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

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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…

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

Image
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

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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

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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 …

Thoughts on HDB housing loan and 4th year topping up CPF SA

Each day passing is one step towards old age.

Unknowingly, we are in mid 2019.
Top-up to CPF SA Anyway, with my bonuses in, I decided to park $7k into my CPF SA for tax relief purposes.

I've always been saying that I should do the $7k voluntary top-up at start of the year to gain extra interest, but have never done so hahaha

Got my hubby to do the same as well...not without some nagging and me taking control of the transfer 🤦‍♀️

Hubby wasn't super keen as he preferred to keep the cash to pay off our housing loan ASAP.
His thoughts on our housing loanFor context, our balance to pay is at $500k+ 🙃We are paying equal amounts for the home.Wipe out our CPF, leaving $20k in OAPay $100k cash upfront (or even more if we can afford) - he feels our investments does not beat 2.6% interest charged by HDB for loan. This is true given majority of our money in savings accounts, SSBs, FDs which gives at best 2% interest?For the remaining amount, to get a 25 years loanTry to pay our loan with…

Good things don't last - CIMB credit cards revision

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As usual, good things don't last.

First was BOC Family card, now it seems like the temporary-attractive CIMB cards are going the same way too...

Before Both CIMB Visa and Platinum requires min $600 spend and gives 10% rebate ($50 cashback per category, up to $100 cashback) on:

Visa SignatureDiningOnline spendGrocery PlatinumTravelHealth, Beauty & WellnessTransport & Petrol W.e.f 5 Jun 2019 Both CIMB Visa and Platinum requires min $800 spend and gives 10% rebate ($20 cashback per category, up to $100 cashback) on:

Visa SignatureDining (now reflected under Platinum)Online spendshopping ("This excludes all other online websites, not limited to movies, food & beverage, travel, airline, government, brokerages/securities, insurance, tuition and online gambling websites")...wth?GroceryBeauty & Wellness (new)Pets Shops and Veterinary Services (not applicable to me)CruisePlatinumTravel (only in foreign currency)...sianHealth, Beauty & Wellness and Medical ("…

Update on ELASTIQ - guaranteed 2.02% p.a. for the first 3 years

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I've previously shared my purchase of the ELASTIQ plan here where I purchased the minimum amount at $5,000.

Happy to provide some updates on the plan and the ease of tracking my interest online!

Via the tiqconnect web, I was able to see a clean, user-friendly and straightforward webpage showing the interest credited to me on the first month, just like an ibanking page :P

I'm considering topping up more money for them to grow at 2.02% interest. Furthermore, it is stated that
"Top-up or withdraw from your account without penalty or interest claw back 90 calendar days after policy issue date" This can probably act as another savings account for me to grow my cash. Will definitely keep this plan for the first 3 years!

As mentioned previously, I only took 10 mins to sign up for the plan.

If you are interested, key in R104346 under referral code and you'll get Etiqa eWallet credits worth 0.5% of policy’s premium value ($25 credits for a $5,000 plan) as a sign-up gift …

Already 5 years into the workforce. What have I built?

It was a sudden awakening - I've already worked for more than 5 years.

But what have I achieved?

I stepped into the rat race as a noob (nobody uses this word now, I admit I'm old), being tekan by unhelpful "seniors" who thankfully left after 1+ year of torture and earning lesser than my peers, to slowly building up my confidence, emerging stronger and being more courageous to say "No", proving myself along the way and getting rewarded with better bonuses and increments.

I know I'm working just for the money (and the medical benefits that comes with it).

If I look at the money, so far, I should be doing it right in my career. I've decent bonuses and decent increments. I'm in a general profession, but I'm doing pretty ok.

So what has my 5 years of work got me?

Money. 

Through employment, coupled with my thrifty habits, I managed to hit $100k savings at 25 years old. And it took me another 2-3 years to get another  $100k at 28.

But, along with it,…

ELASTIQ - Another guaranteed 2.02% p.a. for the first 3 years?

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1.5 years ago, I signed up for the FWD 2.02% "savings" plan and parked $15k.
I've always been in search for low risk decent yield alternatives on top of my savings account which I've shared in my tips on how I save >$150k before 28. While browsing the net, I came across Etiqa's latest whole life insurance savings plan which offers guaranteed 2.02% p.a for the first 3 years.
The minimum savings premium is at $5k. So, I thought why not? Since this $5k is something that I do not need atm, it's better for me to park the money here vs keeping it in my CIMB fastsaver earning just 1%.
Furthermore, you are able to withdraw money after 90 days - just take note that a service fee is charged if your average daily balance falls below $5k. 

I've just applied for the plan and parked $5k. I may be withdrawing this 3 years later and am expected to cash out $325 more interest.

The whole process took me less than 10 minutes. Take note that payment will be via DBS auto …

What the luck? DBS and OCBC banking tokens died!

What luck. My ibanking tokens went dead one after another.

OCBC Token

First was my OCBC token. It said "low battery", but I ignored it.

And when I finally need to use it, it was dead. Granted that I could use SMS OTP, I had to make a big transfer to other banks and it was over the withdrawal limits. And to do that, I needed the ibanking token.




And serve me right for not activating the onetoken.

In the end, I had to call in to OCBC call centre for a replacement. 7 working days, they said. What a long wait.

In the midst of it, I needed to make my interbank transfers. I even went down to OCBC bank and explored a stupid manual way i.e to withdraw cash and deposit into the other bank. But the moment they told me they ran out of big notes, I got scared.

While waiting for the token to arrive, I figured I could actually do transfers in smaller amounts, but had to bear with a daily cap. Sigh.

And, one week later, my OCBC token arrived.

How efficient.

DBS token

And it was time, the DBS …

2015-2018 net worth

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I used to track my daily expenses daily.

With every purchases, I'd keyed into google sheets.

But as time goes, I got lazy. I figured there's no need for me to track it daily given that I'm disciplined with my outflows. In any case, I've never budgeted how much I should spend on food, transport, shopping etc. Hence, the daily expenses tracking actually don't serve much purpose.

However, one thing that I continued to do, is to track my monthly assets/net worth. And they are broadly categorised as follow:

Cash SavingsFDStocksCPF
It feels good to see your money grow in the different pots and pinpoint which has the biggest growth. So here's presenting my annual net-worth growth since 2015:

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