Saturday 16 December 2017

Now this is Real Savings!

This is not about being miserly, or taking frugality to the extreme.

Its about whether you are conscious of the various Jedi mind tricks others are using on you.

If you interested to learn more, free go to the library and borrow a book on Consumer Behaviour.

Don't say I "bo jio'!

By the way, it also works if you want to learn what buttons to press to get others to work quicker, faster, and cheaper for you!

And yes, can help in your investing and trading too!  This one you have to figure it out yourself how.

Ar ber then?


  1. Hi SMOL,

    Hahaha, reminds me of yesterday when there is a speaker talking about maximizing savings...but I only hear about spending spending and more spending... Oh, then I realise - it's spend more to save more! HAHA

    1. LP,

      You're a Director. You got immunity spell.

      I'm not sure if I keep this up, whether you guys will still invite me next time!

      I really thought its supposed to be a fun gathering where everyone gets 2-3 minutes of air-time. Turned out there were quite a lot of lengthy "self promotion" last night...

      The best entertainment highlight for me was:

      Who the hell is Jade? (I thought I knew all the ladies)

      She's my wife.

      That was hilarious!

      Now I appreciate better why she chose you ;)

      You didn't held her back.

      A weaker man will fear the "consequences"; not for her, but on himself ;)

  2. Aiyo, why I never learn this in my marketing class! K I go and borrow the book now haha.

    1. Rainbow girl,

      That means you didn't major in Marketing.

      Consumer Behaviour usually is year 2 module ;)

      When I was learning about Group Dynamics, I found what I've learnt in Consumer Behaviour can apply too!

      People reading is much easier once you discover a person's Motivation ;)

    2. Hi SMOL,

      "People reading is much easier once you discover a person's Motivation"

      And also randomly trying to press buttons to know what kind of person the person is.

      Quite funny. My easily-triggered existing colleagues try to press my buttons but no effect one. LOL

      Contentment, intrapersonal awareness, and self-knowledge of one's own weaknesses and biases work as a shield ;)

      (Eh? If I tio poke by you but quite chill about it, I know I level up liao)

    3. Unintelligent Nerd,

      How we RESPOND to pokes, criticisms, disparaging remarks, or even something as bland as a differing opinion - can reveal more about who we really are ;)

      That's why during job interviews or promotion reviews, we try to get the candidates "triggered" to test how they respond to stressful or unscripted situations. Wink.

      Recently one of our newer blogger friend got quite "triggered" just because of ONE commenter. I was taking out my pop-corn and enjoying the mini-drama ;)

      It was fun trying to decipher whether the blogger is "superficial" in his convictions (hence so emo), or whether he is in fact quite "deep" (he knows how to manipulate his readership).

      You're the sharpest person who understood my You are not the door mat post ;)

    4. Aiy yes, I didn't major in marketing. It was diploma only that's why....
      Gotta learn more from qian bei like you!

    5. Rainbow girl,

      Treat what I say (or anyone for that matter) as mere "catalysts" to jolt or stimulate your own thinking and learning.

      Agree or don't agree does not matter.

      Its what you really think that matters! You are your own shepherd!

      You're still so young.

      Youth, don't forget your strength is you don't know what cannot be done!

      Don't lose that youthful sense of curiosity and adventure! Ever!

      Your forever young 大叔 ;)

    6. Hi SMOL,

      Yah I saw the drama. NTs and NFs think differently. NTs who aren't "aware" that their thought experiments are not welcomed by society will kena until jialat jialat.

      Anyway another of our friend recently poked me because I computed something wrongly. It stinged a bit.

      If my colleagues were to poke me, no effect one.

      It depends on how the pokee view the poker.

      One got substance, and pointed out my inadequacies. On the other hand, the others are da jing xiao guai, I bo hiu because it really is sio dai ji.

    7. Unintelligent Nerd,

      Ah! The "precision" in grammar, spelling, and calculation vigilantes!


      Of course cannot EVERYONE poke we no feeling! That's the height of hubris! How to grow like that?

      There are people that matter, and there are those that don't.

      Just like not sweating the small stuffs, as long we keep our focus on things and people that matter, we are good :)

      Its important to surround ourselves with people that matter who are not afraid to kick us if we veered off course or fell asleep on the wheel ;)

      Those who go "yalor yalor" all the time are probably 猪朋狗友...

      Keep a few to make us feel good. Ego mah. But not too many ;)


  3. Spend more first and save by cash back to offset. Okay. Right?

    1. CW,

      I believe you can be a good populist politician!

      Look voters! I'll spent $97 of our reserves to gain $3 worth of GDP growth! Am I genius!?

      If this works so well, how about let's get into debt and spend our way to greater prosperity!?

      CW for parliament!

      Let's get closer to home.

      What would you say if your children came home and tell you they just helped you "saved" $300 through cashback?

      Would you encourage them to spend more?

      Or would you take back their supplement credit cards?


    2. Hope that you are not caught shaking your head at the meeting when the save more camp is preaching. Both of us are in the earn more camp.

    3. CW,

      I need your help to "discipline" this "no big no small" lady blogger!

      Next year I must ask her out for coffee with you and me. I hope she will bring her husband too so I can complain to him:

      She is "nuts"! (Get the hint?)

      She is such a distraction!

      Lucky we both we sitting at the back. She whole night kept asking me "wu liao" questions. I nearly wanted to strangle her!

      I am so embarassed. I didn't paid much attention to the talks...


      P.S. And when the butterfly and wife joined us for small talk, the 3 of them were talking about breast milk? Ewww!

      I'm still a single man. I only care about the "packaging"... Too much details!

  4. We are never going to be rich enough to buy back any of our past, but we certainly are not so poor that we cannot change our future. Life is just like money, you are entitled to spend it in way you wish, but you only get to spend it once. Good financial sense is making full use of your own limited resource; a good life lived is ultimately one who spends each living moments wisely :)

    1. Hey thoughtinstrument,

      Welcome back! Mr Philosophy ;)

      Extreme beahviours at both ends of the spectrum are equally detrimental to the soul.

      At one end, we have the misers who hide behind the banners of frugality and minimalism. Yeah, right...

      Then there are those with holes in their hearts who spend to gain acceptance from their peers. To fit in. To be just like everyone else. If others are doing it, how can I be left behind? What card you have? I must have also!

      All of sudden, I am thinking of the Parable of the Talents after reading your comment.

      I wonder if I hid my one talent in the ground, will that be complimented as frugality?

      And if I voluntarily entrust my 10 talents into CPF, will that be considered as good "stewardship"?


  5. Of course right.

    Credit card give U rebates, why use cash?

    Cashless society?

    1. Golden Rabbit,

      I am bemused when people spend so much time on ikan bilis or kacang putih concerns...

      I mean its just 1.5% to 3%. OK, sometimes can be as high as 8%.

      So happy! So much "savings"! You get lulled to pay full retail prices.

      Then you found out weeks later the item or service you recently bought is available with 50% discount...

      All this because they were distracted by the carrot others have placed in front of them?

      Street smart customers often "checkmate" us retailers by offering to pay in cash as they know how much % retailers are paying the credit card companies for each customer credit card transaction ;)

      Try telling those who chase miles and cashbacks that they can also get cashbacks using plain old cash?


  6. Who is the author of the book Consumer Behavior.

    1. Siew Mun,

      The authors are:

      Pipe pipers, puppet masters, shepherds, land owners, Jedis, Advertising and Promotions, Marketing, Public Relations professionals, politicians, religious gurus, and anyone who has the gift of shouting "Jump!" - and others will follow ;)

      In case you are serious and not trolling me, just Goggle:

      Consumer Behaviour books.


  7. Hi smol

    Is it that bad using cashback credit card??

    1. sy sy,

      I never say cashback or frequent flyer miles cards bad.

      I have both ;)

      I am just bemused with the "obsession" with cashback and miles.

      Must let people "educate" you which cards are good for you?

      So lazy and ignorant until like that!?

      Retailers have to pay these credit card companies when customers pay by credit cards.

      Goat hairs grow on goat's body.


      Only bei kambings who never owned a business or worked in sales and marketing will think like that ;)

    2. Hi smol

      Yalor... I am the 1 that lazy go find out about the cards actually :p

    3. sy sy,

      Lazy is good!

      Provided one is doing it from the perspective of land owner PAYING shepherds to do your bidding.

      Why work ourselves when we can leverage on other people's talents or time?

      But if one is frequently getting "free" advice from shepherds, then its likely we are part of someone's flock or sales funnel.

      Which is perfectly fine if all we offer in return are wool and milk.

      Just be conscious these ever so helpful shepherds are not leading us to glue factories or abattoirs...

    4. Erh... Actually hor... I don't quite understand what u said lei... paiseh...
      I am lazy to really go find out what card to use... I am a bit out dated kind of person.
      Cos when my peers using credit cards that time, I am still using atm card & debit card only...
      1st is my salary low...
      2nd is I want to control my spending...
      Before I start using credit card, i can just ask my fren or colleage which card more suitable to me. Cos they already tested liao mah... hehehe

      I don't really chase cashback. Cos as I said in point 2, I don't want I out of control using my cards.
      So this cashback is like a "bonus", have or don't have like not much different. Have is better lah, but if any month it show less cashback low, I am still ok :)
      I still have standard spending must spent like insurance, gym member, ntuc... this don't have discount even I pay cash so I just use my card to pay lor...
      Btw, I really don't know if pay cash will get more discount... which shop give this discount?? Can share please... hehehe

      Paiseh... I think I posted salah... if u see repeat post. Please help me delete. Thanks :)

    5. sy sy,

      Stick with debit cards if you don't want to lose control like quite a few Singapoeans who raked up to $100K of credit card debts before they seek help from Credit Councelling.

      As for the cash "rebate" option, forget about it.

      We only use it for big ticket items. Don't do it for items that cost a few hundred dollars. Nasty cashiers and salespeople may "suan" and laugh at you...

      My bad for bring it up.


    6. Why apologies?? What happen arh???
      I now still blur blur...
      I still can control myself lah, not to worry :)
      Hey... U haven't tell me which shop give discount for cash payment lei... got lobang can share please??? Thanks ya :)

    7. sy sy,

      I can share with you what is a mango; I can't share with you what a mango tastes like...

      The cashback option from paying in cash is meant for those who got inside knowledge how retail and the hospitality industry work by working inside...

      I am sorry; I am useless.

      At this watering hole, I just point to the door, the rest everyone has to figure out for themselves...

    8. No need so serious to say "sorry"
      Thanks for sharing :)


    9. sy sy,

      I am relieved.

      Thanks for understanding :)

  8. If one needs it, buy. If one doesn't need it, don't buy. Whether discount or no discount, got cashback or not is secondary. So you need it, bought it at full retail price, and two weeks later saw it on 50% discount. So? It don't matter anymore as you're no longer in the market looking for this item. The price is no longer relevant to you.

    1. krz md,

      During my Howard Storage World weekend gig at Plaza Sing, I've encountered 2 customers who never once looked at the prize tags or enquire about the total final bill. Just point this, this, this, and that. And then gave us their platinum cards.

      One is Bruneian and the other is India Indian.

      I'm not so rich that I don't have to look at the price tag ;)

      Yes, I'll feel like a idiot when I discover the item I bought is sold for 50% less two weeks later...

      I work in retail remember? What's my excuse?

      Look, even if we never worked in retail, we also know the months of the year our favourite brands will have Sales in Singapore ;)

      But you are right. Its not always about the money or price tag. I did write about TIPPING for great service ;)

      Having said that, even when the price don't matter, buying something and seeing a new model launched 2 weeks later meant you're a "newbie" or "wannebe" in the eyes of the real aficionados ;)

      Those who are into the latest trends will know which month of the year new collections will be launched. That's how we tell "insiders" and "outsiders" apart...

      That's why we find upmarket promoters sniggering behind the backs of the nouveau riche 暴发户...

    2. Newbie, wannabe, insider, outsider. Just labels. Why let what other people think decide our behavior, unless it harms others.
      I've tuned myself out from sales season/calendar. It implies bargain hunting and set ourselves up to look for bargain.. whether you need it or not.

    3. krz md,

      Its a pleasure bantering with you.

      Your level of cultivation seems to be much higher than mine ;)


      I've only reached the level of not sweating the small stuffs ;)

  9. I am of view that money in the pocket is considered as the real saving.

    One should not be too bothered with the saving amount. As long as the the dividend from the invested amount can cover the expense for a simple lifestyle on yearly basis, I am content.


    1. Ben,

      Ang mohs also have their saying as in "A bird in hand is worth two in the bush" ;)

      The trick in cashback and miles is to let the consumer feel less guilty about spending.

      Smoke and mirror misdirection from spending to "saving" ;)

      Its the same trick to let women buy more cosmetics -"You're worth it!"

      How to argue with that?


  10. temperament,

    "It all depends" is a very safe, non-committal, sitting on the fence answer.

    Got say like never say...

    Rolex watch $20K.

    Let's pretend price cannot negotiate.

    Street smart customers and those of us who worked in retail and hospitality (restaurants/hotels) know about this option to pay in cash/nets and have the retailer "rebate" us the commission they would have otherwise paid to the credit card companies anyway ;)

    Immediate some more!

    We only do it for big ticket items. Of course we don't do it for a few hundred dollars items.

    So "malu". Who wants to "sia suey" in front of 同行?

  11. temperament,

    That's why in our consumer led economy, the whole game is to "entice" spending from you and me - if not where do fees, commissions, and profits come from?

    The trick is to spend on our own volition; not because of the carrots or sticks others are trying to influence us ever so subtlely ;)

    (Insurance snake oils like to use the sticks to strike fear in us. Don't buy you die!)

    Its never about being miserly. I keep misers at arms length. They are no fun. They don't buy me coffee :(


    I'm shameless!

  12. Hi Smol,

    It’s a consumerism society based on capital values, so all the pitching are fine. As u say it, just know what u want.

    I just been back from overseas. Visited one of the biggest worship place in Taiwan. I know I shouldn’t say all these, it’s bad but I felt very disturbed there.

    It’s fine to canvass for donations from worshippers, how else do temples develop? But I do think some are really overdoing it, and worse, the people actually believe those stuff?

    I mean, it’s ok if we want to part with money, it’s 捨得. U want to do good, just give. Happy can already.

    Even if price tag high, but if u believe getting that lantern or that holy water can do magic, I am sorry, the closer u are with the physical temple, the further u are away from truth.

    What happen to “度一切苦厄?

    U mean they have VIP priority system? Hello!

    Say come light a lantern, so that your son become clever... er.... best, bring out alll the greed in people, why never light for so and so ... aiyo!!

    There are so many exhibit halls, my wife just say, go this to take a look, and I saw the writings on the wall talking about the ills of “capitalism”, the workings of capitalism is its height here!!!

    Ok enough of my ranting. Jedi tricks don’t just happen in malls.

    1. Sillyinvesgtor,

      You too?

      That's why I don't like the one in Chinatown. Gold, gold, and "oppulance" everywhere. Still alive got own wax figure with the other dead sages? You self-appoint you equal to the masters of old?

      The Prosperity Gospel elements can be found in all religions.

      It all started innocently enough...

      Then wolves in sheep skins will hijack once they discover religion is so "profitable"!

      That's why its so refeshing when my Buddhism class teacher was poking the class, "You want to bargain with Buddha? Help me this and I will do this and this in return. Hello! You want to bribe Buddha with these offerings?"


      She's a breath of fresh air! She was encouraging the class to think critically for ourselves. But I guess most of the class prefer to be "shepherd"...

      1/3 into the 2nd year, she was abruptly "changed". I dropped out that time too ;)

      The replacement was reading off prepared powerpoints...

  13. Human to human is human relationship.

    Human to God is human to ?

    1. Golden Rabbit,

      Don't look at me!

      I'm agnostic to be polite in public; I'm an atheist in private ;)

  14. temperament,

    Hee, hee.

    That's because I know a lot of your questions are merely rhetorical ;)

    We are merely dancing on the dance floor!

    You move forward, I move back.

    I move forward, you move back.

    Cha, cha, cha!

  15. temperament,

    The "bribing of Buddha" examples can be liken to selling of indulgences...

    That's why our 5,000 years of Chinese wisdom says got money can even "persuade" ghosts to do our biddings!

    I wonder whether newbie Christians ever get confused?

    On one end we have St Francis of Assisi who celebrated and even vernerated poverty...

    On the opposite end, we have the Prosperity Gospels?

    And the rest in between.

    A bit like investing and trading right?

    That's why I like to poke fun that everything in life is a speculation!

  16. I practice:

    First seek to understand, then to be understood.

    I have 2 bibles:

    New Living Translation and Catholic Pastoral edition ;)

    I even attended services at the Orthodox Churches in Athens. So interesting to see how the Orthodox Christians view the Catholics through the lens of their chequered history...

    I do like the philosophical aspects of Buddhism. Its the closest I find to the spirit of Science where seeking the Truth and understanding who and what we are ;)

    That being said, there are some Buddhist schools that are more "faith" based.

    Hence I'm drawn to Zen. Zen is definitely not faith based! Have to use the grey matter between our ears!

    Buddhism is also more acceptance of new knowledge and facts. The Dalai Lama has said publicly where Buddhist texts "conflict" with Science, he'll go with Science ;)

    Buddhism is not about dogma.

    We are in agreement when it comes to "idol worshipping". Some Buddhists are treating Buddha as a "God"... I scatching my head...

    In a funny way, by not being an "official" Buddhist, I'm being more "Buddhist"? Or am I making it up as I go along?


    I am speculating there's no hell. If not I'm in deep shit!!!

    And this life in my one and only one. I don't believe in reincarnations. No luxury of second chances!

  17. temperament,

    Yup. Everything is a bet!

    Nothing more; nothing less.

    Will my marriage be blissful?

    Will my children turn out good?

    Is this company recruiting me good for my career?

    Will big daddy move the goal posts again?

    Will there be a regime change in Singapore?

    Good luck to those who plan 30 years into the future!

  18. temperamrnt,

    The Dalai Lama is not the only one ;)

    Pope Francis declares evolution and big bang are right

    Wow! "All of them"? You now using hyperbole... Don't like that leh.

    It's good that you added in the YMMV. If you "challenge", then its no longer a dialogue ;)

    I'm not a militant atheist. So relax lah!

    I'm of the view everyone can believe whatever they want, just as long they don't force others to be like them ;)

  19. Temperament,

    I think there are various studies that state that the great flood did happen and the Arc is really built.

    Historically, It roughly conincide with the period of dayu zhi shui...

  20. Hi Jared,

    How come I did not manage to say goodbye to you on that day ah? You left earlier than me?

    Anyway not just that, free gifts, 1-for-1, 90% discounts, I am playing with consumers behaviour right now... It's really fun!!! =P

    1. Jes,

      When it ended, I thanked Keith who invited me (I got manners), and left with 2 guys whom I suspect can't wait to leave too.

      I don't do the bye bye, kisses kisses to everyone thing. I'm a man-whore; not a social butterfly ;)


      I very embarrassed as we were a distraction to those sitting in front. You are like me; we can't talk softly. And you motor mouth... 我的神啊!

      Other than that, you are fun to hang out with. Next year I must invite you to meet CW. See if you dare to no big no small with him too! 我搬救兵!

      OK, now we cut to commercials:

      People! This young mother of one is very chio! Just had baby and still look like that? 犯规!

      If you curious about her "secret", order some snacks from here and you'll find out:


      No try; no know. Crash got sound one lah!

    2. Hi Jared,

      Yeah I admit I am more sociable, I have more manners I say goodbye to everyone hor!

      Wahaha, I have always been very talkative especially in classes that I am not interested in... Oops! And yeah, the no big no small applies to everyone, even teachers. There are no boundaries to me, not age and certainly not gender!

      Thank you very much, I don't think got anyone say I very chio before, jialat liao have to maintain to meet your expectations! Kisses to you for helping me to advertise too :)

    3. Jes,

      Anytime ;)

      No boundaries?

      OK, I'm putting money down "coffee, tea or me" is one of your teachers ;)

  21. Hi SMOL,

    It's Kyith, not Keith hor :)

    Must ask me along too :)

    1. LP,


      My monkey brain must be thinking of Keith Richards... And I still got the cheek to say got manners!? Spell people's name wrong somemore!

      Now you know why I like to give people nick names ;)

      If I ever forget you and your missus' names, I still can shout butterlfy and 小黄蓉 from across the room without batting an eyelid.


      Got it!

      Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

  22. temperament,

    You know my email.

    Whenever you are comfortable, we can meet over coffee and talk "male chicken" on sex, religion, and politics!

    Can even meet at your church if you prefer ;)

    If you interested, I can share with you my church hopping experiences in Europe!

  23. temperament,

    I can be a dangerous friend but a really good enemy ;)


  24. Hi smol,

    Savings refers to the monies in the shares and bank accounts as per my perspective. The rest is considered as glimmicks.


    1. Ben,

      Savings to me is where we don't expect captial losses in nomimal terms.

      Those assets that have a material risk to capital are called "investments" - or what I would prefer to call "speculation" ;)

      Calling something "investment" does not make it "safer"!


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