are you getting the Samsung Galaxy S5?

I think my friends have gone pass the stage of asking me this question because I will almost always always without fail, get a Samsung phone every other year (when my contract expires). Instead, they will either keep quiet or go, “Apple, Apple, Apple.” #truestory

I’m a huge Samsung fan a loyal Samsung user. From the A800 to Samsung Omnia to Samsung Galaxy to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.  Even when my S3 died, I grabbed the chance when Daniel offered me his spare Galaxy Note 2.

every phone has a story.

every phone has a story.

However, after my ‘harrowing’ experiences with the Samsung Service Centre and the super short lifespan of my Galaxy S3, I am actually *hold your breath, folks* having second thoughts about pruchasing the Samsung Galaxy S5 when my contract expires…TODAY.

During one of the lunches with ZQ, I told him, “I don’t want any fancy latest technology for the new S5. I just want them to make it more durable and usable.”

And I think that’s precisely what happened. To quote a report from TODAY newspaper –

Mr J K Shin, President and Chief Executive of Samsung’s mobile division, said: “Our consumers do not want eye-popping or the most complex technology.” Instead, a survey revealed that they were interested in simple enhancements such as durable design, a better camera, faster and more seamless connectivity and the ability to manage fitness plans.

Source: http://www.todayonline.com/tech/gadgets/samsung-unveils-galaxy-s5-focused-consumers

But did the S5 do that? I don’t know.

In terms of technology, the fingerprint scanner was expected. Download Booster (send data over Wifi and mobile data) sounds useful but honestly, with only 2GB of data per month, I will stick to Wifi (white elephant function again). For camera, the real time HDR and the bokeh things  sounds interesting. But I guess the function that I am looking forward to trying the most is the S Health Suite 3 (a fitness tracker and calorie counter). It might either fan my desire to get a JawBone UP or might satisfy my desire for you (:

In terms of appearance, I guess it looks more durable but it seems to have lost the sleekness and refine-ness that I have come to expect from Samsung.

The polka-dot back cover T_T

can we say R-E-T-R-O?

Then the metallic finish of the side that somehow gives me the nagging thought that it will rust. Boooo! And it makes the entire phone look so thick (and cheap) 😦 I much rather have the cheapo plastic thing that S3 had.

Sigh. But the whole dust-proof and water-proof is interesting though.

So…Hmmm.

Will I buy the Galaxy S5? 

I haven’t quite make up my mind yet. If only there’s a way for me to actually hold the phone in my hand to see how it feels…

But maybe I will still sign up for pre-order and see how it goes from there? I have about 1.5 months to think about it (am secretly hoping we belong to a later group) ;p

Sigh.

What’s your thoughts? Buy or don’t buy?

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the $5 challenge.

The challenge.

I took on the $5 challenge out of need. After a period of unemployment, I was left with $300 in my ‘current’ account to last me till the first pay day.

I made several assumptions –

  • Dinner @ home, groceries, phone bills and utilities bills are considered paid off
  • $5 only covered lunch and transports (including weekends)

Many people will say those are unfair assumptions because groceries, phone bills and utilities are not paid by me. Well, you’re wrong. I pay for the utilities bills and try to buy groceries that are commonly used. I also try to give my folks abit more allowance so that I can help with the groceries indirectly.

The first month. 

Like I said in the previous post, the first month was to find out how much was the minimal amount that I need to make it through a day. And this was how much I needed –

a typical day.

There were some day where I kept within the budget but lunch was rather miserable. It consisted of a chicken curry puff and a banana cake. It worked on days when I have no appetite or just lazy to squeeze with the people at Golden Shoe –

within the budget.

Other than 3 instances where I took a cab/spent more than $10 on lunch, I kept to the bare minimal budget.

Even for CNY, I tried to be more frugal than previous years. I cut down on my favorite pineapple tarts, did my own nails, gave up on buying new bedsheets and etc

The 2nd month

To my dismay, the vegetarian store that I frequent everyday raised their price after CNY 😦 Which means that I will need about $5.82 per day. But it was one of the cheapest food around town so I continued to walk to Golden Shoe every day. I did have more days where I only spent $2 for lunch.

I have about 19 days between the first pay check and the next pay check. So I had about $114 to spend within the period. I did some quick calculations on Monday and this was the result –

i made it!

And the most amazing part is that I managed to 30% of my pay! I used to save only 20% and even then, I tend to take a bit from it to spend. Oh! And the difference in amount between what I am spending now and what I was spending in the past amounted to $180 which I am going to save for my parents 😀

I am quite proud that I managed to keep within budget especially since that budget included transport fares to tuition, 3 dinners, 2 expensive lunch and 1 breakfast! (: Probably from eating only bread on Sundays ;p

According to the tags, I spent the most in transport ($54.78). Sigh. With the fare hike in the coming months, I have find ways to squeeze into the budget.

Thoughts/Reflections

It’s not easy to survive on a $5 budget or even just on a bare minimal budget like what I am doing.

It’s stressful. There are times, I will walk from Golden Shoe to Clifford Centre to Golden Shoe again because I couldn’t make my mind if I should save and have a $2 lunch or a $3 lunch.

Or when I forget to tap out from the bus…My brain just keeps looping and looping at the amount I could have saved 😦 True story.

And then you will walk pass your favorite snack shop…Wanting to buy snacks, then you realised that your budget don’t cater for that. It’s torture. Especially for someone who snacks alot and who snacks to relive stress.

Social life is literally non-existent. You just don’t have the budget for social meetups. Plus, it’s awkward to have to explain to friends about your budget. On the off days that my big big boss’ secretary asked me to join them for lunch, I just politely declined cos I didn’t know how to explain the budget to them.

I’m lucky I have friends who understand and are willing to eat at cheap places with me. ber who came by Marina Bay and tabao-ed cheap food with me to eat by the bay. Sivan who met me for McDonald’s for dinner. And I think, I have to give a special shoutout to ZQ who I meet at least once a week for lunch, just so I will be disciplined enough to walk to Golden Shoe.

Of course, thank you to “JJ” who paid for the Teo Heng session cos I just started working.

I applaud the folks who have to do this everyday. Jiayou!

Why am I doing this? Moving forward.

I am going to continue to with this $6 budget thing. I found out that Food Fair sells mixed vegetables rice @ $2.50 for 2 vegetables today! So I am going to give them a try. Steamed eggs and tofu! YUMS!

Why am I doing this? For selfish reason really. If you have been reading my blog, you will know what that is. Even though recent circumstances are yelling at me to re-think, my mum and my brother are pushing me to go ahead. So I am still hoping that it will happen.

If it doesn’t, the amount I saved is still useful. Always good to save more for rainy days.

So yups. That’s all. Maybe I will give an update in another 2 months to see how I am getting along and what other ways I have found  to save/maximise the budget.

If you want to take on the challenge…

Alot of people say it’s IMPOSSIBLE to take on the challenge because of the $5 amount.

Here’s the thing. I think the challenge is more about spending only the basic amount that you need transport+cheapest food everyday for a month.

You will still feel the pinch, you will understand how difficult it is. Maybe even start appreciating what you have(:

 

[Music Monday] Can’t Stop by CNBlue (:

Because we all need a earworm to kickstart the week! Plus, Monday is the only day in the week that starts with M. I’ll try to post non-Kpop songs occasionally :P

So…SNSD’s comeback has been pushed back due to “damaged tape”. No official apology from SM Entertainment on their Facebook page, only heard from newspaper. All sounds kind of dodgy really. But that’s entertainment business for you. Hopefully the girls will be back soon.

One comeback delayed and one comeback brought forward so…..It’s CNBLUE!

The teasers have been going round for at least 2 weeks and I’ve been avoiding them cos me and teasers don’t really go well together. Don’t ask! But! I did watch this awesome documentary about CNBlue on Mnet America (thanks, Yan Wai!) where I learned quite a few things about them that I didn’t know before.

ANYWAYS!

CNBlue never fails to disappoint with their songs. Be it style or vocals. The new song is quite awesome really. It has a mix of slow and fast tempo. I was all ready to close Youtube and wait for their live performances cos I thought it was a slow song. But when the chorus kicked in, the tempo picked up!

Then when you thought that was all….Jonghyun’s voice came on and giving the song another “feel”.

Well, hear it yourself (:

Oh yes! Notice that Yonghwa is on the piano this time? Wheeee~ It’s nice to see more variety of instruments (: Plus! Does it mean that Minhyuk can finally be in front for a change? ;p  Hehehe.

Jungshin looks good with his new haircut too!

Can’t wait for the live performances! (And the translation of the lyrics)

For now, the song is stuck in my head! Kekeke.

oshua 1:9
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

Psalm 63:3
3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.

when meeting someone new…

When you meet someone new, do you give them the once over?

I had this experience today that made me a little self-concious. After being introduced to someone, the person said, “Hi.” and then immediately gave me the once over. It made me a little self-concious especially since I was in my Havaianas and lugging my auntie recyclable bag.

Yes, I wear Havianas to work because I walk to Golden Shoe (that’s about 1 MRT stop) every day during lunch. And I walk home from the train station on some days too. Covered shoes don’t work for me as my feet swell quite a bit after doing some serious bit of walking which will then result in me getting some form of cuts somewhere. The curious thing is that flats are always worse off than heels!

ANYWAYS!

To everyone out there! It’s normal to want to give someone the once over when you first meet them. Whether out of curiosity or to see if the person is worth your effort to get your know (which is a plain rude reason), DONT! Even if you think that you are doing it oh-so-discreetly. Just don’t! Cos you’re not!

If you think the once-over is important cos it helps you to form your first impression of the person, have you ever thought of what kind of first impression the other person is forming of you? AHA!

So…do try to just smile, look the person in the face/eyes and say a polite (if not sincere), “Hello!”

Plenty of time to do the once over later. Or just discreetly walk behind/away and then do as many “once over” as you like.

Besides, if you are gauging a person’s worth/character based on first impression….STOP IT! (listening to too much Class95 in the morning ;p). Don’t be shallow! There are so many videos online that proves that first impressions are (more often than not) wrong! So yeah.

credits: hannahandlily.blogspot.com

[Music Monday] 좋았던 건, 아팠던 건 (When I Was… When U Were…) by Krystal & CHEN

Because we all need a earworm to kickstart the week! Plus, Monday is the only day in the week that starts with M. I’ll try to post non-Kpop songs occasionally :P

This is a rare week. I actually have 3 different songs that I want to write about but in the end, decided to choose this (:

S.M. The Ballad is back (: For the uninitiated, it’s a rotational group featuring the best vocals of SM Entertainment. First cycle was Jino, Kyuhyun (SJ), Jonghyun (SHINee) and Jay (TRAX). This round, other than Jonghyun, there’s an entire round of new members. I’m glad that they brought in girls (Taeyeon and Krystal) and also featured Yesung (my favorite voice!). You can find out more the group here.

This album is slightly more awesome than the first one, in my opinion. More epic voices! Changmin, Jonghyun, Taeyeon, Yesung and Chen! Plus! The album actually has a story. To quote SM –

With the main theme ‘Break Up’. all six tracks of this album are related in one story.
‘Dear…’, : (Intro)
‘Breath’ : It depicts the couple who just broke up
‘Blind’ : Man’s story after break up
‘Set Me Free’ : Woman’s story after break up
‘A Day Without You’ : The changed days after break up
‘When I Was… When U Were…’ : The conversation between broke-up couple who accidentally run into each other and think back the past days

The main hit is “Breath” by Taeyeon/Jonghyun and it’s sung in 2 other languages (Japanese and Chinese) by different people. It’s not too bad though I think it could be better if Jonghyun actually let go and does his usual “oohhhh…wooooooo…” thing that he always do in SHINee album. But it’s still awesome! Hard to go wrong with 2 of the power vocals in SM (: Plus, the MV is T_T TYou can check out the MV here.

Anyways! There’s another song that caught my attention (: And it’s the ballad by Chen and Krystal. I was listening to the album on the way to work and the song came up. It was really “refreshing” and “light” compared to the rest of the songs. And it makes me sway to the rhythm and conjured up images of  beach and light breeze blowing through my hair (:

So…without further ado…here’s the song –

그랬니 나는 몰랐어 언제나 답답해 했잖아
늘 뾰로통한 너 귀여웠지
가끔은 나도 모르게 귓가에 네 목소리 들려
귀를 막아보아도 소용없는걸 Woo..

Really? I didn’t know because you were always frustrated with me
You were always pouting and mad, it was so cute
Sometimes, without even knowing, I hear your voice in my ears
I try to cover my ears but it’s no use

Nice right? (: That’s all this week! Exciting 2 weeks coming up with SNSD and CNBlue’s comeback! Woohooo!

 

thank you, FRANK (:

I was hooked on to FRANK by OCBC the moment I heard about the concept from my ex-colleague. When the then-boss suggested to head down to the SMU campus branch for a visit, I jumped on the chance and tagged along.

Was so won over by the branch design, the language used and the concept of the savings account that I ended up signing up for the Savings Account and paying for the card design. I thought that will be the end of my “experience”. But I was wrong.

About a year later, FRANK came out with their credit card. 6% cash rebate on all online purchases (if I spend more than $500 that month)! Tempting! So when I had to go to the SMU branch (again) as part of my CJ course, I ended up signing up for the card and got another design (free this time round!).

Unknowingly, all my purchases were consolidated into my FRANK card and my wallet was dominated with OCBC cards (:

dominated by OCBC!

During the first month of getting the FRANK card, I didn’t even know I was eligible for the suitcase. But guess what? A redemption letter was sent to my mailbox, giving simple and clear instructions on how to redeem it. It was painless!

That’s not all! I didn’t even know that my FRANK debit card was expiring until I received the replacement card (in the same design as my previous one) *thumbs up*

And then, as I was turning 26 and starting to wonder when the minimum sum rule will kick in, I received a letter from FRANK wishing me a “Happy Birthday” and informing me that the rule will only kick in next month *phew*

Then! The incident that triggered this post…I received a pleasant surprise in my mail again (:

rewarding me for paying on time.

I wasn’t even expecting this and paying bills on time is something that we SHOULD do. Therefore, being rewarded (in any way) for something that I am supposed to do is so so nice (: #FTIF

So once again, thank you thank you thank you!

I am so touched by FRANK’s efforts to reach out and to delight their customers (: Hopefully someday I’ll be able to do the same thing too (maybe even join them?). Heeeee.