Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Have You Ever Wondered Where Your Money has Gone?

In the previous post, I shared with you on How Much Your Drinks Actually Cost You. In this post entry, I am going to share with you, to make you realized, where did you spend your money to.

You earn RM2000+ as a fresh graduate, and after few years, you earn RM3000-RM5000. Nonetheless, do you realize you didn't really save much of it?

The Reasons WHY you can't save:

1. Your expectation of "quality of life" has changed. You no longer wear Bata, Seed, Padini, or some normal range items. You will opt for something more sophisticated. Hence, your expenses have risen proportionately to your earning (or spending can be more than earning for some people).

2. Fixed commitments and burden. Other than the fancy outfits and highly overpriced food in the beautifully decorated restaurants, the responsibilities on your shoulders should increase as time goes by. You'll need to pay for car loan, house loan, study loan, insurance, utilities bills, and even feeding your younger siblings if your parents cant afford to. Don't be headache just yet. The list has not done here.

3. You do not plan. Most of the people practice the YOLO (You Only Live Once) philosophy nowadays, without taking into consideration most of us won't just die tomorrow. Unless you're terminally ill, or else you really should reformat your mind of what YOLO really means. If you do not save for emergency now, probably you'll seek for dying solutions for real. You need to save at least 10% of your monthly pay from the day you start working. EPF can only last you at most 5 years if you do not use it properly. 

4. Peer pressure. You don't want to feel leftout and a lot of us are trying to fit in, hence you spend by following how others spend, but not how much you have in your bucket. Always remember, if your peers can't understand why you spend prudently, leave them. They are obviously not your true friends. I mix with all level of age groups. And these people would understand my financial limit to be spent on outings. If you feel the pressure, tell your friends you can't splurge like there's no tomorrow, if they don't understand, leave them. These so-called friends won't feed you when you are poor, your bank account would.

5. Use your "future money". It's called credit card in layman term, or plastics. Some people look so Vogue-ly filthy loaded from outside by the way they dress and eat, but you have no idea they are covering from one card to another. That's quite smart actually, for short term usage. IF you don't mind the minimum 16% of interest charges from the banks, keep on using them and just pay the minimum amount. You're on your way to bankruptcy. 

Now, let me ask you. Do you actually record your daily expenditures? Yes, it's troublesome, but you'll thank yourself for doing that later on. 

Let me show you HOW

1. Create a budget list (on a monthly basis). You need to have below categories:
  1. Take home income - Salary + Part Time 
  2. Fixed expenditure - Those loans, internet bill, pocket money you give to your parents, pets' expenses, etc, which has a fixed amount. 
  3. Adjustable expenditure - Food, entertainment, clothing, groceries, telephone bills, electricity, water, etc.
  4. 10% of unexpected expenditure - Friends getting married, household items repair, emergency travelling, etc. 
  5. ANNUAL budget - Travelling trips, car insurance, assessment fee, car maintenance, books, gift, medical check up. These should be factored in as well. Usually if you barely make ends meet, this is where your bonus come in to ease your burden a bit. 
2. Linked to #1, it's how you monitor your spending. You need to record your earning and spending EVERY DAY, of all the purchases you make. By categorizing them, you can see where you spend the most in a month and you can adjust your budget accordingly, in order to save yourself some pennies.

3. Do not give up on saving money. If you give up saving money, money will give up on you. Make it a habit to record your expenses and reduce accordingly.

4. Do send me an email to receive a copy of my excel spreadsheet to record expenses. I have been doing that since 6 years ago. It gives you an ideal on how do I do my financial planning. It's free, but I would need your help to share my blog with your friends. Just some clicks will do. :)

Share this post if you like it! Help yourself and help the people around you! Cheers~


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Have You Ever Eaten Alone Outside?

Eating alone sounds like a trend recently due to our hectic and uncertain schedule/location. Nonetheless, some people just can't eat alone when they are in the public. 

The reasons to eat alone: 

1. Save time. You don't have to fix your schedule for eating and think of where to eat. Most of the time you will get the answer from others - "I am ok with anything", then you suggest "McD", you will get the answer - "ha? McD ah? Got other choices?" See? You get what I mean? 

2. Blank out moment. Linked to point #1, you are too lazy to even socialize with people about the What and Where to eat questions, why don't just leave yourself alone during that hour? Some people just do not want to be disturbed during that golden hour because it's simply too stressful to even talk, sometimes. 

3. Flexibility. You can eat whatever, whenever, wherever, however you want. You can even take a nap in the car park before/after your meal. 

WHY not to eat alone then? 

1. Fear of loneliness. You tend to think that people would pity/stare at you because you have no friends or whatnot. You know what? It's partially true. Just happened that my lunch mate told me when we were having lunch "That guy so pity, he is eating alone." I was like, "geez, what's wrong with eating alone, you don't really need others to feed you isn't it?" We care too much on what others think about us, when those people don't really matter at all. It's actually one kind of insecurity/inferiority, where you are not confident enough to stand on your own feet when you are alone. 

2. You don't know where to put your eyes on. Thanks to smartphone, you're physically eating alone but not virtually. Some people will try to overcome the fear of loneliness by keep swiping their screens. It's good actually, if you are eating alone, and spend some times during lunch to read on some news or watch some clips. 

3. You need to talk. Some people need to talk and talk and talk when they are eating. Therefore it's a big no no for them to eat alone outside. They are most likely to feel too sad and skip their lunch, then start calling friends from office *roll my eyes*. 

4. Habit. I have friends who would literally skip their meals if they can't find a lunch mate. Again, how on earth eating is so directly related to companionship? Don't we go to the loo, shower, sleeping, all alone too? They literally lose their appetite when they are alone. 

Personal experience: 

There is NOTHING wrong to eat alone. It's a good time to learn on solitude. I am not asking you to be foreveralone. Rather, it's a mental training for you to enjoy communicating with yourself. It's called self-reflection (I will talk more on self-reflection next time). It's not literally end of the day. You can actually still think of what to do next in the afternoon to make your working life easier. 

I enjoy eating alone in about 60% of my time. Waiting and deciding on budget/where/what to eat is simply exhausting for me when I have a long day to go. Eating alone makes me happier to stay put for the afternoon working hours. Oh ya, I get to choose what I want to eat, and change the plan 2 minutes before i reach my destination too. 

I also need some privacy of myself to text some people, call up my mum or read on something to refresh my mind instead of gossiping/whining about negative stuffs (don't you realize you gossip most of the time during lunch? It's because you have nothing else to talk about when you keep eating with the same people!). 

Therefore, I would like to share with you HOW to ease the uncomfortable feelings to eat alone. 

1. Be firm. Don't be afraid on other's stares. Most of the time, people don't really care, unless they know you. Else, nobody really gives a damn who are you eating with. 

2. Read. Use your phone to read. Or bring a magazine/book which doesn't fold itself, as screen tends to go blackout if you don't touch it. By doing this, you will feel more comfortable as your eyes and attention are occupied with something meaningful. 

3. Be grateful. You will have the tendency to devour your food quicker than usual because you want to leave the eating place asap since you are solo. What I usually do is, when the food arrives, I take 10 seconds to look at it and thank God, that I am given food, can still afford to dine in a comfortable environment. Trust me, it helps to slow down your swallowing speed because eating too fast isn't good for digestion. 

For those who read this and don't usually eat alone. Try to practice what I suggested above, I am not saying it's better to eat alone, but you can learn to eat alone and be confident about it. :) 

So, have you tried eating alone and continued doing it? :) 

Share this post if you like this. Thanks! 


Monday, May 19, 2014

Have You Ever Liked Your Monday?

I believe at least 70% (is that underrated?) of us do-not-really like our Mondays. But WHY so? And how do we usually react to that?


1. Post Over-Rest Symptom. Nobody would claim that they have enough rest (unless that person is super duper hyper positivism overflown), and all the joyful moments and freedom that we are enjoying during the weekends are totally irresistible. Thinking of doing something that you aren't really passionate about for 9 hours the next day (work of course) definitely doesn't land you any happiness.

2. Procrastinated work. You might have a leisure Friday because of the TGIF mood. Certainly you would have delayed some work that you ought to complete last week! Imagine the stressful moment when you are trying to cover up your *rse by completing the delayed work. Erm, yea, we know, not a good feeling.

3. You hate you job. You are doing something for the sake of money or you can't find other job at the moment. This is more dreadful than asking you to drink Chinese herbs tea when you can't handle deep fried bitter gourd.

4. You dislike your boss/colleagues. Do you realize when it comes to work issue, the most difficult part is to deal with people? Some people don't let you negotiate a delay in deadline, some people's job is to find fault, and some people's job is to make your life miserable. To them, by achieving the target to make you feel frustrated, they are already promoted. My heart goes to you if you have such colleagues/boss. I am lucky that I don't. :)

5. You are just plain lazy. Yes, we are born to play, but no work = no money = no fun. We know the drill, that's the reason we drag our feet to work and walking like zombie from the car park to the office and start forcing that smile to kick-start the Monday blue. I do feel lucky that I don't feel much blue because I have great colleagues, boss and passion in my work.

So, HOW do you cope with your Monday blues then?

1. Clear your Sunday. Do not hang out to enjoy frantically till too late. Usually I stay home after 4pm. It's for me to let the excitement mood to subside and allow some moment for self-reflection.

2. Read a book, listen to your genre of music, eat the food that you like. Do something that soothes your soul on Sunday. Do not over-excite yourself as it's difficult to recover from the fun-hangover.

3. Do a mental checklist (be organized). Think of what you have to accomplish tomorrow. If you want to list them down, it's better so you don't miss out anything you NEED to do tomorrow and plan ahead of how you can accomplish them by orders. It saves your time to crack your head to organize them last minute with your weekend mood on a beautiful Monday (Don't you realize Mondays are mostly sunny?)

4. Hit the sack early. It's hard to say goodbye to Sunday, although the clock ticking pass 12am (officially Monday), but we know once we close our eyes, re-open, it would be 6-7am (OFFICIALLY MONDAY). Sleeping late doesn't help in beating the Monday blues. Wake up on time gives you the time to slowly take a shower and have a hearty breakfast before starting your almighty Monday.

5. Be a master of your own emotions. Despite the fact we always say "follow your heart", it is not applicable on small decision such as going to work (yes, it's kinda compulsory). Follow your BRAIN is the key to drive positive actions which will lead to positive feelings. Do not let emotions overwrite your productivity.

6. Quit your job and look for your passion. Doing something you don't like will continually make you feel despair. It's time to go for another job which you think suits you better.

Personal Reflection: 
On the "HOW" part, I do accomplish #1,2,3 & 5, still need to improve on #4, as I am an night owl. After 4 years of working, I don't find Mondays are that irritating as there are always things to appreciate in life. :) Life is good, when you are still earning an honest living to make ends meet. 

So, share with me how do you think about Monday? 

Share this post/blog if you like this article. Thanks!


Friday, May 9, 2014

Have You Said Too Much "I Love You" to Your Lover?

We often find ourselves say those three words to our loved ones (here, I mean couples) and I believe not less than one person if you know, break up and move on with another person again, and again. 

WHY do we say those three magic words then? (Fine, those three words are I LOVE YOU).

1. We want to prove that we mean it. We want to tell that person that we love him/her. More often than not, it's the hormone. Don't forget the fact that humans are animals and partially controlled by hormones too. Therefore, when you are almost or on the bed, don't believe those three words. See if that person still tells you the next hours or next day after the you-know-what session.

2. When actions are quieter than words. We have all the imagination that how we "love" a person, but due to time, financial, motivation and action limitations, we choose to verbalize instead of showing your affection by ACTIONS. Sometimes, we are just a whole bunch of lazy folks.

3. It's EASIER to keep a relationship warm that way. We all feel a little bit insure when the other half doesn't say those three words often. But when we don't really feel like it, we can just Whatsapp by using emoticon or "muacks" in text. Yea, at the beginning of the relationship, it might be genuinely expressed. After few weeks/months, the sender is probably emotionless when he/she sends that. This condition might not be true, if the message is topped up with some sweet actions like cooking breakfast or occasional surprises.

NOW, actually it just comes to the purposes of me writing this post.


1. Blame the culture. As Asians born in Asian and raised the Asian ways, we are not taught to express our caring emotions verbally. We are shy, we choose the words we speak to our parents, and definitely not to shock them with those three words.

2. It's ok, I show with actions. I am quite happy to know that, most of the people around me will really practice the "family comes first" motto. Whenever they have outings, they will consult their parents first, before promising to their friends. I couldn't understand that when I was younger, now I do. It's a form of cherishing the moment you have with your family, because eventually, they are the people who will be there for you, physically, mentally, emotional and FINANCIALLY. You don't break up with your parents and they ask you to return all the money back to them. If yes, you better file for bankruptcy then.

3. You don't realize it. Parents is our comfort zone, we think they were there, they are there, they will be there and they SHOULD be there for us. Just because you are here in this world because of them, doesn't mean they owe you and need to be responsible for all the miserable things that happen to you. You should be thankful for the life that's given to you. A life for you to experience the joy, pain, happy, bitter, fun, sorrow moments, to become who you are today.

4. You feel ashamed about your parents. As 80's kids, more than 50% of our parents, weren't really highly educated, my parents even stopped their education at primary school. I still remember when our family condition was quite poor back then, my mum used a glass jar from those used fermented tofu containers to bring soup for me to the school before afternoon class. I was really feeling ashamed that time because other friends had their soups in nice thermo container. But when now I recall, that's possibly the best that she could have given to me that time. Now, I hold my mum's hand when we go out, until she feels embarrassed by me!

5. You don't have time. We find all sort of excuses to set appointments with friends, partners, colleagues, but we often forget our parents at home. They spend all their lives to raise us to abandon them at home while we enjoy ourselves in our vacation.

Now, scroll up and look at the picture in this article, do you think a lover could do that? I have seen people who are together for more than 10 years broke up and hate each other. But do you see parents hate you forever for all the bad things you have done (and still doing)?

It's Mother's day this Sunday. You don't have to bring your parents to fancy overpriced expensive restaurants and make them get stuck in the jam. Just be home, make them a dinner, ask them what they would like to do. Their wishes are mostly the same - "Just be home and accompany us".

By end of this post, I should feel ashamed of myself, to only be able to go back to see my mum twice/thrice maximum in a year.

Yes, I don't say "I love you" to my mum face to face. But I did twice over the phone, and my mum just didn't respond to me I think.

Mum, I love you.

Share this post if you like it. Cheers. 


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Have You Come to Realize How Much Your Drinks Actually Cost You?

The Malaysia economy situation is going down the drain. Nonetheless, do you realize you don't reduce your expenses while you are complaining you can't earn much faster than the inflation does? In fact, you can save A LOT from NOT ordering drinks outside (now all the F&B sellers would hate me). 

Simple calculations
(based on the average monthly situation):

Example 1: Kopitiam Lifestyle 

RM1.50 - RM2.00 per cup
3 meals per day 
30 days per month 
RM1.50 x 3 meals x 30 days= RM135 

RM130 - RM180 saved for a month from not ordering drinks!
(Now, think what you can do with the money that you could have saved)

Example 2: High Class Tai Tai (rich housewives) Level

RM10 - RM15 per cup 
2 meals per day (with the assumption Tai Tais don't wake up that early) 
30 days per month
RM10 x 2 meals x 30 days = RM600

RM600 - RM900 saved IF you don't order expensive drinks like milkshake, expensive coffee in every meal you take!

Example 3: Common Gen X, Y, Z trend (slightly complex with forecast scenario)

Working day = RM1.50 for breakfast drink, RM1.50 for lunch drinks, RM5-10 for dinner drinks 
Weekends = RM10-15 (lunch drinks), RM15-20 (dinner drinks) 

Working day = RM1.50 + RM1.50 + RM8 = RM11
RM11 x 22 working days = RM242

Weekends = RM10 + RM15 = RM25
Saturday + Sunday = RM25 x 2 = RM50 
RM50 x 8 days = RM400 

RM242 (weekdays) + RM400 (weekends) = RM642 

Approximately RM500 - RM800 can be saved every month, if we don't drink the way we are doing it now. (just FYI, this hasn't factored in the Starbucks, themed cafes, alcohols that you would usually over-consume during Friday, Saturday and Sunday).

Some of you might think the data isn't reflecting the truth. If you don't believe it, try to record it down for a month. Don't try to save, just do it as usual, but just record the cost of drinks you spend for a month, you will be surprised by the amount of money you spend on drinks.

I was from a very average family and our family members didn't usually order drinks. We were trained to order Chinese Tea and warm water, which was free back then. And actually if we have soup or liquid in our food, it's not advisable to gulp down that full glass of drinks as well, which will not help with our digestion.

Yes, I am being very prudent in spending money. The reason is because the value of money isn't as kind as it used to be. People earned RM2000 per month, and still could raise 4 persons (the bread winner, wife, 2 kids) with basic needs. Ask yourself, what can you do with RM2000 nowadays? And as fresh out, we only earn RM2-3k and we are complaining all right? We leave the inflation topics aside now, focus on what you can do, to save you some pennies to be used on other purposes.

I am not asking you to not enjoy the delicious drinks out there, this post is just for illustration purposes. But just to be honest with you, my dear readers, I only spend less than RM50 per month for my drinks I guess. And I will make my own drinks at home, and you can adjust how much milo powder you are going to put and how big mug and concentrated you want it to be. Isn't that wonderful too?

Now, it's just a beginning lesson on how can you save to buy a house. :) I will share more on personal finance management in the future posts. Stay tuned!

Have you come to realize already? 

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Have You Really Made Full Use of Your Day Off?

Most of us have this little thought -
"I must be doing what I wanted to do for my day off tomorrow!" 
(Ya right, did you really wake up and do that?)

The monologues in our head (A= Angel, D= Demon): 
A= "It's holiday tomorrow! What should I do? It's been to a while since I hit the gym in the morning!"
D= "Really? I thought of sleeping until I wake up naturally (12pm-ish), that's more like it. Let me sleep a little longer."
A= "After the gym, I will go for a hearty lunch with my best friends in the newly open cafe, take a selfie!"
D= "Probably will just go downstairs to tabao and continue my sleep after that."
A= "Cleaning my wardrobe would be nice in the afternoon."
D= "Ah, it's already 4.30pm, I should wake up now to do my laundry." (checking facebook and chatting non-stop)
A= "I should cook myself dinner tonight."
D= "What is left in the fridge? That's my dinner."
A= "Done! Now I iron my clothes and get ready for tomorrow. Read a book and sleep early tonight, so I won't feel that bad tomorrow to go to work."
D="Damn, it's already 10pm, my laundry is not done, I have a meeting tomorrow! Nah, it's ok, just go to watch the ANTM now, it's the final tonight."

We often find ourselves debating with our monologues. How many of us are actually acting like an Angel and how many of us are a total demon? Oh well, come on admit it already, most of us are taking a balance among these two. Whilst being Demon as above is very indulging, nonetheless we will still do something when we are laying back to relax. 

IF you are not, see below: 

Total Angelic behaviours - You are a person who forces yourself to improve and achieve. Yes, it's important and healthy. Nonetheless, don't you think that perfection is overrated? It sounds to me you are fulfilling the superego  of yourself. While it's perfectly fine to be perfect, we do need to chillax our mind and body. Personally, I find people who are over-productive are plastic and fake. AND, do you find yourself really calm and happy while you're doing all these? If yes, I apologize. You're probably a great motivator among your peers. Outstanding! 

Total Demonic behaviours - You are a person who will just follow your body's will to act. That's called Id. You just do whatever that pleases your current mood. Most importantly, most of the decisions made are purely laziness and unproductive. Nobody shall over-relax themselves, because only dead bodies do that. In a total nothing-to-do day, unless you are completely fine with your decision to waste your day by doing nothing, the least you ought to do is go out to have a walk! Wherever it is, the park, the mall, loiter around in your car, buy a newspaper, etc. At the end of the day, you will feel slightly depressed because of what you did (yes, basically nothing other than inhale, exhale, eat, and go to the loo). You often ask yourself what did you do today, end up nothing, hit the sack and continue your routine over and over. While it's perfectly okay to be lazy, but you are harming yourself in a long term run. Do not complain while others are having better body, better network/friends, more knowledgeable than you, better pay and better appearance. It's all because you didn't invest your time properly. 

Summary of above: 
Your mind > your plan > your action > consequences > sense of achievement > positive/negative feelings.

Personal Reflection: 
I always make sure I get to relax and be productive at the same time. Like now, I am writing my blog, one step closer to my dream, but in the mean time, I took a 3-hour nap in the afternoon. I cook my dinner too! And I will off for a swim soon after this post. I don't usually rush for my day off and I do experience total demonic days too. But it's over now, I feel depressed if I do nothing for a day. Seriously, life is short. Do whatever pleases you, but eventually, feel good about it! 

Personal Advice: 
Do exercise during your off day. Staying stagnant whole day at home, doesn't really release any happy hormones (endorphin). 

So, share with me how did you spend your day off like today? 

Share this post/blog if you like this article. Thanks!


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Have You Ever Won An Argument?

So you think you've won an argument against someone (or ANYONE, for some real hardcore individuals). The most you will get is victory of your egoism. Do you see from the other side of what have you really lose then?

1. You lose your health. Don't you realize every time when you argue, you will feel the heat up to your head? and also the palpitation (probably the worries of running out of ideas to argue or the fear to lose an argument). It's because when you argue, you tend to haste your speech, hence haste your brain to function faster, and that's when you need your blood to flow in more oxygen to your brain. That's the reason why your face is red, your heart rate is racing and blood pleasure is sky-rocketing! Is that worth it to win an argument over your health? Personally I definitely don't like the doctors to win some consultation fees from this. 

2. You lose your mind. Unless the other person is really some insignificant others, or else winning an argument for the sake of winning, you are just feeding your own egoism. Soon you will regret what you have said that leads to the damage of the ones you actually love. 

3. You lose your character. We, as civilized human beings, are expected to be polite, kind, courteous in our words. When you argue with someone, you slip a lot of words out of your tongue without checking with your brain. The audiences who have the pleasure to witness your standing-ovationable quarrel would applaud for your free entertainment. Nonetheless, trust me, in their mind, they don't even want to make an eye contact with you. As a 2-second stare might be accused as public flirtation or sexual assault just because they just see some eye bogey at the corner of your eyes. Oh well, nobody is ever gonna tell you that your nostril hairs are soon sticking into your mouth if you are always in that defensive mode. 

4. You lose your friendships/relationships. Every argument which is not constructive (throwback to all the ancient histories into your current argument is rather low and truly emotionally) will usually lead to damaging a relationship like a broken vase. You might argue that it's to support what is happening now, but does that really matter? When you have made your points clear more than 3 times before, it's time to stop and tell yourself, take it (to accept it in order to continue love him/her) or leave it (to slowly stay away from this friend/family member/partner). This is simply because if someone doesn't change, which simply means he doesn't want to. No hurt feeling, really.

Summary of above: 
You argue > you blood pressure is going up > your words hurt people > people don't respect you > you lose your relationships > you are forever alone > end of story. 

Personal Reflection: 
Everyone has experienced this, including the very flawed me. I tried to win all the arguments in some stages of my life (and I still do sometimes). But, I have tremendously reduced my chances to get into argument with anyone, as the 4 points above have proven themselves as facts. Seek to understand, then to be understood, that makes up one of my motto in life. 

Personal Advice: 
Agree to disagree. People have different opinions, as long as that doesn't involve you as the output of the decision or his actions, you need to learn how to keep some words to yourself, really. Let people prove their points, before you discuss with them by facts, not emotions. 

So, share with me how do you cope with arguable situations? I shall come out with another post on "How to Cope with External Conflicts" if you think I should! 

Share this post/blog if you like this article. Thanks!


Monday, April 21, 2014

Have You Ever Thought of Writing A Diary/Journal?

Dear Readers,

Welcome to Have You Ever Done That. The purpose of this blog is to discuss about the miscellaneous stuffs that make us think inside, but never really being expressed. Sometimes these trivial thoughts can be disturbingly annoying, when it haunts you, and you couldn't seem to be able to cope with it.

I am Scott, possesses a Degree in Counselling for my Undergraduate study. It's been 4 years since I left the course, but it's never totally disappeared, for my mind to stop involving in Counselling matters.

Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to share my thoughts with you, about how we actually live our lives, and how can we actually improve our decision making and actions to react to certain situation.

I would welcome 200% of participation from all the readers across the world. So, please do let me know, what kind of topics would interest you, or what social circumstances that you encountered, and you think you would like to share with us and I shall try my best to analyse for you.

The contact form is just on top of the right side of this blog. Let's get this blog rolling and inspire me to write MORE interesting topics for you.