Author: My 15 Hour Work Week

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 though many are already spending a considerable proportion of their salaries (>10%) on insurance polices. Funny, isn’t it? But let’s just assume that these studies are right, even if they are commissioned by the very people who are selling insurance products (talk about...

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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 area, I shall share my take on the concept of insurance. First of all, I would like to highlight that the main purpose of purchasing insurances is to hedge/transfer our risk, and at a small cost. In this natural form, insurance is a beneficial tool...

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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. =) Below is the detailed breakdown for this month’s expenses: ==================== Eating Out: $622.30 Since we rarely cooked in September (helping my parents-in-law with their house-moving preparations), this category was slightly higher compared to the previous month. Hawker ($261.45) –...

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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 of the local banks, DBS. Monthly statements were provided as an update and I was normally the one paying closer attention to them. Understandably, even though Mrs 15 HWW is the owner of this...

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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, schools provided support with remedial and supplementary lessons. Whereas for better performers, she indicated her belief that tuition could add unnecessary stress and prove counter-productive. The typical view held by the man on the street is that...

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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 told her that readers wouldn’t want to be spotted reading a blog with misleading chat-line ads showing pretty and scantily clad women being just a call away. I also reassured her that in time, the whole Singapore...

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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 money bombs, I appear to have attached a negative connotation to these events too. But truthfully speaking, they are actually some of the happiest moments in my life. If getting married to...

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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 based on the BIG assumption that human beings are rational. But are we really that rational? (I start to think of those big diamond rings and their price tags) Seems not, especially if you have been following the latest research and findings from...

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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 these. During my kindergarten and early Primary school years, the highlight of the afternoon was those one hour re-runs of some SBC (prior to TCS and Mediacorp) serials which included my all-time favourite 早安!...

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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 really concerned when we collected the keenly anticipated keys to our brand-new BTO flat in Punggol. In exchange for a humble abode, we also had to commit to almost $300,000 of debt. All these at the...

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Mr Fredricksen Should Have Saved More For His Trip!

After the Aladdin parody, I am on a roll with cartoons/movies and today, we shall be picking up some simple personal finance lessons from the movie “UP”. “UP” is one of my favourite movies in recent years. Its really a heartwarming show and I happened to have watched it a few times already. The best parts are actually the opening scenes which never fail to induce moisture in my eyes. I have placed a video below in case you don’t understand what I am talking about. I really feel for Mr Fredricksen and can’t imagine the day when my dear wife isn’t around...

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Aladdin’s Choice: Superior Saving Rate Or Superior Investment Return?

Agrabah had fallen on hard times and Aladdin* decided to leave in search of better pastures for him and his wife, Jasmine. He decided to come to Singapore since knew that he would have little problems qualifying for Permanent Residency (PR). Afterall, he was a famous celebrity like Jackie, Jet and Gong Li. It also helped that the wages were relatively high for an officer worker in Singapore. After a few months, Aladdin slowly settled into his $5,000 a month office job. Having the good fortune to stumble on this great blog, he also started to have dreams of an early and comfortable retirement. Aladdin agreed...

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Passive Income Update: August 13

Not surprisingly, the My Passive Income page is by far the most popular page in my blog. Understandably so, since everybody loves taking a peek or two at each other’s assets to better benchmark themselves with others. That’s what we all did back in army. Remember those times when we were showering? ;p On hindsight, I also realised I did quite a shoddy job for that page. There wasn’t any explanations or rationale of why I bought into specific companies and I also did not divulge the entry prices of these investments. It was especially dangerous, since there are many people out there who buys what financial bloggers buy...

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Expenditure Update: August 13

In a perfect world, I would be working a 15 hour work week in a job I love and take pride in. Productivity would be sky high and I will still be justifying a salary of $3k to $5k, even though I work so much less. And instead of making myself fat at restaurants or spending my still hard-earned money at malls, the leisure time is spent having fun with friends/relatives in my home or better still, outdoors. Okok, I know I am being really greedy here. Why not let’s restrict the perfect world imagination to this blog instead. Ideally, I would only be spending an hour to churn out one quality post and my readers would increase geometrically until...

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Our Fixed Expenses

I hate hypocrites. These people say one thing, but do another. No, I am not refering to the girlfriend that says “Anything’s fine for dinner” but gives you a frown when you suggest MacDonald’s, Ding Tai Fung or Sushi Tei. And I am also not talking about parents who spend their free time watching TV or playing mahjong but ask their children to study or read more story books. Ooops. I am actually pointing my fingers at those financial advisers/bloggers who always advocate budgeting or recording expenses but in actual fact, fail to do so. A few weeks ago, I wrote a post/guide detailing...

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