Saturday, February 19, 2011

Government Cash Handouts

I heard one of the happiest news of my life, yesterday! So happy I got myself an M)Phosis bag from Marina Square in the afternoon! Ok, I actually did intend to buy the bag even before the news since I told myself that I would get a bag from there if they were having sales. It's just that this news make the purchase more seh weeet. I know I've said that I'm very mindful over what I spend but some sales cannot be missed because it's generally from them that I get my stuffs. I'm picky over my sales items coz whenever I have to spend money on myself, it better be worth it. My friend, who associates people's personality closely with their star signs, will just imply that I'm picky or rather fussy coz I'm a Virgo.

And I've always said, you have never met a true nit picky Virgo until you meet my mother.

So what is this news? They are going to reimburse me back the money I paid for the tv & radio licence! Whoohoo!! That will be $110, thank you very much. I paid it last month and always groan about having to pay such an amount for the licence since I hardly even watch tv and that I get my entertainment source mostly from the internet, including my soap dramas. There are other goodies as well such as the growth dividend payouts.

Okay, many people say the government is just giving us the money since the general elections are coming. For those people who are that cynical about the government's tactics to win votes from the public, then whatever amount you get, kindly donate to those who need it more than you such as those who are financially strapped. If you do spend the money that you receive even after being all cynical about it, you're just being a hypocrite.

To me, as a struggling single income earner who has three mouths to feed including herself, I also have to pay for other fees as well such as the monthly conservancy fees, which if you recalled, I struggled to pay last year since my father owed so much. In the end, I managed to clear coz of my mid year bonus. So the fact that they are going to give rebates, I will stand to benefit from it too, and also the utilities bills which every single month, I struggle to pay, because I just don't get why the heck they charge us about the same amount every year even though our consumption has reduced.

So do I have issues with the government? Of course I do. The waiting time and the processing time take an uber long time but when it comes to collecting money from us, they are so super quick to impose fines and penalty if we don't manage to pay on time. But this is a small price to pay for a government that tries its best to make Singapore safe to live in, clean and green, easy to get around and etc. Imagine being thrown in a country where travelling in a public transport may put our life at risk when someone plants a bomb in it. 

Our government is not perfect. It also does not thrive on giving people social welfare every now and then that the countrymen become lazy and don't find the need to work since they can live on the government handouts. Do you know that in America, there are those who are receiving social welfare aid are actually capable of earning money themselves? But because they are pretty lenient in giving such aid, many people get away with it. And those aid, that may come in the form of food stamps, are actually taxpayers' money.

Here in Singapore, if you are not well off and wish to get financial help, you can. But they make it in such a way that they make sure you get a job so that you are independent enough to earn an income for yourself so that you can support your family. For myself, it's difficult to get help because I apparently earn above the quota of the income earned to get financial assistance. It's still possible to get it but I have to jump through hoops to finally get it and then it may just be a paltry amount. But there are people who need it more than me such as those low income earners and the elderly folks who live by themselves and who also need to pay their medical bills. 

If it comes to a point where I seriously need to get help, I will. As for now, I just have to be smart in my budgeting skills and if there are times when I get extra money, I put them away for future use and only use just a bit for myself. My personal financial policy is that only when I have the extra dough that I can afford to spend on myself things I don't usually buy often like clothes, make up and accessories and on top of that, it must be a good buy or one that is value for money such as a sales item.

Of course, I'm only human and I do make mistakes. But I will make it up by spending less later on.

In other words, whatever I buy, must be justifiable. I can't just buy anything randomly. If I can't justify, I won't get it even if it pains me not to get it. So just now, besides the bag, I also got myself a pair of sports shoes because I just had to as the soles of my current shoes have come off and I use them every Sunday for my gym. And I don't buy the high end brand. I got mine at only $29 from Bata, no less. The current one was bought from there too and yes, over the years, they get worn out but the thing is, they lasted years. By the way, I managed to buy the shoes because my aunt just started renting her house and gave us $100 which my mum later gave me $20. I used it to pay for the shoes and top up the balance.

So you can say I am one of those Singaporeans who will gladly take the government cash handouts though I know very clearly the money will go back to them. I am not well off so the money will come in handy for me and my family but in no way am I just motivated by the cash handout. 

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