Money, Money, Money

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How Bali Brings Teaches Money Awareness 

I was born and raised in Singapore, where I lived for 15 years before coming to Bali. Singapore, like most developed places, is full of business, industry, constant development, food and clothing chains, etc. Throughout the time I lived there I found myself indulging in these industries, but never thinking about where my money was going, or who it would ultimately benefit. Singapore was a sinkhole for money, you couldn’t go out and do anything without spending some amount of money; it was a trap.  Since I’ve moved, Singapore has been labeled as the most expensive city in the world! It wasn’t until after I moved that I realized how oblivious I was to how and what I was spending money on. Things I didn’t even need!

Living in Bali has completely changed my whole outlook on spending, and I have become so much more conscious and aware of how I am spending money, what I am spending it on, and where it is going to. I am living off a third of what I was living off of in Singapore, and getting by just as well here! Because Bali is still developing, it is easier to spend less money, as there are cheap alternatives to everything.

In Singapore I would spend about $15-20 on a taxi from town to my house.
In Bali, for the same distance home, I spend maximum 30.000rp ($3).
The Taxi fee for simply entering a taxi in Singapore is $3- The cost of an entire ride home in Bali.

In Singapore I would spend about $30 on food and drink for a week at school.
In Bali I spend about 150.000 ($15).

In Singapore a normal priced meal would cost $15-20.
In Bali, one can get a nice meal for about 15.000rp ($1.50).

A ticket to a Goldclass movie in Singapore would cost $50.
In Bali, a ticket to Goldclass costs 150.000rp ($15)

Another factor to being money conscious in Bali surrounds the business’s themselves. Unlike Singapore and other developed countries, most of the businesses run in Bali are selling products made by their owners. The money therefore goes straight to the person you are buying from. The awareness of this reality brings about a greater appreciation of the product and the distribution of money.

When looking through a store in Singapore, I don’t feel bad telling the staff that I do not want a certain item of clothing or jewelry, because they are earning money no matter what I like or dislike. However in Bali, the shop owner depends on what you like or dislike in order to make a living.  I therefore hate saying no thank you, or no, that’s not what I’m looking for sorry, as it goes right to the source of the product.

This developed awareness of money has really affected how I go about life; I now always choose the cheapest route, and not always the easiest one. Living in Asia makes it hard to earn money, and therefore saving and being aware of money is the second best thing to do.

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About Author

My name is Becca Stine, I am 17 years old from the USA. I was born in Singapore, and have lived in Asia ever since; and at the Green school since tenth grade.

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