4 Problems Singaporeans Try But Fail to Solve With Money

4 Problems Singaporeans Try But Fail to Solve With Money

Joanne Poh



There are a lot of things money can buy, from Ferraris and fried rice to plane tickets and Prada. But there are some problems that won’t go away even if you fling the Yusof Ishaks at them. Here are four big problems that plague the best of us, but that just won’t yield to the sweet, sweet scent of money.

1. Being unfit

A fit body has to be worked for, not paid for. And unfortunately, even if your million dollar gym membership comes with a trampoline playground and a personal masseuse, that doesn’t mean you’re going to emerge with Jessica Alba or Hugh Jackman’s Body after one or two visits.

Unless their billions were built on abs of steel, a quick look at the world’s richest people reveals that their physiques leave much to be desired. Closer to home, at most of the companies I’ve worked at in Singapore, the head honchos were plagued with problems like obesity, diabetes and heart problems.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on where you stand, health and fitness are largely dependent on time and commitment. While money might buy you the house with the swimming pool, it’s your dedication to your health that will get you in it.


2. Feeling unloved

I’m always disturbed when my male Singaporean friends say they would be able to get any girl they wanted if they had millions of dollars, and lament about how everyone loves a man with money.

While having a bit of money to socialise with might help you get out more, trying to impress your peers with your sophisticated tastes and buy their love by always being the one to open a bottle is not going to buy you real affection.

But sure, you might be saying, some friends no matter how superficial are better than being that guy who sits home every weekend.

Unfortunately, the truth is that relationships built in pursuit of money and status are rarely satisfying in and of themselves, and are how people end up with competitive frenemies and embroiled in catfights.


3. Underachieving kids

Most Singaporean parents think of kids as huge expenses. But some parents go ridiculous overboard in spending on their kids in an effort to ensure their success later in life.

While there are parents who spend thousands a month on tuition, those As might not actually be the result of relentless drilling under the watchful eye of tutors who rule with an iron rod with an iron fist.

Anyone who’s been through the Singapore education system will on hindsight be able to identify numerous examples of classmates who managed to get straight As without tuition. And anyone who’s ever tutored kids will tell you that how much the kid benefits depends more on his or her attitude to learning than the actual tuition session.

Kids who are inquisitive and engaged will see improvement in any environment, whether by staying back after class to ask their teacher questions or with the help of a tutor. And lethargic kids who couldn’t care less are wasting the money their parents throw at tutors.

It’s more important to teach your kids the power of discipline than to force feed them with tuition. They might get five more marks at their next exam, but at university level and beyond they’ll remain mediocre without a change in attitude.

The same applies to extracurricular activities, from piano lessons and art classes to tennis training and taekwondo. If you can’t instill in your child discipline, drive and genuine interest, you’re better off saving your money.


4. Having no time for anything, ever

Many people think they would have more time if only they had more money. Unfortunately, unless you’re gunning for early retirement or aiming to become a billionaire who spends all his time on golf courses around the world, throwing yourself headfirst into earning money usually results in less time, not more.

People are often lulled into believing that the pursuit of money buys them more time when they purchase little conveniences, such as by taking a cab instead of slogging it out on the bus, or hiring a maid so they don’t have to lift a finger around the house.

But unfortunately, most people completely fail when it comes to buying time with money. The sad fact is that for regular people, having more time usually means working less, which often equates to having less money.

Have you ever tried to solve a problem in our life with money? Let us know how it went in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.