What money cannot buy

May 08, 2021

“Money is not everything,” my mother used to say, “but everything needs money”, that’s her mantra when I was a youngster. How true is this statement? This principle is the financial education I received from my mother. I didn’t understand it at the time because I was too young, but as I grew older, I realized her wisdom.

I graduated from university about ten years ago. I obtained my first job and received my first salary. It felt fantastic, especially because I worked so hard to earn it. I felt I had enough money to spend, although it wasn’t much. It was the first time I’d had this feeling, but it was also the last time. My spending kept increasing, so I never felt like I had enough money anymore. And I realized that getting paid was more enjoyable than going to work.

My pay increased every time I changed jobs. Naturally, I needed to adjust my lifestyle after earning a higher income. In the past, I shared a small room in Hong Kong with my parents, which was extremely congested. I want to be self-sufficient. As a result, I rented a condo. I lived alone and relished my independence.

I didn’t have a lot of savings because of this new way of life. Why? Because I also purchased a great automobile. I wanted to brag a little. I also desired high quality of life without having to rely on public transportation. My automobile was a blue Mini Cooper. Although the vehicle was small, it had a powerful engine. I adore it so much that I polished it once a week and drove around in it. I treated it as if it were a life companion.

I didn’t meet my partner until roughly five years ago. At first sight, I was completely attracted to her. Although her body figure was not perfect, she looked stunning. I couldn’t stop thinking about her ever since I met her. I vividly recall the first time I drove to her house to pick her up. “Wow, your car is really lovely,” she exclaimed. For a couple of nights, I was ecstatic. It was all worthwhile.

I was making a decent living as a sound software developer. I paid my parents a modest allowance as a good son, and my mother was pleased. With a girlfriend, my life changed. Now I had to spend double like a couple.

I picked up my lover in my car and drove her home like a private taxi driver every day. When our dates began in excellent restaurants, my monthly expenses increased. We couldn’t just go out to eat at McDonald’s, you know. I used my extra money to buy her nice gifts at every festival. She had a love of handbags. I don’t even know how to pronounce her favourite brands correctly. Gucci, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton are examples of Italian and French fashion houses. Any of these handbags would cost me several months’ worth of salary. Do you see what I mean? “Money isn’t everything, but it is necessary for everything.”

It had been roughly two years since we discussed our marriage, and my girlfriend had made plans to marry. Everything changes when a woman has a dream. She became stern. The issue was that I didn’t have much in the way of savings. “It doesn’t matter,” she responded, “we can start saving money for our future today.” My girlfriend was a pleasant lady, but she began to control me and compel me to save money with her.

Having a car was an expensive investment. That is the choice between my girlfriend and my car. There were only two options available to me, and I could only choose one. Naturally, I chose my girlfriend. As a result, I decided to sell my car to save money. I miss my automobile terribly; it accompanied me everywhere and provided me with many happy memories. “Wow, your car is gorgeous,” my girlfriend said to me at the time. However, I now had to hand over my car key to the new owner. I was clutching the car key and didn’t want to let go. It was very painful to abandon my car. That’s when I realized how much I love my girlfriend.

Without my car, I could save money every month by eating less and shopping less. I had already taken away my parents’ monthly allowance. I felt bad about it. My mother was correct. “Money isn’t everything, but it is necessary for everything.” Money can buy you a car, a handbag, or even an engagement ring, but it can’t buy you love.


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Experience in software development, application architecture, and deploying cloud solutions for enterprise customers. Strong hands-on skills with a Master's degree in Computer Science and business acumen with a master of business administration (MBA) in Finance. Certified in Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure, Kubernetes (CKA, CKAD, CKS, KCNA) and Scrum (PSM, PSPO) with experience in building banking products from scratch. Connect on Linkedin

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