Why Setting a Budget is Silly – Here’s a Better Way to Save Money

If you were to ask anyone what’s the best way to save money, it is quite inevitable that the conversation will somehow lead to the word “budget”.

What does budgeting really mean anyway? In my definition, it is to place certain boundaries around different portions of your paycheck to know where the money is all going to. And if you cross those boundaries, it means that you haven’t been disciplined enough to have done what should be best for you.

Imagine yourself going on a diet. Continue reading “Why Setting a Budget is Silly – Here’s a Better Way to Save Money”

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Financial Literacy Starts From Home

My parents aren’t exactly the brightest bunch when it comes to their finances. I certainly was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, and they did the best that they could to bring me and my brother up with whatever that they could afford while surviving from paycheck to paycheck. This includes being able to provide for my education up till my degree. I can’t express how much gratitude I have to them for allowing me to graduate debt-free.

With just a few more years left until the end of their housing loan of 30 years, both of them are far from retirement. Continue reading “Financial Literacy Starts From Home”

The Power of The No Spend Day

After a long hiatus of 7 years, I have decided to devote myself to tracking my expenses again for September with the newly updated application, Expense Manager. It is now made more robust with added features. It even included visually appealing graphs to show the allocation of my expenses to different categories and their percentages!

There is also this feature on Expenses Manager which I love the most – setting a monthly budget. You could even go one step further to set different budgets for different categories. It would also tell you how much money you are left with for the rest of the month so that you can do some planning for your future expenditures. Yummy! Continue reading “The Power of The No Spend Day”

The problem with reading investment books – 401(k) plan

 I have a big problem when it comes to reading investment books. More often than not, the books are written by authors from the USA and many of them include the option of using the 401(k) as a tool to improve their finances, as like what a typical Singaporean would do with her CPF system. It is such a pain because I don’t know what are the actual benefits of the 401(k) and the limitations of it. I also can’t relate to the tips that the books are trying to convey no matter how many times I read it, and because of this, the usefulness of the books isn’t 100% brought out.

Thus, the birth of this post. I’m done with this. And since Miss Niao has quite a few readers from the US, I hope that this post would benefit them as well. Continue reading “The problem with reading investment books – 401(k) plan”

Cheap and Good – 5 Money saving tips for Malaysia/Thailand trips

In continuation to my previous post on my travels from Singapore to Thailand by land, I’ve decided to also blog about some money saving tips that I found out by accident during my vacation while they are still fresh in my memory. This feeling is a bitter sweet one because it made me realize how much money I have “lost” during my previous travels to Malaysia and Bangkok.

Oh well, I guess it’s never too late, only later. >_<

Anyway, since this trip isn’t a conventional one as I traveled by land and it was also my first time visiting Ipoh, it offered me different alternatives on how to get what I need as compared to arriving at Suvarnabhumi Airport. Counting the number of actual hours of traveling, it amounted to almost 30 hours! Phew! Continue reading “Cheap and Good – 5 Money saving tips for Malaysia/Thailand trips”

Cheap and Good – How I spend $111 on Make-Up Every Year

This is the first blog entry for “Cheap and Good“. Yay!!!!! I have decided to share with my female readers (and male ones if you happen to be interested :p) about the different make-up that I use. Other than being a financial blogger, I am also secretly a make-up geek that probably watches too many make-up tutorials for her own good. :p

I don’t use make-up everyday but I do have a basic routine that I follow religiously if I want to look better on a particular day. The brands that I use are pretty generic and most of them are actually drugstore brands that are easily found locally.

Continue reading “Cheap and Good – How I spend $111 on Make-Up Every Year”

The Ultimate Shopping Contract – How to stop yourself from spending unnecessarily


Date: ____________

The Ultimate Shopping Contract

I, ____(insert name here)____, promise that I will not buy anything without thinking twice. I will ask myself if the product I’m holding in my hand is something that is a “want” or a need”. If it is a “want”, then I will promptly put the product back on its shelf. If it is a “need”, I will ask if there are alternatives. Then, I will choose the one that brings the most value in terms of price and quality. Continue reading “The Ultimate Shopping Contract – How to stop yourself from spending unnecessarily”