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A very steamy afternoon

November 14th, 2007 at 04:17 am

So I spent part of this afternoon steaming all of my wrinkly work clothes in preparation for starting my new job next week (oh what did you think I meant with that title? heh.)

There's something awfully therapeutic and satisfying about seeing those wrinkles being steamed away. Of course, using my good old garment steamer also meant sweating at least half a cup of water! Still, this is so much better than ironing - which I hate more than I can say.

Money-wise, its been two straight no-spend days for me since I made my own brunches and dinners. This is also my penance for ordering in pizza* two nights in a row last week.

*it wasn't even particularly good pizza either! I don't know why I do that to myself. oh well...

$12.90 Sandwich Maker

June 12th, 2007 at 11:09 pm

I went grocery shopping yesterday. While I was there I also bought a new sandwich maker which was going for only $12.90. It was an impulse buy (cheap though!) because I've never thought of buying one before until I saw it, but I'm really happy with it Smile

I love sandwiches, and having them toasted now is great. I'm hoping this will encourage me to cut down on ordering in even more.

Doing better this month

June 10th, 2007 at 12:51 am

I'm doing much better budget-wise this month.

Part of it is that I just got reimbursed about $1200 worth of claims and yearly benefits (woo hoo!).

I also made my very first online order of supplements a couple of weeks ago and the whole transaction went very smoothly. The prices are not only 50% cheaper, but the guy actually delivered it to me for free. Love it.

My largest expense after the supplements was a new formal jacket for work. My old one was very ill fitting because I had apparently dropped some weight since I bought it. Sad though, because its in perfect condition. I'm not sure what to do with it.

Anyway, I saw a very nice jacket for $70 at a dept store and it was the very last piece. But I agonised over it and finally decided not to buy it (I always do this when I think something is too expensive). Then of course, a week later I made up my mind and stopped by to get it. And big surprise - it was already gone.

But on the same rack were a bunch of other new jackets under the same collection. The clincher was that they were abt the same price as the one I saw first but at 20% off. I bought it then and was so glad I waited!

Setting the bar low?

March 24th, 2007 at 10:53 pm

It's been a while since I've updated this blog.

I'm a lot busier at work now because its the unlikely situation where both my managers are away on holidays at the same time, leaving me to handle a lot more than I normally do.

Although its stressful, its a good exercise in a way, I'm learning some new things, and at the very least our VP is around when something comes up that I'm unfamiliar with. Eventhough he's in Hong Kong, he's quite accessible still.

Budget-wise, I'm on track and I've learnt some lessons as well.

I made up an excel spreadsheet last year to track how much I can save each month. I started in August 2006.

I've found that on average, I socked away $1,400 per month in 2006, not counting my bonuses. I had set a 2006 target of $1,000 per month, so I'm happy I exceeded it.

To be perfectly frank, I actually cheated in a way, I knew I'd make the target easily. But since its my first time tracking my savings so closely, I wanted to get that positive reinforcement thing going when I exceeded my own expectations.
(Yes, I know this sounds somewhat silly...But I wonder if other people do this too? Set a purposely low bar so that they will succeed?)

Anyway before I meander, because I did "so well" last year, I got a little overly ambitious this year.

I socked away $1,800 in February, which didn't leave me with much to spend. I barely made it to the next month.

Anyway by March I've had to lower it to $1,500. This has left me with abt $700 for all my monthly expenses. Still very do-able.

I'm quite pleased overall, but I've learnt that I shouldn't overdo the saving bit either.

I didn't shop at all for fun stuff in February. (By fun stuff I mean clothes, bags, and shoes.)

But I let myself buy a pair of really lovely pants and a gorgeous necklace this month. I felt I deserved it. Plus after not shopping for so long, it felt sweeter somehow.

Early pay for Lunar New Year

February 16th, 2007 at 10:19 pm

I got my pay in earlier this month because of the Lunar New Year. Which was cool, but it doesn't make much of a difference to me personally. And not just because I don't celebrate it.

Most companies in Asia would give their employees their pay before the New Year starts since families would be spending more on food, decorations, the reunion dinner, and money packets for their family members.

Me? I just really love the two days off from work. Wink

Budget-wise, today is a no-spend day for me. I made my own breakfast and lunch. And I plan to do the same tomorrow as well.

Bonus time. Silliness ensues.

January 26th, 2007 at 06:30 am

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 04:01 am

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.

Cut my cellphone bill

December 30th, 2006 at 02:14 am

My phone bill has been annoying me for quite some time and I'm eagerly awaiting the day when my contract expires, so that I can get a cheaper plan.

But until that day comes I'm stuck with it.

I get bills sent to me by snail mail and by e-mail. I always get the email first - and its just a one liner stating what I owe and my account number, with no other details.

Once I get it, I pay it off online pretty quickly. As a result, I've gotten into the habit of not even opening the paper bills when it comes because I don't have to. (And I also secretly hate them.)

But this morning, out of curiosity, I tore open the envelope and learnt that I was being charged $5 for the voicemail service. And I can't even remember the last time I had to use it. (When I miss calls, my friends just send me an text!)

So it was a no-brainer for me to call them up and cancel it pronto. And the lady on the phone told me the reduced charge will be reflected on my next bill. Smile

I know this sounds weird, but now I can't wait for my next bill.