Money matters... but only to a point

Money matters... but only to a point

Few people here talk about the five Cs any more.

Once seen as the Singapore dream, these five rungs on the ladder of wealth were the ultimate goal of many young Singaporeans.

The belief was that if one could accumulate the five Cs - a pile of cash, credit cards, a car, a condo and a club membership - then life would be a fairy tale come true.

Whether or not money can indeed buy a dream life, the cold hard facts have now made this aspiration all but unattainable.

In recent years, even securing a university degree and landing a good job is no guaranteed pathway to getting all the five Cs.

Owning a new car can set you back by $100,000 or more, while even a modest condo unit will cost more than $1 million.

As for credit cards, plenty here enjoying the good life have learnt the hard way that spending must go hand in hand with the ability to repay. Fail to do so, and credit card firms will come after you with gusto - and your credit rating will take a nasty hit.

And nowadays, securing a coveted job is tough going. Last year, an eye-popping 7,000 applications were made for 60 places in two programmes at DBS Bank.

Even cash - perhaps the most achievable of the five Cs - can be quite a tall order for many. I sympathise with the friend quoted in this paper by my colleague Jonathan Kwok. He lamented that he would never get rich based on today's salaries and cost of living.

Many young people see saving $100,000 as nearly impossible, let alone becoming a millionaire - unless they have rich parents.

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