a lesson in frugality

I read an article on frugality written by the daughter of Lee Kuan Yew today.

My family is not poor, but we have been brought up to be frugal.

My parents and I live in the same house that my paternal grandparents and their children moved into after World War II in 1945. It is a big house by today’s standards, but it is simple – in fact, almost to the point of being shabby.
Those who see it for the first time are astonished that Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew’s home is so humble. But it is a comfortable house, a home we have got used to. Though it does look shabby compared to the new mansions on our street, we are not bothered by the comparison.

I remember a statement by LKY lamenting on fellow SEA leaders amassing their wealth. At the end of the day how many bowls of noodles can you eat, even if you have billions he asked.

Just the night before, I  was at the recieving end of an entertaimment spree. The S350 was brand new.The MPV that picked us up was a sleek R class. Lo behold there was a prancing stallion at the lobby.  After The yeesang and the sharkfins, the rest of the courses were meant for the dogs. It was just too much. The wine was the only thing that kept the night proceeding on track.

It did not end there. The women and song were next on the menu. By the time it ended,  the town was awaken by the roar of the Ferrari. Some Economic pundits say there was money flowing to the masses.  This is the entertainment industry. What will happen to  The restauranters, the waiters, the bellboys, the mamasan, the GROs when the reality of the financial crisis hit the boardrooms and filter down to  the chief entertainment officers.

All good things have to come to an end OR should it be all BAD things have to come to an end. The law of nature says, that kind of business styles will not be sustainable.  The answer is FRUGALITY.

Frugality is the economical use of resources to ensure sustainability. A simple lifestylew does not mean that you compromise on your quality of LIFE. There will always be things you like, there will always be the little vices that you enjoy, there will be luxuries that you savour, BUT sustainability is the acid test of your spending.

How many pairs of ferragamo do you want to amass?, how many hermes handbags do you want to pile up? how many sticks of siglo IV do you want to puff a day? Why not air asia x? why not firefly to menado or makassar?

What kind of mansion do you want to live in? after all youare  but a nomad, a wandering bon vivant, trying to explore the world.

There are  the good life in simplicity  BUt there are surely things you have to pay a sum for you to savour. By all means do it as long as you can afford it, as long as it is not wasted, as long as it is sustainable.

Being FRUGAL does not mean that you are going to be a hermit.


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