Some calculations

Hmm.
 
Actually it finaly hit home today why the normal Singaporean materialist’s life is so stressful. It hits home only after doing some calculations on a financial calculator and a bank book.
 
Eh but before anyone lambasts me mentally, the use of the word "materialist" is not really derogatory. It’s a fact. We live in a material world. There’s nothing wrong with most of the affairs surrounding a material world.
 
Reasonable goals in life: a marriage, a roof over the head, and enough investments to achieve financial freedom before we are too old.
 
Added wants on my list: a (100% carbon-neutral) car, travelling around the world, etc… I think that might be when the trouble starts… Auxiliary goals in life… That’s when living in the material world starts giving us problems and I get sucked into become a MATERIALIST for sure.
 
Imagine now: I’m 25, still studying some stoopid masters that doesn’t even give me higher pay when I go NIE at 27, then drawing measely teachers’s salary of 2,500. At 29, imagine paying the down payment for a 320k 5-room HDB flat. Fork out 64k. Then ROM?? Must have wedding or not?? Another $$ in the sink. At 34, wanted to invest in a condo by this age. If so, I will have to vomit a 140k downpayment?! No need to buy car before that already. Then imagine the baby comes at 35. Jialat. Milk money. Doctor’s fees. Diapers. Gone.
 
So, between 27 to 29, I will be furiously saving to pay for a HDB flat.
 
Between 29 to 34 I will be FURIOUSLY working to pay for a stoopid real estate investment.
 
I’d be shagged out after slogging, bitchy over low pay raises, grouchy over not being able to have money (or time) to go off on holidays, disappointed over not being rich enough to afford a car…
 
By 40, I will be holding a toddler on my left hand, paying out 3k in mortgages on my right hand.
 
This is on top of giving mothers money, paying insurance premiums, allocating money for other investments…
 
All for that elusive goal called financial freedom, aka retirement.
 
And even if we’re 40, there’s no letting up. Time to save up to send your kids to University.
 
When you’re 60, the kids are out at work, and you think you can relax already… Then you realise you’re going to live to 90 cos medical technology is too advanced for its own good.
 
You realise you don’t have enough money to last you your last 30 years, and your kids need money for their own samsara. You’re gonna have to continue working.
 
No round-the-world trips.
 
No relaxing in rocking chairs.
 
At the golden age of 60, you’re gonna continue working SO THAT YOU DON’T STARVE.
 
And that’s why, staring at that scenario, you today at 25-30 years old is getting hot and bothered about money, remuneration and compensation.
 
Where got time to do Dharma work?? No wonder so many Dharma talks aimed at the Urban Dweller. Such a madcap life. It’ll be like I’ve never stopped being busy since I stepped into the University, and I’m never going to be, till I die… Never will have that time to rest, to take a breather to enjoy my blue sky, white clouds, green grass, birdsong, bug hums, beetle calls, cool breezes, warm sun and cute raindrops…
 
Maybe rule#1 is: don’t have kids.
 
But maybe rule#1 is: you didn’t need that financial freedom anyway?
 
Rule#1 is: I’m getting carried away before I started.
 
Through all that madcap pursuit, nothing should stop me from
looking at the blue sky, white clouds and green grass,
listening to the birds, the bugs and beetles,
feeling the wind, the sun and the rain…
 
And maybe that’s what the Urban Dweller’s Dharma should be all about.
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1 Comment

  1. Xinying said,

    7 September 2008 at 23:22

    chill. just get a 3-room flat instead of 5-room.
    chill. wedding got angpow to cover.
    chill. screw the condo.
    and chill. just get a kid earlier, so that u still have the energy to work to put them thru uni.
     
    my 2c worth, don\’t plan things one step at a time. its a waste of time, and waste of your life.
    humans are made to multitask. there is no harm overlapping a little.
    no one says that u must be working and financially stable to get married,
    that u must have loads of money to be happy 🙂
     
    chill.


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