VALUE EXPERIENCES

As I recount life since I earned my own keep, it is evident that if there is anything I spent on, it is on travel. Real joy travel, not work travel of course. Experiences are much better than possessions at making me happier.

This year, because of W’s work committment and our wedding planning, we are staying put so I am looking around instead of looking overseas. Some weeks back, I found out that Trick Eye Museum,which I have always wanted to go, is in Singapore! I was a little hesitant about the near $23 entrance fee (10% discount if you buy online). Coincidentally, the Song of the Sea performance has been replaced by a new show – Wings of the Time and W is keen to watch. A local resident rate is $15. $38 in total; attractions are indeed pricey here.

And, luck has it that I stumbled upon this All Deals Asia deal today! Coupled with my Citibank Rewards Card discount, each set of tickets cost only $27 (a near 29% savings). Even without the Citibank Rewards Card, you can sign up for an account via my Invite Friend link here and get $5 credits There is a cap of credit that you can use for each deal e.g. $1 – $2 but it is still good money to be cherished.

Trick Eye

Post Update: Wings of the Time, despite a short 25 minutes show, was really worth watching. The featured image gives a good hint to the ending. Do go for it!

MODERN GOLD PIECES

Basically, I am not big about writing on wedding stuff. While I respect the various customaries, I value feeling good throughout the event over stressing out on the details. Hence, I had long told my Ma not to bother about the 四点金 (4-piece set of gold jewellery) because one, this is actually a customary required by the Teochews (we are Hokkiens) before the other Chinese got too excited and follow suit, two, gold are not cheap. I think the money can really be better saved. But, it was still hard to reject my Ma’s push of goodwill.  Since I am fussy about anything design related,  I was tasked to get the four gold pieces myself.

My philosophy with such precious metals is a balance one between functionality/asethetics and reasonable value. Hence, no overpriced diamond set or expensive traditional looking 999 pure yellow gold set. After browsing in various shops, I finally settled on simple classic designs from Tian Po and Goldheart. At the point of purchase, Tian Po’s 916 gold was $55.50/g while Goldheart’s was $57.50/g.

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1. 22K/916 Gold Hoop Earring ($88)

I had previously set my eyes on this pair of classic hammered hoop earrings from Blue Nile. But since I have to buy something from the local stores, I picked these edged earrings that is hollow and weighs a dainty 1.12g i.e 916 gold cost of $62.16 with workmanship cost of $20.08, and total cost after 7% GST is $88.

2. 18K Rose Gold Necklace ($206) + 14K Rose Gold Horseshoe Pendant with clustered diamonds ($400)

I am unlikely to wear those chunky gold designs with engraving details, and the very upclass and modern Italian designs like Poh Heng Oro22 collection are just off budget (a bangle is about $6,000). One of my best friends, YJ, shared that she got a diamond necklace that is versatile and wearable. I thought that was a good idea, so I decided to look for my vanity piece, which is a rose gold necklace to complement my skin tone. I chose the horseshoe pendant for its good luck symbolism and the hefty discount of 40%, so  the original price of $668 was reduced to $400. The necklace was on a 20% discount, so $258 was reduced to $206. I made an effort to choose an affordable cluster diamonds’ pendant instead of a single solitarie diamond pendant that would be very costly.

3. 22K/916 Mode Gold Links’ Bracelet ($489)

I like Goldheart’s Mode Gold collection as it is the most affordable yet classic range of Italian Gold designs. The 11 infinity links’ bracelet is very versatile, and will be great for dinner functions. It weighs 5.97g ie 916 gold cost of $337.31 with workmanship cost of $120, and total cost after 7% GST is $489.

4. 22K/916 Milgrain Gold Ring ($245)

This is from Tian Po and we got W an identical one as part of a couple ring set. The milgrain design makes it look much more than its actual value; my Ma thought the ring was lined with tiny little diamond at the sides. It is a less modern version of this pretty thing here, but I am contented. It weighs 3.42g ie 916 gold cost of $189.81 with workmanship cost of $39.16, and total cost after 7% GST is $245.

All in all,

The four gold items costs $1,428 in total, a large sum of money! But it is still considerably cheaper than the usual $3,000 – $3,500 that people will spend on a chunkier 916 gold set. I am more than happy that I have achieved a good balance of my parents’ wishes, my own preference and more importantly, not over splurging. Spending within your means is a very basic requirement of living happily.

I had actually dreaded to embark on some basic research and browsing because it was definitely something tedious, but it turned out fine because I appreciated having learnt new things like gold composition, how gold jewellery prices are calculated and even the market positioning of the various local gold jewellers.

Footnote

Out of the $1,428, my vanity piece costs $606
For the remaining $822 of 916 gold ring + earrings + bracelet,
916 gold cost is $589.28 – 76.7%
Workmanship fee is $179.24 – 23.3%
GST is $53.48 – additional 7%

FOOD DONATION DRIVE

The youth club in my neighbourhood has organised a food collection drive for needy families in the area. The list of basic necessities required are salt, oil, instant noodles, biscuits and rice and we are to leave them at our doorstep on the stipulated collection date. Each of us in the family contributed $10 and in total, W & I set off to get the things with $50. We managed to get 2 sets of items for a total of $51.35, with each set consisting of 10 items:

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  1. Fairprice 100% White Rice 5kg – $5.50 (promotional price, UP $5.90)
  2. Fairprice Sunflower Oil 1L – $3.55 (promotional price, UP $4.15)
  3. Fairprice Instant Oatmeal soft pack 800g – $3.90
  4. Milo soft pack 400g – $3.65 (promotional price, UP $3.95)
  5. Myojo Instant Noodle pack of 5 – $1.75 (promotional price, UP $2)
  6. Indomie Instant Mee Goreng pack of 5 – $1.80 (promotional price, UP $2)
  7. Hup Seng Cream Crackers – $2 (promotional price, UP $2.30)
  8. Khong Guan Assorted Biscuits 300g – $1.80 (promotional price, UP $2.70)
  9. Kraft Chipsmore Double Chocolate Cookies – $1.275 (promotional price of $2.55 for two, UP $1.60 each)
  10. Pagoda Fine Salt – $0.45

Some after thoughts –

  1. Because I have been staying with my parents and my Mum does all the cooking, I can be quite unfamiliar with food prices in general, it is only today that I just found out a kg of rice can cost between $1.10 to $4-5. Coincidentally, there are some Assumption Pathway School students doing some excursion cum exercise in the NTUC I visited. It is a good move that I applaud, will this be done in all schools now? Dear parents, maybe you can go through this exercise with your child. Should you want to make a charity buy like this too, it is really doubly meaningful. For oldies like myself, it’s really better late than never to be more aware.
  2. I had initially planned to visit my neighbourhood mama shop to get the items, but I decided to hit NTUC in the end, because of their household brand of rice and oil. I did some price comparison online and find their price very competitive. It was important for me to stretch my dollar, but not at the huge expense of the taste or quality so I chose NTUC which I trust the most. Personally, I have never tried their brand of white rice, but I plan to do so when I do cook on my own next time.
  3. We added in Milo and instant oats because these are dried stuff that can be kept and they are great for breakfast or those hunger pangs / low sugar moments. I was initially hesitant about adding in the instant noodles but W reminded that it is important to get food that people will eat and find comfort in.
  4. If not for those promotional price, the total bill for the same amount of food would have cost $64.85, easily 20% more expensive! The amount of savings is really substantial if you check the prices carefully. And I have a confession to make, because of my inexperience, it took me an hour to get everything in place.
  5. I am aware that these food are probably very minimal in helping people, but in this life,  W & I strive to give within our means, and make a small difference.

 

SAVE THE DATE

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I’m quite a lazy bride – I’m a little not so motivated to plan all the wedding trivials, BUT when it comes to a task that I can apply any sense of colours/art (however small), I will get terribly excited.

Using Rhonna Design App, while referencing around in Pinterest, I created our save the date notice that I send out to the friends right afterwards. It took about 30 minutes to choose the correct sticker, and fonts. I even use a standard Rhonna background!

Keep wedding trivials simple + fun!