Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Effective cost saving ideas for your office - Part 4

It is almost end of July 2009 and I still read news on staff retrenchment and positions been made redundant. The hard time is not over yet. Why not gather everyone in your organization and start to concentrate on cost savings plan? I know many of us not in favour to hear the words 'cost savings', but always remember, it is always better for us to save cost and work in a team, rather than the company had to cut down on headcounts and starts to lay off its employees.

Other than those ideas in my ealier post, I had another 3 additional effective cost saving ideas for your office:

1) Reduce the frequency on courier charges
Most company will need to use the courier service to send documents, parcels, products or other item to their customers, suppliers or other organizations. What more to say if it is multi national companies or huge corporate with offices worldwide. Courier charges will be just like telephone, electricity or water bills - it is a necessity. Bear in mind to control these courier charges. Perhaps select one courier day in a week where only on this particular day, your staff can send a courier. Of course, provided the courier is not really urgent. Avoid sending 2 different courier with different consignment note from your organization to the same destination. Ensure your Logistic or Admin department take control, track and make proper arrangement for all courier service. If implemented successfully, you will see a drastic drop in your courier charges invoices.

2) Cut down unnecessary face to face meetings
Many of us do not like it (meetings), but we need to discuss and find solutions to problems. Face to face meetings can used up a lot of resources. For company with offices worldwide or nationwide, to arrange a meeting for all the representative from different regions is wasting a lot of their resources on travelling hours, air tickets, accommodations, staff claims and other expenses. And yet, can the meetings come out with effective results? With the current developing technology, why not try to arrange for something different? Perhaps can try teleconferencing or video conferencing? Most importantly, just make sure the objective of the meeting is met.

3) Alternative Air Travelling Arrangement
Why I specifically mentioned on air travelling is because it is the travelling method which is most expensive if you compare to the land or sea travel method. But, the good news is there is always an alternative air travelling arrangement. Try to look for alternative airlines which provide a much lower air tickets compare to the standard charges. If possible, try to book and make travel arrangement ahead of time to avoid skyhigh air tickets.

I hope the ideas above will bring benefits to your organization. If you have other cost saving ideas, feel free to add in more.

Happy Cost Saving!

Monday, July 27, 2009

EPF@KWSP - 2008 Account Statement

Have you received your 2008 EPF@KWSP account statement? I received mine somewhere towards the end of June 2009. From EPF@KWSP website, there is an announcement dated 18 June 2009 that they had successfully posted out all account statements for their EPF@KWSP members.

In case you have not received your 2008 EPF@KWSP account statement, you can:

1) print it from the account statement from EPF@KWSP Smart Kiosks;

2) view or print it from your own computer (with Internet access) through EPF@KWSP i-Akaun;

3) check with your Human Resource Department;

4) check with your nearest EFP@KWSP office ( in case you did not update your mailing address).

If you need to view your account urgently, you can choose option 1. Else, I suggest option 2 because after you completed the registration process, you can log in and view your EFP@KWSP account transaction and account details anytime, anywhere from your own computer (provided with Internet access and you must remember your log in name and password).

For more details, you can refer to my previous post on EPF@KWSP - How To Get Your Latest Account Statement or EPF@KWSP website.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Broadband Service Which Worth My Every Cents?

Lately I had been very unhappy with my existing broadband service provider which I had been using for the past 5 years. I had a lot of problem with my connections. For the past 20 days, I had been complaining to the customer service centre for more than 5 times. From the 5 times, for the first 3 times, I cannot get connected but after I called the customer service centre, and they reset the connection port or create a new dialer, I can get connected. For the 4th time, I totally cannot get connected for 3 consecutive days. The customer service said they will send technical support team to check the connection at my end. But they did not turned up. Luckily I can get connected on the 3rd night. And at that time, I got a miscalled on my mobile and it is from the broadband call centre (I know because I had saved the customer service centre number in my mobile). She only called me back about 4 days later.

And for the 5th time, it happened last night. I tried to connect to the Internet and it kept prompting 'invalid username and password' or 'the remote computer did not respond' to my connection. When I called the customer service centre, my calls cannot get connected after I pressed the option for technical support. I do not know whether they do it on purpose or not (which I hope not). I was quite angry and annoyed. After I pressed another option for the billing enquiries section, finally the call can reach a customer service consultant who claimed that he is from technical support (very funny!). After he asked all the lame questions, and performed all the lame trouble shootings, I still cannot get connected. I was very unhappy as I am very sure my username and password is 100% correct. Before he finished the conversation, the call got cut off. I do not know whether there is a timer for each caller who called in or he purposely cut off my line. And as usual, they never call back. I called in again for the second time and after so many trial, I reached another different customer service consultant. I do not know why, but this time I am not as angry as the first time. So, again I went through all the same lame stuff and he confirmed there is problem with my connections. He gave me a report number and informed me technical team will check the connection at my end (again???).

After I hung up the phone, I tried to connect and this time I can get connected. But, the connection speed is not as what I paid for.

Early this morning, a technical guy called me and asked me about my broadband connection. I told him I can get connected and will monitor my situation. A bit surprised that the respond is very fast. Then, I remember last night I did mentioned to the first customer service consultant that I might launch a complaint to MCMC if the service did not improve and up to the standard for the $$$ I paid for.

Are you happy with your current broadband service provider? Or are you facing the same problem like me? I really hope for a broadband service which worth my every cents.

Monday, July 20, 2009

My Spending Urge Habit

I noticed that I had this urge to splurge when I made a huge purchase for a particular month. For example, I bought a digital camera with RM1k. Then, during the same month, I made another purchase of RM500 gold necklace. Usually, I can control my spending habits. But, once I made a huge purchase for a particular month, it seems like I open the door to huge purchases and it is rather hard to control my urge to spend. Is this normal? Do you have the same spending urge like me?

It is SALE season now. Everywhere, there is huge Discounts, some up to 70%. I must control myself. Else, it will be painful when I see the $$$ being transferred to my credit card accounts.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Women - Are We The One Causing Our Partner's Bad Debts?

Not long ago, I read from a local newspaper that, WE - woman (wives), are causing men's' (husbands) bad debts. I do not 100% agree with this statement. In our modern society, more and more women are independent and are earning income just like their partner to support themselves and their families. Some even can bring more income when compare to their partner. How could we cause our partners' bad debts?

The news blame it on demanding wives who keep on pestering their husbands for big ticket purchase which later causing the husband to be in debts. I believe, smart husbands will not keep their financial situation a secret from their partner. Husband should discuss and involve their wives on their financial situation, whether they can afford the big ticket items. If the wives are not being informed, they will never know that their husbands has other high responsibilities. For smart wives, I am sure they will not trouble their husband if they understand that their husband cannot fulfill their each and every wish especially expensive item. Perhaps, both can start a saving plan before the purchase, which means that make sure the cash is there before they do the purchase. Most probably, by the time they have the cash, they will not proceed with the purchase as they know it is hard to save that amount of money.

But, I do understand that there are women who is especially 'expensive' and 'demanding'. Always enjoy comparing with the Jones. Must have new expensive items every now and then. Must keep up to the standard of their friends and relatives. These women must learn to purchase and to spend with their own hard earned money. For men, if you cannot afford these type of women, it is wise to stay away from them.

Most importantly, husbands should not be shameful to discuss with wives on their current financial situations. And wives must be understanding and try to support their husbands on financial issues. By planning and working out the plan together, both not only can avoid bad debts, but can increase their wealth.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Donations As Part Of Financial Planning

If you read financial planning books or articles, you will find that most authors include donations as partial of financial planning. But, I do understand. As a wage earner, we often find the income not even enough for us, how to spare for someone else? Especially those who are not close to us? Or those we don't even know?

Actually, the donation amount need not be a huge amount. It can be a small sum because you can never imagine that small amount could mean a life to someone else. But, it must be a sincere donation with the purpose to share our wealth with the rest especially those who is less fortunate than us. It is one of the way to be grateful for the wealth we received, and in return we share it with other.

In Malaysia, we can donate to various charity and organizations. The most available way would be donating to our religion centre, be it the Church, the Mosque, the Temple or any other religion centre.

If you have never do any donation before, try it once and share with me how you feel about it.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Review Of My 2009 Financial Goals

It has been about 2 weeks since I last posted on my blog. Had been pretty busy lately. Last week, I just submitted my mid year performance appraisal at my workplace. And it reminds me of the mid year review of my own 2009 financial goals. From time to time, I did take a look at my 2009 financial goals as it is sticked on my bedroom notice board. The best feeling would be, when I completed a goal, I place a 'tick' by the side of the goal. It provides me the energy to achieve more goals.

I wish to share the status of my 2009 financial goals:

1) Increase my annual income by at least 10%. (to be completed by Dec 2009)
Status: In progress. Hopefully I can make it.

2) Moving the $$$ from my emergency account to fixed deposit accounts. I don't want my emergency account to just sit in the saving account. Moving the $$$to the fixed deposit accounts not only benefit me but also to the banks and the society as they need the $$$. (to be completed by Jan 2009)
Status: Completed mid of Jan 2009. Partially moved to my unit trust funds due to low interest rate for fixed deposit.

3) Invest in a new unit trust fund. This time, I want to invest in equity fund. (to be completed by June 2009)
Status: Completed 2 July 2009. Invested in PB Growth Fund. Timing is just nice as the price on 2 July dropped after PB Growth Fund announced its dividend of 7.50 sen per unit.

4) Continue to top up my existing unit trust funds. (all year long)
Status: In progress. I only top up on selected funds.

5) Keeping a separate file for each of my unit trust funds. Currently all my unit trust funds details are in the same file. It's time to separate them. Separating them will make my fund monitoring easier. (to be done by Jan 2009)
Status: Easy. Completed mid of Jan 2009.

6) Monitoring my Public Bank Gold Investment Account and top up at least once. (to be completed by 31 Dec 2009)
Status: Haven't to up yet due to high gold price.

7) Monitoring my investment-link Pru-link assurance and see if there's a need to review the coverage and purchase a second insurance. (to be done by Sept 2008)
Status: In progress. Perhaps will increase my medical coverage.

8) Terminating my unused credit cards, and concentrate on 1 credit card with another two as backup. I must ensure that the active and backup credit cards are without annual fee. (to be done by June 2009)
Status: Not very easy as I thought it would be. Anyway, completed end of March 2009. Now, I only have 2 credit cards.

9) File and submit my income tax early. (to be done by 15 April 2008)
Status: Completed 20th April 2009

10) Continue with my 'fun saving' account. My fun saving accounts keep all my fun expenses. This includes fun expenses for my family and for myself. It'sgreat to be able to provide some fun $$$ throughout the financial planning journey. Life can't be serious all the time, right :p (all year long)
Status: In progress.

So, I completed 5 goals and I still have another 5 goals to achieve within 6 months. I am quite satiesfied with my 50% achievement. How about you? Do you keep track of your financial goals?