Okay. I must say my new $50 raise isn't a lot of money!!
First, my $50 raise is per month, not week, and certainly not per day.
That works out to about $2.30 extra per every working day.
But I guess I can't complain. They are thinking of promoting me to branch manager in April. That'll be another extra $100 something per month on top of my raise.
I like the new idea of me being the branch manager though. My branch is relatively small, but, nonetheless, it'll mean that I get to do more sales promotion.
Today is tuesday, so in two more days, I'll be on my 3-day vacation to Hokkaido!!
Viewing the 'General Inspirations' Category
Work has been pretty stressful lately.
I've been handed extra workload and I felt very rushed throughout the day. Not only that, I was getting bored of the same routine.
I am in desperate need of a change. But I know I can't afford to leave my job just yet. Just 13 more months...they're all I need before I can quit for good.
I am also feeling stupid today...as if I cannot achieve things. I guess I am feeling like a loser. I feel that....I don't know....I feel that maybe I can't do a good job.
But I am already trying my best. Hence, the disappointment. I am doing the best I can and I still feel like a loser.
I've lost my motivation for the day. I tried to cheer myself up by using extra money. However, my frugal cheap nature didn't let that happen. I didn't even have the impulse to buy things.
My daily expense in Tokyo today? 580 yen (or $5.80).
So I resorted to comfort food.....ah...which makes me feel even worse since I have a diet challenge to do..
All and all.....a bad day
So today is my day off, and of course I am online.
A NET-friend of mine (who is a lot older than me...she is 34 now) messaged me on msn. She and I met somewhere in the cyberspace back when I was young and when I was in different chatrooms. I have long forgotten where/why I have her on my msn.
Over the years, she would drop a hello here and there, and we would chat as if we were old friends, but we have never met each other before in real life.
She said "Hi" this morning, and after chatting for a bit, she asked me,
"Why are you home?"
My response of course was, "Cuz it's my day off." (I work on weekends and on 3 weekdays as well - full-time job).
She then proceeded to say.."Well, get your ass offline and go out and do something productive."
I got offended by this comment. She just assumed that I wasn't doing anything productive, and that I was merely sitting in front of my computer and chatting to her.
Hell no! I was actually in the middle of updating my previous Financial Review for Jan. on this blog when she made that comment. Which, by the act of even checking my budget, staying on track, and meeting my saving goals, I have already exceeded all of her financial achievements. (From previous chats about her life, it seems that she is living with her sister due to financial reasons, unmarried, and doesn't have a full-time job).
Then, she made a quick excuse to say that she now had to call her boyfriend to talk!
A few hours later, she came back online and messaged me again to see if I was at my computer.
I replied, "of course". And within a few mins, the same comment popped up, "why don't you get offline and do something productive. So you can enjoy the 'real world'."
Only this time, I got angry. I told her that I've just spent the last 2 hours browsing through MorningStar.com and learning about Mutual Fund investments and earning credits like I said I would in my previous post.
She replied by saying.."Sounds boring."
It ticked me off even more and I responded, "Well, it may be boring, but it'll mean that I get to retire early and spend all that extra free time to do whatever I want."
Her response? Unreal.
She said, "Great, then you can spend all that time online."
Here I am, in my mid-twenties. I've got a good stack of savings. I just came back from my 5 day vacation and I am planning my second trip.
I have a partner, and I'm also learning about investing and saving for a downpayment on a house...and here's this cyber-know-it-all telling me to get my ass offline?
OMG. I am just at loss for words. Where do some people get the idea that they can just tell other people what to do!!
No. 1 - I didn't ask for her advice on how I should spend my day off.
No. 2 - Not all the time spend in front of the computer is useless and unproductive.
No. 3 - Sometimes by not going out translates into a no spend day which not only helps my budget, it also helps my retirement plan, and as well as the environment!! I don't need to create extra waste of energy or consume other goods.
No. 4 - Saying that investing is boring means that the person is financially retarded. And unfortunately, in the real world? Financial ignorance translates into a world of stress (unless you are super rich already and you never have to worry about money)!
On the other hand, being financially fit means you'll have a better chance of surviving and leading a more productive life!!!
It means self-dicipline, goal-setting, not being selfish by being financially responsible for yourself and your loved ones everyday and not just in case of emergencies!!! It means not being wasteful, and thinking of creative ways or even cheap/inexpensive hobbies!!!
I have made up my mind to remove this person my msn list, since chatting in the future will serve little purpose and will only make me more irritated.
end of rant.
*I apologize for my harsh terms like financial retards.
So I went to work yesterday when I really really didn't want to. I mean, I wasn't sick or anything, but I was having one of those days where you just don't feel like going to work.
I so wanted to call my boss and make up a lame excuse of coming down with a stomach virus or something. The last time I called in sick was in June, 2005.
Anyway, I didn't. I went to work on time, as usual, and I made about $110 yesterday.
I am happy. Since that feels like a bonus or free money to me. So yesterday after work, I bought my honey some treats (chocolate cakes), and Sashimi (raw fish) and we both had a feast.
I wanted to use more of my "free money" but we only ended up spending $15. Pretty good eh?
Yup, feels like extra cash to me!
I have been living on my own for almost 2 years now, and all I can say is that life is great!!
It is when I stop and really take a look at my life do I realize just how lucky I am - to learn the skills I have now and to continue to learn new skills everyday.
My mother is a wonderful cook. When I was living with my mom, she would make these amazing Asian dishes!! Things like sweet & sour pork, sushi rolls, steamed buns easily surfaced from her kitchen.
I, on the other hand, was a terrible cook. Even, my younger brother was better than me.
I remember I used to wait around on Sunday mornings for my younger brother to get hungry so that he would jump into the kitchen first and make lunch for the two of us while mom was away.
I was never a picky eater so things worked out just fine. Except, every once in a while, my family members would call me 'LAZY' or 'SNEAKY' for always letting others do the work for me.
Well, that all changed when I moved out and started living on my own. Since then, I have managed to train myself to make all sorts of delicious things!!
The other day, I even baked and decorated my own cake. I never thought that was even possible. Haha.
The best part? Not only can/do I cook everyday, I actually enjoy cooking!! I enjoy shopping and finding good grocery deals too!!
I bring my own lunch box to work everyday, and I eat out about 3-4 times a month on average.
Whereas my co-workers would spend roughly $12-$20 a day in Tokyo on food, I would spend about $5. I eat healthier and better!
Tokyo is extremely expensive, so, I am doing really well in terms of being frugal and healthy at the same time.
Bottom line? I loveeeeee to cook and I never thought I would say that!! So cheers to a new me, and the ability for anyone else to change their habits for the better!!
If I can do it, so can you!
I live in Tokyo. I have no idea how much property tax will be if I want to buy a home in US (California).
I know it is calculated based on the value of your home, but I need some ballpark estimates.
Is like it....$1000 USD a year? Is it as expensive as home insurance? Which can be between $900-$2000??
I have noooooo idea what so ever...
Ever wonder how much money the average Canadian, American, Japanese, etc make?
Ever wonder about the average amount of credit card debt each person carries in your country?
What about the average personal debt? And the amount of cash in one's pocket/wallet?
What about the average number of credit cards that each person has? How about bank cards?
What is the average networth by age? and what about the average mortgage size and term?
Social Comparisons can be fun and also depressing. The question is, where are the data? Where can I find the answers to my questions? Does anyone know?
Has anyone else been as curious as I am? Why do we lack such info? I've spent the past hour searching on the web for some kind of money stats page, but I have been unsuccessful.
Hmm..maybe no one else cares..
So today is my day off and I plan to stay home, which means today is a no-spend day! Yay!! Anyway, I usually try to study about real estates or personal finance everyday for at least 10mins, and about 2-3 hours on my days off if I have time.
But let's get to the point of today's entry.
I was listening to Robert Kiyosaki's audio tape series on YOU CAN CHOOSE TO BE RICH, and I came across an interesting distinction between good vs. bad assets.
According to Robert (and his Rich Dad), a bad asset is when an asset fails to generate a positive cash flow. That is, if I buy a boat for personal use, the boat becomes a bad asset since it doesn't generate income for me.
However, if I use the same boat for commerical purposes like holding my own boat tours and charging customers, then that same boat becomes a good asset.
Robert then goes to name the bad assets 'do assets' (or could be 'due assets' - I'm not sure from the audio chapter).
Hence my questions of the day:
1. Are there such things as Do/Due Assets? If so, what are they exactly, and are they determined solely by positive cash flow? How would a banker versus an investor view this?
2. With Debts, we know the diffrence between good vs. bad debts. A good debt is one that builds your equity over time, and a bad debt is one that diminishes your overall net worth. Having a car loan is generally considered as a bad debt while having a mortgage is generally considered as a good debt.
(Note here that I used 'generally' since a mortgage can also become a bad debt if it results in poor rate of returns on equity and produces a negative cash flow. In that case, one is probably better off selling THAT property and closing the mortgage (bad debt) all together so re-investments can be made elsewhere.
Can assets be broken down into good vs. bad assets the same way as debts (good debts and bad debts?
3. Does this mean that I can make two different networth statements based on the two definitions of assets? Would those then yield different insights? What would an accountant say? What would you do?
I think Robert has a point when he talked about his 'do debts'. I mean, it make sense for a banker to count all of your personal properties as assets. For example, the boat and the car. You can sell them for money, though, in a depreciating way rather than an appreciating way (ie. house). The boat and the car are still assets since you can still get money out of them.
But to Robert, they are 'do debts' since they do not generat passive income for the owner and should be left out of the assets column of the overall net worth if one desires a clear financial picture.
I think I should draft up two net worth statements. hahaha.
Anyway, any thoughts?
Thank you guys for the recipes!!! I think beans, fish and tofu are great and also fairly inexpensive in Japan. A can of beans is roughly aroun a dollar, and i can usually buy a small slice of salmon (about the size of a standard deck of cards) for again a dollar or so.
In terms of sarah's suggestion, yes, $10 a day also includes transportation. I walk to work everyday except on sundays where I have to take the train. I do not have a car in Tokyo.
Clothing isn't included, but I probably should create a category for that under variable monthly expense or something. I rarely buy clothes, and if I do, I usually pick some work related clothes.
$10 a day isnt a lot of money. I must say that I've lived on $15 a day before and I've found it do-able, but not extremely enjoyable.
I guess the balance between saving a lot of money and enjoying life is based on our perception of what is fun.
Yesterday, a co-worker of mine at work called me the Frugal Queen. She said, in front of another male coworker, that he should ask me for advice on how to save money.
I guess I took that as an insult rather than a compliment since the female co-worker proceeded to say how much of a spender she is and how she is enjoying life in Tokyo by living it up.
I felt offended mostly because they viewed me as being cheap. And being cheap roughly translates into a boring lifestyle and what not. However, this is totally false!!
I budget and I travel around Japan, and I look for relatively good hotel deals. I spend more time shopping and making sure that I get my money's worth. Is that being cheap or simply being effective with my cash?
Why are people driven by such diverse views when it comes to money!! The female co-worker in this story is unmarried, in her mid-40's, she rents instead of owning an apartment, and probably has little savings in her bank based on what I can observe. She eats out everyday and never cooks. In Tokyo, the cheapest meal you can buy at relatively low quality is around $5. A decent lunch is around $8.
Yet, why do I feel bad when she made that comment? Why do I care when I know that I'll be much better off in the long run than her? Is it because short-term fun and enjoyment is easier to see than long-term success?
I don't know...all I know is, I will reach my goal, and they can call me the Cheap Queen of Tokyo if that's what it takes to be financially free.
The End of my Rant.