Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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For my first few years in elementary school, I didn’t get any pocket money. Instead I’d have a couple of sandwiches and a thermos of water. So I wasn’t used to handling money. One time while waiting for the school bus, I was a bit thirsty but my thermos was already out. For some reason, I decided to borrow five pesos from a classmate to buy a coke from the canteen. This gave me a bit anxiety on the ride home. It meant I had to ask my parents for money so I can pay back the guy! I had never asked for money before. I didn’t mention it when I got home. The next day, the guy asks to be paid back, and I put him off til the next day. This went on for a couple of days until I got the nerve to ask my parents for money and it turned out to be no big deal.

I remembered this today because I was wondering why now as an adult I’m extremely averse to debt. This incident isn’t probably all there is to it, but it was the earliest and only time I can ever remember being in debt. I dislike owing other people, whether it be money or other things. I try avoid borrowing money as much as possible, and even when I end up having to (usually due to something silly like forgetting my wallet or something), I’ll pay it back as soon as possible. I don’t take out loans to make large purchases, I wait until I have enough money available for all of it. I use credit cards, but only for convenience. I pay off each bill in full immediately so I don’t accrue debt and/or interest. If I buy something on installment, in my head and in my accounting that is money already spent in full. To this day, I am primarily a creditor, not a debtor. I am the one other people owe money to.

I understand that debt can be a powerful instrument for things like investments and businesses as such, but I just dislike the idea of it. This might be one of the reasons why I can’t be an entrepreneur - I would be very averse to for example taking out a loan to fund a business. In spite of that, I think it’s a net positive overall. (Although certainly, I can say this because I enjoy a certain level of privilege in life.)

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roytang.net is a personal site; I post about a random assortment of topics that interest me including software development, Magic the Gathering, pop culture, gaming, and tech life. This site is perpetually under renovation.