Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Frugality isn't just about saving money

Frugality isn't just about saving money.

This article here says exactly what I'm thinking. To me, frugality is about being efficient, which means you spend the right amount of energy, time and money without wastage. And efficiency varies according to the different life stage that you're in.

For example, when I was a student with very little pocket money to spare, I'll go all the way to some cheap bargain sales at Peninsula Plaza to buy a pair of track shoes. There are many shops there that are in close proximity to each other, and you can bargain there, so it'll be easier to find something good and really affordable. But the downside is that to save that $20-$30 bucks, you might have to spend 1 to 3 hrs there. While I would certainly do that in the past, I wouldn't care to do it now. What had changed? My time became more precious, so spending 1 to 3 hrs to save $20 to $30 bucks is not what I would do now but is something I would gladly do in the past.

Efficiency can be seen as a percentage also. If I have $200 in my bank account, saving $20 is a big deal to me because that's easily 10% of my networth. If I have $200,000 in my bank account, saving $20 is just a drop of my networth - a mere 0.01%. No way am I going great length to save 0.01% of my networth, especially if it takes up a lot of my time. This can be easily applied to our free time too. During my student phase, there's school holidays, so I'm practically free for 15 hours per day, every day, for 1 month (not much homework in the past). That's a freaking 450 hours of free time. If I have to queue for 5 hours for a freebie, why not? It's just about 1% of my free time. However, when I'm working, and I only have 24 hours of weekend time free, spending 5 hours will take up a proportionally bigger 20% of my time. As a full time tutor, especially now during the exam season, I really only have about 8 hours of free time per week. Spending 5 hours to queue up? No freaking way. I'll rather spend the money and use the time to sleep.

So, time is money. When we're young, our time is cheap and we don't have a lot of money. Hence, we spend time to save money. When we're older, (hopefully) our time becomes more costly, and we have a lot of money. Therefore, we spend money to save time.

But habits can be hard to correct. Imagine a big part of your life you've been trying to spend time to save money. The cost of your time might have increased tremendously but you're still stuck to the habit of using time to save money. That would not be wise and efficient, because while you're a good saver of money, you're not a good saver of time.


Singapore Man of Leisure said...

Oi! Next time I catch you sharing you delays at the airport by flying budget airlines I'll give you a kick!

la papillion said...


Hahaha, that is not because I booked budget airlines! That's because the major airlines don't have any slots that's why the agency gave me budget lol

I'm already looking at SIA flights to BKK! ;)

Singapore Man of Leisure said...

Now we're talking!


Sillyinvestor said...


book budget airline got opportunity cost as compared to SQ meh??

I fly Scoot in my recee trip and SIA with pupils, since I short, the space difference didn't really matter.

LP, my view:
Frugality should be virtue, and I agree with that.

frugal not equal to "giam" or "cheapskate"

But my gut feel is people should err to the side of frugality than not...

Bloggers I know are mostly frugal, I seem to be the one most "loose" with money....

la papillion said...

Hi SI,

You must know the context haha :) Add me as a friend in fb, some of the context in blog happens over there ;)

I had a trip recently in Bangkok, and I took Scoot. It created so much trouble for me. Firstly, the booking is not confirmed, even though I have printed confirmation as proof of the confirmation of the flight there. So I had to miss the flight and take the next flight. Then, upon coming back, it was delayed. So SMOL is advising me to take SIA instead, which I fully agree.

Sillyinvestor said...

oh oops... sorry SMOL,

where to find your facebook?

No bully the bear or LP lei....

Sillyinvestor said...

oh oops... sorry SMOL,

where to find your facebook?

No bully the bear or LP lei....

temperament said...

As far as flying is concerned, i think so.... especially for a journey more then 4 hours. The longer the journey, the more not worth to be frugal.

Yes sometimes frugality is not worth it.
It can even backfired into "penny wise, pound foolish"
If the situation calls for it, you better not be frugal(of course you have the means to spend.)
Like when my wife had a fall and twisted her ankle...we spent and spent.
In order to ensure her twisted ankle not turned into chronic injury....
then we had to spend even more money....backfire for being frugal.

AH food, glorious food,... once in a while have to pamper our taste buds.

Time to spend, spend.
Time to frugal, frugal lol.

la papillion said...

Hi SI, no effort. My full name is so easy to find...just look around my ads, look for some fighting cats then look for my certs. If really can't find, email me, I'll tell you LOL

Once you add me, you'll 'unlock' a whole lot of people in the blogosphere haha

la papillion said...

Hi temperament,

Health is still more important. In fact, without the basis of health, you also can't earn money and also can't enjoy life. Everything is related haha

Anonymous said...


I took SIA and it was delayed for 4 hours with no dinner served.

Most of my budget flights were on time, not all though.

la papillion said...

Hi FD,

I can understand delays. But confirmation on printed slip that doesn't mean confirmation of names on flight? That's puzzling, and extremely screwed up. Nah, I'll try not to take budget if possible in the future, until my experience tells me full fledged airlines are also the same LOL

Anonymous said...

Haha,never tty scoot before. I should avoid it. Don't forget MAS is in the same league as SIA too, full pledged airline. National airline somemore.

Patrick T. said...

There is such a thing call ticket class. Flying budget is the same as flying full service if you are paying the cheapest class of tickets for a full service flight. The only difference is you will "顺便" enjoy the same benefits of those paying more expensive class of tickets on those full service - of course you have to pay for the inflight service. The diff between classes will vary from ability to get free upgrades or even hotel rooms/meals when flights get delayed.

And no matter budget or full service, they all have fine prints of conditions that they can choose to not take off - one of which is insufficient passengers. The only diff for traditional carriers are that they have alliance with other airlines that code share to fill passengers. Only a couple of budget airlines are doing that now due to marketing issues.

But no, I won't fly Scoot ever. Have heard far too many horror stories about them - they don't respect ticket class also. I flew Tiger for over 4 years to BKK, never had a problem.

la papillion said...

Hi patty,

I get you :) Scoot ah, I really really try not to fly it unless no more flights. I've been to many budget airlines (in fact, I only ever fly budget) and everything is smooth. Maybe it's time to upgrade to the more luxurious airlines lol

Rolf Suey said...

Hi LP,

Like u, I treasure time saving. I am so short of personal time nowadays.

Hi SI,

I am one of those who is loose on money like u...

I am taking SQ to Taiwan coming week for a short tour. I wanted to take budget, but wife ask me to use points to claim SQ!
Still need to pay > 700 for two pax after claiming pts! arggggg