$5 Pap Smear Screening for the ladies

I've heard about the $5 screening offer from HPB last year but didn't bother.
Until I came across articles on pap smear and cervical cancer and it got me thinking that I should perhaps do a test.....for $5.
I initially thought that all I had to do was to show the clinic my IC and I'd be eligible for the $5 screening. Turns out, we need to present a letter for verification before we can enjoy the rate.
I then checked out the HPB website and contacted their hotline to request for the screening letter. I vaguely recalled receiving it sometime back, but probably lost the letter 🤭
The officer on the hotline told me that the letter generation will take 2 weeks. Oh gosh, another example of the slow service from government agencies. I told them to expedite as I want to have the scan soon. No promises, they said. And I wondered, how many procedures backend would it take for them to "approve" my letter? 🤔Shouldn't such letters be built inside the health buddy app wh…

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

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:
- Got engaged, but feels bad for wasting his money
- 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
- Opened a joint Maybank FD account with fiance at 1.8%p.a
- 3rd $10 bet
- Opened SBI FD account at 1.6%p.a
Blogged about having $100k in cash savings before 28
- Signed up for BOC Smartsaver - Applied for DBS Visa Debit with 5% cashback 
Deposited $7,000 into mom's CPF RA
- CIMB FD 1.8%p.a matured
- My fourth $10 bet
- Signed up for POSB 1.38% p.a. for 4 months
I thought that was it. Until I reviewed my budget tracking list and looked through my expenses and savings. That was when I realised, I had hit $200k in net worth (total savings + CPF + stock holdings) in Dec 2016.

Yes, literally fireworks in my heart.

It didn't occur to me as my goals were mainly on cash savings.

My first goal was to reach $100k in cash by 28 which achieved in 2016. I then set out my next goal to reach $200k in cash savings by 28. If you look at the top right corner of my blog, you'd see the little goals I hope to achieve.

So it really hit me by surprise that inclusive of CPF and my stock holdings, I had reached $200k. While this was not part of my goal, I'm very pleased of this fact after my review.

Here's a brief review of my financial statuses:

1. Investment 

In the past year, I've not done any investing. What I did were merely putting my money into low-risk FDs. I've been procrastinating buying stocks and ETFs. I My brother suggested that I park a monthly sum to STI ETF so I don't need to time the market. I'm still sitting on this idea.

My current stock portfolio stands at around $12k though I pumped in $16k since 2013. My worst stocks are Sabana REITS and KimHeng Offshore. While Sabana gave me decent dividends, their stock prices dropped way too much. Can only blame myself for not understanding stocks fundamentals.

2. Expenses and Earnings

Over the past year, I've spent around $11k on food, transport, shopping and on travels. That's around $1k per month.

However, through my savings interest, credit card rebates, cashback from shopping through shopback (sign up to get $10 credit!), sale of items on carousell, dividends etc, I've earned around $12.5k. 

Overall, a net gain of $1.5k :)

In 2017, I hope to spend less to save more. I've been spending frivolously due to the lure of discounts on online sites, cashback and credit card rebates. Just on 31 Dec 2016 alone, I spent $390 on Qoo10 :( Well, at least they're household items haha!

3. Savings

Earnings > Expenses. This was why I could accumulate good savings through my income. I started off with a slightly below average monthly salary compared to peers. It was sad at the initial stage because I was comparing myself with others. And one of my good friend was earning $600 more than me every month!

I attribute it to luck that I'm now earning similar or slightly higher after 3-4 years of work. That friend who used to earn $600 than me has only gained around $300 increase over the past 3 years. For me, I gained around $1,100 increase in pay since I started work. It's all about luck really. There'd definitely be people who received a much higher increment than me, but there are also those who experience wage increase slightly. Comparison never ends. I thank God for what I've received and I am contented. Here's hoping for a good increment in 2017!

4. Finally, putting my budget tracking to good use

It was a chore to always key in my expenses. So far, I've not used any budgeting apps for long because I felt my excel sheet was better. If you realised, I've stopped posting my monthly finances because I find it a hassle to talk about what I've spent on. Thankfully I didnt stop tracking my daily expenses, otherwise, I wouldn't be able to review my 2016 spendings and earnings! I wouldn't say my tracking was 100% accurate. There were cases where I forgot to key in what I'd spent on. 

However, even without the tracking list, you could still do your own review of your $. I browsed through my CPF statements and compared Jan vs Dec 2016 contributions, and logged in to my various bank accounts to compare my bank balances.

It felt great seeing how my money increased :) In total, I increased my net worth by $57k in a span of 1 year!

The most significant increase was in my CPF, all thanks to compulsory contributions by the Govt, but I'm sooooo thankful for this. People complained about CPF as a tool by the Govt to lock in our money, but I find it one of the best policy tool they'd came up with. Even a careful saver like me find it hard to save as much as what I received through CPF.

And with that, I end my 2016 review on a happy note. 

It is 2017 now, and amidst the volatile economy Singapore faces this year, let us brave through these together as One Singapore and be better person to each other.




  1. Hi Cherry,

    Congrats on crossing $200K networth milestone.


  2. I remembered only having a network of 84k when I was 28..Well done and keep it up!

  3. How do you get so much in rebates etc? Even if I gave you 3% of 100k, that would be only 3k in interest. Credit card and rebates can achieve 9k?

    Pls share any tips you may have . Thanks!

  4. Wow Cherry,

    An honour to have played a small part in inspiring you to such great heights!

    But a note about comparing too much:

    “The only time you look in your neighbor's bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don't look in your neighbor's bowl to see if you have as much as them.” - ​Louis C.K.

  5. Congrats Cherry. Would love to achieve your milestone of earnings > expenses. Do you mind sharing which is the major contributor of your $12.5k annual income? :)

  6. Hi Cherry,

    I shop alot too and have been using shopback and rebates website. Just curious where does the bulk your 12.5k earnings come from? more selling on carosell i assume?

    Thank you and keep up your good work


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