By Yoke-Yin Chong Purcaro
Who doesnít like money? Everybody loves money because
money can get you anything you want. Do you agree? In nowadays, even a three
years old kid knows the importance of money. Iím sure you know how important
the money is, and I also know that you have been trying your best to get the
most you can. However, you always feel like you donít have enough money. Am I
right? I used to be one of these people who complain about not having enough
money. But, one day, I sat down and think carefully why I couldnít safe money.
I also looked at the stuffs I spent my money on. Itís not that hard to figure
why I always short of money. The reasons are I didnít plan the budget; I
bought whatever I think itís cute and cool.
Since then, I started to plan my budget well, and control my buying
behavior. I only spend my money on something necessary such as tuition fees,
text books, food (no snack or junk food) and some cloths that keep me warm
during the winter. I tried to think carefully before I spend every penny.
Because of this, people think that I am a cheap person.
I used to be a server at a restaurant. Since we donít
have cashiers in the restaurant, the servers have to prepare some changes for
the shifts. Try to imagine when you have to carry some coins in your pocket for
five or six hours running around in the restaurant. Itís not comfortable at
all! So, a lot of servers donít like carrying coins with them. When they need
change for customers, they beg other servers to loan them some coins. Most
likely, I would be the one they like to ask because I always have coins with me.
Sometimes, they ask for a quarter, a dime even if a couple of pennies. They
always said, ďI will give you back at the end of the shift.Ē At the
beginning, I believe what they said. However, ten out of ten times, they forgot.
After a while, I realized that I was losing my money. You probably would say,
ďA penny is nothing, not even a quarter. Why do you care about a penny so
much?!Ē Yet, this is not me. To me, a quarter is money, a penny is still
money. Think about it. If you owe your credit card company a penny. Guess what
they would do? They would spend more than a penny to print a letter, envelope
and postage to remind you that you didnít pay off your balance. Assuming that
you thought that is not a big deal, so you disregard the letter. Guess what the
credit card company would do? Send you another letter again! This time, they
would apply the interest rate on your balance. Let say your interest rate is
9.99%, your balance of one penny became more than ten cents now. A penny is not
ďjust a pennyĒ. A lot of wealthy people in the world started their business
with a penny. As a result, I always I asked my colleagues to give me back the
coins they have loan from me.
In this materialistic society, if you canít afford a
couple of carat princess cut diamond for wife, you are not cool. If you walked
into the Nordstrom shoes department with a regular T-shirt and jeans, no one
would greet you as they greet those who have a Cartier watch on the arm and
carrying a Bally purse. In addition, some people think having a cup of Starbucks
cafť late will differentiate them from those who paid a dollar fifty at the gas
station. Some women complain that they need to work two jobs to be able to pay
the rent, the insurance, and the minimum of their credit card balance. On the
other hand, they would spend $150 plus $10 tips to dye their hair, about $20 on
their nails, and maybe $75 on their facial service. Let me ask you something,
are these necessary? In my opinion, if you spend more than you made; then, they
are absolutely no need to spend your money on those expenses.
Sometimes, I feel sad that some young people donít have
the concept of saving money and planning the future. Besides, they have no idea
how hard it is to make a living due to the competition out there and the high
rate of unemployment. Personally, I started my retirement plan when I was 29.
Regardless some financial advisors said at age of 29 still young for the
retirement, I still think that I should start it earlier. In my opinion, if you
drive a 700 series BMW, wearing some carrot princess cut diamond; from the head
to your toes, you have Luis Vuiton, Cristine Dior, and Versace, but you have ten
thousand of credit card debt and have to work two jobs to pay at least the
minimum of your credit card balance, you are not cool! A cell phone is for the
emergency use; therefore, itís not necessary to have the smallest and lightest
one that has ten different games on it, photos taking function and internet
function. I have a simple cell phone with the least expensive plan that gives me
300 minutes a month and free on weekend. I donít chat on my cell phone;
instead, I try to use email. I donít have a one carrot princess cut diamond
ring although I would really like to have one. I donít spend a lot of money on
my cell phone accessories because I donít think itís necessary to have
different color of shell for my cell phone. I stop drinking Starbucks coffee
when I realized that a cup of Cafť Late cost me about $3.50 that I could buy a
coffee from IKEA. I stop thinking getting a brand new A4 Audi because itís
out of my budget and my little 1989 Toyota Corolla is still in good condition.
The older I get the more I treasure every penny I made. The more I treasure the
money I made, the less I have the materialistic desire. Ten years ago, if you
give me one thousand dollars, I would spend it on the Tiffany jewelry store.
But, today, if you give me a thousand dollars, I would either safe it or paying
the series 7 NASD exam. Compare now to ten years ago, I find myself more
mature on my own financial planning and managing. There is no doubt that money
can buy us almost everything. As a result, why donít we spend our money on
something useful and meaningful? In order to have a better life in the future,
please start planning your budget and your retirement plan now. There is a
Chinese saying that to have the bitter first, then the sweet. The saying implies
that we have to work hard first, then enjoy and relax later. So, what do you