It is no doubt that Singapore can be quite an expensive place to live in.

Though some of us have tried our best to live within our means, some costs are not avoidable. We still need to pay for some costs. Such as daily cost of living expenses, our food, transport, education, and so forth.

For parents, these are more costs to handle. You have your kids’ living costs, education, future costs to worry about. And as parents, we want to give the best to our kids, always! We can save more on ourselves, but as much as possible, we want to give the best to our kids.

As such, we want to groom our kids talents as much as we can, so they grow up and pursue their dreams they have. Say if my child is musically inclined, I would want to send him to piano lessons in Singapore right away. I’ll find good piano teachers to guide him, to unleash the talent in him! And if possible, get him to top music schools, or graduate schools overseas. Be great musician that he/she can be proud of.

But let’s say my child is not so talented. I’ll still send him to music classes. Not to push him to be a music superstar. But at least to allow him to explore the musical side of things, learn how to appreciate music, have a hobby that he can take on when he grew up. Life is so stress. It’s not always about work right? It can be about music, guitar, violin, and even singing!

Plus, studies show that music can help to inculcate responsibility, ownership, discipline, and these characteristics are helpful to the person later in life.

These values and character are not taught directly in school, and cannot be learned via textbooks. It is all these little activities help the child to grow up having them.

Hence, though your child may not be a superstar musician, he can still be a good citizen and achieve success in his own ways, but just by you sending them to piano lessons when they are kids.

Alright, that’s the music side of things. Now, what about their academics?

Singapore is famous for its tuition industry. Almost all kids have extra tuition outside of school. Like Wow. When we were young back in the 2000s, kids who are poor in results go for tuition. Nowadays, kids with 90/100 go for tuition just to get that 100/100 score. It’s quite crazy.

But again, we can complain so much about, but most parents will still send their kids to tuition. Seems like a necessary evil.

So yes, tuition somehow become the standard for kids to do well in school. That’s all. Not necessarily will help him get a better life next time.

We as parents love to give as much as we can to our child. But we do need to remember that not everything is good for them. Too much of something may lose its effect. A balance will be good to allow the child to grow and discover on its own.

Is grooming kids expensive in Singapore? Definitely if you want to control every part of your child’s education. You want to grow the way exactly you want him to be, not the way he wants to be. If that’s the way, then yes, it’s gonna be costly.

But if you involve yourself to the stage that you support him, and allow him to lead his own growth, costs will be minimal, and whatever you invest in him, will bear better fruits.

Follow me at my blog to learn more.

For students who are learning the piano, have you ever wondered when was the first piano created?

The quiet nature of the piano’s birth around 1700, therefore, comes as something of a surprise. The first true piano was invented almost entirely by one man—Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655–1731) of Padua, who had been appointed in 1688 to the Florentine court of Grand Prince Ferdinando de’ Medici to care for its harpsichords and eventually for its entire collection of musical instruments.

A 1700 inventory of Medici instruments mentions an “arpicimbalo,” i.e., an instrument resembling a harpsichord, “newly invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori” with hammers and dampers, two keyboards, and a range of four octaves, C–c”’. The poet and journalist Scipione Maffei, in his enthusiastic 1711 description, named Cristofori’s instrument a “gravicembalo col piano, e forte” (harpsichord with soft and loud), the first time it was called by its eventual name, pianoforte. A contemporary inscription by a Florentine court musician, Federigo Meccoli, notes that the “arpicimbalo del piano e’ forte” was first made by Cristofori in 1700, giving us a precise birthdate for the piano.

Cristofori was an artful inventor, creating such a sophisticated action for his pianos that, at the instrument’s inception, he solved many of the technical problems that continued to puzzle other piano designers for the next seventy-five years of its evolution.

Check out the video below for a brief history of the piano:

His action was highly complex and thus expensive, causing many of its features to be dropped by subsequent eighteenth-century makers, and then gradually reinvented and reincorporated in later decades. Cristofori’s ingenious innovations included an “escapement” mechanism that enabled the hammer to fall away from the string instantly after striking it, so as not to dampen the string, and allowing the string to be struck harder than on a clavichord; a “check” that kept the fast-moving hammer from bouncing back to re-hit the string; a dampening mechanism on a jack to silence the string when not in use; isolating the soundboard from the tension-bearing parts of the case, so that it could vibrate more freely; and employing thicker strings at higher tensions than on a harpsichord.

Pianos by Cristofori

The total number of pianos built by Cristofori is unknown. Only three survive today, all dating from the 1720s.

  • A 1720 instrument is located in the Metropolitan Museum in New York. This instrument has been extensively altered by later builders: the soundboard was replaced in 1938, and the 54-note range was shifted by about half an octave, from F’, G’, A’–c”’ to C–f”. 
  • A 1722 instrument is in the Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti Musicali in Rome. It has a range of four octaves (C-c³) and includes an “una corda” stop; see below. This piano has been damaged by worms and is not playable.
  • A 1726 instrument is in the Musikinstrumenten-Museum of Leipzig University. Four octaves (C-c³) with “una corda” stop. This instrument is not currently playable, though in the past recordings were made.

The three surviving instruments all bear essentially the same Latin inscription:


where the date is rendered in Roman numerals. The meaning is “Bartolomeo Cristofori of Padua, inventor, made [this] in Florence in [date].

Photo Credit: Music Mood – Music Lessons Provider

Today in thrift, we will be talking about multiplying your asset using the property as an investment tool. Specifically, using Hundred Palms Residences (one of the latest new launch in Singapore at Yio Chu Kang Road.) as a case study.

Multiplying Assets in Singapore

The beauty of the property is its ability to multiply your asset. To understand how wealth multiplication begins, we need to first understand the law of multiplication.

What does this mean to me? This means that if I hold on to my one property, I will always only have that 1 unit of wealth, whatever the value of that property may be. The rate of wealth growth will always remain at one. For example, if I had one property valued at $1 million, My rate of wealth growth will be $1 million ($1 million x 1). If I had 2 properties each valued at $1 million, my rate of wealth growth will automatically double to $2 million ($1 million x 2). When there is a doubling of assets, the multiplication of wealth begins.

Here is a real-life account: I had a client who owned a fully-paid up second property – a factory unit she purchased 10 years ago for $200,000. When I first met her, she told me she was very contented as her property gave her a monthly rental income of $2,500. She had no intention to sell as she felt “safe”. My advice to her was that although I agreed that her property was giving her a decent return, she was missing the bigger picture – the opportunity to multiply her wealth. At that time, the property price for her factory unit had gone up to $500,000.

This was above the past peak price. If she sold her property now, she stood to gain $300,000 in profit, and additionally, she would get back her initial $200,000 capital. With $500,000 cash-in-hand, she had the means to purchase another two units – effectively doubling her assets.

Conversely, if she chose to hold on to her current factory unit, it would take her 10 more years to accumulate $300,000 ($300,000 ± $2,500 = 120 months = 10 years), assuming she continues to receive $2,500 per month in rent for the next 10 years. (If the economy slows down, for example, rent could drop.) And even if she did receive $2,500 per month for another 10 years, she would still only have that one asset after another decade. What would you choose? Would you choose to:

  1. hold on to collect $2,500 per month and at the end of another 10 years have 1 asset? Or
  2. collect $500,000 cash-in-hand, and double your assets from one to two?

This is what a lot of people do not see. They become comfortable and satisfied with what they have. Or they are scared of the financial commitment of servicing a mortgage. They do not see how they are missing out on opportunities to multiply their wealth further. In the case of my client, she took my advice, upgraded her properties portfolio, and increased her passive income from rent from $2,500 to $6,000. That is an increase of 2.4 times passive income by just upgrading her portfolio! Plus, she multiplied her assets from owning 1-2 properties, (More on multiplying assets is discussed in Chapter 5 on Determining Exit Points.)

What is Systematic Growth?

Systematic growth means growth that involves steps, and there is a sequence of these steps.

Step 1: You start with one property. You watch the prices, and then you sell. You make a sum of money.

Step 2: You use the money that you made from that one property to make another purchase. If you can afford to purchase two properties, you purchase two. That is how you multiply your assets.

Step 3: You repeat Steps 1 and 2.

By following through with the steps, you will be able to see the results – your growth will be systematic, and not haphazard or loosely determined by “external” factors like market forces”. I have been experimenting with and testing my techniques for more than 8 years. In these eight years, I have experienced both highs and lows in the property cycle – and the techniques have withstood both price environments.

SYSTEMatic growth also means that growth continues. That is my objective of property savings. It is meant to be a continuous part of our lives. To achieve systematic growth there are two important functions: (1) Taking profit and (2) Multiplying assets.

If you already own properties, ask yourself if your current property savings strategy is performing these two functions consistently.

A property savings plan requires work and commitment and it is not going to be easy. It will involve you learning effective techniques on how to select the right properties to buy, how to spot undervalued properties, how to determine entry points, how to apply creative financing strategies, and how to protect your wealth. It will involve you being prudent, and smart about making the right choices.

Hundred Palms Residences EC

The developer for Hundred Palms Residences, Hoi Hup has secured a highly sought-after EC development as this is one of the rare ECs offered in the Hougang vicinity.

This upcoming Yio Chu Kang Road EC by Hoi Hup Realty is estimated to have more than 531 residential units at Hundred Palms Residences EC. 100 Palms Residences EC is due to preview around June or July 2017.

Plenty of Amenities at Hundred Palms EC

All homes will be equipped with luxurious designer appliances, a well-planned home awaits you. People who stay at Hundred Palms Yio Chu Kang Road can expect a comfort living in their home as there are plenty of amenities located in the development such as a 50m lap swimming pool.

Also, there are many other facilities available for the residents such as an indoor gym and an indoor air conditioned function room for the residents to conduct parties with the ease of 1 booking switch.

For sports lover, Hougang Stadium as well as Hougang swimming complex is located near to the development as well.

MRT Located Near Hundred Palms Residences EC

Hundred Palms Residences, Yio Chu Kang Road EC is located right in the heart of Hougang. Travelling to and from the city is very convenient as it is one of the few ECs that are located close to the city.

Hundred Palms Residences – Rare EC plot in Yio Chu Kang

The new Hundred Palms Residences EC land parcel attracted 10 hopeful bids with Hoi Hup Realty emerging winner with a top bid of $183.8 million. The land cost translates to a land cost per square foot per plot ratio(psf ppr) at $331.02 and an estimated Hundred Palms Residences EC price to be in the range of $750 psf to $800psf.

There will be 2 bedrooms to 5 bedroom units available. As noted by official sources, up to almost 3 quarters of the units available are the 3 bedroom units as it has a more affordable quantum and might not be too taxing for first-time buyers looking for their dream home.

Hundred Palms Residences- EC in Singapore

The development by Hoi Hup Realty is one of the rare EC plots available in Singapore due to the fact that most ECs are located in non-mature areas. Hundred Palms EC is located in the mature estate of Yio Chu Kang Town which is just a few minutes drive away from Hougang MRT Station.
There are amenities near to the Hougang EC. Travelling to the city is also very convenient via Central Expressway(CTE).

Even though the property market has not been ideal for the past couple of years, the sheer number of bids for the plot of land indicate that developers are still upbeat about the EC market and in particular, the location of the EC and its proximity to the city.

Hundred Palms Residences by Hoi Hup Realty indeed is a serene hideaway for your family right in the heart of Hougang. You can check out the Hundred Palms Residences Official Site to find out more.

Image result for public speaking as careerPublic speaking is a very exciting and rewarding career if planned well in advance. There are lot many misconceptions which people are having with them with respect to this profession. You will need public speaking coaching to get started.

Most people think that they know the range of topics and they can speak so they can become good public speakers and then they finally take a plunge into it just to hit the ground head on. Then they curse this career path and choose something else.

You really need to plan thing properly and carefully. Meticulous planning is the need of the hour for someone who is seriously thinking about making a career in public speaking. Apart from being a good orator and having developed a good art of eloquence it is also imperative that you develop the sense of understanding the emotions and reaction of the people whom you talking to. It is something which comes through experience and practice only where you get to understand what people thinking about your session or whether they are liking it or not.

You also need to gradually learn the skill of improvising the topic on the fly because at times it does happen that you planned something but you realized that audience is not responding in the manner you anticipated and the session is going flat. In that case, you will have to uplift the mood of the session and make the session interesting.

There is another important aspect for the aspirants who wish to make their career in this area. Understating the difference between confrontation and ability to drive the audience’s questions to logical closure. Quite often it happens with most of the public speakers that the entire session goes smoothly but when it comes to QA session they lose temper because people start asking all sorts of questions which make them agitated and irritated and their outburst or use of words further tarnish the entire sessions.

There is a definitely a bright future in the public speaking domain but you really need to develop the skill and ability of listening and also be able to take user’s feedback in a positive manner. You cannot afford to react sharply and say something absurd. You need to keep a tab on your nerve and be patient and respond positively and optimistically, even for the questions which are stupid and absurd or targeted intentionally to instigate you.

If you are really serious about making Public speaking as your career, you must watch this video:

How are you enjoying our blog posts so far?

Talking about being thrifty is what we have been doing since the start of this blog. We hope that we can share the ideas of using money wisely with more people as time goes by. As more people learn about good money management skills, more benefit can live a better and stress-free life.

So today, let me ask you.

What if you have an extra $150 to spare, what will you do?

  1. Shopping for new clothes
  2. Sign up kids for math tuition
  3. Save and Invest

Ok. If you can see, there are 3 choices, but all these 3 choices seems to be independent choices. They are not related. So if you have that money what will you do?

Let’s explore further!

1) Shopping!

We all love shopping! We all love new stuff! So if you have this extra money, will you spend it away? Think carefully again. I don’t want to give you the answer. But if you have this extra money, but you don’t need extra clothes…should you buy?

Think again…

2) Sign up kids for tuition

Ok. This is not difficult one. If our kids need help on their math, sure, we can get them more help. If you stay at bishan, then just go for some bishan math tuition classes nearby will do.

But the thing is, if your child is already doing well in class, do you still want to send him for tuition? Or rather, you want to give him ‘a bit of life’, so he has some spare time to learn things he may be interested in?

Think again…

3) Save and Invest

Ok, this is a good choice, but it’s not an easy one! When we mention SAVE, it means you are not using it to buy anything, or spend it away, even on others. You have to save it!

Plus, you must also invest it! Though $150 is not a alot, but if you do save it every month, it will total up to be a big sum. But again, investing means delayed gratification and patience. You need to wait for your investment to reap the benefits. You won’t see the benefits right away, like shopping!

So, after learning this, will you still go and invest your money?

You have 1 question. You have 3 answers.

But the main idea is, if you have extra money, how are you going to use it?

There are no right or wrong answers. There are just your decisions. But do note that whatever decision you make today, will affect the results you have tomorrow.

Have a good thought about it before doing anything.

If you’ve made your choice, share it with us below!

Image result for Thrift Shopping

There are a lot of people who save money by searching for coupons that they can use in order to purchase items from the supermarket. These coupons do not always apply to clothes though. They are more directed towards goods that you may need at home. It is okay to purchase from stores that sell mass produced clothing but before they go on sale, you would have to wait a bit before you can find clothes that you can actually wear.

At times, you may be too busy to think about clothes. You are always worrying about your kids guitar lessons that you have forgotten how fun it is to dress up and wear clothes that you actually like. No need to worry though because even if you have a limited budget, you still have the option to wear clothes that you will actually like. Why spend $50 on clothes that you will only wear a few times when you can purchase something that is equally beautiful from a thrift store for about $3?

Of course, it would help if you have a basic idea about the things that you are searching for. For example, if you are looking for a skirt, then it will be easy to look over the things that you do not need although it will still help if you can check out other racks in thrift stores because you may find some treasures you never thought you would have.

In order to save money during thrift shopping, here are other things that you have to remember:

  • Do not purchase something just because it is designer. It is common that you will find some designer goods while you are looking at the selections that are available from thrift stores. You may be tempted to purchase a few things because you are familiar with the brand but if you know that it will not fit, do not push it.
  • Stay away from clothing that you cannot mend anymore. Even if you like a unique piece so much, if it has a tear that cannot be fixed anymore then do not push it because this will only frustrate you when you are unable to fix it.
  • Remember that you if the clothing that you are considering to purchase already has a stain, you are better off not buying it anymore. It may not come off in the wash and it is not too hygienic to do this too.

Gain more details about thrift shopping from here:

With all of these things that you can find at the thrift store, you are pretty sure that you will find something worthwhile.

Our Thrift blog is about saving money, but we also believe that one should learn how to increase their income too (so to boost higher savings too).

In the current ‘millennial’ generation, many young people are being accused to being weak, poor in skills, poor in EQ, yet demanding high pay, and less work. Now, if you are a millennial, don’t get angry. There are reasons why the older generation sees us this way.

But hey, whatever impression they have you on, doesn’t mean that’s true!

Now, if you are new in workforce and looking to progress up the career ladder faster than your peers, then here’s an important skill that you have to learn.

And this skill is not a difficult skill. It’s an important skill, but not taught in schools, not even in university levels. If you possess this skill, you will be seen as more credible, more confident, and more reliable than your peers, hence giving you an unfair advantage over them.

And that skill is…

Public Speaking & Presentation skills. 

Now, you may say this skill is so easy. I can speak and present well in front of others. Heck, you have been doing so many of these presentation during university classes!

But hey, the thing is not about just speaking or presenting.  It is knowing how to present, what to say, when to say it. How to say it well, how to speak in a way the evokes confidence. How do you speak to a group of people to motivate them when they are down. All these are important as a skill.

Why you need this skill. 

Executives are always looking for talents to train them up to lead teams when corporations grow. And one important skill they look for is public speaking skills.

When you can speak confidently in public, you are showing your boss that you are able to command attention whenever you speak. You are able to give clear instructions whenever it is needed. You show that you can lead.

How to learn this skill

Public speaking skill is a learnable skill. Some people claims it is an in-born talent because their parents are presenters, hence, it is ‘natural’ for their kids to speak well too. Nah, that is wrong. Presenting and public speaking is a learnable skill. Anyone can learn it.

To learn this skill, you can learn from a public speaking coach, or join a presentation skills training workshop. By putting in time and effort to learn, you are equipped with certain skills before your next presentation.

To fully master the art of speaking confidently, you simply have to speak more, speak well, speak often. Get more stage them in front of people. If there’s an opportunity for you to present in front of others (or even better, present on behalf on your boss), grab it! That is where you get the opportunity to shine, to lead.

As you progress up the corporate ladder, you will have to speak more, present more, from a small crowd to a larger and larger crowd. You will do less, but you will lead more. You will execute more, but you will decide more. A lot of decision making processes taking place at the same time.

But with good public speakings, you will be able to pass on instructions clearly to each and every team, and thus, gainly respect from your team when the project is well done.

That’s all for the tip! Go start grabbing opportunities to speak well and present well now!

Saving Money?

Oh! That’s easy!

But why so many people fail to save any money, even after really putting money into the bank?

And how come at the end of the month, or the year, nothing much is in their savings account, after all their saving efforts?

Here’s why:

Many savings account ARE NOT savings account!

Most people save their money by putting their money in their own bank account- be it POSB, UOB, or OCBC, the common Singapore banks.

But the thing is, they only have 1 account for everything! Their pay, their expenses, their mortgage… everything!

So the problem comes when they need to save, but also need to spend at the same time!

How can they know how much they can spend, how much they have saved?

That is why, many people thought they have saved $1000 a month, but in fact at the end of the month, they have withdrawn $1500 for other expenses! They draw out more money than they put in!

So what’s the real easy way to REALLY save money?

Simply get a separate account!

But wait.

Is it really that simple? How come not many people does that?

Yes. It’s that really simple. But many people hate to do that because they can’t bare to put their money away in another account that makes it hard for them to withdraw money. Imagine, if they need to touch their savings account, they need to use another card to withdraw. This inconvenience makes people think twice about taking out the money.

And to make sure you are disciplined about saving money, make it even hard for you to withdraw any money from there!

You can put away your ATM card, or simply don’t have one at all! When you make it difficult, your money in that account will STAY in that account.

Now, there you have, a REAL saving account!

Below is a video on how you can save money… everyday.

A really short video to explain how you can save money, but not spending money recklessly. And it is made by a bank who wants you to save more money!

As mentioned in previous blog post about money, many people today are spending way too much, and saving too little (or not saving at all). This is a grave problem that is supposed to be stopped.

But if you are a Singaporean, you would have the CPF system to help you. But again, you still have to help yourself by saving your personal money so that you always have enough for rainy days.

We hope you learn a tip or two on how to save money really easily. Start today. Now.

Follow our money saving blog for more!

Welcome to our website – Thrift.

Thrift gives every one the impression of frugal, scrimping cents for living. It means saving up money to lead a low life which comprises basic lifestyle.

That’s not what we do.

But we call our website Thrift for a reason. 

We want to promote financial literacy among the new generation. Our current generation thrives on spending on credit, instant gratification, spend now save later… all the financial mistakes the previous generation do not want to make.

However, as our society gets wealthier, we are living in a place where we can get whatever we want, at any time we want. We do not live in lack. Hence, we always believe that we will never be poor again. And this is where the mindset of complacency comes in. We spend whatever and whenever we like, without thinking.

This has caused many of our millennials facing financial difficulty even when they are getting high salary, sometimes much higher than their parents. Why is this so? Where has their money gone? (don’t ask them. They don’t know either!)

This is why Thrift is born. 

We seek to educate the new generation how to manage their money better. How to use their money better. How to save their money better. How to have more without scrimping their entire life. How to make more money, save more money, and never worry about money.

We believe that if one person can benefit and learn how to manage their money better, it will encourage more people to learn and benefit from it, and slowly the entire society will benefit.

We hope you will support us in our journey to help more people in their financial literacy.

To kick start, this video by renowned author Brian Tracy shows you how to save money.