If you had a crystal ball..
“3, 2, 1, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Should all acquaintance be forgot...” this was most of us at midnight on 31 December 2019, counting down to 2020 and then sharing kisses and hugs with family and friends. Next came wishes and resolutions about improvement, aims and goals for TWENTY TWENTY! A new decade! Whoop Whoop! Little did we know, the man (or woman) upstairs was looking down going, “they have no idea...”. Well, here’s my question, what would you have done differently if you had a crystal ball?
For me, I got married during Covid-19. What would I have changed? Ab-so-lute-ly nothing! Well absolutely nothing about the actual day. The plans though, it would’ve been very different.
We initially wanted a very small wedding (thank you universe), just the 2 of us and our parents. But just like 99.9999% of couples out there, we gave in to the, “but what about Aunty A and Uncle B and Aunty Z and...” and before we knew it, our guest list was upwards of 150 and we were staring down a potential bill of $50,000. But why? Why must it be a grand expression of perceived wealth, Instagram posts/shots, open bars and merry making? Isn’t marriage about 2 people? Well it should be. However, it was going to be about 2 of us and our crushing debt to begin “the most beautiful part of our lives”.
Lots of you have not and may not be fortunate enough to have the law only allow 5 people at your wedding, but you probably know someone who will be getting married in time. Sit down and ask them, “is this what you really want” and “who are you doing this for”? And for all you parents reading this, trust me (and the tears of my father and father-in-law which we saw over Zoom), it’s still a magical day you’ll never forget, ~$50,000 cheaper and endlessly more meaningful.
My Kia Hatchback
2 years on and my trusty steed has always treated me well, and I it/him/her. But early this year I felt it was a time to upgrade. Why? Because I wanted to. Because I work hard and I should enjoy my money. Well, at least that was what I thought.
Fast forward 4 months and I could not be happier that I did not purchase a new car. Firstly, I didn’t need one. It was still just me and the fiancé (now wife), no minion(s). Everything about the car was perfectly fine. And most importantly, my moolah was doing its thing in the bank.
Why do so many of us upgrade our cars? Why do we want that “extra comfort” when in truth, we can’t afford it? And no, taking out a 5 year loan and paying hundreds if not thousands a month is not what you call being able to afford it. If you can’t buy it in cash, you basically can’t afford. Seriously, what is the definition of afford? To have enough money to pay for. It isn’t, to have a good credit score based on your history of spending to be able to afford thousands of dollars worth of stuff you don’t need. Credit available =/= affordability. Interest is a wrecker of dreams and goals. Stop incurring more of it if you don’t have to.
Oh, and when we do have minions, unless its triplets, we’re still good with the Kia Rio.
Hugs and kisses
By choice, my wife and I live in a different country to where our parents do. We get that our parents grew up where they did during a very prosperous time for those countries but for us, we had to look elsewhere. So we moved and we are happy.
My interactions with others have decreased drastically from a few years ago as I slowly learned what was most important. And the one thing that I am so grateful for is to have and hold my wife. Covid-19 has made us realise how something so simple as a hug or a kiss can mean so much. You hear countless stories about families and couples separated, without knowing when they can reunite.
What this should get us all thinking is, what would I have done differently? For me, and thankfully it’s affordable, was maybe a trip or 2 more back to spend time with my folks. Proper quality time. Not that we’ve never done it, but more of, “I could have done a smidge more and used those annual leave days”.
The world is a huge place, made smaller by globalization and technology. We’ve grown so quickly in the past few decades. Not long ago we needed a bag for a camera, notepad, stationery, books, Walkman, calculator, diary and block of chocolate. Now all you need is a pocket, and said chocolate bar is bigger than your phone, with all those items in 1. Along the way we’ve lost sight of what is most important, and that is your loved ones. And no, not your extended family of 246 people with all you second aunts, uncles, first cousins, etc. Your loved ones, whatever that means to you. Everything else is just noise.
The shortcut to happiness? Live for and to build happiness and memories with you and your loved ones, not to impress others around you.
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Author: Akash Devasar & Co. | We speak numbers | https://www.adevasar.com