Archive for the ‘money & work’ Category

Hoarding Coins

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

My brother used to save $1 coins when he was young. When I first started work, I started saving my $1 & 50cent coins as well. Because I didn’t make much then, usually by the end of the month, I would run out of money and had to dig into my coin stash to feed myself till pay day.

As the years went by, I started making more, and didn’t need to dig into the stash anymore. Then simon came into the picture and we continued saving the coins, but now in giant glass coke bottles. Now that they just started releasing the new series of coins, we decided to cash out, and collect the new coins instead.

photo 3


Banks charge for coins deposit. But luckily, after some googling, I found out that Singapore Mint does coin conversion, with the first 1000 coins being free.

The Singapore Mint – Coin Gallery
20 Teban Gardens Crescent Singapore 608928

Operating Days:
Mondays to Fridays (closed on public holidays)

Operation Hours:
8.30am to 11.30am & 1.00pm to 3.00pm

Coin Deposit via Self Service Coin Deposit Machine
With Effect from 1 February 2013:
Terms and Conditions
1.      By using this Coin Deposit Machine (‘the machine”), I accept all Terms and Conditions governing its usage.
2.      I accept that once coins have been inserted into the machine, they cannot be returned and I accept the tally of the Machine as final and conclusive.
3.      I accept coin deposit fee for first 1,000 pieces of coins is free per person, per transaction and per day with the need to present the personal identification card (multiple identification cards per person is not acceptable).
4.      I accept that the coin Deposit fee is $5.00 (or $5.35 inclusive of GST) per thousand pieces of coins for all denominations or part thereof exceeding 1,000 pieces.
Quantity of coins
Coin Deposit Fee
1 – 1000
1001 – 2000
2001 – 3000
3001 – 4000
4001 – 5000
5001 – 6000
6001 – 7000
7001 – 8000
8001 – 9000
9001 – 10000

(source: Singapore Mint)

The coins are very very  heavy. A 1000pc mixture of $1 and 50cents weighs about 8kg. So I will be lugging down 8kg worth of coins to the mint tomorrow.

If this were a maths question, it would be something like this:

Tom brought down 1000 coins to the Singapore Mint and exchanged it for $660. If he had only $1 and 50cent coins in there, how many of each coins did he bring?

I’ve a lot more coins to change. I don’t mind paying extra for the additional coins, but carrying another load of coins – that’s quite a challenge.

I wonder if it’s a crime to hoard coins.

Of Apples and Fast Cars

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

21 September 2001 was a very happening day because of 2 events:

– iPhone 5 delivers today
– F1 Night Race starts tonight

iPhone 5

The day I had 4 sets of iPhone 5, and then I had none.

Just before lunch, I received word from home that the 4 iPhone 5 have arrived. I was one of the lucky few who managed to order the phones online in a short 1 hour window before Apple SG decided to not allow anymore sales.

Decided to make a trip back home to get the phones, as I was planning to sell them near my office. The going rate for phones sold to the ‘black market’ on launch day is a cool $250 profit per phone. Every day after that, the rate drops.

The problem with Apple is they can never make enough phones to meet the demands, thus there is always a very active black market selling to those who just can’t wait to get their hands on a new apple iphone, and at a premium markup of course. Also, nobody knows when Apple will release more stock.

I was planning to keep one initially, but after hearing news that the profit was $1000, I decided to let it go. It’s the same rationale as how I can’t enjoy a meal if you tell me my food cost $250/head. I’m not that hard up for the new iPhone. Just have to wait till Jan to re-contract my phone plan and get one then.

So anyway, going home to get the phone took longer than I expected, so I didn’t have time to sell the phones. Decided to clear as many projects as I could, and then headed out to sell the phones. It’s kinda like holding onto a ticking time bomb. Every minute it’s not offloaded, the risk of them getting stolen, or the price dropping is there. It was a mad rush, cause halfway I got a call from office, and I had to scramble to get back. But not before I offloaded. The guy paid me in thousand dollar notes! Never seen one in my life! After settling the credit card charges for the phones, its a nett profit of $1008. Enough to get a new phone for free.

So I ran back to office, partly cause I needed to get back asap, and also because I was afraid there might be a syndicate robbing people like me! Haha. Carrying so much money on me is quite pressurising. Luckily I managed to deposit it into the cash deposit machine (they accepted $1000 notes thankfully), before heading down for F1.


First time going for the F1. Bought a $38 walkabout ticket, as I thought it was the last year they were having the night race in Singapore (they signed a new contract after). The main event was really the Jay Chou concert afterwards (not a Jay fan, but I went with a friend who was!).

Two words to describe F1: Loud & Fast

Couldn’t catch a clear shot of the cars on camera at all! And the sound was deafening. Interesting experience though.

As for the Jay concert, I’ve no idea what he’s singing, not because my mandarin sucks (which it does a little), but because he mumbles, but that’s his style. Whenever he spoke to the audience, the crowd just went wild, and I’ve no idea what he said. Couldn’t get a good view either because I was standing behind two super tall guys. My camera gets a better view:

The lighting was pretty awesome. During one of Jay’s wardrobe change, the drummer played a solo, and each beat synchronized with the lights turning on and off. Kinda cool.

After the concert ended, it was a mess trying to leave the area. Security couldn’t handle the crowd, so they swung open the gates and we got to walk down the tracks. Then for some reason, we couldn’t get out of the tracks. Everyone was trying to squeeze through a tiny crack in the fence. They finally made everyone turn back and rerouted us. Took us over an hour just to leave the place. Reached home at about 2+am.

It’s been a really long time since I’ve stayed out late. I need a back and leg massage!

An unintentional profitable hobby

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

I’ve realised for some time now, that a hobby of mine has been unintentional profiting me. It’s really almost passive income. Not a lot, but for almost no effort put in, I say bring it on! Since July ’08 till Aug ’11, it’s made me USD$829.09. Currently, it’s bringing me about an average of $1+/day, which essentially makes it >$356/year!

Some years back I started this blog. A friend told me that 1&1 was offering 3 years free hosting, so what the heck, I signed up for it. So for 3 years, it served me faithfully, and after that the trial ended, it didn’t really make much sense to move.

After all my hosting was only USD$4.99/mth, and I’ve this blog, another blog “Singapore Watch“, and a bunch of other stuff I can’t recall hosted on it. I’m figuring with web hosting & domain, the costs is approx USD$77.50 per year.

Here’s the thing though: this blog made crap, cause well, its pretty private. It’s not googlable for one (coded some stuff to stop crawling spider bots), and well, I don’t update that often anyway. Haha. I pulled off ads eventually, so it looks nice and clean. Now my other blog on the other hand, a whole different story!

I started Singapore Watch while I was still in US, and it was suppose to help me keep up and comment on current affairs in Singapore. When I came back, I realised that I really couldn’t be bothered much with politics. There were more interesting issues for me now. Stuff like finance, which banks and credit cards were good, and housing issues. Mostly housing related stuff now, and apparently THAT is the money generator.

I didn’t set out targeting the market, but buying a HDB is Singapore is really a nightmare. Even though HDB has a site with tons of info, it’s not easy to really understand what they are trying to say. So between reading forums, asking HDB officers and reading the damn HDB site, I became quite knowledgeable about this whole housing thing. I started compiling info relating to these, for my own reference, and apparently others found it useful too, and also started asking questions in the comments, which I answered the best I could. Google, Yahoo and all the other search engines started crawling, and viola, I get like 400-800 hits a day.

Now here’s the best part: This year alone, I’ve only posted 12 posts: 7 were copy-n-paste newspaper articles, 4 were my own opinions, and 1 wasn’t even property related. Last year, same thing: only 12 posts. The bulk of my posts was made in 2008/2009, because that was when we were looking to buy our HDB. After that, I only mainly posted news articles pertaining to new HDB rules or property laws. Aside from that, almost no effort on my part. I felt bad initially, like I was abandoning my ‘readers’, but what the heck, this blog is really meant to compile info for my own (future) investments. Any incidentals resulting from it, is just a bonus.

Income: >USD $356/year
Expense: USD $77.50

So that’s essentially it. The day my hosting and domain costs exceeds my revenue will probably be the day I shut down the blog. But I really don’t see that in the foreseeable future.

Sky Loft Premium Suites

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Ever since I read “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” some years ago, and learnt about assets (things you own that generates money) and liabilities (things you own that take away money), I’ve always wanted to get an investment property.

But with Singapore property prices being so high, and prices rising faster than one can save up the 20% down payment required, (40% now if you own a HDB with outstanding loan), it’s almost impossible to get an investment property unless you make a lot of money. Thus, the only viable alternative was to look across the causeway.

In the past decade, the land near the Tuas checkpoint have slowly and steadily been developed, and new townships created due to the ‘Iskandar factor‘. We first learn about this area because a friend of ours told us that Bukit Indah’s Aeon Shopping Centre had an A&W! Rootbeer Float! They served it in chill glass mugs when we first started visiting it, but later switched to paper cups. Maybe too many of their mugs got stolen. They still serve root beer floats in chilled glass mugs!

Anyway, as a result of our A&W urge, we learnt about the Bukit Indah area, and honestly comparing to “old JB”, near the woodlands checkpoint, this area is really well-developed and appears a lot safer. However, we still didn’t know how safe the properties were, even with it being gated and patrolled. Also, there weren’t any property available near the Mall.

And then Sky Executive Apartments came along. We missed that, but signed up to be informed of the launch of their next ‘luxury apartment’ launch – Sky Loft. The location is awesome – right next to the Mall, that has a new cinema currently under construction. Best of all, it’s super affordable if you compare it to Singapore.

Sky Loft (artist impression)

If all goes well, we’ll be proud owners of a unit here! It’s a 1516 sq feet freehold 3 bedroom apartment, which can be ‘converted’ into a 2 bedroom + studio, and comes with full condo facilities. And all this for the same price as our 99year 904 sq feet HDB flat – just RM$455/sqft!

Can’t wait for it’s completion! We will be on the 22nd floor. It will be rented out when completed, but possibly a future retirement home if Singapore gets too expensive!

WSQ After Effects

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Okay. Actually I wanted to take a course at a CC as part of my “30 before 30” list, but I guess this counts as well.

The Government has this Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) program, where they help “retrain Singaporeans” or help them “upgrade their skills” by subsidizing courses.

So I decided to sign up for a course to learn “After Effects”. In order to get the subsidy, I had to answer questions like the following:

– My current job title and description
– My motivation for taking up the course and how the skill/knowledge adds value to my current job
– Do I intend to stay in the Interactive Digital Media Industries for the next 3 to 5 years

After subsidy, I ended up paying only 30% of the total course fee! So it was $400+ instead of $1.4k! For 10 lessons over 2 weeks, 2.5 hours each, that’s about $40+ per lesson.

hello world

The course teaches the basics, and it’s kinda weird cause among all my course mates, none of them are editors. There was a IT guy, a student, some staff from ITE, weird mix of people.

After Effects is interesting, but unfortunately, what the course made me realize is that its almost impossible to master. Luckily there are tons of tutorials online. Google is your friend, if you need to find a tutorial to do a certain effect.

Also, After Effects requires other software to create materials – ie. you must have knowledge of other softwares like Photoshop, 3D modelling software etc.

Here are some cool After Effects site to surf:

– AE Tutorials
– Video Copilot

A Visit to the Dentist

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

I haven’t been visiting any particular dentist, so today’s dentist is yet another new one. First time visiting a female dentist though, and the first dentist to actually notice that I grind my teeth.

Your teeth are pretty short for a person your age.” she said to me.

So basically, I had to get a custom mouth guard made to wear at night. That should prevent me from wearing down the rest of my teeth (or cracking them), and will relieve the pressure on my jaw joints, so that I wouldn’t need to operate on them in future.

To be collected in two weeks. I think the keyword here is ‘custom’. In other words, ‘custom’ blew a freaking big hole in my pocket.

Apparently, people who dream of losing their teeth are often grinders. I guess that explains why I have such dreams a little too often.

And I just noticed that I grind my teeth in the day too.

And I guess I really need to start exercising, since stress is one of the causes of tooth grinding, and exercise relieves stress.

Gone for just 9.5 days …

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

… and when I return to work, I realised:

– main editor’s last day is this friday
– replacement editor got into fight with boss, and quit immediately
– AP tendered resignation. Last day in mid may.

Was I really gone that long? Maybe I’m still jet lagged.

Avid vs FCP

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Been on an Avid for 4 days now. Took on this job mainly because of Avid, but now having FCP withdrawal!

Getting the hang of it. Learning new things about Avid everyday. Just hope that I don’t forget FCP after 3 months of “un-use”.

Btw, its really nice to be just 4 mrt stops away from office. Shiok!