Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Getting slightly smarter with money

I think I have gotten slightly smarter with money! Guess having some money savvy folks around me did rub off me somewhat.

I had been wanted to buy a new brand bottle of laneige perfect renew cream, which is about 50 ml per bottle. This will cost me around SGD55+. I would usually get my stock from Qoo10, capitalising on the SGD 2 buck discount coupon. My mom and I are users of the cream. As such, the cream is gone like in a jiffy kind.

This time round, I have decided to get my stock from Carousell. What I did was I paid 10 bucks for a laneige perfect renew trial pack at SGD10, which includes 1 x cream (25ml !!!!), 1 x eye cream, 1 x emulsion, 1 x refiner, 1 x regenerator. Now is to monitor Carousell further to see if anyone is letting go of any more of the cream at a cheaper rate. I do use the rest of the products albeit other brands. As such, no worries that the rest of the items would be put to waste.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Time is precious

I definitely want to do something good with my life. Do the things that I want and be with the people that I love.

Friday, December 15, 2017

It's better late than never

Adulting now in the area of financial planning, I just sign myself up on Coursera in the mentioned area. Auditing through the course since I don't see the need to have a certificate in this course, I save myself usd49.

I wish someone had told me about financial planning when I was fresh out of school. But I guess the only comfort I can give to myself that it's better late than never.

 Photo credits: coursera

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:

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.

Sunday, November 19, 2017


The topic of house. It is the bane of my life now.

Being single, 35 years old would be the age when I could get a place of my own at a cheaper cost ie. public housing. At 36 years old, I have finally muster up the courage to explore getting a place of my own. After all, this would definitely be the biggest ticket item that I would ever get to buy. But this journey has been nothing but scary and rocky for me. This is especially so when I am not comfortable with numbers and investment etc.

West Coast Road, which is my address for my entire life will be changed in 6 years or less. It will be going through an en bloc process where the government will take back the land where our apartment resides. The entire residents of the affected areas are given two choices (Clementi area or West Coast area) to relocate. The en bloc process would include having the current residence being valuated, residents would be given financial review/assessment in terms of financing for the new residence at the new area. The relevant government agency has also been feeding us with the necessary information and arranging for face to face consultations to all affected residents.

Needless to say, my parents are keen on the West Coast area as it would be nearer to where we are currently staying. Also, it would be SGD100,000 cheaper at the West Coast area if we are comparing the cost of a three room flat (2 bed rooms, 1 living room) in the Clementi area to one at the West Coast area.

My woe begins as my parents are too old to get a loan. My parents are over 65 years old. We have to upgrade to a 4 room flat instead of our current three room flat (the new configuration of the new house for my brother and I to continue our room sharing even if we wish to). My brother has been non committal towards financing for the new place. To me,  it would be silly if my parents spend their cash on the house. Cash should be used for any emergencies and for tours etc. It should be used for anything but towards paying for the house. My dad first approached me to pay, however, he has been flip flopping his decisions.

Oh wells, having read through my literature on finances now. Despite being dumb with number, I am confident to say. I am determined to pay off any housing debts be it my own place or for my parents' place by 45 years old. I have no wish to be a slave to a house. I am not keen to shoulder the financial burden. It's too much to spend years paying for interest to the principles of the house loan.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Finding my own pace

It is a challenge to not be part of the rat race.

I find myself being desperate to apply for another time out away from office when I just came back from one.

I am really exhausted.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


For the past few months, I have monitoring my spending via the app 'My Wallet'. There is nothing fascinating about this app but it does serves my purpose of spending tracking.

I have heard of other trackers such as 'Mint' etc. But the crust of the matter is, no matter how fancy an app can be, it's the discipline of keying in the spending that counts.

For the last few months, I have pretty much cut down my spending on cab, food at fancy restaurants etc. I also try to stretch every dollars on beauty related products. I didn't become a miser. I still give to charitable cause where necessary.

The last few months, my spending has been hovering around 3k. This month, I shall try my hand at keeping my spending to 2.5k.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Weekend inspiration read

Clothes that we throw away are a form of waste. With fast fashion, I would imagine we are throwing tons and tons of clothes everyday! Buy quality instead of quantity.. Check out the following links

1. Humans produce so much junk
2. Fast fashion is creating an environmental crisis

Friday, March 31, 2017

Fixed deposits and house

I created another fixed deposit (FD) today. Given the interest of the normal saving account is miserly low, I reckoned placing my savings in the FD is a wiser choice. In terms of savings, from now till July, the additional savings of 5k would be used as a seed money to generate a passive income.

On a side note, I placed 6 dollars worth of bets on 4D and Toto. This is not an entry to encourage betting behaviour. Rather, it's a signal to the condition of my heart with regards to work. I am feeling beat up and hoping that 6 dollars worth of bets could buy me out of my situation ie. job and housing woes.

God, I confess I hope to win from the 4D and Toto so that I would not use my 6 bucks in vain. I hope to use my winnings to settle my house and my parents' house. I want to leave my job! Have mercy on me. Let your will be done. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Weekend inspirational read

I have only started the journey on simplifying and decluttering my life about 2 months back. I have been finding my inspiration via some of these blogs. It's the weekend, just slow down and have a good read.

1. zero waste bloggers and the latest trends
2. becoming minimalist by joshua becker who is easily one of the frontrunners on the topic of minimalism

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The fridge

Planning to declutter a part of your house this weekend?
Maybe you should try decluttering your fridge of expired items.
This was my loot last Saturday.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Let it rest

It's the weekend. For some folks it would be a time of hanging out and partying over drinks and delicious food. However, for some folks it would be a time when the physical body and mind could rest.

For me, I would 'rest' my eating. I would eat when I am hungry (stomach growls) and not because it is the time to eat. It is my way of allowing my stomach to rest during the weekend. I find it challenging to do so during the week due to scheduled meetings and lunch with colleagues.

Maybe this weekend, it is time for you to rest it (whatever it may be).

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Morning routine

I think I have a simple palate. I would eat what my mom buys. For breakfast, she would typically buy fried noodles with fried chicken and egg, dumpling noodles etc. However, at the beginning of 2017. I have decided to put an end to this.

As part of an overhaul/reflection to my life in general, I have come to the conclusion that I need healthier food in my system. I need to cut down on expenses on food if ever I am going to live on my own.

And so, I have started the morning routine of eating overnight oats, which would be coupled with chia seeds, milk, and any fruits I can find in the fridge. I did try to cook my oats so as to give myself options. Alas, the pain of waking even earlier to prepare breakfast is seriously not my thing.

1.5 months into the routine of eating overnight oats, I think my body has adjusted to it. In the name of moderation, I have imbued cheat days on weekends so that such a eating habit can be sustainable.

The next step is to have more control over lunch... 

Monday, February 27, 2017

No-sew recycling bag

Finally ended my procrastination and got down to making my own recycling bag. This is a no-sew bag. I got it done within 5 minutes! Hope to do my bit for the green cause and lessen the use of plastic bags. But lesson learnt, an old tee made of cotton is a better material to work with. In this picture here, I had used a tee which had spandex like material as such the shape of the bag would go wonky after several uses.

If you are keen to check out, please click on this link HERE 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Something more than shopping

In my earlier post, I shared my modest loot for the BKK trip.
The biggest joy I had was spending time with these two young ladies.
Thank god for placing me in the position of influence to share my thoughts about life.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Bangkok 2017

I was in the land of thousand smiles two weeks back.

Guess what, I came back with only 7 new purchases! So proud of myself.

I went for this trip with a shopping list at hand. I didn't want to spend money mindlessly and accumulating another article in my life. I didn't want to feel pressured to have to buy something just because things are cheaper. You know what I mean?

Thank God I managed to keep my purchase to 1 belt, 2 tops, 1 handheld sewing machine, 1 packet of banana chips for Angie, a bottle of perfume, 1 recycling bag.

The only poor purchase was the extra top that I bought. I had only intended to buy 1 top. In a moment of weakness, I gave in to the "it's darn cheap" mentality.

Not being on the buying streak allowed me to slow down quite a fair bit for this trip. I was in a better state of mind to focus on the people and sights that surrounded me.

If you are on the journey of minimising spending (be it local or overseas), having a shopping list definitely is the way forward.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Long awaited

Finally I got my promotion.

When I wanted it the most i.e last year and it was not given to me, anything after that, doesn't excite me anymore. I must confess I still struggle with trusting God and His blessings for my life. I fear to hope and yearn due to the disappointments. The 'no' and 'wait' loom larger than the 'yes'.

What I look forward now is the new pay in April. Guess the promotion is timely in view of the financial goals set for the year.

Saturday, February 4, 2017


I have not taken cabs in weeks! Kudos to myself.

Cabbing is one of the key expenses that drains my saving index.

Being drained, impatient and that desire to escape crowds, I resorted to cabbing wherever I go. At one point, cabbing cost me about 400 bucks a month.

I hope to keep this up where possible. Finger crossed.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


image credit:

I have started the habit of 'bring your own bottle' (BYOB).

Water is the best hydrating element after all. I am hoping that by going BYOB, I would stop quenching my thirst with unhealthy (sometimes expensive) drink choices.

One would say that I could simply walk to a supermarket to get the house brand mineral water bottles. On this point, I am aware about the plastic waste I would generate in return for such an act.

Hopefully this BYOB habit will go a long way towards increasing my saving index plus a better health. Cheers!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Three bags full

image credit:

Decluttered a bag of clothes from my wardrobe yesterday. Prior to Christmas, I decluttered two bags. In total, I had decluttered three bag full of clothes, some of which were brand new. How did I end up in such a situation?

Did I derived happiness having a wardrobe filled with clothes. The answer is no. I struggle with the thought that I don't have enough clothes on a daily basis. I would end up going through the motion of picking that few pieces of clothes to survive the work week and weekend. On special events such as weddings, I grimaced at the thought of needing to get an outfit befitting of the occasions. I secretly hope I could just survive each day by wearing a uniform.

In short, I had fallen prey to vanity and succumbed to my insecurities.

Note to self, moving forward:
  1.  Buy what is necessary.
  2.  Buy quality stuff as these products would last longer and generate savings in the longer term.
  3.  Keep only clothes that you need. There are people out there who would need the clothes more than you do.

For those who are curious with what I did with my decluttered clothes, they would be going to Chris, my grandfather's helper. She would usually send the clothes back to her village in Manila, Philippines.

Sunday, January 29, 2017


I must say I have been spared the growing up pains till recently.

It was about 2 - 3 years ago (34 going to 35 years old) that I became rather conscious and struggle with thoughts/desires such as career progression, purchase of a house, amount of money in the bank, retirement etc. Prior to the 'awakening', I was happy to just move along in life. I am happier with whatever I have.

Imagine my anguish when these awakened thoughts/desires started to overwhelm me. I felt puny and unaccomplished in life in comparison to my peers.

Knowing that I have a God who is my shepherd and I would never be in want, put the chaotic mind to rest. He brought me back to a perspective - He is with me. It is never too late to reassess how I am living my life. It is not about the money that I have in my bank account that matters to Him. It is how I choose to honour with the things that He has placed in my hands that matters.

So here I am, embarking on this journey to simply and declutter to honour Him.

I have started this blog to note down my thoughts and milestones achieved. If you are reading this, I hope you will be blessed and encouraged. Please know you are not alone on this.