Ben Alagnam - MeMovingToCanada

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Showing posts with label Money Options. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Money Options. Show all posts

Monday, July 7, 2014

How to Manage Money as an OFW in Singapore

OFWs are one of the lucky Filipinos who landed a job in a foreign country. At the first few months of our salary, it's either we have to
  • Pay for our debts left behind while we were preparing our documents 
  • Pay for the agent who helped us find a job 
  • Pay for our airline tickets and other expenses.
Yup, everything goes well for a month and comes the company bonuses and salary increase.  We then look for ways on how to spend it.  

We go shopping and thinking of buying something for my brother, sister, niece, aunt, cousins and everyone.  Happiness for all of them is now included in our priority.

The next few months, we buy something for ourselves such as:
  • Hand phones and tablets
  • Shoes and bags
  • Camera and other electronic gadgets...
  • Have a beauty surgery 
Guilty? Yes for some.  But, what if one day one of our family members or ourselves has an emergency involving money and the Work Pass is not renewed?

Do we have something to get out from our pockets?  Do we have Savings?

This video will help us OFWs on how to manage our money while we are still healthy and earning dollars while working in Singapore.

Please watch this and is highly recommended to all OFWs.  Please share it to others.


If you have questions and comments about this post, please feel free to leave a comment below.
You can be anonymous, for those who are shy.

You can email me at benalagnam@yahoo.com if you need some help about Singapore, but not about money, OK? :D

Other Related Posts:
Are You Blessed With Your Current Job?
How To Save Money in Singapore

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

DBS Singapore Online Remittance from Singapore to Philippines

If you have a DBS account, you can enjoy their new launch special just by sending money to Philippines.

DBS is launching their online remittance from Singapore to Philippines.

You can enjoy a $5 cash rebate* when you send money to the Philippines via iBanking. 

How to get the cash rebate?
Simply enter the promo code PHP5. Please take note that the promo is only valid for the first 5000 customers who send a minimum PHP 1000. 

*Terms and conditions apply. 


For more details, please visit the DBS website.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Blogging as a Hobby and a Business Opportunity While Working in Singapore

One of my reader sent me an email at benalagnam@yahoo.com, asking me about blogging.

Her name is Cassie, her hobby is writing. She had created her blog websites but was not able to maintain it.  She writes contents for other people as well.

Cassie's problem is that her blog is not popular enough and few visitors are coming in to her website or nothing at all.  She wants to know more on how to attract people to visit her blog and earn money from it.

Cassie and Me are just few examples of hobby bloggers.  We blog because we are passionate about something.  

The only thing that separates me from her is that I had learned how to separate a hobby blog to a money making blog.  

Also, I learned how to do these,
  • Attract more readers/visitors (getting traffic at your site)
  • Keep readers loyalty at hand (keeping the reader returning to your blog)
  • Having an authority at your niche (expert at a specific product).
  • Analyzing visitors behavior.
  • Monetize the blog (earning money from blogging)
The above lists are gained through time, research and reading lots of materials.  I've been reading blogs and studying authoritative websites to gain more knowledge on how they do their thing.

As a disclaimer, I am currently not making lots of money on blogging but I'm on my way to make that possible.  Earning a little is still good to keep me from doing the things that I love, blogging.

This is an additional money for me while working in Singapore and this will be my future income when the time of a big harvest comes.  

What are the Different Types of Bloggers?
I know a lot of bloggers who are all the way to the top, earning thousands but end up broke at the end. 

Some are so successful until now.

There are many types of bloggers, I'll name a few:
  • Hobby Blogger - Someone who creates blog websites and writes blog posts almost everyday, just for fun, but never monetizes it.
  • One-Time Blogger - Someone who blogs for a few months straight and loose enthusiasm, leaves the blog hanging.
  • Business Blogger - creates a blog website and a lot of money making posts, only cares about the visitors money.
  • Long-Term Blogger - Creates websites, taking care of the readers, keeping them loyal and recommends them products that leads to sales.
Now, where do you think you belong to from the list?  

How Do You Learn Blogging From Scratch?
Blogging is not an overnight get-rich scheme...NO!  It takes time and effort. That is why it's a future income, which you plant the seeds now, watch it grows, and harvest the fruits later.

Interested?  You can visit my blog just for this topic and I named it as Make Future Income .  There are posts about earning offline there as well, but I will concentrate on blogging for now.

In that blog, you can expect future posts for the following:
  • Posts about how to create a blog at a beginners level
  • How to attract readers to a blog by quality posting
  • How to take care of your readers
  • How to earn money from your readers without hard-selling
  • How to make a sustainable blog using free web host.
  • ....and a lot more about blogging
one more thing,
  • You can ask anything, and that would be about blogging
Remember, the Make Future Income is not only for me, but for you as well.  Blogging is a continuous learning and we should do it together.

You can leave a comment below if you have questions about this post or email me at benalagnam@yahoo.com for your private emails, all is FREE.

We'll see each other at the Make Future Income blog and let's do it!

Other Posts:

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Blogging While Working in Singapore Help Me Pay My Annual Insurance

You've read a lot of my blog post here in BenAlagnam.com and some of you thanked me for it and others will just say, NICE! great post Man!

But how do I get from doing this blog?  Do I get anything from it?

Some people enjoys a lot posting messages or selfies in Facebook, because it's their thing.   They love sharing staff with friends and even to public.

For me, It's O.K. to do that since they are happy after all.

Yes, I still share posts in my Facebook accounts but not for selfies or random messages.  I really like and enjoy sharing information online and even offline.  For me, these are the fun things to do.

When Did I Start Blogging?
When I discovered blogging, it was one afternoon while surfing at the net, I was really interested right away when I saw a personal website of a friend.  He blogs about anything, from food to road trips with his wife and kids.

Back then, although I knew a bit of computers and softwares but I don't know how to set up blogs and I don't even know how to make a single post.

Until I created my first ever blog (http://greenthumbwit.blogspot.com), I kept this blog to remind me that it's my first post right there!

Why Am I Blogging?
The reason for me at that time was to practice my writing skills because I was getting ready for my FSW Canadian application and it requires an English test.

The way I wrote during that time was like writing a book.  I'm not sure if it's still the impression of my readers at this moment.  But things have improved quite a bit and I made more than 5 blog websites as of this year 2014.

On my second blog, where I got a lot of excitement, is that I started to add a Google Adsense account. This will earn me money while blogging.  The only difficult thing to do here was the first approval from Google and the rest was easy.  Everything can be linked to one account.

At the first 3 months of my blog.  I earned my first $0.05 dollars and I was jumping with joy.  My wife was surprised to see me doing that.

Yes, I know, it's a tini-mini small amount, but where can I find a dollar out of doing something that I love?  I cannot see it under my couch or anywhere in the corner of my house.

This when I started to do more post and fueled me up.  For about a year, I blogged 3 times a week, it accumulated to 200+ post per year.  But, you see, I did not complain about doing it, because I love it!

Then I started BenAlagnam.com to record all my activities in Singapore.  This is some sort of a diary but with a touch of sharing information to my readers about the country.

I really love blogging in Singapore because of the fast internet speed that can reach 40Mbps download and upload speed. WOW!  The experience is just superb, it's like surfing at your own hard drives and linking videos while reviewing it has no pain at all.

In this blog where it started me to interact with my readers and advice them on something they want to know.  It's a fun process for me, because I love it!

The good thing about this blogging is that you'll be surprised that Google will email you that they have sent a payment cheque for you.

When I first received my cheque, I was very excited and was steamed to do more blogging and sharing.  It motivates me more to do and create more blogs.

I am paying a yearly life insurance in Philippines and it is also earning with dividends.  The cheque which Google gave me helps me pay my Insurance.  This is awesome, right!

Why Am I Sharing This?
I know what it feels like being a Foreign Worker in Singapore.  The heartache of thinking about our families back in Philippines is indescribable.   Thinking of them every minute will totally break my heart.

That is why I recommend you to take a step for blogging and who knows it might give you more freedom on your financials someday.  I see great opportunities on this kind of activity.

Take advantage of the internet speed in Singapore and the power of your tablets and gadgets.  Venture the world of blogging and come and join me.

Why waste on selfies and sharing posts that you don't earn.  Share things that you love sharing and monetize your blog.  It takes time but hey, I did it for over 5 years now and it seemed to be like only yesterday.

Now, I will continue to blog as long as my fingers can type and my eyes can see. It's because I'm earning while blogging and doing things that I love.

You can reach me at benalagnam@yahoo.com if you're interested in blogging and earning so I can update my post here on how to setup and maintain your blog forever.
________________________________
If also you want to know about migrating to Canada, visit the site MeMovingToCanada.
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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Why I Want a Cyberya Minigosyo

Have you ever heard of an internet rental service business that can run remotely with less supervision?

Yes, there are internet caf├ęs out there, where anyone can rent by going through a cashier and pay afterwards. This is the classic way to rent and surf the internet.

PLDT has come up with an idea to let the masses surf the internet and network gaming in a convenient and affordable way.

What I like about about PLDT Cyberya
The new PLDT Cyberya Minigosyo is the next big thing and an opportunity for OFWs to own a business even if they're out of the country. 

PLDT Cyberya is a unit that has a Personal Computer and an internet line enclosed in a vendo-like machine.  



Customers can surf the net by inserting coins as low as P1.00 and the unit will be ready to use for a period of 4 minutes.

This gives an OFW investor a high profit with a low-maintenance expense since it doesn't need to be watched 24 hours a day. 

The machine can be installed at home or at any business area that has lots of prospected customers. 

This is great when installed near the schools where students can use the surfing unit for their research.

How to Apply for a PLDT Cyberya
If you are interested to have a unit or two, you can visit the PLDT Cyberya site.

It comes with two package options, which the Gaming Unit and a Surfing Unit.

For OFWs out there who are looking for investment options, you can avail this unit and make your income grow for your future.

Invest your money on a PLDT Cyberya Minigosyo unit and watch it grow.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How I Paid my Tax as a Foreign Worker In Singapore

When I started to work in Singapore, I knew that I will be paying my taxes just like in Philippines. 

In my country, every year, I have to pay my income tax return (ITR) to the Bureau of Internal Revenues (BIR).  This is the same with Singapore but with different terminologies.

What is the Government Body that Handles Tax in Singapore?
They call the government body that handles taxes in Singapore as Inland Revenue Authority in Singapore (IRAS).

May you be a local or a foreign worker individual taxpayer , or a small or big time business entity in Singapore, IRAS is your friend when it comes to taxes.

Singapore IRAS is very efficient in collecting taxes from an individual or a business entity. It is because all transactions are handled through internet banking or if not, the taxpayer can pay at payment kiosks such as SAM , AXS, Cash/NETS.  Singapore Post, a postal company in Singapore also accepts payment for taxes.

Other Blog Posts

The other payment type is through GIRO, this will auto deduct the tax from your bank account.  To avail this GIRO, you need to fill up the form that comes from IRAS.

There is no way to find an excuse on not paying the taxes.

First Step on Income Tax Return
The expertise on taxes is not in my field, but as a foreign worker in Singapore, I need to be knowledgeable on how and when to pay it.

Every year, during the month of March, IRAS sends a letter to my company, it's a Tax Filing Package.  Since my company is a small business entity, they did not apply for a direct payment to IRAS in behalf on their employees.

That means I need to pay my tax through my online account to IRAS. I'll explain this topic later.

The letter is a request from IRAS to file my Income Tax Return for the given year.  The company will then provide me a copy of my Assessable Income for the whole year, 2012.

There is an internet portal in IRAS, they call it the myTax Portal, wherein every tax transaction that you need to do with IRAS is through this site.

When I filed my Income Tax Return, I logged in through IRAS using my SingPass account.  Inside the myTax Portal, I keyed in my income details and submitted it to them online.

After Filing the Income Tax, What's Next?
A month after, IRAS sent a letter direct to my home address.  Inside the letter is the Notice of Assessment wherein the details of all assessable income and personal reliefs are computed in details.

At the bottom of the computation is the amount of the Tax Payable by that year.  The tax should be paid within 30 days from the date of the notice.  There will be penalties if not paid on time.

I paid my income tax through myTax Portal via my DBS/POSB bank account.  Then I checked the status on my tax payments for the year 2012, it's already updated.

For this year 2013, I paid IRAS 1.25% based on my chargeable income for the year 2012. Yes, I can't believe what I saw on that percentage, this is Singapore.  The tax is lower than my home country.

Other Posts:
How to Find the Hawker Locations in Singapore
Discover the 2013 World's Best Airport
How to Save For Your Food and Drinks In-Flight to Singapore

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Can S Pass Holders Get a Credit Card in Singapore?

My phone rang twice with a number that was not listed in my phonebook.  Then I answered, she called me to offer a credit card.   She emphasized that I was referred to her by my boss.

I remembered that I've asked my boss if he has a friend who is a credit card agent.  Told him to contact me if ever.

So, I thought that this might be it.  I told her to call me back for an hour because I'm still busy with my work.

After 2 hours, she called me back with a sweet voice and offered me the Standard Chartered Bank Credit Card.  This is what I've been waiting for...

Before I continue my story, I'll tell you first why I needed a credit card here in Singapore.

Why I Badly Needed a Credit Card Here in Singapore?
My salary is in Singapore dollars and obviously, every item that I buy here is in S$ too.  Just for the record, I already have a credit card that is issued in the Philippines. 

Once I buy something, an air ticket for example, in Singapore dollar currency here in Singapore, it will be billed to my Philippine Credit Card. 

In my billing statement,  the Philippine Credit Card company will convert the amount from Singapore Dollars to Philippine Peso, with a mark up of around ~P2.00 per S$.

Example:
Lets say I bought S$200 for my air ticket, and the exchange rate of peso to dollar is P34.00/S$1.00.   It will be converted to an exchange rate of P36.00/ S$1.00 at my credit card.  That means I have to pay P6,800 instead of P6,400.

Now, if I have a credit card in Singapore, I'll pay for it at the amount of S$200.  This will save me a  P2.00 or P400 for the same transaction.

The other perks that I like most from the credit card in Singapore, same as in Philippines, is that I can also have points to claim as reward items later on.

Did the Standard Chartered Bank Approved my Credit Card?
Back to my story,  she asked me if I was interested on availing their Credit Card.  I told her a big YES...

The next question is, are you a Singaporean?  I told her that I'm only holding an S PASS.  Her voice changed and told me,

"Sorry, we don't give credit cards to SPASS holders." She didn't explained why and so I said it's OK!

It's so sad to know that SPASS have no chance to get a Standard Chartered credit card.  I feel so down and hopeless at that moment.

To What Bank Did I Applied a Credit Card Next?
So desperate about the result with my credit card application from the Standard Chartered, I went online and logged in to my POSB account.

POSB offers credit cards also and it is a DBS Credit Card.  I tried to click the apply online at my POSB online banking and submitted the required documents.

After 7 days, they replied with a polite rejection notice.  I was pinned down for the second time and still can't believe how difficult it is for me to get a credit card.

Then a mail was sent to me by DBS asking me to send a Tax Notice from IRAS, this is the equivalent of the BIR's Income Tax Return. 

I mailed the letter together with the documents that they requested.  The mailing is free of charge by the way.

After a week, I checked my email at the POSB online banking and still can see the sparkling rejection notice.  But I was surprised that a new mail came and this time, it's thick.

I thought that it's just a thick rejection letter, until I opened it.  The letter comes with brochures and some promotional stuff.  There is another folded paper and a card was stuck on it.

"IT"S A CREDIT CARD!!!!"

I just got a new credit card from DBS and so I immediately activated it at my POSB online banking.

Advantages of Having a Credit Card with DBS in Singapore
DBS/POSB is one of the biggest bank in Singapore and there are many of their ATM machines scattered around Singapore.

POSB has an online banking feature where I can pay someone with a POSB account at an instant.  This is what I use when paying my rental, paying someone that I owe, season parking, taxes, etc... too many to mention. 

This is also convenient for those who have DBS credit cards because the billing can be viewed online and can be paid directly from the POSB online banking.  I LOVE DBS!!!

Other Posts:
How Heavy is the Rain in Singapore
How to Find the Hawker Locations in Singapore
Discover the 2013 World's Best Airport
How to Save For Your Food and Drinks In-Flight to Singapore

Saturday, October 19, 2013

How to Continue the SSS Contribution for OFW in Singapore?

Back when I was working in the Philippines, a portion of my salary is deducted from my paycheck every month.   This portion is for my Social Security System (SSS) contribution as what it's known by every worker. 

This is the standard procedure for all employers aside from deducting us for the PhilHealth and Pagibig Funds.

What is the purpose of SSS in Philippines?
SSS is a social insurance program that was designed by the Philippine government on 1957 to provide a retirement and health benefits to the Filipino private sector employees who are enrolled in the system.  The membership is mandatory and the employer also pays part of the contribution.

A member of the program can avail a loan to SSS as a salary or calamity loan with low interest rates.

For more information, you can go to this link...Philippine SSS.

What about SSS for OFWs in Singapore?
My SSS contribution ceased when I started working here in Singapore.  I wasn't aware about it until my flatmate told me that I can still continue my contribution as an Overseas Foreign Worker (OFW).

Aside from the health and loan benefits, what I like most from SSS is its retirement benefit program.  This will be helpful for me if ever I go back to the Philippines and stay there for good.  As I reach the retirement age, SSS will provide me these benefits and soon be independent from my children at that time.

The pension is quite small but it can be of great help for an oldie like me.  This will provide me money to buy my basic needs and a bit help for my medicines.

As an OFW, still strong to do the tough jobs and gains salary in return, is a great opportunity to plan for the future.  We all know that we are now in the Active Income state and should be building our Passive Income as soon as possible before we are soon be incapable of doing these tough jobs.

OFW's SSS Payments can be continued as a Voluntary Member and can choose an affordable  monthly contribution.  Just remember that the more amount you pay your SSS now will have a great impact on your Retirement Pension amount. 

The maximum voluntary amount that an OFW can contribute is at P1,760 (more or less S$50.00).  See the table below:
Source: http://www.slideshare.net/ssswebmaster/the-new-sss-contribution-schedule

Where and How to Continue the SSS Payments?
In Singapore,  SSS is located at the Philippine Embassy  and at the Lucky Plaza in Orchard Road. 

At the Philippine Embassy
You need to fill up your details in the SSS form OW-1 and submit it at (Window 2) for processing and verification.  You will be guided throughout the process.

At the Lucky Plaza
At the Lucky Plaza, it's in the same level and a few stores away from the Philippine National Bank (PNB).

You will be asked to complete the same form for OW-1 and will be guided throughout the process.  Prepare the necessary documents as listed below:

a. Photocopies of Identification Card (IC) and Passport
b. Original copies of your IC and Passport
c. Your SSS number or ID

You can download the form here...

The next payments can be done in Remittance centers that are also located at the Lucky Plaza.  For me, I'm paying at the Metrobank level 3 at Lucky Plaza.

Plan your future and be independent as you reach your retirement age.

Other Related Posts:
Importance of OEC: Frequently Asked Questions
Lucky Plaza
SSS Benefits for Everyone Including Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in Singapore

Saturday, August 31, 2013

How to Save For Your Food and Drinks In-Flight to Singapore

A bottle of water is SGD2.00 inside the aircraft and a meal is around SGD12.00 for a kaldereta or chicken adobo.

For some people, these prices are still affordable, especially to those Overseas Foreign Worker or business traveller.  How about the tourist and even the supposedly tourist that are looking for jobs in Singapore? 

I know how it feels like having the "just exact" cash on hand, budgeting is difficult.

I can teach you how to save few bucks,  starting at your first journey in Singapore. This is for practical people only.  We will start at the Philippine airport... 

Bring Your Food
Before you go to the airport, cook your own food that are dry, like fried liempo, chicken, and fried fish.  Do not bring food that has a strong smell like bagoong, please...

Pack it in a sealed plastic container such as Tupperware or Lock and Lock.  But, if you don't have these containers, don't buy one for the sake of this trip, just buy the cheap plastic containers.

You can bring your packed food and enjoy it during your flight.

How to Bring Water Inside the Aircraft
I know, we are not allowed to bring liquids inside the aircraft if the liquid was bought outside the airport.

For your information, you can buy drinks inside the airport and can bring it aboard the aircraft.  These liquids are available at the stores located after the immigration security checkpoints. But, the price of these drinks are more expensive.

So, the best way to have a cheap water inside the aircraft is to bring an empty water container or empty plastic bottle.  Once you passed the security checks at the immigration, look for the drinking fountain/station.  Some of it can be found outside the toilet.

Refill your water container and now you can bring it aboard the aircraft.  Even while on flight, you can ask the steward to refill your empty bottle.  They are friendly enough to refill it for you.

This is even applicable when in Changi Airport Singapore. You can see a lot of drinking fountain/station here and are always located outside the toilet.

Other Related Posts:
Sleeping at Changi Airport
Singapore View on Video
Peach Strawberry Dessert in Singapore

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Business Opportunity in Singapore

To be honest, I want to go back to my country and be there for the rest of my life.  Enjoying every moment of it with my kids and my wife. 

Everyday is always a lonely day for me.  Even though I am having a great time roaming around at each corner of Singapore, there are still something missing.  They are there in Philippines and waiting for me, but I don't know when to achieve that moment?

Situations of an Overseas Foreign Worker in Singapore
Yup, I agree that the salary here in Singapore is nothing compared when in Philippines.  If only you compare the salary of the same occupation, apple to apple, no doubt that it's doubled or even tripled here.

Yes, I know that we have high salaries now than before, but it seems it's still not enough.  Then I asked some of my friends on how they feel about their salary, "Kulang pa rin pre! (It's still not enough bro!)".  

What happened and where are the salaries go?  The answer is to their love ones back in Philippines and specially to Steve Jobs company Apple or to Mr. Samsung.  People are having more money and can now afford to buy iPhones and smartphones.

So, what do they mean by "salary's not enough"?

What I Realized
Now, I realized that even if the salary goes high, we still are not contented of what we have right now.  This means that you and I have to do something about it.

As of now, I am planning to have a business in Philippines, but it still remained as a draft.  I planned to build my own business, even considering to have a sari-sari store, but found out that it can cost me around P30,000. 

Taking it to consideration, the building of the small store and filling it up with grocery items is really costly for a Return Of Investment (ROI) that could be two years or never (CLOSED).

A perfect opportunity knocked few days ago and I was lucky and found this new business platform that would be a great help for me and my career.   A very potential business that can be huge in a short span of time.  It can also build me a team that can also help me to grow my business.

Training and self-development is also conducted by the pioneers of this platform.

Business Platform Opportunity in Singapore
An entrepreneur is always an entrepreneur.  This attitude will never change, it can rest for a while but comes back naturally in YOU!

If you're interested in just listening or viewing something like an opportunity, which can help you long term, and just spend an hour by studying it, why not? 

You don't need to pay for the viewing, just listen and see how you build your business, it's that easy.

If you're really a business open-minded person, you'll always listen, look and if it's a good opportunity, you'll give it a GO!

Email me at benalagnam@yahoo.com if you're open for opportunities and is living a life in Singapore.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Airline Booking at the Lowest Price in Singapore

Once a year, an OFW, like me, need to go back home to Philippines to visit their love ones.  As for me, I travel to Philippines 5 to 6 trips per year.  Looking at my son and wife's faces in Skype is not enough.

So, advance booking is what I do to get the cheapest price as possible.  But, the need to monitor each Friday or Tuesdays is what I found difficult.  I also hated to have my email subscribed to the airline website.  If these Airlines will send me an email each, there will be five emails all at once. 


What I Found the Cheapest Way?
I also have been traveling quite sometime in some parts of South East Asia including China. Booking is sometimes a difficult task since I have to find the best and cheapest price of the air ticket.

I was lucky because recently, I just found out that I can book a ticket, it may be by Philippine Airlines, Tiger Airways, Malaysian Airlines,  Silk Air, and other airlines, in the lowest price possible.

This is not only for domestic or Asia flights but it is Worldwide.  How Cool!

The best thing here is that I can get the cheapest price even if my flight will be on the next week.  It's really a WOW thing!

I can't say anything better than this!

Where Can I Find this Cheapest Air Ticket!
If you are interested in this, please email me at benalagnam@yahoo.com

Saturday, January 28, 2012

How to Invest In HSBC Singapore?

I have few investments in Philippines and I say it is worth it.  Having no parents since young made me feel unsecured...always.  Learning through this experience opened up my mind to my future preparations.
I'll never know when the lightning strikes, so I need to invest for my future.

Investing now is painful in my pocket and sometimes takes me away from being, "japorms", spending great gadgets like Mcbook Air, Iphones, Beat by Dr. Dre, etc...Well, I guess life isn't that perfect. 

I don't care having no expensive gadgets at all. The most important thing is how to prepare myself in the next future. 

My life here in Singapore is not permanent.  I'm not sure when my work pass will be denied forever by the Ministry of Manpower or may not be granted with a Permanent Residence status. So, I need to save and save for the rainy days.

How did I learned about investing?
My sister is working in a bank so she has some ideas on how to save money through investments.  She opened up my eyes to this schemes and found it very useful.  I had my first insurance when I was in college and got my first Pension Plan as soon as I started working. Too young to think about it? I don't think so...

I was walking along the Jurong East MRT Station and met a lady from HSBC.  They have a HSBC booth right at the MRT Station, some kind of a promotion. She asked me if I want to invest in HSBC?  So, with no second thoughts, I said "Of course"!

What Type of Investment in Singapore?
I gave the HSBC agent 5 minutes to explain the scheme and turned out to be great. We arranged another meeting so she can explain it clearly.

We all know that HSBC is one of the best banks in Asia and a stable company.  But, I never knew that they are offering investments scheme.  What I was familiar of is their credit card business.  So, I was eager to learn more about it.

We had the second meeting and she explained to me the Life Manager Plus of HSBC.

Why did I Invest in HSBC in Singapore?
We all know that income from our salary is always unstable.  My greatest fear is how will I survive after 30 years?  Not only that...who will provide my needs when I'm disabled? What if I found out soon that I had cancer?

HSBC Life Manager Plus is an investment that will grow your money to an average of 9% per annum.   The minimum investment amount is S$1,800 per year and its a long term investment. That means, you will only realize the full potential of your investment after years of investing.  The good thing here is it includes life insurance, critical illness and disability benefits. 

This will also allow me to invest in HSBC Singapore even if I am a foreigner, it's a world wide investment.  I can continue investing even if I am not staying in Singapore.  When time comes, I or my family can receive the benefits even if we're in the Philippines.

What's the Process of Investing in HSBC in Singapore?
The agent and I met again for the third time.  This time, it's in the Starbucks,  I signed up for the Life Manager Plus of HSBC.  

A lot of documents were signed during that time and we proceed to the ATM paying station to pay my premium at HSBC.  I keyed in my bank details and the payment was fast.  She got the receipt from the ATM and told me that HSBC will review my application and will send all the approved documents to my home address directly.

After 3 weeks, my policy arrived at our doorstep and was direct from HSBC.  All the photocopies  of my documents that I had signed was there with all the list of computations for the benefits.

I slept during that night with ease, knowing that I am insured even if something wrong will happen to me tomorrow.  Saying this is not pleasant, I know, but we have to face the reality.

Are You Interested in Investing at HSBC Too?
You can send me an email so that I can refer to you to my Authorized HSBC Investment Adviser.  My email address is benalagnam@yahoo.com

Invest your money while you're able.

Warning: Do not deal with unauthorized agents.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

How to Pay in Singapore

One thing I admire in Singapore is the method of payment when you are buying items, food, bills payments and even services .

This is where I can say that bringing cash/notes are optional in a case to case basis.  As what I have experienced when purchasing something, Hawkers are the only places where I pay cash.

Paying Taxi Cab
Back in the Philippines, some taxi driver's don't want to use the taxi meters for the hundreds of reasons they're complaining about.  I have to pay in CASH and even ask you for additional payment if you were stuck in traffic.

This is not what you'll experience in Singapore.  Taxi cabs in Singapore are equipped with credit and debit card readers where you can just swipe your card for your payment.  For me, I used my Debit card from POSB bank to pay for my fare.   These cards are handy and safer than cash.  But, of course, you can also pay cash.

HDB Season Parking Payments
I have to pay HDB for my Season Parking every month.  Payments can be done in the HDB payment centers or the Singapore Posts by cash or Debit/Credit cards.

The most convenient way for me is to pay online.  Few clicks on the mouse, as long as I have my POSB Bank account and online passwords, will be so easy for me.

Buying Groceries
Having plenty of cash makes your pocket or wallet bulky.  Although it's safer in Singapore when talking about robbery, it is more convenient for me not to bring a lot of cash. This is what I do when buying my groceries in Fairprice or even buying Parking Coupons in the 7-eleven stores.

Just a swipe of my POSB Debit Card will do the rest.  I just key in my PIN number and everything are payed.  But, of course, my card should have money in it because it's a Debit card not a Credit.

Airline Ticket Payment
I think this payment system is already been familiar to everyone. But, for the sake of information, I'll include this for you.

When I purchase airline tickets for my way back home to Philippines, I use my Citibank Credit card (Philippine account).  This is easy, but I have to pay the amount in Peso, so Citibank will convert the Singapore Dollar billing to Philippine Peso with a higher currency rate of around P3.00 per S$1.00 (estimate).

This is the most convenient way of paying, but if I'm not careful enough, it will blow my eyes as soon as I see my billing.

Topping Up my EZ-link card
GTM (General Ticketing Machines) is used to top up the EZ-link card aside from the ticketing booth.  This is convenient since you can pay cash just by inserting it to the cash slots.

One way and the easiest is to pay by NETS.  My POSB card is linked through NETS, so all I have to do is to insert my card to the slot and key in the PIN and that's all it takes.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Calling Philippines from Singapore (The Cheapest Way)

My family calls me everyday from Philippines.  I really missed them so much that a minute is not enough hearing my son says "Hello Daddy!".  A three-minute call is the average time we spent over the phone, but sometimes it's longer when some intriguing "tsismis" gossips are spreading over the neighborhood.

Then the billing of my postpaid line (SMART) had finally arrived for the month of April.  So I asked my wife how much was the cost of my Singapore loneliness.  My hand was gripping tight at the sides of my chair hearing the values in 3..thou...sand...plus!!! Whattt???

My goodness, I learned that a minute call costs P15.00 (S$0.50) and a SMS Text Messaging is P9.00(S$0.30) from Philippines to Singapore.  This is bad, totally bad for my budget.

Now, I bought a SIM card which is SMART Pinoy. It costs S$20.00 at the convenience store and I bought a top up load card worth S$15.

Where to buy the Smart Pinoy SIM?
You can buy the Smart Pinoy SIM and Top Up Cards at 7-eleven, Cheers and other stores.  Some outlets don't sell these especially when the location has less Pinoys.  To make it sure, the best places are inside the malls and markets.

How To Top Up Your Smart Pinoy Card?
So, you have the SIM and it comes with few minutes of calls and SMS.  What if the load has already depleted? You now need to buy the Top Up Card at the locations stated above.  Then simply, scratch off the protective ink and dial:

55551 + 12-digit PIN ---> CALL

Very simple, right?  So, if you forget these instructions, no worries, it is printed at the back of each card. *smile*

What is the Call Rate?
This is quite tricky, I have been lured and enchanted by these rates.  I will only tell you the cheapest and the 2nd to the cheapest.  What do you want to know first?

OK, I'll tell you the 2nd one...when you dial these numbers:

021+Country Code+Area Code +Tel. No.
Example: 021 63 2 811 22 33 (for landline)
                 021 63 918 911 22 33 (for mobile)

The rate is at S$0.65 (P22.00) per minute.

The best way to save few cents and your peso is to dial these numbers...

1561+Country Code+Area Code +Tel. No.
Example: 1561 63 2 811 22 33 (for landline)
                 1561 63 918 911 22 33 (for mobile)

The rate is at S$0.34 at the first 2 minutes and S$0.16 thereafter.  This is a great savings for you and your family.

When your family sends an SMS to your Smart Pinoy, it costs only P1.00 and your SMS to them is S$0.05.

Of course, you can also do the chatting by Skype, Yahoo Messenger or Facebook.  This is only an option for you to consider.

Other Related Post:
Using Smart PINOY DOS in Singapore

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Haircut in Singapore: How Much?

Just got my hair done today and now feeling 2-kgs. lighter...

I usually get my hair cut in the Philippines, this is when I visit home for my vacation.  The haircut costs me just S$1.10 (P40.00) in a barber shop that are along the streets and S$4.00 (P120.00) for those inside the malls.

But this time, I can't wait for my next vacation and I felt heavy with my hair.  So, I decided to go to the barber shop when I passed by along Boonlay market.

I parked my car near the barber shop and placed the parking coupon on the dashboard.  I only placed 30minutes (S$0.50) 'cause I thought that it will not be that long.

I arrived at the barber shop, just an ordinary shop like street shops in the Philippines.  I know from afar that it is a barber shop because of the barber tube sign, which has a swirling blue and red stripes.  Then a banner was posted on their glass door stated as:

Cost of Haircut 
Girl - S$10.00 (P340)
Boy - S$5.00 (P170)
W/wash - S$3.00 (P100)

Wow! This is cheaper than I thought because saloons or barber shops at the Singapore malls will cost S$10 (P340) for boys and S$16 (P520) for girls and might go up depending on the length of the girl's hair.

So, I went in and the barber is a girl, I don't know how to call her...Barbera?  It's like a warrior, hehe! She took her weapon (scissors) and asked me about the style.

I don't have any idea what to call the George Clooney or the Oasis haircut, but I just pointed some pictures of the men at their wall.

Then she told me that it is called a "Spike" with a "Slope". Oh, I see...! Then I told her to start the cutting...She did in just 15 minutes and after that, she gave me this....
Wet wipes after the hair cut
Lesson learned: I better have my haircut done in the Philippines.  I found it expensive here, my goodness!!!

Other Posts:
The Right Way to Wash Your Hands
Washing My Clothes
Power Outlets in Singapore

Saturday, February 5, 2011

No Chance to Work Abroad

What if my EPEC had not been approved?  

From the very first time that my EPEC was rejected, my whole world seemed dark and I can't believe what had just happened.  I felt like I'm a useless being, don't know what to do and my options are narrowing.  Staring at the MOM rejection email is so painful.  I told my wife that this I think is my destiny.  Maybe I had been disapproved because I have something to share here in our country, Singapore is not the place where I should be...

This is what I was reminiscing few days ago.  What my life in the Philippines be like if my EPEC was not approved by Singapore?

The fact that I am that paranoid enough to leave my country, I still want to be with my family.  The reason for me to work in Singapore is to earn more money and experience.  What do I mean about MORE is that I was earning in the Philippines, but it's not enough.  My family is expanding, growing the need of financial and taking away my financial freedom.  This is not what I want for me and my family.

Working here is just temporary for me because I know that I'm still hanging on a thread.  I want to be a PR, (Permanent Resident) but still don't know if I will be approved.  What if I'm not...?

So just few hours ago, I started looking for something for my Option B.  This is an option for me if everything about my Singapore Life will not work out well.

I stumbled upon this e-book of Kenny Yap.  He is an entrepreneur who have been able to succeed through selling things and not working with employers.

What I will do is to follow these tips and might as well go back in my homeland and do business together with my family, where I could hug my kids and wife everyday. Showing them the love not in Yahoo Messenger, Skype or Facebook...but through the real hands of a Father and husband.

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