Author: Finance Smiths

What is Our Millennial Way?

As I have mentioned a few times on my blog, I’m an avid reader of international personal finance blogs and websites. They offer unique perspectives on how to get out of debt, reduce expenses, earn more money, invest and achieve financial independence in different parts of the world. Their experiences and writing styles are amazing and I constantly learn from what they have to offer. Once in a while, I find a blogger who I really connect with after reading their posts and I try to write about these inspirations of mine.This 30-something couple’s story of reaching financial independence in Canada...

Read More

Should we have bought a private condo?

I was inspired by My 15 HWW’s post – Is buying a more expensive home always a bad financial decision? The main reason is that my wife and I are one of those couples that bought a more expensive home i.e. Private Condominium (PC). Reading his post got me interested in whether we made a bad financial decision. Why did we purchase a PC? The year was 2011 and we were still working in Melbourne while planning for a move to Sydney. It became apparent that while we enjoyed working in Australia, chances are we might return to Singapore to work eventually. The centres of...

Read More

Support for SGXcafe

It’s a Friday evening and I’m waiting for my wife to finish shopping and drinks with her girlfriends so we can go have dinner together. This is probably going to be a short post but it’s something I have been wanting to do for a while i.e. show my support for SGXcafe. As an active user of SGXcafe and subscriber to its emails, I have been monitoring the recent challenges faced by its creator – Evan Koh. This latest article – SGXcafe Needs You! goes to show how much Evan had to contribute in terms of time, effort and money...

Read More

Our ability to take risks

As things have been slowing down at work, it has given me the opportunity to re-evaluate whether I want to continue in my current tax advisory role. It has been great for my professional development for the past 2.5 years but I’m starting to get restless. This is one of my biggest weaknesses – I get bored quickly with what I’m doing and don’t work on it long enough to become proficient. If you have been reading my posts about our life in Australia, you will notice that I stayed 2 years each at my jobs in Melbourne and Sydney. In fact, I’m...

Read More

How we view our CPF

With the recent release of the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Advisory Committee proposals on the CPF Life Escalating Plan and CPF Lifetime Retirement Investment Scheme, CPF has now become the trending topic in Singapore. There are a number of good news articles and analysis by personal finance bloggers and you should read them for a better understanding on these proposals. I was already planning to have a post about our views on CPF before their release and this seems like a good time to do so. One interesting point I have noted the more I write on my blog is how...

Read More

What I do with my performance bonus

This topic surfaces at the end of each financial year (30 Jun in my case) when firms start doing performance bonus and salary reviews. We wait for the letter that shows us the monetary value of the additional time & effort we have put into work for the past financial year and our worth for the next financial year. This is the time where you get a higher than normal movement of staff due to employees resigning and/or changing jobs only after receiving the performance bonus. When I was working in an accounting firm in Australia, we did not receive any performance bonuses. However, my wife did receive...

Read More

Jul 2016 Financial Update

I have updated the net worth, asset portfolio, passive income and savings rate pages on my blog. It’s a monthly exercise that takes about 30 minutes to complete and gives us a good financial snapshot. What’s fascinating is that since we started tracking our finances in 2015 and showing them on the blog in 2016, all these monthly static financial data points are coming together to form financial data trends! We start to observe the impact of lifestyle inflation, efforts to increase income & reduce expenses and changes in asset allocations. It’s difficult to pick up on such trends until you have sufficient financial data...

Read More

Why my wife is not interested in personal finance

My recent posts have been less about the numerical aspects and more about the psychological aspects of personal finance. It gives me a broader range of topics to write about than just providing financial updates on our net worth, asset portfolio and investment income. Plus it’s more fun that way! I also realised my wife is starting to feature a lot more on my blog despite her not having contributed a post yet. Maybe one of these days, I might get her to write a guest post about her perspective on personal finance and my attempts at managing it. Actually, I’m not sure...

Read More

The roles of privilege, luck and adversity

Have you noticed I have been posting more frequently lately? That’s because my team has been completing the various tax advisory projects recently and we are at the proposals stage for the next wave of work. The good thing is that it’s less busy in the office and I have more time to produce higher quality tax advice or do my own research. The bad thing is that time passes more slowly and you get nervous about not having enough work to keep you busy. Just one of the many interesting aspects of having a job in the office. Although...

Read More

What I do on pay day

I wish I could say I am one of those people that are just focused on spending time with family & friends, developing my own interests and getting stuff done at work such that I don’t even notice its pay day. But I’m not. That being said. I do enjoy engaging in all these various activities but I’m acutely aware of when its pay day for my wife and I. As our salary is paid monthly, pay day is usually at the end of the month for both of us. This is the day when our monthly salary gets credited into our designated bank accounts...

Read More

Are my parents ready for retirement?

I read an interesting post from this US personal finance blogger (Broke Millenial) – Are You Your Parent’s Retirement Plan? It sets out conversation topics on insurance, retirement funds, mortgage and debt that adult children can consider having with their parents to better understand their retirement plans. This got me thinking about my parent’s retirement plans and whether they are financially fit for retirement. I have had conversations with my parents about this before to see where I can assist them in their financial planning for retirement. We usually end up discussing the sufficiency of the CPF Life payouts after taking into account the other factors of...

Read More

Target S$500,000 Asset Portfolio

I had a busy weekend that left my wife and I quite exhausted when we went in to work on Mon. We had a wine-tasting & dinner event at our friend’s apartment on Fri night, dropped by another friend’s apartment after dinner together for a Sat movie night before having an extended family dinner on Sun night. It was great fun but we felt like having a rest after running around over the weekend. Nothing like going in to the office on Mon and sitting/working at your desk to make you feel like you aren’t going to be moving much for...

Read More

Financial advice for a new graduate

My wife’s brother just had his SMU commencement ceremony on Wed at the Suntec Convention Centre. Since he has already started work as an audit associate at one of the accounting firms in Singapore, he had the day off to attend the ceremony. But he has to go back to work on Thurs. Just like that, we have a new graduate in the family who has just finished his university education. Although my brother-in-law is three years younger than my wife, the impact of a 2 years National Service and 4 year SMU degree has resulted in my wife working for...

Read More

How and why my wife earns more than me

I’m writing this post for myself just as much as for my wife, who might actually read this one since it has less numbers and figures compared to some of my previous posts. This is going to be a fun and interesting one to write about. It starts with a confession: In our past six years of full-time work, my wife has always out earned me when it comes to our salaries. Not only have I never earned more than my wife, the wage gap has increased over time. This is why I totally get the debate about gender wage gap –...

Read More

Should we change our asset allocation?

We are planning a trip to Italy in Oct 2016 and should be flying into Florence and out from Rome. The last time we travelled to Italy was in Jun 2008 and it was part of a three week Europe trip. We really enjoyed our time in Italy and can’t believe it’s another 8 years before we go back! This time round, we should be visiting the other areas such as Tuscany and Amalfi Coast instead of the major cities. It gives us something to look forward to so we can get through the next few months of work!...

Read More

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter