Saturday, May 14, 2016

Best Saving interest with no lock in period

Intention is to meet the saving purpose with liquidity. So, I will not be interested to increase amount in investment or insurance.

Below are possible returns:
#1) OCBC 360: 1.2%+ 0.5% + 0.5%

Limitation: Cap at $60k.
1. Credit salary of at least $2000 --> 1.2%
2. Make 3 payments online --> 0.5%
3. Spend at least $500 on OCBC cc --> 0.5%

Tada! Easy cash for $114.63 per month.

#2) Standard Chartered DASH: 2% (from 1 March to 31 August 2016)
Limitation: Only apply to first $10k
1. 5 dash payment with minimum spending of $5
2. $5000 month end balance

Tada! Easy cash for $16.67 per month.

Monday, May 2, 2016

8D7N Japan trip with 3y2m & 1y8m toddlers (11-18 Jul 15)

It was tough. It was so tough that my hb declared that he would not go for another trip. But guess what... We are still going for the next trip in Sep 16. Hahaha.

Here is the travelogue to Osaka-Nara-Kyoto-Osaka.

1. Air ticket from SQ @ SGD760 per adult for 7hr flight. We needed a comfortable flight for such a long distance.

2. Airbnb for accommodation as we need kitchen and hotel is simply too expensive for 4 adults and 2 toddlers. Japanese hotel can only accommodate 4 pax per room regardless of adult or kids by law.

3. Pack milk powder in disposable one-time usage tube.

4. Order the ICOCA and Haruka Round Trip Ticket @ 4060 YEN from the website. Return empty ICOCA for 500YEN deposit. Valid for 14 days. It allows round trip to Osaka, Kyoto or Kobe. In total, 2 cards will be issued when you showed them the confirmation letter. Payment will be made on the date of collection.

Adventure started:
Day1-5: 11 Jul @930pm from Kansai - Osaka @ Namba Station
Lodge: Airbnb @SGD700

Day 1: Rest. 
We met the host and 12 midnight. She gave us a portable wifi so that we can navigate ard. As supper, we tabao from nearby convenience store. The bolognese was so good that my hb wanted to have more.

Day 2: Eat the famous Kobe streak
Since I came to Japan twice, I was brave enough to guide my family around the train stations.
Pix along the way to different train operators.

Arrived at Streakland.

Day 3: Visit the legendary Ramen Museum, then eat & shop along Dotonbori 
H&M is must buy. Cheaper and more trendy!

 Day 4: Sightseeing at Osaka Castle & Shopping at Umeda station

Day 5: Check out and head to Nara park for deers
We deposited the luggage at the information counter at a cost, since all the storage lockers were full.
We bought some ready food from the supermarket then took a bus to the park.
My kids didn't enjoy it as much as I thought. They were scared. The poo poo was too smelly...

We headed to our next Airbnb.
Day 5-8: 15 Jul
Lodge: Airbnb Kyoto @SGD696

Day 6: ArashiyamaKinkaku-ji Temple (金閣寺道). Followed by food Shopping @京都二条車站 (604-8874 京都市中京壬生天池町35-1)  (Yen210 @17min)

Day 7: More temple and Gion event
Raining & Raining. My iPhone was cracked. No one has mood to go out except my sister and I. Here, we went and covered the Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Additionally, I chose this period as there is GION Festival in the week. The main parades took place in the evening of July 17th as shown.

Impulsive purchase from Porter cos everyone was in bad mood. Rainy day was moody day.

Total cost per adult: S$1780
  • Accommodation: S$349
  • Food: S$510
  • Transport: S$132 ( with 
  • Airfare: S$760
  • Admission: S$25

8D7N Perth self-drive trip with 2y5m toddler & 11m baby (16-23 Oct 14)

This is a long overdue travelogue for our 1st long overseas trip.
I have to document it now before I forget all the hassles that we went through. It would serve as a reference for our upcoming trip to Perth again in Sep 16. It will be right after my dear sister's wedding. Here we go!

1. Air ticket from Scoot @ SGD450 per adult for 4.5hr flight. No discount for toddler & $150 for baby. Total SGD1700.17

2. Apply Visa thru hardwarezone pal @ SGD14.02 in total ($7 per adult). To be printed & attached with passport
3. Book a car (Corolla Hatch) from Avis for our self-drive trip.  Estimated cost was AUD 481.82. Actual bill was  AZD548.41. After I queried on the discrepancies, Avis Singapore decided to refund the fuel charges of SGD 78.52. Happy experience!
4. Check the weather and ensure the kids are kept warm.
5. Pack milk powder in disposable one-time usage tube.
6. Book hotel with kitchen as we are going to travel with toddler and baby who can't eat solid food. I brought my mummy again. She is our life saver for this adventure.

Adventure started:
Day1: 16 Oct 14 THURS @17:15pm
Lodge: Mounty Holiday Apartments, 36 Mount Street, 6005 Perth @SGD184
Drove: 5.9km
What to do: Collect Car @ airport and groceries shopping for meals

Day 2: 17 Oct 14 FRI
Lodge: Orchard Glory Farm Resort @SGD276x2 nights
Drove: 170km
What to do:
1. Caversham Wildlife Parks @ AUD25 per pax

2. Headed to our next lodge to experience the farm stay. View from Chalet. 

Day 3: 18 Oct 14 SAT
Morning: The farm guide brought us to visit their farm animals and fruits tree. The owner welcomed us to pluck their fruits. My mum liked the "orange". There are mulberry too.

I love Alpaca! They are farm animal in UK too. The kids got to experience feeding chicken, horses, goats, alpaca and making her own bottle of wine.

There is a playground within the farm for kids to spend time in sand play.
Day 3: 19 Oct 14 SUN
Lodge: Cervantes Pinnacles Motel, Aragon Street, Family 4 (1 Queen 2 single bed) @SGD213
Drove: 170km (2h 17min)
What to do:   
1. The Pinnacle (AUD12)
2.  The turquoise beach!
3. Can give a miss... lobster.

Besides the playground, there were seagull everywhere. Kids love to chase them

Day 3: 20 Oct 14 MON - 23 Oct 14 THURS 

Lodge: City Stay Apartment Hotel, 875 Wellington St, 6005 Perth @SGD460 for 4D3N
Drove: 190km
What to do:   
1. Travel back to Perth city centre for the rest of our stay
2. Harbourtown for shopping. Disappointed. Singapore is still cheaper and wider varieties.
3. Fremantle for seafood and sightseeing

4. Penguin Island near Rockingham (Perth's marine playground) @ AUD 38.50 

5. Scarborough Beach & Cottesloe Beach

6. King's Park (last day) for lazing around. Kids loved to roll & roll on the grass.

It was a successful trip as we survived though I kept scolding the Terrible 2. We all returned in one piece. 

Total cost for 3 adults, 1 tot & 1 baby, excluding airfare: $3140 with breakdown below
  • Accommodation: S$1409
  • Food (approx S$150 per day) & admission: S$1245
  • Transport: S$486
Hence, per adult would be S$1497. Budget trip?!