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Friday, August 13, 2010

Penny Wise, Pound Foolish.

I am not the wisest when it comes to managing finances, or making money. Yet, I am able to travel at least 3 times a year, sign up for classes, purchase pretty things and pamper loved ones occasionally. My friends ask me how do I do it?

Personally, I’m not a risk taker. I’m a saver and a hoarder, garang guni if you’d say so. Some of my friends are making money from buying shares, but I wouldn’t follow blindly yet too lazy to get educated. I park my funds in 1 life insurance, 1 fixed deposit 1 reit (something like a share but it gives quarterly dividends=cash) and 2 savings accounts. Very simple, nothing complicated. I’m not sure if it covers me completely though.
I discipline myself to save at least half of what I earn, and then dip into this savings when I reward myself with something expensive. With money, comes power. On average, a Singaporean owns 5 credit cards. The highest age group that defaults on credit card payments is the 21-29 year olds. Certainly a high roller by then, interests snow balling.
Credit cards are Evil.
Remove yourself from the temptation of over-spending. It’s a virtue to enjoy what you earn and not enjoy on credit. When I was in Tokyo, I went swiping-happy. Felt good at that time, queasy when I see the bill. Get a debit card then! It’s linked to your savings account so you only spend what you have! That’s even more dangerous, because you could very well spend your last cent.

How else can we then spend within our limits, purchase online (very important for Gen X who are not old enough for debit/ credit cards), and sign signatures (act rich) for purchases like our parents do?
DBS Visa prepaid Card. designed and issued exclusively because of the YOG, these cards can be pre-loaded up to $500 and can be used for retail, online, overseas or locally. Wherever Visa card is accepted, it also doubles as an Ez-link card. The easiest way to get them is at Singpost. You can activate and top up at one stop.

There’s another reason to be proud of Singapore. We’re the first Host City of the YOG.

Do you know that the Olympic Flame never dies (till the closing ceremony, which means months)? This flame has to make its way across the world to one city on a very special route. It takes as much planning as our NDP.

Keeping the flame alive is a tradition that began in Olympia in Greece, where the Ancient Olympic Games took place. Fire had divine associations because it was believed Prometheus had stolen it from the Gods. The flame symbolises the ideal of harmony amongst nations and should never ever be doused. If it extinguishes, it’s a bad omen. Maybe the world will be at war.

The recent torch relay happening in Singapore was lit in Greece. It has travelled to 5 continents before stopping here.
Singapore made history at the grounds of Ancient Olympia in Greece on Friday when its flag was flown there for the first time in a ceremony to light the flame for the inaugural YOG.

The YOG aims to nurture a young generation increasingly spending less time on sports and more time on the Internet and watching television.

Following tradition, the flame was lit in the Temple of Hera by reflecting sunlight with a mirror (wow, so it ACTUALLY works! I wonder how long do the people have to stand there and wait for the fire to HAPPEN). This was then used to light the YOG torch.
Greek dancer Ino Menegaki, who plays the High Priestess lights up the flame for the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games during the flame lighting ceremony in Ancient Olympia, Greece (YOPS photo)

Like a minister having body guards (usually 2, but LKY, PM and President will have about 5), the torch has 10 “flame attendants”. The torch, which is fuelled by propane, is used to carry the flame during each day's relays, when runners in the relay city carry it, mostly on foot. But there are several lanterns which are lit from the same source (the Olympic Cauldron in Greece) and they keep the flame alive at night or on aircraft when the torch is extinguished.
For air travel, where open flames are not allowed, the flame burns in the enclosed lanterns, which act like miner's lamps. The torch, the lanterns and the team of attendants, plus other security, fly in a specially-chartered plane bearing an Olympic flame design (the flame really 大牌).

The lanterns spend each night in a single hotel room with three guards - one of which must be awake at any time.

Interesting bit of fact, no? The Mascots Edition Prepaid Cards will be your trophy for supporting Singapore 2010 Youth Olympics Games.
It costs $23 (with $5 ready credit) but I’m sure it will be a collectible. Besides you don’t have to worry about credit card fraud!

Here're some funny moments of the Olympics in Beijing, i can't wait to see Singapore's!
I'm not quite sure if this is good or bad marketing for the swimming cap brand.
Potential for a horror flick. The Face beneath the Waters.
Never judge a book by its cover. She's not competing for wrestling or shotout. She's a graceful swimmer.
If the judges were males, did that earn her bonus points??

Americans earn a dollar, they spend two.
Europeans earn a dollar, they spend a dollar.
Singaporeans earn a dollar, we spend ten cents.

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