Recently a friend was discussing his day to day expenses…and some of the questions were (he was comparing his expenses to his brother’s) and the questions were:

How is your electricity bill half of mine?

Your total expenses on entertainment is almost 40% of mine!

Why is your grocery bill less than mine even though you have 2 children, and I have one?

Why have you not taken a foreign vacation at all?

Why are you still using your HONDA CITY which is 5 years old? Why are you not upgrading?

I do not like to compare, and would never have allowed 2 people to see each others numbers and comment. However these were brothers who came together without their spouses, and did not mind sharing their numbers. To me these questions were very funny…because some of the questions were answering some other questions!!

One brother was very involved in the family budget and knew what was happening. The other brother was surprised at his expenses – and he was not sure about its accuracy. However when I reconciled his life earnings, and his current networth, his expenses looked correct.

One brother had created a superb second line of income – one brother was 49 and the other was 55. The older brother was far away from financial freedom, the younger brother was contemplating ‘freedom at fifty’ – and looked ready.

Words like frugal, financial freedom, wealth, sharing, being generous, learning new things, travel experiences, assets for usage, assets for show, ….are all alien words for MANY people.

The way towards riches, financial freedom, etc. is far more strategic. The tactics required to reach there are not so difficult, once the mind REALISES the  pleasures of the destination. However the road is not so difficult that ordinary people cannot do it.

It is akin to going on a diet. The pleasures of dieting are many. However to the outsider it looks like you are ‘sacrificing’ current pleasure.

Sorry for the eating example. Today (The date of writing is very different from the date of your reading) is Ekadesi and I am eating only fruits….so the virtues of being on a diet are haunting me ­čÖé

Read this – the virtues of frugality



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  1. :))
    Since the blog won’t let me post only a smile, this tale– was speaking to a friend (one of my classmates from ages ago) and she told me her electricity bill. After which I just shut up.

    Isn’t it strange how many life choices you can predict just by looking at such a number>

  2. i meet people who crib about a Rs. 700 elec monthly bill and people who say…our bill is normally in the region of Rs. 7000 pm.

    As a CA when I used to attend IT hearings, I have seen people say our family expenses are Rs. 15000 per month. However these people would have all kind of gadgets at home, and run up elec bills of Rs. 2000 (talking 1985-6). I once told a CIT assuming that a person spends 2% of expenses on elec, his monthly expenses have to be about Rs. 100,000 pm!! We had a laugh. Elec exp is a great way to guess lifestyle. It was in 1950 it is now.

  3. Subra sir,

    I have been reading your posts for almost yrs now. Your humor stands out, hope i was like you….anyways thanks a lot for your posts….learning many things the RIGHT way. I am 28 now, strted my financial marathon yrs back…i feel so lucky to have found you online….thanks once again….

  4. Many of the peoples life get ruined by only of comparing.It should be stopped and we need to go and accept practical and give full focus and confident with efforts without seeing time to achieve the goal without comparing others. But “Money makes many things” in this world. So people travelling in the thought of money so comparison also comes into their blood unknowingly to them.

  5. Subra ,

    Looking at the numbers that you quote ,it seems that lot of your posts are only about rich people . Can you quote middle class examples pls ?

  6. It is not electricity that is bothering the pensioners. The bills of purchased medicines,the x-rays, endoscopy and specializing hospitals on heart, cancer and disabling diseases are making the lives of pensioners intolerable. Unfortunately the pensioners also wnt to live and have a love of life. Could you impress Govt to make the treatment of free of charge

  7. I am not sorry because you are going to die but i am deeply hurt by the process of your death. I do not grieve your death. Everyone is destined to die. But i cnnot consle myself because I had no money to treat you

  8. may i suggest the following two blogs ? (a TIME magazine top blog) (another by the same author)

    they are about minimalism and living a mindful life.

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