The Star yesterday’s headline : We overspend.
Many Malaysians are found living beyond their means. More daunting discovery, many of those declared bankrupt due to credit card debts were below 40 years old.
I meet many different kinds of people because of my work, especially young people applying for jobs. 2 days ago I came across this young girl with heavy makeup (false eyelashes, inches of foundation and thick eyeliner), funky outfit and branded handbag coming to my office for an interview. I was not the one attending to her, but because her look caught my attention and I asked my colleague who handled the interview about her. The comments given were: a girl from well-to-do family graduating from foreign private college, does not have much enthusiasm and need for work, cares only about money, looks like she always spends thousands every month on her make-ups and bags.
Many young people nowadays are so blessed materialistically. I have friends my age getting luxurious cars and big houses from their parents. I am not blessed with that. I had to go through tough STPM that caused me losing 10kg in 2 weeks (stress works!!) to get into local university because my mum told me she did not have money for me for my studies. My tuition fees were covered by the company I am now working with. I feel extremely offended when people doubt the degree I earned, I got it with sweat, tears and fear. I feel extremely annoyed when people tell me that the company was not giving me enough for my scholarship (local university’s fee is low), but if it was not this company, I would have more difficult time surviving in the campus. For all you know, my parents did not spend a single cent for my tuition and hostel fees.
The journey of life so far has taught me something valuable – appreciation. I appreciate the job and the pay given to me. I can never imagine spending money on unnecessary stuff. Of course I don’t mean not to spend at all, I reward myself with quality goods, but the important logic is to spend like how I earn.
People my age have better life. I would not say what happened to me was pitiful, but I was restricted from certain options due to finance, which some may not need to go through. Many don’t seem to appreciate that much of what they have because of the abundance of material they enjoy. Of course they want more money because they have got an expensive lifestyle to maintain. Traveling, partying, shopping. So think, is cost of living really that high that we have to spend beyond our means?
Many don’t believe in hard work anymore. They see how hard their parents work for money and they don’t want to be like them. Furthermore having books like rich dad poor dad causes the awareness of passive income and proper investment, people want to get rich really fast and stop working really early. Of course long term financial planning is extremely important, but I oppose the idea of ‘exceptionally early retirement’. A young lady told me that she wanted to retire from work at the age of 30. Ridiculous, that is the golden age for a person to contribute the most to the workforce and the country’s economy!! To me that is just mere selfishness, nothing to do with good financial planning.
What lacking in the young generation I could see are two elements, appreciation and willingness to contribute to the workforce. That is why wastage, overspending, resource depletion happen to our society. We live in a land blessed with ample resources and a generation blessed with fortune and peace, but don’t ever turn the blessing into curse.