There’s this article that’s been going viral (no thanks to The Real Singapore) about how a young lady who calls herself the Budget Babe saved $20,000 in a year.

It’s a very good article and I suggest that if you’re a student or someone who’s recently joined the workforce full-time, you should check it out. (link here)

Now, let me first say that $20,000 in a year shouldn’t be such a big deal. According to the Graduate Employment Survey in 2013 (published in March 2014), If you are a fresh graduate from a local university, you should have earned anywhere from $2,638 (NTU Art, Design & Media) to $5,617 (SMU Law (4-years programme) Cum Laude and above). (source)

$20,000 a year or $1,666.67 a month isn’t mathematically impossible.  Also, the numbers above exclude CPF contributions* so that’s not an excuse. Of course, the figures above are for fresh graduates from the local universities and even then, those numbers are averages which means that not every graduate is going to earn that amount. Non-graduates and graduates from foreign or private universities make up a much larger proportion of the labour force.

But if the responses to Budget Babe’s article is anything to go by, some people just cannot fathom the fact that saving $20,000 a year is even possible. She chose a couple of comments from The Real Singapore’s sharing of her article and some of the responses are just unbelievable.

Take this one from one Muhammad Hafiz

Or this one from Chua Tiow Keng

I think if they only read her article, they would have realised that the crux of Budget Babe’s article is that saving $20,000 is possible but it takes some steps (summarised):

1. Open up separate bank accounts

2. Track all my expenses

3. Eat cheap / Avoid cafes

4. Skip the morning coffee

5. Take advantage of credit card promotions

6. Cut down on drinks / nightlife

Now, I don’t necessarily agree with all the six points but my point is the people that say that this can’t be done are so negative that they can’t even see that “yes, it CAN be done because someone HAS done it.”

These guys are not going to even try these steps out and see if it works for them. From the moment they read the article, their minds shut down because they cannot conceive the notion that it IS possible to even save such a sum of money in a year.

Their minds probably go like this:

“Some young girl saved $20,000 in a year??”

“That’s can’t be! That’s impossible! Cost of living is so high in Singapore- food is expensive, drinks are expensive, transportation is expensive plus I need to go on that holiday twice a year, go clubbing and drinking every (other) week . My job’s so stressful that I need to smoke. Oh and also, housing is so expensive that I need to save for that. Plus I’m giving my parents some money each month.”

“Yah lah. So that girl is probably a free rider and doesn’t give her parents anything. Selfish prick of a girl, Only cares for herself. No wonder she can save $20,000.”

“My case is different.”

This, by the way, is what psychologists call “Cognitive Dissonance” where their minds cannot accept the evidence presented so they rationalise their way out of accepting the evidence.

So if that sounds like you. Good luck. Because you probably won’t succeed financially.

*Point 5 of the additional notes in the NUS GES says “Gross monthly salary pertains only to full-time permanently employed graduates. It comprises the basic salary, fixed allowances, over-time pay and commissions. Employer’s CPF contributions, bonuses, stock options, other lump sum payments, and payments-in-kind are excluded.” (source)