we recently came back from an interstate trip.   we watched a concert, ate somewhere I wanted to go and caught up with good friends while we were there.  I don’t say it enough but I had a wonderful time with my family. I reflected on what I have (hopefully I’ll be more conscious of the things I need to be grateful for).

In some ways it’a blessing that my condition is unknown – that way I don’t have a set expiry date and are encouraged to make the most of each day.  I don’t know when “my last good day is” so I should try to make the most while I still am able to.

It’s true what they say:  something just clicks.  It’s not about when other people prescribe  you should be “ready” but when you realise it for yourself (for some it’s about “hitting rock bottom”).  It’s about others facilitating but not dictating.

I’ve made a deliberate choice to try to make hay of the resources given to me while I still can (but still remaining pragmatic – I’ve a son and wife after all).

last Sunday, we took my wife’s cousin and her husband for lunch at Stamps in Mitcham.  It was to treat them for staying at our house while we were away.  Also, it was an excuse for us to eat out. I’m thrifty but I don’t mind spending on food.  The way I view food is not purely utilitarian: you eat just not to live. It’s okay not to like things if you’ve at least tried them.  That said, certain things are an acquired taste so you need to exercise some judgement.

I think delayed gratification can pay dividends.  I save so that I can afford what I want.  Little things eventually add up.  I draw distinctions on pure needs versus mere wants. I set aside funds for the future and for a rainy day – not just hoping the present will go on without some hitch.  You can’t only think of the here and now but also consider the long-term.  We are not as invincible as we think so we better be prepared.

It’s partly who I am but I think my parents and grandparents helped imbue fiscal responsibility.  Even at a tender age I was taught to use money wisely and to not just look for bargains but real value.  My life experiences also help.  In school, I saw some of my classmates practically “throw” money away.  At home, I was fortunate enough to see our financial standing improve – without the earlier days, I would be hard-pressed to be “grounded”.  I’ve heard of stories in Ayala Alabang of individuals who found it hard to adjust to “diminished” fiscal resources.

I always used to wonder why I was given a “lump sum” for uni while my other siblings received weekly allowances.  I guess it can be viewed as vote of confidence – they knew I would have a go at making the money last.  In the end, I managed the funds well enough last for my entire stay at college.  Moreover, I “stretched” my meager student’s stipend to help subsidise local trips with my now wife during breaks.  There is a method to my madness.

I’m also learing hot to “cheat” in oder to bring balance.  As with most things. moderation seems to be the key.

midnight oil

February 22, 2012

the price of a barrel of oil went up again to the chagrin of most people.  we need to do something about our reliance on fossil fuels.

the death of distance

February 15, 2012

everyone was looking at Greece with the European “bailout” with bated breath to avert GFC 2.0.  in a world where economies are so intertwined, even an “isolated” continent such as Australia is not exempt from financial woes.  i agree with Thomas Friedman that there needs to be a balance of fear and greed for capital markets to remain in check.