Spend-thrift

The word “spendthrift” has always been confusing to me. It describes a person who is the exact opposite of “thrifty”. Without further investigation one would not know that the meaning of “thrift”, as used in the word “spendthrift”, was prosperity or wealth, which is to say that a spendthrift is someone who spends all his wealth.

I’m going to hijack this word for my blog to share what i spend money on, and how i try to be thrifty while spending. You get double the thrill when you spend, while being convinced you’ve spent the least amount possible, right? It sounds ironic, but, spend to save!

Taobao product recommendation – Reading light

You won’t believe how cheap a reading light can be on Taobao. I recently bought this one for 65.80 Yuan (S$12.80). During the upcoming Singles day sale, it would cost only 58.90 Yuan (S$11.50). Like many Chinese products, it goes by a lame brand name – “Staycation”, but thankfully the branding isn’t imprinted anywhere on the actual product.

Why in the world is it called Staycation..
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How to receive SMS overseas without roaming

Let me first explain why anyone would do without roaming, and why the need to receive SMS while overseas. Well, i signed up the Circles.Life flexi plan which has $0 monthly subscription. With this plan, which is completely free of charge, I get 1GB data, 30 minutes talk time and 10 SMSes, which, believe it or not, is sufficient for my usage, especially since that the data part is being bolstered by the free unlimited data plan from TPG. So, yep, i pay $0 per month for my communication needs.

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Taobao product recommendation – Redmi K20 Pro: the flagship-killer killer

OnePlus phones used to be the de-facto flagship-killer, with flagship level specs at a fraction of the cost of true flagship phones. However, Redmi just killed their flagship-killer with the release of the K20 Pro. It boasts flagship level specs at a price point that is lower than OnePlus’.

The K20 Pro 6GB + 128GB cost CNY 2239 (S$432) at present. For me, 6GB RAM and 128GB storage is the entry level specs anyone should get. There is also the option to get 6GB + 64GB at CNY 1999 (S$386), which is dirt cheap, but i think one will run out of storage in less than a year. In my opinion, it’s worth paying $46 more to save the trouble. I don’t think you can find any other device that has a lower price for a flagship level phone (only the Vivo iQoo comes close, but i suspect software updates for Vivo phones are less frequent than Xiaomi).

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Taobao product recommendation – mobile phone stand holder

My mum requested for a mobile phone holder for watching videos. There are many products available on Taobao, but most of them either stand on a table, or has to be clipped onto a frame (e.g. bed frame), and these don’t work for her case. There is just one product that i found that is completely stand alone – it literally stands on the floor.

Works as advertised

For some old folks, this might be just the thing that they need.

Taobao product recommendation – portable fan

Portable fans are quite popular these days. It’s even more practical here where it’s above 30 degrees Celsius all year round. To a person who perspires a lot like myself, a portable fan is something that does a lot for very little money. Just a little breeze and perspiration can be avoided. The undesirable sweaty smell too.

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Taobao product recommendation – Crepes machine

It’s almost unbelievable that an electric kitchen gadget can cost just $6.60 (33 Yuan). So cheap that there’s no need to think before grabbing – the Crepes machine that I first saw in a Facebook video.

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Taobao product recommendation – Pancake machine

These pancake machines are wildly popular in China because the Chinese eat pancakes regularly. Chinese pancakes that is, and there are so many varieties throughout China.

As with most kitchen gadgets, this one claims it is one size fits all – you could make pancakes of course, and also grill meat and cook all sorts of things. Well, it is shaped like a cooking pan, so obviously you can cook anything that you otherwise also can do with a normal cooking pan.

I bought this gadget mainly because it is cheap (70 Yuan or S$14) and because i wanted to see if i could make a better pizza out of it than using an oven – to get slightly burnt crust. To jump to the conclusion, it does work well for that purpose. Well, heat is applied directly onto the dough, so it is sure to get burnt crust.

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Taobao product recommendation – PS/2 to USB adapter

If you have a PS/2 keyboard or mouse, don’t throw them away yet. You may still find motherboards that support PS/2 today. Also, a PS/2 to USB adapter costs merely 5.5 Yuan (S$1.10), and that’s definitely cheaper than buying a new keyboard or mouse.

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Taobao product recommendation – projection decorating light

I bought this for use as decorating lights for a special event. Depending on the projected distance, the lights may be quite dim, since it uses only small LED lights. The effects produced is not bad though, and it costs very little, at only 46 Yuan (S$9.10) including delivery. It can be powered by battery, and even has a built-in speaker (but you have to attach your own media player).

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Taobao product recommendation – USB Wifi adapter

The built-in Wifi adapter of a laptop doesn’t usually have strong signal transmission capability. In my case, it can’t even connect to my router and i need to rely on an external adapter. Again, in my case, even the existing adapter i had on hand (ipTime N150UA) wasn’t good enough. I needed something with a really long antenna.

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