Chewing gum – 70 sen, T-shirt – RM20, McDonalds – RM40 …

The title for today’s post maybe a bit queer, but please bear with me. The other day I wrote about this amazing 68-year old lady. On Friday, I attended a meeting in Putrajaya. It was one of those meetings that you reluctantly attend because you have to replace somebody else who was unable to attend the meeting. You were given half an hour to digest all the relevant facts and you attend the meeting with uneasy feeling that somehow somebody would ask a question that you absolutely have no idea how to answer apart from the politically correct one that goes something like “I do not have the facts right now but I’ll check and provide the proper explanation”. You got away with that kind of answer most of the times but they are days that the chairman would chide you for not being well prepared. As I always said, you simply have to grin and bear it.

As I was saying, the chairman on the Friday’s meeting is another extraordinary man. He is extremely meticulous and he professed what he called “one by one managemet”. To prove his point, he brought along five half an inch thick ledger books that contained his family expenditure for the last five years. He even had an entry that says ” Chewing gum” , “0.70 sen”. He said, he has been doing this micro accounting for his income and expenditure since he started working. Maybe he had a special room to house all the books that had accumulated all these years. If only the surat khabar lama man knows about it!

Often a time we lamented that we do not know where our money went. My friend the other day, whined about not knowing how come the two hundred ringgit she just withdrew that morning suddenly morphed into twenty two ringgit and thirty five sens. I told her, I am suffering from the same ailment. According to this amazing man, you must account for every single sen that you spend. Every night, before he goes to bed, he would bring out all the receipts of his spending for the day. Meals, tolls, parking, newspapers, petrol, chewing gums, donations, etc and writes in the debit column in red. All credits would be in blue and the balance is reflected at the bottom of each day’s record. He said, his family members would easily know whether they can ask him for a meal out or not by checking on the balance. After all these years, he further added, it has become a routine. How I wish I have that kind of discipline, then I would not be in this kind of financial quagmire that I am currently in. In fact from the Islamic stand point, it is a very responsible thing to do because, in the hereafter you would have to account to Allah every single sen that you spend.

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