Expense Management Mindset – Part 12: $5 to $10 or Using $5 to Spend $10?

Turning $5 to $10 or Using $5 to spend $10 Expense Mindset.

Since I was around 5 to 6 years old, when I have some money, your grandparents always told me that we have to think hard and use it so it becomes more. They put that mindset on me. They say, “We have to turn 50 cents to be $1. Not like a lot of people around us, they have wrong mindset. Most of them will think hard to spend $1 when they have only 50 cents.” I 100% believed that this mindset is the right one since I was told this over and over again until even now, year 2022, when I am 37 years old, which actually I have already another thought on this.

Around year 2006, I went to my cluster security post station sometimes when I was bored alone. One conversation made me thinking hard on it. One of them asked me friendly, “Brother, Chinese always think hard to turn 50 cent to be $1 right? It’s different for us. We will use that 50 cents to spend $1.” When he asked me that, I didn’t know how to respond to that. I said like, “Hmmm, yeah.. Why is that?” It’s as if his mindset is the right one and mine is wrong. Your grandparents always and always told me that concept that rooted in my mind that ‘A’ is the right one and ‘B’ is wrong, and suddenly one day, someone told me the exact same concepts and told me that ‘B’ was the right one and your grandparents’ are the wrong one.

Because I have a mindset that, “When You are right, doesn’t mean that others are wrong”, I was thinking hard on it and keep asking myself, Why he thought the other way? Am I missing something? What if he was right and I am wrong all this time? Until a few days later, I came up with a thought. What if it is not 50 cents? What if it is $50? Using $50 to spend $100. What if it $5,000,000,-? Using $5,000,000,- to spend $10,000,000,-? Wow. Is that possible?

Debt Collector is My Boss.

My cousin, one of your uncles, he owned the latest Honda SUV in 2019. Had the latest Samsung Note series. Lived in a nice 300-meter square house in the city. However, he barely had enough cash to pay any debt he had. Enough for daily food and petrol. His car, house, and even his phone was on loan, and paying the installments every month.

I personally can’t live like that, but when I talked with him about it, he said that he was self-employed and had no self-discipline. When he was on debt, he felt that the debt collector was his boss and he must work hard to earn money to pay any installments he had. Besides that, he said, if he saved money to have enough to buy a house, by the time he had the money, the house price will already increase and he would never buy one. It’s true for the house. What about the best phone and the latest SUV?

It is very different mindset compared to the one I have. But maybe it works for some people. By the time I am writing this to you (Year 2023), he is still living that way. Latest SUV, latest phone, he is even paying monthly installment for one more house because the one he is living now has been paid off.

Wow. I am quite amazed of what he is doing, but still, it’s not for me.

I am writing this section for you to give you another living picture you can learn. If you are happy with this way of living, so try it. He seems happy with his life. But not for me and I advise you not. For me, I don’t feed my emotion on something I want and I choose to live peacefully with calculated planned stress in my life.

Loan to Get Bigger Faster.

Let say you invest $10,000,- to open a small business and you have only $20,000,- total in all your bank accounts, with net income potential of $500,- a month. Less than 2 years to break even. You have calculated everything you can think of, the risks and benefits.

1 year later you have received around $5,000,- of net income. $1,000,- less than planned but it’s still good, thinking you are half way to break even. Now, assume you have run this business by yourself. You understand it from a to z. You have experienced the risks and benefits and now you are thinking of opening a branch, but you have no enough money to invest for the second business. What will you do?

I don’t gamble on 50 50 chances. Opening a business is gambling. Everything is gambling in life, even when you eat in a restaurant. How do you know the food is clean or not poisoned? But we can gamble it smarter by raising the winning chance, as long as it is not a Russians roulette. Assume you manage your business well, experience many risks and benefits, have a clear and achievable goal, and you have a set of step-by-step plans to reach the goal, you have high probability in winning on the second branch. Not on the third one.

Business is like juggling. The more you manage, the more challenging it is, especially if you do it alone. Even if you have a manager, means you need to have a skill to manage a manager or managers.

For me, if you have calculated everything you know and be sure that you have 60% or above chance of winning, gamble it using a loan. 1 business means, average income of $500,- a month. 2 business means, targeted average income of $900,- a month minus interest. Let the 40% chance of losing be your optimism to learn how to overcome the problems to make you stronger. Opening a third one? Experience managing 2 businesses first, create system so it can require only 10% of your time and effort. Plan the third one by setting the goal and prepare a set of plans to achieve it. Then you can open the third one if you have the money to invest or enough assets to get more loan.


In my opinion, from my own observation around my circle, this mindset is the safest way to increase assets from generation to generation. It is hard to increase your asset significantly in a short period of time. However, this way can stably increase our quality of life. There are other riskier way to earn faster, to increase your asset faster. But again, calculate how much benefit you can get over the risk. Gamble it as long as more benefit over the risk and as long as it is not a Russians roulette.

There is one huge reason why I am leaving you both this expense money management mindset. In my mind, without this mindset, no matter how much money you have or how much money your mother and I leave to you, I am afraid it will be decreasing through generations. With this mindset, understand it and take actions on it, I am sure that you will not only survive, you can have your assets increases through generations. So, please remember to pass this note to your children and tell them to pass it to their children and so on. I advise both of you to take action seriously on it if you think that you don’t have better mindset to get your asset increases. Remember: the point is to have your asset increases through generations. Not decreasing. More assets, also means higher quality of life, since we have more to use if we use only around 50% max of our monthly income. If let say you have another way of managing your money and other assets to increase in value faster, do it. My way may be obsolete by then. But if you don’t have a better way, or you even don’t have any idea how to manage your money or assets, I strongly advise you both to take action the way I have written to you seriously

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