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Video of the day - How I learned to read -- and trade stocks -- in prison

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It's been a long time since I watched a compelling TED video and furthermore, on financial literacy which I'm always interested about.

This man right here, used to go to prison and can't read for nuts. But this man right now, speaks s owell, every sentence of his got me nodding my head. He speaks in such clear sentences, with simple yet strong words strung together.

👏

Thought I had to share this for all to enjoy.



Cheers

And may we gain something out of it

Goodbye BOC Smartsaver account. Hello DBS Multiplier

I've officially severed ties with my BOC Smartsaver account, after a good 2 years.

With the disappointing revision to the BOC Family card, which used to be the BEST credit card I had, it just wasn't worth keeping the bulk of my cash in BOC anymore.

Since Aug, I've jumped ship to DBS Multiplier and left the minimum balance of $1,500 in my BOC. Today, as I passed by the BOC branch at Jurong East, I decided to just close the account. No point leaving my $1,500 there when I can transfer it to other accounts to generate more interest!

As I stepped into the BOC branch, I saw restless ladies gossiping at their seats. I was the only customer, but nobody bothered to serve me. I even had to ask if I'm supposed to take a queue number, but nobody came to assist. Over at DBS, the customer service experience would be way different, in a positive way.

BOC has gotta up their game in terms of their cards/accounts perks and staff attitude/customer service man.

That said, it was quite a …

How I manage to cover the full cost of my wedding

For people my age, wedding bells have been ringing.

A few years ago, we started out in the workforce, fresh from school, trying to earn our keeps and manoeuvre ourselves in the dogs eat dogs world.

As we earned our keeps, we also knew we had to save for impending cost bombs - for house, for wedding, for kids, and for retirement.

Back then, I set my goal to save $100k and I managed to hit it at age 25. I knew time was on my side and I had keep my expenses low in order to save. I wasn't earning big bucks - I was just a normal salaried working, earning less than what my peers were earning.

Likewise, when I planned for my wedding, I knew I had to keep my expenses low as well because my partner and I were paying everything out from our pockets. I was the Chief Finance Officer budgeting and making sure we clock rebates, and getting the best deals out of everything. I was also the CEO of my wedding, because I dictate most of the "to-do" and "not to do" list.

Now that …

Foul day at my new workplace

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Hi guys. I wanted to blog only after I'm settled down at work and with my life event but I needed an outlet to complain and release my pent-up unhappiness.

So, I mentioned that I've changed job. I'm still adjusting myself and enjoying my honeymoon stage since I'm new, though it's not like I'm not working la...just that in comparison to others who worked longer, my full load hasn't come in yet. I'm lying low for now given that I've my wedding to prep for.

Within these few weeks here, I've some thoughts on this job and here goes:

The Good

Higher monthly salary than before albeit just a few hundreds more (better than staying put...)Cheaper transport than before (~$1 saving/day)Don't need to bring work home FOR NOWMore capable bosses and seemingly, their Senior Management than before
The Bad

Not much increase in annual package given that my bonuses were more at my previous jobEveryone else work like sh*t....my bosses sends emails from 2am-4amNice …

BOC Family card nearly sucked $305 away from me, so goodbye to BOC!

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I used to be an advocate for BOC, given its attractive interest for their Smartsaver account and the good rebates for the BOC Family card.

Until one day, BOC decided to review the Family card terms....and well, it suck. I was disappointed with the changes and has since then, stopped using the card. And with that, I've now jumped the boat to DBS Multiplier for my salary crediting. Meaning to say, BOC is no longer my main account.

I still keep the Family card though, just in case BOC changes their mind again and review the terms to be more attractive.

But, this morning, I was reviewing my accounts when I realised I was charged an Annual Fee and GST on the card. Gosh. That's an exorbitant $305!
So I called the card centre and asked to waive it off. I knew it wasn't going to be accepted after reading some comments on how niao they are now. And yup, my waiver was rejected. Not even a partial waiver. That leaves me no choice but to cancel the card immediately. Funny how the cust…

My thoughts during my 1 month notice period

And so, I've resigned.
When my colleagues knew, many were shocked, given how stable I was at work (or how I seem to be). Some said they expected it, since I was still young. Some said they were shocked, yet expected it. Whatever it is, I've come to realise a few things during my notice period and I'm here to share my thoughts.
Everyone is dying to leave this place During the past few weeks, I received varied comments from people. The most common comment I heard was - you must be happy to get out of this place. Hearing this comment, made me very unhappy. It actually reflects how the person feels about this place. 
There are some who said they are envious that I'm leaving. I asked - can't you do the same? And then, they started rattling on things like they have too much work piled on them to leave, they have too much responsibilities on hand... that it got me thinking...aren't these just excuses? Which brings me to the next point...
It takes courage to leave.
E…

July updates - CIMB 1.8% Fixed Deposit, $7k for CPF SA, stocks transactions and saying goodbye to my 1st job

Aloha. 
Some updates on what's going on with my life.... A. I accepted the job offer Ever since I received the job offer, I've been feeling jittery. I kept playing the angel and devil's advocate and in the end, decided to take up the offer. I still worry about the instability in the new place, but at worst, I'll just find another job if I can't survive there. The new salary, although not a lot, is also better than if I stay put. I figured I might only get this salary 2 years later. So, hopefully, things pan out well....
B. Transferred $7k to my CPF SA Next, I've transferred $7,000 cash to my own CPF SA. This is the 3rd time I'm doing so. You can read more about it here and here. I probably should have transferred the amount in Jan, instead of waiting till now...but well, better late than never. 
My CPF SA now stands at $46,000. 
C. Parking $40k with CIMB F.D at 1.8% and 1.6% Also, good lobang must share! I've done some housekeeping with my money and re…

An offer came...and I'm undecided

2 months ago, I shared that I've thought about leaving my first job. 2 months later, I received an offer and I'm torn.

I'm a practical person. At the end of it, a job is just for me to survive - I need a monthly stream of income to build a home, build a family, feed myself and my family, and to save enough for retirement.

So when the offer came, theoretically I should without a doubt accept it, since there was a pay increase. The pay increase isn't a lot though, but it would still be one two hundred more than what I'll get next year. But I asked for some time to decide.

The new place would be extremely challenging. The team is practically new because of high turnover. They are still busy filling vacancies. To think positively, a new team might mean everyone starts afresh (or starts equally blur); but there must be something wrong within to cause high attrition. Even the bosses are new. The people there also don't seem friendly either.

Next, I usually don't …

How I save >$150k before 28 - updated tips

2 years ago, I shared my achievement of hitting $100k cash before 28.
Today, I'd like to share how I accumulated >$50k within 2 years time. Honestly, saving around $25k a year is nothing to brag about. But I hope that with my revised tips - which doesn't differ much from what I had two years ago - would inspire or motivate you, especially the younger ones, to do the same for yourself.  To save money, start with discipline. Set a goal - When I achieved $100k at 25, I set myself a new goal to hit $200k by 28. I still have some time to go and may or may not hit $200k given that I've huge expenses coming up (wedding and housing/reno). But, having this goals helps me to work towards it. - The thing is, I don't force myself to save a fix amount each month because I think I am disciplined enough. I still continue my indulgence of eating good food, going for holidays, and buying stuff I like because I know I have a healthy amount of savings to afford it. It feels good to kn…

I'm thinking of leaving my first job

I'm thinking of leaving my first job.
Looking back, it was a struggle finding my first job. While peers started getting job offers and accepting them one by one, I was still attending interviews waiting for that one offer. 
I only started my job 4 months after my graduation. That also meant I earned 4 months less salaries than some in my life 😛
I still remember my parents worrying if I'd secure a job. I could see it from their faces. I remember feeling disappointed with myself because I wanted to earn my own keep and start giving them allowances. I also remembered that arsehole cousin who said that my degree is worthless which was why I couldn't find a job (but it's ok. I'm probably earning more than her right now).
Somehow, there was this fear that the longer you stay unemployed, the more difficult it is to find a job. But, come to think of it, was that 4 months of unemployment to compensate for the lack of it in the future? After all, now that I've started …

Q1 review - Hitting $150k in cash savings

April. Rejoice!

Last time this year, I blogged about how this is the most anticipated time of my work year.

These few months, I was so busy that I even overlooked the news of my HDB ballot number. And when I heard about my promotion, I wasn't particularly excited. I was so mentally exhausted that I question, is this all worth it?

But today, I'd like to remind myself. That this too shall pass.

I'm still facing shit at work. I still feel incompetent and stress when I can't seem to get things done. I still can't sleep well some nights. But when I sat down and think about the decent bonus, promotion and the ~10% increment I received, I thought to myself, there are no free lunches in this world. At least, I was appreciated by my bosses. I look around my peers and some much older were bypassed for promotion. Even when things are tough, I must pull it through.

Unless I win the $8 million TOTO today ;)

Anyway, I had just ran through my finances and am pleased to see that I…

My 10 credit cards and which to say goodbye to 😢

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I know I've loads of credit cards. But it scares me a little to know that I've a total of 10 cards after tabulating the below. Guess it's timely to do a review of the cards I have so I know which to use and which to say byebye to!
Here's the summary of my 10 credit cards and which to say goodbye to:
To keep 1. SC Manhattan - to keep for big ticket items (note: card is no longer available for application)
2. SC Unlimited cashback - no min. spend to keep for 1.5% cashback on all spends
3. SC Spree - to use for contactless spends (2%); no min spend, max spend $3000

No minimum spend and up to $60 rebate. Earn 2% cashback on all online spends in local currency, all contactless and mobile payments. Earn 1% cashback on all other retail spends.
4. BOC Sheng Siong - to use for Sheng Siong spends (no min spend, 7% rebate, max spend: $700)Cash RebateSpend CategoryCondition7%Sheng Siong Spend• No minimum spend
• Cash rebate capped at  S$70 per billing cycleAdditional 5%Sheng Siong S…

Disappointing revision to BOC Family Card

All good things always come to an end.

Readers would know I'm quite an advocate of BOC, given it's relatively attractive rebates and interests it has been providing me. Just a few hours ago, I received an sms from BOC informing of the "enhanced" benefits for my Family Card.
From 23 Apr, enjoy 10% cash rebate on Dining everyday (local & overseas) & Movies. Plus, get 5% on Telco bills! Continue to earn 5% for Online, Supermarket, Hospital bills, selected merchants & 2% on supplementary card.  At first glance, I smiled. Dining rebates is now enhanced from 7% to 10%; movies are now included for cashbacks; and enhanced 5% on telco bills! That was until I opened the T&Cs link.

And then I frowned.

The BOC Family Card was my main card for dining spends. With 7% rebates on all dining, with a max rebate of $100, it was the best dining card I could find. Clocking above $500/$1500 on this card also gives me a 0.8%/1.6% interest on my BOC Smartsaver. The best retu…

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