Author: Early Retirement SG

Are you throwing away good food?

It’s quite simple English…“Best Before date”Meaning… This item is best before XXX date… this doesn’t mean that the item is BAD AFTER XXX date.It could simply mean… This item is good after XXX date but not best. A product is bad when it turns bad. It’s not about the date on the packaging. If you leave milk in the open for a whole day, it’s likely going to turn bad, regardless of the date on the pack.  ​”Expiry date” is not the same as “Best before date” Disclaimer : Ok I’ll state it right up front. If you do...

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Comex Fair 2017 – I'm pretty upset with M1

I usually pay attention to computer fairs. Cos these are the best times for me to buy my top up card for my M1 prepaid card. Today, I saw this for this weekend’s Comex fair. 31 Aug – 3 Sep @ Suntec I’m looking at the $29/mth deal for 500MB… Like damn you M1… I just downgraded my plan from 1gbps @ $44/mth to 300mbps @$29/mth. And now you offer 500mbps @ $29/mth. It’s pretty frustrating, cos something like this happened 2 years ago as well. It doesn’t really affect me cos I don’t think that the extra 200mbps...

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Have you been throwing away $15 a month?

Using cash is normal. There are still a number of places which do not accept credit cards. So 90% of people using cash is expected. However, according to this study, 43% of Singaporeans said that cash was the payment mode they used MOST often. Which I take it to mean that they will use cash for transactions which accept cards as well. I understand when it makes financial sense to use cash or bank transfers. Like most clinics only accept cash or NETS. Or when booking budget airlines, the cheapest payment mode is via bank transfers. Now these are...

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How watching a movie improved my budgeting

I don’t really like watching movies. As I grew older, I stopped watching movies cos I felt they were a waste of time. I don’t really like sitting down for 2 hours. Typically, if I want to know about a movie, I’d just read the plot on wikipedia. It summarizes the movie in around 5 minutes of reading time. I did watch movies when I was younger though. And there was this movie which I learnt quite a bit from. Have any of you watched “The Patriot” starring Mel Gibson, it’s about the American Revolutionary War. So you may...

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How much are your memories worth?

I don’t really like taking photographs. As in, I don’t like being in them. I don’t really mind being the one snapping them though. You see, when I was young, I didn’t like being in photos, you know, those picture perfect poses, and smiles, etc. and last time, we needed to take nice shots cos it wasn’t digital. So each pose needed to be done well. One shot, that’s all we usually got. My mum kept telling me. Just take the pictures. Please. I never understood why. She would say, in her youth, she never had the chance to...

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Most financial sites lie about this

I was reading a couple of financial sites / blogs.And most of them don’t tell the whole truth about what they think.I can hardly blame them. People like to read what they want to read. If you don’t say nice things or things that are fairly expected, people don’t go to the sites. So it makes good sense to bend the truth a little to make their message more acceptable to the masses.  Note: When I say most readers or masses, I mean most average Singaporeans. Not the frugal financially discipline community. For me, I don’t really care, I...

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8 Things you should be happy about today

It’s Monday.What’s there to be happy about? I understand. I used to hate Mondays and start feeling happier on Thursdays and Fridays. It’s back to work and it probably sucks, or maybe it’s just tolerable. These days my life is much better. Mondays I’m a bit sad cos my wife goes to work and leaves me all alone. Then I have to do most of my chores on Mondays, buying food and all that. It’s fine. I’m not complaining. But there’s nothing much to be happy about right? It’s just another day. As I thought about this last night, I...

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Are you prepared to handle large amounts of money?

Everyone thinks they can handle large amounts of money. Like, what’s so hard to handle right? More is better, especially when we’re the frugal community. I personally don’t think so.For us, we saved my AUM while working. So every few months, we would just buy some stocks and slowly built up our portfolio. It was simple to manage cos it wasn’t a lot of money every few months. I started feeling some discomfort when I was rebalancing our portfolio a few years later. I was selling down some stocks and consolidating our positions in other stocks when I noticed...

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Why the brain really isn't wired to save

Everyone loves to feel good. That’s what makes us successful. Most humans are driven by the chemical dopamine. It’s supposedly the feel good hormone which is released when we do certain things, like sex, chocolates, finishing a task, getting praised, etc. Essentially it rewards us for stuff we do, so we continue doing it. Dopamine is also released when people gets likes on Facebook. Which results in people posting many things just to get likes. It makes them feel accepted and release dopamine and they feel good. So they keep doing it. However, it’s like a drug, when you...

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What is a normal family?

What is a normal family?Think about it. Everyone wants to have or live as a normal or better than normal family.So let’s start with some definitions.For this purpose, I’ll say that a family is the personal self & partner, the parents, and the kids, if any. I’ve defined it as such, cos if any of the parties have any issues, then it usually ends up affecting the personal self. So, what is considered a normal family that many people desire?Well, I would think that for the self and partner, both of them love each other, quarrels are inevitable, but...

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How to make the folks around you jealous

Every once in a while, I think about doing this…. I haven’t actually don’t it before, just that I think it would be fun. Most, if not all people, judge others by visuals. It doesn’t matter what’s real or not. Take for example, food, many restaurants serve similar things, but yet those with better presentation charges a premium for the visuals. There are many people who buy a lot of stuff to make themselves feel better or to make others jealous of them, or to make people think that they are doing better than they really are. I truth,...

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Are you as anal as me when dining at the hawker center?

At a hawker center or food court, I usually end up eating at the chai png stall, economic rice. Great value. Somehow, I can’t bring myself to eat other things. I think I’m unnecessarily anal about this. Somehow, subconsciously, when I walk around the food court or hawker center, I will look at the other stalls and mentally deconstruct the ingredients for the stuff they sell. So for example, when I look at the wanton mee stall, I will think, noodles, same as rice, means I only get a bit of charsiew meat and 3 small wantons. Price $3.50....

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This will determine if you will get bored after you retire

Aren’t you bored?My mum always asks me this. I don’t know why, but somehow, she thinks that not working is something very boring. I’m totally baffled cos I don’t see why she thinks that having no work will equate to being bored. Think about kids. They don’t work. They play and learn and hang around and everything. Do they get bored? Usually very rarely.People get bored when there’s nothing to do. When I stopped work, that doesn’t mean I had nothing to do and I just hang around at home doing nothing everyday. Basically, when I stopped work, well…...

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How to make decisions taking risk and cost into account

My home uses an instant water heater. I installed the water heater only in my master bedroom toilet. I was thinking about this for sometime when I was still doing my renovation. Should I install another water heater in my common bathroom? People might come over to stay and we may need another place for people to shower. ‚Äč I remembered my insurance class in Uni. Risk is classified into a few sectors taking into account the probability vs the cost to determine the best way to handle the risk. So you can, accept the risk and cost, mitigate...

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Do not do this if you want to remain friends with someone

Have you ever lent someone money? I have. Twice in my life. The first time was $15,000 and the others was $4,000 to two different people. On both occasions, once I hit the transfer button, I regretted it immediately. I don’t know why I didn’t learn my lesson after the first occasion and I was dumb enough to do it again. Lucky for me, both returned the money to me in a reasonable enough time after I bugged them for awhile, within 2 mths. Essentially, they already had the money on hand but since the due date was not...

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