Saturday, May 20, 2017

Penny pinching season

Officially, other than the monthly $1k ETF through POSB invest saver which pays me "brokerage" when i buy, there is nothing i dare buy from the local stock market at this point in time.
The old adage:'Buy when there is blood on the streets' came true again and i hope you took opportunity of that short period of time from late 2015 to early 2016.

What will i be doing since STI has surged - Dec 2016
How to stop oneself from being greedy - Feb 2016
Lessons learnt in this bear market - Jan 2016
Controlling my emotion - Jan 2016

So what have i been doing penny pinching during this lull season of stock investing?

1) Topped up my CPF SA account to the max of  $7k.

2) Topped up my SRS account to the max of $15.3k.

3) Analyse credit card terms and conditions and maximising them.

4) Analyse saving accounts to store the decaying cash. UOB One ($50k max), Citibank Maxigain($150k max), Standard Chartered Esaver ($1 million max) and CIMB fastsaver ($50 k max) are the best of the breed now.  YES, they are in descending order of greatness, taking into account the complexity of conditions and the interest rate they offer.
(BOC kicked me out as a customer as i really maxed out their benefits big time through a legal loophole.. so well..maybe BOC smartsaver?? I haven't been looking over there for over a year.)

5) Booked all my holidays in advance, like 8-9 months in advance. Can you imagine a round trip ticket to Narita on a full fare airline costing only $370 bucks all in during peak travel season in December? Wicked.

6)Using fwd travel insurance to negate the risk of prebooking so early, as it is the company i found that allows me to cover myself so early. Other insurers only allowed me to book about 3 months to 6 months before my departure. Btw, this is my referral link. You will get 5% off and i get $20. I seriously don't know how they will credit me the $20 actually as they don't have my bank account details.....

7) Refinanced my DBS housing loan to only 1% pa and 1.4% pa forever, linked to FD.

8) Dutifully making sure i do some activity in my National Australia Bank Reward Saver account which gives me 2.55% pa on my Aussie dollars
My Experience opening an Australian Bank account as a Singaporean Resident

9) Prepaying expenses which are guaranteed to happen like my childcare fees, telecommunication bills, utility bills.
Child development account-cda-comparison . This gives me a guaranteed 2% pa on the cash balances.
Telecommunication and utility bills. This gives me a guaranteed at least 5% off on my 1 year bills.

10) Checking whether any shop which im going to buy from anyway is listed on Shopback. Referral link. ( you get $5 on your first purchase and i get $5 if you spent more than $25). Take note that sometimes, it would be better to just google for a promo code outside Shopback. A due diligence is required on your part. I don't really like the long period of time it takes to cash out and i do get missing cash back, but oh well, better than nothing.

11) Saving money on renewing my 10 year old car. This has been a good decision as some asshole hit my car leaving a few scratches, a hit and run actually and i didn't fret over it. My servicing cost have also halved as i am more adventurous in trying new ways to save money on this car, using Schnell Ultimate II 'turtle oil' ($19.90 from Giant) and buying my own oil filter ($5.70) and paying only $20 for labour to service my car. Total cost of servicing cost $46 instead of the usual $100-120 bucks.
Renew COE for 10 Years Versus 5 Years Versus Brand new similar car

12) Not succumbing to greedy marketers efforts to brainwash me to buy expensive DHA powdered milk for my son.
Instead i buy concentrated, mercury tested, cod fish oil and drip it into the powered milk i use.
Guardian and Watson is expensive. I buy from iherb , PROMOCODE: LIM2068. ( this is a referrel link. You get 5% and i get 5%). Guardian is offering a 20% off their products now but even after accounting for it, it is still way more expensive buying from Guardian, including delivery and taxes. Take note that iHerb ships from overseas, BUT, it is still cheaper after delivery fees. Prices shown are the nett price. Disclaimer, this is the first time i bought from iherb also and after due diligence, no scams seem to be detected. Do your due diligence too, pls.

Guardian after Promo code OFFER20. 20% off.
Iherb , the price i got
So that's all folks. And here is something to mull about.


  1. hi,

    wow, congrats, you max gao gao the account. 1mil in esaver..

    personally, i think CB MG is not up there yet, but once u let it run its course of 12 counters, it will be the top choice. coz there is not much hoops to jump.

    btw, for #4, what do you mean by pre-pay expenses?

  2. CB mg is also a hedge against rising ir.

    Prepay means let say u spend 200 pm on telco. Accumulate the upcoming months to meet Min spend in a high cash back/ miles cc but below max cashback/miles per calendar/statement month


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