Being wiser, but not a miser

Save wisely

By Adrian Ng

Many know about the Swedish-based IKEA, for its unique brand of furnitures, which are affordable and saves space. But not many know about its founder, the 91-year old Ingvar Kamprad who passed away in January last year.

At the time of his death, he is estimated to be the eighth richest individual in the world with a wealth of over RM240 bil. But he is also known for his cheap, ‘miserly’ ways. He stayed in budget hotels and drove an old Volvo 240GL for 20 years. He also took economy flights when needing to travel. 

“People say I am cheap, and I don’t mind if they do,” Kamprad once said.

“I could regularly travel first class but having money in abundance doesn’t seem like a good reason to waste it. Why should I choose first class, to be offered a glass of champagne from the air hostess? If it helped me arrive at my destination more quickly, then maybe.”

Kamprad and our forefathers knew the the value of saving money. Most of the billionaire corporate entrepreneurs today had parents who were frugal and saved their hard earned money. Through financial discipline and a character ethic focused on saving money, they all built a successful corporate empire on Bursa Malaysia. 

Through their corporate empire, they not only accumulated more wealth, but also provided employment and created various other entrepreneurial activities. Truth be told, the way of success of these entrepreneurs is through determination, hard work and financial discipline. These men learnt the art of saving and not borrowing money. 

Alas, the art of saving money seemed to have skipped a generation. The youths today, are known as big spenders, in complete contrast to our forefathers. Still I do believe, there are many youths who are continuing to work hard and are also learning the art of saving money. Yes, saving money is an art. It can be mastered easily and internalised to become part of our character. Hopefully, this will make us wiser, not misers. As we work hard for the money, we should also work hard to save the hard earned cash.

Hence this column, beginning this week, to help give youths, especially campus undergraduates, ideas and tips on saving money. Every ringgit saved, is a ringgit earned.

One way to help save money is to control expenses. Reducing our expenses is one way to control outflow of cash, while helping to make us conscious how important it is when deciding to part with our cash. 

Want to watch a movie? Consider going to the cinemas on Wednesdays, as it is cheaper than other days of the week. Want to eat a nice, meaty sandwich? Some sandwiches can be cheaper at certain days of the week. Want to buy a nice pair of shoes? There are various way to own a pair of nice shoes cheaply. 

Next, I will share more on how you can get a good meal and also watch a nice movie with family and friends in a cheaper way. Stay tuned!