Saturday, June 11, 2011

Money well spent? Time well spent?

Considering the fact that I had planned for this 6-month hiatus from work, the lack of job opportunities haven't really caused (that many) sleepless nights for me. Of course the poor response is a concern but I guess over the past few weeks I've already recognised that I've been pricing myself above potential employers' comfort zones. So 2 options for me. 1) Get out of MY comfort zone and do something like sales or business development and I will probably get the remuneration I hope for OR 2) Be realistic and ask for what people are willing to pay for.

It kind of seems like things are really more expensive here in Singapore as I just went for a drink with some of my mates from HKUST at Raffles Hotel's Long Bar last night and the bill for 5 drinks came up to around S$140 (HK$880). The meet-up was great. Felt wonderful to see 3 of my classmates in a setting thousands of miles away from our lecture theatres in HKUST. We probably should have visited 1-altitude or some other places and saved ourselves S$20-40 but one of them had never been to the Long Bar so we walked right into the tourist trap.

But then when we went bowling with one of my HKUST classmate 2 days ago, we were paying like S$4.10 (HK$26) a game at a splendid venue (Mt Faber Safra) whereas we would have been paying HK$38-48 in HK. So you get some things cheaper and some things more expensive here in SG.

Here's a short list of comparisons for my blogger friends in HK who will be making the move South soon:

Electronics - HK is definitely cheaper. If you got excess space in your container go grab a 46" HDTV now! I still got some money left in my HK bank account just so that I can grab a new gadget on my next trip to HK~

Entertainment - Movies about the same price. Bowling is cheaper in SG. Concerts cost way much more in SG.

Transportation (Car) - This is a tough one. Cars are much more costly here in SG. Petrol is cheaper here. Parking is cheaper as well. With Electronic Road Pricing you do get smoother roads for a price ($0.50 - $2.00 per gantry). With the heat in recent weeks... I think you will feel that it is value for money to get a car. My recommendation is to rent one.

Transportation (Public) - SG uses the EZ-Link card much like the Octopus Card in HK. One significant difference is the distance-based fare system. In HK you will probably need to take a mini-bus->MTR->mini-bus from one place to another and pay full fare for all 3 rides. In SG the distance will be calculated and you pay the price from point A to point B. That gives you the option of choosing the fastest route to get to your destination. There are refund booths at terminals should the distance calculation overcharge you but I have absolutely no idea how that works~ Personally I prefer the SG model because I usually any bus that brings me to the nearest train station. 2 bus-stops but 15 minutes away... 15 minutes too far under the mid-afternoon Singapore sun...

Food and Stuffs - Supermarket products are more expensive here in SG. Likewise restaurant food will cost you more. Alcohol and tobacco definitely cost more in SG. In order to keep cost down, eat at your nearest hawker food centre and shop at the local minimart.

That's more or less the list for now and I haven't even gone into housing. Housing is a complex issue with multiple factors so I will leave it alone for now. But prices are really creeping upwards here in SG.

Well... job = money = good life for the family. But quite often we hear of people who have a work-life equation resembling [job + money] > family. What's the point of having a job and so much money if you cannot spend quality time with your family? Its really a career trap I seriously want to avoid...

For him~

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