These two words devastate families and futures because they so insidiously work their way into our daily lives and our perceptions of what we ‘must' do. Here are some examples:
"It's only $6 and I really enjoy it." referring to a designer coffee once a day. Crunch the numbers! $6, 5 times a week is $1,560 a year. In 30 years if you were to invest that amount monthly at 8% interest comes to $96,000! And ‘It's only' coffee! (7,200 cups of coffee at $13.33 per cup).
I make my own coffee and drink (too much) about 6 cups a day for $.50 a day. That's 65,700 cups of coffee for $22,500 (8% interest) or $.34 per cup of 100% Columbian coffee.
"It's only $300 a month for a maid." Not true! In Singapore, if you add in taxes, levy, annual trip home, food, misc., it is about $1000 a month. Over 30 years at 8% interest, that is $1,500,000. For one and a half MILLION dollars, can you wash your own dishes and keep your own home tidy?
"It's only $600 a month for a car." Maybe that is the car payment, but that is not the cost of owning the car. Taxes, license, petrol (‘gas' to North Americans), service, repairs, parking and misc. will bring you to $1200 to $2500 depending on the amount driven, country, etc. In just 5 years, that is $88,760 to $184,916 at 8% interest. In 30 years, a new car every 5 years will cost you between $1,800,000 to $3,750,000. (buying a 2-year-old car and driving it 8 years can cut your costs by 30% to 40%).
Because we live in Singapore where public transport is so easy and cheap, we spend $450 a month on transport for a family of 4. Over 30 years that costs us $675,000, a savings of $1,125,000 and it is better for ecology.
It is no wonder people have to work so hard and long for so many years... or should I say, ‘It's only' a lifetime. YES... sometimes cars and maids are a necessity. But is everything we buy a necessity? Are there cheaper, more cost effective options? Do not fall into the two word trap... It's ONLY! Better to hang on to what we make and invest it wisely.
Smile Maker: Maids work...
Woman of the house: "Did you clean out the refrigerator like I asked you?"
Maid: "Yes mam... everything was delicious!"