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Telemarketers fall pretty low on the totem pole of respect. If we had to estimate, we’d guess they’re just under Hell’s Angels bikers, and a notch above Neo-Nazis. So it’s no surprise that attempts are now made to exterminate the nuisances. The government’s new DNC (Do Not Call) registry is set to destroy cold calling…and vastly improve your life:
At MoneySmart, we’re all about providing you with an independent and humorous view of personal finance with one goal in mind – to save you money. So let me start off by saying… this article ISN’T one of them. If you’re a frugal spender with heart problems, now would be the time to stop reading.
One of the great mysteries of the Universe is Singapore’s taxis. Why are there loads of them when you don’t need them, but virtually nonexistent when you do? How do they warp time so they’re changing shift exactly when you start looking for them? What mysterious allergy to water makes them burrow underground and vanish when it rains? I blew $45 on cab rides to ask five taxi drivers:
With the current cost of living, a fair number of Singaporeans can expect to be happily retired. Maybe by the age of, say, 162. Now there’s any number of external causes you can blame for that: inflation, growing household debt, inadequate pension plan, etc. But some of the causes are self-inflicted…like these myths we keep believing:
The recent transport fare review has focused on concessions. That helps some of the population, so we guess it’s not bad. If by “not bad” you mean fixing one problem out of a whole highway-collision worth of issues. We like to imagine the authorities are taking it slow; resolving one issue at a time, like pulling blocks out of a Jenga stack. They must be, because these three issues haven’t been addressed:
Well, the vague answer is: for some. We don’t have exact numbers yet, but the review of public transport fares looks about wrapped up. Overall, it’s what you’d expect: a bunch of reasons why fares will go up, and assurance that everyone will be able to afford it. Cue flattering comparisons, to soften the blow. Here are some of the points worth noting:
Looks like Singapore’s no longer a favourite among expatriates. It’s unfair, considering all the things we’ve done for those people (i.e. gripe about their income, claim they steal jobs, and generally use them as people-shaped battering rams in political battles). Let’s take a look at some of the reasons for our break-up:
In any self-help book, you tend to find the same suggestion: that optimism and motivational sayings are more important than actual talent (though admittedly, that does explain some managers I’ve met). For the most part, motivational cliches are just harmless, feel-good gibberish. But watch for these three, which have a tendency to keep you poor:
Singapore’s taxi rates are the Bermuda Triangle of finance. If we could replicate them in the stock market, the US would have been celebrating a surplus last July. They have the magical tendency to go only upward, despite nigh-invisible improvements in service and availability.
So, this week the US avoided a historic default on their debt, with US President Barack Obama passing a bill that ended a 16-day government shutdown. What this really means for the layman is of significant importance: everyone can go watch the Panda Cam at the Smithsonian again (I’m sure we in Singapore can all empathise eh?). While we won’t know fully what economic calamities would have befallen us should the default have happened, an explanation of the shutdown and some basic preparations for the near future are in order: