My biggest fear.

If anyone ever asked me this very question, I would likely have answered “lizards” or just for fun, “my mother” — note that both these sentences were true. Just to clarify, my mother used to be really scary. Though she has lost her scary touch over the years (😂). I am also still slightly uncomfortable around lizards but is getting better.

So what is my fear then? I actually do not know what it is called. Cleithrophobia? Claustrophobia?

Cleithrophobia is the fear of closed spaces or being locked in an enclosed place.

Claustrophobia
/ˌklɔːstrəˈfəʊbɪə/
noun

Essentially, I get anxiety attacks when I get locked in. It can be a cave with a tiny entrance and big guys blocking the entrance (yes this happened. And the big guy is my 1.8m+ tall friend). Or sleeping beside my fiance who gave me a tad too little space. Or being locked in a house without a key to get out. Or just meditating.

I will only know a certain something triggers me when it actually triggers me. So it is hard to avoid things that I do not already know triggers me. @.@

I wrote this post because my anxiety attack got (slightly) triggered listening to the latest ChooseFI podcast about an ex-inmate’s journey to financial freedom. I wanted to know the full story so I listened to the entirety of the podcast and was fascinated. Both by the podcast and by my body’s reaction to the podcast. I think the anxiety was so light this time around that I can control my impulses and not feel like I want to jump out of the bus. Or rip my hair off my scalp. I think I might be able to control this. Time to experiment on me. Haha!

On a side note, fortunately, I do well in most public places. I have no issues with the elevator or on public transports. Yay for me.

New Year’s Resolution 2019.

First off, a big Happy New Year to everyone reading this. And yes, I am going to join the new year’s resolution club!

New year's resolution

At the end of 2017, I have decided not to set any new year’s resolution for 2018 but instead opt for shorter goals. Which I did not document properly, which means I do not have anything to check off at this time of the year. To avoid future disappointment I am going to join the resolution club this year!

I strongly believe in setting a bigger main goal and multiple smaller goals to aid with the main goal. I will likely be revisiting my resolutions in the near future to make sure I am able to hit my main goals as well as to update some goals that are still not clearly thought out.

Self

  • JLPT 5 level.
    • Read and write hiragana and katakana.
    • JLPT 5 kanji.
    • JLPT 5 vocab.
  • Juggle for > 1 minute at a time.
  • Work on a schedule.
    • Mon: Self-study.
    • Tue: Juggling.
    • Wed: Fiance / Video making.
    • Thu: Japanese.
    • Fri: Fiance / Video making.
    • Sat: Board game.
    • Sun: Study.
  • Consistent journaling.
  • Consistent morning routine. — To be updated.

Health

  • 1kg lesser every month. — Note this is an estimate only, getting healthier is still. Might have to switch to fat% counting later this year.
    • 65kg by Feb 2019.
    • 63kg by Apr 2019.
    • 61kg by Jun 2019.
    • 59kg by Aug 2019.
    • 57kg by Oct 2019.
    • 55kg by Dec 2019.
  • Better Eyesight.
    • Bates method.
    • Active focusing.
  • More consistent sleep.
    • At least 7 hours/day.
  • Reduce snacking.

Family

  • Bridge the gap.
  • Communication is key.

Financial

  • Invest monthly.
  • Reduce expenditure to 500/mth.

Social

  • Spend time with people that matter.
    • Weekly board games.
    • Occasional hosting of meals.
    • Occational outtings.

Spiritual

  • I am not me.
  • I love myself.

Work / ProJacqs

  • Handle working from home better.
  • Weekly video making. — I will explain this in a separate post.
    • Start posting by end of January.

HDB: To HDB or not to HDB?

HDB Singapore

I have mentioned previously my long-term goals would be to have 2 properties, a 3-room resale HDB as well as a 2-room BTO.  This plan has been in place for years since the timeline works well.  However, I am starting to have second thoughts about the plans which I will go through more later.

To paint a clearer picture, let me first explain some housing rules in Singapore.

Note that I am going to use the simplest high-level explanation.  For a more in-depth explanation please search through HDB’s website.

HDB Flats

Public housing in Singapore is governed by the Housing and Development Board (HDB).  For simplicity, Singaporeans often refer to HDB flats as just “HDB”.  All HDB flats come with a standard 99-year leasehold, as well as certain rules and regulations to follow through whilst leasing from HDB. 

Example, selling and renting of the entire flat is only applicable when the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) is met.  Which is typically 5 years from the date of purchase.  There are also rules about the number of people that can stay in the flat as well as a quota for non-citizens.

Resale vs BTO

A resale flat is essentially a flat bought through the open market.  It is typically more expansive and has a shorter tenure (duh, 99-years and MOP, etc).  The good thing is there is little wait time.  Once the transaction is done it is possible to move in straight away.  A BTO (Build-To-Order) HDB flat on the other hand has a general waiting time of around 3 years (it used to be longer but the Singapore government is working to reducing the wait time) and is a lot cheaper than a resale flat.

Eligibility of purchasing HDB

How to get HDB?

The eligibility for getting a flat depends on the schemes in which are applicable for the individual trying to get the flat.  The general idea is you can get a flat once you plan to get legally married.  Since same-sex marriage is not available in Singapore the only scheme that both my fiance and I can fit into is the Single Singaporean Citizen Scheme or Joint Singles Scheme.

HDB Eligibility Schemes

To check eligibility, please click here.

Single Scheme / Joint Singles Scheme

Unfortunately…

For us “singles” (in the eyes of the law, that and the fact that we have yet to officially marry), the minimum age to get a flat is when we reach 35.  Which is 4 years for me and 6 years for my fiance.  Since Single and Joint Singles Scheme do not make much of a difference besides the ability to pay for the flat using both party’s CPF, we would definitely opt for the Single Scheme.

Single Scheme / Joint Single Scheme.

More info here.

Initial Plan

The timeline actually works well for us.  For clarity I will use my age to paint a better picture.

  • 35 – Get and move into resale 3-room under my name.
  • 37 – Apply for BTO 2-room under the fiance’s name.
  • 40 – BTO 2-room should be ready.  MOP of 3-room reached.  Move out of 3-room and move into 2-room.  Rent out 3-room.

Renting out the 3-room flat should generate enough income to cover the loan for both flats. 

But…

  • The plan takes too long to execute. 
  • Missed opportunities.
  • Unsure if we will retire in Singapore.

We have yet to come up with a final plan, or even a rough plan, but we are toying around with ideas.  This has caused us some headaches to be honest and we hope to be able to settle down with an idea soon. 

Grocery shopping in Singapore?!

grocery shoppingI have to admit I am an aunty at heart (or maybe just an aunty). I love to grocery shop. In fact, I think grocery stores are the single most visited place I ever visit in the mall. I don’t physically shop that much, but when I do you can bet I am grocery shopping at a grocery store.

As a kiasu an experienced aunty independent woman, let me share my preferred places to get groceries. 😀  Grocery shopping in Singapore is actually not hard (and very cost effective) if you know where to look!

Before I start, you should know that I personally cook with frozen meat. It is way more cost effective, way more convenient, and can be bought in bulk. Which is exceptionally beneficial for someone like me who is on a keto diet.

Note that frozen food inherently does not taste as nice as fresh food (duh!) but for the convenience, I would keep purchasing them.

Protein sources

I alternate between Omnifrozen and S. S. Kim as my main protein source. Both offer free delivery above 80 SGD and offer self-pick-up if needed.

Omnifrozen

I am recently big on bone broth (so as to fix my fiancé’s digestive system) and I personally order from Omnifrozen for all my bone needs. They have all the types of bones I typically look for (chicken, beef, pork). And on top of that, MARROWS!!! I love the marrows (beef only)!

Not all is good though. I recently bought some grass-fed ribeyes but was disappointed by the price to value ratio (layman terms: bo hua). The quality is lower than what I expect. I shall be on the hunt for better steak sources!

Highlights: Bones (of all kinds).

Typical: Meat (of all kinds), salmon, prawns, edamame.

S. S. Kim

S. S. Kim is similar to that of Omnifrozen. Their prices are quite close, with some discrepancies. They sell more than just frozen meat. On top of the frozen vegetables (like that of Omnifrozen), they offer frozen fruits, groceries, and more. I personally try to stay clear from process foods so I have not been purchasing anything else other than the frozen meat and vegetables (yet to try their frozen fruits). I used to purchase Anchor butter from them (it is not listed), but ever since they increase their price I stopped getting butter from them (more on cheap butter later).

Highlights: Variety of offerings, things Omnifrozen do not have.

Typical: Meat (of all types), frozen fruits.

Grocery Shopping

Phoon Huat / Redman

For all your baking needs! And some groceries as well! Ever since going keto, butter, cheese, and heavy whipping cream have became staple items for me. I stock up every month or so, maybe even longer.

A 200g block of butter can be as low as 2.40 SGD. A 1-liter pack of heavy whipping cream (not some random Frankenstein cream) is around 8.25 SGD (not the cheapest in store). Each block of 200g cheese/slice cheese is around 3.50 SGD. As compared to other grocery stores:

Phoon Huat Redmart NTUC Fairprice
Butter $2.40 $3.50 $3.95
Heavy Whipping Cream $8.25 $10.00 $4.00 (equivalent volume)
Cheese $3.50 $4.25 (equivalent volume) $6.08 (equivalent volume)

On top of the above, Phoon Huat also sells all sorts of baking ware, nuts, including but not limited to hazelnuts, macadamia, almonds, and more.

Highlights: Butter, cream, cheese, nuts, almond flour (extra fine blanched almonds).

Typical: Bake ware, spices, herbs, baking needs, and more.

Redmart

Until a few days ago, I get everything else from Redmart. I used to have the liveup membership which grants me free delivery over $40. So I would grocery shop every 2 weeks to a month to replenish my kitchen. The delivery is generally great. Of all the deliveries I had over the past year I only had 2 late deliveries.

However, I do find myself buying things I do not need just to hit the minimum for delivery. (Fresh vegetables can only last that long!)

For people who are worried about the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables, I would say my experience was overall positive. I did have some broken eggs from rough delivery, some items with close expiry, and some not-so-fresh vegetables, but I did manage to get a refund or return for all the above listed. Not too shabby.

Highlights: Variety.

Typical: Vegetables, canned food (healthier ones)

NTUC Fairprice

My current place for “everything else”. Trying to make it “a thing” to go grocery shopping with the fiancé. It is a nice change to do physical grocery shopping I would say. Something different and definitely positive. We do have to prepare to change the menu / create a menu on the spot sometimes when we go for impromptu grocery shopping.  We are still getting used to this so I can only update after I tried it a few more times.  I did notice I can actually notice myself impulse buy.  Definitely different from online shopping where I typically not notice my impulse buys.

Price in Fairprice varies.  I would say I pay similar to what I would have paid if I ordered through Redmart.

Highlights: All over Singapore fr you all grocery shopping needs. Lol.

Typical: Everything basically.

Re-introduction

Re-introduction

After the post I posted a week ago, I thought this would be a good chance for me to re-introduce myself. Not as Ms. Finding Money but as who I really am. You know, put a face to the name. So to speak.

Hi, my name is Jacquelyn and I run this blog. I am born, bred and raised in our tiny, pretty lion city. I have a wonderful girlfriend fiancé who has tolerated me for the past 11 years. In fact, we have just celebrated our anniversary 3 days ago as of writing typing this.

Currently staying with my mother and soon-to-move-out sister in a 4-room HDB. We are middle class (I think?), with my mother semi-retired and both my sister and I working full time.

Working life’s been hard on me lately as I have mentioned in my previous posts. But I am getting better at managing my thoughts. And I strive to get better each day.

I enjoy cooking, playing board games, and nua-ing (laze around). Have an unhealthy love for gadgets and online shopping.

Recently into GAPS (gut healing diet) and ketogenic diet, as well as natural eyesight improvements.

Short-term goals

  • Set up weekly meal plans
  • Eat bulk of the meals at home
  • Change mentality about work
  • Invest consistently

Long-term goals

  • 3-room resale HDB
  • 2-room BTO
  • Month-long trips overseas
  • Semi-retired by 40

Timeline

  • 2017 (30) – Japan trip for 10th year anniversary
  • 2019 (32) – Marriage certificate
  • 2022 (35) – Apply for resale HDB
  • 2024 (37) – Apply for BTO
  • 2027 (40) – Semi-retired
  • 2032 (45) – Retired

The Mission Statement

The mission statement

I first know about mission statements from J.D. Roth’s post on the Financial Independence Reddit.  For some reason, it resonates with me.  So much so that I sent screenshots to my friends the moment I chanced upon it.

Multiple attempts later I realised it is no simple task finding out one’s mission statement. I referenced many mission statements and wrote down many versions but none felt right. It was either too forceful or too blunt. Too narrow or too vague.

I ended up following J.D. Roth’s post and finally got a full mission statement. It wasn’t easy either. I cleared all distractions and wrote the mission statement in the void deck. I think I spent around 2 hours just to get my mission statement right. Even had to touch it up a little after that.

Here’s what I came up with:

My mission statement:

Carefree living, constant learning, periodical traveling, always doing things I enjoy with the people I care about.

Breakdown

Carefree living

Financially stable, no worries about health, family, and friends. Able to do anything I want without worries.

Constant learning

Learning everything I am interested in. This includes going back to school or working in industries I have never worked before.

Periodic travelling

Travel for longer periods (preferably > 1 month) every few months to different locations to soak in the culture.

Always doing things I enjoy with the people I care about.

Life is too short to be doing something I do not enjoy. So either learn to enjoy whatever I do or change what I am doing. Also, I care too much about what people I *don’t* care about think. It is time for me to put my priorities straight and only worry about people I *do* care about.

Verdict

Write your own mission statement.  It will help you understand what means more to you.

A brief history

I have not been posting consistently.  And I think I know why now. 

First, a brief history.

2009

I was earning around 22k gross.  I was unhappy with both my skill set and my foreseeable future.  After intense consideration, I started searching around for a graduate program that suits me.  I eventually found one but the tuition is way more than what my family and I could afford.

Just then!

A friend of mine introduced me to Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT).  It was said to be the 5th University in Singapore and all the tuition fees are government subsidised.  I went to do some research and got enrolled in DigiPen Institute of Technology.

I can never forget the day I got into DigiPen.  Squealed the loudest I ever did in the middle of the night waking up my whole family at the same time.  And I **never** squeal.  Well, besides years later after I developed the fear for lizards (I am working on that as I am typing this).

2010

I started DigiPen life.  It was awesome but tedious.  Fun but scary.  Fulfilling but tiring.  I stopped my side hustles 2 semesters in to focus on studying.  I postponed my graduation for a year to get my math minor.  Something that I still wonder (sometimes) if it was worth it.  It was an extra 2,000 SGD and 3 extra modules of my time.  At least I got to experience something new.  And I was already working by then so I guess it wasn’t so bad (?).

2011 – 2013

*DigiPen is a time vortex*

2014

I graduated and got myself a full-time job in a statutory board organisation earning approximately 38k.  I started spending like a typical fresh graduate.  The daily morning breakfast at Mr Bean and tea break at Starbucks became the norm.  Lunch expenses are typically around 10 SGD.  Essentially, with the extra income I have, I started spending more on gadgets and increased my standard of living.  I also got introduced to credit cards and began spending more to hit the minimum to be eligible for cash backs.

I needed to balance things out.

I started looking for side hustles to earn some extra income.  I found many things including surveys, credit card churning and many more.  I thought it would be a good idea to document these ideas down which is how this blog came to existence.  I even joined a writing competition with one of my posts and won. XD.

Then it happened.

During a chat with my childhood friend, I got introduced to stocks and with her help started a trading account with Standard Chartered.  After some random chat with my colleagues to know more about trading I got to know about ETFs and got linked to Shiny Things’ HardwareZone (HWZ) *Official* Shiny Things club – Part 2.

One thing led to another and I find myself on blogs like Mr Money Mustache and Early Retirement Extreme.

2015

Switched jobs, now earning 42k.  I started purchasing some ES3 and A35.  I set aside around 50% of my take-home pay for the rest of 2015.

2016

Switching jobs had me join the hamster wheel.  Busy at work, purchase something to cheer me-self up.  Repeat.

2016 is a year I did not save at all.

2017

The company I am in is having some financial difficulties and couldn’t give us our salary on time.  This is where I noticed I couldn’t make ends meet!  Why do I not have enough money to pay for my credit card bills?!  I am just lucky I at least save a little in 2015.

Tighten my budget and started re-aiming for early retirement.  I also started to buy IWDA.

2018

Currently setting aside around 75% of my take-home pay. — My take-home pay excludes CPF and the amount I give my mother.  Saving money is no longer an issue for me.  Currently, my personal well-being is my priority and I have been striving to be happier and healthier.

Anyways, as can see many things have changed in the past 3 years.  The blog in search of money is no longer a priority to me.  My priorities now are just setting aside enough, be healthy and happy.

Thus, I have decided to forego my unexplainable need to care what the domain name of this blog is and just update post whatever I want.  Anything related to my journey, be it financially related or not.

Bonus

My net worth chart.  As can see, no savings in 2016, not much income in 2017 and consistent in 2018! 😀

*Note: Image taken from YNAB.  Thinking back, I can credit (or is it de-credit) YNAB for my overspending in 2016.  I guess I just assumed using a budget tracker will miraculously make me save more…

High-interest rates bank account without income in Singapore?

As mentioned in my brief update post, I was tasked to help with my mother’s retirement planning.  Before I dig dipper into anything I thought it would be an intelligent choice to “park” the extra cash she has on hand first.  After some digging, I found a few choices that are good without the need to earn an income.  As many of us know, bank accounts typically provide high-interest rates only if you:

  1. spend via their credit cards, or
  2. deposit your income with them

Since my mother is semi-retired she would not be able to satisfy either condition.  Hence the research.  Now, the research findings.

Citibank Maxigain

maxigain interest

I think this is of no surprise for anyone who is looking into high-interest rates accounts.  Maxigain has been gaining popularity since it’s launch.  The idea is you can get up to 80% of the 1-month SIBOR rate + 1.2% bonus interest.  Which as of Aug 2018 is 1.208% (80% of 1.51%) + 1.2% = 2.408%.  This is really attractive since the money is theoretically liquid and easily accessible without any risks involved.

But as always, there is a catch.  For this case, a few catches

Step up bonus interest scheme

maxigain step up bonus interest

The 1.2% is a step up bonus.  We can get up to 1.2%, but the rate starts at 0.0% and slowly steps up another 0.1% every month.  This essentially means we only get the maximum interest rates 13 months after account opening.  To “play cheat” a little, we can start the account near the end of the month to get the 0.1% in a few days.  Lol.

Lower balance penalty

The bonus interest counter (12, for each 0.1%) resets if our lowest balance in the current month is lower than the lowest balance in the preceding month.  Let’s give an illustration to understand this further.

Month Balance Counter Bonus Interest
Jan $100,000 0 0.0%
Feb $100,100 1 0.1%
Mar $100,200 2 0.2%
Apr $90,000 0 0.0%
May $100,000 1 0.1%

As can be seen from the table above, the bonus interest counter in April is reset to 0 since there is a lower balance in April.  Hope this helps clarify the restriction.

maxigain counter reset

Note that if the counter is above 6 it will be reset to 6 instead of 0.  The above image is taken from Citibank’s website.

Balance restriction

There is both a minimum and maximum balance restriction to Maxigain.  Well, the maximum is not a restriction on balance, rather a cap on the interest earned.  The base interest rate (80% of SIBOR rate) will reduce to 0.05% for any balance above $150,000.

maxigain balance restrictions

The minimum is a sneaky one.  According to Citibank, “You need to maintain a daily end of day balance of at least S$10,000 in your Maxigain account to earn base interest”.  They, however, fail to mention the Total Relationship Balance (TRB).

maxigain is sneaky

I extracted the above image from a PDF banking fee document from Citibank.  For some reason I Google can’t find anything about the TRB on the Citibank website which makes this so much more sneaky!  Or maybe I am just a bad Googler.  Even if the information is available, I can only find the repercussions, so to speak, of the TRB on a separate page!  Shouldn’t this information be available at one glance?

maxigain is sneaky #2

If anyone is interested, the pages are 2 and 4 for the respective images.

ICBC Fixed Deposit

Yes, I know I know, not a high-interest rate bank account!  It’s a fixed deposit!  But this works so well with Maxigain!

ICBC is offering a whopping 1.85% for a 12 months tenure!  This is one of the, if not the best you can get for 12 months without risk.  Even Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) is only offering 1.75% for the first year.  And let’s be honest, there are more hoops for SSB unfortunately.

icbc fix deposit

The catch, yes there is ALWAYS a catch with these banks! Is:

Only for e-banking

Though if you are reading this I think e-banking is not an issue at all. 😉

Money locked in

Yes, the money will be locked in for however long the tenure is, but if used in conjunction with Maxigain I think it is not a bad deal at all.  You get 1.85% for the coming year and you just transfer whatever that is in this account to Maxigain after the tenure ends.

Minimum balance

At $20,000 the minimum balance is pretty high for us average joes (or janes).

CIMB FastSaver

This is the simplest account in the list.  It is relatively high in interest rates (1%) and there are no hoops to jump through.  Unless you count the minimum deposit of $1,000.

Wait, where is the catch?!

“High-interest rates”???

If you compare to other accounts in the list this bank account is nothing much.  But it is still something!

Maximum balance cap

Similar to that of Maxigain, CIMB FastSaver also have their interest capped.  Anything above $50,000 will have their interest reduce to 0.6%.

cimb interest cap

Conclusion

So, conclusion, start a Maxigain at/near the end of the month and chuck $15,000.  Place however much you are comfortable being locked up (minimum $20,000) in ICBC Fixed Deposit and the remaining in CIMB FastSaver.

And as always, do your own research!!

The money code.

*Note: I wrote this post back in 2015 (and reposted in 2017) as a guide for fresh graduates to have a simple guideline on how to handle money.  Some things have changed so what you will see below in bold are my updated views of “The Money Code”.

Stay debt free

This is the #1 rule. ALWAYS stay debt-free. Credit card debts have over 20% interest rates. You don’t want that accumulating!  I have since had more understanding about debts and realised low-interest debts can actually be used as leverage so long as we understand the consequences. So the key would be: Stay away from high-interests debts and understand the risks involved before taking on low-interest debts.

Pay bills on time (or ahead of time if possible)

This goes hand in hand with staying high-interest debt-free. Also, to avoid accidental late payments, it is good practice to pay ahead of time.  This is always true regardless of high or low interest.  Additional admin fees are best avoided.

Keep an emergency fund

Keep 3 to 8 6 months of monthly expenditure (this includes insurance, family contribution and day-to-day expenses). Emergency funds are great protection against any financial stress. It helps fight against emergencies, job losses and over expenditure.

Refrain from unnecessary expenditure(s)

As a rule of thumb, always ask “Is this necessary?” before any purchase.  I usually add an item into my online shopping cart and think it through for around a month before making the purchase.

Calculate the odds before getting the lottery

Basically, treat lottery as a form of entertainment. It is never a form of investment.

Reduce routine expenditures

You know what I am saying. Yes! The Mr Bean / Ya Kun during breakfast as well as the Starbucks during lunch or tea time!  The key is to not develop bad spending habits.

Wake up early

No, I am not saying this to be health conscious or for self-help. I am saying this to remind you to avoid taking the taxi and to let you have ample time to prepare your own food or snacks.  I now make a cup of keto coffee every morning before I head to work and I love it.

Moderate entertainment cost

Instead of a movie night in a theatre, suggest movie night at someone’s place instead. It is a lot of fun and you get to talk and be as loud as you want. Pick up cheaper or free hobbies. Also, go for the cheaper alternative. Instead of buying books, borrow or get the e-book instead. E-books are usually much cheaper. And many of them are free!  I now cook for my friends and I enjoy it. 🙂

Avoid instalments

If you cannot afford it, you should not get it. Well, unless there is a special promotion for instalment payment. Make sure you have enough money to pay it all!

Dodge subscriptions

Subscriptions are just as bad, if not worst than instalments. Many people do not fully utilise the subscription and money just goes to waste!  I am actually worried about the future, especially for software, since many companies are embracing the subscription model.

P.S. As can see from the image above, the title of this post is actually inspired by The Bro Code from How I Met Your Mother, and not the other books titled The Money Code.  Just thought I should clarify some stuff.  Also, big fan of HIMYM.  Not the ending, but still love it.

P.P.S. I just realised I have posted this back in 2017 and I noted that I love HIMYM back then, too!

Brief update.

I am physically in Johor Bahru as I type this post. Here for a short (around 24 hour) get away with the girlfriend. It’s 5:41 am. Rose early and thought I should just type a brief update since Google AdSense reminded me I have a website that I have been neglecting (oops).

Job

Work’s fine. Managed to get an increment near the beginning of this year, and as usual looking forward to the next increment. Occasionally feeling burnt out, but I attribute it to the fact that I have not been “getting away” (hence the JB trip) as well as the inefficient work that I have to deal with recently. I still enjoy my job, just need to find a balance and not feel burnt out I guess.

Family

Recently went through my mother’s finance and found out she is in an optimal position for retirement. Even more so since both my other sibling and I will be providing her with part of her “income” so to speak. I would need to do more calculations, but for now, I am just searching for places to “park” some of her on hand cash from the (not so recent) CPF withdrawal.

Life

Life’s been awesome. Boring, but awesome. Been cooking a lot more. Especially for my (very picky) girlfriend, who has been making my cooking-life super hard. But nonetheless enjoying all the cooking I have been doing. Recently (less than a week) started trying a low carb diet and have been enjoying it. It is surprisingly easy to find food that I can eat. Though I would have to make some sacrifices. Example saying goodbye to my beloved latte. The keto coffee makes up for it though.

Investment

I have “bought into” both Great Eastern’s GE205 and GE270, which I had to move a portion of my emergency funds into (word of caution, not a good thing to do). I have been building up my emergency funds since, for the past few months whilst investing enough to cover not spend too much on the account maintenance fees from Interactive Brokers (IB).

Bought some EIMI recently after the slight dip (not quite low enough when I bought it, but we can’t really time the market, so just close our eyes and DCA in).

Been trying to find out what ratio of Singapore stocks to international stocks I should be holding. The “traditional” Shiny Things’ (Joshua Giersch) method is to maintain a 50:50 ratio between ES3 and IWDA. However, I recently found out about another HardwareZone (HWZ) forum-er, BBCWatcher has a slightly different approach which made sense to me. According to him, we should hold no more than 20% of Singapore stocks during our wealth accumulation period and slowly draw down our international stocks as we age / near retirement. Of course, that is if we intend to retire in Singapore. I am actually lost in what to do at the moment so before I can decide I will set a ratio in between that of Shiny Things (50:50) and BBCWatchers (20:80). I’d likely go with 35:65 for the moment and see how things go.

*Note: I advocate on finding out about your own finances yourself. Do not blindly listen to any single person.

I guess that would be it for the updates. Will attempt to stop neglecting this site. But I make no promises. =X

Live long and prosper everyone!