Tuesday, August 10, 2004

The Stolen Generation


Dan and I spent the National Day weekend looking for a car. Our ol' Merc has come to the end of its days and we're not really keen on flogging a dead horse lest the dead horse turns around and bites us in the ass. So we spent the whole weekend at second hand car dealerships- a whole building full of sleeze.

Anyhow, we've walked away after days of staring at second hand cars with interiors of various qualities and smells, with a Ford Focus that shared the same birthday as me, three years ago. It's quite exciting to finally have a car that wasn't around when you got your first bra or had your first period. It's deep blue and is kinda zippy and still has that new car smell.
10112_169924Presenting the Ford Focus

originally uploaded by thelanguishingcat.

So, now, once again we're in debt. To my parents-in-law. I suspect they only agreed to help us because Dan threw them a bone and said that the car had a boot that could fit a baby seat and a pram.

I'm totally grateful for them helping us out. We save a whole lot on the interest. What totally blew me away was the realisation that so many of our generation wind up in debt with even knowing. We buy our flats, we buy cars because we need to get around and are downright spoilt, we take out renovation loans, study loans etc, without a second thought. Apparently, young adults who have graduated recently in Singapore rank among the highest in terms of the amount of money they owe the bank, their parents, the neighbourhood Ah Long San (read: loanshark), their friends etc. And it is a scary thought- that we are living perpetually on next month's paycheck.

I've also been told, the amount of debt we are in doesn't really hit us straight away. It hits you when you're in your mid thirties, with a spouse, two kids, a maid, a mortgage and a car to pay off. Throw in the odd brain tumour and you're all set- in debt for life and that's not something that happens to other people.

It makes me wonder how my parents in law did it. My parents- they have as little sense of money as I have for knitting so let's not bring them up here. But my in laws- that's a different story, they took the kids on long holidays every year, they had enough money saved up to send Dan overseas at 16. They live in a nice house and have a nice car and go on really nice holidays but THEY are not in debt. How did they do it?

Now, that's a question that's going to fester while I figure out how to pay for the expensive new toy we have acquired.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 22:32

3 thoughts...

3 thoughts...

At 7:53 am Blogger Tym said...

They "invested wisely"?
My parents' financial situation is a mystery to me too, especially when I consider that with the income I now have, they were able to not only pay for themselves and a nice place to live, but also comfortably raise two kids.

Maybe we missed that class they have in the final year of university, "Top ten tips for how not to be in debt for the rest of your life".

 
At 9:13 am Blogger Yuhui said...

Perhaps you'd like to sit down with them and get some investment tips?

 
At 9:21 am Blogger Johnny Malkavian said...

1) Have rich parents.
2) And yes, smart investing (freehold does not sound very exciting if you're going to have only one lifetime to live there, but imagine what it will do for the future generations. Multiply that by the number of extra properties they would THEN be able to afford with extra disposable income, and you have a formula for ensuring the wealth of future generations).
3) Business ownership. The only true way to 'unlimited' income and access to perhaps a little creative accounting (read Robert Kiyosaki).

 

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