Saturday, July 17

The little problem with saving up

I didn't know the virtues of saving when I was young. During my primary school days, I will spend every single cent I have. If I had some loose coins by the end of school session, I will buy pencils, sweets, snacks, ice cream etc, or treat my friends.

As such, my piggy bank was almost always empty. My sister on the other hand, was thrifty and has lots of coins in her piggy bank. And I helped myself to it when I was short of cash. =p And when I so often got caught red-handed in the act, my sister will beat me. Ouch!

One day, my mum suggested that she help me to save part of my allowances, so that upon accumulation to a bigger amount, I can buy something I liked.

I had my eye on some toy vehicle (Anyone seen the cartoon Mask?), and so I agreed. Day after day, I started to make do with the reduced allowance. We were poor, and I didn't have much toys, so this thought of saving up to buy my toy definitely excited me, as I inch closer and closer towards saving the amount needed.

So the day came when I finally manage to save S$50 (US$20). With the $50 note in my pocket, I happily took a bus by myself down to the toy store. Only to realise that the money has dropped out of my pocket after I reached the store. =(

I didn't cry, but I was hugely disappointed. And nope, mum didn't gave me another $50 to make myself feel better, because she probably wants me to learn a lesson. And $50 was big money for us in those days.

Growing up, I started being more thrifty (Wifey calls it stingy), while my sister became much more generous. My mum will point out the irony of this (how our spending habits become opposite) sometimes, as she's worried my sister will not have enough savings at the rate that she's enjoying herself.

In life, there are times when long term planning is important, and we should bite the bullet in the short-term for the purpose of bigger things to come. Stuffs like staying away from fast food for the sake of long-term health. Or staying away from expensive hobbies so that you can save more for retirement.

But then there are also times when the opposite happens. If you eat the noodles first and leave the fishball (the best part of the meal) to the last, what happens if after eating the noodles, you finally get to eat the fishball, and the fishball slips off your chopsticks onto the dirty table?

Do you guys live for today, knowing that tomorrow is a question mark?

Or live for tomorrow, knowing that there are many more days to come?


The Envoy said...

I do a combination of both. Last time it was more of the former, but nowadays its more of the latter....I wonder why?

Lily Riani said...

firstly, i hv to say... i LOVE MASK!

ok, now that is out of the way... mine will be later and mostly on travel... i tried to save but sigh.... perhaps i shud start now? what do u reckon?

Mabel Low said...

Yknow if you can start making a few different accounts to manage your money, its a great way to live for both days. ;)

Mei Teng said...

I like to take things each day as it comes. But that doesn't mean I am careless and don't plan. I do but I must learn to make adjustments and remain flexible if changes are needed in any way.

Hippo said...

I think it is not being "penny wise and pound foolish".

when you buy a real car, neg and get one that suits you, as it is a matter of few thousand.

But you sure can treat me a good McDonals meal, which will cost you less than $10.

the girl in stiletto said...

a lil of both really. i wont upset myself as much because to be honest some people disappoint me in real life and therefore i wouldnt want to disappoint myself. so i treat myself every now and again, and making sure i've enough for the future and the necessities.

it's tricky though. but i'm glad i dont usually indulge in buying unnecessary things that often. also because i barely have the time to "shop til i drop"

MKL said...

I'm usually saving a lot and living very modestly and then travel to Asia. That was the case in recent 5 years. I could've bought a new car to myself, but I chose to travel instead. So far I'm happy with it. But now I'm at a turning point and I want to live and work in Taiwan and save the money for the future. I had a great 5 years now. But times are changing and I'll change my way. But I'll still travel. But I will save as well. I was always good at it :)

Anonymous said...

I tried to save ... but but but .... all my determination is gone, when I saw the LV which I like! Hahahaha ...

I would say .. I save for the future, but at the same time, will not deprive myself of life's pleasure withn my own means!

Wer Wer

Wenny Yap said...

I used to stinge alot when younger but somehow the savings doesn't get piled up anyway. So nowadays, I prefer to live one day at time, spend on what I want but still ensure to live within my means.

What's not necessary today will become the savings for something better and more fulfilling later.

Netster said...

I love this post.

Life can be very unpredictable. I have the same thinking like in your post, both question.

but my answers change every time people died! No kidding!

So I come to the conclusion, screw it, I don't want to think about it any more... It's so confusing and so I bought more insurance in case i died with lot of debt my family can just use that money to pay everything and have the balance to do whatever they need.

Hey great post! I love it!

rama said...

Hi, How have you been, its been a long time?
Your blog is very good. I think we need to be balanced in our life so that we don't miss out on any part of our life.
I am sure you are doing pretty well now, with all your experiences in life.
Take care, and have great day. Rama.

Crystal said...

My up bringing is to SAVE SAVE SAVE. I must really thank my mom because she was the one who taught me all this. I have managed to save my first 5K on my first job and spend it on braces. =)

Thus conclusion: I live for today and tomorrow.

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