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Achieving $300k cash before the clock hits 30

When I first started blogging (cue the first blog post), I set myself a goal to save $100k by 28.
$100k cash, excluding CPF.
I achieved this at 25.

I even thought my $100k would drop downwards after paying for flat, reno, kids. But who would have known that my chance to get a flat would only happen at 27, and my savings grew and grew?

$200k at 28
At 28, I hit $200k cash savings. It took me 3 years to grow another $100k. 
If not for the fact that I've been topping up $14k annually to mum and my CPF RA/SA, spendings on wedding, house related stuff and frequent holidays, I would have much more cash on hand. But, that can't be real, that's not living - those money have to be spent.

If not for the fact that I've pumped $80k over the past 7 years into stocks, of which the paper value is now only at $60k+, I'd been $80k "richer". The converse could be said if I've great investment capabilities to grow $80k to $100k 🙃

Anyway...
As I edge closer to 30 ⏰, I've ano…

End 2019 Review - inching close to $500k net worth

This year flew by quickly again and I'm one year older, but don't feel wiser.

I feel more negative and jaded, especially relating to work. Now that I have my own house, all I want to do is stop work and nua at home haha

Reading back last year's post made me think - last year was pretty exciting. I like how I can read back on the little achievements I noted down on this blog. I'll use last year's post as a guide on what to blog about.

Key things that happened this year:
- Travelled overseas for work ✌️
- Travelled to 17 cities. Officially the most travelled year of my lifetime. Probably not able to beat ever
- Caught the Northern Lights
- Own my first property at a prime location

But the most important thing I wanted this year did not happen. Oh well, hopefully next year will be better!

On to my Goals in 2018 and the Reality in 2019 Stay healthy and happy - ✅I guess.Have a little piglet in 2019 - ❌disappointment month after monthTravel to Europe for honeymoon - ✅Plan another …

Extremely bad start with UOB One

With the influx of posts on social media re UOB One (psst on grabpay) and the receipt of my house keys, I decided it was the time to sign up for a UOB One account plus credit card.

It was gonna be the best tool for household joint expenses and joint savings.

However, I've faced multiple hiccups that made me VERY frustrated....WHY ME?!
1. Delayed approving process led to losing out of sign up bonus
First, I signed up for the UOB One card and Account in early Oct through Singsaver's promotion. The promotion said that I'd get to enjoy cash incentive for registration + UOB's promotion of $80 cash credit with min $1k spent within 30 days of card approval. Mind you, these terms were stated to end on 31 Oct, extracted below:

S$80 Cash Credit for UOB One Account: Limited to the first 500 new to UOB Deposits customers who either (i) deposit and maintain $5,000 or (ii) credit their salary, into their new UOB account for 6 consecutive months. Terms and conditions of the UOB Online …

Insane 11.11 deals and around $750 savings

Hello! I'm back! My blog has been collecting dust with my previous update 2 months back.

Glad to provide good updates that I've finally received the keys to my home :). Reno has also started and we hope to be able to move in by end this year!

I guess it's a blessing in disguise that my key collection was delayed till now. This is an excellent time to purchase household items at attractive prices on 11.11 (and upcoming Black Friday!)

It's practically sales everywhere now, as it builds up to Xmas. Makes me happy while typing these. Who can resist bargains right?

Prior to 11.11, I started carting stuff and comparing prices. Hence, as the clock struck 12am at 11.11, I was frantically paying.

In fact, in just 1 day, I spent close to $5.5k on 3 platforms. Taobao, Lazada and Qoo. And hey, I contributed to this record  😛
Items bought includes: dining tableelectrical laundry systemXiaomi TVceiling fanslightsfridgewashing machinesofatoilet accessoriesmirror cabinetbedside tables…

PSA - Free staycation for $400 spend plus $50 credit?!

Fancy a free staycation at M Social Hotel and a $50 credit? 
If you signed up for the FRANK credit card, you'll get the $50 rebate and receive a free staycation with $400 minimum spend.
The last I had a FRANK card was years ago. Back then (think 2012), FRANK account was suitable for undergraduates with their attractive interest rates and customised credit card designs. Their FRANK card was awesome as I recalled a 5% online rebates with low minimum spend.
As usual, good things don't last. When FRANK account offered pathetic interests compared to other salary crediting accounts and their FRANK credit card became unattractive due to it's minimum $400 offline spend to start clocking rebates, I cancelled it immediately.
Until recently when I spotted this:

The credit card still sucks but by spending $400 for a free staycation? Count me in! Furthermore, I received a $50 credit by signing via myinfo which is effectively a 12.5% rebate!

Take note that the free stay is not the loft…

Fully paid off HDB during key collection. Is it wise?

I've a happy problem now.

I'm expected to get my keys by end this year. I was deliberating on the options to settle the loans - whether to pay off as much cash as we have, to minimise the loan we have.

By some stroke of luck, our parents are extending their money to us...with interest of course, but slightly lesser than HDB loan of 2.6%. Works for us since the interest we pay them is better than what the banks give.

With this loan, plus wiping out our CPF (leaving $20k behind), we can actually pay the remaining  with our savings at point of key collection.

This is our scenario, amounts adjusted for simplicity:

Remaining to pay after downpayment$550,000Parents loan$200,000CPF OA$100,000Remaining balance (to pay using cash?)$250,000
And, I'd have paid off my HDB at point of key collection (though effectively, we still owe our parents money with interest).

Use Cash, Grow CPF
Our idea is to use as much cash where possible.

First, the interest generated from our savings accounts…

$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…

Mid-year review: Goal met of $200k cash at 28. $400k+ net worth and Astrea bond V

Half a year gone.

I still have not gotten my keys to my new home and am still childless. Ok, TMI.

On financial front, I've been seeing a steady increase in my net worth. As at my last update in end 2018, my net worth was at $372k.

Half a year later, I've successfully crossed $200k cash savings (previously it dropped as I topped up my MA) and exceeded $400k in networth. I may be able to hit $450k by end year but will just need to carve out some money for renovation and home stuff.

Most gains came from employment. While I lament how sick I am of work, it is my main source of $. I've not added any stocks and can never not live off my portfolio for passive income. It is with salary crediting that I've received 1.85-2% interest on my DBS multiplier anyway.

I've been thinking if I'm making my money work hard enough. I occasionally browse the SGX hoping to see some stocks to purchase, but am not comfortable enough to make the move.

Since Jan till date, my transactions …