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Archive for January, 2007

Happy Sunday

January 28th, 2007 at 10:57 am

I'm enjoying my Sunday in today.

I've already done what I needed to do - did my laundry, and cleaned up a bit, so I'm feeling quite relaxed. Usually I left things at the last minute, but I've been pretty good this weekend.

And I've got half a library book to finish. Its not great, but it doesn't suck either. Its about a hairdresser in the city and its funny and sad at the same time. I don't know how else to describe it. Hopefully it ends well.

I'm also a little bit more excited about work now, because I recently got quoted in an article. I work as an analyst, and its par for the course that reporters call us for information from time to time. But as I'm quite junior and not as well-connected as the other analysts or my bosses (who are quite well-known in the industry), I've never been quoted before. I'm also a bit insecure of the fact.

So it was quite exciting and a huge relief to see my name in print. I did a happy little dance inside when I saw it. *twirls around*

(Hehe, and of course I immediately pdfed the article, and will add it to my resume. Smile )

Bonus time. Silliness ensues.

January 26th, 2007 at 02:30 pm

Well I got my 13th month bonus this week. That means two months pay at once! Smile

Except for next month's spending, I've moved it all to my savings account.

The side effect of the bonuses is that my colleagues keep asking each other how they're going to spend it. And I got the distinct feeling that if I were to say that I wasn't going to spend it on anything, they'll look at me like I'm some kind of a weirdo.

It was the same thing late last year when we all got our company and performance bonuses.

Once I even won this small cash award of less than $100 at my office (they had a contest for naming our next event and my suggestion was picked), two girls emailed me immediately after the announcement, asking what I'm going to spend it on. And when I said I didn't know/it wasn't that much, they kept giving me suggestions. Goodness!

Anyway, I can't help but feel a bit disgusted by how some people think.

Just because you get a windfall of some kind, the first thing you ask yourself is 'how do I get rid of it?'

Now I can imagine that if you have a real need/want that exists, it makes sense to spend it on that.

But... not having anything you need/want to spend on, and *brainstorming* for ideas on how to blow all that cash?

Its just so silly.

Junk food and hair conditioner

January 21st, 2007 at 12:01 pm

I thought it might be a good idea to follow my last post with a couple of the things I did to save a bit of money this month.

1) Bought groceries for the last 2 weekends so I didn't have to order in. Well, actually the groceries waren't as cheap as I thought they would be, but they were cheaper than what I would have spent on ordering in otherwise. Money-wise , I saved about $10-16.

BONUS: I feel less fat eating the stuff that I make instead of junk food.

2) Tried a new brand of conditioner. I know this sounds silly, but I've been using this salon-bought conditioner for the longest time. They cost $14 a tube, and they're really good. I have really long, dry hair. But this month, when my tube ran out, I bought a store brand for $8 - and found that it was equally as good! So I'm going to stick with that from now on.

BONUS: The store-brand one is also less of a hassle for me to buy.

$54 left, 2 days to go

January 21st, 2007 at 11:49 am

Yay! I just checked my spending account balance and I have $54 left. My next paycheck will come in a couple of days, so I think I did pretty well with the budget.

I would have done a lot better too, except that I had to pay for a lot of cab rides these past couple of weeks. (Its all for work though, so I'll get reimbursed, eventually... I haven't totalled up my cab receipts yet, but they'll easily top $80.)

On a separate note, I also got an extra $212 last week from my Nov/Dec claims at work. I didn't add it to my spending budget of cos... that would defeat the purpose.

But it helped just now when my dad asked for a $150 advance. He's a little short this month because he had to get his cellphone fixed. The screen crapped out. (Just as a background, I give him a few hundred each month when my pay comes in, and so does my sister. Smile )

Anyway, it was cool that I had the extra $$$ on hand and I didn't have to tap my separate savings account.

Rain, rain, rain

January 12th, 2007 at 09:11 am

I got home from work early today because I'm getting sick and was sneezing all morning. The AC in my office is also set to a ridiculously low temp (why???), which made me feel even worse. My boss was also sick today, and I bumped into him at the doctor's office during lunch... haha, that was a little weird/surreal.

So I made my way home after getting my meds, and its raining the whole way. I stopped by to grocery shop a little for the weekend, come out of the supermarket, and its raining even harder.

I actually enjoy rainy or stormy weather. Seeing lightning course through the sky is really quite breathtaking... but this time, I could use a break. Its been raining cats and dogs nearly every day for two months now. I miss sunshine!

*sniffles* and shuffles off to bed.

Whatís a Little Money Between Friends?

January 7th, 2007 at 06:14 am

Its a bit of a lazy Sunday for me. I'm just watching Season 2 of the Office (UK) and checking my e-mail. I've spent nothing this weekend, which is really great and I must do more often Smile

I also came across some interesting articles in NYmag's special Money edition. There's no actual budget or saving advice, but its an interesting read, nonetheless.


Whatís a Little Money Between Friends?

Class envy between a group of friends.


A Hard-Earned Life

A fatherís paycheck reads $676. It has to last two weeks. Start the clock.

Here's the
main page
for access to all the articles.

Happy Reading!

First week (-$110)

January 5th, 2007 at 03:57 pm

So I've finished my first week back at work.

I'm at odds with the timestamp - for me its nearly midnight, Friday in Singapore (which is where I am by the way).

All in all, after I got over my initial depression of being back, it was a good few days at the office. It was great to see my colleagues again.

I also received a plaque for an award last year. I've never gotten anything like that before, so it was nice to receive. Its made of glass and cut to look like an iceberg but with really sharp points. I figure with the right amount of force, I could kill someone with it.

But for now, its just sitting on my desk.
Smile

Work-wise, I was too zombie-fied to get anything done the first couple of days, due to my severe lack of sleep (my out-of-whack body clock hurt me bad).

But today was better, and suffice it to say that some work got done.

I've been keeping tabs on my spending too.

This week's spending:

- One dinner out ($12)
- Bought one top ($34)
- Topped up my bus card ($30)
- Lunch at work ($15)
- Toiletries ($9)

I also went grocery shopping today to buy food for the weekend. This will stop me from ordering food in, which is a really bad and lazy habit that I need to cut down.

- Food ($10)

TOTAL: $110

Rats. Now that I've added it up, it looks like too much.

Hopefully, my spending will lessen next week.

Some of the stuff, like my bus card and toiletries I don't have to spend on again so soon.

(I should feel guilty for buying the top but I don't. I like it a lot!!!)

$567.22 in my pocket

January 2nd, 2007 at 03:46 pm

Since I'm starting a new work month tomorrow, I thought I'd also start tracking my spending properly on this blog.

Before this, I would budget by "ballpark figures".

My fixed expenses are low, and I'm able to save about 50% of my take-home pay each month.

After locking that into a separate savings account (to keep it safe from my own grubby hands), what's left is about $600-$700 which is my spending money for the month until the next paycheck.

January 2007

I am officially starting out with $567.22 in my pocket. Which is good because it's also the amount of money in my spending account!

(Its also a little less than what I'm used to working with, but fair since this month is shorter with the holidays.)

Writing this down, I suddenly feel challenged (which is good) and more accountable (which feels scary/bad to be perfectly honest, but ultimately will be good, I hope!).

In other news, I'm returning to work tomorrow, after a looooong and yet too-short of an absence. This truly sucks.

I just hope I can wake up in the morning!

p.s: Note to myself - find out how to fix blog timestamps. Its nearly midnight here where I am!

Bye-bye happy vacation time

January 1st, 2007 at 01:35 pm

So.

I've been on vacation the last two and a half weeks (I had a lot of annual leave piled up since I joined my company!).

And tomorrow is going to be my last day of freedom before I go back to the office.

It's been a great two and half weeks. Really great.

And I am absolutely dreading the idea of going back to work.

Start of rant.

During my vacation, I've already checked my work e-mail a few times. I even spent one Sunday working on an urgent thing for a client (I'm a bit of a nut) and read all the stuff my boss wants me to do once I return from vacation.

Which is how I got to know that I'll have a new project on my plate. And that's got me very anxious.

The last project I worked on took me six months to complete and was. a. nightmare.

I'm not afraid of stuff like hard work or late nights at the office, but the project had involved many, many people (mostly higher-ups) from other companies. They made my life very unpleasant and the project near-impossible to complete.

Oh, and I also had to do all this on top of my regular assignments, because it was an ad-hoc thing and we "didn't have enough resources" (i.e. director was too cheap to hire one more person and wanted to make himself look good by cutting costs).

As a result, I was extremely stressed out for half a year. Oftentimes, I felt like a hamster in one of those wheel thingies - never able to stop or catch my breath. This really doesn't help someone who's already naturally high-strung (I am a total Virgo).

It was so bad that I applied for a few jobs and even went to a couple of interviews (in my mind, I was planning my wonderful escape from it all). And the only reason I stayed on was because my direct boss is a really great guy. Most of my colleagues are also nice and I've formed close friendships with some.

But the idea of this new project has got me very anxious now. The bad memories are just flooding back.

Frown

p.s: thanks for reading, I really needed to vent.

End of rant.

p.p.s: happy new year to all!