Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Earn More or Save More?

I've yet to know anyone who saved their way to prosperity!?

I only know stories and examples of where individuals, companies, and even countries that earned their way out of the poverty trap.

The problem with save more

You can't save more than what you can earn!

For those who love percentages - how to save more than 100%?

There's always a limiting cap.

Earn more is damn hard

Precisely! Its definitely not anyone and everyone.

There's only one CEO spot. And only so many other positions for top management...

Not everyone can be a top salesperson who earn big bucks with juicy commissions.

Its the same with trading and investing. (Don't bluff yourself)

Not to say about being an entrepreneur and building up your own business!

Even at country level, there were many other countries that got their independence like Singapore in the 60s. How many of these countries are still "developing" after so many decades? (Make a wild guess why big daddy so fixated on GDP growth?)

Earn more; save more

There's a reason why our 5,000 years of Chinese wisdom says:


Yup. Its earn more; save more.

I rather earn $10K and save 10% (no stress) than to earn $2K and save 50% (how sustainable is it in the long run?)

Save more does not need brains. Just discipline. 

Earn more needs creativity, imagination, hard work, endurance, and most important of all - loads of lady luck!!!

So when you hear people in our community lamenting why schools never teach us about financial literacy, what they really meant is why school never teach them how to EARN MORE...

If anyone needs school to teach them how to SAVE MORE, there would be an embarassing silence...

Talk about an awkward moment!


  1. I am 100% with you on earn more save more camp.

    1. CW,

      We understand each other with our bodies ;)


    2. I second CW8888. Earn more and save more, not "or".

    3. Sanye兄,

      You and I are england educated, but we have not forgotten our china roots ;)

  2. Hi smol

    Actually i personay feel that how a person learn on how to spend their money wisely have a lot influence from their family and parent. I see some school children, their pocket money is more than a senior retiree that still working to earn a living after retired.
    But those teenager haven't start working life already spending at coffee bean, restaurant or some atas cafe... they really have a good & rich parents.
    If parent can start educate their children prudent spending $$ from young will help a lot. Then next time even they don't have high pay job or kana 炒尤鱼 but bcos of their prudent spending type of lifestyle can also survive :)


    1. sy sy,

      I don't think its "fair" to judge the young based on how they spend their own money - I don't see anything wrong with eating at "atas" places.

      Just like a kid eating at hawker centre does not automatically infer he is thrifty or frugal ;)

      Its the Values the family is imparting that's more important ;)

      Values are hidden deep down inside us. It can only be discerned when we spend time with a person OVER A LONG PERIOD.

      Definitely not based on a data point of one based on first impressions!

      I often remind myself not to let jealousy and envy dictate how I perceive the actions of others ;)

    2. Hi smol

      Maybe the way I write is not proper :)
      I never say is wrong for teenagers go atas cafe... The young really have a good & rich parents that love them very much & also can affort to give them more pocket $$ :)

      What I trying to say is if the young have not working before or their parents or family never guide the young on how to value things.
      For example the young havent experience the way to earn a living is not easy. So they may not appreciates their money the way compare to others that workhard to earn more and spend wisely.

      Of cos all this we can not see or judge by first impression, only they themselves & those close to them know how their value things :)

      So even when bad things happen (touch wood) their rich parents bankrupt or 炒尤鱼 the young is flexible enough to accept this & switch to a more thrifty lifestyle and still can survive :)
      Even when the young grow up as working adult they also have this good value mindset.

      But a bit difficult to teach young kids lah... as they still too young to understand, maybe teenager will have better understanding bah... now teenagers all very smart 1 compare to my time... Me teenager that time still "gong gong" 1... hahaha


    3. sy sy,

      There is a season for everything.

      Youths should do youthful things - even if its "foolish" to old fogeys.

      If rich parents went bankrupt, I would think its the perfect "crash got sound" catalyst for the young to buckup and EARN MORE!?

      Isn't that the "spin" the snake oil financial guru would sell?

      Young dirt poor, then through perseverence and hard work, became who he is today ;)

      I'm of the humble opinion that SAVE MORE is not working for the many who seek financial freedom to "escape". If it works, why the need to invest/trade to EARN MORE?

      A person who can EARN MORE, there's no need to invest. Just do a bit of SAVE MORE will do ;)

    4. Hi smol

      I strongly agree ur point on this :)
      Youths should do youthful things - even if its "foolish" to old fogeys.

      Think I think too much bah :)


    5. Aiyah keep kaypoh other people stories forgot to say about my situation now.
      At my current position at my age, I will b hendak kaki soon. As a lot people also waiting for promotion now so not going to my turn in this few years time...
      So will be stagnant at the earn same same but now have to really squeeze to get more savings is not easy for me... already quite use to some living style really not easy to change... hehehe
      Somemore planning to get a bto this year or next so need to prepare extra money also... really not easy... try the 12mil Toto also no chance... really no luck on me bah... hahaha


    6. sy sy,

      Better to focus on ourselves than others.

      You wouldn't like it when others come and tell you how to lower your lifestyle right?

      This don't buy, that give up...

      But say to others very easy!


    7. Hi smol

      I am open to others who give me advise or suggestion to change my lifestyle or lower my lifestyle :)

      I will consider & try to change but not everything manage to change over. Aiyah so old liao... not easy say change then change 1 mah... no matter what, at least i got try & no regret :)

      For example I go yoga class... I last time feel is like this slow motion exercise only suitable for old people... everything move so slow but now i am totally change of view on this kind of slow motion exercise... the day me 1st try yoga, i am like fall in love on this slow motion exercise... hahaha
      u won't know if u don't try right ;)

      Of cos not all things can try lah... if fren ask me try drugs is definately a NO NO to me :)

      Another example is now try to avoid restaurant when go gathering with frens... save $$ go foodcourt or fren house some will bring home cook food or buy food from hawker :)
      But once awhile like celeb birthday with fren or fren birthday will still go restaurant lah... just lower the frequency... hehehe


    8. Forgot to add...
      * The person who suggest me go yoga is my mum & my colleague :)
      * The more frugal gathering style I learnt from bro cw cos I read his blog on his frugal meal :)
      * I ever tried another blogger kyith meal prep which i meal prep to work to save $$ but only manage to tahan few months then I gave up cos my cooking suck... hahaha

    9. sy sy,

      Yoga is fun! And relaxing.

      I tried it when "ah kong" sponsored. (Real reason is to flirt with the mei meis)

      Last year Zen drumming course got one classmate who is yoga instructor herself. She gave us FREE yoga exercises 10 minutes before the drumming class :)

      Yes. Try, experiment, sample!

      That's the best way to know first hand about something instead of hearing about it.

      Crash got sound.

      If like, you will continue.

      If don't like (like packing food to work), you'll stop.

      What others do is their own business; they not us, we not them ;)

      And that's I guess is the path to happiness?

      Doing what's right by us :)

    10. Recently make a few tiny small changes & some seems still can tahan... hahahaha
      Including lower my temper as bro cw said to me during a kopi session that I still working. Can not offend our bosses. Me have slowly trying to adjust myself. Really not easy, characters is like that really difficult to change but trying to walk away now when angry ... Bor bian... 受人钱财, 替人消灾

      Some little changes like yoga & less spending at ex food ... this still can not say totally don't go restaurant but reduce the rate lor...
      Now feel like bringing myself to a different stage of life :)

      Aiyah... forgot to say thank you to u bcos of u are the 1 recommend me bro cw... thank you smol :)


  3. Both are just as important :)

    Maybe I haven't seen enuf ... but all those FIRE I know were at least 70% percentile in terms of salary or higher ... Or those born into multi-millionaire families, haha!!

    Guess that's why after 3 generations, parents in S'pore still want their kids to be doctors or lawyers ... no brainer to comfortable life LOL!

    Oh, the process to be admitted to the bar or registered with SMC is onerous ... but once there, even a mediocre lawyer or doctor can live the good life ... or to FIRE as long not chasing after bungalows & Lambos, kekeke!!!

    1. Spur,

      Both of course are important ;)

      But getting the order "wrong" is what separate landowners/shepherds from sheep!

      Exactly. Your anecdotal evidence is similar with mine.

      I see my ah beng and ah seng peers become rich with their own businesses, doing well in sales, and a few doing exremely well in their corporate careers even when they have no papers!?

      These are exmaples of EARN MORE.

      Without EARN MORE, how to SAVE MORE?

  4. Jialat. I want to be in both camp. How? I'm in a delusion now.

    Guess the key is not "or" here. But "and".

    If those from the other troop kill over.
    Let me hide in your watering hole OK?

    1. sleepydevil,

      I don't see 2 camps; I only see one process.

      Like Sanye and you have both astutely pointed out, there is no "or" ;)

      Its like water flowiing from the mountain peaks to the ocean, that's the natural order of things :)

  5. As a father, I would prefer my children to focus on earning more than saving more. Striving to earn more drives one to progress and aspire to higher goals in life. When a person earns more, he has more capacity to spend more. One man's spending is another man's income. I earn more, I spend more but I grow richer and help other people grow richer at the same time. If everyone becomes a miser, our economy will be plunged into deflation.

    Don't be a miser. If we can afford to give tips, give and gain the pleasure of making someone deserving happy. It's worth the money to spend money to make someone smile.

    Jared, I hope you meet more generous customers who prefer to earn more than save more in your weekend retail job.

    1. hyom hyom,

      That's why life is not about black and white "absoultes".

      To those who are already high earners, the "save more" gospel can be more meaningful.

      As for those who are "struggling", its more hopeful to embark on the "earn more" path.

      Thanks! Lucky still got enough customers to justify my job!

  6. Hi all,

    All roads lead to Rome. It's just the matter of time. Happiness is the way to go.


    1. Ben,

      No everyone wants to go to Rome, that's the problem!


  7. temperament,

    Some see it as a process - grey, fuzzy people like me.

    Some see it as 2 distinct separate camps - the precision people.

    Well, I just read some Canadian doctors just petitioned not to have pay increases as they felt the money should go to nurses and other more prioritised sectors of their health care system...

    How about religious people? I would assume this group will say thanks more? OK, maybe in public; in private pray for more riches? Does that count as avarice?

    No capability to earn more?

    Marry rich!

    Parasite on parent?

    Wait for govt handouts?

    Always vote for politicians who promise something for nothing!

    Be a communist?

    What belongs to others is also yours!

  8. Hi SMOL,

    I used to be on the save more camp. So I spent a year or so optimising my expenses. Don't feel very good, but it gets the job done. After a while I am used to it, so I don't feel anything.

    I want to save more, but there's nothing else to cut on. The only way is to increase income. And so I did. But I work too much, and to compensate for the hours I spent, I spent more too. Took down time to recalibrate the equilibrium to find a new balance. After some time, things are okay now and I earn more to save more.

    You're right. It's a process. But it's not a process that u can follow. I think it's best to try it for oneself to understand one's spending pattern and also to force yourself out of our comfort zone That's the only way to grow.

    I think the next stage is no need to care about savings. Lol, so it's back to square one again ;)

    1. LP,

      We had similar experiences and epiphanies ;)

      How many notice our own breathing?

      Those who just started on a course in meditation or yoga will start proselying too their friends they must all be conscious of their breathing! Must COUNT their breaths!!!

      Awareness! Mindfulness! Blar, blar, blar.

      Its typical of those who knew a little but assume they know a lot ;)

      Counting our breaths is merely a technique or tool to help us reach Mindfulness.

      Once we have reached Mindfulness, we don't have to COUNT our breaths anymore. Just like we don't need training wheels on a bicycle when we know how to bike.

      In my future post, I'll share why I just thrown away my trading journal ;)

    2. Hi SMOL,

      Waiting to see your post :)

      On the same theme, I want to share what my wife told me recently. She saw our son being hyper active and crawling rapidly all over the house, and wondered it must be hard to teach them meditation.

      I replied that there's no need to teach them meditation because they are masters of it already. How come? They are living right now, right here, and that is the point of meditation. Except that they don't have to sit down still to reach the end effect LOL

      We, on the other hand, have a lot to learn from babies!

    3. LP,

      Can you help me do a finger flick on 小黄蓉's forehead?

      Tell her 老玩童 sends his regards ;)

      (I've always wanted to do this Game of Thrones, "The Lannisters send their regards" thing!)

      She 聪明一世,糊涂一时.

      If only we can be like babies:

      Hungry eat; tired rest.

      Angry shout; frighten cry!

      Look mom! No masks needed!

      I say what I want :)

      And they never worry about where their next meal will come from, whether got enough for retirement, worry about medical costs, and especially about disruptions in the work place!



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