Reflections On Optimisation And Benchmarking

On Optimisation

“Huh? I have to eat Cai Peng everytime because it’s the most value-for money? What’s the point of retiring early then?”

“What?! Manage 10 bank accounts? You should spend your time on activities that can potentially generate more income for you.”

If optimising something becomes too tiring or too ridiculous, it’s probably time to take a step back. Optimising can be an addiction too.

But how to define “too tiring or too ridiculous”? Well, it really depends on the capacity and situation of that individual. What I find reasonable might just be too tiring for you.

On Benchmarking

“Wow. They are earning almost $15,000 a month yet can only save 40% of their income. If I were them, I could retire in <10 years. They are way too frivolous.”

“Huh?! Cannot splurge at hawker centres and must learn to make $1 meals at home? I rather work 10 more years than retire early. This is too extreme.”

Image result for goldilocks not too hot not too cold

Everyone always feels that they are at the optimal level already. Someone who “makes more effort” is often labelled as too extreme while someone doing less is simply “not trying hard enough”.

Well, whatever floats your boat. For me, instead of ruminating on the above, I think about what I can potentially learn from these two different people and prefer to see them as part of the same community with similar mindsets.

Afterall, the differences is probably minor in the grand scheme of things.

“Those financial bloggers are CRAZY!”

This is my first attempt at “a SMOL and CW8888 type” short post. And this reflection came from some of my thoughts after reading the recent few posts by Finance Smiths and ERSG.


Be Sociable, Share!

    10 thoughts on “Reflections On Optimisation And Benchmarking

      1. Sinkie

        In recent years I noticed more families tapao dishes from cai peng stalls to bring home. Coz most are working couples living separately from parents & don’t cook! At most cook rice, which maybe takes 15-20min using automated rice cooker, while they wash up.

        Even during weekends, I see quite a number of families with kids will be having cai peng dishes in coffeeshops. Even if got retired grandparents staying with them! The old folks & younger kids will be having porridge, while the adults have rice. LOL!

        I guess ordering separate dishes from cai peng still cheaper & feels like a “proper” shared family meal!

        1. ERSG

          Hey Sinkie,
          Can share what rice cooker you use? LOL
          Serious question. Not trying to be funny.
          Mine takes like 30-40 mins for 1 cup of rice.
          I set it to on before we bathe, after both of us bathe, still another 20 mins more.
          So I’m a bit scratching head.

    1. Sillyinvestor


      Ya, we are all comfort creatures with our own threshold. If we can improve the threshold, we are a winner regardless of the figure.

      I have not been able to improve my threshold, I confess

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi SI,

        I knew I would get a comment like this. Something along the line of “if you are not growing…”

        While that is true, there is always a limit to growth in one aspect of life. Cannot keep reducing and saving until no tomorrow.

        There will come a time for everyone when we all reach our “threshold”.

          1. My 15 HWW Post author

            No la, you reach the threshold when you realise it’s too painful to tighten the belt further!

        1. ERSG

          Hi 15HWW,
          Tks for the backlink.

          Hmm. But I do think that I’m split between the thought
          “Cannot keep reducing and saving until no tomorrow.”

          Cos on one hand I agree that there’s no end to it. Else no meaning to life.
          On the other hand, where’s the lowest denominator.
          It’s quite easy to “give up” and say that’s the threshold.
          If I live a non frugal life, I may think that is already the threshold. And not strive to move to a frugal life.
          And if I’m already frugal, it may end up being an obsession and penny pinching.

          And yet, no right or wrong answer. It’s pretty much like what you drew. It’s just a position on the graph.

          1. My 15 HWW Post author

            Hi ERSG,

            I think for people like us, the optimal point is probably when our loved ones raise their arms in protest if we are to tighten our belts further.

            If the belt is loose, I am quite sure we will slowly tighten it. We probably need to guard against the opposite. When the pain outweighs the gains from optimisation, it’s probably no longer worth it.