Lim: Can you afford it?

Melanie Lim.
Melanie Lim.File photo

It boggles my mind how anyone can spend millions on a handbag. Is this statement coming from a place of envy? Probably, partly. After all, we’ve been brainwashed by social media to desire stuff we never even knew existed.

Social media, by far, is the most incredible marketing tool ever invented.

This is why we now aspire for the moon and the stars because there is no master class yet on how to achieve satiety. But social media is not just selling us the myth that we need to buy things we don’t need. It’s also convincing us and quite successfully, too, to buy things we can’t afford.

You shouldn’t have to go into debt, work illegally or sell your soul to acquire the money to buy the thing that you desire. If you need to do any or all of the above, this means you can’t afford to buy this much-coveted thing that is completely unnecessary for your daily survival.

But what if you can afford it? What if you can buy everything you want? Should you buy all that you desire?

I believe that just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Just because you can buy a boat, a plane or a vacation home doesn’t mean you should. But I must confess that I wasn’t always this fiscally mature. Because, well, I wasn’t always this old.

Once upon a time, I was young and pampered. Don’t get me wrong. I still live a good life. I still spend money. But I now try to make wiser choices. Between a designer bag and an airline ticket—it is no quandary for me.

But what if you have the money to buy both? Then, buy both. But learn restraint.

Know when to stop. Know how to say, enough. Aspire and work to arrive at a place in your life when you can admire something and not feel the need to own it.

Practice at the museum. Appreciate the art. Then, go home without it. It’s easier there than at the mall.

When you turn 50 and feel you have earned the privilege to splurge on yourself a bit, maybe, you can give yourself a break. But 30 or 35 is too early. As my father always says, you could live to be 100. I only need to look at him to remind myself that it pays to be wise in money matters.

The Rural Bank of Rizal, which started operations 47 years ago, has opened its second branch in Cebu and its 15th in the country, at MCP Building, Natalio Bacalso Avenue, Barangay Linao, Talisay City.

The bank aims to serve public utility drivers, farmers, fisherfolk, teachers, local government employees—sectors overlooked by major commercial banks. While providing opportunities for micro and small businesses to secure loans, the bank remains a convenient platform in the local community for savings and investments.

Enjoy life. But don’t buy everything you want—even if you have the money to do it. You can’t predict the future. Even water runs out. Trust God. But please bank. Save for old age, illness, black swans. You could live to be 100.

Can you afford it?


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