Confessions of a Cheap Asian

Let's make one thing clear: I like money. Money makes the world go round and gets you things; whether it be good food, better clothes, a plane ticket to Tokyo, a donation to your favourite charity or one of these fantabulous solar-powered window socket thingy-ma-jigs. 

It charges your shit using only the energy from the sun. Whuuuuut. 

In saying that, by virtue of my cheap Asian genes, I sometimes find myself judging the costs of items by a whole different set of standards than other people. 

I guess it's not something you notice as a child or teenager, especially if the community or suburb you've grown up in is very homogenous. But obviously, when you manage to get out of the fishbowl that is high school and start making your way into "the real world", it doesn't take long for you to realise that you and your perspectives were actually in the minority. 

(By the way, if you're wondering what brought this on, I went to the newly renovated Macquarie Shopping Center today and was basically slapped in the face by Captain Capitalism. It was great. Here are some pictures if you want.)

Anyway, as I was saying, it was only at the beginning of last year that I really understood how frugal of a life my family was living. For example: as a child, we rarely ordered drinks at restaurants and in the instances that we did, it was usually shared. I never saw my mum go out and pamper herself (as in get her nails done or hair fancily styled) or my dad splurge on the things that he wanted. My school uniform was second-hand (passed down from older cousins), we stayed in cheap hotels when on vacation (and by vacation I mean overnight stays at beach towns) and I rarely, rarely bought books to read ('cause that's what libraries are for, duh). 

I'm not saying we didn't have the means to splurge a little. Compared to a lot of families of similar history, we were pretty well off, thanks to my dad's stable job as the computer-fixing guy at a technology company. From my parent's perspective, why spend money when there are cheaper ways to accomplish things? 

Okay, it's not that I was totally oblivious to how different we were from "standard" Australian families. I remember going to my friends' parties during primary school and seeing how large their houses were. I was mind blown by the fact that they had their very own bedrooms and this magical thing called Foxtel on their TV's which let them marathon like 30 million episodes of Spongebob Squarepants at once. 

And who can forget those good old excursion days during high school when us CVH kids would rock up to the Opera House in our ill-fitting, ugly blue jumpers whilst students from other schools would be wearing the whole blazer-plus-tie-plus-plaid-skirt ensemble. 

CVH: We Care...but obviously not about your self-esteem.   

Then university happened and if that wasn't enough of a culture shock, I went and undertook a Communications course.

But let's just stop here before I venture into judgemental territory and say something I don't really mean. 

To get back to my original point, even though I've been earning on my own ever since I left high school (and as such, have the means to actually go out and spend money without any sort of reliance on my parents), my perspective on what is "reasonably-priced" is horribly skewed. And even though I know I could treat myself to something from Zara or Topshop once in a while if I saved up, I still can't bring myself to do it. Furthermore, something as simple as ordering drinks at a restaurant can (occasionally) still feel a bit off despite the rational part of my brain knowing it's NO BIG DEAL AND THE WORLD WILL NOT IMPLODE IF I DO IT OMFG CYNTHIA. 

Anyway, hopefully that's given you all a little bit more insight into the unconventional way my mind works about these things. As you can probably tell from my Instagram and the admittedly insane number of food photos I take, it's mostly a mental as opposed to a physical thing. I can spend money, okay? And if you don't stop me, I will do it well. 

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