Round up to 2013..and Hello to 2014!

This year has gone by in a whiz and frankly, I don't know what have I achieved! Hah..that is what I told myself every year. But now, it's a bit different. I actually signed up for a course back then in March but it got delayed and I only got to attend the proper course in October. This course would award me with a local polytechnic Diploma in Business Practice ( Customer Relationship & Service Management). It's a CET programme where part-time courses are specially designed for working individuals who would like to further enhance their working experience with a proper diploma. Along the way, there are modular certs to obtain, which trust me, isn't easy, haha. The best thing is that while I have to come up with my own money initially, for every cert that I obtain, I am able to receive a reimbursement claim for up to 80% from my ministry. Yay to gahmen support for peeps like me!

In this course, I've met wonderful friendly people and while I do still have the shy tendency moments, I try to step up in the game and it's nice to be asked to be in a group, rather than to ask to be in a group. I really thought nobody would actually care to ask me..haha.I would say most of them are friendly bunch and I'm thankful to God for putting me in the same group as them and I hope to be able to pay through all my 5 modular courses to get the big fish in the end: a Diploma. In future, I hope this will be a stepping stone for me to get a university degree, even on a part-time basis such as this one.

Read my post here on my first school holidays after so long! haha..

My brother is also in the same polytechnic as me and he managed to finally get a place after retaking his O level and getting a pass for his Mathematics, which hampered him in getting in previously. I had to do the groundwork for him in order to enable him to repeat in his own school and also to obtain financial assistance to pay for his O level fees. Thankfully, they had increased the income ceiling which allowed me to receive such assistance.

Did I tell ya I even did the paperwork in choosing which course to go to, settling the payment for his courses by doing even MORE paperwork, sending him to a clinic for a check up and mailing the admissions envelope?

The perks of having an older sister -_-

My online shop has also started to receive more orders and in bulk at times during certain periods and every order received, is a blessing for me. I do get feedback that I don't charge enough, especially for the time and effort I had put in. At times, I even had to hand deliver to them by doing meet ups. Yet, I didn't charge for transport.

Yes, go figure, haha. I don't believe money should be the main motivation for running a business. It's a bonus but other than that, it's about building customer loyalty because if they like your work,  they will hopefully come back for more and also hope that they will spread by word of mouth or via cyberspace about my humble shop. But it's definitely a lifesaver at times when cash is running low and the monies I receive every now and then help to sustain my family's expenses.

In terms of weight loss, let's hasn't been an easy road. I have managed to gain weight (what's new......) but somehow managed to stabilize it before the year end, despite the eating frenzy thanks to to generous peeps in the office..but I think I can do better if I can focus more on eating healthier food. I have been very committed to going to gym and walking home after work on days where I don't have school.  I just think the problem lies in my eating like I should be eating even more healthier food and I try to introduce at least a serving of fruit each day. I make myself eat fruits instead of enjoying the canteen food or even fast food from McDonald's even though the cheaper price at the school make it oh-so-tempting to grab a cheeseburger.

I don't need to have a quick weight loss. It could be gradual but at the end of the day, it's not about the number on the weighing scale but about how healthy you are (self convincing mode). For example, me getting an NTUC voucher for $10 just for the first time at work, because I only had two days of MC or medical leave..yay! 

This year also see me earning a gross income of more than $2K after working as a public servant for 10 years from a starting salary of $1.2k only. However, the rising prices of things in general make it rather difficult to save and I still continue to struggle with the balance of income after the CPF deduction and also after paying my bills. It's one of the reasons why I started the online shop because I want to be independent and don't want to fall back into the trap of being in debt as it's already hard enough for me to pay them back. I also don't want to borrow from other people although I did have to at one time because I really needed help otherwise I would risk having the power supplies being cut off. 

Talk about the downside of 2013...

While generally, things aren't so bad, I found myself in tight financial situations as recently as the month of November. Twice, I tried to save from the money I've made from my online shop but unfortunately, I had to use them. I swear that I didn't want to be poor anymore and while I don't quite care about not having enough money for a good vacay, hotel stay, posh dining..I just can't stand not having enough to continue supporting my family. I had turned into a very calculative person because I was constantly worried about running out of money and there were few times that I almost fell into this trap. I just simply hated this very very uneasy feeling and I was constantly praying to God for His help, which He rendered to me. I needed about $200 and I got that much of amount just mere days before I receive my December pay, as advanced pay for my mother's cookies and also for my last batch of cards made for my work place. It was all I needed and I couldn't be more grateful than that.

From now onwards, I will be less calculative and be more grateful. Grateful for the friends that I have, which I realize that I don't need to quantify friendship with the number of friends I have and the family that grows me every single day and making me a better stronger person that I actually think I am. Many of the things I do, I do it for them.

Initially I wished I could rewind back the time because I can't stand to face another set of challenges ahead like I've had enough already. But it's always a fresh start to something, who knows, better in future? 

Here's to 2014 and wishing you much success and luck!

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