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14 Jun 2024



Infographic on ways that slow living can shape our finances

Life can move fast, making you feel like you're missing out on the small and beautiful things. Amid the hustle and bustle, sometimes the best thing you can do is embrace a little slow living.


Slow living refers to a pace of life that is consciously slowed down to make space for appreciation of the everyday. 


Stop and smell the roses, if you will. But contrary to how it may sound, this isn’t solely for the present. Slow living can positively impact areas such as mental wellness and spending habits, which can have benefits in the long run, leading to a more sustainable lifestyle!

Infographic on ways that slow living can shape our finances

1. Being more intentional with purchases


The first step to slow living is to be more careful with your purchases. This might seem obvious, but is harder to put into practice than it looks! Before you make a purchase, it’s important to stop and ask yourself: are you buying this because you want it, or because you need it?


That distinction often sets apart a necessity from something you want at the spur of the moment. Skipping on something you don’t need not only saves you money, but also saves you from adding more clutter to your home, and the trouble of having to get rid of it later! 

Some things to consider are:

  • Do you really need this item right now?

  • Do you own an alternative to it?

  • How long will this purchase last you?

  • Are there cheaper alternatives available?

It is worth the effort to carefully consider your options. Over time, this habit leads to more savings, which will only grow bigger over time from compound interest


Of course, it can be difficult to visualise without concrete examples, which is why you can also take reference from the perspectives of four Singaporeans on how they planned for retirement. Their own experiences and anecdotes may inspire you to follow in their footsteps!


2.  Finding more meaning in slower-paced hobbies


In today's fast-paced world, the desire for instant gratification is widespread. From video content to streaming services, there’s the desire, or even expectation, to want satisfaction immediately. This is in part influenced by the faster pace of life now, which can be detrimental as it can potentially make you impatient.


Life is a marathon, not a sprint. What matters is pacing yourself comfortably, so you don’t burn yourself out. One way to help yourself relax your pace is to find hobbies that are slower, and don’t necessarily provide that dopamine hit that comes from instant gratification.


Unlike eating a fancy meal or buying something expensive as a treat to yourself, these slower hobbies take time to be fully appreciated. Some examples can include knitting, gardening, or reading a book. Some even allow you to create short-term and long-term goals for yourself.


Goals such as reading one book a month or jogging a kilometre a day can eventually build up to larger achievements, and these can give you a sense of accomplishment and something to strive towards. They also improve your skillset or physical health, on top of helping you maintain your mental wellness!

3.  Small regular efforts can amount to something larger over the long run


As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Large accomplishments do not happen overnight, and must in fact be built upon steadily. 


For instance, small but regular CPF top-ups may not seem like much at a glance, but being able to leverage CPF’s steady interest rates over a long period of time allows those top-ups to grow and build up your savings, helping you get closer to your desired retirement lifestyle.


If you need some help on where to start, here are some handy CPF resources for retirement planning you can consider.


At the end of the day, living in the present can also go hand in hand with preparing for retirement. Only by taking care of yourself in the present can you better prepare for the future ahead. By practicing slow living today, you can pave the path to a more relaxing retirement lifestyle when you finally retire! If you require more concrete ideas on how to plan ahead, you can also check out these five steps to make your goals work for your best life, to start your first step towards your desired future.