Friday, September 26, 2014

Your Perspective of Luxury and an Experience

Before I go on to my next post on how an average family can retire within 10 years of working, I thought it would be good to have a small discussion on luxury. I hope my previous post on saving 75% of your income to retire in 7 years inspired some of you to save up more. But of course if we consume too much luxury, then it is very hard for us to retire. How should we approach luxury in this case?

Almost all of us like luxury. It seems like a human weakness to be attracted to the luxuries of life. That's probably why they are still around even though they are priced at an exorbitant price. A normal meal cost $4 to most people but another meal can cost more than $100 for another person. Similarly for a hotel, a normal room can be priced at below $100 for a night while a suite may cost as high as $1000 a night.

Luxuries are mostly associated with rich people. Rich people are known to live in luxurious double story pent houses, drive luxurious cars such as Porsche and Ferrari and also take business class flights and stay in luxurious hotels when they travel. Average middle class people yearn for that lifestyle and dream that one day they will be in that position. Sometimes, imagining themselves to be in that position makes them feel good. But little did they know that luxuries can be an addiction that destroys their life.

Luxuries can be enjoyed. They are meant to be enjoyed by us. They were created specially to cater to the best of human enjoyment. It is no doubt that indulging in luxurious stuff makes one feel happy. You feel like a king, a VIP as what we call it. However, it is our perspective on luxuries that make a difference between luxuries being good or bad for you.

I did have a taste of being a VIP and an experience of indulging in luxury just last Friday during the Singapore F1 race event. Maybe some of you were there too? A normal walkabout ticket with no seat would cost maybe $30-$50 while a ticket with a seat would cost more than $100 depending on which zone of the track you pay for. I had the privilege to get a hospitality suite ticket which probably cost more than a thousand dollars. I had this similar privilege 3 years ago. This package includes access to the air conditioned suite area which had a good view of the race track, an international five star dinner, an extensive wine selection and of course very good service from the service staffs. The food was good, the service was exceptional and the design of the suite plus watching the F1 race in the comfort of an air conditioned suite is certainly a taste of luxury. There is also a sky terrace where they furnish with sky bars, sofas and even more selection of exquisite food choices.

This was the view of the race track from the suite:

Apart from the five star dinner in the suite, they also had some other exquisite dishes at the sky terrace. Some of these looks foreign to me but I ate it anyway. 

This is how the sky terrace looks like. Totally relaxing sitting on one of the sofas with people serving you drinks as you watch the race from the top.  

I even had a ticket to go to the Singapore flyer where I was given VIP access straight to the flyer cabin without having to queue up on the normal queue. One of the stunning views I took of the Singapore skyline at night. 

So that was my luxury experience. It does feel good to be treated like a VIP. But to me, all these are good to have but not a must. If I've designed my life to make all these a must have, then my life would have been screwed. I know fully well that if I based my happiness only on consuming luxurious goods, then there will be lots of problems.

You see, luxuries can be a drug. It is addictive but there will be problems when over consumed. Remember the first time when you took a sip of good coffee? What was the feeling like? You do feel a boost and feel more awake as what coffee will make out of us. But those who drink too much coffee will always say that coffee doesn't have an effect on them any more. They are numbed to the effect of it. Similarly, if luxuries are consumed on a daily basis, it loses its effect which is suppose to make us feel good.

When luxuries loses its effect, you'll never be satisfied or happy no matter how much you have. It then becomes an addiction to seek even more luxuries where people are willing to borrow money to indulge in it. Over borrowing for a car or a condominium more than what you can afford are signs of over dependence on luxuries to make you feel happy. Some even borrow to travel luxuriously, borrow to buy branded goods. The list goes on.

Even though this was the second time I've been to a hospitality suite, it still feels good as its only once in awhile. Approach luxury with the right perspective to enjoy it fully. It is tough to abstain from it totally so go ahead and indulge in it once in awhile but take caution that over indulging will cause it to lose its effects totally as what some fellow rich people do.

Luxuries are best experienced as a boost and contrast instead of it being part of your daily life.

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Related Posts:
1. Getting Rich And Spending Money Without Looking At Price Tags
2. 35 and totally broke or $100K savings by age 30?


  1. Hi SGYI

    Nice photos from your suites there!!!

    I agree that luxury is a drug that is addictive, similar to what frugal lifestyle brings to us. The longer one is enrolled in a luxury lifestyle, the harder for the person to get out of them.

    1. Hi B,

      It was a nice experience. When luxury becomes part of our daily lives, it loses its effect and yes its very hard to get out of it.