From Expecting To Getting Pregnant, Then Shop For Baby Stuff, And Baby Is Born

Back in 2010, one late evening when I was about to take a shower after long day at work, I decided to try my luck and took out the cheap pregnancy kit. I didn’t expect much after trying for a period of time. 3 minutes later, I was stunk standing at the bathroom door. I was talking to myself: ‘Can that be true? It is a positive result!’ I ran down to the living room and told my husband the test result. We looked at each other for a while. Then we started jumping. Then I said ‘Hmm… Dear, to play safe. Let’s do another round of test tomorrow to be sure’.

Next day morning I drove straight to the pharmacy and get a branded pregnancy kit to make sure the test result didn’t fool me. No doubt I was busy fire fighting in the office; I was anxiously waiting for the sunset to come so I could go home and test it again. When I got home, I ran to the toilet quickly. Then I came out and give my husband a cheeky smile. ‘Ahhhh! Yes, yes, I am expecting!’ I just couldn’t stop laughing. Instantly we felt that God is so great. I quite sure there were many first time Daddy and Mummy had the similar experience.

A week later, we went to the Gynaecologist at Subang Jaya Medical Centre (SDMC). Doctor said ‘Congratulations! You are expecting.’ We looked at each other and say ‘Yes, that is true. We are not dreaming.’ I will never forget that moment in life.

Throughout the pregnancy period, I felt it was a blessing that I did not crave for any special food. I heard story of the wife asking the husband drove hundred miles away just to taste the small town famous Ottak Ottak. There was also story where the husband was asked to get up at 4am, and buy her the famous Nasi Lemak.

Soon my stomach was 5 months big. We went for the ultrasonography check-up. The sonographer confirmed that it is a baby boy. ‘Wow, that’s great! We can start our baby shopping.’

We made some good bargain and we also learnt our mistake through our shopping trips.

  1. Baby cot – we bought a baby cot and a small portable baby cot which placed in the centre of ours’ bed. My son only slept on the baby cot for 10 seconds and started to cry non-stop. Since then, we never put him on the cot. Now, the cot is occupied by all my little Pooh Bear toys. The small portable baby cot is kept in the store room. Sigh! I told my husband that the next baby must sleep on the cot. We must discipline ourselves and mustn’t let the baby take advantage on us.
  2. Milk bottle and breast pump – we made our shopping in Singapore because it is cheaper by 20% compare to Malaysia. If you have friends and family coming from UK or US, you can ask them to get the electronic breast pump set. The savings can be as high as 50%, especially for Medela brand.
  3. Baby stroller and car seat – Mothercare offered good discount during sale. We bought the stroller and infant car seat for 30% off. Subsequently when my son was 8 months old, we bought a toddler car seat for 60% off. It is advisable not to get a big stroller, no doubt it looks more luxury and comfortable for the baby. But it could have limitation for your car’s luggage space. When you are traveling overseas, not all the taxis have big boot space to fit in your luggage and stroller.
  4. Toys – buy it during discount because kids’ toy can be very expensive. The same item can cost 50% more.

My son will be turning 2 years old next week. He has grown up from an infant to a toddler. He started to talk like a Parrot. Time flies and I enjoyed every moment I spent with him.  Share your experience with me.

Personal Cash Flow Planner

In a survey carried out in 2011 in the United Kingdom by POET (Personal Budgets Outcomes Evaluation Tool), it is revealed that personal budget have a positive impact on people’s lives. Meaning they are supported with self-respect, and in control of their finances.

To prevent yourself from falling the trap of credit card debt or excessive spending, picking up the skill in managing your personal budget or personal cash flow will not only avoid from building up debt, but it also gives you an overview of your personal financial position – Where are you today? How you want to live your life? Save money to live you dream; save money for investment.

Many people are intimidated by the idea of personal cash flow because it seems complicated. Actually it is just a simple mathematics equation. I have designed a Personal Cash Flow Planner template. All you have to do is to key-in the figures.

At the beginning, your financial position may not look good. When you get the result about where your money had spent, you will start to scrutinize and cut down on unnecessary spending. This will be your first step towards financial independence. Keep the good job and continue with this practice.

You will soon find there is some surplus at the end of the month. You could start to ‘Pay Yourself First’ and allocate a portion of your income into the Savings account (a general guideline of 10% of your total income) and ‘forget about it’ or don’t touch the money. Once you are consistently doing that, you will see that your account ending balance accumulating. In my books, I elaborate in detail how to build your Personal Income Statement that also lead you to read a company financial statement when you learn about investment in companies.

As the season of giving is around the corner, do your shopping wisely. Spend on meaningful gift instead of unnecessary gift. You do not wish that your gift end up on an auction site. I wish you a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2013!

Gold Investment

In the recent years, few major banks in Malaysia have launched the Gold Investment Account. These include Maybank, Public Bank, CIMB Bank, UOB Bank, and Citibank. For those of you who are new to this financial instrument, it may be an useful information to help you to understand more about gold investment for retail investor.

The History Of Gold

  1. Around 50 B.C, people started to use gold as money to replace metal tools such as shells and rocks. People also use gold to make jewelery and gold coins. Slowly, gold had become an important trading instrument because it has an intrinsic value (value that that thing has “in itself”).
  2. Today, gold is still the most significant object that we continue to use gold for wedding rings, jewelery, Olympic medals, Oscars, Grammys, medical, aerospace, semiconductor, and money.
  3. Gold price always appreciate in value over the long term. You can see from the chart below. 20 years ago, it was US$252.80 in 1993. It is US$1,734.40 in Nov 2012. An increase of US$1,400.15 or 418.89% over 20 years.
  4. Hence, it is one of the best financial instrument to hedge against inflation and you can make a capital gain provided you buy and sell at the right price.

10 year gold price per ounce

How Can You Make Profit From Gold Investment Account?

  1. You buy in when the price is low and sell it when the price is high. The selling and buying price will be based on international gold price and the bank’s prevailing price quoted in RM per gram.
  2. For example, the bank’s selling price is RM165.30 per gram. You purchase 5 grams and it cost you RM826.50.
  3. When the price go up to RM174.71, you sell the 5 grams for RM873.53. Bear in mind that bank only buy back at buying price which is RM174.71. You make a gain of RM47.02 or 6%.
  4. Hence, before you make the decision to buy or sell, you have to look at the spread between selling and buying price. It is only a good sell if you sell at a much higher price than your original purchased price. You can refer to the scenario below.

What Are The Investment Risk?

  1. Pricing risk – gold buying or selling price will be based on prevailing world and local market conditions for gold, the exchange rate between US$ and RM and other market conditions
  2. Market risk – gold investment will be exposed to market forces or volatility. You may sustain losses if market conditions move against your favour.
  3. This is a non-protected product by PIDM.

What Are The Fees And Charges?

  • Maybank
    1. Minimum initial purchase of 1 gram.
    2. Subsequent purchase in multiples of 1 gram.
    3. Minimum balance in account of 1 gram.
    4. RM10 for stamp duty for agreement.
    5. Mode of operation – passbook and online.
    6. RM15 for loss of passbook.
  • Public Bank
    1. RM10 for quantity less than 10 grams as at 31 Dec.
    2. RM10 will be waived off if account opened less than 1 month.
    3. RM10 for stamp duty for agreement.
    4. Mode of operation – passbook and online.
    5. RM10 for loss of passbook.
    6. Physical gold can be withdrawn in denomination of 50g and 100g with fee charged on per piece basis – 50g (RM220-RM250), and 100g (RM240-RM270).
  • CIMB Bank
    1. Minimum initial purchase of 5 grams.
    2. Subsequent minimum purchase of 5 grams in multiples of 1 gram.
    3. RM5 annual fees if balance fall below 5 grams.
    4. RM10 for stamp duty for agreement.
    5. Mode of operation – passbook and online.
    6. RM20 for loss of passbook.
    7. RM10 for closure of account within 6 months.
    8. Physical gold can be withdrawn in denomination of 100 grams with RM1 charge per gram.
  • UOB Bank
    1. Minimum initial purchase of 20 grams.
    2. Subsequent minimum purchase of 5 grams in multiples of 5 grams.
    3. RM2 service charge per month if balance fall below 10 grams.
    4. RM10 for stamp duty for agreement.
    5. Mode of operation – passbook and online.
    6. RM15 for loss of passbook.

     

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