Intsiksiomai's Blog

Archive for March 2010

I’ve been watching Suze Orman show for the past few months.  She’s supposed to be a financial adviser and TV personality, and she often guests in Oprah show.  Some people criticize her for being a pseudo financial expert, when in fact, she only fixes the psychology of (common)people regarding money, merely touching the surface of money management.  I would agree with her critics, but at the same time, still promote her show to everyone. It beats watching telenovelas and reality shows.

It’ quite surprising for me to realize that Americans are as bad savers as Filipinos in general.  No matter how huge their salary becomes, the expenses are as much.  It’s just so ridiculous that they need a financial adviser to tell them to save at least 10% of their salary.  I think 10% is so small.  30-50% is decent for average earners.  What are the things that prevent people from saving more?  They want immediate gratification and are not far-sighted.  They want to keep up with the Joneses.  They think they can keep making the money until they die, as if there is no possibility for recession, losing their job, and accidents.

Many times, I’m surprised with the people around me what their ideas of living with bare essentials are.  LV bags and wallets are not investments.  Starbucks is not a bare essential.  Colored cellphone is a luxury.. I always wonder why most people are not living with bare essentials when they are not even upper middleclass or rich.  Maybe, they don’t have that goal or aspiration?  Maybe, they have reached their “target”, they don’t have to scrimp, and they are now living the “good life”?

I have actually tried living with bare essentials at one point in my life.  It’s not so bad, and I was saving 90% of my salary at that time. No car, no taxi, no restaurants, not even fastfood.  In reality, I can get a balanced, nutritious meal at a very small cost.  Bananas, oatmeal, green leafy vegetables, basic bread like pandesal, and eggs are so cheap. I find my bus tickets more expensive.  I think one of the greatest obstacles a person faces is the keeping up with friends/officemates part.  In my case, I really don’t care.  I think it is more shameful to have debts than to eat boiled eggs for lunch.  I don’t quite get the idea why people have to be pretentious about their real financial situation to others.  Pampering oneself on the surface while the bank account is bleeding is actually more self-punitive.  It(Living in Lies) destroys the psyche of the person, might result to delusions, and aggravates a simple attitude problem. Living with bare essentials is one SOLUTION to a crisis or a goal.  Being debt free is living with more dignity.

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