in the mean time there’s instagram

I know this is a real cop-out but I sort of micro-blog (in Instagram stories and pictures lol) on @yazmynz so do check that out if you’re interested.

I started up that account because I wanted to post all my home-related and joint-union i.e. being-married-related things on a separate account, which I decided to leave public. It’s been about three months since we moved into our first home together, and our space is coming together so nicely. Work has been really busy still (with me having to disappear on business trips over the weekdays only to come back to a mountain of dirty laundry). We don’t have domestic help so we do all the household chores ourselves. I’m excited about having our own kitchen (we very recently finally acquired an oven – which honestly was such a critical missing piece) and now I’m iski about cooking and re-learning how to cook again.

So in that sense I’ve yet to find time to sit down and write, but our home is shaping up to be such a cosy, private retreat that I’m looking forward to the day I can actually get down to it. The initial stages of marriage and moving into our first home was stressful and I was constantly trying to stay on top of work, chores, and all of that… And as the house was barely furnished, we had to put together most of it ourselves. Nevertheless, the dust is beginning to settle and the house is growing into a practical, functional, and pretty efficient space (that still looks good!). I intend to post before and after pictures, and even details about where I got certain things and general “if you’re gonna invest in some stuff for your home, what would I recommend” things. I’m so pleased because a lot of things we got for our home are “expensive” (to some people) but honestly are good investments (in a value for money perspective) in my eyes. I find too many people cheap out on things like beds and sofas… But y’know you see and use those things everyday! And it’s not just personal use, it’s used by your family, your guests, etc. Unless you switch up your furnishings every year, these expenses are generally a one-time purchase. Anyway I’m getting ahead of myself. But yes, we splurged on some items but for other items… Well let me just say Daiso is brilliant hehe.

If you’re interested – don’t say I didn’t tell you where to find me!

When I created this blog it was to write about adult stuff (and that’s still the tagline). While finances (and wedding planning – no, I didn’t forget!) is a big part of that, furnishing and building a home is another and… Well that’s what I’m busy with right now :B

Advertisements

Banks: Fee waivers + promos at the Brunei Consumer Fair (24 – 28 Jan)

Dear loyal readers, just a quick one (literally) to tell you to check out the Consumer Fair that’s going on right now if you’re interested in any banking services or loan facilities.

This is the best time to:

  1. Sign up for a credit card
  2. Apply for a loan
  3. Switch your salary from one bank to another

…if you’ve andang been meaning to do it. There are a lot of offers and, most importantly, fee waivers that I encourage you to take advantage of. For example, if you sign up for a Platinum Visa credit card with BIBD, they normally charge a BND 250 (!!!) annual fee (unless you spend a minimum of 18k or something ridiculous on the card over the course of the year).

I signed up for a credit card during a promo period about a year ago (possibly the Consumer Fair also) and had the annual fee waived for three years. That’s a $750 saving! And mind you, if it wasn’t for the fee waiver I wouldn’t have signed up for the Platinum card to begin with. It doesn’t make sense to me to pay high annual fees because dude banks should be paying me to use their credit cards not the other way round! But this way I get the extra benefits of a ~Platinum~ card for free (i.e. more rewards points per transaction which can be converted to cashback or Royal Skies points, better discounts at participating retailers and restaurants).

I know a number of people who signed up during non-promo period and that’s bye bye $250 each year just cos they didn’t time their sign up well.

And if you’re curious, yes I do intend to cancel the credit card after three years if they don’t offer me another fee waiver nanti.

I found this on the BIBD instagram page:

BIBDCFpromo

Baiduri and StanChart need to step up their social media game because I couldn’t find anything for them, but I’d encourage you to either go to the Consumer Fair or call them up to find out if they have any special offers, fee waivers, or promotions.

To answer the question of one of my readers who commented in my last post (MissJ), I actually haven’t decided which bank to commit my salary to yet now that HSBC has closed shop! For now, it’s done the natural transfer over to Baiduri – I’ve yet to pick up my new cards so I still use my HSBC ones – and I haven’t yet decided on whether I want to move to SCB yet.

MissJ raised a good point about Standard Chartered being an international bank unlike BIBD and Baiduri, and that happens to be one of the driving considerations for moving to Standard Chartered. But as I once discussed when I compared savings accounts across banks, Baiduri does have superior savings interest rates with their Multi-Tier and Multi-Rate offerings.

So the jury is split still with me and I’ve honestly been so preoccupied with everything else in life that I’m unable to make a decision (and am too malas to right now), so I’m going to let my salary remain in Baiduri for now. I may switch to Standard Chartered in the future and I’ll be sure to let you know if/when that happens. You can be certain that’ll happen during another edition of the Consumer Fair or any other promotional/festival period 🙂

 

But ya I’m aware we have yet to resume normal programming on Myn’s Desk; cannot even begin to tell you how hectic the start of 2018 has been. Work life, family life, newly-married life, social life… All of it; it’s a maelstrom of semi-organized chaos here.Read More »

I bought a car, got married, and I’m moving house

Explosion-clip-art-free-free-clipart-images

ya guys i toldju i didn’t go missing for nothing

All of this pretty much happened in the space of a year, haha.

(Alhamdulillah, I’m extremely grateful and blessed.)

I’m pleased to announce that this is Note 5 out of 5 of my dormancy.  I intend to come roaring back starting sort-of today because I honestly do miss writing and putting together all the clipart wisdom I try to spout on my blog.

As you may expect with the big news, there will be a pretty dramatic shift in writing – life has changed in a major way for me guys. It’s been wonderful, for sure, but with every big change comes big adjustments (and big challenges, steep learning curves, and general teething issues).

I mentioned a while ago that I broke up with Wally. We intend to get back together starting next year.

I also broke up with my personal finance excel spreadsheet in the middle of this year (and had a six month fling with a new spreadsheet for wedding planning). I intend to start seeing my personal finance spreadsheet again, starting next year. We might have a baby too called Household Finances since I’m married now (and that’s a whole other personal finance animal as you may expect).

I’ll slowly get into the details of things but just to recap where I’d left you: I was a single, 25-26 year old desk job yuppie with no loans, a decent amount of savings, disciplined spending habits, who had a penchant for data and breaking down the basics of personal money management.

Fast forward to today: I’m a married 28 year old (I turned 28 last month guys! it’s not too late to wish me happy birthday heheh), I have a car loan now but only because I obliterated my savings for the wedding (which we planned over only  ~6 months cos we didn’t want to dilly dally). My personal finances have been turned upside down and are still in extreme flux. It’s still in post-wedding recovery mode; there are a couple of pending things to still pay for, some cash deposits which still need to be made and accounted for, and some credit card bills to pay off – a lot of plusses and minuses so I don’t really know where I stand right now in terms of the bottom line. And to top it all of, my husband and I have been actively preparing to move home and we’ve already bought all the major furnishings and appliances and our bedroom curtains should be delivered and installed by the end of this week.

I’M BROKE Y’ALL!!!

But as you can see I have a lot to talk about, a lot to share, and a lot to write about. That should be fun, right?

Some things which I can share for now (and may pique your interest):

  • I got married exactly a month ago. This mutual decision was made very quickly and we only had about 6 months to plan. It was a 4-event close to “standard Bruneian Malay” wedding and we took out zero loans. The wedding was funded with our existing savings and disposable income (monthly gaji) and was split evenly (so we both paid for our share) with no major items sponsored by family so we did pay for at least 90% of the wedding with our own money 🙂 Two of our events were held in external event halls.
  • While we didn’t take out loans, I definitely made full use of my credit card (which technically speaking is a type of loan) and for the very first time ever I let the balance roll over because I couldn’t quite pay it off fully. I intend to clear the balances completely before the end of the year so effectively we should be free of all wedding debt by 2018 (~3 months after the wedding) insyallah.
  • No we didn’t buy or build a house, we are sort-of renting but are furnishing it ourselves. No loans also.
  • I needed to get a car around about July because my trusty pink friend conked out and needed repairs which would set me back perhaps $2000. It had reached a point of diminishing returns because well I was about to get married and needed a more reliable car (especially because my husband’s house is 30 mins from my own, which also extends my journey to work every day). So it finally made perfect sense for me to get my own car; I bought a bigger model which I think – after 4 months of use – is a great investment. Since all of my cash savings were getting channeled to the wedding, I had to get a car loan but I chose a tenor of only 5 years (instead of the maximum 7 years). This obviously increased my monthly payments but it’s still something I can handle and budget for. The temptation is always to spread it out over 7 years so inda luan sakit every month but you guys should know about my aversion to debt by now. A lot has changed in a year but that certainly hasn’t!
  • Despite taking three major hits in a year (but for positive reasons!), my savings has not been wiped out to zero alhamdulillah. This is where my savings structure SERIOUSLY proved to work, I’m so thankful you have no idea hahaha. I did use up wayyy over half of my savings pulang but knowing I still have some locked up is comforting.

Okay I think that’s enough for you to chew on for now. If you want data, I don’t have accurate numbers right now because like I said everything’s still in flux but I hope to centre myself in the next month so I’ll be ready to go again in the new year.

My finance focus for December is to clamp down on all the moving parts and get a good grasp of what my situation is.

The finance focus for next year is to slowly start recovering and rebuilding (sikit-sikit) my personal savings. Also, to re-prioritize and re-organize according to this “new normal” I’ve found myself in, i.e. the addition of Household level budgeting and savings.

I’m still very much the same individual person with the same individual likes, dislikes, wants, needs. The difference now is that I’m now part of a two-person unit, and this means that my responsibilities and my priorities have grown (and should grow) to embrace this change. And while my future financial planning will definitely still have an important “me” tab (for my personal savings, personal future expenditure and financial planning), my priority now will be the “us” tab. While the thought of that can be intimidating, it’s pretty exciting too. Especially because we’ve established that I’m likely in charge of our household finances hahaha (surprise, surprise).

And guys… I was born to be a domestic goddess ok. MOVE OVER MARTHA STEWART! We bought a fridge and I’m friggin’ obsessed with it cuz it’s pretty(!!) and the design of the inside is friggin’ amazing. AND WE DIDN’T PAY FULL PRICE FOR IT because I’m a bargain queen 4 lyf. We own a washing machine now and laundry day isn’t a chore for me (yet) because it’s really fun to “play house” and do adult things like laundry and cleaning up after yourself and owning all your own stuff. We haven’t moved in yet but we have been doing laundry since getting the machine delivered last weekend hahaha. One of the best parts about living abroad was having my own place and it’s been a hot minute since that last happened so I’m an iski squirrel right now.

Anyway. These are the three big, big things Myn’s Desk content will begin to revolve around. I’ll mix it up and probably bounce between writing about all three but I’ll have to first think about where to start. As much as I hate to do the YouTube subscribe! and like! check out the description box and comment down below! spiel but if you’re a reader and would like me to write about one aspect in particular first or have a specific question you’d like me to address/answer – do let me know 🙂