When I was doing my National service, I seldom go out with my platoon mates during nights off. I simply enjoyed a meal at Changi Village, and took a slow walk back to camp, usually alone.
I managed to save almost 10k after the 2 years.
I signed a contract with my employer when I am still studying at university. I was given allowance when I study. I managed to save more than 20 k during my university years. I played with shares. I know nuts about financial numbers. What is ROE, what is equity, receivable. I know nothing. When September 11 happen, I bought SIA. It is a 100% gain. This embolden me to buy more blue chips. It was the turning of bear to bull years, I made more than 5k. Then I took all profits and ploughed it into CAO which wiped out almost all of my savings!
I still have savings. I was so happy to get back 4k when they managed to restructure. I remembered the money coming in very handy when I pay for my marriage expenses. Furniture, property, honey moon etc.
My first 2 years of working savings were gone in a snap of an eye when I get married.
Then we welcomed our first car, followed very shortly by our first baby. Savings was wipe out again. In fact, there were months I survived by past savings and needed my bonuses to clear my expenses.
It was a very different lifestyle I was used to. My wife was not as frugal as me. I felt highly insecure without monthly savings. I quarrel with her over money.
As I climbed the Coporate ladder, my pay increased, so is my expenses. My maid came along, things like taxes, year end holiday etc, made me hardly able to save the bulk of my bonuses.
I learn to invest, but there are many a times I need to liquid my counter to pay for some expenses.
It was painful, demoralizing. Especially when I read about blogger x who is y years old and amassed a portfolio of z value.
Given my character, when I can't beat them, I start to delude myself. I tell myself a lot of joy I had with my family cannot be measured with money. A lot of time spent, a lot of luxury activities should be enjoyed and let it be. I am a generous husband and father and perhaps also son and son-in-law.
Deep down inside, I know I want some financial muscle. I know there are other with debts issues. But most of the peers I know have more than 1 property. Ouchx1
I remember a blagandesh at a ATM in front of me. When it's my turn, I saw the ATM receipt, while I am not sure if the receipt belong to him, I saw cash balance of 100k. Wow, I tell the story to my friends. They reacted in amazement: huh? You mean you do not even have 100k after working for so many years? Ouch ouch.
I still aim for financial freedom, but deep down inside, I know in reality, I am just working for stability in semi-retirement.
The one solution I had, work till I dropped . No need for retirement fund. LOL.
To self-delude myself further, I tell myself if I do have the second property, or when I have the half a million investable fund, I will have other problems, I might be missing on other finer things. It made the"ouch" moments bearable.
To self-delude myself further, I even appeal to the rational thinking part. Hey, if my 50K portfolio can be defended, with 6% annual return plough back to work, compounding magic will make it a cost value 200k portfolio in 25 years. I will get 1 k return every month if I can still manage 6% return. I would be 60 then. My CPF should have no problem hitting the minimum sum.
I would have to survived with 2 plus K a month 25 years later. With inflation eating away purchasing power, it is a highly depressing number isn't it? I should have some spare cash from my 2 endowement policies for some little pleasures for the first 10 years.
So how to bridge the gap? Drive taxi or work as security guard perhaps?
Of course, the above projection assumed zero cash savings and capital injection into investment fund in the next 25 years, which is almost impossible unless I lose my job.
So I just described a worst case screnario, my days in monetary sense should be much better. Delusion in process 1.
Anyway, even if monetary less well off, it could be make up by a fulfilling emotional and social or perhaps even spiritual life, isn't it? Delusion in process 2
Anyway, will Singapore still be around in 25 years? Will its economy still be as vibrant? Will I stop be healthy? Appreciate the present! Delusion in process 3
There are plenty of opportunities that can be opened with money, I am not taking about just pleasure seeking ones but also in terms of security. But perhaps, options or Too many of them bring more anguish. Delusion in process 4
Grasshopper or the ant, A story I fondly remembered from SMOL. I think I am the hardworking grasshopper, working hard, enjoying hard.
Until the next ant or grasshopper passed by, and amazed at my not ant nor grasshopper life. Ouch. I know it will hurt, comparison is inevitable but I know it will just hurt a while until I jump off to immerse myself in the next playground or workplace.
When asked what is my greatest asset, I always say:
1) contentment ( for my lecturer and academic friends).
2) Shameless ( for my ah beng friends )
3) delusional ability ( for my blogging friends)
But effectively, the three assets are the same thing. Just different packaging LOL
I just hope old age don't make my greatest asset disappear.