Today is Star Wars Day – May the 4th be with you. Other notable holidays this week include Cinco de Mayo and of course, Mother’s Day. Frugal in Singapore wishes all the mums and mums-to-be, including anyone who nurtures another like a mother would, a very Happy Mother’s Day. Do check out this post if you’re still in need of some gift ideas. Here are the frugal activities for this week:
Employment and the economy seems to be on everyone’s mind lately, and with Labour Day coming, it’s a good time to pause, think about our purpose and our life values, be grateful for the opportunities we have, and also strive for continuous improvement and skills upgrading. Though Labour Day celebrates the employed, since it’s a day set aside in honour of workers and their contributions to the nation, let’s not forget those who are not formally employed – the caretakers, retirees, students, homemakers, and volunteers – who also contribute to nation-building. As usual, the May Day Rally will be on the 1st of May, and the Istana will be open to the public. Here are some more events during this long weekend:
Is it me, or has it been really, really hot in the last few weeks? Like February, the month of March also set new climate records worldwide. This Friday (22 April) is Earth Day. As our one and only home, we can all take action and play a part in protecting our planet, our future, and our children’s future. Visit earthday.org to see what actions you can take today and to sign the Paris Climate Agreement as a citizen signer. The US, China, and 120 other countries are also expected to sign this historical document, which aims to limit the global rise in temperatures to <2°C above pre-industrial levels. Unless we all take action, no matter how much economic, social, and defense security we as a nation have, our futures will be less secure, less certain, and less comfortable. There are many frugal activities this week in line with Earth Day; check them out below:
Have you filed your income taxes yet? If not, please be reminded that the deadline is this Friday. In this year of assessment (for income earned in 2015), the highest personal income tax rate is 20%. For income earned in 2016 (YA 2017), rates will increase for the top income earners (with the highest rate at 22%), making the tax system more progressive and benefiting those who need it more. Our taxes go toward paying for nation building, including social development programmes, security, and defense. Some of it also goes toward funding or subsidising some of the frugal activities that are listed in the Frugal Week Planner, such as activities from the Singapore Heritage Board, the Singapore Library Board, and the National Parks Board. Since you (as a taxpayer) are, in essence, paying for these activities, why not enjoy the fruits of your labor?
The Singapore Parliament is in session until 14 April, ironing out the details of Budget 2016. As a member of the public, you can visit and sit in on the sessions for free. Visitors should bring along their NRIC or passport to exchange for an Admission Order upon entering. Photography is not allowed in the Parliament House. In fact, you aren’t allowed to bring your phone inside. Visitors are required to deposit their bags and belongings into the lockers near the entrance. Lockers are chargeable at 40 cents (small-sized lockers) and 60 cents (medium-sized lockers) for one-time use only (and they only accept 20-cent coins). For anyone who has not been there before, it’s quite an experience being in those hallowed halls. And as a Los Angeles native, there’s also a strange familiarity being behind bullet proof glass.