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 have 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?

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. @[email protected]

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 round 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 myself. 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