Dec 5, 2009

Frugal pride

People think if you're living frugally, it means you're not doing very well financially, or it's just plain pathetic. But if you stop and think about it, all these negative connotations are social constructs. It's just what people have come to associate frugality with.

My parents were trying so hard to make ends meet, they used to sell Nasi Lemak in Subang Jaya after work. Somehow, visualizing this gets me chuckling. I know, I know, so mean right? I don't think their nasi lemak tasted very good then, though. But that gig lasted only 3 months or so.

Aside from her full-time job, my Mum also used to do direct marketing (DM) just to make an extra buck or two. She was busy and I don't recall seeing much of her but I liked this particular DM job she took. It involved the aunties in my school, so sometimes I got to see her around school which was quite fun for me. I think this job once got me out of after-school tuition. It was all very fortuitous.

Basically, life was hard for them, so they lived within their means. They didn't go out for social dinners like yuppies did, nor did they spend frivolously on items they couldn't afford.

Now, they're doing okay. They're living comfortably, and living frugally becomes a lifestyle choice, not their only choice. For me, living frugally has always been a choice; I didn't have to worry about money. So when I choose to live frugally in some aspects of my life, I'm glad I'm doing it because it's so much more than saving money really - it's about discipline and appreciation. It's tough saying "no" to something you've always had, and when you don't have it, you learn to appreciate what you already have. I think that's how the philosophy goes. Someone stole my philosopher's stone, therefore, I can't philosophise properly. *chuckle chuckle*

What if you're taking crap from friends for living frugally?
Don't despair, take it as a character building exercise... Then take pleasure in the knowledge that you're better than them. (Oi, the theme here is "pride". Tough nuts.)

There's really no shame in living frugally. It's because of excess that's what's killing us - morally, financially, or in health. Like I said, living frugally is a lifestyle choice. If you want to live like your grandfather left you a vault full of moolah, go ahead. Expect some nagging from me because I just can't help it, but generally I try to back off when I've regained self-control. (Sorry, Mr. Gan, I will try harder to shut my trap!)

My last words:
i. Wealth is a privilege, not a right.
ii. Don't be afraid to say "no" to social invites by your friends (especially those that involve frivolous spending).
iii. If you fall prey to temptation, it's okay. It's not the end of the world. Just don't use it as an excuse for future misdeeds. Unless, you know, you want to lie to yourself (!).
iv. When money comes too easily, it's always easy to overspend.

Yes, I always have to have the last word...... Word.
*chuckle chuckle*

Jebus, why am I so lame at this hour?


lesss said...

Hahaha i wasnt sure to call you lame or not till you just said it..


and the nerves!! you just told teing to learn to part from her gold a lil bit .. hahaha

you really shudnt be naggin when my lifestyle benefits you too lol.. not like the nagging is going to help save your voice for the "thank you so muCH!!" and "omg you are so nice" and the "duuuuuuuDDEEEE~!!!! you're freakin AWEEESOMEEEE!!"

you can say no to social invites .. but not to me.. not an option..
you dig?

cheahwey said...

Teing does have to learn to say goodbye to money lah. To me, she's bordering stingy, not frugal lor.

Your lifestyle benefit me also don't mean I should take advantage of you ma. Perhaps one day the nagging will help you in some way when you need it most.

We didn't win the auction.

Cathy C said...

I like the way you say it.

It's really hard to say "no" sometimes. But at least I won't say "yes" to everyone. I choose people. :P

cheahwey said...

what if you're broke? do you still go out with them?

sean said... i have a better reason to justify my frugality. and it makes me wanna spend less on the mounds of kfc i eat every single day.

cheahwey said...

you have kfc every single day huh? have you noticed your hair thinning from all that MSG yet?

cook ma, i thought you loved cooking!

sean said...

woah shit..kfc reduce my hair?!!!


Cathy C said...

"what if you're broke? do you still go out with them?" :-

Well, it depends. If the person I am close with, and we only get to see once a year(they are studying abroad apparently) Maybe, I'll fork out some money to go see them. But I can see them anytime, and I am broke, I'll just say "no"

Deng, the very eveel genius said...

"Teing does have to learn to say goodbye to money lah. To me, she's bordering stingy, not frugal lor."


There are things that we can don't spend on wan ma. Like toll. If we can take the road that doesn't require you to pay toll, why not?? Tax us not enough ah? Accepting bribes and siphoning money not enough ah?? Still want me to pay toll!?

HAHa. But I'm that way (specifically tolls and governmental stuff) because I know that government officials are misusing taxpayers' money.

But then again, sometimes when the old routes are much longer, then okay lo. Pay toll lo.

Basically, there are things that I feel is extra in life. So if we can do without it, then we can save.

cheahwey said...

But you see ah, if tolls help get you home faster/keeps you off the road sooner, especially when it's late at night and it's just us girls, why not pay?

You have only one life, surely you can't do without it?