9 Reasons to Be a Frugal Beagle

Here are nine reasons to start living a Frugal Beagle lifestyle today:

1. Increased Cost of Living

Things are getting more expensive, and our income is not increasing at the same rate.

Take a look at a few examples of how the cost of living is increasing in Malaysia:

  • Petrol used to cost RM1.62 per litre. It costs RM1.92 now, and rumours are going around saying that there will be an increase of 70 sen to 1 ringgit after the 2008 General Elections.
  • The price of enriched wheat flour has increased due to a global shortage of supply. As a result, most food stall operators have increased prices by up to 30 sen.
  • TNB has submitted a proposal to increase electricity tariffs.
  • Toll prices have increased, and is due to increase again has increased in 2008.
  • Inflation of the Malaysian Ringgit is getting worse. An obvious indicator is how the sen coin is going to be phased out of production starting from April 2008.

2. Saving Money is Easier Than Making Extra Money

Many people (including myself) are looking for ways to earn extra income. The main objective for making extra money because our income is not sufficient to sustain our lifestyle.

If we think about it, it is actually easier not to spend money than to earn money. Businesses are always thinking of cutting down on costs because they know that it is easier to profit a dollar by saving costs, than to make two dollars in revenue for one dollar profit.

3. Live a Simple Lifestyle

I don’t know if you notice, but our lives get more complicated when we buy more things.

  • There’s more to maintain because each gadget or appliance comes with its own requirements for cleaning, recharging or parts that need to be replaced or refilled.
  • There’s more to keep track of because there’s one more warranty or service schedule to remember.
  • There’s more things that need to be repaired
  • There’s more bills to pay for items that need subscription to services.

4. Avoid Craving for More

It costs a lot to have the latest and the coolest. If we are not careful, we find that we fall into the trap of always wanting something new. There’s always something we want… something we’ve got to have now.

Have we ever found ourselves unsatisfied after purchasing something we want? Sometimes there’s only a temporary satisfaction before we have our eyes on the next latest thing.

5. Staying Out of Debt

Living a frugal lifestyle means we are careful how we spend our money. It means that we think twice before taking any credit from a bank. We avoid living beyond our means.

The end result is we end up being debt-free.

6. Freedom and Peace of Mind

If we recap the previous five points, we find that they lead to us having a sense of freedom. What I mean by freedom is:

  • Freedom from debt, because we won’t overspend our money.
  • Freedom from clutter because we won’t have too many things to take care of.

With freedom, comes peace of mind. Imagine living a life where we do not have to stress about how we are going to repay our credit card debt. Imagine a life where we live focusing on the things that really matter.

7. Eliminating Waste

Have you taken a look at the things you’re throwing away recently? I have noticed that I have thrown a lot of stuff away because:

  • I bought more food than I could eat, and it has gone bad
  • I bought something that I didn’t need
  • I bought something newer

Living the Frugal Beagle lifestyle means that we don’t generate as much waste, and that’s good for the environment and our wallets.

8. Building Wealth

Living frugally means that we are building our wealth, because we control our expenses. We try to maximize the use of the resources we already have.

  • Spending less money than we earn, equals
  • A positive cash flow, equals,
  • Us becoming wealthy, equals
  • Increasing our bank accounts, equals
  • Being rich!

If you don’t believe that being frugal can lead to wealth, go to your favourite search engine and look up frugal billionaires.

9. Satisfaction

There is this strange feeling of satisfaction after doing something for yourself. For example, the food that you cooked yourself always tastes wonderful, and the bookshelf you built yourself always looks better than anything you can find in a store.

I can still remember how wonderful my first home baked loaf of bread tasted, even if it turned out a little salty according to Mrs Beagle.


I hope that the nine reasons I mentioned have helped to convince you to live a frugal lifestyle.

Do you have any suggestions to add? Leave a comment to let me know what you think.

Six Million Dollar Man

I wonder how many of you have actually calculated how much money you need for your retirement.

I did that last night, and after that I couldn’t sleep.

Before I start to tell you about the details, have you ever dreamed what you want to do when you retire? Travel the world? Indulge in hobbies? Buy a boat, a plane, or a small island? Buy a piece of land to grow a durian orchard?

Forget it.

You might want to live out a modest lifestyle. Just eating out occasionally, travelling locally few times a year, petrol money, utilities money, and a subscription to Astro. Have some money kept aside for medical fees and for spoiling your grand kids.

More realistic, but not as easy as you might imagine.

Let’s look at the numbers.

Lets say I allocate RM3000 a month for me and my spouse after I stop working at 60 years old, or RM36000 annually. RM36000 today will not be the same tomorrow due to inflation. Using a handy future value calculator with an estimated inflation rate of 4.5% annually, we see that RM36000 in 30 years will be equal to RM134831.

That’s around RM135000 per year! And this is with an assumption that inflation does not go higher than 4.5%.

Using a most basic and semi-accurate calculation (no inflation and no investment returns)… let’s say I manage to save RM1 million by the time I retire. How long will the money last? 7.4 years.

That means we must leave this world by the time we’re 67, or we will have to start selling off jewelry, house and cars to make ends meet.

The ideal scenario is to have enough money invested, so we are living on the interest and dividends instead of using up our initial capital. Then we don’t have to worry how long we’ll live. We’ll always have money to use and best of all can pass it to our children.

So how much capital will you need to get RM135000 interest or dividends per year?

Using a conservative estimated investment return of 7% per annum, we will get roughly 2.39% returns per annum after adjusting for 4.5% inflation rate. Doing the math, we come up with a huge figure of RM5.6 million.

That’s roughly six million dollars, for a very low profile retirement lifestyle. Didn’t even mention any major medical expenses.

Do you think you can sleep tonight?

(Disclaimer: due to my lack of financial training, my math is probably off. But I’m probably quite close to the mark)

Accumulating RM6 million is really really really difficult.

You would think that you could live a lavish lifestyle of luxury once you became a multi-millionaire. But the fact is, you can only afford a modest lifestyle!

The truly wealthy can afford the luxury because they are assured of getting lots of perpetual income, even if they stop working.

The best I can hope for is to try to make my retirement capital last as long as I can with investment and a tight spending plan.

Of course, I’m probably being overly alarmed about it. Things will probably work out in the end. But I’m not the type of person who will leave things to fate or destiny.

I don’t want to wake up one morning to realize that I’m poor, broke and at the mercy of others. And worse still, I don’t want Poey Chin to go through the situation when I’m no longer by her side.

I don’t want to plan on Rachel or my other kids supporting us. Honestly by the time they start working and have families, I think they will be fighting just to survive on their own. If they are able, then it will be a good bonus. But I feel it’s still my responsibility to plan for my own retirement.

I know I’m thinking about money again. How come Adino is so materialistic and unspiritual? But these are things that fathers have to think about. This is the scary reality that I have to carry on my shoulders.

You may ask me why money is important to me. After all, the best things in life are free. But are they really? Can I really be happy if I don’t have money to give ang pau to my grand kids? Can I die happy knowing that Poey Chin will have to go wash dishes to survive? Will I have a happy family if I place extra financial burden on my children?

I hope people will understand why I’m so reluctant to spend money. I’m not stingy, but I am terrified because I’m in trouble.

My immediate action plan? I can’t say that I will do anything different. I will just go on doing with what I’ve been doing, but now I have a greater target to achieve. I will also start to explore ways to get perpetual income.

Somehow that iPhone 3GS doesn’t seem so attractive any more.

P/S: Read Azizi Ali’s Retire Rich if you want more details on the calculations.