In Singapore today, many of us are unhappy with the current “system”, especially the part that supposedly keeps our savings away from us until like forever… But before we go into making more noise about that aspect of our lives, let’s take a quick look at how you have been spending your money in the last one week or two…or wait, you mean you can’t even remember that?! *rolls eyes* Ok fine, let’s try the following…
Feeling “Atas” – Tipping
Imagine dining at a classy restaurant with your VIP or date where the service was top notch. The total bill comes up to $160 for the both of you, and you feel…what the heck, I love my waiter! So you slide two $10 notes between the bill folder before passing it back to him. That’s $20 for the appreciation of the good service you have received.
Feeling Lazy – Convenient Lunch
It’s lunch hour and the places with cheap food are packed to the brim! You and your colleagues wish to skip some queues and eat in peace, and preferably without too much walking. You go to the Japanese pasta restaurant just downstairs of your office where there is a credit card promotion for 15% off your $16 pasta, excluding drinks and dessert. You all enjoy a good lunch without a drop of perspiration and with precious time saved from the queuing. That’s $20 for the privilege of having a peaceful and relaxing lunch hour.
Feeling Tired – Cab Home
It’s been a long day and you’re more than an hour away from home if you need to walk to the MRT, take the train to and switch at Jurong East Station, get off at Bukit Batok and take a bus home. Then you grumble that your company no longer pays you for over-time or even transport for working late. But at the end of it, you just can’t bring yourself to walk to the train station, so you conveniently sit down at the taxi stand just by the entrance and wait for your cab. That’s $20 to save you from anymore physical exhaustion when your energy is already pretty much drained.
Feeling Bored – Movie Date
It’s Friday, TGIF! You meet your partner for dinner and you enjoy each other’s company like you have all the time in the world since the work week has ended. But when it’s time to settle the bill, wait…it’s not even 10pm yet? It’s too weird to go home so early on a Friday. You think about various activities where both of you can do together…shopping (shops are closing soon), chill out at a coffee joint (you’re both too full from dinner), take a slow stroll (yes but only for a short while ‘cos its warm and humid in Singapore). What better option with air-conditioning and comfy seats that can keep both of you quiet yet entertained than going to the movies? So that’s another $20 for an activity that let’s you both spend more time with each other with minimum effort.
First World Value of $20
I’m sure there many more ways to spend $20 depending on mood or situation. And pardon my heavy claim, but here is a first world problem when the “value” of money is decreasing due to the increasing emphasis we place on pampering ourselves. Granted that it may be a new-age way of smelling the roses and keeping your sanity in check amidst all the stressful work environment you put yourself through to earn your wages. But here’s one reality you may wish to know…
The same $20 you spent on tips, a meal, a taxi ride or movie tickets etc can actually help a low-income family for ONE MONTH!!!
Helping A Family for $20
Every month, we work with the committee in Jalan Kukoh RC to confirm the grocery items, recipients and logistics, before getting both public and resident volunteers to help with packing and distribution of the supplies. It is with much pride and gratitude (especially to our sponsors and volunteers) that the programme could run so successfully for the last 9 months.