Frugal is a necessity for financial greatness

Frugal – is it a necessity for financial greatness

According to Wikipedia ‘Frugal’ (ˈfro͞ogəl )  is the quality of being sparing, thrifty, prudent or economical in the use of consumable resources such as food, time or money and avoiding waste, lavishness or extravagance[1]. I’ve always been known to my friends & families as stingy or in hokkien we call it ‘kiam siap’ because of my unwillingness to part with money for any lavish use. But as I go along my financial freedom journey, I learn this word which is reminisce exactly how I feel & give it a positive feeling rather than a negative stingy feeling to what I felt was a very good habit. This trait I have to give credit for my mom as those days our family was poor. Everything was only spent on essentials. I still remember I got a earful once when I use my lunch money to buy some entertainment magazine from 7-eleven to pass time as I was waiting in between my after school activity & end of my class for the day. From that day onwards, I knew how important every ringgit was & I watch carefully everything I spend on.


But lets look at a bigger picture, does this quality really propel one to great financial heights. Lets look at 2 financial greats, Li Ka-Shing & Warren Buffet. They are famously known for their frugality, of course also known for their contribution to society & philanthropist work. Warren Buffet still lives in the same house that he purchased in 1958 in Omaha, a five bedroom house for USD 31,500 [2]. As for Li Ka-Shing, he was famous for his simple dressing sense as once in 1990s he wore a $50 timepiece from Citizen Watch & Co. He is a true follower of the saying “simplicity is the best policy” [3]. [On being asked in 2002 ‘Do you still wear a $50 Citizen or Seiko watch? Is it always set eight minutes fast?… Do you still live in the same house you have lived in for 20 years?’] Except for the fact that my watch clocks a full 20 minutes ahead, your facts are basically correct. My standard of living has remained at about the same level as when my business first began to take off in 1957, perhaps even more modest [4].


The older generation around me seem to think that frugality will definitely allow you to move one ahead during good times & bad times. Whether or not it will lead you to financial prowess, just the mere fact that you have more cash from being frugal OR what we call being a cash “hoarder” is something we need to emulate in this new generation of


For me, balance is key to everything. If you want to find out how to have a balance of having enough cash to take advantage of opportunities & also be happy spending what you should spend.



[1] Frugal definition – Wikipidea

[2] – Warren Buffet