SINGAPORE: A man sparked an online discussion on r/askSingapore by asking, “What is your thought process when you spend money on expensive hobbies?”

In his post, he emphasized that he was not referring to splurging on designer goods such as watches or bags but rather pastimes such as collecting trading cards, purchasing figurines, or spending on mobile game credits—activities that can amount to approximately S$500 monthly and are often seen as “childish and wasteful” by the older generation and women.

“Especially in Singapore when most of us are either staying with parents or spouse. How to handle them when they deem your hobbies/collections as waste money?” he asked.

“So far, I’ve heard female friends complaining their boyfriend/husband meaningless spending on toys and games.”

“Thought process: I like it, it makes me happy, can I afford it? Yes? I buy it”

In the comments section, numerous Singaporean Redditors disagreed with the notion that hobbies are “a waste of money.” 

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They pointed out that because hobbies bring so much joy, they are worthwhile investments that provide a significant return on emotional satisfaction and well-being.

One individual said, “Thought process: I like it, it makes me happy, can I afford it? Yes? I buy it. Tho, my take is, if I’m living in the house my parents paid for, rent free, I live by their rules (begrudgingly or not).

If I’m living with my spouse, my spouse should have gone into the marriage eyes wide open. Why complain about it now?”

Another individual also argued that life is already challenging, and if someone can afford to spend a bit of money to relive moments of joy from their childhood or simpler times, others shouldn’t judge them for it. 

He asserted that enjoying and spending money on hobbies isn’t inherently childish.

He added, “It’s a very Singaporean thing to think about savings, and everything you do has to have some kind of net profit or advantage in life.

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Even taking a break to have a breather is considered waste of time. A Singaporean must be very efficient in everything. But really, there’s a lot more to life than that, and It’s okay to be less than perfect in your own ways.”

A third Redditor commented, “Too many people in Singapore fixate on income but never stop to consider what for. Sure, there’s the necessities, food, housing, retirement—but that can’t be all there is to living. That’s what hobbies are here for.”

Others, meanwhile, explained why they chose expensive hobbies. 

One individual, who had amassed a significant collection of designer toys, shared that these items brought him a sense of pride.

Reflecting on a psychological level, he noted that these toys represented something he could only admire from afar and long for during his childhood.

Owning them now symbolizes his progress, signaling that the days of being a child who could only gaze at toy store displays are behind him.

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Additionally, he mentioned how his collection of designer toys has proven to be a wise investment. Over time, the value of his toys has increased significantly, with some items growing three times in value.

Surprisingly, even his less popular pieces have seen an annual growth rate of 5-8%. 

He said, “The rate of return is better than my portfolio. Appreciating the fact that this is really how the rich get richer. They accumulate assets or items that have grown in value, making money work for them instead of the other way around.”

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