Ever since I was young, I have been taught to save.
My mum told me that in the early years, every last penny of their pay went to petrol and food. Yet as the years went by and my father got promoted, we got to learn the piano and take mandarin classes. We did not have any holidays save for the ones during festive seasons to visit my grandparents.
As I grew up, I learnt to save more than I was used to spending. We brought food from home and a tumbler of water so there was no need to buy food at the school canteen. In fact, thinking back, I don't remember ever spending much in school. Most of our weekly allowance was put in the bank.
When I was about to go to college, dad opened a joint savings account with me. I held the ATM/teller card and he held the book. Even then, I only allowed myself RM70 per week for food and any other miscellanous things I needed. I found I could survive on RM50.
When I was in Australia, I applied the same concept. Making withdrawals only once a week for the amount needed.
The friends I hanged out with were not party goers nor lavish spenders, so we coexisted well enough. And when they went to expensive restaurants, I tended to stay home instead. Not totally becuase I did not want to spend but also because I prefered to curl up at home with my book.
You can imagine I did well enough in my studies! :)
Till today, I have no problems saving. Thank God for my mum's training. I still live by portioning out my expenditure instead of putting aside savings. Force savings don't mean much to me.
In fact when I started working, my dad used to tell me that I need to learn how to spend on myself. The strange thing about my whole family is that we are alright spending on someone else within the family but not on ourselves.
I have realised that the concept of "loving yourself" does not work very well with us. And that can be a bad thing sometimes. Lack of love for yourself could result in unmet expectations (when you expect it from the other person instead) as well as emotional and physical tiredness (when you don't learn to relax).
My colleague and I were discussing something the other day. She was thinking of joining a club, membership fee about RM100 per month so that she could take the kids swimming during the weekend, as a recreational activity. However, her hubby suggested that instead of joining a club and finding that you may not even be able to go some months, why not just book into a hotel every 2-3 months and really utilise the hotel's (cleaner and better) facilities then? Meaning they will allocate RM1,200 per year for hotel (min 4 star) visits with the kids, to swim, relax and enjoy themselves.
So, here is my take. From now on, as long as I am working, maybe I will allocate RM1k per year to really love myself (i.e stay in a hotel).
Say only....don't know if I can do it! hahaha.....
How about you? Are you a spender or a saver? How do you love yourself?