must say that I have become less tight fisted with money in recent years. 

I spend money more easily especially on people I care about and I also give myself treats frequently but I still embrace frugality most of the time. 

It is difficult for me not to. 

It has grown on me and has become a habit over the years.

The Chinese people have a saying:


What does this mean? 

In the days of plenty, think of leaner days. 

During leaner times, do not dream of riches but work hard to gain wealth. 

At the centre of this saying is the philosophy that we should be frugal. 

Whether we are rich or not does not matter.

So, why am I still frugal today? 

I think we have the answer.

Related posts:
1. First step to becoming richer.
2. Three point turn.
"Keep our needs simple and our wants few." AK


mrtamjiak said...

I know! Cornflakes! Lol! Frugal is good leh. I like frugal! :)

AK71 said...


They are not cornflakes. They are neither corn nor flakes. -.-

Anyway, cornflakes cost more than this. Cornflakes are so atas!

la papillion said...

Close my eyes also know it's oats, lol

AK71 said...

Hi LP,

You sure know your oats! ;p

Singapore Man of Leisure said...



LP beat me to it, you Mr oat meal guy you...

I long time never eat oats liao.

Young that time during primary school I remember got eat Quaker Oats for breakfast... Yucks!

AK71 said...


Yes, I remember I didn't like oats when I was a boy. This is a sign that I have aged, I am quite sure. I like food less salty these days too. -.-"

Solace said...

I have been taking oatsmeal with milk or milo for almost everyday. Certainly, it is a good and healthy meal with low cost.

I applaud your effort for keeping up with frugality even at this stage. Indeed, we don't really need to consume and spend that much to live, don't we? :)

My current expenditure for this month is $340. I think i can clock less than $400 for month of June. Inspiration from AK Hahaha

mrtamjiak said...

Oops! no wonder I cannot guess it. i dun like to eat oats! lol

AK71 said...

Hi Solace,

Standing ovation!

That was what I was living on at one stage of my adult working life, $400 a month!

I am afraid it is much more these days with a car and, of course, my own pad on the way. -.-"

Investopenly said...

Clap clap clap! As the Contonese will said "得你发达的”hahahah

AK71 said...

Hi Richard,

Oh, my goodness. Haven't heard that one before. Sounds very auspicious. Thank you. :)

blauereiter said...

IMHO, if frugality is your way of life and you're not practicing it at the expense of anyone else, why not ? As long as it makes you a happy person. :]

Life is short and we should live it the way we like to live it. (again, as long as we're not doing it at the expense of anyone else.)

AK71 said...

Hi blauereiter,

This is similar to what I used to say in my younger days. We owe it to ourselves to be happy. So, be happy as long as it does not hurt anyone else in the process. Thanks for the reminder. ;)

pf said...

I thot those r ginseng slices.

AK71 said...

Hi pf,

I take ginseng slices from time to time to. It helps my asthma. Not my favourite thing to eat though. -.-"

Dexter Choo said...

hi do you know anywhere which i can buy cheaper second hand investing books like intelligent investor?

AK71 said...

Hi Dexter,

You might want to go to my blog's right sidebar and look for the section "Food for thought".

There are many recommended books and I usually provide links that will bring you to Better World Books which sells pre-owned books. Free shipping globally. :)

AK71 said...

This blog post has a link to "The Intelligent Investor". :)

Why is Warren Buffett the world's greatest money maker?

AK71 said...

Just told someone:

"Tell your friends, good times save money, tough times not scared. ;p

"Spend money in good times like you would spend money in bad times. Tough times, not scared."

AK71 said...

Jerry JL:

I think the greatest takeaway from your blog is how you encourage people to be frugal.

It has a double effect of helping us save more for investing and making our savings go an extra mile!

AK71 said...

Reader says...

My habits have changed to be more frugal and prudent for 1+ year painful at the beginning and become second nature now.

For example, I pack lunch and coffee to work everyday with exceptions to treat my dept quarterly lunch or tea time snacks.

I stair climb for cardio and do push ups strength for exercise instead gym.

I did not buy any clothes for the last year.

We went to nearby Kukup family of 4 children for holidays.

For the last 3 months, I am minimizing my stuff by selling or giving them away.

We tend to have more and more stuff as we grow older.

As your stuff increases you look for bigger apartments or spend $200+ per month for offsite storage (which I did).

Selling my stuff increases my income would otherwise left just sitting around.

AK71 said...

From my FB wall:

Ong Joo Parn says...
The road to financial freedom is not the abundance of money to spend nor physical achievements. Its a state of mind where what we earn passively transcends what is necessary to keep us alive and happy.

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