Why I Don’t Really Enjoy Typical Vacations

Just slightly more than 2 weeks ago, we flew to Bangkok with Mrs 15 HWW’s family (parents and younger brother) for a short vacation. Bangkok is a top tourist destination, and for good reason too. Thai food is really delicious and flavourful (although pretty unhealthy), there’s plenty of sightseeing in the city and the nightlife is vibrant with night markets and uh-hum… interesting shows. And most … [Read more...]

Expenditure Update: October 13

The start of a new month also means that all the expenses for the previous month is in and so it’s time for another expenditure update. I understand that this is unlikely to be the most interesting post to most people. But well, at least you will know when to avoid my blog, right? I just read Ramit Sethi’s I Will Teach You To Be Rich (again) and he mentioned that most personal finance writers … [Read more...]

Stoicism And Its Positive Influence On My Life

Slightly more than two weeks ago, besides sharing an article from Alex Green’s The Secret of Shelter Island, I also trumpeted the benefits of reading the book and how it introduced me to other interesting materials. And I have little doubt that among the most important is to be acquainted with this ancient philosophy: Stoicism  After reading one of Alex’s amazing articles that briefly touched … [Read more...]

Is There An Optimal Amount Of Emergency Funds To Keep?

Yeah, wouldn’t it be great if there’s an equation out there that tells us how much emergency funds we should keep? Like f(x) = x^2 +3x - 2 So lets say I am a Type 2 person and x = 2, so I should be keeping 8 months of my normal expenses as emergency funds, just like what Suze Orman recommended? Sounds silly right, but at the very least, it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach like what she … [Read more...]

Clarifications On My (Or Lack Of) Emergency Fund Situation

From the outside looking in, I guess many might view me as a young, brash and authoritative wannabe (from the way I write) who has crashed into this increasingly saturated personal finance blogging sphere. After all, with only 2-3 years of both working and investing experience, what gives me the right to be arrogantly dispensing personal financial tips to the reading public? Seriously, … [Read more...]

Know Your History To Predict Better

Nothing is certain in this world because anything can happen tomorrow. Don’t believe me? Let’s see. Death is one of the two notorous certainties in life, right? But no one can safely eliminate the chance that we could all wake up tomorrow and turn invincible (i.e won’t die and won’t age) just like Wolverine. And perhaps the sun might never rise again after we sleep if the Earth suddenly stops … [Read more...]

Why We Don’t Keep An Emergency Fund

Mainstream personal finance experts advise us to maintain an emergency fund for unforseen negative events in our life. And it should ideally be in the range of 3-6 months of our income/expenses (the wiser ones choose expenses; more on that later). This concept is so important that some of them even advocate that building an emergency fund should take priority over paying off credit card debts … [Read more...]

Passive Income Update: September 13

Instead of spending the start of every month preparing for (and boring you with) both the expenditure and passive income updates, I have decided to provide the latter only during the middle of the month, like now. This way, I am able to use more accurate figures (Sep statements that arrive only in early October) and also provide the amount of dividends I actually received for the past month. After … [Read more...]

Book Review: The Secret Of Shelter Island

I still recall that day (more than 3 years ago) when I was planning a quiet weekday afternoon (one of the perks of university life) in the lovely Jurong Regional Library. I was originally looking out for some fiction but I still found myself checking out the personal finance section first, even though I had already read most of the collection by then. If you’re a regular to the books with … [Read more...]

Aviva’s Term Insurance Promotion

My independent financial planner often sends me letters and emails to update me on some of the latest promotions on insurances and investments. Most of the time, I would just take a quick look before crumpling up the leaflets or hitting that “delete” button. After all, I presume myself to be already adequately covered and prefer to manage my own investments. However, earlier last week, … [Read more...]

How We Keep Our Insurance Expenses LOW

After sharing on our costs of insurance of about $160/month (translates to <$2,000 a year) in our fixed expenses post, we got several comments from readers (with good intentions, I must say) that appear to suggest that there is a strong possibility that we were under insured, just like many Singaporeans. Many studies like this and that conclude that Singaporeans are not well-insured even … [Read more...]

Understanding The Basics Of Insurance

Warning: Plenty of economics lingo in this post. It’s quite surprising to find that I haven’t really mentioned much about insurance since the birth of this blog. Afterall, besides having a strong interest in the subject (motivated by previous negative experiences), I was also an Economics major who even took a module on Health Economics. So short of claiming to be an expert in this … [Read more...]

Expenditure Update: September 13

Yes, it’s time to wake up to the breakdown of our discretionary expenses as September has ended! Expenses-wise, this is a pretty good month as we spent $3,153, which is also well below the target of $3,500. And even after including last month’s higher expenses, the running average is still a healthy $3,427. A case of what gets measured gets contained? We shall see in the next few months. … [Read more...]

What If I Need The Money 3 Years Later?!

As mentioned in many of the pages and posts on this blog, we started a Regular Savings Plan (RSP) with Philip Sharebuilder back in Nov 2010. To minimize the monthly fees of $6 to 1% of the investment, we also committed $600 to this product every month. Since the plan offered us the option of choosing two counters without additional charges incurred, we allocated $500 to the STI ETF and $100 to one … [Read more...]

Counter-productive For Performing Students To Have Tuition?!

Tuition has been a hot topic for the past week and having been a full-time tutor for the bulk of my university days (3 years to be exact), I also have some strong views on this hot potato issue. This perennial issue made the headlines (once again) after Senior Minister of State for Education Indranee Rajah mentioned that tuition was unnecessary. Her argument was that for weaker students, … [Read more...]

How’s The Blog Doing So Far?

Since the middle of this year, I have been thinking about starting a finance blog. And exactly two months ago, I handed almost $200 bucks of cash to Bluehost to create this website. This was my first attempt at blogging and I had to justify my purchase to Mrs 15 HWW. After all, I could have easily opted for free alternatives with BlogSpot & WordPress, right? I bullshitted my way through. I … [Read more...]

Money Bomb 2: The Renovation

Previously, I blogged about Money Bomb 1: The Wedding where I shared how we actually budgeted for our wonderful wedding. As the title suggests, that is likely to be the first of many money bombs I will be sharing (it also helps that the article was pretty popular). So since it is still relatively fresh in our minds, here we are with the second money bomb: The Renovation. By depicting them as … [Read more...]

Financial Behaviour That Just Doesn’t Make Sense

Economics isn’t named the dismal science for no good reason. In terms of the accuracy of its predictions, it has more in common with Astrology than Physics or Chemistry. Seriously, if you had based your investment decisions on their predictions on when the economy would turn, I wouldn’t be surprised to find you living in the streets today. The problem is, these economic models are … [Read more...]

Get Rich With…Reading!

Unlike children of today, I didn’t have a computer, cell phone, tablet or even internet access until I was a teenager. And guess what? I am not complaining. I consider myself lucky to grow up in an age when there weren’t that many entertainment options. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t love to read as much as I do now and consequently, my English would not be good enough to churn out posts like … [Read more...]

3 Reasons Not To Pay Off Your Mortgage Early

“Dear, are you sure we should take a 30-year home loan? Perhaps we should seriously consider a 25-year or even a 20-year loan instead. With our incomes, the higher monthly instalments shouldn’t be a problem. Otherwise, we could use some of our cash reserves to reduce the loan quantum. Somehow, stretching this debt to the time when we turn 55 doesn’t seem that great an idea to me” Mrs 15 HWW was … [Read more...]