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Changes to Spending Habits – Living it Large

After returning from Hong Kong, I’ve found myself in living a different lifestyle. Where as I, prior to the trip, would be leary of spending, I am not finding myself spending on things that I would have otherwise spent a long time considering. Suffice to say, I haven’t won the lottery yet or make mounds of cash investing into stocks (again, YET) – but I am starting to utilize the money I’m earning more often and being less thrifty. The reason is not because I want to “show off” or to overindulge in using my money, but rather, something very important my uncle said to me (which I will translate to English). He said, “I am rich because I spend my money, not because I have lots of it. A rich person, is one who uses his money and enjoys it, regardless of his existing wealth. A poor person, is one who does not use his money and sits it in the bank, regardless of his existing wealth. When one uses money usefully, he (or she) is rich. When one does not use their money, no matter how much is in the bank, he (or she) is poor.

I have a habit of saving – saving for a rainy day and saving for my future family. I save a lot of money suffice to say and I’d wager every year (since I’ve been working), I’ve been storing just over 50% of my take home pay. I invest it, into my RRSP, into my supplementary pension plan, into my cash-able life insurance, into my TFSA and into stocks/funds. On good years, my investment income usually supplies me with 2-3 tickets of airfare to Hong Kong, so the reality is I could go there every year if I wanted to, and I may soon turn that into a reality.

But anyways, back onto my point. I’ve been living it large lately. I want to realize those dreams of “being rich” – not necessarily because I have lots of money, but because life is about enjoyment, making your comfortable and utilizing the resources that you have. Since I’ve returned, in the past 2 weeks I have been spending money more lavishly. This is particularly true with luxury items and with food. I also learned another very important aspect of Hong Kong lifestyle is that they invest majorly into 1 or both of the following: clothing and food. I’m not particularly interested in clothing, so I have adopted the 2nd, food. Another thing my uncle taught me, “You should learn that eating is not about filling your stomach the most for the least money. Food is about quality, not quantity. Therefore, you should aim to eat small portions of good food, rather than be concerned with feeling full by eating lesser foods.” My uncle is truly full of wisdom and he has both a Canadian and Hong Kong lifestyle perspective as he’s lived in both places. He does understand the need of why I save, but also encourages me to utilize money effectively and that does not necessarily equate to saving it all.

In the past 2 weeks, I’d say that I’ve already bought, or consider buying items that I would have taken a long time to justify and rationalize. Just over the weekend, I walked into Future Shop and bought a Wii Fit Plus. I did do some prior bargain hunting, but to no avail. I could’ve waited – but I didn’t… I just went out and bought it. Sure, it cost $20 more than if I waited for the next sale, but I want it NOW – and I got it. The computer and monitor rack that I got for bebe for her birthday, I wanted to give her my old video card so she could play her games and watch HD movies – but instead, I am now buying her a new video card. Why? Because I can and that she deserves it. Also, what kind of terrible boyfriend would I be, one who is a computer guy and giving his girl outdated stuff? 😛 I promised I’d buy myself a new pistol or rifle every year. I put one on order, a nice new revolver for me to play around with 😀 I used to fiddle with my iPhone headset every time I got into the car so I could legally use my phone (as it is outlawed in Ontario to hold a communication device while driving) and got tired of it – so I got myself a Bluetooth headset – and a nice one too, that responds to voice activation/commands AND is also capable of multiple language sets… of course I chose Cantonese 😆

As you can see, I’m spend less time thinking and more time buying! I know that the moral of the story goes both ways here. Some will say, “Hey, great, you’re satisfying your wants.” while others will spit in disgust and say that I’m wasting money needlessly. Also, in the next while, I will be installing a fireplace in my computer room so I’m nice, warm and cozy while I play, chat or do work on my computer! Yes, that’s right, I want to be luxurious and enjoy the money I’m earning. It wasn’t that I’m cheap on others, I tend just to be cheap on myself. I’ve spent more money on bebe than I have on any other girl I’ve dated… perhaps I dare say I’ve spent more on her than I have with all of my ex’s put together, LOL! I’m not quantifying my love for her via how much money I spend on her, but more of the fact she makes me feel and want to spend money on her. I spend money on my family and friends as well, because I don’t mind. We go out for nice meals, do costly activities – but still, I’m only cheap when it comes to myself. I’m turning that around – I want to be the one enjoying the fruition of the seeds which I have sewn myself.

I guess I’m a bit old fashion and perhaps that alpha-male part of me kicks in when I’m with bebe. By spending money on her and also, showing that I have financial stability is an implicit sign that I’m able to “take care of her”.. I mean this is TOTALLY 1950’s mentality, haha, but still, it’s born into us guys where we feel the need to have to ‘display’ ourselves and ‘prove’ that we’re capable. I’m not trying to bribe bebe with money or throw money at her in hopes of winning her love, but what I’m trying to do is to show that at the very least, I can be a successful boyfriend and future husband who can provide for her if necessary. I know I think “a bit farther ahead” because I’m older than she is and have different paths I want to walk in life, but the reality is that I don’t want to have a huge margin of income with her – which is the reality given both our careers. I have a very important topic I’d like to write on in the near future, the idea of social status and individual prestige, which will make what sense of what I’m trying to express above.

I’m already looking at the posted transactions that are coming through on my credit card already! This is probably the most I’ve spent in a while (not including on my trip) and there will be more to come. I work hard during the day and even after hours, so isn’t it at least right of me to come home and be submersed into comfort and luxury? I don’t earn my money for nothing or to leave it in the bank while they trade my money around to earn money for themselves!

I’m rich, because I’m using my money to generate happiness. I am no longer poor, because my monetary wealth is bringing my lasting wealth through enjoyment and fulfillment of wants! Even when I bring happiness to bebe it makes me smile, so the wealth is not only spent on me, but her as well… us, both our families and hopefully soon, our very own family 😀

I’m in a very loving mood tonight, so even though my bebe is not around with me right now, if she ever asks me how much I love her … then I can answer her with THIS much! 😛

Teresa Teng (鄧麗君) – The Moon Represents My Heart (月亮代表我的心)


And… because UMG are a bunch of cock-sucking retards, you have to go on YouTube directly to watch it.

你 问 我 爱 你 有 多 深
You ask me how deep I love you

我 爱 你 有 几 分?
How much I love you

我的 情 也 真,
My feeling is true

我的 爱 也 真,
My love is true

月亮 代表 我的 心。
Moon represents my heart

你 问 我 爱 你 有 多 深
You ask me how deep I love you

我 爱 你 有 几 分?
How much I love you

我的 情 不 移,
My feeling is steadfast

我的 爱 不 变,
My love is constant

月亮 代表 我的 心。
Moon represents my heart

轻轻 的 一个 吻
A tender kiss

已经 打动 我的 心。
Already touch my heart

深深 的 一段 情
A deep love

教 我 思念 到 如今。
Makes me miss till now

你 问 我 爱 你 有 多 深
You ask me how deep I love you

我 爱 你 有 几 分?
How much I love you

你 去 想 一 想
You go think about it

你 去 看 一 看
You go have a look

月亮代表我的心。
Moon represents my heart

你去想一想
You go think about it

你去看一看
You go have a look

月亮代表我的心。
Moon represents my heart

How Does One Define WEALTHY?

A few weeks ago, an impromptu conversation with a few of my workers really got me thinking about the idea of “wealth” and how a person defines whether an individual is wealthy or not. I think in a general sense, most of us would instinctively define wealth by the amount of money that a person has. I’m not going to get all philosophical or spiritual and all and start defining wealth by non-materialistic means and for the time being, let us concentrate simply on a numeric and monetary value.

Having grown up in a tradition Chinese setting, the use of money has always been very conservative. From day one when I began handling money, I was taught to save-save-save, something that (out of the words of my coworker), that North Americans tend not to do… they spend whatever happens to be in their hands. Looking at people I know, I can definitely say that it goes without saying that there certainly is truth… most of my friends/colleagues who are your general “white Canadian” families tend not to keep money “lying around”. Although I come from a wealthy family, my immediate family (mom/dad) did not arrive in Canada with that wealth. The money that they came to Canada with went to pay for their rent and they had to actually save up over a course of a year before being able to pay back the money for the flight over.

Let’s skip too much detail and jump to ‘now’. Growing up for me was definitely a very “make do with what we have” lifestyle. I can honestly say my parents were the type to give up everything just for me. I was always able to attend school events (in fact, they urged me to) albeit our financial situation. While we were never “poor” – we were certainly not rich either. What prompted the discussion between my coworkers and I was the fact I always mention the word “poor” when I describe myself and they like to make a note that poor should not be the world I use to describe myself because I really “don’t know what the word POOR means.”

This leads me on to the topic of how people perceive the difference between degrees of wealth. Suffice to say, I don’t think anyone in this world has the same definition or “amount” they would label between everything from poor to filthy rich. For instance, I consider myself poor, much to the chastise of my coworkers because I do not feel I “make enough money” and that I “don’t have enough to spend” when clearly, they feel otherwise. Personally, I feel a better has to make > $100,000 before they can consider themselves “rich” – which I currently don’t make, therefore, I class myself as being poor. Working in a unionized, government institution, all our salaries are available to the public (provincially mandated information) so essentially, all my coworkers know exactly how much I make a year. They ask me how given the amount I make, I could actually consider myself poor. After a good 2-hour talk with them, they made me truly reevaluate the money I make and why I feel poor. They started putting things into perspective for me, that the average Canadian generally do not even have enough money to maximize contributions in both TFSA (Tax-free Savings Account for the non-Canadians who don’t know) and RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) in a single year. Most people are tied up paying off mortgages, loans (student or otherwise), credit cards, bills, car financing and the likes that to be able to max-out contributions to both those accounts is impossible. Yearly, I am able to comfortably pay off all those bills/loans/owing balances while maximizing contributions to my RRSP/TFSA and invest my money into steady investments (such as GIC’s) and even have money to play the stock market. They made a point to tell me to look at my overall assets instead of simply what I keep “liquid” in my Chequings accounts. Surely, I cannot be THAT poor when I still have money to buy food, spend on entertainment (and girls? LOL… by that, I don’t mean hookers/strippers), and splurge on new technology once in a while.

While I’m generally not comfortable with sharing financial information with people, my coworker (who has been close with my family) asked bluntly how much money I had in my accounts all together. I told her and her jaw must’ve stayed opened for a good 2 minutes. I can remember her words very clearly, “You are what? How old? 24? You OWN a house, drive a luxury vehicle, have no debt, maximize yearly contributions, invest into stocks, live comfortably, and have xxx amount of money in your accounts and you call yourself POOR?!!” – that really smacked me in the face.. not as in negatively – but it really set things into perspective with how wealthy in comparison I am to many. Over the past few weeks, I really took some time to think about all that I really do have and that has changed on what I felt is considered “wealthy.”

Of course I am far from being wealthy in comparison to the rest of my family who own billion-dollar computer corporations, chairman of an international organization and CEO of 5-star hotels – but I have a very SOLID footing for someone of my age. I know that at any time, I could be a part of the massive wealth should I return to Hong Kong, but knowing that I will lose my very comfortable lifestyle in Canada… my steady job, my own business, my (lots) of leisure time and standard working hours – which is something that does not exist when it comes to managing a large business. I for one, prefer to simply be spoiled out of my mind every time I return “home” instead, even though I do not get the same luxury here.

How do you define wealthy? What are your expectations and where do you draw the line before you title someone as wealthy? Is it simply by what they make in a year, the job they hold or the materialistic things they have to show for it?

I’ll tell you, my opinion of my status before talking to my coworkers have really turned around…. and that’s why it is always nice to have older and wiser friends who can really set things straight in your mind, because in all reality, I’m just a little boy in a big guy’s body 😛

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