Wednesday, November 25, 2009

6 Factors To Consider Before Purchase Your First Car

For those who just graduated and are planning to enter the workforce, a car is an important element. For example in Kuching, most of us drive to work. We cannot rely on the public transport. The local public transport is limited, inconvenient and not punctual.

There are several important factors to consider before you purchase your first car. I listed the factors as below:

1) Ability to pay the monthly repayment (car loan)
I listed this as the most important factor. One must know their budget well before they sign on the hire purchase agreement. Most bank will require a monthly income of at least three times from the monthly hire purchase instalment. To be on the safe side, I think it is a good idea if the monthly installment is 25% of our monthly salary. This will leave more space for our
money to grow.

2) Fuel consumption of the car
Unless someone else pay for your car fuel, you should really consider whether the type of the car that you are going to buy is high fuel consuming or not. I heard a lot of cases where one had to spend the same amount of car monthly installment for their car fuel. Bear in mind, the fuel price is increasing from time to time. It is wise to choose a car which requite less fuel for you to move around. It is environmental friendly too.

3) Yearly insurance of the car
Do check how much you have to pay for the car insurance. And do bear in mind that every year this should be in your budget. As no car is allowed to be on the road without an insurance.

4) Yearly road tax of the car
Imported cars and bigger car will require a higher road tax compare to locally made cars. The road tax also should be in your yearly budget.

5) Functionality of the car
Do you need a sedan car for your family? Or most of the time you travel alone? For family car, you will need a bigger car. And you will only require a small car if you are driving alone most
of the time.

6) Availability of spare parts
This is another factor which is always not in the considerations list of a new car buyers. It is normal for us to expect a brand new car to be able to serve us at least until we finish pay the car loan. But, unfortunately, even for brand new imported cars, someday, some parts will need to be changed and replaced. May be due to accidents or other matter. Try to get information on the car spare parts. You will not wish to know that, later, you will have to wait for months for the spare parts to be send from the original country. Or worse, the spare part is not more in production.

I do hope the above will provide first time car buyers with some information.

Anymore factors which I missed out? Do add in and share with me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Good Health Is Wealth

Ask a young man, he would wish to have lots and lots of money. Ask an old man, he would wish for his younger years. When we were young and energetic, we have the time, good health and the energy but with limited money. We work hard to earn more money so that we can have the so called 'better life'. As we work harder and longer hours, we climb higher. We earn more but we have so limited time to enjoy our lives. What more to say to take good care of our body and our health.

As we grow older, due to natural aging and heavy load during younger years, our body suffers. Perhaps by that time, we have lots and lots of money and lots of free time as well. But, too bad, our body is too tired to enjoy life and do the things we wish we can do in our younger years such as travelling, hobbies and other interest. By that time, we wish we had taken good care of your body so that our body will still be in great shape and condition when we reach our golden ages.

My main point is for the younger generations to take good care of their health. Do not keep chasing for wealth and neglect our health as wealth is less meaningful without a good health. A strong healthy body is our wealth. With good health, we can do things we enjoy and love to do. We can be independent and go wherever we wish to go. A good health is our wealth. Take good care of our health, treasure it and value it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

EPF@KWSP - Campaign To Nominate Beneficiaries

Today's news on The Star Online stated that EPF@KWSP is launching a campaign to remind its member to nominate beneficiaries for their savings. The campaign will run from 16 Nov 2009 to 21 Dec 2009 with advertisements through the radio and in newspapers to nominate and update their EPF nominations.This is a great effort by EPF@KWSP to ensure that the savings goes to the right person in case of sudden death.

When reading the news, I was surprise to know that only 23% of the 12.4 million EPF@KWSP members had nominated their beneficiaries. That was a very small percentage.

We can contribute to the campaign by the followings:

1) Ensure that we ourselves name and update our beneficiaries;
2) Ensure that our spouses name and update his or her beneficiaries;
3) Ask our family members, friends and co-workers whether they had updated their beneficiaries;
4) Suggest to our company Human Resource Department to issue a memo and encourage all staff to name and update their beneficiaries;
5) Post in our blogs on the importance of making the EPF&KWSP nominations

If you have not nominate any beneficiaries yet, act now. Let's ensure our hard earned money goes to the right individuals.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Marriage - Time To Update My EPF@KWSP Benefitiaries

After marriage or register for marriage officially, I believe one of the most important financial action is to name our spouse as the beneficiary or one of the beneficiaries in our financial related documents especially EPF@KWSP (for Malaysian). Thus, recently Dave and me went to EPF@KWSP office to update our beneficiaries details. For Dave, this is the first time he name his EPF@KWSP beneficiaries. For me, I am updating my beneficiaries. Earlier, I discussed with Dave and suggested to him that we add 1 additional name as our beneficiaries, in case anything happen to both of us, there is another trusted person to take care of our EPF savings. So, other than our names, we placed additional one name as our beneficiaries.

I am surprise with the new EPF system. It was fast and prompt. First, we need to get and complete Form KWSP 4 (Borang Penamaan). The form is free of charge and we will have to attached with a photocopy of our IC. When it is our turn, the officer was friendly and prompt as well. After verification, he printed the new update beneficiaries details for us immediately. A few days later, we received the updated information once again through postal mail. It was fast and efficient. I do hope EPF will keep up the good work.

How about you? Have you name your EPF beneficiary/beneficiaries? If there are changes in your life, have you update your EPF beneficiaries? It is wise to act now to ensure that our hard earned money goes to the right person especially our loved ones.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Do You Keep Your Salary Information a Secret?

As a wage earner, we all have a value for the work done and the time we sell to the organization we work with. There are different position in an organization and with different people performing different types of work to ensure that the whole organization is running smooth. And or course each different position is paid differently.

The interesting part is do you disclose your salary information to your co-workers, friends or family members? For me, I strictly keep it a secret especially between co-workers. The only person who know my exact salary information is my hubby. My parents and other family members had a rough idea on my salary information while my friends and co-workers had no idea at all. I believe it is best to keep salary details as a secret especially between co-workers as I have seen relationship in an office turned sour when the staff are not satisfied with the salary after she compare her salary with other staffs.

Even if someone share her or his salary information with you, do not simply trust what she or he said. Do look for proof such as salary slip. As they might just simply tell you a figure so that you will share yours with them. So, be careful!

From my reading, most organization also encourage their employees to keep the salary information to themselves. As sharing these information might create unhealthy relationship in the organization.

How about you? Do you keep your salary information a secret or you share with the rest?

Monday, November 9, 2009

How To Make PTPTN Study Loan Repayment

I still have a few more years to go before I settle my PTPTN (Perbadanan Tabung Tinggi Pendidikan Nasional) study loan. I can choose to settle the study loan with one lump sum payment. But, given the option to repay the study loan on monthly basis with low interest rate, it is best to pay according to the agreed schedule.

I remember when I first made the repayment to PTPTN few years back, it was difficult as not many repayment options available. The easiest way for me was to open a current account with a local bank and issue the cheque and post to PTPTN on monthly basis. But, later I found that there are other payment option available such as through online payment, which is much more easier, convenient and save a lot of time and money. Now, you can make online PTPTN repayment through most local banks. The charges for online payment is RM1 for each transaction. Other than through ebanking, you can also made the repayment by using bank draft, money order or payment through PTPTN service counter and selected local bank counter.

For the complete list of payment option, you can refer to PTPTN website.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hair Saloon - The Place Where I Spent My Money

I am not a shopaholic. I dont buy a lot of expensive and branded shoes, bags and other stuff. But, I notice that I hardly control my spending when I went to hair saloon. There is always a way for the hair salloon staff to persuade me to spend my $$$ away. If they failed to persuade me for an expensive hair treatment, they will share with me the benefits of their products. For the past few years, I had bought several expensive hair treatment cream, hair loss tonic, scalp care cream and some styling products. But, to be honest, I hardly use them. So, for my recent trip to hair saloon, I purchased hair shampoo at bargain (buy 2, get 1 free) at RM80. At least, I can use the shampoo everyday. Afterall, I still need to buy shampoo over the counter.

I decided to be more countious on spending for unneccessaries products and items. I decided to only buy the products when I need them. Not because the promoter advise me to buy from them. Wish me luck!