BigFatPurse is an investing portal, so it is normal that our articles are all about money. We all want to make more by taking lesser risk and expending lesser effort. We are single minded in our quest to fatten that bank account.
Yet very often we overlook the fact that money is but an avenue to achieve our eventual goals. Money allows us to quench our desires and fulfill our wants.
When Lionel from cheerfulegg told us he was running an experiment on his blog about what his readers really want and asked if we wanted to share it with our readers, we said yes immediately. After all, clearly defining our wants makes our investing journey much more meaningful. Here is his article produced in full.
[Free Ebook] How should you invest your first $20,000?
We asked 14 Singapore finance bloggers to share what they would do if they could go back in time and invest their first $20,000. They can no longer rewind time, but you can learn from their experience and hopefully start with a better footing.
An Experiment: What If You Could Afford Anything You Want?
Do you remember the first time you felt like a baller? I do.
It was my first time at an outlet mall in the US. I was a first-year college student, and I had a $600 USD allowance to buy winter clothes. This was a HUGE thing for a dude who’s grown up all his life wearing polo tees from Giordano.
Now, most first-year college students don’t have any concept about saving for the future*, and I was no exception. Once I started buying clothes from Zara and Armani Exchange, I was like “Awww yeaaaa, I’m makin’ it rainnnnn!!”
But for that brief moment in time, having that $600 bucks made me feel like the richest person in the world.
Why? Because for a dude fresh out of army, being able to shop for my own clothes like an adult was something that I craved more than anything else in the world.
I blew the entire $600 in a day on clothes that I wore for 2 years before giving them away. Now, when I look back how dumb I was, I just laugh. (A part of me also wishes I could go back in time to strangle some sense into the 21-year old me.)
Sweet Dreams Are Made of These
It’s funny, because as I moved through life, the things that I really wanted changed constantly:
- In my second year of college, I really wanted to rent my own studio apartment off-campus (I was sharing an apartment and slept in the living room).
- Towards graduation, I really wanted to stay at nice hotels while traveling through Europe
- As I started working, I really wanted to open a VIP table at butterfactory (I know, I know, don’t judge)
- And after that, I really wanted to spend a year in LA taking hip-hop classes with Movement Lifestyle
- And now, I really want to be able to afford a house with minimal debt**
It’s interesting, because when I look back at the evolution of these “dreams”, they all seemed so silly and trivial. But back then, I had a real, visceral longing for those things and experiences. (With the exception of my $600 shopping spree which actually came true when I wanted it)
Traditional personal finance bloggers might wag their fingers at these “frivolous” expenses, but I disagree. I think there’s something about being able to afford things that you love, as long as you’re disciplined in other areas of life.
So I think it’s useful to think about what our future dreams might be, so that we can start saving for them now. For example, if I had known in advance that I wanted a luxurious graduation trip, I could have easily afforded it by saving just $100 a month while I was in college.
I’ve written about planning ahead before, but this time I want to see if we can help each other take action.
A Peek Into the Future
Most of us can never imagine that we’d be craving something bigger when we’re older.
But what if we could predict the future? What if we could see what people who’re older than us are dreaming of? If we could, maybe we can start making plans to start saving for them right now.
Therefore, I want to do an experiment. I’d like to compile what everyone is dreaming of, and organise them into different age brackets.
Why? Because it’s my hope that this will inspire you. You can peek at what older people are dreaming of and say, “Wow. That’s totally something I should start saving for right now.” Similarly, YOUR dreams might inspire someone younger than you to start working towards them earlier.
What If You Could Afford Anything?
Therefore, I’m curious to hear from you: If you could afford anything in the world right now, what would it be?
I want you to dream big – Imagine if you had all the money in the world. What exactly would you spend on?
There are only 3 rules:
- Be honest. If you really want a Maserati, say it. You don’t have to hide behind some B.S answer like “I really want to save the dolphins”, unless you really want to. It’s okay to have ridiculous, selfish dreams – most of us do!
- Be specific. Don’t just say “I want a house.” Say, “I want a 4-room condo near the MRT with a swimming pool shaped like a seashell“
- Tell me your age range. You can be anonymous, but I need to know your age because that’s how I’m organising your answers. If you’re not comfortable with giving your exact age, give me approximations, e.g. “late teens”, “mid-twenties”, “25 but I look 21 because I use SKII”, etc
Don’t worry – all answers are anonymous. I’ll compile and organise them by age range, and publish the results next week.
Let me know about your dreams by sending me an email. I can’t wait to hear from you!
*Okay, I’m overgeneralising here, because I know some of you are college students and probably way more disciplined than I was back then.
**I know there are plenty of arguments on why you should have more debt when you buy a house, but that’s a discussion for another time.
The more responses we get, the more meaningful and helpful the results would be. Results would be consolidated and shared with everyone. We would really love to hear from you. Do leave a comment below and let us have your dreams!