The Most Important Thing to Spend Your Money On


Written by Liz

Just your regular 27-year-old, queer, super-introverted, FIRE-chasing, frugal Singaporean, who lives a pretty good life while earning only a modest salary, but still plans to retire at age 40 with $1,000,000. Click here to read more

April 21, 2018

The good things in life don’t usually come cheap.

There’s always that new sleek phone. That fancy car. That gorgeous apartment. That luxurious holiday. That new bistro down the corner.

In this big beautiful world, there are so many things competing for our attention, all too ready to make us part with our hard-earned money. And with amazing marketing that boast the latest fads, most of us aren’t able to resist.

Constantly surrounded by trends and instant gratification, we splurge in an attempt to keep up with the Joneses. We choose to prioritize material goods over what’s way more important.

And what’s that?

Freedom. The freedom to chase our dreams.


Material Things are… Just Things

We choose to ignore the fact that all this material stuff is weighing us down. We choose to work jobs that we dislike (or even hate), just so we can finance our heavily materialistic lifestyle. We choose to give up the freedom to chase our dreams, just so that we can accumulate more stuff.

We choose not to acknowledge the fact that material stuff is just stuff. Stuff that accumulates. Stuff that we use a couple of times and then allow to collect dust. Stuff that gives us a momentary high when we’re making the purchase. Stuff that we usually regret buying after that initial high.

But what about freedom? That’s something we should aspire to live and breathe. Freedom from that horrid corporate job we strongly dislike (to put it mildly). Freedom to chase our wildest dreams with everything we’ve got. Freedom to go down unconventional paths of resistance with unstoppable passion.

But somehow, most of us choose to give up our freedom for material things.

We get older with every second that ticks by. The dreariness of that life-sucking cubicle we’re chained to is bleeding us dry. But we do it anyway, pushing away the nagging feeling in the back of our minds that questions our very existence. That frightening thought that we may end up dying full of regret.

Regret that all we ever did was sit in a chair, collect a paycheck every month, and then blow it all on stuff that never mattered.

But that won’t be you, only if you understand what to spend your money on.


So, What Should You Spend Your Money On?

Your money shouldn’t be used as a tool for accumulating material possessions. It isn’t a tool for you to blow your entire year’s earnings on the latest cars or clothes in fashion this season. It isn’t a tool for you to buy a house you can barely afford.

Your money is for you to buy your own freedom. To splurge on freedom. To achieve financial independence. To escape that dreaded cubicle. To do whatever the heck it is that makes your heart sing. That’s the true power of money.

Many of us don’t know that we can attain financial freedom in only a few years by achieving a high savings rate. Or maybe we choose to ignore the fact that we can. Maybe it’s too hard. Too impossible. (Go a day without my precious cup of Starbucks? The horrors!)

It’s constantly being reinforced in our minds that certain kinds of debt are okay. Housing debt. Car debt. Student loans debt. Society says, take your time to pay them off! After all, most people are saddled with debt for majority of their lives, why shouldn’t you?

Then society also tells us that we need to engage in excessive consumerism. That wealth is everything a person is measured by. That we need to impress others by how much money and material possessions we have.

So we go all out to do exactly what society tells us to do. We take out a loan for that car we’ve been eyeing. We take on a mortgage for that beautiful apartment overlooking the sea. Maybe we even take on credit card debt to finance our suits, bags, and shoes. After all, it’s all about image, image, image, right?

It’s only later in life, when true realisation catches up to us, that we would wonder what we’ve been doing. That we would regret the choices we’ve made. That we would need to start saving for retirement. That we don’t have that many years left. That we hate our jobs.

We would wonder why we spent so much on material stuff, just to be the envy of others. Just to catch someone’s attention for all of a minute of their day. Yeah sure, we’d turn a few heads, raise a few eyebrows. People will look and think “ooh, cool” for a few seconds, and then go back to their day, our latest acquisition completely forgotten.

At 60 years of age, we would wonder how the hell we can even afford to retire. How the hell we can keep up our current lifestyle. We would start stressing over money, trying to figure out how not to default on that new mortgage we just took out.

On our death beds, we’d think about all the dreams we once had. Maybe we had wanted to be a writer. Maybe we had wanted to be a rock star. Maybe we had wanted to be a photographer. Maybe we had wanted to travel the world. Maybe we had wanted to open our own business. Maybe. But well, that’s all just wishful thinking now.

When true realisation catches up, it may already be far too late. And that’s infinitely more frightening than going through an entire lifetime without Starbucks. Or fancy bags. Or designer suits. Or super cars.

You get the drift.

So, come to accept that material things are just things. Sure, it’s good to have some material things, but we shouldn’t allow these things to run our lives. We shouldn’t allow material goods to clutter our lives and overshadow what’s truly important.

Instead, choose to prioritize freedom. Buy your own freedom. Splurge on freedom. By making your money work for you and by cutting down on unnecessary luxuries, you can choose to live life on your own terms. You can choose to be whoever you want to be, wherever you want to be, rather than being chained to a miserable cubicle, watching life pass you by.

In my next post, I’ll run through the 3 rules you should follow when choosing to prioritize freedom. Just 3 simple rules. And you’ll be on your way to a better, brighter, financial future.

Give it a try. You might just find yourself happier than ever.




Become a Millionaire and Retire Early on a Modest Salary Book Cover

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