Monday, May 24, 2010

Show Me The Money!

Money, money, money
Must be funny
In a rich man's world!

Does this song sound familiar?

We live in a world where money almost always determines one's sovereignty in the society. In countries more corrupted than ours, the rich can even use their wealth to determine if someone lives or dies. Of course, these things are happening in Malaysia too, but that's not my story to cover ;)

What is this money thing that is keeping everybody on their toes? Aren't they merely pieces of paper we get from chopping down trees? Aren't they merely digits in a bank? As insignificant as I may have made them sound, these 'digits' and 'pieces of paper' can actually determine how extravagantly people live. Or how 'unextravagantly'. But I prefer to see the glass half full.

How important is money to you? Tell us what do you think about money.

Money, undoubtedly, is very important to me. In fact, I believe it is to everyone else too. True, money cannot buy happiness. But it sure can buy me things that will subsequently give me happiness! Sure, sure. You may say that certain things cannot be bought, but I'm not going to desire things that I know is unachievable and that will only cause me to wallow in misery.

Money is the main determining factor of how the world grooves today. It plays a significant role in everybody's lives. Except maybe not for the indigeneous people. Heck, we even spend money autonomously by not doing anything. Electricity bills, Astro bills, etc. They're not free; we just don't have to pay for them yet.

From a wider point of view, money also determines how strong a nation is. The richest nations tend to have the best defences around. They get the better share of technology and the language they speak will also be of more importance. Not to mention, they also have better educations due to more advanced research and the people there generally live longer. In essence, developed nations are generally, if not compulsorily, rich nations.

Sad as it may seem, our lives inevitably revolve around money. I guess we'll just have to accept the way the world is. I mean, it's not like we can change the way 6.8 billion people live. Well, at least it's better than barter trade!

Where do you get your money? Do you have a part-time job or do you receive an allowance from your parents, or both? Have you done any part time jobs before to earn your allowance?

I get my money by participating in the YouthSays Real Voices project!

On a more serious note, I am sad to say that I am still incapable of supporting myself financially. I mean, I with classes from 9 to 5; from Monday to, sometimes, Sunday. My schedule is so irregular that it is difficult to fit any part time jobs in between.

Okay, I admit. It's because my life was perfect enough for me to not want anything more. That was until I made myself a wishlist, which made me realise the imperfections in my life. I realised that I want need a new gaming laptop, that my bottom teeth need fixing due to my indiscipline in putting on my retainers everyday, that I need a gym membership because I'm getting fat, that I need to get all the awesome gadgets like the Nintendo Wii, the PS3, the PSP, the Nintendo DS, the iPhone, the iPad, etc., that I need a new massage chair because the one at home sucks, that I wanted a faster internet connection (UniFi!!!), that I want to have the most awesome suite life in the UK when I go there for my degree,... I'll stop here. Because I don't want this post to be a million miles long and I don't want to exaggerate the imperfections too much, else I'll be emo.

And no, I'm not going to see the glass half full here. I'm going to see it as half empty, which will be the driving force for me to fill the glass. And then, it wouldn't be half full anymore, WILL IT? :)

If you want to buy something, do you usually save up or will you get it straightaway?

It will depend what is the 'something', wouldn't it? I'm sure if I wanted food, I'll definitely have some because, come on, which kiddo doesn't? But if I wanted something listed in my spontaneously generated wishlist above, then I'd definitely have to earn them myself.

You see, I don't go on an X amount of allowance every week/month. My mum will give me spending money as and when I need it. I will only spend those on food, petrol and sometimes to pay for some photocopied materials in college. And when I run out, I get some again. So technically, I don't get an 'allowance', I just get spending money. I can't bank in a portion of that because I'll feel like I'm siphoning money, haha. I guess this method of allowance can only be used when there is trust between parent and child. I mean, anyone could easily spend that money on a bottle of wine or something. I also kind of like this method because it doesn't disincentivise me from earning my own money, because I know that if I don't work for it, then I won't have any.

That said, I don't 'save up' because I have nothing to save. I will start earning money soon, though, because I'm planning to get a temporary job (in fact I've already applied for an internship!) after my A-level exams so that I can earn some money to live like a queen.

How important to your generation is having a strong work ethic and be hardworking in work?

Have you even seen the rat race? By the way, if you're into betting, bet on me. I'm the fastest rodent around. You'll even get a money back guarantee.

Back to the topic. Strong work ethics are of utmost importance, in my view, more important than knowledge itself. A knowledgeable person may not be hardworking, whereas a less-knowledgeable hardworking person can work hard to achieve that knowledge. Then again, maybe that is why knowledge and hardworking people generally come as a package. I mean, if you claim to be smart, you should be smart enough to know the importance of being hardworking at work.

My mum is an employer herself and she usually complains of staff not being initiative enough and only pretends to work hard when they see her watching.

When the boss is around.

When the boss is away.

Through many years of indirectly observing how a company works and what managers look for, I have learnt that work ethics are definitely very important in today's world if one wants to stay employed. Managers are willing to train hardworking but underskilled workers but skilled and lazy workers are just 'unfixable'. Let's not even start on the underskilled and lazy ones.

What do you think about the current economic climate? Did it affect you, your family and your outlook on the future?

Currently, we all know that the world's economy is on for a bumpy ride. Companies closing down, people going out of jobs and UK ministers leaving notes saying 'there's no money left'. But it's all part of the economic cycle, we suffer recessions and we celebrate economic booms. But the fact that these recessions and booms are getting steeper, I feel that we are in for more than a bumpy ride.

Warning! Economical error detected.

Just about a century ago, many of our ancestors were enjoying serene lives living on subsistence without having to worry much about when the prices of vegetables will go up. Now we have more food than ever before but they are unavailable to some due to lack of circulating money in the economy.

I am going to make a potentially idiotic statement here due to the limitations of my knowledge on the economy, but I think the problem of our economy now arises from overpopulation. I mean, I understand that one person's spending is another person's income. But I feel that the more times this limited amount of money is transferred between people, more will be hogged up as savings (the bank is not going to lend 100% of the money out, they will keep a portion in their reserve). More money will also be kept as precautionary cash-in-hand. So the more populated our world is, the less money people will have on average. This means that there will be a decreasing average wealth with an increasing average price, causing people to be unable to afford many things, which in turn cause companies to close down due to lack of sales.

This is just what I think. It may sound stupid to a professional economist, but to me it sounds quite logical.

On an individual note, I don't think that the economic situation has affected my family much. Or maybe that's because I don't feel it because I'm not the bread winner. But we are not cutting down on our spending or mortgaging anything, so I guess the weather is fine here in my family.

What do you think are the three coolest jobs in the world and why? What are the three jobs least coolest job in the world, and why?

This question, I think, will be the toughest for 'under-undergraduate' youths to answer. I mean, we hardly have any idea what we want to pursue after form 5. If we had known what were the coolest jobs, we'd be off happily studying already, wouldn't we?

To me, the coolest jobs are not 'jobs'. They're hobbies. If we like what we do, then that 'job' is cool.

So here's my list:

The three best jobs in the world

1. Island Caretaker

Your job is basically to swim in one of the clearest waters in the world and spend months in a luxury suite with all expenses paid for. And you get paid on top of that. And I'm talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars. All you need to do is to blog your experience out. Just like what we are doing now. Dang, I feel underpaid now.

Just kidding.

2. Malaysian Astronaut

I mean, you are paid AND you get to go to space at the expense of everybody's taxes! How cool is that? Heck, I'd pay to go to space.

3. Video games tester

Note: For gaming freaks only.

Why is it good?
  1. You don't have to pay an insanely high price for the game (of course, in Malaysia you can get these games for an 'extremely low price', but don't get caught!)
  2. You get paid.
  3. Did I mention that you get paid?

Yep, those pretty much sums up the best jobs in the world. Getting paid for doing something you'd do for free!

And now for the worst jobs...




'nuff said.

Time to study! Less than 24 hours to my exam. Palms getting sweaty, legs getting shaky, heart beating violently... It's gonna be a long, long night.

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