Author: Early Retirement SG

Dumpster diving regularly

Ok, so I’m back to sharing my experience with this whole new idea of getting free stuff… After my yong tau fu incident, I thought I hit the jackpot, you know, like when we think we have earned enough money and deserve to take a break. So I didn’t do much after the YTF incident. Then on Thursday, I thought, hey I’m going to just open some dumpsters. Mind you, I do this quite casually, I just flip open the big lids of those big blue or green dumpsters. Take a look and press on the plastic bags. I...

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A lack of knowledge or a lack of education?

I’ve really been thinking about homeless and hungry people ever since I came back from Paris. Cos when I combine homeless and hungry with freegan ideas. I don’t understand why homeless and hungry people have an issue. This got me thinking. What is the problem? Many of us would think that poorer people have a lower education level. Generally this is co-related. Education being well defined structured learning in a typical school system. Primary, secondary and tertiary education. Yes. I agree education is a good way to get people out of the poverty cycle. It equips people with skills...

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What's Really Important?

I think I posted this Youtube clip before. I was reminded of it again cos I saw a scene like this in a restaurant I was in yesterday. A couple of tai tais were in the restaurant and one of them was explicitly loud talking, about her 3 maids and 1 driver and yet her marriage was in a mess and her kids aren’t around her. Somehow, the impression I got was that her home was always empty and she gets maids to fill up the house, even tho they ask for steep increments. She had complained that one...

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Some stuffs I don't like about freegans and freeganism

So I was reading and interacting with the folks at the freegan community. And obviously like every other thing, there are plus and minus points as well. Firstly, these are some stuffs that I don’t really like about freegans as a community and freeganism as a practice. It doesn’t mean I’m slamming them or that I’m not going to be involved. It’s like kimchi. I don’t like garlic in general, so I have a love hate relationship with kimchi. I like eating kimchi in general, but I don’t like the garlic flavours in it. Similarly, for freegans and freeganism,...

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The Scarcity Mentality

It’s Singaporean… Kiasu… so normal. So when we attend a buffet, many of us, whack the most expensive food, gorge ourselves silly. But still happy, cos ate more than what we feel we paid for. Of course the restaurant still makes money but… still feel happy that we ate more than what we could have bought outside with the same amount of money. Then when there’s freebies, Singaporeans are known to line up to collect free stuff. People buy stuff to get free stuff. And that’s normal. This is pretty much the scarcity mentality. We need to spend money...

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Is $10,000 a small investment?

I was discussing with my wife recently on buying Bitcoin… Hey why not right? It could be a bubble or it could be a piece of the future. And I was asking her, any interest to buy 1 Bitcoin? It’s around S$10,000. And she was pretty much. Ok sure, we can afford it. It was quite flippant. She didn’t think much about it. That’s one of the things I don’t like about her, she doesn’t think too much about things. But then I think too much about things, so we even each other out… To me, there are many...

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Thinking of Living Overseas?

So I had this discussion with my French friend when I used to be working. He came over to Singapore to work on local package, meaning, he is paid the same as any Singaporean in the same role. I asked him, “Why did you come to Singapore? Isn’t France better? You can stay in a cheaper place slightly further away from the city, you have good benefits, social security, not so crowded, etc etc…” And I was quite surprised at his reply… He said… I don’t remember exactly. It was something like… The people aren’t hardworking. Take things too...

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The Curious Case of the Scottish Pound

So I went to the UK earlier this year. I went to London and Scotland. Somehow, I got my hands on some Scottish Pounds issued by the Scottish banks. In Scotland, Scottish pounds are valued 1:1 against English pounds, issued by the Bank of England. In England and other parts of the UK, Scottish pounds MIGHT not be accepted. IF they are accepted, they are valued at 1:1 against the GBP. So that’s fine. I never knew this. So I brought Scottish pounds back to Singapore. Not much, just 15 pounds. I thought… pounds are pounds right? All in...

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DBS Enhanced Multiplier Account

Images are taken from DBS sources Just credit your salary and make a transaction in another qualifying category and you will be eligible for the enhanced interest rates. If you use 2 additional categories, you get even more bonus interest. The categories are the same. So it’s to just credit your salary. Then to make 1 or more transactions with credit card spending, home loan payments, insurance payments or investment related transactions. The best parts of this enhanced scheme is… NO MINIMUM SALARY REQUIRED (A salary is required but with no minimum quantum) NO MINIMUM CREDIT CARD SPEND REQUIRED...

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It's not yours or mine. It's ours.

I was talking to my wife recently about our assets and how we look at them. It’s very common for people to say she earns her money, so she gets to spend whatever she wants. And that’s one way to look at it. Cash or financial assets seem to be easier to split up. Cos it’s quantifiable. And most of the time, we like to split this up cos it’s convenient. My stuff vs your stuff. So we can draw boundaries on who controls what. And we, as humans, all like some form of control over our lives and...

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What to do with excess foreign currency

I’m sure we all have this issue. We change money to go overseas. Then we spend and by the end of the trip, we have a little of the currency left, or maybe even a lot left. I usually manage to bring it down to under S$100 worth. Then I come home and keep it in an envelope and I think to myself, “I’ll use it again the next time I go.” Sounds familiar? I usually don’t change the excess back to Singapore dollars. So I have a drawer with many different currencies. A bit of Thai baht, some...

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How do we know? Does it matter?

Continuation from my distraction from my previous post. ​I just don’t know… I don’t know how much my parents spend or how much my sis spends for her monthly expenses. I start by using $3,000 as a benchmark then I estimate and adjust based on what I see that she owns. Maybe she owns a better car, or watch, or a nicer handbag/wallet, etc. But does she spend less on food? Maybe she doesn’t eat out as much? Or maybe she eats out more? I wouldn’t know. And if I can’t even estimate for my family members well, how...

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Cutting the Sashimi habit

I’ve been posting about how great my value is when I buy sashimi from Meidi-Ya. I usually get an assorted pack. ​ And in my post on my expense update, I talked about how, if I really wanted to, I could just easily cut off $100 expense per month if I removed this snack… So over this past weekend, I did some soul searching. This sashimi habit isn’t really expensive per se. $100 per month is just a normal weekend dinner, something like that… But I thought to myself and discussed this with my wife… have we taken this...

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Why pay full price?

Some places always have discounts… Some restaurants, some products in supermarkets, services, etc… Sometimes, they are on-going, sometimes there’s no promotion on. I suppose that’s what the merchants want. They expect or hope that consumers will try out their service or product during the promotional period, get used to it, like Netflix, then when the promo runs out, they hope that the consumer will continue with the services or consuming the product. That’s what promos and marketing are for anyway. This recently happened to us. We were wandering around Giant and we chanced upon 2 flavours of Pocky. You...

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Reward Miles

Ok, I don’t do much research on reward Miles on credit cards. My initial rough analysis years back lead me to conclude that the returns just wasn’t worth spending on cards which gave Miles as rewards. It’s quite hard to quantify Miles, cos… well, that’s the point, they don’t want it to be easily quantifiable… so consumers won’t know how much they are spending vs how much the Miles are worth. Once again, I can only estimate. I went to the Krisflyer website and checked what I can redeem for against the cost of SQ flights. From the above...

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