Living within your Means

here are, obviously, many different ways to live.

and for me, i’ve long been a firm believer of this way – to live within your means.

sure, we all have our own wants and desires. yes, there’s always that one more pair of designer shoes to buy, that one more branded arm-candy to lust after, and for some, that private condominium in a prestigious address or that ferrari. whatever, there’s actually no end to it. after you’ve satisfied one material desire, won’t be too long before you start coveting for another. such is life. the ads that bombard us all the time, the keeping up with the joneses mentality just wouldn’t let us.

i can’t say i’m all that saintly and don’t have my own secret wants and desires. i do too, just like everyone else.

but i too believe in not allowing brands and labels to determine who i am and how i behave. and i also believe that i ain’t defined by the brands that i wear on me and shame on those peeps who judge me by my non-branded fashion items. haha, i’m conceited and confident about the grey matters between my ears…. so i bring my smart-ass attitude with me almost everywhere i go.

can’t say the same for everyone else though.

many people actually do not consider their own financial situation before they start lusting after things and worse, some of them actually go on ahead and buy ‘em up all up. if you can’t afford it, then don’t buy it, dude. simple as that.

and today, i’m talking about buying HDB flats.

how many of your friends and how many newlyweds have you heard who actually buy small flats? i dare bet most would go for at least a 4-room flat, ya? some couples are young and may not be able to afford it, but they too go buy the 4- or 5-room flat and some even in mature estates where flats cost significantly more… and then, these same people complain about the high prices.

i believe some of you might have read BY NOW OH-SO-FAMOUS BLOG POSTS BY GINTAI? i know for a fact quite a lot of people actually agree with him vehemently.

but seriously… ain’t those peeps stretching themselves a wee bit too far? didn’t they create this situation themselves when they fail to realise they’re over-committing? why didn’t they buy something smaller? or in a non-mature estate?

there’s this thing called upgrade, you know? that is, start with something smaller and something you can afford comfortably… and then when you make more money, buy a bigger, better, brighter one? DA-DA, UPGRADE *lightbulb moment*

if you had read gintai‘s piece, i really really really strongly recommend that you read MINISTER OF STATE FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT TAN CHUAN JIN’s RESPONSE.

that were lots of BINGO! moments as i was reading Minister Tan’s piece.

and yes, i think lots of singaporeans are complaining and whining just because they fail to see that contrary to popular belief, the government doesn’t own us everything. sure, they’ve made mistakes and they fail quite miserably at PR and stuff, but they have done reasonably alright by anyone’s standards and in any country.

what’s happening is we singaporeans have failed to see the positives in life and we’ve forgotten to be thankful. did you think the modern conveniences you have now, the safety on the streets, the relatively high literacy rate in our society, the comparatively more balance gender equality, etc etc etc are all organic developments? nope, these are fruits of policies that have worked.

did you think singapore attract so many foreigners coz we’re such a hot (pun fully intended, keke!) country? no, you know…? it’s because these foreigners see the positives of our country that we’ve taken for granted for soooo…. long!


i used to be a high income earner and i used to be one of those who would snap up designer items every month… but i’m not even earning half of what i used to now. but it’s a choice that i’ve made. i’ve traded money for my time and freedom.

a close friend just asked me recently… she asked how could i have coped, given the rather drastic deduction in income.

i said, ‘it’s easy, just live simply.’

and living simply doesn’t necessarily mean i’m living badly or anything… i just strip my lifestyle of the items that i deem as less important to me. and after i’ve answered her, i stopped to ask myself if i were less happy now than before since i’m living more simply now.

and the not-so-surprising answer is… i’m actually still happy.

when you live abit more simply, you tend to focus on the more intellectual and intrinsic part of things and you fuss less over the material things. and i now derive pleasure from different things.

there are many things in life that can make us happy. it’s really up to us to choose what perspective we wanna take and how we wanna feel. i really really think it’s all in the head. if you choose to be saddled and burdened by the material lusts or you choose to be bogged down by what you think other people are thinking, then it’s your choice to live such a life.

for me, i choose to be happy.

Source : Living within your Means by (blog)


One response to this post.

  1. i like the idea of living within means. it is the only way to live. any other way means one is in debt. in some cases, we do not have a choice but to go into debt for example, housing.

    other than living essentials, we should not be going into debt. such as for cars, country club memberships or boats (where i live in). i am not saying we should not buy a car or anything like that. note that i emphasized not going into debt for it. spending modestly as you have cited will help a lot in avoiding debts because the savings will go a long way for you to afford other stuffs without the need of borrowing.

    having said that, i don’t feel gender equality is necessary a good thing for singapore. in fact, i think it is one of the key reasons because our low marriage and birth rate. but that’s another discussion, another day.


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