Monday, May 26, 2014

When Temptation is Infront of You

I have been meaning to write about this but let's say..I wasn't sure if I should write. Still, I think it is something worth writing about. 

Currently, I'm not exactly on the ball in terms of finance. As much as I try to cut down on expenses, life still goes on and I still have to pay for this and that because I have to feed my family. However, I gave up buying my favourite snacks and only buy what is necessary. Even if I go to the craft store to buy my supplies, it's only to buy things related to my online orders but I will be paid for them. Just that let's say the expenses nowadays seem to be getting faster and faster because things aren't exactly getting cheaper too. I even had to sacrifice my beloved bella box which is a monthly beauty subscription so that I am able to save $19.90 but I love their things so much, once my finances are in order I am sure to come back.

So when you're in a financial dilemma like this, it is to be tempted when money is infont of you. Except for one thing.

The money doesn't belong to you.

It happened two weeks ago. I went to the atm machine to withdraw some money but before that, a couple had just walked away from it. When I was taking out the card, I was thinking why this machine kept beeping. Then as I was about to insert the card, I realized why. The couple apparently didn't take the money and there was $100. I kinda panicked for a bit and walked away to try to see if I could find the couple. But they walked so fast I couldn't see and so I went back. The money was still there but few seconds later, the machine swallowed the money back. I was then able to use the machine to withdraw my own cash.

But it occurred to me as I was withdrawing. What if I had taken the money instead. But it was a fleeting thought because I didn't want to get into trouble. Plus, there was the security camera and I didn't want to risk that over a $100. I may be in a financial dilemma but I wasn't so desperate to resort to stealing.

However, I did few years back. It accumulated into a snowballing effect up to last year and if I had not taken the money, I would struggle big time. However, in my last attempt, I merely borrowed the money entrusted to me and had paid back using my own money when bonus comes in and it was about $300 plus. 

While at this time, my financial crisis isn't too bad and I'm still managing well, back then it was soooo hard. That is why I am so scared to fall back into that pit hole because it's not a very pleasant place to be in. Every day and every night, you're just thinking and thinking about it like how the heck I am going to survive the family for the following day when money is only this much.

However I do not want to resort to stealing because unfortunately, karma indeed bite back and I fell into a worse off position. That is why whenever I am entrusted with any amount of money, whether found or for something, I either gave it to the lost and found or to someone else for safekeeping. As much as I am in a crisis, I will not resort to stealing anymore. Even if I am left with the option of borrowing the money first, I will return it with my own money once things get better but so far this year, that hasn't occur yet.

I can imagine temptation of any kind. Food, money, love....but dealing with the consequences later is even tougher and may even cause an unpleasant mark in our life. It will stay with us throughout even when we think we have done better than this and yet, people choose to remember and even keep punishing us for this. 

I know some people may say life is short so enjoy it to the max and do the things you aren't suppose to do just to get the thrill out of it. But if is going to involve jail time, or bearing a heavy responsibility when you're not ready for it, why should you risk it. 

As for now, I will keep myself encouraged to earn money on the side and continue to be mindful of what I spend. I don't want to think too much about it but I will just have to keep moving forward and hoping things will get better.

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Cutting Down to the Basics...Almost

I read an article recently from a website regarding how these ladies manage to save money for an event that they have planned, for example to make the downpayment for their house, to go on holiday and to simply save an amount of money by the end of the year. It's amazing how they just slash their expenses here and there down to the basic necessities just to save so that they can either get their dream home or their dream vacation.

I sometimes struggle to save and whenever I have saved an amount of money, oh look, something just crops up and I have to pay for something. Well, some things are just inevitable which is why we must always have an emergency fund, which is easier said than done, but it's doable. I took some pointers here and there, not just from this article, but from another article, on how they manage to clear their debt despite being in  a very low position in their life.

The point is, if they can focus on their goal, and what they want to ultimately achieve, they have to be willing to put in the time and effort plus make some sacrifices here and there for a taste of delayed gratitude. Do you think those 10K marathon runners simply just run and complete the race? They have practiced for months before they can actually run the actual race, making sacrifices of their time to practice and avoid certain food so that they don't put on weight and snack on food that can only provide them with empty calories and little nutritional value.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I want to be Rich

What a way to title the post. But really, I do want to lead a rich life in a sense that I don't always have to worry about money because money comes in all the time. I would say I'm making progress but I have the tendency to slide back and crawl back up again which is difficult for me. In a way, I admire myself in a way that I do think hard about the future and how I want to shape it. When we were young, people would always be asking what would you be when you grow up and they'll talk about having a bright future.

The thing is, the future can be a scary place. When I became a sole breadwinner, life until now hasn't been easy and I thank God that due to inflation and rising costs, I sorta become more creative in pulling in some money every now and then. Just like how in Singapore, the way they help the needy is that so long as they're able bodied and can work, they will provide a temporary financial solution while they upgrade themselves to get a better job so that they can continue to support their family.  I also know that there are other people who are worse off than me but they still choose to be giving and helping those around them who are just as poor or even poorer than them. 

But I can't always think, nah there are people way poorer than me. The way I see it now is that I still want a better and brighter future for myself and for my family. To do that, I have to be more open minded, be thankful for what I have and build up on what I already have to make it better than it is now. I still want to continue my studies even further at the university level. It's not just about having paper qualifications. It's about a sense of personal achievement.

I want to create my own luck. Some people may say oh they're lucky. We have to be open minded enough to dream and be able to fulfill it. Right now, my dream is to make my online shop as an alternative source of income and hoping to rake in money from there. I am determined to introduce new card designs to the shop and so I don't just depend on custom orders. I can imagine myself selling all my cards out every week the minute I launch them. I can dream, can't I? :)

I believe if I can put in more effort in making newer and better designed cards with general themes, generating enough interest on my instagram, facebook and blog, this dream is possible. Everyone has to start from somewhere. Do you think Bill Gates is a billionaire just like that? It started with the way of thinking and how you find opportunities where other people may not see. It's milking the knowledge from other talented people, see what are their strengths and make them our own.

So being rich in life is about arming ourselves with the right knowledge and being more open minded to create more enriching experiences for ourselves that we can only dream about.

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Me, Jealous?

I wanted to talk about how I've been wasting food but it was only because of my carelessness and not because I am a spoilt brat when I didn't feel like eating it and merely throwing it away. But it was all settled. Apparently, the food didn't turn bad because I kept it in the fridge and merely forgot to bring home. And I finally found the ziplock bag of mini curry puffs  which I swore I had put inside but only found it the next day inside the same bag, LOL.

So I thought I switch gear and talk about how sometimes, admittedly, feel a tinge of jealousy for other people. I'm not one of those peeps whose jealousy can be so overwhelming they talk crap over at the social media without realizing it. I just unconsciously compare myself to them and thinking wow, how come I'm not like that. For example, weight loss. I know they work superbly hard for it and showing off on instagram or describe about their progress on facebook, and then I look at me and thinking eurgh, I'm showing no progress! haha..

But it's ok. I don't want to be too obsessed with weight loss. As I wrote in my previous post, I just have to be more conscious about what I consume and pick up tips along the way because I know my current problem area is my burgeoning tummy but I think because it's TOTM (it's a woman thing) and now it's doesn't look too hard and bloated. Still, it's work in progress. Aaah..yes. I think I should start acknowledging it as work-in-progress..hee.

So I figured that if you're discouraged by other people's progress and their lifestyle, remember that you don't know how hard they work behind the scenes. Just take it as a form of encouragement that someday you will be in that some position. Everyone progresses in their own time but what matters most is how determined you are in getting to that desirable position. Let them show off their progress because they are certainly proud of their hard work, pretty much how we would be proud ourselves except we're a little bit low key. After all, it's a personal achievement and that matters most.

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Sunday, May 04, 2014

Achieve Greater Things in Life

I am in the state of wanting to do more this month because I feel like if I want to do something about my financial troubles, I must take the right action. No point avoiding the white elephant in the room because once we start to deny, the problems are just going to pile up. 

But no, I'm not here to talk about it as I've written it in my previous post. 

I want to talk about how we're always wanting to perform our best in whatever we do but  sometimes we forget about the things that matter more like how can we contribute to society and how can we continue to spread the kindness around when more and more people are getting more cynical and rude despite having high intelligence. It's like they're saying that they can say or do whatever they want but frown upon other people's actions. But let's not focus on them. We shall focus more on ourselves.

We're always thinking 'there's always tomorrow' but tomorrow for us, may or may not come so we must be blessed if we ever get to live to see another day. It is a day for us to learn new things and live as though it is our last which simply means having to live life to the fullest. Every now and then, I do worry about my weight like gosh, why can't I have flat abs like many of these peeps around me or look as slim as those girls walking past me.

But I am reminded that as long as I continue to live a healthy lifestyle, like watching what I eat, drink more green tea even though time and again, I can never like the taste but whatever. I still go to the gym once a week and work my schedule around it, if I have other appointments, not the other way round. I continue to only indulge in canteen food which includes a cheese hotdog with a little bit of rice and some other side dishes such as either eggs or vegetables. The rest of the days, I alternate between oatmeal and nestum cereals eaten with lint seeds and ground flaxseed. Not very appetizing, I must say, haha. Oh yes, as I am a bread lover, I make an effort to eat wholemeal bread every day too. Speaking of reminder, I must really make an effort to drink chinese tea, both green tea and oolong tea, twice a day. I'm always too lazy to make the second cup even though it's just a matter of putting in a tea bag and dispense hot water. Go figure.

To be healthy, you can't afford to be lazy. I don't want to be so 'hard core' like some people I follow on IG such as doing those strenuous exercises almost every day just to be so trim even though they are already healthier looking or to refrain themselves from eating all those good food, even a tiny morsel, but complain loundly on social media how they can't eat this or that..pfft. But seeing the group of people they mix around with, I can understand why this fascination with wanting to look good. Most of us girls may look like we're so highly confident on the outside but inside, God knows how we feel when we start comparing ourselves to other people.

In short, I don't want to think too much about how much I weigh because it's just a number. So I stop weighing myself unless I want to be depressed. I just do what it takes to look and feel healthier without torturing myself.

Plus, there are other more important things in life that I want to achieve. I want to take my online shop to greater heights. I remembered once thinking how I wish I got more orders to start saving at a time when I'm not receiving any orders at all and anyone in my position would just give up. I just continue to do what it takes, keep promoting my facebook page and simply not care about whether sales start streaming in. Nike can't say it any better. I JUST DO IT.

As I'm down to my last order, I am in need of new orders again. Sigh. I feel like I'm back to square one. Is it God's way of telling me to slow down? Haha..I don't know. Nevermind, I'll pray before going to sleep for God to help me keep the orders coming because He knows I try my mighty best for every single order because I'm relying on them greatly to keep my humble shop going. I don't want to go back to being so poor I'm counting every dollar and worry a lot about how to feed my family the next few days. 

Other things include travelling to Australia and getting a better  paying job. My boss was furious with me last Friday for submitting not one or two but three late payments. Technically, they're not late yet but she's so paranoid about late payments after the last audit, she's breathing down my neck for it and at first I thought it was annoying for her to ask my colleagues to help me out. But at the end of the day, I feel like I should be thankful to them for helping to lighten my burden a bit. I just have to play my part better so that I won't be caught in such position anymore.

For my family, my mum has long wanted to buy a new smaller and more open table, which means, no bulky drawers in between, for the tv set. I know many of you may think that gosh, it's so inexpensive nowadays especially with IKEA, Courts mega sales but the way I think is that they're furniture and furniture costs more. Can't imagine forking out $200 plus for it. Er, can't say much about spending on the materials for my online shop because the way I see it, I make money from it. Furniture is like, there you go, a decorative piece. We'll see. I do want to save up for it so that she will stop talking about it ;p

See, there are so many things that I want to achieve in life but the journey is not without obstacles. To me, it's not the destination that matters but the journey itself and how we slowly overcome each and every obstacle.

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Saturday, May 03, 2014

Clarity is Power

I got the quote Clarity is Power from an author of a best selling financial book called Money: A Love Story  although technically that isn't her quote. It was from Barbara Stanny a financial coach. But to me, that quote rings true. You know what you're supposed to do to get what you want or to be where you want to be but are you putting your thoughts into action? What I like about the book is that she's saying that debt is neither a good or a bad thing. I also learn that I should I shouldn't blame myself for what happened because I know to me, it was not as if I wanted to buy myself some Coach or LV bag which resulted in me having credit card debt. It was me trying to feed my family because I wasn't earning enough and that I was having problems coping with the  inflation.

But God gave me the idea and intelligence to find another source of income which, in all the amounts I receive, help to contribute slowly to my savings. Yes, there are some points of time where I seem to move backward instead of forward but I can always hit the gear and vroom forward again and reach my destination quickly and safely, of course.

On Labour Day itself, I earned almost $30 which I placed back into my savings account. Starting from this month, I am not going to slack in life. In fact, over this first weekend, I have made close to my target number of handmade cards to sell at my online shop. Pray that they will generate income for me. I'm always thinking that I don't have time for them because of the custom orders that I have to make but I want to make it clear to myself that I CAN make time,  provided I put my mind to it. If I wanna experience financial freedom soonest, and of course, get rid of the annoying calls for more and more payments once and for all, I must put in the efforts to earn more.

Indeed, being clear of what you want to do and what you hope to achieve gives you a better focus in life. Whether it's for saving, to buy a new branded handbag or to simply have a better life, do know that Clarity is Power. The power to get out of the undesirable situation you are in and create a better future for yourself and your loved ones.

Good luck!

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Trip Down Defunct Bukit Timah Railway Station & Nene Chicken

This was our third attempt in exploring the defunct Bukit Timah Railway Station. The first one, let's say it lasted for about 5 minutes or so until I got seriously ill and had to go to a nearby shopping mall to rest. Secondly, we were late and by the time we reached, it was too dark for us to explore, lest we want to see things that we didn't want to see, LOL.

But on that second trip, we decided to......

go Buona Vista and visit Nene Chicken for some yummeh spicy drumlets.

Happy Choice! But bring on the spizeee....

Waiting in excitement

Okay, mine wasn't soo spicy. I opted for theh boneless black sesame chicken fillet

I really love them and although the guy next door was quite annoying because he was quite noisy when eating. I think because he wanted to contain the spiciness by eating in such manner which resulted in a lot of smacking of lips, eurgh.

Anyway, we had to wait about 20 minutes or so for our order but I think it came earlier than that. Of course my brother was really happy because somehow, he's always the one discovering about such halal fast food outlets like these. No, in case you're wondering, this is not a food blog, haha. If you wanna try, they have two outlets. One at Star Vista and the other one is at Bedok Mall. Star Vista is a much smaller outlet and we're pretty lucky we got a corner seat, which by the way, was one of the only two corner seats there. Yes, that's how small it is.

Go to their facebook page here for more info on Nene Chicken.

Next, we would be trying Wing Zone for more chicken goodness.

So yes, back to our regular update.

About our trip, we FINALLY managed to explore to our fullest the Bukit Timah Railway Station before it turned dark. It was quite difficult walking on the murky mud and then on the tracks itself where they were surrounded by pretty big rocks. So most times, we were walking on the wooden planks of the railway.

Quite a balancing act, I must say.

 Enjoy the pics!

The majestic bridge

Former signage

Customary selfie

surrounded by overgrown grass

Close up of the tracks

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Long Weekend, A Little Rambling & My Lack of Gratitude

The day I discover IG filters It's almost mid week to August..argh. I am in the midst of a long weekend, which sadly will come to ...