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How to be budget without being considered stingy?

How do i budget without compromising on the welfare of those around me, so i'm not considered stingy?

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Hi Gabriel,

I can totally feel you. I love my mom a lot, but wasn't earning much when I started work.

So I ate exactly one meal a day (a very heavy lunch), walk 1 km every day to my bus stop to save a few cents on my bus fare, and pretty much stayed at home on weekends in order to prevent myself from spending money via temptations.

All that, to give my mom a decent ang bao on her birthday.

Even today, I'm just eating $2 chicken rice on a regular basis, but I'm willing to spend on my loved ones, by buying a good meal or bringing them on holidays. Of course, that can't come at the expense of some things, such as my health.

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Bibiana
Bibiana
Level 6. Master
Updated 4d ago

I learnt this 6 jar system earlier this year, and I felt that it's very reasonable as it covers all aspects of your life.

Of course, its only a guideline and you are free to adjust it to suit your lifestyle :)​​​

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Junus Eu
Junus Eu
Top Contributor

Top Contributor (Nov)

Level 9. God of Wisdom
Answered 5d ago

Stingy is subjective too! And I guess, stingy is what is perceived by others.

So, if I were to really budget, I would be stingy on myself but still treat loved ones to good meals.

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Who you hang out with ultimately defines who you will become. If you have friends who are not understanding, you can either change their minds or change your friends. There are no two ways around this.

It's more tricky when it comes to family, but family is just another "relationship bond", similar to friendship.

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Isabel Wong
Isabel Wong
Level 4. Prodigy
Answered 2d ago

During gatherings its alright to spend a bit more - set aside a budget for it. If you normally go Dutch with friends - then u can just choose the cheaper options

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Wilson Nid A Break
Wilson Nid A Break
Level 6. Master
Answered 3d ago

Simply surround yourself with people that share the same spending philosophy as you

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Budget is what you do, stingy is what people perceive you as.

When you're on your own, you can always opt for budget options such as going for your $2.50 chicken rice or $3 wanton mee for your lunch fix.

When you have company or when spending as a group, you may wish to consider splurging a bit more than spending on your own simply because more people get to enjoy the value dervied from the spending and usually when you spend more in a group setting, you enjoy more value in terms of:

  1. Overall satisfaction rate(5 happy humans beat 1 satisfied human)

  2. Bulk purchase discount(more bang for buck when purchasing in larger quantities).

So a rule of thumb can be when spending in larger groups, you can afford to have more leeway when it comes to budgeting since you will enjoy more benefits as mentioned in (1) and (2).

Bonus: People also do not perceive you as stingy when you spend more as a group but this should be the last reason. You are spending your own money, therefore, you make the choice. How others perceive you should not affect your decision. ​​​

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VC
Vicki Chng
Level 5. Genius
Answered 3d ago

Unfortunately when I was still studying, I had "friends" who called me stingy because I wasn't willing to spend at a restaurant. Hey $15 is a lot for a student who gets $50 a month.

So, the best thing is to cut them off if you're uncomfortable with it. It's your money, and no one else should dictate how you should spend it.

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Adelyn K
Adelyn K
Level 5. Genius
Answered 4d ago

I find it useful to plan for how much you would like to spend on birthdays and special occasions! So if it's like your family, I guess bringing them out for a meal, buying a birthday present, would probably set you back $100-$200. For a close friend, you might get by with under $100. So saving up for this, will help you to budget better.

I also set aside $200 a month for family meals where we will go eat at better restaurants and have a family meal once or twice a month. :) Definitely depends on your family and what they love to eat/do in their free time. I think 'stingy' is a consideration only when your money management affects someone else's decisions and emotions.

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Jonathan Ang Wei Shan
Jonathan Ang Wei Shan
Level 2. Rookie
Answered 4d ago

One method that worked really well for me is that I set aside a budget to treat people. So when I spend, I don't feel guilt or stingy because I know it has already been budgeted. Then I won't feel so hard pressed to pay a meal :)

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Yanisa Koh
Yanisa Koh
Level 5. Genius
Answered 4d ago

You could set aside an amount you are comfortable with to spend on your loved ones.. Or if you don't want to be so exact about it, whenever you see something they might like or if you go out to eat with them, you might want to foot the bill sometimes. For our loved ones, most of the time they won't expect you to be spending all your money on them. Doing a kind deed or showing them appreciation and that you care could make them happy and be FOC as well!

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Ernest Yeam Wee Leong
Ernest Yeam Wee Leong
Level 6. Master
Answered 5d ago

Actually budget and stingy are two different perspectives.

Budget means spending wisely. Stingy means being selfish.

As long as the item that you are spending on you feel that is not worth it, then dont spend and you are not being stingy.

But if is really a constraint to you then no point spending money just to be acceptable to others.

I write cool stuff about personal finance and money-saving hacks here.

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Choon Yuan Chan
Choon Yuan Chan
Level 7. Grand Master
Answered 5d ago

Welfare is a difficult work to accurately categorise. Some peoples' wants affects their welfare but is not a neccessary expense.

For me being stingy is defined by being scrimp on "Needs". My advise is to just continue your own budgetting by planning for things you need to buy. Once in a while, do treat your friends a meal or two as appreciation

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Eveline Lau
Eveline Lau
Level 6. Master
Answered 5d ago

By having a clear understanding between "needs" and "wants". Spending on necessities is inevitable, buying the latest electronic gadgets and luxury goods are not necessary.

There are some occasions that require a bit more splurging e.g. parent's birthday gift/dinner. But you can save up some money by looking out for deals through Chope and Eatigo, or earn cashback through Quandoo and Shopback. Sometimes with promotions of up to 50% off, you can come off as "willing to spend" even though in reality, you didn't spend that much on the item/meal.

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GuanYuan Tan
GuanYuan Tan
Level 4. Prodigy
Answered 5d ago

Buy things only when necessary but don’t skimp on the essentials!

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Hwee Kian
Hwee Kian
Level 6. Master
Answered 5d ago

Hi Gabriel,

Be conscious to yourself, as nobody cares about your finances more than yourself.

Simply follow your moral compass and I'm certain you'll be fine. Don't worry too much! ​​​

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Jasmine Tay
Jasmine Tay
Level 4. Prodigy
Answered 5d ago

Plan your monthly budget, you can set aside a small sum for welfare related expenditure and restrict that sum purely for that intent.

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Always understand your personal cashflow and create a budget for all your expenditure and needs. Here is how I do mine: https://www.blog.pzl.sg/how-to-create-a-monthly-budget/

From there, we will be able to understand the limits on spending in each category. Accordingly, resist peer pressue and other temptations. Ultimately, those who matters won't be too concerned with your behaviour. For those who are too concerned, they usually don't matter in our lives.

Additionally, it will be valued to have a moral compass that helps us determine a situation when we should break our rules. For instance, to help the needy by buying them a meal. So long as it is morally right, then it is okay to break the budget.

Otherwise, follow the goal that we have set and to achieve it.

Here is everything about me and what I do best.

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