Why the Planet Depends on Us Being Frugal

One home
Our planet, our one home, has limited resources.

Earth Day (22nd April) is almost upon us, and being frugal coincides nicely with being environmentally conscious and environmentally friendly. We’ve all heard the usual advice on recycling, turning off lights/taps when not in use, taking shorter showers, using cloth grocery bags, and replacing incandescent light bulbs with more energy efficient lighting (my preference is LED), but there are a few more things (and some are super easy) that I feel would make a huge impact in our carbon footprint, especially here in Singapore. (more…)

Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day is Back

Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day is back in Singapore.
Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day is back in Singapore.

To celebrate their 36th year anniversary, Ben & Jerry’s will be giving out free ice cream cones (yes, absolutely free!) at four Singapore scoop shops this coming Tuesday (8th of April) starting at 12pm. This is a global event and includes 742 scoop shops located in 26 countries. This year, participating locations in Singapore include (more…)

How to win $1000 in 4D and Toto – It Works Every Time!

4d queue
Queuing to give ang pows to the Singapore Pools during Chinese New Year

A survey in 2011 by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS), showed that nearly half of Singapore residents participated in at least one form of gambling activity over the past year. The most popular form of legal gambling in Singapore is 4D, followed by Toto, both of which can be purchased from any of the over 300 Singapore Pools outlets islandwide. The minimum a person can bet is $1, and just last year, one lucky customer walked away with a $5 million dollar jackpot. So how does a person win a mere $1000? (more…)

Is There a Cost to Working?

Operating costs in business
Factoring in your operating costs, how much do you really earn?

Everyone knows that there are operating cost in running a business, but rarely do people consider how much is actually spent on their own personal overhead, that is, the cost associated with working or other money-generating activities. For many businesses, how overhead is managed and controlled is often what makes or breaks their bottom line. Many important business decision are based on operating costs, yet so few people consider what their own personal operating costs are and whether these costs, compared to their earnings, make their income-generating pursuits worthwhile.


The Myth of Home Ownership in Singapore, and Why I Choose to Rent

Owning vs renting a home
Many home owners in Singapore are, in reality, renters as they do not really own their homes .

Although I own properties overseas, I am a renter here in Singapore. People keep telling me that “renting is just like flushing your money down a toilet”. When I ask these people whether they rent or own, they proudly proclaim “own, of course!” But do they really own their home? Most people who purchase a home, do so with a mortgage, a word that originates from Latin meaning “death pledge” because it often took the entire life of a person to fulfill the pledge. Until recently, a person in Singapore could buy a home with 5% of its value in cash, 15% in CPF funds, while the rest (80%) is lent by a bank. For a BTO, the rules used to allow for 10% down and while the other 90% was financed. The amount financed, of course, comes with interest. So let’s dissect what is actually owned. (more…)

Get an Entirely New Wardrobe – for Free!

Swapping is the new shopping.

Most people have a collection of clothing that they simply do not and will not wear anymore, for one reason or another. These items typically will remain in a person’s closet unworn for years until they are disposed of. Instead of having these clothes pile up, create clutter, and take up precious wardrobe real estate, why not exchange these items for something new, something different, and something that will get some wear and use? On April 5th and 6th, 313 @ Somerset will be holding its annual Green and Gorgeous Fashion Swap. From now until March 30th, you can drop off your pre-loved clothing and accessories atΒ  #B1-30 in exchange for “trend stars” that can you can use to swap for other pre-loved fashion items during the fashion swap event. The event is completely free, you get to update your wardrobe, while keeping your old clothes out of the landfill – how awesome is that? Here’s what to expect when you drop off your clothes and on the day of the swap: (more…)

A Reason Not to Skip Breakfast – It’s Free!

Get free Egg McMuffins on National Breakfast Day

If you happen to live or work near a McDonalds, they will be giving away more than 100,000 Egg McMuffins tomorrow, 17th March, on National Breakfast Day on a first-come, first-serve basis. All franchises will be giving out 1,000 Egg McMuffins, except for those at KKH Hospital, Yew Tee (including Yew Tee Kiosk), Tampines Interchange Kiosk, Lucky Chinatown, Clementi Avenue 3, Changi Airport T2 Transit and Science Centre Singapore.

The history of National Breakfast Day, a day that celebrates what some believe is “the most important meal”, dates all the way back to…… (more…)

How to Get Out of a Hard Sell at Spas & Wellness Centres

You don’t have to avoid spas simply because of the hard selling of packages.

I was so naive and unprepared when I went for my first beauty/wellness service at a Singapore spa. In the US, I had only been to one other spa prior to moving here. My spa experiences between the two countries were like night and day, mainly because in the US, hard selling is not common. To be honest, I had never encountered a hard sell before in my life… that is, until I bought two vouchers from Groupon.sg, one for a massage and another for a slimming session. The steeply discounted offers enticed me to try out their services. However, I soon realized that such promotional offers were a company’s bait, and that I naively took the bait and was about to get lured in. The slimming centre salesperson employed tactics like guilt, shame, pressure, and even ridicule. The massage centre salesperson was slightly nicer, but still tried her best to wear me out and waste my time. But I stayed strong and left both places with my dignity and wallet intact. Others weren’t so lucky. Since that first eye-opening experience, I’ve visited and tried out a handful of other spas. Each time, I would bravely walk into the lion’s den with my voucher in hand, and then leave the centre unscathed. I have heard a variety of pitches, been yelled at a few times, and endured different hard selling techniques, all while testing out my own techniques of countering, deflecting, and avoiding the hard sell. Here are some of the things I’ve learned: