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Half year audit 2019

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It’s nearly May and that means nearly half the year is gone. Is the time spent carelessly away in frivolous and meaningless activities, or invested to form deep-seated memories or experiences to be archived, savoured and re-visited again in the warm glow of memory? Let’s try to make an account of the time spent in the last 6 months.

Family:
This year, we started sending our kid to a nearby childcare centre to expose him to different experiences. That means I have to wake up early to prep him for school. And in exchange, we’ll have at least half the day free to catch a breath or catch a movie if we really want to. I choose to spend the time exercising before I start work in the afternoon. More about that later. We usually fetch him back home around early afternoon before I start work. I think this regularity is good for him, even though he might cry and fuss on days he didn’t feel like going to school. My wife is also having more lessons as she begins her career as a tutor, so we have lots of experiences to share, including complaining about bad students haha

My son has some problems eating the food at the child care centre, preferring to eat at home. If he is more settled there, I can give a higher rating in this area. Maybe in the next half of the year, we will do better?

Rating: 3/5

Health:

Bought my Fitbit charge 3 after Chinese new year, and had been spending the morning time exercising. Could be a 3km run, run-and-walk, walk, interval, hill training or just walking leisurely at East Coast Park with my wife for an hour or so. It was very good, and I wished that I’ve done it sooner. Never feel fitter in my life, and it shows when I brought my son out for walks. That’s all I wanted, to be able to keep up with him without feeling wasted. In a way, he is my motivation for good health.

Recently, all of us got the dreaded HFMD (hand, foot, mouth disease). Started from my kid (but of course), spread to my wife, and finally to me. I think my wife is the one who got the brunt of the disease, with painful sores and ulcers that made her unable to speak for close to a week. Mine is much milder, thankfully, so I can take on the bulk of the caretaking. Naturally, lessons had to be cancelled, and my son stopped going to the centre for 2 weeks, which is fine because the centre had to be closed because of the outbreak anyway. Had to go back and fro the clinics to check on the condition, get certified and he is fit for school again and so on. I am very glad that the whole episode is over.

After that, I had to restart my exercising regime again because I felt my stamina being drained. It’s okay. Like the stock market, we have to be on the uptrend with occasional corrections along the way, in order to move up even higher!

Rating: 4/5

Brain food:

As of now, I’ve read as many books as I had in the past year 2018. Where did I find the time to read? I cut my gaming sessions to zero and starting reading on my phone using Google Play books. Whenever I wanted to open up my social media app to check on the latest insignificant notification, I’ll open my Google Play books instead and start reading. Just these two changes open up a whole lot of time for me to nourish my mind with books. It also helps that I discovered a new genre of books to read: Chinese science fiction (translated to English, thank you very much).

Rating: 5/5

Finances:

This year has the making of a good financial year. As of now, I’ve saved $29k out of my default target of $50k. Should be able to surpass the goal comfortably since the second half of the year is where I have less annual financial commitments. As long as I have good health, I can do the necessary work to bring in the income. The recent bout of illness is a sore reminder of the importance of health.

Always wanted to boost up my insurance coverage after having a kid. Boosted my life coverage by 300k, CI by 250k and early CI by 100k. Also ‘forced’ my wife to boost up hers too to take into account our newly minted status as parents. Feels much safer after this.

As my mortgage interest rises, I also did a partial capital repayment of $14k from my CPF-OA account. I might pare it down further to reduce my debts, but have to weigh against the opportunity cost. I’ll keep it flexible and gauge it year by year on whether I should pay down my debts.

Rating: 5/5

Personal:

I did a Marie-Kondo audit on my wardrobe. Kept all my threadless t-shirts away and bought some exercise t-shirts for about $10 each. Helps that there are only 2 colours – grey and black. That hugely simplifies the choice that I have to make each day regarding what to wear. My wardrobe is just cleaned out like that. I also bought sports shoes from Decathlon. Not so long ago, I would have baulked at the purchase. Now, it’s affordable, replaceable and good enough for me. It’s so comfortable and added to the fact that I’m immersing myself to concentrate on health and exercising, I started wearing it everywhere I go. I like the simplification of my life and the direction that I’m going.

Rating: 5/5

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