Friday, March 7, 2008

Election 2008

Tomorrow, 8 March 2008, is our Election Day. Thousands are returning home to vote...

To those of you out there, err... those eligible to vote (registered), please exercise your right wisely...

And also, please have a safe journey!!! The nation needs you BUT your family need you most...

Happy voting...

Spend Wisely to Stretch Your Ringgit

Dear friends,
I found this article last month but I guess it's never too late to post it here today.
I hope this help in ur daily spending...


WE have been discussing saving and controlling our spending the past few weeks. Since we're still in a festive mood and having to spend is inevitable in times like these, let's learn how to spend wisely instead.
Make a list

Generally, there are two kinds of spenders -- the Impulsive Spender and the Decisive Spender.

An impulsive spender is a person who spends under the influence of his/her emotions while a decisive spender would have thought through carefully on what he/she would need to spend on.

All of us have these two traits in us but one would normally be more dominant than the other. To spend wisely, we'll need to bring up the decisive spender in us and one of the ways is to simply make a list.
How many of us have a shopping list whenever we go shopping, either for our weekly groceries or once-a-year festival shopping?

From pure observation, we don't find many people holding on to that little piece of paper while pushing their cart. They must either have very good memory or they just buy whatever catches their eyes and moves their hearts.

We're not saying that you should be putting on the spending brakes most of the time, but spend responsibly and wisely.

The next time you intend to head towards the hypermarket or shopping centres, sit down with your family members and pass the list round the table. Ask each one to list down what they intend to buy and the one who's forking out the money would have the last say. Use your judgment on what to approve and what to disallow but bear in mind that children (adults, too) need a little treat once in a while.

Check prices

After making the list, check your Price Book (remember we talked about this some weeks back) for the items listed therein.

Write the price down by the side of each item and the place offering it and finally, tally the total amount. Compare it with your monthly/weekly shopping budget to see if it is within your budget.

If it is, let's get going. If not, you'll just have to prioritise your needs and somebody will not be too happy as his/her items may have to be struck off.

If you still don't have a Price Book, perhaps it's time you started compiling one. As we all know, inflation is on the rise and prices of goods and services will only go up.

Develop your own Price Book so that you will be able to know where to get the best deals for all those essential items that you buy regularly.

We're not suggesting that you go to Hypermarket A to get a tube of toothpaste and hop over to Supermarket B to get your fresh vegetables. Look at your pre-planned shopping list, check the prices and see where you can get most of the items at the best prices.

Time your purchase

Plan your shopping trips in advance so that you don't have to drive down to the supermarket just to buy a tray of eggs and later, to the hypermarket to get a pack of toilet rolls. Our cars don't run on air.

The whole point is to optimise the use of our resources, including our precious time and try not to waste anything, if possible.

In addition, try not to shop during festive periods unless the bargain is too good to be missed.

Normally, prices of essential items would escalate due to the surge in demand and over-profiteering from unscrupulous traders.

Shop and store such essential items in advance wherever possible so that we will not be caught in the last minute shopping frenzy.

Buy in bulk

Nope, we're not suggesting that you open a retail shop yourself by buying in bulk but for your personal consumption.

There are two distinct advantages of buying in bulk. Firstly, the prices of such goods should be relatively cheaper as there is what economist would call "economies of scale."

Secondly, by buying in bulk, your bargaining power should be greater and thus, you may be able to bargain for a better price.

We understand that not all things can be bought in such a way (can you imagine buying cars in bulk?) but generally, toiletries and other non-perishable items are ideal.

There may be few places which sell in bulk too and sometimes, you'd have to trace the source, that is, go direct to the wholesalers.

It may be a good idea to ask your friends and neighbours to pool your purchases together. If that's too cumbersome, then you'll just have to wait for warehouse or stock clearance sales, but watch out for the expiry date on the items.

You may also want to start shopping for your Christmas or birthday gifts during these warehouse sales. It's really never too early to stock-up.

In conclusion, try as far as possible to inculcate the habit of shopping with a list and stick to it.

Develop your very own Price Book so that you may check and compare prices before you purchase anything.

When you shop and how you shop will also determine how far you can stretch your ringgit.