My first business class

img_6151-1.jpg

I have recently applied and gotten a new credit card. I am unsure if the approval is legit cos I am currently unemployed and should not be eligible? But still I was glad to get the card and the accompanying benefits (4 free rides to the airport, hurray!). I guess the credit card market must be really competitive. The Filipino sounding lady on the phone asked if I had any existing card with the … [Read more...]

my BIG annual budget

img_6150.jpg

I thought I was rather frugal. I do not drive, live simply and had set myself a annual spending budget of 30k for 2017, which I thought was rather modest in expensive Singapore. I had aimed to keep basic monthly expenses to <$1000. That is $12k for the entire year for food and bills. The other 18k of the budget goes to indulgences like holidays and insurances. But after reading a few … [Read more...]

Financial Planning For 2017

img_5946.jpg

Credit: smithink.com In my last post of 2016, I reflected about my journey for last year. This first blog post of 2017 is about my financial plans for the next 12 months. Each year, I have a plan for my expenses. But it is more relevant to me this year as I have no active income at all and have to watch my spendings more carefully. For 2017, I have an annual budget of 30k. The plan is to … [Read more...]

The Road I Take

img_5750-4.jpg

The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost, 1916 Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; …….. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And … [Read more...]

79 days of retirement

img_5659.jpg

I left my last official work on 12/9/2016. As of today, I have spent 79 days retired from paid work. This means that I have been unproductive for more than 2 months. Out of the 79 days, I had spent 29 days in USA, 13 days in Korea and 37 days in Singapore. The USA trip was a means for me to adjust my daily habits formed from years of working life. The Korea trip was impromptu but it was a … [Read more...]

The Departure Chronicles: The End

img_4984.jpg

I am in chill mode. I didn’t really feel like blogging since I came back to Singapore in early October. But I have a aim to write at least 1 post a month so this will be the month’s post even though it is overdue. It is also my way of recording how I felt during this period of transition for my life, and should be fun for me to read in years to come.  To recap, it … [Read more...]

My Last Lecture

img_3398-1.jpg

During my last 3 weeks of being a school teacher, I wanted to share with my students my actual experience of the real world. I wanted to show them a way to survive, prosper and ultimately, be free. It was my last chance to speak in a classroom so I wanted to make it count. I taught my students my “Last Lecture“, a lesson that tells of my experiences about living from my own life. I did … [Read more...]

Kopi Talk opens

img_3158-1.jpg

Today marks the opening of my Kopi Talk. Credit: socialknx.com You may use this link to contact me for drink sessions. I will be pleased to meet up to chat about my pet topics: Money, Health, Life. My friends always said that they enjoyed talking to me about personal finances. So now, I am doing this for everyone. Hopefully, it will be fun and meaningful. And that you will benefit from my … [Read more...]

Departure Chronicles: this post is for my students

img_3046.jpg

“Its time to say goodbyes” Credit: http://www.integrativemindfulness.net It is now in the open. My students know I am leaving. And that I blog. 2 of them have left comments. And some are still searching for my blog addy. I am running my last lectures now. I have been getting wonderful responses for these lessons from the students. The experience deserves a blog post of its own, which I … [Read more...]

平凡也是一种幸福 (Joy of being ordinary)

img_2965-2.jpg

I seldom publish a new blog post so soon after my last one yesterday. But today is a special day. Credit: aninvitinghome.com It is Singapore’s birthday! It is also my first time going to the Parade at the new indoor stadium on the actual National Day. It is my “last” in several ways too. My last month as a school teacher, my last time enjoying 2 days of paid holidays (10/8 is a school … [Read more...]

The Departure Chronicles: Reflections of my 13 years

img_2944-1.jpg

This is a post reflecting my journey as a Teacher. It is part of The Departure Chronicles. The first post is here. I joined MOE in 2003, stayed in NIE (aka Teachers’College) for 2 years, and was posted to my first school in 2005. I joined my second (and current) school in 2012. Time really flew when I looked back. All of a sudden, it has been 13 years. Credit: business.linkedin.com My … [Read more...]

The Departure Chronicles: Giving notice

img_2593.jpg

Credits: http://www.entrepreneur.com I have given notice to the school. It’s now official. But in a way, my notice was forced from me. I hate being forced, and this “twisting of my arms”just affirms my decision to leave the teaching service. The Departure Chronicles has a nice ring to it. Since young, I have always been a fan of fantasy literature. It allows me to escape to a different world … [Read more...]

The Greed of Men

img_2803.jpg

Pic Credits: voxukraine.org I have just heard something ridiculous. It seems that medical fees have gone up cos of medical subsidies! A friend went to see a doctor for flu. It normally cost about $20-$30 for consultation and simple medicine. But this time the fees amount to >$50! After some probing, it seems that medical consultation fees at many clinics have gone up. Doctors are … [Read more...]

The straws on my back

img_2258.jpg

I wish this post is about colorful drinking straws that make people (and me) happy (think sweet drinks and parties), but it is not. Instead It is about straws that had piled on the camel’s back and broke it. I am the camel. The cumulative effect of many small events (straws) at school have finally lead me to make the decision: In an email, I gave notice to my P that I will be leaving service. … [Read more...]

Asset Finesse: Winning the Financial Game of Life

img_2088.jpg

image taken from ntu-iic.orgDuring the month of March, I took part in a financial competition. I was easily one of the older participant there, a bit paiseh  (embarrassed) to win all the youngsters. But I made several new young friends, won a prize, taught my students, had lots of fun, and that’s really what matters The event is the National Cashflow Competition, where we play this board game … [Read more...]

My lost sheep

img_1869.jpg

There are 2 lost sheep. Where is the other? Over the last week, I received depressing news. 2 of my students in my 2015 form class had committed a serious offense. If they are adults, they will be jailed. Still, youth is not a good enough excuse. The school has caned them, and they will have to look for a new place to study. The 2 students had no one to blame but themselves. The offense was … [Read more...]

How much do you save?

img_1858.jpg

“The most valuable thing money can buy is freedom from having to worry about money.” Since young, Mum had always advised me to save my money. Intuitively, I know that the saving habit was good, but it took me a long while to reconcile my urge to spend recklessly with the caution of having something extra for rainy days. Recently, I read an article from MMM (Mr Money Mustache). He is a famous … [Read more...]

My 2015 in review

img_1574.jpeg

I received an email from WordPress.com, and they had my 2015 stats report for this blog. Click here to see the complete report, but you can don’t bother, cos the report is not good. I didn’t write many articles. There were no blog income. Traffic was also low on most days. I wrote anonymously and freely as I wanted a site to share ideas, release frustrations and generate ideas for me to … [Read more...]

To be, or not to be…CPF debt free. 

img_0151.png

In a recent blog post by Investment Stab, I learned that I could actually owed myself less when I use my own CPF money to buy my own place. This is new information to me. I always know that if we take money from our CPF to pay for housing, someday when we sell, we will have to return the money plus the accrued interest. The longer the years the CPF is out, the higher the interest. I didn’t … [Read more...]

And so it ends.

img_0127.png

   At the start of the year, I wrote of my new form class in a blog post, “The Greatest Love of All“. Time really flies. I had my last lessons with them this week and they graduated from me.  Initially, I was apprehensive. I wrote of Student D, the undisciplined boy that gave many teachers hell. I mentioned Student M, who just returned from overseas and had zero marks in … [Read more...]