Live for now
I talked about Singapore being a culture of consumerism and the main stream media has revealed some startling statistics on the state of debt among young people below 30. This is indeed a worrying trend and echoes my own thoughts on how we have advanced literacy and education levels in Singapore but have not inculcated the values and attitudes towards living a prudent lifestyle.
Besides gambling and other vices, many of these who were declared bankrupt before hitting 30 did so because they were spending way ABOVE their means. Spending money that you don’t have especially for lifestyle goods and services, i.e. consumption is a no-no in personal finance 101. Save in order to be able to pay for something seems to have been the approach taken by my parents generation partly because consumer credit was not as commonly available then.
Today, once you have the minimum threshold annual income of $30,000, you are able to be inundated with the countless offers from marketing companies acting for the banks to avail yourselves to the privileges of living the [insert your dream] lifestyle with so-and-so credit card. On top of that, unsecured personal credit lines are also literally thrown at your feet as the banks fall over each other to offer you unsecured credit lines that you may want, but do not need to get a slice of the highly profitable interest margins these facilities entail. Read more…