Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Less of plastic, more intentional choices

Growing up, I am attuned to the concepts such as recycling, global warming etc because of the exposure we had in Singapore's education system from primary school. I wonder how much have we as humankind advance in bringing consciousness to these stated concepts as a whole.

I concluded that it's not much. My heart didn't feel good when I read the article on 'Message in a (PET) plastic bottle' published on Straits Times on 28 Nov 2017. The article noted the continual trending of single usage of plastic products which has inevitable impacted the environment. Link to the article can be found here. Infographics credits to Straits Times.

I confess I am one of the contributors of plastic waste. Aside from the fact that plastic products are cheap, they are definitely easily accessible for example plastic bottle, plastic straw. A lot of intentional efforts is required if one is to devoid of plastic and its associated use.

I bought some stainless straws to gift it as Christmas presents recently. My intent was to do my part in reminding everyone to make greener living choices where possible. But guess what? The straws came with plastics wrapping! What an irony isn't it?

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Broke cos it's Christmas?

Christmas season is about celebrating the birth of Christ. It is a holiday season for people to meet up, relationships to be rekindled, strengthened and reconciled. A time to prep oneself for the new year ahead. A time set yourself apart from busyness to seek God for His plans for your life if you have not been doing so.

Christmas season is definitely not about the gift that you can buy, hope to buy, must buy. It's not the season to be stressed about such things and be left broke and most importantly unhappy.

It is not to say that gifting to bless someone during a holiday season or to buy something for yourself is bad. Before going on a shopping spree perhaps certain key questions can be thought through:

  1. What is the budget?
  2. Who are we buying for? 
  3. Is it a need or want?
  4. Is it practical? 
  5. Where are the good sales?

Taking leave

Have you decided how you would want to spend the month of Dec 2017?

Had my first Christmas gathering for the year with my NUS cell homies. " Are you taking leave?", "Are you going on a holiday?", " Why are you not going overseas?" etc are the usual questions.

Yes, I will be taking leave, and no I am not going on a holiday. And there should be no shame in saying that. And no, my homies didn't judge me for it. They know that taking a break doesn't mean you have to travel. 

However, it does seems that travelling overseas to get away has become part and parcel of our generation. You need not cower to peer pressure. If you are on some saving goals, just focus on that. If you don't have a place that you are dying visit, why go? If you want to go somewhere, go for a short getaway?

Since I will be on leave for most of Dec, I have decided to do a few things. Read up on retirement planning, investment. I hope to create a current account for my cheque book and investment. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Summary of financial terminologies

Trying to get your head round the countless financial terminologies?

Found this page while flipping through June 2017 Her World Magazine, sitting through a hair treatment session. Hope it's useful.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Creating my own retirement fund

I will have some retirement funds saved up in the Central Provident Fund (CPF). However, like any typical Singaporeans, I know my money is somewhat locked up, it will be used for purposes like payment of house/education loan for my child and there are certain qualifying criterias before I can withdraw my money flexibly. I am not complaining about CPF policy here. Actually, I am glad there's some mechanisms to force Singaporeans to save for their retirement. The intent of the policy is well and good. Often enough, intent gets misconstrue when plan gets operationalise. If you are keen to find out more about how to withdraw your CPF, you can check out the following link: https://www.cpf.gov.sg/Members/Schemes/schemes/retirement/withdrawals-of-cpf-savings-from-55

I have not been savvy with my finances. Just to quantify that I am not in debt or anything like that. I must say 2017 is the year when God is giving me the capacity to be exposed to some of the key financial concepts. As a result, I am examining my financial health more intently. Having established the discipline of saving, I realise I need to work on having ready cash for retirement. This is a set of money set apart from the contingency fund ( about 6 months of salary) which we should have. As such, I would need these cash to be locked away intentionally till I can tap on it flexibly.

I simply derived my cash retirement fund through working out the 'X' amount of cash which I would like to have by the time I am 60. I am 36 years now. This means I will have 24 years and less to accumulate this amount of cash. The 'X' amount of cash that I can tap on by the time I am 60 would also include the savings endowment which will mature along the way. Of course, the principle of compounding interest and quick and hard savings would apply. The quicker I squirrel away this set of cash, the less burden/pressure on my need to keep a job of my current pay.

photo credit to international professional services

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Choice of drink

Being more conscious of the need to be more environmentally friendly has affected my lifestyle. No regrets though. I am happy to do my part.

In the name of vanity, last Saturday I came out of the house for a wedding, carrying only a small bag. Clearly, a small bag wouldn't fit my usual 500ml water bottle. I wouldn't want a smaller water bottle as I am a camel, I would need tons of water to keep my body hydrated. But still, I stepped out of the house without my water bottle.

Post wedding gathering, Casey and I made an impromptu decision to go for karaoke. The thought that I would need water, consequently buying a plastic bottle of water struck me.

Standing in front of the neatly lined up drink section, the conscious need for decision making was real. I was glad that I managed to walk out of the supermarket with a glass bottle of water.

Now that I am done drinking the water, the bottle shall be recycled.

Monday, November 20, 2017

My first sale at Carousell

I finally got down to the process of taking photos of the decluttered clothes and placing them on sale at Carousell.

After a few weeks, I got my first sale! I hope there will be more. Fingers crossed.