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Don’t judge how I spend my money, until you’ve lived My Life

Let’s not pretend that just because you learn a little bit about how to manage your finances it gives you the right to judge how people spend their money.

You look at them and think why do they spend so much on holidays or gadgets.

How do they maintain this extravagant lifestyle, whether they will have enough safety net taken care of.

The truth is that you are not them. You and they are each unique.

The problem is what you deemed as wasteful is very precious to another person just because you don’t understand it.


Even my best friend who works in a bank thinks a 3 to 4 cups is extravagant. Why not  spend $1.2 daily on coffee from a local coffee store.

A tall frap will cost SGD 5.80. That will be $17.40 a week. 52 weeks will cost $904.


Starbucks coffee comes with exotic flavors, beans that you can’t find if you get it from your cafeteria or even Ya Kun.

The level of sugar in the coffee perks up an otherwise shitty work day and sugar have been shown  to be important when the brain is drain after excessive thinking.

And Starbucks have more than enough of them.

Without Starbucks, a lot of folks cannot working for long hours, or be motivated for it.


Unfortunately, the excessive levels of sugar is also what lead to obesity, and to a large extent, cancer cells is shown to feed off sugar. Basically, sugar is the food for it.

So why are you spending money feeding you stuff which will eventually make you uninsurable and worse, escalate your future medical costs?

2 Overseas Holidays

For a 30 year old, Singapore would have been pretty boring by now. With the purchasing power, plus the energy, you HAVE to go for holidays. If you don’t get out of the country, you are some kind of freak.

There are the niche group that will not go for only 1.

They can’t wait to be out of the country. At least 2 trips per year.


When your life is about paper pushing, email war fare, decimating brain cells for a good salary, the experience of a change in scenery, cultures vastly different from ours and companionship with people you get a long with, are what you very need every half a year.

It is even better when budget airfare is so affordable and that what was once expensive  destinations like Europe and US are cheaper nowadays.

If you are in a highly stressed job, not taking something like this will really crack you faster than you realized.


On the opposite end, I have a friend who could never understand why you would want to spend “effort” travelling around, facing “challenges”, potential hiccups not to mentioned loss of possessions when you can understand and experience the culture at the comfort of your computer or TV.

It turns out that some of the greatest joys experienced by folks is not during the trip, but during the  time spent planning it!

So why not just plan for a trip that you don’t expect to go?

Getting your dream car

In Singapore, the natural progression after graduating from tertiary education, coming out to work, is to get a car.

And for many folks the car have always been a dream.

It becomes a shitty problem when  cars are so expensive nowadays.

A little bit better are those who likes bikes since the cost is lower.

Cars, under the new rules are  costly due to the fact that the financing can only take up to 5 years instead of 10 years and COE is costly.


Many folks were “poisoned” since young from the numerous commercials, talk with friends and adults on the joys of owning their own vehicles.

In Singapore it used to be that a car is a luxury, but with public transport being so crowded, once you start a family, it is just not possible to not have a car.

Having a vehicle will enable you to save precious time. This is especially true, when your child is taken care by your parents and daily ferrying from one location to another will be dramatically longer without it.


And there are the group that have taken public transport all their life and cannot fathom why would people spend so much on something that depreciates in value over time.

On top of that, you can’t catch a break and have to concentrate during journey driving.  You also faced elevated level of stress (navigating on the roads have been said to raise stress level to that of fighting soldiers) not to mention increase material damage if you are not careful.

Capturing the moment

Somehow I am always surrounded by friends who are into photography. This used to be a much more expensive hobby when cameras cost more.

Nowadays technology have caught up so much that cost of equipment have gone down.

Still, it remains one of the most popular hobbies.


For the folks who are just not into it, they cannot figure out why their friends will spend so much on specialized lenses just to capture specific settings.


Those who understands it sees the value of freezing time in beautifully captured situations that you can tell your kids or your grand kids what they couldn’t experienced.

Photography is also one of those hobbies which to some, has a specific focus on honing a skill to the level where it differentiates them from the average folks the more they learn and practice their art.

The insatiable friend

You would realize that most of these listed spending are not 100% necessary. So these are classified as wants.

The issue if you have a friend that really suffers financially from this is when they don’t just enjoy 1 or 2 of the above, but all of them!

In a person’s disposable income, there are only a limited amount that a person can devote to spending like above.

The exceptions are those who earns a good income and these spending can form a smaller portion of their disposable income.

If the friend is not a high income earner, then it is likely that they are not spending on certain mandatory necessities or not paying themselves first.

Chances are that you want to offer some good advice and chances are they are not ready to receive it.


As financial savvy folks, we sometimes couldn’t fathom why their friends would indulge in the way they do.

We have to realize that personal finance is only one discipline that you have to grasp and that there are other disciplines that you may be deficient  at, and you have not come to see the importance.

We  could very well not learn the true value of wellness, memories and experiences over wealth.

Not comprehending them might make us chide our peers from spending excessively on them, or that they are stubborn mules for not listening to you.

You could be not listening to them on what is important as well.


I just thought this quote from a Straits Times article  on what is considered rich is timely:

Ultimately, wealth should not just be measured in material terms. As the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus once opined: “Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”

Make use of the free Stock Portfolio Tracker to track your dividend stock by transactions to show your total returns.


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Friday 15th of November 2013

Hi Drizzt,

I would agreed with your posted "Don’t judge how I spend my money, until you’ve lived My Life" but only for certain extend of people which are earn less, spend more and earn more spend more.

But for a certain of people, they just keep earning and saving and what are good to them if they have so much money and never enjoy it until they are gone? Of course, I don't mean to ask them to spend all of it. Ex. Maybe most people have stark buck everyday and he may award themselves once a week/month if they achieve something.

Maybe if they achieve their 3 or 5 years goal, they can award themselves a car and knowing their capability.

Or Maybe twice in a month having a great dinner with family if their earning are great.

Otherwise, what is the purpose of keep on earning and make their bank digit keep on increasing by their interest? There is a saying, money isn't yours until you spend it.

Ex. If you have so much money in your bank and you will NEVER going to spend it because you want the interest to increase your principle.

and what is the difference between

You don't have the money and IMAGINING you have so much in the bank and you will not able spend it?

Lastly, I am not encouraging people to spend more than what they earn, I just want them to spend it wisely with themselves, family and some contribution to the public.


Saturday 16th of November 2013

Thanks for your contribution, but i think we have quite a fair bit of people due to their habits not aware that they have spread themselves out too thin.

If you earn so much, but the money doesn't bring you happiness, spending it also wont make you more happy, you are better off having that as security.

It is true we cannot bring the cash to the grave, but alot of happiness do not have to mean big bucks.


Saturday 24th of August 2013


I don't mind people judging me, cos I don't bother how people will look at me.I make sure what I do is logical and rational to me.

A bit off topic, If u are afraid of how people judge you, it will affect your life and actions, especially in the case of investing. For example, I see that u often buy and sell over over a few days in recent months, as share price fluctuates, prob due to worrying on how people will judge u on ur transaction, rather than taking a paper loss and sticking to ur invest thesis. Not very healthy, IMO. No offense here.


Saturday 24th of August 2013

hi Man, you are right. thanks for bringing it up. its a bias of mine that tries to get rid off


Monday 19th of August 2013

while I have to agree with the excesses of starbucks takeaway, photography is perhaps a one time cost upfront. Only time & efforts (plus the electricity to recharge the battery) to take the photos.

Naturally, even with cars, house etc etc (but sadly/happily not the wife), everyone liked to have an upgrade for features etc etc. If one is bitten by that bug like I do. But then there is always the pre-owned market to scout for these.


Monday 19th of August 2013

hi Snoopy. yeah but the photgraphy is not usually one time. imagine if u have all of these at once. it will be a good exchange if you work in a high stress high paying job as a trade off.


Sunday 18th of August 2013

We all treat our money the way we like. Besides if tomorrow never comes then what? Even if it comes, there is always another tomorrow. We should do whatever with our money today if it makes us happy. And they say money can solve problem is not a problem. The thing is as long as you have some for tomorrow why worry spending money today?


Monday 19th of August 2013

hi uncle temperament, thanks for sharing very true. in your long career do you see colleagues you think is managing their lifestyle but turns out later that they are not?


Sunday 18th of August 2013

I agree that we may not fully understand the life experiences that peers have and why they need to spend on what we deem as wants. To them, a holiday may be a need to get out of the office and destress. Some choose to go nearby while others choose to go further. I don't begrudge them that, but if they choose the more expensive option, I don't expect them to complain about not having enough money.


Sunday 18th of August 2013

Hi! I guess they will complain, but you will expect them to take action to improve from that point onwards. but yes if they do it, they shouldn't complain because everyone including themselves would infer that they have everything planned out.

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