Friday, March 09, 2012

Don't be obsessed over financial freedom

The title says it all. Do not be obsessed over financial freedom. Financial freedom is for the future, but in order to have a future, you need to have a present. What if one day, your present situation changes, would the financial freedom that you have in the future still be meaningful? For example, you planned nicely for a nice retirement at age 45 with a cash flow matching your expenses, but suddenly your life situation changes - your spouse left you, you lost control of your limbs etc - would the financial freedom that you crave for in the past still meaningful? I doubt so.

So, while it's good to plan ahead for the future, it's never too good to be obsessed over it. What do I mean by being obsessed? Like forecasting every bit of income that streams in to the cent, like controlling your expenses now so that you can save a few thousand dollars in order to put in the stock market for the 'long term' for retirement etc. Live a life. Ultimately, you only live once and your friends and your family are only beside you for a limited amount of time. Once they are gone, they are gone, with only wisps of memory left for you to regret not spending more time with them. Youth will be gone in a blink of an eye too. Once you pass a certain age, your body will start deteriorating. The perfect travel-around-the-world vacation that you always wanted after your retirement might not be so perfect when you have to climb mountains and walk around with a weakened heart and a painful knee.

Hedge your life now by spending excessively sparingly. Always spend on things that you value, not what other people value. You never know when you are going to exit hotel earth, so hedge your life by living it, not merely surviving it. If you think buying a handbag will contribute greatly to your life, go ahead and spend the few k on it. Again, spend excessively, but sparingly. If you always keep a portion of your income as savings, there's no guilt to spending future retirement money away.  


Anonymous said...

Hi BULLy the BEAR,

"If you always keep a portion of your income as savings, there's no guilt to spending future retirement money away."

Ha! Ha! Well put.
We all know we must also think of "If Tomorrow Never Comes"
And also in case you save too much, you will not be living in the present. And actually we all only have the present to live.

AK71 said...

Hi LP,

Some ask me the same thing. What if tomorrow never comes? Well, I guess all my wealth would go to my family.

I could go with a peace of mind knowing that I would have left behind income generating assets for my loved ones instead of burdening them with debts.

I never really have a problem spending money on people I care about. I am less generous with myself though. Having said that, I have been trying to be a bit less frugal with myself with some success.

And, yes, my knee hurts too. Ouch. ;p

Ray said...

Timely reminder! thanks!

CreateWealth8888 said...

I strongly advocate budgetting at year end for the next year spending. In this way, we can consciously avoid over-saving and under-spending.

We only live once so don't be too hard on ourselves.

OT83 said...

What if tomorrow never comes? This is true. Live in present.

I like to spend on family :) but not on myself because it does not give me extra satisfaction.

CreateWealth8888 said...

Love our family and spending on them come naturally.

But, learn to love ourselves too.

la papillion said...

Hi temperament,

You're right. The older I am, the more I realise that financial freedom is more than just passive income > expenses. We need to live a life too.

Hi AK,

Haha, I'm trying to be less frugal, with success too :) High five!

Hi Ray,

Indeed. Too many are touting the financial freedom pathway as a way to get out of the rat race. I don't know if it's jumping out a race to go yet into another.

la papillion said...

Hi bro8888,

Hmm, I still don't do budgeting. I've a system that works quite okay for me, so I'm not going to change it. I think either way, the point is not to overspend and oversave. Both are equally unhealthy.

Hi OT,

Likewise. I find it easier to spend on family than on myself. If I have to spend $100 on myself, I'll think twice and thrice. But if it's family, not so much blinking is needed. But as bro8888 mentioned, if we don't love ourselves, who would?

OT83 said...

Its hard :(

I need more learning to spend on myself. But there is nothing material which I really want, I cannot find anything even if I want to spend on myself.

Haha, maybe find social escort? lol.

Singapore Man of Leisure said...


I read somewhere you play the guitar?

I guess your guitar strings are wound up "just right" - not too tight; not too loose ;)

It's interesting to follow your blogging journey over the years.

The posts/topics your wrote evolve as you moved from singlehood to married life. And I bet with the arrival of your first child, your post will evolve even further as your life situation changes :)

P.S. If I'm your partner, I would move in for the kill after reading your post: "Dear, funny you should mention handbag. I saw the other day...."


structured settlement cash said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
la papillion said...

Hi smol,

You're ever so observant :) You're right, I find myself thinking different things when I was single and when I was married and when I got my new house to stay. It's an interesting journey if you read my post right from the beginning to the end. There's definitely a change in mindset and attitude and how I treat money :)

Createwealth8888 said...

Wait till you become parent. Mindset will change one more time. LOL

SnOOpy168 said...

"" The perfect travel-around-the-world vacation that you always wanted after your retirement might not be so perfect when you have to climb mountains and walk around with a weakened heart and a painful knee.""

Well said. This is also the reason I gave to mom and all those aunties, about why wouldn't I find a partner to "settle down" (i.e. form a family and all those stuff).

Well, I have still lots of pages left on my passport and going to JB don't count as mileage.

Something for the loved ones if tomorrow never comes ? Well, since I don't have a family of my own, my insurance coverage should be sufficient for my elderly mom and my own "white event" expenses.

If tomorrow almost never come, i.e. disabled, I hoped that my insurance coverage is sufficient to cover the medical and the follow up. Hope but we can't never be too sure.

Therefore, go out and enjoy. The world is our oyster.

Ao said...

Hey LP,

Thanks for the post :) I used to be quite frugal. But after being in cbox, i got the idea that we need to spend on ourselves once in a while to make life more meaningful. I am less frugal now and I am still saving as well. I guess we need to do things in moderation.

I really glad to be part of cbox as it has played a part in shaping my young mind.

Your post also reminds of this true story. Not sure whether have you heard of it before:

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, he said:

Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.
And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;
the result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

Createwealth8888 said...

Good health may not significantly increase our wealth; but deteriorating health will significantly reduce our wealth and no amount of wealth spent can restore back our health.

So we must take good care of our health to prevent losing too much of our wealth.

PanzerGrenadier said...


I see it as a journey and not a destination :-)

When I live within my means, I feel contented, and at the same time, when I spend on luxuries, I don't feel guilty...hahah

galaxytab said...

Bull market this year. look to break 3400 STI
Financial freedom cheers with heart , not obession