Frugality Under Attack And Not Socially Accepted

J.D. from Get Rich Slowly wrote the post, What Developing Nations Can Teach Us About Personal Finance

Trent from The Simple Dollar wrote a related post, The Backlash Against Frugality about someone promoting frugality in an article and in return received some “flaming” comments, sadly. If only people are more opened and receptive to new ideas…

It’s hard to talk about personal finance without ever touching on the subject of frugality. I have talked about taking responsibility and making choices, and such are we do in personal finance, such are we do in frugality also. Let’s not forget about the “personal” part of this whole idea, so at the end of the day, it’s your own choice.

You don’t HAVE TO get rid of your TV, but you can CHOOSE TO.
You don’t HAVE TO wear all used clothes, but you can CHOOSE TO.
You don’t HAVE TO drive a crummy 2nd-hand car, but you can CHOOSE TO.
You don’t HAVE TO live without an iPhone, but you can CHOOSE TO.
So on and so forth.
You choose to live frugally.
You choose and find ways to be frugal based on your preferences.
Just like you choose your lifestyle.

Oh btw, I choose to not have an iPhone because I cannot guarantee myself I will never drop my cellphone (as I had too many times already), I prefer “pure” mp3 player of another brand with better sound quality, and I don’t think $400 + the monthly upkeep is worth it. Anyways…

Those articles are merely suggesting ways to be frugal, which serve to provide others to think about frugality. But alas, how many really use their brains and think these days.

With that, I leave you with the comment I left for J.D.:

Thanks, J.D., for the thoughtful post, and I am sorry to read all the comments from people who find it offensive.

I believe the article is meant to be a thought provoking piece that can get us to find ways to be more frugal ourselves and find ways to change our life to be better (happier), with “change to be better” echoing with my own values. And not with the intention to argue that Americans should be just like these 3rd world countries, which is the reasoning a majority of the people used in their comment to refute this post.

No, we shall not have to live in a 200sq ft apt, or some shed in the middle of no where, but neither shall a single person live in a 4000sq ft mansion.
No, we shall not have to eat crap food, but neither shall we spend $1000 eating out per month.
No, we shall not live like a miser so we can retire at 45, but neither shall we live as pure hedonists.

Anything taken to extremity is a bad thing. Find your own way to live simpler and happier, and not live a life that is bloated and driven by consumerism and capitalism.

Originally posted 2007-10-05 16:27:41. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Would you runaway?

The news about the New Zealand couple running away with several million had spread all over by now.

Interestly, there seems to be quite a bit of support for the runaway couple. There are even two Facebook groups created that support them – Go Leo Gao – Go You Good Thing! and We Support Leo Gao and his 10 Million Dollars – Run Leo Run.

The question I ask is not whether this is right or wrong or if you support is. The question I ask is…

If you had also gotten the money from the bank, would you choose to runaway?

For me, it is obvious that it is not worth it. First, there is the risk of getting caught. It is not likely that one can get away with something like this so easily. Secondly, even if I manage to get away at first, it will mean that I had to play hide and seek for, at least, an extended period of time if not my entire life, and that means I cannot even enjoy the money. Lastly, the instant money would not be something that I had earned myself and that simply takes away the entire enjoyment factor of earning it and thus no longer can I enjoy what I earn.

What about you?

Originally posted 2009-05-22 21:45:12. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Punctuality and Respect

For those who know me, I am a fan of punctuality and would like the same of others. I know there are situations that can keep us from being exactly on time, and that is understandable and acceptable. It just annoys the heck of of me when some people seem to “inherently” lack punctuality.

I think it speaks a lot about that person, that it is a demonstration of good manners. It shows the person’s attention and energy to form their habits. How? Here’s how. From how you plan your time to arrive at an appointment, it shows the way you manage your time, and that you will apply the same methodology to your daily schedule and organization of events. In the end, being to an appointment is equivalent to running late on other things also because of the same planning methodology applied, which is the estimating to be “right on” (“late”) out of habit.

It’s even worse when I hear people say, “oh, I’m always late, it’s just me…” It speaks clearly about the personality. If that’s the case and you even realize it, then why don’t you fix it? Why not make it a habit to be on time? It just goes to show how you are unable to correct your own mistake and improve yourself.

More over, tardiness is like stealing time from other people and time is priceless. So another way to think about this is – Having punctuality or being on time is another form of respect for others.

It is in my nature to avoid those people, once I observe who has the “nature” to be late. I’m talking about some serious tardiness here, like 15 min+ on multiple occasions. For friends, I will provide some suggestions/warnings before any act of distancing myself from them. The way I see this is, why waste my precious time for folks like that? You should consider the same.

Originally posted 2007-03-04 23:46:28. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Importance for Personal Finance

Personal Finance — including saving, debt elimination, investing, insurance… All these topics have been reviewed and re-emphasized and drilled to death on PF blogsphere.

Now… why is it important?

Is it because it is good to have money? That we can afford luxury when we are rich? And that we are free to do as we want?

Well, it is good to have money. I cannot deny that. I can use more myself :) But, is money that important? That many people do just about anything they can to have more of it.

Most certainly, one cannot survive in today’s modern life without money, which was invented and evolved from thousands years ago to facilitate trading. Now, it is essential to our survival. So we have to be practical and take care of this aspect of our life. To say that we as a part of current system/society can do without money is simple arrogance.

On the other hand, as the so-self-claimed highest form of intelligence on earth, is money all we can ultimately think about? Is our life just about things that we can get with money, in order to be secure and to survive? So the smartest beings on earth is stuck worrying about survival like all the other organisms?

Setting aside all the details, that is exactly what we are doing. We fight and we quarrel with each other for money (power) to be able to obtain and impose in order to have resources to survive, hopefully in the company of family and a few friends. In between, we add luxury to make ourselves feel a little better. Even when we are talking about green and saving the planet now, we are merely striving for our own survival (The planet does not need us to save it).

That’s it to human life? Wow, mind blowing…

marlows_hierarchyBorrowing from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (not that I totally agree with the way he arranged things), I suggest that we manage our money so we can move beyond it. By that, I mean, once our basic needs are secured and that we have obtained a certain level of comfort and security through accumulation of “enough” money, it is only suitable for us to explore further about life. It’s time to ask yourself some [tough] questions. And there is so much to learn about yourself, your mind, your body, the world, the universe!

Additionally, we cannot counteract the absurdity that springs from money by managing our money better because that will only generate more absurdity. To break the chain of absurdity that which is driven by money-greed, we must move beyond thinking at the money level — the level where everything is evaluated by money.

We cannot fix the chaos of the world by doing things that will generate more chaos (which is exactly what we are doing) — in reference to entropy, which is the 2nd law of thermodynamics, with my humbly minimal understanding — so either we find a way to calm down or we let chaos increase to its maximum level at which it will plateau, and somehow the system will correct and reset itself over time.

Think of it like a video game, you cannot move to the next stage until you beat the current stage. Nobody talks about this because this is a road that is far less travelled by humans. Everyone is busy being comfortable or trying to be comfortable. It is a road without a map. It is an exciting journey yet scary at times. You have nothing to rely on except yourself… by learning and unlearning about many things and discovering yourself, you find your next step.

So the true importance of personal finance is not about personal finance.

That is, the importance of personal finance is to allow you to move beyond what the system preaches. It preaches the idea that we are to think and identify for ourselves all the things it preaches, mostly just superficial and material things. When you start to think about the greater whole, with wider perspective, you become free from your previous perspective because there is so much more now. You don’t have to try to be free. You are free. You no longer have to “deal with” all the desires to control your spending.

Take good care of your personal finance and realize at certain point that you CAN start looking further. If you do not realize, well, personal finance is personal finance. You are stuck thinking personally, mostly about yourself.

Last thing, has it ever crossed your mind that without humans, money and all the “precious metals” would be worthless? They are just what they are, a part of nature, beautiful but not worth anything. Thought I’d throw this related question out too.

Originally posted 2009-05-07 00:01:07. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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