Here’s an inspiring way to spend money

Weddings in Singapore can be expensive affairs. Wedding gowns, wedding photoshoots, dinner, whatever. The cost adds up very quickly. A story in Straits Times last year highlighted the plight of a couple who spent $110,000 on their wedding. And according to the article, slightly more than a year after their wedding, they were still struggling to repay all the debt they racked up because of the wedding costs.

All that just for that one “special” day. As a result of that one vainglorious moment, the couple ended up having more fights after their wedding than in the six years they were dating. Does a couple really need that? A lavish wedding?

But weddings aren’t the only thing people splash money on to make themselves or their loved ones feel special. Apparently, for some rich kids in Singapore, the way their parents show love to them is to shower them with expensive gifts like supercars (yes, you read that right) and branded bags and watches.

What a sad world it is, if love is measured by how much it costs to get something for someone.

But money is important. Money can be a force for good. And that is exactly what a couple in Canada showed us how to spend money in the most inspirational of ways. Toronto couple Samantha Jackson and Farzin Yousefian had planned for their wedding in March 2016. They had already chosen the venue, the caterer and almost everything else.

Then in September, Jackson and Yousefian came across the devastating photo of Alan Kurdi – the 3-year-old Syrian boy who drowned when he and his family attempted to make the trip from Turkey to the Greek island of Kos. This made the couple decide to  cancel their wedding and use the money they would have spent to help victims of the Syrian refugee crisis.

So instead of the lavish event they had originally planned, they had a low-key event and told their guests to donate money to Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge — an organization that helps community members become private refugee sponsors — in lieu of gifts. The couple has since raised $17,500 out of their target of $27,000.

Now that’s a wonderful way to celebrate their holy matrimony – by blessing others. I hope this couple stays together till death does them part. They certainly deserve it.


Image from Photo by Samantha Jackson

This couple aren’t the only people who thought of using money, originally saved for lavish events for themselves, to help the less fortunate.

Earlier this year, there was a story of a high school student who spent the money she had been saving up for her prom on helping homeless people. Ashley Yong spent $214 of the $250 that she saved for the dance on items like socks, toothbrushes and food and packed them into 20 boxes. Then, she personally delivered to the homeless people in her community.


Photo from

I think spending money to bless others who are far less fortunate is a much better way of spending money than getting luxurious gifts or planning lavish events for people who won’t be much worse off without those gifts or events. I hope that there can be more Ashley’s, Samantha’s and Farzin’s in this world.


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