Monday 29 May 2017

Save More, Spend Less or Earn More Money?

I have been keeping an expense log since November 2015 till March 2016. I stopped updating our monthly expenses report till today as I felt it was a tough job tracking every cent that we spent. Recently I have taken some time to think about some important questions like what does being financially free/independent mean to me? What is my attitude towards money?  Why do I continue to track our spending? Why be frugal and prudent? To what end?

At first, I got really excited when I started reading other people's journey in personal finance and decidedly made decisions that I wanted the same, only to realise that everyone has different needs and circumstances. Could I save 70% of my income like the Frugalwoods? Invest in stocks like Dividend Magic in creating his Freedom Fund? Saving money and living frugally like RinggitOhRinggit? Different! We all different and on different journeys! We each have our  own set of challenge and circumstances that we are responsible for.

According to Wikipedia, Hubby and I have a gold class membership in Club Sandwich which by the way is an interesting read. My parents definitely had membership there too and I am now only realising how challenging and tough it can be. However, I am eternally grateful that my parents have been living really wisely and are now quite self sufficient. Furthermore as government servants their healthcare and medical expenses are all fully paid for by the Malaysian government. (Phew!) Even then having two very young children and 1 set of parents to look after financially can cause you sleepless nights a lot of days.

So back to our discussion, Hubby is a "it is more important to earn money kind of guy rather than check on how we spend it" I on the other hand, recently and decidedly felt that we have to spend less, save more. However, I do realise that time and not money is the most important commodity. Time allows you to earn more money but more than that, it allows you to pursue your God given purpose in life, other passions and interests. Spend time with the people that you love, stay healthy by eating well and exercising more, resting and relaxing, sowing into other people's lives, writing! So, I have come to a realisation that to me being financially independent means having the freedom of time!

Freedom of time most of all to have the choice to care for my two children and pursue work that allows me to do so.  Freedom of time to give to family and friend, to give back and be involved in the community around you. Today everyone is just too busy. I want more than just lunches and dinner catch ups, or coffee afternoons. I want to be involved in each others lives and give of both time and money. So time is really so precious.

Mother's day lunch this year. My WHY, or "whys" to work towards financial independence

So it is going to take all three to achieve my definition of success and financial independence! It is the effort of saving more, spending less (far less) than you earn whilst continuing to earn more money.

 Here is a video that catches the essence of how we live nowadays and here is to changing that for our family anyway (clinking a champagne glass together with anyone who believes that we all need to change in our consumerist society!!) and inspiring others to find the simple pleasures in life and focusing on what is really important!

Words of wisdom from the world's poorest President of Uruguay
(What hit me the most was from minute 1:53 to 3:20 in case you didn't want to listen to the whole video)

What does success and financial independence mean to you?


  1. Hi Khim, Suraya from Ringgit Oh Ringgit, thanks for the kind mention! I didn't know you are a blogger as well!

    What a beautiful family you have :) All the best and let's keep on spending time for things that matter!

    1. Hey Suraya! You found me! :) Not something I advertise a lot as I am a newbie in this. I really enjoy your blog and am so inspired that someone your age can be so mature and successful! Thank you for your kind words! Agree! Time is so precious. Hope things are going awesome for you at Wirex!