Budget Babe (avatar)
updated 1 year ago

A Parable of Money-Happiness

The Money-Happiness Parable

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery.

You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”"


There are three kinds of people imo.

One group is content to work until their end days, actively exchanging their labour or skills for income to survive on. They are easily content and don't need much. They don't mind working until they are old, or even when they're disabled or downtrodden. For as long as it takes to put food on the table, clothes on their family and a roof over their heads, they will work and be content with what they have.

The second group sees money as security and/or freedom. They work hard to build up emergency savings and plan out their finances so that they do not get caught with their pants down even when life throws them some unexpected financial bombs. They also appreciate the freedom that money accords - freedom to quit a job they don't like and pursue their passions without having to worry about not having enough food to feed their family the next month.

The third group uses money to exchange for happiness, often on tangible goods or services. Without money to buy the things that make them happy, they'll be miserable, and they often become sensitive to the littlest of remarks when people comment on their spending choices, rather than seeing it as constructive feedback to rein in their expenses or use it to build a better life for themselves.

They find pleasure in tangible, material goods that require money to pay for, which then becomes part of their identity, and woe betide you if you even dare question it.

I think most of us generally fall within the second and third category, to varying degrees. I get irritated when people question why I'm willing to spend money on movies, theatre acts and stocks while choosing to eat frugally and take public transport.

Cannot meh? But I get that some people may find it a waste of money to pay $8 - $13 for a movie ticket when you can stream them online (orh hor), so that's fine la and I won't get defensive all over it, so I'm a scaled down group 3 I guess?

Maybe like a 2.1 - 2.2? πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ like how lipsticksπŸ’„ make me happy and I'm superficial like that lol but I try not to buy TOO MANY la cos I learnt my lesson : cannot use finish and makeup expire #sadtruth

Which group do you fall under?

Day 141

Sunday, 21 May 2017

98 10
TanSH (avatar)

TanSH Am no. 2 ✌🏻

1 year ago

tkhoo (avatar)

tkhoo I'm number2!

1 year ago

minettej (avatar)

minettej definitely 2!

1 year ago

sgbudgetbabe (avatar)

sgbudgetbabe @lextan @tkhoo @minettej y'all sure food doesn't make you happy? 😜

1 year ago

TanSH (avatar)

TanSH I won't spend more than $5 on meals unless it's gatherings at times with frens. There's plenty of good and affordable options ard :)

1 year ago

cherylthefrumpster (avatar)

cherylthefrumpster I think I'm a 2.5 haha!

1 year ago

Amarilisque (avatar)

Amarilisque I'm between 2 and 3! I like to stream movies more because I don't like to get tempted by popcorn and I like sitting in the most comfy clothes to watch as and when I want plus (!!) I get to cook at home (more savings!) food that can easily cost more. and cooking brings me happiness too so win-win! :)

1 year ago

secretnamehahaha (avatar)

secretnamehahaha Definitely 2. And also using the money to make more money to ensure freedom from dead-end jobs haha. Love your writingggg.

1 year ago

cindychewy (avatar)

cindychewy I'm definitely a 2, while hubby is slightly towards the 3. I long for the day that I achieve financial freedom so that I no need to work for the sake of working anymore. slowly pressing on it now.πŸ’ͺ

1 year ago

sgbudgetbabe (avatar)

sgbudgetbabe @secretnamehahaha 😘😘 we should meet up again soon!

1 year ago

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