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Insights: The Chicken Rice Index

Using chicken rice to benchmark the value of money.

This article was contributed to us by Chua Ee Chien, and was first published on his LinkedIn. 

In this week’s edition of our newsletter, we’re spicing things up with a unique approach to managing and measuring personal finances using a staple that’s close to our hearts (and stomachs) in Singapore—Chicken Rice. Let’s explore how this local favorite can serve as a yardstick for our spending habits, and how applying this method can offer insights into smarter financial management.

The Chicken Rice Index: Understanding Your Spending

Imagine using the cost of a plate of Chicken Rice as a baseline to gauge your expenditures. For example, if a plate costs $5, and you’re eyeing a $100 item, that’s the equivalent of 20 plates of Chicken Rice. This tangible comparison can make abstract spending figures more relatable and encourage thoughtful purchases.

Application in Daily Finance:

  1. Measuring Expenditure: Next time you contemplate a purchase, calculate how many Chicken Rice plates it equals. This perspective can help assess the true value and necessity of the item.
  2. Budgeting: Use the Chicken Rice Index to set monthly spending limits. Determine how many ‘plates’ you’re willing to ‘consume’ in different categories, like dining, entertainment, and essentials.
  3. Savings Goals: Set savings targets in Chicken Rice units. For instance, saving for a vacation might be 1,000 plates away, translating your goal into something visually quantifiable.

Alternative Culinary Yardsticks:

While Chicken Rice offers a delicious benchmark, diversity in measurement can cater to varied tastes and preferences. Another popular dish that could serve this purpose is Laksa. If Laksa costs $7 a bowl, it might represent a higher spending threshold for more significant purchases or savings goals.

Time and Money: The Temporal Value of Spending

Consider the time it takes to earn the cost of a plate of Chicken Rice. If you earn $20 an hour, a plate costing $5 represents 15 minutes of your work life. This temporal association with money spent can foster a deeper appreciation for the value of both time and money.

Portioning Your Financial ‘Meals’ Correctly

Just as you wouldn’t overeat in one meal, the same principle applies to spending. Allocate your ‘Chicken Rice plates’ across different needs and wants, ensuring a balanced ‘diet’ that covers essentials, savings, and indulgences without overindulging in any category.

Read Also: Beginners’ Guide To Fixed Deposits In Singapore

Expanding Your Financial Palate

As we become more adept at using the Chicken Rice Index, it’s essential to diversify our financial ‘diet’ to include a variety of ‘dishes’ or investment vehicles. Just as a balanced diet includes fruits, vegetables, proteins, and grains, a well-rounded financial portfolio contains stocks, bonds, savings, and perhaps even real estate. This diversification can help protect against market volatility and ensure steady growth over time.

Mindful Consumption: Beyond the Plate

The Chicken Rice Index isn’t just about spending; it’s also about consuming mindfully in all areas of life. This approach encourages us to think about our environmental footprint, the sustainability of our purchases, and the impact of our consumption patterns on society. By being more conscious of the ‘ingredients’ that go into our lifestyle, we can make choices that are not only financially sound but also ethically and environmentally responsible.

In Conclusion

Using familiar and tangible items like Chicken Rice as a measure can demystify financial management, making it more accessible and relatable. It encourages a mindful approach to spending, saving, and enjoying the fruits of our labor without compromising financial health.

We hope this savoury method adds flavour to your financial planning and helps you navigate your fiscal journey with a new perspective. As always, we’re here to support your financial wellness journey, one plate of Chicken Rice at a time.

Read Also: Insights: The Danger Of Being Born With A Silver Spoon

Chua Ee Chien is currently APAC Director, Business Development at GTN, leading sales to Fintechs in the greater APAC region. He also owns and runs three restaurant bar concepts under Whimsical Inc. The three concepts are Jekyll & Hyde, graft, and Operation Dagger.