In a recent FB LIVE with Christopher Tan, CEO of Providend and Eddy from DIYinsurance, we distilled some real personal finance lessons for many Singaporeans.

Towards the end, we learned about an interesting conversation he had with the GRAB car driver he spoke with on his way to the show.

You can read the full summary of it here below or you can watch the facebook live video here.

It all begins with your perspective of life

GRAB car driver picked Christopher up in a Lexus sedan, and he asked the obvious question which many of us would ask: “can you actually make a living from driving Grab?”

“I want to really enjoy life. Not work non-stop and life becomes a dread. I love driving.”

“Besides that, I’m a retiree at 43 years old this year. I earn $3,000 Nett a month, working 6 hours a day, 5 days a week. Some days I don’t feel like working so I don’t work. My wife is working and my kids are all grown up.”

“Combined income, we have $5 to $6k a month. We have enough to go on 2 long trips a year, just got back from New-Zealand and go for 5 short trips a year.”

Christopher was shocked. He replied: “Wow, I’m impressed, in fact, I think you enjoy life than most of the executives out there who may earn a lot more, but also spend a lot more.”

The GRAB driver replied: “We are actually very thrifty, we don’t spend on many things at all” The next line really captures this important idea…

“I started with the idea of how I wanted to live my life, and I adjust my finances to live this kind of life.”

How do you want to live your life?

Christopher sums it up by sharing…

“Many times, we make a financial decision, then we let our life decisions follow all these financial decisions”

“And that can be disastrous. For example, if a young couple looks at a condo and sees how it beautiful it is, and make the financial decision to plonk in a commitment. And then now my life decisions… having to stay in the job you hate or dislike because of the debt you have to pay”

“A better way would be to decide what kind of life you want to live? Then let your financial decisions follow that decision. It’s okay for example you can’t afford to drive a car, but you can take public transport. It’s ok if you can’t go for long trips, you take short trips. You adjust and adjust your financial decision in pursuit of that life decision.”

20 years down the road, you’ll be happier

This is the one piece of advice Christopher and Eddy feels that our community, largely a millennial crowd here in Singapore can take away.

Avoid things that don’t entirely align with your life decisions but think of how you can live a more meaningful life on less.

This article originally appeared on Seedly’s blog.

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