Saturday, May 24, 2014

Coins & Credit Cards

The process is set in motion. My first item of packing is making sure my finances are in order and I duly deposited all my coins collected and kept over 6 years in a coin-counting machine near Hougang yesterday. I did not realize the charges were exorbitant and I lost $8.00 for $75.00 worth of coins. That's how the banks make hundred of millions each year. I proceeded to my two banks where I hold one Visa and another Master credit card to make sure if I needed to cancel my cards there will be no fees and I know the deadline for doing that. For 5 years I only have one credit card but last year I took up a POSB Everyday card for shopping convenience, one may tap and go for anything less than $100.00. Further, it is free for 2 years and the annual fees are less than $40.00, probably the cheapest card around. If you want to keep to discretion and a well-ordered life, you need to manage your finances carefully. Obviously, I am earning enough income to make ends meet and some spare as well (by God's grace), but one has to be frugal and make do for the sake of the Gospel. Yesterday, when one departing student whom we sent off at Changi suggested Starbucks coffee, I took them to Wang's and I have a discount card for dining and coffee there. I am not going to spend $6.00 (RM 15.00) for a cup of coffee when half of the population of India (600 million) spend less than that for a whole day's living. Really financial management is a key to successful living, moderation in all things and not get into debt in whatever form if that is at all possible.
Though for many (including myself) that is almost impossible to do like paying a mortgage for a house, I have tried my best to live frugally and in moderation all my adult life. I told my church in Sabah a couple of times in 5 years that I will borrow at most for 3 years if it is a depreciating asset like a car and even for a house not more than 15 years. Of course for most in the latter case it is almost impossible and I know many people who have a 30-year or longer mortgage and at the end, all their working adult life is to pay for a roof over their heads. It's a matter of choice ultimately. I have said in churches in Singapore that if I stay on in Singapore, I will go for the cheapest HDB flat and if I am entitled to a studio unit so much the better for that would be the least inexpensive option because as I preached on Rev 16's text last Sunday, if Babylon and the cities of the nations will be ultimately destroyed, we should fix our hearts and minds not on our earthly homes but our eternal dwelling with God in heaven and on our heavenly citizenship and living in the holy city, the New Jerusalem in the new heavens and the new earth.

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