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Monday, May 31, 2010

Think Before you Buy

There are a lot of people who buy without putting much thoughts. However, this buy, buy, buy mentality could be dangerous and bad for our society as well as the environment. This is because we are a very consumer driven generation.

However, if you could stop for a minute and think as well as ponder, your wallet and Mother Nature will be very grateful.


REDUCE

Give yourself some time to think and ask if you can use less than what you are using. Sometimes, it is possible to make do with less of what we are using. For example, toiletries are the perfect example. If you do not waste shampoo or detergent, you will help to save a lot. This is all day-t0-day products that could make a huge difference.


Another good example would be the mobile phones. How many of us are changing phones every year? There are a lot of us who change mobile phones every now and then as we chase after the latest model. If we could save money from all these products, we will be saving a lot more. Besides, it also contribute to saving the environment.


REUSE


There are a lot of us who would invest in a new hobby only to find that we are not really into it. For example, I used to be very eager about the prospect of learning guitar. I bought a guitar only to find it collecting dust. Therefore, one of the ways would be to borrow from a friend and see if you are serious about learning it. If you can't borrow, then you can consider buying a used or refurbished version. Do not take things for granted.


RECYCLE


If you think that recycling is by putting your items into the recycle bin, you are wrong. You could also exchange items with someone or your friends. You could check and see if there are people who might be interested in exchanging or trading with your for something you want in return. For example, there are people who might be interested to exchange a barely used tennis racquets for a pretty new pair of skates.


RETHINK


Before you purchase anything, always ask yourself over and over again the reasons for buying it. It is important to think properly before purchasing something that could be wasted. Planning on your shopping will help you to save a lot of money in the long run


REFUSE


It is important to refuse to buy something. Despite of the cool factor of obtaining or buying something that is new, it is important that you are able to resist the temptation of buying something new.


The reason that I am blogging about this is because of the temptation that i face each time I go shopping. No doubt, it is great to be buying something new that is nice. I remembered the feeling of excitement when I first got hold of my HTC Trinity and the ipod shuffle.





With news and rumours about the upcoming iphone 4G and HTC Evo 4G, I always have the tendency to consider buying these new phones...or I might even consider HTC Desire.
The desire for something new is common and most of us find that in us. However, it is actually important for us to look beyond "Cool" and following with the trend.
If you are thinking about yourself only, buying these cool gadgets make sense since it helps to enhance your cool factor as well as your popularity in a way but what about people outside your world. People who are suffering because of our spending spree.
I think it is important to save every penny, not just for our sake but also for those around us.
Partly influenced by reading the One Foundation by Jet Li.
Therefore, instead of buying a new phone, I might consider reusing the Sony Ericsson of mine (quite an old phone) for my DigiCampus and continue using HTC P3600i for my Digi Postpaid...(in need of a new battery, I already order one)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Are You Saving Enough Money?

The poll on "How much do you save from your salary?" concluded in the beginning of the year, however I forgot to blog something on the result. This is because I tends to forget this blog when I blog as it usually get the least attention from me.

The result from the poll "How much do you save from your salary?" really surprised me. Before this, I was having discussion on a forum regarding how much money that some people are saving from their salary and there are just too many forum-ers are replying that they save close to none of their monthly salary and their savings are just from the EPF deduction. It looks like forum-ers are savings close to 0%, while my blog readers are saving more than 20%, though I am not sure whether the 20% is included in the EPF deduction or not.

However, even if include the EPF deduction, it means that there are about 50% blog readers who are savings according to the rule of thumb, which is 10%, while only 10% who are saving less than the rule of thumb.

According to the rule of thumb, it is best to save 10% from your income and to save up to 6 months of expenses (if possible salary) before going venturing to any investment. This is because we will not know what is going to happen next. We might be retrenched and out of jobs for quite some time, but six months of savings should be sufficient to cover all the expenses after retrenched and while we are looking for a new job.

As for myself, I do follow part of the rule of thumb recommended by the professional financial adviser but not all. However, I will make sure that I set my budget and monthly spending guidelines so that I will always allocate up to 9% from my monthly income as my savings. When it comes to bonus month, I will try to save up most of the bonus income. So, it comes to about 10% annually.

More savings not necessarily translate to better retirement life, but not having any savings will definitely leads to a difficult retirement life.

So, are you saving enough money?



Monday, May 10, 2010

Time to rebound for the market

We all heard rumours about the market struggling with some others talking about the recovery coming. So which is which? Well, the news in Greece lately has not been too encouraging as well.
Of course, we all know that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a three-year, 30-billion-euro ($38-billion) loan to Greece, the IMF said at its headquarters in Washington.
The loan is part of a 110-billion-euro, European Union-IMF aid package to help Greece out of its financial woes.

This news seem to be good news for some but just recently we also heard about the Dow Jones Industrial Average to lose almost 1,000 points (about 9-percent of the total index value), and later regaining most of the losses back prior to the closing bell. Of course, if you are one who follow the news, you will know that this was due to an error in the transaction.
It is believed an equities trader at an unknown financial intermediary accidentally executed a trade position with a “b” (indicating billion), instead of what was supposed to be with a “m” (indicating million) on a futures trade executed on the Proctor and Gamble stock.

Nevertheless, the situation shows a very shaky market still with people afraid of buying stocks or shares. People are still afraid of the market...they are still afraid of another "recession".
Just as Warren Buffett says, "When fireworks go off now, people are expecting that it's a nuclear bomb."

Such is the state of mind of the people at the moment...always afraid of the worst. But according to people like Buffett, Dimon and Welch, the time has come for the economy to rebound. This conclusion is made because of the statistics and data that show the business is coming back.

Warren Buffett has been focusing on the data from the BNSF Railway, which he recently acquired. At the start of the recession three years ago, Burlington Northen felt the pain early when retailers stopped ordering goods, automakers stopped shipping cars, and homebuilders stopped needing so much lumber. The railroad started storing thousands of idle railcars. But now, these railcars are being called back into service. And that's an incredibly important sign. There are other data such as from the Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate encompasses some 80 different businesses and this is definitely a positive sign.

Well, there are many out there who are still afraid but if you are one of those who are bold, calculated and rational risk, you might be able to make use of the recession to be an opportunity for you to be successful.