Business & Creativity, Flashbacks, Simplify

Depend Less

When we need and want less, we spend less. And in this manner, we depend less on those who produce, provide and sell to us.

In the past two decades, I have mindfully set limits on my consumptions. I do not buy cheap ass Made-in-China trinkets. I have a food budget. I wear hand-me-down clothes without shame. In doing so, I limit my dependence on what are usually evil enterprises. I stop putting money into the pockets of those unethical bastards.

My wallet, my health and my conscience thank me for that.

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Business & Creativity, Malaysia, Numbers

Employee Provident Fund

In Malaysia, the EPF (also common known as KWSP or Kumpulan Wang Simpanan Pekerja) is a social security institution formed according to the Laws of Malaysia, Employees Provident Fund Act 1991 (Act 452) which provides retirement benefits for member through the mandatory contribution from two parties: a portion of an employee’s salary and employer’s contribution on behalf of their workers. ~3E Accounting

2021 EPF dividend has been declared at 6.10%. One of the highest percentage in the duration of five years. Not bad for a developing country, which has to endure a global pandemic.

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Business & Creativity, Events, Numbers

Invasion

An invasion of a sovereign nation started today.

Despite my outrage and sadness in this matter, I have cool-headedly moved some funds around as strategic precaution.

I cannot foresee how this conflict is going to affect and disrupt the global banking system. Better safe than sorry!

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Business & Creativity, Events

Valentine’s Day

Roses are lovely flowers. On Valentine’s Day, they become ridiculously overpriced and overrated. Besides, I really do prefer them alive, still attached to their mother plants and enjoying the sun. 😉

Now that I mentioned the sun, my buy order of a German solar-park shares just got fulfilled this morning. Research shows that renewable energies will be good long term investments. Let’s hope so.

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Business & Creativity, Numbers

Crisis To Crisis

The world had wallowed through one crisis to the next in the past decade. And just when some of us are starting to recover from the financial crisis of 2008, we are savagely plunged into another one – a pandemic, this time – a global health crisis.

Because no one on Earth knows how long this crisis will last, D had decided to pause his eight-year-old, one-man design business when the first lock down was enforced last year. A typical small business needs about ten years to turn around. But heck, try doing that from one crisis to the next!

Taking a pause was a strategic move. Keeping our heads above the water is the smart thing to do. Staying alive is the logic step. Only then do we have a future. A future of plans, actions, results, progress and hope.

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Business & Creativity, Human Nature

Evolving Consumer Behaviours

Covid-19 has and is changing consumer behaviours. And those trends might be here to stay.

Personally, I asked myself these questions before I purchase something:

  1. Where did it come from?
  2. Can I eat it?
  3. Will it last?
  4. Can it be reused?
  5. Can I fix it if it sustains minor damages?
  6. Is it biodegradable?
  7. Is it worth the amount I am paying?
  8. Do I like it?

More funds allocated to filling up our pantries and savings accounts, less to useless trinkets and nonsensical luxuries. And that is not a bad thing at all…

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Business & Creativity, Flashbacks, Malaysia, Numbers

Thirty & Fifty

In the year 2000, I bought a 21-year life insurance savings policy. It was a financial gift and commitment I gave myself in commemoration of my 30th birthday. My financial objective then was for this policy to reach maturity in the year I turn 50, thus becoming my birthday gift for the second time. 🙂

Today, I received the maturity sum in my bank account.

Two decades went by really quickly.

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Belgium, Business & Creativity, Numbers

Running Out Of Funds

These past few days, my mind has been primarily occupied by the news that certain businesses will be reopening this week. It puzzles me as to why the Belgian government would knowingly risk another Covid-19 wave.

Then this morning, while observing a hungry finch munching away in the wall feeder, I realised that the cause might mainly be due to funding, or in better words, the lack of it.

You see, businesses which had to close are compensated by the government. Employees who cannot go to work, are paid unemployment, which is 70% of their salaries. Taxation is at an all time low due to the crisis. Therefore, I am rather sure that money is the main factor in this recent action plan.

The engine cannot run without fuel.

This strategic move stops the unending clamouring from business owners, or at least some of them. It calms the outcries from people who wanted to be spoiled, pampered, have their hair trimmed and coloured.

But most importantly, this move slows the treasury from oozing itself empty!

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Belgium, Business & Creativity, Flashbacks, Health

Mental Health & Economy

After a 3-month pause, hair salons may restart their businesses next Saturday. And on the first of March, most close contact businesses like beauty salons, hands and feet care, tattoo shops and so forth may start as well. Camp grounds, vacation homes, zoos, and theme parks will also be reopening soon – for the upcoming krokusvakantie (spring break). Real estate agents will be allowed to organise house tours. All these, supposedly, for the sake of our mental well-being and the economy.

Heck, why?!

This Covid-19 nightmare started in March last year. A third wave is staring us in the face, people! The old folks are not completely vaccinated yet. And what about the personnels in the medical sector? Why are we creating the chances for the virus to spread itself?

Seriously, why?!

A serious third wave will probably mean another strict lockdown. It will be another nail on the coffins of many medical personnels. A hinder to the already difficult vaccination process.

A mild third wave will still kill people. And it will definitely prolong the shut downs of cafés and restaurants. How is that good for our mental health and economy?

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Belgium, Business & Creativity, Simplify

Little Things

I received the above lovelies in the mail this morning.

What happened was… I came upon an advertisement in one of the Knack Weekend magazines I read a couple of weeks ago. A new Belgian perfume lab has been established in one of my favourite cities – Ghent. Miglot advertised that it will send free samples of perfume to people who are interested. I am always interested in nice smelling things, so I did just that.

Five days into the new year, I have had a great teppanyaki meal, enjoyed a sushi boat in the weekend, opened a new savings account, and received five free perfume samples. Happiness is cherishing the simple little things in life!

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