Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Millionaire Scrooge?

This thought came to me as I was eating at Pepper Lunch with my girlfriend. A dinner at Pepper Lunch costs around $22.80, compared to about max $10 for a simple rice with meat and vege plus drinks from the drinks store at a coffee shop. For that Pepper Lunch meal, I could have eaten 2 dinners at the coffee shop!

In the quest towards financial freedom, there are times where we consider whether we should spend on this... or spend on that... In short, putting it in nice terms, we are considering whether the thing we want to buy is a need or a want. We think, we ponder, and we calculate to see if buying it would delay our quest towards financial freedom. But are we going to do that forever just to reach or maintain that magical millionaire status? Would we want to be a millionaire scrooge?

Being prudent in expenditures is of course necessary, i.e. why buy that flashier sports car when you don't need it? But simple things like having a more expensive meal now and then (of course not everyday) won't put us off the track by too much. The question on my mind is, what's the purpose of earning so much money when you won't spend even a small portion of it? Just a small portion treating your loved one to meals won't hurt your pocket much. Of course, how big the treat depends on how big your wallet is, and your loved one will (and should) understand that too.

Or another example. A simple gift now and then for your loved one... how much would that set you back? Not a lot. Simple gifts, but deep thoughts, count... and relationships are priceless assets...

Or your kids. I don't have a kid, but I remember my dad willingly spending his cash on buying storybooks, assessments and guidebooks for me when I wanted it during my primary school days. He wasn't earning much during then, just sufficient for us to be moderately comfortable in cosmopolitan Singapore. But he spent on my education, and that shaped me to what I am today.

The route to achieving financial freedom should not be fraught with too many scroogy events. Perhaps a few such events to accelerate ourselves on the route faster, but certainly not a way of life. What's the point of being rich but living a life of being poor? Financial freedom is defined as being able to sustain your current lifestyle with your assets forever. Certainly, if I limit myself to spending only a maximum of $500 a month now, I would already be in financial freedom!!! But would I want that type of lifestyle where there's only an expenditure of $500 a month? Sure, wanting more keeps you longer in the rat race, but is a scroogy lifestyle the life you want?

So how!!! How to achieve that dream status of financial freedom without being a damned scrooge! That's the question some readers might have.

On top of prudent cash management, we have to work hard to increase our income generating sources. The most common financial advice is to have multiple income sources. The human brain is there for us to think creatively of how to generate these sources. It's an all powerful organ.

To me, instead of spending that extra time to think of how to be a hated scrooge and squeeze that extra $100 savings every month, wouldn't it be better to use that same effort to think of how to generate that extra $500 every month? For example, I spend a lot of time on this blog writing articles like this one to generate some extra income from adsense a month, and I get to enjoy my 80c coffee from my favourite coffee shop instead of drinking the artificial tasting coffee made from 30c 3-in-1 packets. Wouldn't that be better?

So in our journey towards financial freedom, when we plan our expenditures, remember to plan on spending on your loved ones, which include your significant others, your kids, your parents, your siblings, your relatives and friends, and yourself. Live your normal life; do not force yourself into a scroogy life if that's not in your nature.When possible, some of the finer things in life can still be enjoyed during our journey; we just need to include it into our plans and make money for it.


  1. Hi JW,

    For me it's rarely a question of affordability. It's usually a question of value.

    If it is something I can afford but it does not provide good value, I would not bite. If it is something I can afford and gives good value, why not?

    I enjoyed reading this post a lot. :)

  2. Hi AK71,

    agreed fully. :)
    It's at times akin to value invest... hehehe

    Thanks for the compliment :)

  3. Hello,

    This is Samantha. I am a professional blogger and loves to write on various financial topics. I'm writing to you because I want to take my author identity to the next level by supplying informative articles to personal finance bloggers. I don't believe in writing promotional articles, instead I feel informative stuff are something users are most interested in reading.

    I would hereby like to request an opportunity to write a guest post on your site, ofcourse free of charge. You can send me your preferred topic, if any, and I would be happy to write an article on it. I can show you some of my past work that have attracted good number of visitors.

    I must say, you are doing a great job on with your blog .

    I would be happy if you could answer either way!

    Samantha Taylor

  4. Hi Samantha,

    thanks for offering to write a guest post. However, this is a blog on my personal journey, and I wouldn't think it very appropriate for others to write a guest post on my journey.

    Thank you :)


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