On managing finances

You’d think that with the looming financial crisis, being prudent and sensible would make the top of most people’s lists, but sadly shitheads will remain shitheads until shit actually hits the fan.

In planning for the w (as with everything else we plan), staying within budget has always been our prerogative. My default outlook on life is on a worst case scenario basis, thus I find it essential to always have a back up plan in case one of us:

  • is retrenched1
  • gets into a car accident and is paralysed waist down2
  • contracts a slow killing disease and requires extensive medication3
  • dies of cardiac arrest4

Affordable healthcare in Singapore is a topic worthy of debate, but that is for another day. The point is, shit happens. But luckily for most of the awful things that can happen to us, financial stability can help alleviate circumstances. Having emergency funds ensures that you can keep up with your mortgage payments while employed, it guarantees that your family is taken care of when you can no longer support them. Being financially stable is not a choice – it is a responsibility that everyone has to undertake.

Therefore it baffles me when young people lavishly spend on $15,000 floral arrangements, or $10,000 w rings, or $20,000 holidays. There is a difference between being able to afford a price tag, and whether something is indeed worth the price tag. Unfortunately our society is a myopic one, and coupled with a false sense of grandiosity and the need to impress, it is no wonder people of our generation are entering their marriages saddled with enormous debts.

I urge my young readers to save more and spend less; study hard and find a good and honest job. Do not fall into the cycle of debt, but if you do, there’s no one else to blame but your own stupidity.

1 In 2014, the Ministry of Manpower reported a redundancy rate of 6.3 per 1,000 paid workers (link)
2 In 2014, the Singapore Police Force reported a total of 149 fatal accidents and 7,791 accidents that resulted in injury (link)
3 Between 2010 and 2014, a total of 61,519 cases were diagnosed in Singapore (link)
4 In a study conducted by the National Heart Centre Singapore, it was found that “about 0.6 Singaporeans below 60 years old fall victim to SCD every day and that 91% of the people who died from sudden cardiac death were males.” (link)

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