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Editor's Letter

New Year, new beginning

No, this is not another cliched new year resolution I used to make. I’m not going to swear off alcohol and vow to get serious about my fitness.

This year, it’s about a holistic attitude change to a less wasteful, more value-adding living.

I don’t know what exactly sparked this change in attitude but in recent months, I’ve come to actually notice the amount of “wasted resources” pertinent to my lifestyle.

How many dresses have I thrown out that still have the price tags on them? And shoes I’ve only worn once because they are beautiful but not practical? How many times have I thrown out expensive steaks from my fridge? How many plastic packaging do I dump into the ocean after each supermarket run? How many times have I paid for services I don’t really need (Apple Music for example) just because I’m too lazy to cancel the subscription.

I attended a country wedding recently. The mother of the bride was a wedding planner. They hosted the ceremony in their own garden and reception at the town hall. The whole town got involved in making sure every bit of the wedding was done to perfection. The brunch after the wedding was hosted again at their house, with so much beautiful, wholesome food to feed 200 guests.

I asked the bride, “I love this breakfast spread – who did the catering?”

She replied, “Just family. Everyone brought a plate.”

I stood there, lost for words – out of sheer admiration.

There was nothing posh about the wedding – there was no caviar. There was no Dom. But no one could say it’s a shabby wedding – it was everything a great wedding is meant to be.

I left the wedding feeling really inspired.

I have all the resources (material and Human Resources) to turn something ordinary into something extraordinary.

But I always take the easy way out – let’s just buy something new/let’s just get someone else to do it/ let’s pay for the best person to do the job.

I must admit I sometimes feel a bit numb when it comes to spending money. We both work in finance and we deal with big numbers everyday – I think we have a warped sense of money (Not that we actually have that sort of money ourselves!). To such an extent, that kind of mindless/senseless spending doesn’t even bring me much satisfaction anymore.

So I’ve decided to change my “I just can’t be bothered” mindset this year – how about not paying for the best but making the best of what I pay for?

Rather than buying a new dress for an occasion, I’m going to mock up a new look with stuff that’s already in my closet.

Instead of buying ways to spend money on my day off, how about finding ways to create something (baking, painting, writing).

This is not about saving money. This is about adding value. Price is what you pay and value is what you get. I’m not going to scrimp but I want to put a stop to all the wastage.

Oh well, we’ll see how we go! 353 days to go!

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