Thursday, August 22, 2013

Money Bombs! and my "risky" management of my finances

This post is a little inspired by a post by a new blogger I saw recently.
The post is at http://www.my15hourworkweek.com/2013/08/19/money-bomb-1-the-wedding/
and his blog is http://www.my15hourworkweek.com

The year 2013 has been quite fulfilling so far. Really learned lots, saw lots, thought lots and understood lots... But from now till mid of next year, I will probably be spending lots, more so than my income :p

Yep, wedding bells and bridal packages... Not that I am complaining :)
Also, my HDB BTO will probably be ready next year too... Renovation costs coming!

Just a short calculations of how much I need...
1) Photoshoots - $7k  =>  my wife-to-be wants one local and one overseas one (add another $1k)
2) Banquet - $30k  =>  I think ang bao will help cover some, although I don't think it will be 100%
These wedding banquets just get more expensive each year, with costs rising faster than income.
3) Renovation costs - $50k perhaps? Not so sure....
4) Rings and misc items... - $15k  => I probably over allocate some

Traditionally, I guess one would set aside cash for all these events and not touched it for any other uses... I'm probably pretty risky in the way I handle my finances :p

Of course I need to have available savings for all these. What I have done so far...
Tuition Business
Pumped in some cash to aid in the cash flow, but I should be able to withdraw it end of year. Interest free of course :}

I applied for 51 lots through the ATM. Got none :(

I highly expect most of the funds to come back to my "chest" of savings for wedding. Little did I know that some higher being decided for me I should not get any :x

Side note: Silverlake
Offloaded all at a price of 0.755 a few days ago. Lucky me.
There are many better deals out there now. One of which I'm eying, SPH.

In a way, I find that personal finances should also be managed like a small business... In simple terms, keep costs low, keep cash flow positive, ensure debts are as low as possible, or better still, have a ready cash hoard for acquisitions or investments. This sets the principle of how my finances are managed. I ensure I have no credit card debts, cash hoard for all the expenses above, as well as try to maintain a cash inflow. All along, I thought this was common sense, until I know a friend recently who had been paying his credit card debts for the past few years. Luckily for him, he finally woke up in time and stopped paying the minimum sum, and his debts are now almost cleared.

In terms of cash flow, a stable job is very useful. Meaning... in Sg context, govt sector... an iron rice bowl if one does not make any major mistake. I remember I posted before about how my previous company was retrenching people in 2009... A job in a mildly profitable MNC doesn't look so stable after that. MNC rice bowls are determined by factors we cannot control at all, i.e. the industry, any potential restructuring (the nice word they use for investors) to "increase efficiency" and "reduce costs".

Well, I guess I might have been proven right, as the company is now laying off 2% of its workforce citing efficiency as the reason. As far as I know (or guessed), the workload on the remaining engineers has increased, due to merger, new products, as well as less colleagues. Efficiency in a way means working longer hours for the same pay to the upper management. Costs are controlled by telling consistently telling you that you aren't good enough to be promoted, but exceptions are sometimes granted if you have been working 14 hours daily on a 9 hours a day job.

Being unemployed
I love using this term at the moment. I am unemployed.
What brought me to write this segment was that I chanced upon an old blog post of mine:

This blog has been a chronicle of my journey so far, and it was actually great entertainment to read what I did over the past few years.

As of now, I have survived without a job for more than a year. And surprisingly still doing ok, and probably with more potential to grow in the near future. While I have more time to myself now, the main downside is that my total income has dropped by half... :(

Fortunately, the dividend players I have over the years are showing their mettle by buffering this drop in income :)

Certainly, the amount of time I have now is priceless, and it has enabled me to come up with more ideas that I will be implementing over the next few months. Things that will be in synergy with tuition, and enable me to help even more students than before, including those that aren't my students. Such is my commitment to help the students of Singapore.

Going ahead...
I guess I will still be "risky" with my finances. The funds that are originally kept for wedding will still be cycled towards some equities and business as well. Certainly, I'm running on tight margins for my necessary expenses. But I believe I will still survive that... for now... :D


  1. Hi JW/momoeagle,

    Thanks for helping to promote my blog!

    Shall share some of my thoughts on your wedding expenses.

    1)Photoshoot - Wow, one local and one overseas, think my wife will be full of envy. Haha. Think we spent about $4.5k on this after adding the photos.

    2)Banquet - Yes, agree that most prices are increasing by at least 5% a year. It's getting harder and harder to break even for this.

    3)Renovation - That's Money Bomb 2! Will be writing a post on that soon. $50,000 seems a comfortable budget to me.

    4)Rings and misc - I have to say you really dote on your wife-to-be!

    You're really running a tight ship there but looking at what you have achieved so far, shouldn't be a big issue at the end of the day. (You ploughed a lot of cash into the market after the recent market dip?)

    Glad that you're enjoying self-employment. I am also yearning for that even though I have a pretty solid iron rice bowl now.

  2. Surviving without a job for a year? I'm impressed! Your story is proof that money is nothing if not managed properly. Spending is about being wise. Otherwise money will get you until you can't get up from debts after debts. Good luck on the wedding plans. Keep using that brain!

    Jaden Allred @Toronto Bankruptcy Advice

  3. 7k photoshoot is way above average. :P

    1. Of course you'll like the best for your marriage ;)

    2. Felt like pressing a like button lol!


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