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Showing posts from 2017

Parking my extra $14,000 cash into CPF for better returns

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Some people see putting money into CPF as a foolish thing to do. They do not believe in the CPF system for it locks their money up unless conditions are satisfied. They may be right, and they may be wrong, for there are no perfect systems.

I am putting my faith in CPF as a way for me to generate higher returns for my retirement. A 4% p.a interest in risk-free environment. Other than CPF, which other systems provide such benefits? I am only in my twenties, and have close to 30 years till 55 before I could start withdrawing my money (assuming this policy does not change). I was apprehensive about this initially - what if I need the money in the future? Once I put my money in, the action is irreversible. It does not have the liquidity like my 1 year FDs, SSBs or my savings account. Maybe I should park my extra cash into more FDs? But the interest rates are not attractive at all.

As I tabulated my finances, I figured that I have at least 1 year worth of my salary for immediate expenses. T…

Extra $160 after a year's wait - SBI 1.6% FD

I blogged about my achievement of having $100k savings before age 28 some time back. One way I could achieve this was to make sure my money grows through FDs. However, in recent months, the interest rates have been dropping. I used to see CIMB offering 1.8% p.a for a $10,000 fresh funds deposit, now it's 1.2% p.a for a 6 months tenure with a minimum $20k deposit.

One year ago, I chanced upon the State Bank of India offering a 1.6% interest p.a on minimum $10k deposit. It was the best deal I've seen then. I was contemplating about putting my money into a foreign bank but went ahead thinking that the Deposit Insurance Scheme would insure me.

Prior to making my deposit, I popped into the bank to enquire on the FD rate, just to be sure it was 1.6%. The bank teller looked at me and asked, "Do you have $10k?", "Are you a Singaporean?".


When I told her I'd be withdrawing my money nearby and am a Singaporean, she gave this insouciant expression and continued to…

4-steps skincare routine at less than $55

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When it comes to skincare products or toiletries, I've a few rules that I follow:
- as best as possible, items should be free from SLS and parabens
- application should be hassle-free
- and most importantly, product must be value for money

With that, I'm going to share with you my budget 4-steps skincare routine which cost you less than $55, bearing in mind some of the products could last over a year!

1. Makeup/Sunblock Remover
>Nutive Organic Virgin Coconut Oil: $18 for 444ml


In recent years, there's been a hype surrounding the many uses of coconut oil. One of which is the use of coconut oil as a makeup remover.

What attracted me to this method were 2 reasons. One, a tub of coconut oil is cheap (I found it on qoo10 which sells a tub of 444ml oil at $18), much cheaper than some commercial makeup remover. Second, it is a natural product compared to the chemicals loaded drugstore remover.

I have been using this for close to a year now, and there is still 3/4 of oil left! A…

Mid-Year Finance Stocktake - Total net worth: $256k

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Hi there. We're now halfway to the end of 2017. Time flies isn't it?

I remembered (actually I didn't, only realised when I looked through my blog posts), blogging about my "achievements" in 2016 at the start of the year. For the past half year, things was rather smooth-sailing. Work was ok, I had a 10% increase in my salary, bonus was decent considering the market outlook now, and I've also added in a few stocks to my portfolio....of which only Keppel Reits earned me some money. The rest were disappointing but thank god I won't lose my sleep or sanity over the losses.

Truth be told, I haven't been monitoring my finances. I've been lazy keying in my daily expenses. Previously, I was diligently clocking what I spent and monitoring my budget because of my eagerness to hit $100k. Now that that's fulfilled, my next goal is to hit $200k in cash savings by 28. I seem to have lesser motivation to keep track of my monies now. But here's a breakdown…

Buying insurance is a responsibility

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Growing up, I never had any insurance plans. My mom defended that my dad never had enough money, so how in the world would they have money to pay for our insurances? You may judge me, but I felt that was an irresponsible thing to do. Thank god we never had to be admitted to the hospitals, but what if something happens?

I was really emotional about our lack of insurance plans. I felt that they didn't care. The only thing they bought was an endowment plan that matured when I turned 21, I believed. The last I knew, this plan didn't even give profits. I was angry, but my anger subsided after I reflected on this - my parents are not well-educated. They didn't even have their own hospitalisation plans, and my dad even thought that he could rely on his company's hospitalisation subsidies should anything go wrong. I chided him for thinking this way. He's in his 60s already. If his employment ends with his company, who is going to insure him? Who is going to pay for his me…

Get your wisdom tooth extracted at govt hospitals

I previously complained about my wisdom teeth.

Some people are lucky - they either dont have wisdom tooth, or their wisdom tooth grew well vertically.

Since young, I don't have much luck with my teeth. I had braces done for very vain reason because my front tooth was protruding outwards. Other than that, the rest of my teeth are generally fine. I recalled paying $3500 back in 2005-2007. Oh man, that was a long long time. I'm not sure how much braces cost nowadays, but it was a lot of money back then considering how I had to dig into my savings. Anyway, I don't regret this cosmetic surgery since it gave me confidence to smile properly.

Back to my wisdom tooth, I knew back in secondary school that I had some growing in my gums. My dentist told me when I did my xrays for the braces. But as it was still growing, there was no way of getting it out. The dentist did hint that my tooth were likely impacted judging from how they grew.

Fast forward to today, it was during a recent d…

Reminding myself to let go

This is a post to myself.

I know you're a difficult person to please. You've expectations of everything. You take many things seriously. And, you play again and again in your head, what people said of you and to you.
You wish to stop these thoughts from coming. But you can't.
Those childhood memories keep flooding to you in your dreams. You dreamt about being looked down upon. You dreamt that you could hear what they were gossiping about, and it was all about you. You wondered how could they bear to say or joke about a kid. You were only a kid, you were only a teenager. What is there to compare about? You got frustrated. Why didn't your parents say anything? How could they allow people to say that you're stupid? How could they not shut them up? Thoughts like these still lingers and you cried.
You also dreamt about the lack of parental love. You dreamt that your parents are biased against you. You remembered your mom coming out from the shower and spanked you becaus…

The most anticipated time in your work year - performance bonus, promotion and increment

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Every month, I look forward to pay-day.

But my most anticipated moment of the (work) year is my PB.

This is the time of the year where I eagerly await my report card. This is also the time when people feel excitement, happiness, anger, betrayal or disappointment on how they are assessed for their work over the past year.

I've been in my first job since graduation and had received 4 performance gradings. So far, I thank lady luck for blessing me with above average gradings. At least, despite the frustrations felt at work, I am encouraged that my contributions are acknowledged.

This time each year, I'd feel my heart palpitating as I open the document announcing my performance grading. I remembered having the same feeling as I logged onto my university portal to see my semester results. That's why I akin this to my report card.

The thing is, I would never know how I'm assessed each year. It's quite a joke that I've never done proper appraisals with my bosses excep…

Couple Talk: EC or Resale

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I've dated my partner for close to 5 years. I always joke that I gave him my youth (that's true).

5 years is a long time. I also joked about how if we're fortunate enough, we would already have a baby (好命的话,我的baby可能1岁咯). Unfortunately, we have been sorely unsuccessful in getting a flat. I probably am more anxious than him because I feel like I've an expiry date, and my biological clock is ticking. I know there are some stories of mummies at 40s and 50s, but I'd rather meet my goal of having kids before 30.

I used to think I'd get married and have kids at 23. Then it postponed to 25. And then to 26, and then to 28. It got delayed all because we have not secured our own home.

I want to start a family soon. But, without a flat to call our own. It's tough. We are not comfortable staying in each others' houses too. In-laws relations, proximity to workplaces and "it's never the same staying in someone else's home, cause it's never as comfort…

CIMB Fixed Deposit at >1.2% p.a

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Just applied for the CIMB FD at 1.2% for 6 months with $20k.


I have been thinking if I should apply for this or park my money into shares. Guess I'm not that stocks-savvy to take the plunge.

Regardless, this FD will earn me an interest of around $120. 

With my BOC Smartsaver max out at $60k, this 1.2% interest is slightly better than me leaving the remaining money in my Fastsaver. Will keep a look out for other deals to park my extra cash. Btw, the FDs promotions this year have been disappointing.

If you wish to apply for the CIMB F.D, do note that promotion ends on 13 February 2017.

Money Saving tip: Don't throw away your mandarin orange peels!

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Happy Lunar New Year!

With mandarin oranges being one of the core items that you bring along for house visiting, I'm sure you'd have at least a pair of oranges in your house.

Other than eating it, how about making the full use of this amazing fruit by saving the peels? It's environmentally and pocket ($) friendly. FYI, these works well for any citrus peels :)

Here's what you can do with your peels:

1. Make it with tea 

You could either dry it like how the video does, or just pour hot water on freshly peeled skin

2. Use it as a air freshener  Boil the peels in hot water to help freshen the air in the kitchen and pour it into a spritz.
3. Make candies


4. Put it into green or red bean soup Add zest to your dessert with these mandarin peels! My parents do that to give the soup extra taste :) 5. Make an all-purpose toxic free cleansing agent


Lastly, my personal favourite for kitchen use. For those families who whipped up many dishes over the CNY making your kitchen equipmen…

Unexpected review of 2016: hitting $200k in net worth

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As we countdown to 2017, I was reflecting on my 2016. 2016 was an average year. Nothing exciting to shout about and nothing major happened....

Until I started to browse through my blog and reviewed my financial portfolios. As I browsed through my blog, I looked back at the little things that happened. I got engaged, got a shock from my health screening results which turned out to be nothing bad (pessimist really), achieved $100k cash savings and this is excluding CPF at 25, transferred money to my mom's CPF which made her happy, travelled overseas twice albeit to nearby areas, and got around $10k performance bonus.

These are little milestones and achievements worth clapping for. Here's my throwback to 2016:
Jan
- Got engaged, but feels bad for wasting his money
Feb
- Started this blog to pen down my thoughts- Went for health screening. Had a health scare because I didn't understand my health report. Took the chance to upgrade my hospitalisation plan to the best
Mar
Apr
- Opened…