Thursday, July 05, 2007

Watch that purchase!

As we generally become more affluent, and our lifestyles reach a point where we unconsciously spend without taking a second thought, it takes some discipline and courage to force oneself to sit and take a hard look at reality.

Can we really afford to live that way? And for how long can we sustain that lifestyle?

Since leaving the financial planning industry (although now i seem to have become the unofficial financial planning consultant to some of my colleagues at work! hah!), life has become a routine of fixed-hour work during the weekdays, and a regular set of activities in the weekends. And unlike the days of being self-employed, where you'd really have to make darn sure you make more commissions than you'd spend on entertainment and food, gifts for clients, transportation expenses, etc.. these days, it is so easy to simply assume that the lifestyle (and its accompanying expenditure) will simply shape itself around the new job and habits that come with it.

That is so not true... as I have very recently found out.

It is certainly easy to get into a habit of visiting cafes and restaurants for meals, when a simple chap-chai peng (mixed vegetable rice) only costs $2.50 and sometimes tastes just as good; buying that nice looking shirt (usually during the sales period) when i still have a few new shirts nicely wrapped in their brand new plastic covers in my cabinet...etc And the list goes on..

When you sit down and do the math, it can come as a shocking revelation to some, that their monthly expenditure actually "outperforms" their monthly income! Just like the recent bull market hor? :P
It always seems that the amount of spending always reach "new heights" and "record highs", but our salaries doesnt even grow as fast as the GST levels!

So, before we jump in the Great Singapore Sale frenzy and indulge in the wonders of retail therapy (as the banks are so eager to tell us to do), just make sure that at the end of the month/year, you have enough to ride you through the next financial cycle - the inevitable economic downturn.


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