AK has lost quite a bit of weight. Many people are amazed.
However, friends who know me well are less amazed. Others call it discipline but my close friends call it an obsession.
Yes, AK can be quite extreme and can be obsessed with stuff he believes in.
When I first started life as a working adult, I remember giving myself $300 in pocket money each month. The rest of my salary, I saved and invested. When a friend found out, he said that I was living in abject poverty.
I met this friend a few days ago when I was window shopping which is a nice way of saying KLKK (i.e. idling in SAF lingo). He was waiting for his wife who was doing some real shopping. He offered to buy me a drink and, so, we sat down for a drink and chatted.
He wasn't amazed by how much weight I lost because the last time he saw me was probably almost 20 years ago. Instead, he said I did not change much and still looked the same except for the white hair.
Shhh... Don't pitcha lobang, ok?
Anyway, guess what did he ask me next?
"Are you still living on $300 a month?"
I was taken aback. I didn't expect him to remember. It must have left a pretty deep impression on him.
Instead of giving him a direct answer, I told him how sales people at credit card road shows now bo hiew (i.e. ignore) me because I tell them I am unemployed.
"Aiyoh. How come? You OK or not?"
To his credit, he did not make some excuse to cut short our chat. Well, I am sure you know how some people might be afraid of unemployed friends? You are not afraid? I am. Haha.
So, I gave him a 20 minutes (ok, maybe 30 minutes) summary of my life in the last 20 years. At the end of it, he was wide eyed and almost speechless.
His wife rang him shortly after and he had to go, promising to catch up again soon.
He didn't say anything about me living in abject poverty this time.
Was I ever living in abject poverty?
|I had these for lunch recently.|
Financial hardship during my teens, yes, but abject poverty? Honestly, no.
However, it might have looked that way to many people, I agree.
Regular readers know the narrative.
For examples, I rarely bought new clothes and I packed lunch to work. Alamak, this guy must be an orang miskin (i.e. poor man) lah.
It wasn't something I thought about at the time but I suppose I rather looked like I was living in abject poverty but wasn't than to look prosperous when I wasn't.
It is important to know and to remind ourselves that it is not how much money we make that defines whether we have money but how much money we save.
So, is AK's story one of rags to riches? There will be different opinions but I don't think so.
I think AK's story is simply about a regular guy who wants to have the option to work if he wants to and not because he has to.
1. A common piece of advice on saving.
2. Becoming a millionaire next door.
3. Another personal story of frugality.