#AskTLS: What Am I Saving/Investing For?

We received a letter from our reader which we touched our heartstrings and we believe will touch many other readers as well. Along the way it’s easy to get lost in the process and question why we do what we do. Perhaps you could relate to it or know someone who feels the same way. What are we saving for and why are we saving? Two simple questions yet sometimes can be very hard to answer.


Hi xxx,


We receive your email with a degree of sadness in our hearts. I agree that in the pursuit of more money, many of us slowly become disillusioned as to why they are doing it. They eventually reach the state that they do it for the sake of doing it. Some of us forget the reason why we started saving in the first place. Is it because our parents have been advocating that, so we do it to please them and not ourselves?


For you to remain a prudent saver for many years (5 years? 10 years? Maybe more?), I find it necessary to pose you a question. “What’s your motivation?” Saving sounds like a chore to you, and that you have to sacrifice more than you want to in order to keep saving at the same rate to put into investments. Why are you staying prudent for?


I have been properly saving for about 8 years now myself, but I never found a need to scrimp to put them into investments. I’m not rich, I assure you, but have you wondered why I can find joy in saving, and why do you not seem to enjoy this whole process at all? I think to properly answer your question, there’s a lot of self-exploration on your part. It’s important and normal to have these moments when you question what you are doing. I do it every once in awhile myself.


What is money to you, and why do you want it? Everyone has a different reason, what’s yours? Now, perhaps a more suitable question to pose to you is not “What are you saving for?”, but rather, “What are you investing for?”. Don’t ever do it for the sake of doing it. “What’s your motivation?” It would be best to type it out and save a copy of it on your computer so you may reflect on it in the future. I have my own philosophy of money and I have written it all down, with my plans for it in the future. Every time I get lost or disillusioned, I refer back to why I started doing what I do in the first place. I would love to hear what your motivation is, if you’re comfortable with sharing.


“Why do we do all this?” – What do you exactly mean? Not everyone does this. Not everyone invest, and not everyone saves. Saving and investing begins with a choice that begins deep within you, a motivation. If you didn’t want to do it, nobody could force you to do it unless by force or legal means. I believe you know the reason why you began in the first place.


“Will our effort not go to waste eventually? Nobody escapes death.” – Seeing how you phrase this, I can somewhat confirm that you are doing “all this” for yourself only. Is it wrong to think of it this way? It’s not wrong, neither is it entirely right. Have you considered what you could do with the wealth you have amassed over the years? Firstly, you satisfy your needs and wants. That makes you happy, temporarily. Next, with what you have, you can change other peoples’ lives by sharing with them what you have. (Be it in the form of a gift/loan/scholarship/bursary/whatsoever) Knowing you have the ability to improve someone else’s lives and actually doing it, wouldn’t that give you a greater sense of satisfaction? And finally, your own family. Do it not just for yourself, but also for your children. What kind of financial state do you want your children to grow up in? Think about it.
Finally, I share with you this quote from Viktor E Frankl who wrote Man’s Search For Meaning, “Happiness must not be pursued, it must ensue.” You can find joy even in the toughest time, xxx. We all have our tough moments, but what we need to do is to extract the lessons in these moments and carry it on with us in our lives. This quote made a great impact on me and I hope it will do the same for you.


Yours sincerely,
Aloysius Lee
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Aloysius Lee

Aloysius has been investing in Singapore Equities from the age of 18 and is still madly enthusiastic about it. He strives to sharpen his edge while guiding others along the way to snowball their way to financial freedom!

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