Saturday, September 19, 2020

Save money need reason meh ?


Ran into a mental block when preparing for the talk that I will give to Sec 4 students of RI next because I can't seem to find a persuasive reason to convince teenagers to save money. My mind went blank because I did not save money as a teenager. All my disposable income in the 1980s and 1990s went first to Leisure Craft and subsequently to Outer Limits on D&D products.

The release of Morgan Housel's The Psychology of Money was enough to break my mental deadlock. 

In what is possibly one of the most engaging books about Money published over the last few years, Morgan suggests the following idea, which I think is brilliant:

You don't need a reason to save money.

As adults, we are stuck with the notion that the primary reason to save money is to spend it for some reason in the future: dealing with an emergency, paying for an education, or even wedding expenses. Something I just cannot relate to when I was 16 years old. 

But you don't need a reason at all to set money aside because having money gives you flexibility - the most powerful thing having money can give to you. Until you actually spend the money, you won't know what it can do for you. 
  • $50 can get you a couple of months of game subscriptions.
  • $600 can get you a PS5 when it launches later this year.
  • $2500 can get you a trip to Japan after the pandemic is over.
As the money in your wallet expands, the possibilities increase - that's even if you never actually spend it. 

Right now I'm only over the halfway mark.

This book is very well written and already one of the best non-investment-technique based money books ever published. 

Sadly, Psychology of Money sounds so bland, Morgan should have learnt a trick or two from Tim Ferriss on coming up with a snazzier title by using the Google Adwords system. 

More articles on this book over the next few days.



  1. Seeing that you're giving the talk to some atas boys sec school, how abt the following reason:

    Saving money will get you 10 A1's & a place in an elite JC ... and eventually your pick of chiobu girlfriends.

    Ok it's a stretch of the imagination & an extended leap from the marshmallow test (which has many critics e.g. not controlling for many factors such as socio-economic background).

    But what the hell right :P

  2. Actually being born into money will get more chiobus. They can ask their rivals at Barker Road.

  3. Well when my mother taught me how to save when I was in primary school, there was no "goal" or "purpose" to the savings. Its just a simple philosophy of spending less than what you get and saving the rest. Over time, it just become so natural that I was rather shocked to find out that other people are not doing the same. Eventually, when I needed money for wedding, hdb renovation etc, I realized that I already have the money ready to go. Best lesson I ever got from her.