Personal Update : Financial Bloggers are human beings too !


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This might seem counter-intuitive to some readers but financial bloggers are human beings as well. 

Following LP’s leadership in sharing his thoughts about buying a car, I will also highlight my various sins that I indulged in this week.

We’re looking at a fairly serious market bear right now and if you follow my blog, you should know that my pay-check from my workshop would be sitting on some losses because I committed into a leveraged account just before the massive drop today. 
Shrugging the losses aside, I still had extra money beyond my regular dividend pay-checks so today I’m just going to describe what I did with my money after I gave my wife some shopping money. 
a) Got some toys for my kids.

I bought some toys for my son. But a very sharp observer will actually notice that these are actually toys for myself. Kids these days have very little affinity for Transformers unlike my generation. I also have a very low opinion of Peppa Pig and PJ Masks preferring more violent Saturday cartoons for boys. So I sneakily bought the latest Cyberverse Optimus Prime and Megatron for $120. My son does play with his toys but I think he is not old enough to figure out how to transform them yet.
Not in the picture is the boardgame Little Scythe I bought for my daughter. I can’t really sustain a boardgame hobby anymore as I lack the time to play with my friends. These days I buy boardgames to teach Clio strategic thinking and Little Scythe is a kid’s adaption of award winning war game Scythe. Hopefully we can pick the up up by watching Youtube videos. I also hope to get the neighbour’s kid involved because she seems like a pretty smart kid who is on her way to GEP. I want my daughter to pick up gaming skills from her ( because she definitely does not want to consciously pick up gaming skills from me ! ).
b) Books for myself. 

I have probably gone overboard with my book binge because Amazon has this new system that credits dollars into my account that can be used to buy more Kindle books. What is amazing about this system for Kindle users is that using the credits to buy Kindle books gives even more credits so I I easily bought 10+ books that I would not have bought using my own money.
I just want to say that Thomas Stanley’s daughter has updated her dad’s Millionaire Next Door and you will be seeing a delude of articles that channel this book over the next few weeks. This is compulsory reading if you are a serious financial blog reader.

c) Games for myself.
You also notice on this picture that I went looking for second hand games and managed to pick up a 1st Edition D&D Manual of the Planes from Bookpoint at Bras Basah. RPG books are a rare drop in a second hand bookstore and it is also helpful that I conduct my talk previews in the same building. 
This afternoon I will be going off to pick up my Legend of the 5 Rings RPG.
d) Travelled to Johor for a one  day trip.
As I am still fairly disciplined when it comes to spending money in Singapore, I try to go to Malaysia to let my hair down, so yesterday I went on a one-day trip to Johor. 
To enjoy a Johor trip, the trick is to bribe the locals to bring you around in a vehicle while offering free meals to them. I was brought to many awesome but inaccessible places to eat by my cousins. One of the meals I had was this Nasi Lemak along Jalan Mahmoodiah what is located next to a cemetery. 
I had five meals with my cousins yesterday and the total damage was less than SGD $100. My cousin had a facial in a hotel that cost more than what I spent the entire day (But she’s High SES) !
But I had an epiphany yesterday during my trip. I think I may have figured out what the difference between a being a Johorian and a Singaporean and why is it so therapeutic to just go to Johor and spend time there with the locals.
My cousin introduced his gamer friend to me and we hung out for half a day. I really like his pals because he is an English College alumni so he’s connected to the equivalent of an RI-ACS network in Singapore. Another words, they watch the same movies and trade the same cultural capital as I do.
What I am impressed about Johorians is this –  his friend never asked me what I do for a living. 
You guys know that this is a sensitive question for me because of my weird career choices as of late and I have yet to come up with a proper 5 minute elevator pitch about myself. 
This is very rare in Singapore and it takes perhaps a few minutes before I had to awkwardly explain that I am both a lawyer and an engineer but currently conducts financial workshops so I work 3 hours once every 2 weeks. Currently I come off sounding very scammy to someone not in the financial blogosphere, almost as sleazy as an MLM practitioner. Even worse, Malaysians working in Singapore actually seem even more eager to size you up so that they can peg you in this invisible hierarchy that permeates Singapore society. 
What does this say about our society versus our neighbours next door ?
For now, I contend with my duplicitous life. In Singapore, I remained disciplined and I pinch every penny.  Once I get to convert $1 SGD to $3 MYR, that decadent side of me is finally free. 
I can bring my relatives to eat 5 meals a day !
 

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