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Showing posts from 2017

The $10 bet - Part 2

It's amusing to re-read my blogpost more than a year ago. Back then, I submitted my 3rd $10 bet.

I akin it to TOTO because it's like striking lottery.

If you're lucky, you'll get the place you desire (for some, it's literally worth a million-dollar).

If not, you'll just keep betting till you...someday, one day, hopefully, gets it.

And I, one year down the road, am still betting on my chance. How interesting.

I haven't realise how desperate I must have felt each time I got a rejection. One year down and I've already made 3 additional bets, all of which I didn't even get a number! I felt like a jilted lover every time I receive that heartless email from HDB which says
Unfortunately, as your balloted queue position has far exceeded the flat supply, we regret to inform that your application has not been successful. I should have been luckier. After all, I applied numerous times under MCPS. Why didn't I get a number? Why didn't I get a chance? I h…

Living near cashless for the past 4 years

Cash is king. Or so the old saying goes. As we move towards a cashless society, we should rephrase into this thinking - money is forever king, but cash? We probably can do without it.

Take my case for example.

I have been living nearly cashless ever since I have my credit cards four years ago. I barely have much notes in my wallet. Receipts? Aplenty. Ask my mom and she can testify.

"Aiyo, your wallet always no cash, so poor meh! How you buy things?"
"Use cards lor!"

You see, the moment I step out of my house. I have no need for cash. Very very minimal actually.

My credit card with auto reload function, works as my ezlink card. Tap, and off I go to my office.

During lunch, I’d dine at restaurants where visa, mastercard are accepted. Even for Food Republic, I'd tell the cashier, "paywave pls". Occasionally, we'd dine at coffee shops which requires cash transactions. That's where if my wallet lacks cash, I'd just withdraw at nearby ATMs. Most…

7 Days Taiwan trip at $115/day all-in

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I went for my 7 days holiday to Taiwan in Sept and was thankful that the typhoon didn't disrupt my trip but it was super hot there! I always thought Sept would be a pretty good time to travel - think autumn leaves and cooling weather. I was so wrong. It felt hotter than Singapore, and the sun was just so unforgiving. I turned from a pale girl to a roasted one there. So, if you're travelling these these few weeks, please put on your sunblock, sunglasses and a cap!

My 7 days trip brought me to places like Hualien, Yilan and Taipei. I would say this was a pretty relaxing trip since my partner and I went back to the hotel at around 7-8pm each night. Our motto for our holiday was "No rush, no madness". Honestly, it was made possible because it was pretty boring in Hualien and Yilan.

Here are some of the places you can go in Hualien, Yilan and Taipei:

Hualien 1. Wang's Tea House - this was my breakfast and lunch to-go place. Love their red tea with bubble and their bre…

Stocktaking my insurance plans - how covered am I?

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Reading this Seedly article inspired me to do a stock-take of my insurance plan.

Some background about me:
- I've a few more years to welcome my 30s
- I've worked for 4 years
- I bought my 1st insurance (hospitalisation plan) when I started working
- I'm not married yet

I feel that buying insurance is a responsibility. It is a responsibility towards myself and my loved ones. Nobody wish to deplete their hard-earned savings for a sudden incident. If you're lucky enough, your incident could be a once-off, curable event. Otherwise, your incident could cost you your life and torture you and your loved ones.

Here's a comparison of the plans I have versus what the Seedly guide:

Term/Whole Life  The recommended coverage is 5x my yearly income i.e estimated at $350,000.

The actual coverage I have? $200,000. The main beneficiaries of this sum would be my parents and it should be enough for them for I've 2 siblings who are working and would be able to provide for my par…

I just lost $100 cashback from POSB Everyday card; Updates

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Like all budget savy young couples planning their banquet, we all aim to clock as much rewards be it cashback or miles from our banquet purchase. After all, a banquet, even at a restaurant, sets us back to a 5 digit sum for more than 100 pax.

My partner and I have decided to hold our banquet at a Chinese restaurant next year. So, a few months back, we made our deposit of $2000 to lock in the wedding date.

Prior to this, I was at my desk calculating the different cashback I would receive using various cards. After all, my coordinator assured that I could swipe different cards to gain the maximum rebates. Also, it helps that my Chinese restaurant is categorised under "Dining", which meant...more cashback :D (too bad if you hold it at a hotel!)

After researching, it boiled down to 2 cards:
1. BOC Family card
2. POSB Everyday card

The BOC family card gives me 7% cashback from dining and the cap was at $100. Really good card to use. Also, as a Smartsaver account user, I get to re…

BOC credit card gave me a heart attack

Right now, my head is still spinning. Spinning from the unfriendly ibanking BOC portal and trying to figure out my credit card statement and payments.

I was palpitating when I saw huge amounts debited in my Aug statement. It was a $280 "annual fee", $19.95 "goods and services tax", and near $80 "interest in the payment" amount.



As much as I enjoy earning BOC's interests and rebates, I get confused sometimes with their ibanking portal. BOC has gotta up their portal design man. I always have difficulties understanding their credit card statements.

Called BOC and it turns out it is my CC anniversary so I was "welcomed" with a $300+ annual fee charge, which they will help to waive off. Goodness, what if I didn't check my statement properly?

As for the interest in the payment, apparently, I didn't pay my bills?! How could I have let this happened?! Hope they waive this off cause I've been paying my bills diligently.

Following this inc…

Tips, promo codes and how I save from my 7 days Taiwan trip for two

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One of the best feelings in the world is travelling for a holiday. But before this, we often go through the worst feelings planning for a budget holiday (if you're a rich kid, please ignore this post 'cause it's not relevant for you yo!)

I recently went through a hair-pulling experience planning for my Taiwan trip for 2. My partner is supposed to plan it for me, but I trust no one when it comes to making wise (money) decisions. I don't know what type of personality I have, but I really need to be in control and know I'm making my money worth when booking for flights, hotels and what's not. I'm not niao ok, just particular about how I spend my money 😂 Who wants to pay full price when we could pay cheaper by being a little more diligent?

I'll summarise the following tips on what I did to save money from my Taiwan trip.
Look out for airlines promotion - Sign up for your favourite airlines newsletters to know the promos first hand and hit it when the price…

2.02% p.a. guaranteed returns. Would you sign this?

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I'm contemplating on this endowment plan from FWD which gives 2.02% interest p.a. It guarantees return when the plan matures after 3 years.
This is the best "savings" plan I've seen. I'm thinking of putting $15k for this, which will mature to $15,927 after 3 years. That is, if you don't terminate your policy early.

What are your thoughts to this offer?
--- After thinking for half a day and seeing some comments, I've decided to go ahead with this offer.
Looking forward to my $927 gain in 3 years' time!
Would you be joining me? :)

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…