Post by oldman on May 7, 2014 9:12:43 GMT 7
When I first started work as a doctor in Northern Ireland, I saw many of my fellow doctors buying brand new cars in keeping with their status. For me, I bought an old secondhand car for a few hundred pounds as I did not want to be burdened with any car loans.
I also kept the rest of my expenses low by staying in the same place that I stayed as a student. I always bought things when they were on offer and these included my clothings and even the food that I eat. I declined going out to pubs or restaurants. Yes, I was a rather boring person and whatever I saved, I put into my investments.
This saving habit became a part of me ever since. When I came to Singapore and joined IBM, I was shocked by the prices of cars and bought a 10 year old Toyota Tercel for a few thousand dollars. My manager frequently encouraged me to buy a better car and eventually, when I was promoted to manager, I changed the car to a Toyota Corona. At that time, most IBMers were driving flashy cars and some of my colleagues working under me were worried that they could not buy better cars than their manager. I told them not to worry about this as it is really a personal lifestyle decision. Hence, I continued driving my Toyota while some of those under me were driving luxury cars like BMWs.
When I formed ShareInvestor, I needed to keep my expenses as low as possible and I sold the newer Toyota and downgraded to a 10 year old Honda Accord. My wife used this car to fetch the kids to and from school while I took the subway or bus to attend meetings. I seldom take taxis because they were much more costly. For out-of-the-way locations, I will take the subway to the nearest station and then only take a taxi from the station to my destination.
Although I stinge on transportation costs, I do dress up appropriately for business as this gives confidence to the other party as well as respect to the people I was going to meet. This does not mean though that I buy expensive branded clothings. I just buy the appropriate business attire when these are on offer.
Many of my clients were amazed that I took the trouble of taking public transport to visit them in their out-of-the-way locations. They will usually get their chauffeurs to then send me home because they too started their businesses that way. Many of these clients are now my personal friends as we can easily identify with each other. Even after successfully raising capital for the company, I still kept taking public transport to work.
Even now, I am still very careful with spending money. I still look for bargains and enjoy living and eating simply. Old habits die hard. I still like shopping for bargains as these remind of the time when money was tight... those were formative & memorable years and makes me more appreciative of what I have today. Happiness is after all, appreciating what you have and not yearning for more.
By cutting back on our expenses, we will have enough money to invest. The more we save, the more money can go into our investments. Yes, there were times when my investments did not do so well and during such times, I did regret not buying the things that I would have liked. But looking back, I really did not miss any of those materialistic things.
As you mature as an investor, you will realise that the best time to lose money and learn from your mistakes is when your investment capital is much smaller. Hence, like it or not, the earlier we start saving to put into our investments, the more likely we will prosper as an investor later on in our lives.
To start off in investing, you will need capital. The only way you are going to get sufficient capital is to start saving early. The quickest way to save money is to spend less. If you want to be a successful investor, you have to firstly learn to save money by spending less. When you spend less, you will also appreciate more of what you currently have. In fact, the less you have, the more you will appreciate. Life is certainly ironic.
Those of us who are able to save money by spending less are laying the foundations for our future wealth.