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 – 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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Taobao product recommendation – monitor arm

It never occurred to me before, but a monitor arm is a fantastic way to save desktop (the physical one) space and save your neck.

The stand that normally comes with a monitor hardly gives you sufficient height so you can look at the monitor at eye level, as well as closer to you so you don’t have to squint (the alternative remedy is to use an ultra large monitor). With a monitor arm, you can quickly adjust the height to suit the user, be it an adult or a child.

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Taobao product recommendation – Parquet floor chair mat

Not too much to say about this one, except you really need a mat like this if you use a roller chair on parquet floor, otherwise you will get scratch marks on the floor all over. Really cheap from Taobao at S$3.80 per piece of 80cm X 80cm and 1.5mm thickness.

Taobao product recommendation – SSD

As with a motherboard, it would be wise to get an SSD from Taobao too. Prices are absolutely the lowest you can find anywhere.

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Taobao product recommendation – motherboard

There was a time when the computer motherboard you bought were all Taiwanese branded ones. Well, enter China into the market, and you guessed it, they devour the budget segment.

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Dash – Cashback king till 30 Sep 2019

Well, I’ve only recently signed up with Dash, the payment platform by Singtel, mostly out of curiosity. I’ve noticed their ads at Food Republic food courts for the longest time, but never felt any urge to give them a try. I did so recently, just to check if they offered any good deals.

What do you know, they are running a promotion that is actually pretty good, valid till 30 Sep 2019. 5% cashback on Qoo10 and Lazada (capped at $2.50, on top of the usual 1% Shopback cashback), as well as for purchases of groceries at Fairprice and Sheng Siong, among the rest, with no minimum spend requirement. You may shop at each of these merchants once a day and receive the 5% cashback, and it is credited into your Dash account by the very next day, which means the money is practically available for use by your next transaction.

By the way, from 12-15 Jul 2019, there is an additional 10% off with promo code plus 5% cashback on Lazada.

If you’re wondering what Dash is about, it’s like a prepaid credit card account. You get a virtual Visa credit card number every time you need one for a transaction. I didn’t keep track, but you’re probably assigned a new virtual credit card number every time. This is unlike the Youtrip card where you get a permanent Mastercard credit card number. For foreign currency transactions, i think Dash does not offer a better deal than Youtrip though. There is an ongoing 5% cashback deal (max S$5) for overseas spending valid till 30 Sep 2019 as well, might work out better than Youtrip.

No better time to sign up with Dash than now (get up to $3 cashback when you make your 1st transaction)!

Taobao product recommendation – Portable monitor

I bought a portable monitor not too long ago for use in conjunction with a Compute Stick or as a replacement monitor for my aging laptop (soon ten years old). Well, it was too bulky to be placed over my laptop monitor to become the replacement literally, and i had this brilliant idea of finding one that does.

As mentioned in my previous post, i never liked the built-in display of the laptop, being very low resolution (1366 X 768) and having very washed out colours. I used an external monitor almost all the time. If you’re wondering why i got a laptop, well, it’s for portability when i need it.

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The cheapest way to access Google, WhatsApp and Facebook on a trip to China

The easiest way, and actually still relatively inexpensive way to go about this is to use a local SIM card with data roaming activated. I say it is relatively inexpensive because it cost only $8 for 1GB of data over a week if you use a Starhub prepaid card, and I think it is wise to do so. Forget about buying any other types of prepaid SIM card, or worse, renting a WiFi sharing device. M1 data passport is also very expensive ($25) in comparison.

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