(These investment schemes were alerted to me by some of my readers, who requested for this blog post to be written for greater awareness and that hopefully, this reaches MAS.)Is it legal, or ethical, for influencers to peddle and push out investment sc…
Category: SG Budget Babe
Back when I was still in my first job, my annual income tax was only about $200. This was based on a yearly income of $30,000, of which I saved $20,000 – read about how I did it here. (Nope, no bonuses either.)
I don’t mind paying taxes as I understand and appreciate the fact that the money is channeled for the government to help the lower-income groups, as well as pay for other public goods such as our roads, education, etc.
But ever since I got headhunted to my second, and now third, job where I received a pay raise each time, my income taxes have jumped significantly and it has come to a point where I’ve been looking into (legal) ways to reduce paying so much. For context, my income tax jumped by over 10x, but my salary hasn’t jumped 10x at all!
I’ve talked about how achieving financial freedom involves cutting down your expenses while looking for ways to increase your income at the same time. Income tax is definitely one area where you’d want to reduce, because Singapore’s tiered income tax system is such that the more you earn, the higher percentage of taxes you’ll have to pay.
For someone earning $30k a year, they only need to pay 2% of income tax, or $200.
If you earn $3,500 a month and get a 13-month bonus, you’ll be looking at an annual tax of $935. If you’re luckier and get more (eg. 3 months bonus), you can expect to pay $1,425.
But if you earn $80k annually (about $6k monthly with bonus), you’ll be paying $3350.
If you earn $100k a year, you’ll be paying over $5k…which could otherwise pay for a holiday to Europe!
While evading taxes is a crime, there are perfectly legal ways for you to reduce your income taxes. Here’s some:
1. Top up your CPF account (and/or that of your parents).
I used to give my parents their monthly allowance in pure cash. However, ever since I found out about this hack, I’ve changed this to put the money as voluntary contributions to their CPF accounts instead. Given that my dad is already retired and my mum will soon be eligible to withdraw her funds, this approach makes a lot of sense to me as my parents still get their money, and I get to concurrently enjoy tax rebate for the same.
Since the maximum tax relief we can claim is $7000, you can also make voluntary top-ups to your CPF Special Account (SA) where it can earn attractive interest rates, and up your tax relief amount further to a maximum of $14,000.
Do it before the end of the year so you’ll get the tax relief! I’ve blogged about this previously here as well.
2. Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) relief.
If you’ve already maxed out your CPF tax reliefs, you can also make use of the SRS relief scheme to enjoy up to $15,300 of tax relief if you and/or your employer make contributions to your SRS account!
3. Donate to charity.
It (literally) pays to be kind!
I’ve always believed in contributing to charity to help those who are less well-off than us. After all, I come from a family whose parents couldn’t even afford to send me to university, and I benefited from the university scholarship (generously funded by alumni) which allowed me to pursue my studies, so I’m extremely familiar with the struggles of not having enough money.
Because of my background, I have a soft spot towards donating to bursaries and other funds for needy students.
Aside from helping those who need it, the additional good news is, you can claim 250% in tax deductions based on the amount you donated!
4. Claim tax relief for supporting dependent or handicapped grandparents / parents / siblings / spouse.
If you have or parents, living with you who are older than 55 and earn no more than $4,000 annually, you can also claim up to $9,000 tax relief for supporting them (or up to $14,000 if they’re handicapped, in which case the income requirement doesn’t quite apply). But if you have siblings who are claiming for the same, you’ll need to split that evenly with them. There are also tax reliefs if your grandparents stay with you.
Unfortunately this scheme doesn’t apply to me since my mom is still working and my dad only just retired recently, so his annual income still exceeds $4000 for this year, but I’ll be able to claim this soon next time!
If you’re supporting a handicapped spouse or sibling, you can also claim up to $5,500 of tax relief.
5. For married spouses, claim NSman Self Relief.
Husbands can claim up to $5,000 if they’re a key appointment holder (or up to $3,000 if they’re not but served reservist), while their wives can claim $750 tax relief.
6. For parents, claim Parenthood Tax Rebate / Qualifying Child Relief / Working Mother’s Child Relief / Foreign Maid Levy Relief
It seems like the government is really encouraging us to have kids, as they’re giving out a lot of tax subsidies for those who do!
On your first child, you can claim $5,000 of Parenthood Tax Rebate. If you have 2 kids, add on another $10,000 for your second child. Or, if you’re like my cousin with 3 children (or more), you can add on $20,000 more for each subsequent child! This works out to a significant total of $35,000 of tax rebates if you have 3 children and make the maximum claims for them!
Under the Qualifying Child Relief, you can also claim up to $4,000 per child if your offspring is younger than 16 years of age or studying full-time.
Tip: the spouse with the higher income should be the one claiming for this, as it could probably reduce his/her taxes by a larger margin!
For mothers who are working and handling dual roles (mad respect to you women), you can claim 15% of your earned income in tax reliefs for your first child, 20% for your second, and 25% for each child if you have 3 kids or more! Do note that the total cap for QCR and WMCR is $50,000 per child, but that’s already a lot of tax deductions (and making me think twice about whether we should aim to have 2, or 3 kids!)
If you’re hiring a domestic helper at home, you can also claim twice the amount of foreign maid levy paid for a maximum of one foreign maid last year against your earned income.
7. For landlords, claim tax deductions on rental expenses.
Saving up to 15% of your gross rent or actual rental expenses incurred can be quite significantly, while protecting your (somewhat) passive rental income earned!
Thus, by using the (applicable) methods above, a working mom (under 55 years old) who earns $6k a month with a 13-month bonus, yet has 2 children and lives with her retired parent who’s helping to care for her kids, can get away with paying NO income tax, instead of the original $3,210!
*Assumes the following parameters:
That’s a whopping $3,210 saved in taxes (which you can then use to fund a holiday abroad, or other expenses) as long as you make full use of the reliefs available!
And that, my dear, is how you can legally get away with paying ZERO taxes in Singapore.
As your income rises (the moment you get any pay raise, commissions or bonuses), you’ll soon realise that your income taxes rise disproportionately and you could be paying a huge chunk if you aren’t savvy about the various relief schemes available for you to tap on. Considering how much you’ll have to pay otherwise, this is where saving on your taxes become increasingly important!
However, do also bear in mind that there is a cap of $80k on the amount of tax reliefs you can claim. You can also calculate your income taxes and reliefs here on the IRAS income tax calculator.
Looking at the schemes available, wouldn’t it make sense for the husbands to be stay-at-home dads while the mothers go out to work? 😛 (since there isn’t a working fathers child relief scheme). If you want to reduce your income taxes, having kids will definitely help!
At any rate, just don’t try to avoid paying taxes as the Singapore government now considers that as a predicate to anti-money laundering! That involves personal and even criminal liability, so just be a good citizen and pay your income taxes. But be a smart citizen so you can get away with paying less, or even none at all 😉
Public Service Announcement (PSA): Remember to file your income taxes by April 18, 2018 🙂 and don’t forget to make use of these tax reliefs and deductions that I’ve just shared!
Note: This post was written in conjunction with IRAS, and all infographics shared here are rightfully credited to them!
It has been close to half a year of working non-stop without a break, so my husband and I decided to go on a short getaway to Siem Reap, Cambodia. In all, we spent 4D3N there, and our total expenses came up to about $600 per person for the entire trip.
Here’s a quick breakdown:
$80 for 3 nights
Travel insurance (FWD)
Tour – Angkor Wat
$17 (tour) + $48 (entrance fee)
Tour- Fishing Village
$60 (approx. $15/day)
Transport (by tuktuk)
Shopping & others
TOTAL per person
Given that the flight duration was only slightly over 2 hours, we opted for a budget carrier – Jetstar – so that we could spend more on accommodation, food and activities instead.
I highly recommend booking a hotel near the Night Market or Pub Street, as that is within the city centre and where you’ll find everyone heading to after 6pm for the bustling nightlife and activities. The great thing about Siem Reap is that there’s a hotel for every budget, and you’ll save on transport fees (i.e. the tuk tuk rides) as long as you’re staying within walking distance of the night market.
|Our hotel suite which was super affordable and HUGE!|
We chose Lavender Angkor Boutique, which is owned and run by the locals, and was a short 7-min walk from the night market. It cost us only $80 per person for a 4D3N stay.
|Our tuktuk driver, Mr. Kim|
If you need a good tuktuk driver, we really loved ours – Mr. Kim, who is contactable via Whatsapp at +855 12 589 955. A father of three, he was extremely sincere and patient while waiting for us to be done at the various attractions, and was even familiar with most of the hipster cafes that are popular online. He even gave great ideas for other sites to visit – including the Pink Temple – and most importantly, he has a good command of the English language so we didn’t have any issues communicating with him throughout the trip. We met and were approached by so many tuktuk drivers while we were in Siem Reap, but only Mr. Kim managed to win us over because of how genuine he was (and no hard-selling or ridiculous markups of his tuktuk rides compared to some of the others on the streets!).
Breakfast in hotel
Breakfast in hotel
Breakfast in hotel
Arrive in Siem Reap
Head to night market
|The night market|
We used Klook for our tour bookings and the prices were the same, if not cheaper, than what was offered to us by the local tour agency offices which we enquired with in Siem Reap. I’m not sponsored by Klook for this trip but I’ve used them on so many holidays and really recommend booking with them for the quality and competitive prices they offer.
|Starting the morning at Angkor Wat and ready to trek the temple grounds!|
|The inner temple grounds|
|Ta Phrom – more famously known as the site of filming for Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider|
Our main regret was that we didn’t get to catch Phare, the Cambodian circus – this was fully sold out during our stay and we didn’t manage to book it beforehand on Klook either.
|A photo with our tour guide Vanna, who’s from the fishing village we visited. We loved his tour so much that we rewarded him with a generous tip at the end of it!|
|Olden-style houses in the fishing village|
|The kids will run up to you and hound you for money / sweets. Don’t give any to them unless you’re prepared to have a whole swarm surround you the next minute!|
|Catching the sunset at Tonle Sap Lake|
|Our delish hotel breakfast spread every morning|
|My husband tried the scorpion (USD 2 with a shot of hard liquor)|
|and weed (happy) pizza too|
We particularly enjoyed this family-owned restaurant that is located across the street from Nature Republic, which served such yummy local food that we went back twice during our trip. Dishes are mostly USD 3 each, and our entire meal pictured below with my avocado shake cost us only USD 10.50!
So there you go, here’s how we did Siem Reap on a shoestring budget of $600 per person! In a city where tours, accommodation, food and drinks are extremely affordable, you shouldn’t have to spend too much to have a good time here.
(You can even trim that further to just $500 if you get a 1-star hotel or opt for a hostel, and get flight tickets on sale! Don’t forget to book through Shopback + use your cashback credit card while you’re booking online for more rebates!)
For those of you who love dining out, what’s a good way to save on your dining?
By using a cashback credit cash with the highest rate for dining + savings app.
You’ll find the respective credit cards with the highest dining cashback rates on the SGBB Cashback App (just tap onto weekday / weekend dining to view the respective rates), although currently BOC Family Card holds the honour of 10%. However, this benefit is capped at $30 – which means you shouldn’t exceed $300 in food every month – and provided you also chalk up $700 in monthly spending.
On the best savings app for food, eatigo undeniably offers the best value…IF you can dine at the odd, off-peak hours. So while the app is great for those who are self-employed and do not have to stick to regular schedules like most of us corporate slaves, it isn’t that fantastic for the rest of us who have schedules to align to.
And for those of you who got a copy of The Ultimate Guidebook to the Best Cashback Tools in Singapore which I published earlier this year, you’ll be familiar with The Entertainer, which I recommended as the best app for shaving 50% off your dining and activities in Singapore anytime, even during peak hours!
But if you haven’t heard of The Entertainer app before, think of it as an extensive booklet of coupons which gives you 1 for 1 deals on dining, hotels, spas, activities and retail, all within a single place on your mobile. With it, you can get 1-for-1 deals on over 1,700 merchants for dining, drinks, hotel bookings, spa sessions and many more.
Here’s a preview of some popular merchants on the app:
- Fat Cow
- Bedrock Bar and Grill
- Patisserie G
- Activities / Shopping:
- Bubble Soccer
- Photography (brides-to-be, you can even get a 50% discount off AndroidsinBoots here!)
- The Tinsel Rack
Sasseur REIT is an upcoming Chinese outlet mall portfolio that is currently open for IPO applications and will soon be listed on SGX.
This is the third retail REIT in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to be listed here – BHG and Daisin Retail Trust are the other two – pointing to the growth in the spending power of the Chinese middle class, which is expected to continue growing. With a CAGR of over 24% per annum, it is expected that China outlet malls will become the biggest in the world by 2030, surpassing the outlet mall markets in Europe and USA. While I wouldn’t place too much emphasis on these estimates, I would however review this IPO as both a dividend and growth stock for the future.
You’ll currently be buying into a portfolio of 4 retail outlet malls located in Chongqing, Bishan, Hefei and Kunming.
– 266.6 million shares for offer at $0.80 each, raising S$396 million
– 13.8 million public tranche
– IPO closes on 26 March at noon.
Sasseur REIT owns and manages four outlet shopping malls in China, valued at RMB 7.34 million (or S$1.5 million) in total (although I would take these valuation numbers with a pinch of salt). All of these outlet malls have an occupancy rate of above 90% each, with land tenures of 30 – 37 years and includes 4,466 car park lots (translates into extra revenue for the REIT).
1. A chance to ride on China’s growing consumer market
The PRC outlet market industry has experienced a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.8%, and is expected to continue its growth at a 24.2% CAGR from 2016 – 2021.
Most of you should be well familiar with how the Chinese shop and spend by now, but if you haven’t seen it for yourself, I kid you not when I say they can go insane at outlet malls. I saw this firsthand in both the US and Italy where the PRC folks were buying bags and bags of discounted branded stuff…whereas all I walked out with was a pair of Nike shoes, lol. These outlets get so much sales from the Chinese that even their salespeople are trained to speak in the language (I remember the shock I got when I saw the Italian salesman speak in Chinese to a PRC customer!).
The concept of “face” or “mian zi” is huge in China, and you only need to see them buying to be convinced of this. Sasseur REIT offers an opportunity for investors to ride on this trend.
2. High occupancy rate and low tenant default risk.
Their outlet malls at Chongqing, Bishan, Hefei and Kunming have high occupancy rates of 96.4%, 91.5%, 95.8% and 96.1% respectively. This comprises of over 1,119 tenants which means that even if a few tenants were to default, it should not pose too much of an impact to Sasseur REIT.
3. Strong sponsor and sponsor interest.
Unless the agreement is restructured to guarantee the minimum rent payment to the REIT after 2019, we could potentially see a drop in the REIT’s income, especially if economic conditions worsen or if the Chinese cut back on their spending at outlet malls. If you’re investing into Sasseur REIT, you probably should keep an eye on how it’ll perform from the third year onwards.
Another point to note is that the percentage of distributable income will fall by 10% after two years.
2. Extremely susceptible to economic cycles, especially recessions.
The outlet malls that Sasseur REIT owns are mainly focused on discounted luxury and high-end brand items, which makes them highly susceptible to economic cycles. In an economic boom and growing disposable income, all will be good; but in a recession where consumers tend to cut back on their discretionary spending, Sasseur REIT will surely be impacted negatively, and even more so because their rental model is based on tenant sales turnover.
Sasseur REIT claims that “the outlet mall industry tends to exhibit counter-cyclical characteristics and resilience during economic recessions” (page 32) but I don’t know how the US market consumer behaviour is supposed to be representative of how the Chinese will react in similar conditions, plus that runs contrary to what I believe so I’m just going to brush this claim aside as marketing speak.
3. Heavy exposure to fashion.
Fashion accounts for almost half of Sasseur REIT’s portfolio property income. In times of recession, we’ll probably see this discretionary spending on clothes and fashionable apparel be the first to go.
4. High concentration risk – Chongqing outlet
Another factor I’m pretty uncomfortable with is the fact that out of its 4 outlet malls, Sasseur REIT derives a majority of its sales and revenue from its Chongqing outlet. Take a look at how the different malls compare.
Now, there’s a good explanation for this – the Hefei and Kunming outlets became operational only in 2016, so there’s limited data for us to analyse. In contrast, Chongqing has been operating since 2008.
However, given that Chongqing outlets accounted for over 70% of its income last year, this makes me a little uneasy given the high concentration risk.
Based on its IPO prospectus (page 163), Sasseur REIT claims that its gearing ratio stands at 30.3%, which leaves them with enough room to take up more debt for acquisitions and growth if they need to.
However, I’m not so certain about the accuracy of this because based on its unaudited pro forma financial statements (page 155), I arrived at a ratio of 40.8% for 30 Sept 2017 instead (630,155,000 / 1,552,002,000), and this is considered high if we compare it against the other REITs listed here.
6. Short land tenure and weighted average lease expiry (WALE)
At 30 – 37 years remaining on its land tenure, this seems rather short at first glance, but there’s apparently a good reason (page 110) when you consider China’s Urban Land Regulations, which stipulate that maximum term is up to 40 years for commercial, tourism and entertainment use. The Chongqing outlets are held under the land use right for commercial use, limited to 40 years, which includes the time taken for developing the land. Sasseur REIT states that it will be able to apply for renewal of this land use right at least a year in advance of its expiry.
Another point to note is that at 3.2 years, the WALE is quite short in contrast to other REITs listed on SGX.
7. Forex risk
Lastly, as Sasseur REIT receives its income in RMB and pays out dividends in SGD, we’ll be exposed to forex risk in this case, as with the other REITs listed here locally which derive a majority of their income from overseas markets.
With its NAV at $0.773 per unit, the current IPO price represents a fair value to NAV (1.03 P/NAV ratio). Then again, it is hard to expect any decent REIT to price its offering at a significant discount to NAV.
I’ve also not really discussed much about its growth potential (highlighted on page 11) where Sasseur REIT has been granted a right of first refusal (ROFR) from the Sponsor, giving it the opportunity to acquire the Sponsor’s Xi’an and Guiyang outlets, which commenced operations on 30 September and 9 December last year respectively. In addition, the Sponsor also manages 3 other pipeline properties in Hangzhou, Nanjing and Zhongdong Changchun, which were not injected into Sasseur REIT’s current portfolio since these properties are not currently owned by the Sponsor.
My suspicion is that due to
(i) the stability of dividend payouts and income support for the next 2 years,
(ii) the expected CAGR for China’s outlet mall market and
(iii) the potential asset growth for Sasseur REIT in acquiring (2 to 5) more outlet malls in the near future
that explains why the IPO price is valued as such.
Having seen firsthand on the Chinese consumers’ shopping and spending tendencies, I’m inclined to apply for this IPO placement just to ride on this booming market, which I believe should continue to grow unless a serious economic recession hits China. However, I’m wary of Sasseur REIT’s income support model, high gearing ratio and over-reliance on Chongqing outlets.
It is also interesting to note that Sasseur REIT seems to have invested quite seriously into its marketing efforts to push out this IPO, as seen from this huge booth that they set up at Raffles Place just to distribute its IPO prospectus…which you can easily find online here.
What about you?
The same warning signs that led the state of our healthcare insurance to what it is today has also just appeared in the motor insurance industry. What’s going to happen next?
If you recall, earlier this month, it was announced that patients with new Integrated Shield Plan (ISP) riders will no longer be able to enjoy zero co-payment of their hospitalisation bills. A 5% co-payment will now be imposed (capped at $3,000 annually) to address the issue of over-consumption of medical services.
Between 2005 – 2016, the industry’s claims ratios surged from 42% to 84%. These rising claims have prompted hikes in ISP and rider premiums, but that didn’t help the insurers from still making underwriting losses.
Q: How did this come about?
A: Rising claims + underwriting losses.
For many years, riders on top of their healthcare insurance policy (which would allow one to not fork out a single cent for hospitalization) were highly popular among Singaporeans, with 1 in 3 Singaporeans opting to take up a rider.
But in the last 2 years, ISP premiums had risen by up to 80%, with older policyholders and those on private hospitalisation plans experiencing higher increase. Yours truly was one of them. One of the causes identified by Health Minister Chee Hong Tat was that the zero co-payment feature of these full riders had resulted in a “buffet syndrome”, which led to over-consumption and over-charging of healthcare services.
He pointed out that the average medical bill size for full-rider policyholders was about 60% higher than for those without riders, even though the former group are generally younger and in better health.
Were there warning signs that this was coming?
Yes. Frankly, I wasn’t surprised by the news. That’s because after having seen how all the healthcare insurers suffered from underwriting losses in 2016, and coupled with the rise in healthcare costs, I knew this move was only a matter of time.
The industry chalked up underwriting losses ranging from S$7.3 million to almost $30 million, with AIA and NTUC Income suffering the biggest hits. Even AXA, which only started selling ISPs and riders in the second half of 2016, suffered a considerable loss.
Now, there’s no point in crying over split milk, which is why I haven’t really bothered writing a commentary about the state of the healthcare insurance industry (mainly because I expected it) until today…because I just spotted a glaring similarity in another insurance segment:
Is the motor insurance industry headed down the same slippery slope?
We already know by now that the healthcare insurers got to this state because of rising claims and underwriting losses. But why aren’t we talking about how the same warning signs have now appeared in the motor insurance industry?
Motor insurers in Singapore are expected to review the commercial viability of their business after booking a combined underwriting loss of S$27.2 million in 2017 compared to the previous year – the segment’s first underwriting deficit since 2010.
The general insurance industry’s 2017 full year results were announced by the General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA) yesterday, revealed a 3.3% drop in gross motor premiums to S$1.1 billion while claims rose by 12%, representing an increase of S$60 million.
Loss ratios in motor jumped to 64.9%, the highest recorded by the industry in the last 5 years.
Check the HQ of the online e-commerce store and use their corresponding local currency.
The choice is yours. Cashback and rewards get
Don’t forget to keep at least S$3,000 in your daily average balance as well, because there will be a fall-below fee of $7.50 monthly if it falls below the minimum sum. This fee is waived if you’re under 29 years old.
This article is written in collaboration with DBS. All opinions are of my own.
The original $5m was primarily used to develop the CloudMoolah system which we have already integrated within the Unity Editor and launched. Because of the success of the CloudMoolah project, we signed a new deal with Unity to develop an App Store called the MOO store. This is a much bigger project which requires more resources. We realise that raising the funds via an ICO would therefore make the most sense because it also draws in the community into supporting the project, which is crucial as we are ultimately about engaging the game community.
2. Given that many members on your current team have other existing commitments outside of CloudMoolah, how will your team intend to balance this out?
3. Focusing on the Asian market first will eliminate a large majority of gamers who are based in US and Europe. Wouldn’t this limit your sales and returns?
Our business model is about improving monetization from emerging markets. We technically bridge content from advanced game-manufacturing markets such as US/Europe/Korea to SE Asia markets. Next up, we would be looking at including new payment gateways from other emerging markets as well. If you look at the SEA online gaming market alone, it is potentially a $10b market by 2025, and staying focused on this market alone can reap huge rewards.
4. “More than 100 million gamers…in Southeast Asia and Taiwan” was mentioned in your whitepaper as your target market, as well as a revenue projection of “the MOO store may generate revenues of USD 295 million by the year 2022”. Can you explain if these statistics covers all gamers in SEA, or whether it excludes gamers who use iPhones?
SE Asia markets are about half the size of China and with a red-hot growth rate of +40% as a whole. Our projections cover SE Asia alone and only on the Android users (which is also gaining market share aggressively).
5. Games downloaded from the Apple App Store will have to be paid through Apple as well. Given that many gamers also download apps from the Apple App store, how do you intend to overcome the issue of not being able to target these consumers?
Our current focus is on emerging markets where there are pent-up demand for games that is hindered by access to the centralized financial system. Android-based smartphones dominates these market – in Southeast Asia alone, Android market share (by game installation) is close to 90% – that is why we decided to target this market first.
6. Adding on to the above, how will the games be distributed then? How will the game developers market and promote their games?
Our MOO Store! And we intend to put in tools to help them market and promote their games “kick-starter-style.” Having met hundreds of Unity developers in the past year, we discovered that they are their own best person to sell their game.
7. How many % of market share are you targeting for CloudMoolah, especially given that you’re competing against already established payment channels of Amazon, Google Play, Samsung Galaxy and Xiaomi?
We would prefer to see ourselves as a complement to what these established companies are providing. Realising untapped revenue for indie game developers means survivability and motivation (a great deal).
8. Regarding your whitepaper and Appendix A, how many of the 300 developers mentioned have committed to building and integrating with CloudMoolah store for payments? Will this be exclusive, or will they be integrating CloudMoolah simply as an additional payment method on top of Google Play / other competitors?
100% of them. Every developer we spoke to at the game conferences loves what we are doing. We are giving them access to a market opportunity they would most likely miss (outside of their comfort zone markets). We help them save time and effort. We help them pay their bills. In short, we help them get the “Moolah”!
The airlines business is a competitive one, especially with travel deals and budget fares promotions ongoing all the time.
So when I travel, I never believe in paying more than I absolutely have to. And given that most of my flights are to short-haul locations (under 7 hours), I’m a huge fan of always going with budget airlines whenever I have to fly.
I’ve shared previously about tips on how to pay less for budget flights here and that I typically avoid all the frills that budget airlines try to charge for, in order to earn an extra buck.
- Travel insurance? No thanks, I’ll buy my own or claim it for free via my credit card.
- Food? No thanks, I’ll eat before the flight (or pack my own snacks discreetly)
- Drinks? No thanks, I’ll bring a water bottle and fill it at the airport’s water coolers.
- Internet? No thanks, I can survive without it for a free hours.
- Eye mask, blanket or neck cushion? No thanks, I’ll bring my own.
- In-flight entertainment? No thanks, I have my own.
|Netflix’s standard subscription (for HD) costs $13.98 / month
Toggle Prime costs $9.90 / month
|Check out all the movies I downloaded for one of my flights.|
|Missed catching Soong Joong Ki in cinemas? His movies are on Viu Premium too!|
There’s also plenty of Asian movies on Viu Premium, even if you aren’t the biggest fan of Korean films. In fact, some of the movies that Viu has brought in were box office hits in their native countries, but never made it to Singapore shores, such as “My Annoying Brother” and “A Man and A Woman”. And much like Netflix and Toggle, Viu also has its own original productions which can’t be found elsewhere.
⚡Unlimited Downloads – For offline viewing
⚡Priority Viewing – As fast as 8 hours after Korea
|I’m absolutely OBSESSED with this K-drama and have been raving about it non-stop.
If you haven’t watched it yet, you’re missing out!
- The Last Princess
- Likes for Likes
- Miss Granny (has been remade multiple times in other countries)
- II Mare (the original Korean movie which was later remade by Hollywood into The Lake House)
- A Wedding Invitation
- 200 Pounds of Beauty
- The Truth About Beauty
- Penny Pinchers
- Drama series:
- While You Were Sleeping
- Descendants of the Sun
- Love in the Moonlight
- Innocent Defendant
There’s a new app for download – one that’s designed to help you manage and maximise your cashback credit card game.
As an advocate of cashback credit cards, one of the most common questions I get is on how to MANAGE our cards, especially given how there are a multitude of credit cards which give varying cashback rates across different categories.
For instance, imagine if you own the OCBC 365 card and Citi Cashback Card (a pretty common combination among my friends).
- The OCBC 365 card gives 6% on weekend dining, but this falls to 3% if you swipe for the same dining places on weekdays.
- On the other hand, the Citi Cashback gives 8% for dining, all days of the week.
- DBS Live Fresh gives 5% for dining and entertainment
- CIMB Platinum Mastercard only gives you 0.2% for these same categories
- 6% weekend dining
- 3% weekday dining
- 6% weekend entertainment
- 3% weekday entertainment
- 3% online shopping (online fashion stores only)
- 0.3% for all other categories
So it got me thinking…WHAT IF I could make it easy for consumers like myself to get around this?