Budgeting

Here’s What The Typical Money Regret of a Singaporean Looks Like

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Joanne Poh

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Of all the regrets you’ve accumulated in your life, we’re willing to bet buying that many of them involve money. Whether it was betting all your money on Black at the casino roulette table or buying that $5,000 handbag that later went out of fashion, you’re now left wishing you still had that money in your pocket.

While it seems like there are a myriad ways you can end up kicking yourself in the teeth, most money regrets share certain commonalities. Yours probably fall into one of the following categories.

 

You spent on something that bought only fleeting happiness

Nobody in their right mind spends on something they think won’t make them happy or benefit them in some way in the long run. Even if going to the dentist feels worse than Chinese torture now, it beats the pain of losing your teeth. Ultimately, we spend money in ways that we think will contribute to our overall wellbeing.

Unfortunately, as your terrible outfits from the 90s show, humans are not infallible, and we are prone to making bad decisions. A lot of times, when we think we’ve “wasted money”, we’ve really just made bad judgement calls and spent money on things that didn’t live up to the hype, or that bought happiness that was only fleeting.

For instance, when you spend big money on fashion items, you do so because you think you’ll look great in them and that looking good will boost your wellbeing in some way. What people often fail to account for is the fact that things go out of fashion, and that handbag you were willing to sell your kidneys for will someday elicit only a sneer of embarrassment at your bad taste in the past.

 

You spent on something you could have bought cheaper elsewhere

As proud as you might have been to have bought a brand new camera, when a friend rocks up to you and declares he bought the exact same model—but for $300 less, it’s hard not to feel a little deflated. Bargain hunters are constantly berating themselves over paying more than they should have for something.

The only time shopaholics do not delight at news of a Big Sale Starting Today is when they just bought an armful of products from that very same shop yesterday. Finding out you overpaid for something can be brutal but you can reduce the chances of that happening by simply by not being too lazy to do your research.

 

You missed an opportunity to make or save money

In this world, there are many people who seem just like you, with similar personalities, talents and abilities… but for some reason they are loaded and you’re not. Why? Sometimes, they just happened to grab opportunities that you didn’t.

One of the biggest regrets many Singaporeans are going to have decades down the line is not investing their savings. When the rising cost of living erodes your purchasing power and you realise too late that your peers who invested their money when they started working are now far ahead of you simply because they bothered to help their money grow, you’ll be kicking yourself for doing nothing.

Not saving in while you were young and had the chance to is another regret that often strikes all too late. You may feel invincible now and think there’ll be time to save money when you’re old and boring, but don’t forget that getting older often means getting saddled with more responsibilities.

Even if you don’t plan to have kids, there’ll be the rising cost of healthcare costs and medical insurance premiums, inflation and the possibility of having less earning power to deal with, especially if you fall sick or get retrenched. And when that happens, you’ll be wishing you had saved and invested more when you were younger.

What money regrets do you have? Tell us 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.