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One way to save money more rapidly.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

People who know me are often amazed by how quickly I am able to save money. Well, it isn't a mystery, really.

One of the things I avoid doing is dining in restaurants. How much does a meal cost in Paradise Inn or Din Tai Fung, for examples?

This doesn't mean that I don't dine in restaurants but I do it sparingly. Some might remember my fortnightly visits to Soup Restaurant, partly because I was a shareholder. Anyway, I have stopped visiting them for many moons now as I feel that the standard has dropped.

If we go to restaurants frequently, reducing the frequency meaningfully could see quite a bit of savings every month. See related post number 1 at the end of this blog post to read a family man's experience.

Feeling hungry? Just go to Old Chang Kee to get a curry puff. Doesn't cost an arm and a leg. On other days, just have simple meals at home. Sandwiches and oatmeal are easy to prepare. Porridge and noodles too.

This was what I had tonight:

Choy sum.

Chopped and rinsed.

Time for a hot water bath.

Add some fried ikan bilis and ginger. Looks good, tastes good!

Mustn't forget to have a fruit.

Home baked chocolate chip cookie, thanks to my sis.

Avoid going to restaurants and we could save money more quickly. Feed our wallets! Burp!

Related posts:
1. How to have a comfortable retirement?
"His family used to dine in restaurants every Sunday. This is now reduced to only once a month. This helps him save more than $200 each month."
2. Rich gets richer. Poor gets poorer.
3. If we are not rich, don't act rich.
"Now, this may sound jaded as I have said it before many times and that is we should run our lives like we would run a business!"

A tale of two Keppels: Win, lose or draw?

Keppel Corporation is going to try to take Keppel Land private. This news came shortly after Keppel Corporation declared a generous dividend per share of 36c.

If I were a shareholder of Keppel Corporation's, I would have been elated and, then, worried by the recent string of events.

The following is taken from the comments section of my blog:

When I was asked in the last few months why did I choose to invest in SembCorp Industries instead of Keppel Corporation since both of them are blue chips in the O&M category, I said that I felt better about the former's utilities business in the current environment than the latter's real estate business. Although this latest development involves Keppel Corporation's real estate arm, quite honestly, I could never have seen this form of corporate action coming. I am just a frog in a well, after all.

Paying $4.60 a share (eventually), Keppel Corporation is not getting Keppel Land at a discount to NAV since Keppel Land's NAV/share is about there. In fact, it is going to be at a slight premium. So, there is nothing for Keppel Corporation's shareholders to rejoice about. At least, if the purchase was going to be at a discount, it might make Keppel Corporation's resulting weaker balance sheet easier to swallow.

For Keppel Corporation's action to make sense, it has to be because the management feel that Keppel Land will add value either in terms of income generation or capital appreciation in the years to come. However, near term prospects are challenging as Keppel Land is still mostly dependent on income from real estate development (property trading) although they have increased the size of their recurring income stream in recent times.

Could we see Keppel Corporation's stock price weakening next week? With a 36c dividend dangling, Mr. Market might close an eye to the eventual weaker balance sheet, for now.

Related post:
SembCorp Industries and SembCorp Marine.

Hickory dickory dock, AK just bought a clock!

Friday, January 23, 2015

I don't like wall clocks not because they are not pleasing to the eye. I just don't like knocking nails into walls. So, in my apartment, you will see only desk clocks. The problem with the ones I have is that they are quite small and hard for me to see unless I am quite close to them.

So, I decided that I should get a bigger clock, one that I could tell time with easily from anywhere in the living room.

They are hard to find and the few I saw are all so expensive. Their prices are from $59 to $139. Their faces weren't very big either. They were, maybe, 6cm to 8cm across. OK, maybe, I am used to paying $2.00 for a clock but, to be fair, those were tiny with faces 3cm or so across.

Anyway, I decided to just wait and see if I could find a less expensive one in future. No hurry, I told myself. Well, guess what. My patience was recently rewarded:

I found this in an old and dusty looking watch repair shop which has lots of old watches and clocks. It has a white face which is about 13cm across with black hands and numbers. Price? $29.00. Not bad.

It is actually a working alarm clock too! OK, I know. Duh... Aiyoh, humour me lah. A wall clock wouldn't have that function, right?

Clock looks happy sitting next to my new 40" FHD LED TV.

There is also a story about the TV which I paid very little for a couple of months ago but I will leave that story for another time, maybe.

Related post:
Another personal story of frugality.

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