Author: Retire by 50

Explain the power of compounding to your kid using magic

Explaining personal finance to kids can be very challenging, especially when it comes to the logic around compounding. Here’s a simple way to explain the power of compounding with your kids. Here’s how the conversation would be like between me and my imaginary son, Tom. Mickey: Tom, what would you rather have, $100,000 or a 10 cent coin that magically doubles its value every day for 30 days? Tom: $100,000, of course! Let the magic begin Now let’s show Tom the difference between the 2 choices. Here’s how the first 10 days would look like: Day 1: $0.10 Day 2:...

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3 things I’ve learnt about myself from Seedly’s recent event

Seedly is probably the only company that is able to organize a finance event in Singapore that managed to get people in their 20-30s to show up for a 6-hour long event, and make them pay $30 to attend. On a lovely Saturday morning, I joined the bunch of lovely folks from Seedly at their exclusive meetup, Coffee Meets Investing. It’s a one-day meetup that discusses about a variety of topics around personal finance and investments. Decide how much insurance coverage is sufficient for you The recommendations made by Kenneth from Seedly on insurance planning was very similar to my low-cost...

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Build a budget with this simple salary allocation budgeting template

We’ve crossed the middle of the year again and if you’re as lucky as I am, you should have been informed of your salary increment for 2018. This year, I got a small increment of $195 in my monthly payroll so that’s an additional 195 one-dollar soldiers awaiting for deployment every month! I checked my salary allocation budget that I update every year and it looks like there’s no additional expenses incurred so far. That’s good news to me because all the 195 one-dollar soldiers will be deployed to investment wealth accumulation. What’s a salary allocation budget? A salary...

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Would you retire in Cambodia?

In my last post, I wrote about how my first property investment has finally completed and with that, my 3 years of scrimping and saving to pay for the purchase has also ended. Hooray! Recently, I saw a photo of the actual building in a property investment website so I thought I share it with you. I find that it looks quite similar to the artist’s impression in the brochure. What do you think? I’ve signed the lease agreement with Oxley to allow them to manage and rent the property on my behalf since I’m not retiring that soon. It does feel...

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I’m going to play the 30-day Minimalism Game

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus from The Minimalists created this game called the 30-Day Minimalism Game that helped thousands of people worldwide declutter their homes. How to play the 30-Day Minimalism Game The game is a way of getting rid of the excess, the stuff that no longer adds value to one’s life. Here’s how it works. On the first day of the month, you get rid of 1 thing. On the second day of the month, you get rid of 2 things. You get the picture. Anything can go! Clothes, furniture, electronics, tools, etc. By the end of the month,...

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Why I chose AutoWealth to set up my first Robo-Advisor investment account

A number of robo-advisory startups have sprouted in Singapore in the last 2 years. They provide financial advice or portfolio management online with moderate to minimal human intervention in exchange for lower management fees. Most of the decision making is based on mathematical rules or algorithms. I’ve been monitoring startups like AutoWealth, StashAway and Smartly who are competing in this space since they started and now, they have all obtained their respective MAS licences to operate (except Smartly who collaborated with VCG Partners Pte. Ltd. a MAS licensed fund manager in Singapore to manage your money). With the right regulations in...

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Expense Report: September 2017

Summary Expenses clocked a new high this month as I had 2 weeks before I transitioned to a new job. I took some time off and travelled around China, meeting old friends before the new job kicks in. Total expenses for July: $4,411.63 (including fixed expenses of $957.95)  Details Food: $443.86 Groceries: $13.50 Transportation: $118.29 Shopping: $1120.19 Entertainment: $180.35...

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How I saved money on my Hulu and VPN subscriptions in 2017

This is an update on how I saved money on my Hulu subscriptions this year. Its slightly different from the Hulu savings tip I posted in a few years ago and in this post, I will also cover on VPN subscriptions as well. In 2014, I blogged about how I saved money by purchasing disconted Hulu gift cards on eBay to pay for my Hulu subscription. That’s one way to get around paying for monthly Hulu subscriptions because I don’t have a US credit card. That ship has already sailed and if you do a search on eBay, the Hulu gift...

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Save money by tracking your subscriptions with TrackMySubs

In the last 2 years, businesses have been transitioning their products and services from a ‘pay once and use forever’ business model into a subscription-based business model. For me, I’m using subscription-based services for almost everything in my daily life. Here’s a some of the subscriptions I’m paying on each month: Microsoft Office 365 Netflix Hulu Spotify Premium SingTel fibre and mobile Personal insurance Mortgage loan All of them are paid automatically with my credit card, which is great because I don’t want to spend time making regular payments all the time. The downside of this is that I tend...

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Fixed Expenditure Update: 2017

Here’s an update to my fixed expenditure for 2017 with some changes to my expenses liabilities. Mortgage: $828 $879 (CPF) As I move to the 3rd year of my bank loan for my HDB flat, the monthly mortgage repayment amount has increased from $828 to $879. Still within my monthly CPF contribution with some surplus so I’m comfortable with that. Parent Allowance: $600 My mother retired many years ago after her leg started giving her problems. On top of the monthly payouts from her CPF account, I have been giving her some allowance each month. $500 $600 isn’t very much but that...

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Expense Report: January 2017

I’m starting afresh to diligently report my expenses after taking a break for a year. I wish I have the perseverance of Mr 15HWW to keep doing this year on year but I’m going to try my best! Transportation: $145 Commuting charges on the B.M.W (bus, MRT, walk) went much higher this year due to the Chinese New Year as we took cab rides when visiting our relatives. Food: $378.70 Food expenses wasn’t as high as I thought considering the number of public holidays this month. I’m still not bringing lunches to work as my current workplace has affordable eating...

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Automating the investing process with OCBC BCIP and POSB Invest-Saver

Do you believe in dollar cost averaging or lump sum investment? Over the past few years, I’m a firm believer on the former. But do I practice what I preach? That’s a whole different story. The ammunition is there but no bullets were fired While I’m consistently socking money away in my investment war chest, I found that I’ve not made a single transaction in my online brokerage account at all this year. *The horror!* It’s not that I don’t have money to invest in my portfolio but the reality is that I’m still a novice when it comes...

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Simple steps to start managing your salary better

I started my journey 2 years ago with a simple goal of improving my financial lifestyle and the aim of retiring by the age of 50. I can’t say the journey was easy as I had to make many lifestyle changes and be wiser about how I spend my money. In some cases, it can be as simple as choosing to leave home 15 minutes earlier to take the train instead of hopping on a taxi in a mad rush to work. Others, it’s a matter of convincing my friends to have dinner in a food court before a movie...

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My interview with the creators of Seedly, your personal finance assistant

Last week I wrote about a new personal finance app called Seedly that I’ve started using to track my expenses. It’s one of a kind in Singapore in the sense that it is able to extract transaction information from your bank accounts in the 5 major banks in Singapore and allocate them into expense and income categories. The process is a bit tedious as I need to manually log in to my bank account using Seedly each time I do a download, it’s a small price to pay considering I no longer have to manually enter my expenses each...

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Automate your expense tracking with Seedly

I would like to consider myself a Millennial. An old one. I love automation and I want to automate most of my everyday tasks as much as possible. That includes expense tracking. My current process involves manually logging my spendings as they happen. Then, I update my Google Spreadsheet with my total expenses at the end of the month. As I browse the MrMoneyMustache forum, I see how fellow MMMs in America use SaaS online services such as Mint and Personal Capital to track their expenses. It’s the perfect solution because they can connect to their bank accounts and extract...

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