This year flew by quickly (thanks to Covid-19) and it is already August and a few more months before we welcome 2021.
Just wanted to write an update of my personal life to record down what had happened during this unprecedented period in our Singapore's history.
I have been WFH (Working From Home) since March together with my wife. Fortunately, both our job nature allowed us to WFH with full support from our employers without any pay cuts.
We have not been financially affected by Covid-19 (well not yet!) as we are working in the financial industry and if this was GFC (Great Financial Crisis repeat of 2007/2008), we would definitely be significantly affected.
I always say luck plays an important role in all parts of our life, including our career. We will continue to count our blessing.
My wife just got her bi-annual bonus (well, pretty insignificant amount but better than nothing). I am waiting for mine at end of the year but apparently, everyone around me is saying I shouldn't be expecting anything. I am happy to keep my current job without any pay cuts so bonus will be a "bonus" if it comes.
It has been pretty significant year for my children and I am honestly very happy to be able to chase back some "lost" time with them for the past 6 months since working from home. I really cherished this period of time and we also managed to achieve something together.
- It will be the last pre-school year for my elder one. We had successfully registered (under phase 2C) him for primary one in 2021 (thank god no balloting is required, it's just a neighborhood school, OK!).
- After much practice to cycle without his training wheels, he has finally achieved his "balance" and can cycle independently. I admire his determination to achieve the goal he set.
- Finally giving up his milk bottle after much persuasion from me (LOL) since I had the luxury to spend more quality time with him everyday.
- Art & Craft. I realized he has got a little talent for drawing and making art and craft and pretty creative after watching what he "created" using toilet roles and using/cutting up all my printing papers to make his artworks. I hope his art lessons at the residents' committee (RC) center can resume soon so he can continue to learn from his art teacher.
- Taekwondo. Due to the closure of the RC, his TKD lessons had stopped since March so instead of waiting, I had switched him to private lessons (9x more expensive per lesson, from $4 from $36). But the class size is also smaller (from 30-40 students to 10 students per class) so he is able to learn more with a smaller class size. Well, you pay for what you get. No regrets as I can see his improvements in just 2 lessons and most importantly, he enjoyed the new class more than the previous one as more attention was given to him.
- The youngest in our family will be heading to K1 next year but without her brother this time round for her class promotion. She is no longer a baby (but always is in our heart) but a 1m tall preschooler and apparently, she grew taller and heavier during circuit breaker (CB).
- She also gave up her milk bottle together with her elder bro, I am pretty proud of her as I did not expect her to give up just like that as she is only 3+ years old at that point of time. I made the two of them throw away their milk bottles personally into the dustbin (very cruel I know!) so they will know this time is for real and no turning back. So far so good, we managed to save quite alot of milk bottles and teats.
- She is no longer on diapers during daytime except for taking nap and night time. More savings in diaper expenses again. This is quite an achievement as she did wet herself (once or twice a week) during school days since the school restarts in Jun (post CB). Next step is to try to wean her off diapers totally, I guessed this will take longer time and we don't want to stress her too much.
- Bought a balancing bike for her to try and I have to say she's not as interested in cycling and scooting like his elder brother. She prefer singing and dancing instead. Well that's why people always says "every kid is different". Now I believed it.
- She has been attending her weekly dance class at home via zoom and although she is adapting well, the feeling is so much different from dancing in a group in a proper dance studio. She is finally heading back to the studio at the end of Aug. Super looking forward, I think she will enjoy herself more in a class setting.
- Overall family expenditure had gone down but not by a lot like everyone thought so. We managed to save on commuting expenses like our car petrol, erp and office carpark as well as those daily food court lunches which average $5-$7 a meal minimum.
- But spending more time at home also means more snacking and this became part of our grocery list when we make our weekly visit to Sheng Siong supermarket. We also drank more beer and wine as we are pretty bored at home at night as we try to stay away from the crowd outside to prevent any potential virus infections. We have been cutting down alcohol since start of Aug, casual drinking is totally fine but not daily.
- Having daily home cook food (by the helper) was great even if its just very simple dishes. I enjoyed it a lot more than what I had in restaurants.
- I also learnt how to make traditional Singapore coffee using coffee powder (grind from beans) and kopi "socks". It is definitely much cheaper than what we bought outside and fresher as well as me and my wife have coffee every morning as part of our breakfast.
- Masters of Business Administration (MBA). I am half way to the completion of my MBA, likely to be by Mar/Apr 2021. All physical exams has been moved to online, this is something I am adapting to, "open" book is always relatively difficult than "close" book exam but unfortunately I too have to adapt. Grinding on and hopefully I will clear all my modules when my son start his primary one in 2021 so I can refocus back to my family commitment.
- My weight fortunately did not "balloon" like some of my friends, it was fluctuating between 1-2kg during COVID-19 so I think having more home cook food is definitely healthier although I did not exercise at all.
- Wealth. Personal total networth is definitely affected by the stock market onslaught due to COVID-19, mine wasn't spared as well as I am always vested with at least 90% of my cash asset. Still down by 12% YTD as I am writing this post. Still adding more stocks every month to catch the eventually and long awaited recovery. I am not too worry as volatility is always part of investing journey and I am focusing on stocks that will ride the global recovery like Alibaba, Apple etc.
- Retirement Planning - CPF. Executed per plan, transferred OA balance to SA since Oct 2019 and will reach Full Retirement Sum in SA ($181k) in Sep. Very excited as this is a major goal I set 4 years back and finally this goal is completed.