personal finance

2015 #AnnualReview Part 2: The Goals

I wrote yesterday about what went well this year, and what didn’t go so well. That was the first part of this Annual Review process to review 2015 and start thinking about how I want 2016 to go. This post is about the specific and measurable Annual Review goals that I’ve set for 2016.

Last year, I started this process but I didn’t follow through with setting all my goals and specifying the actions needed for each goal. I also didn’t go back to my goals each month or quarter to check my progress or update what actions needed to be taken to work towards the goals. This year, I’ve filled out the spreadsheet template so that I can keep updating it each month and use it to stay on track for meeting my goals. I think it’s a good idea to come back to goals periodically, or else the only thing you’ve actually done was set the goals and not take any action towards them. The chances of actually achieving them will be quite low without reassessment and action.
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Pirate face, my recent surgery, and healthcare in Singapore

Sorry I haven’t been around the past few months! It has been a bit of a strange period of time, but I’ll explain later.

I’ve had the pleasure of experience healthcare in Singapore, now on 2 occasions. I fractured a few bones in my right hand last year, and a few weeks ago I suffered a collision during an ultimate tournament that resulted in facial fractures.

My face is broken

It’s called a zygomaticomaxillary complex fracture. Basically, there were some fractures in the parts of my skull supporting my eye and the tissue around my eye. The tissue under my eye was shifting or falling downwards because the bone there (orbital rim) had some slight displacement. Some of the bones to the side of my eye were fractured, and then there were some fractures in the lower part of my cheek (at the level of the bottom of my nose).
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Art display at the Esplanade in Singapore

Dear Charmaine…your email was not spelled correctly

Hi Charmaine,

The email address you entered was not going through, so I hope you see this! This is in response to the questions you sent through the contact me page. I still wanted to answer your questions, so I’m putting it all in this post! Continue Reading

Graduate student expenses in Singapore (updated monthly budget and sample spreadsheet)

I made a preliminary budget a few months ago, and now after having settled in and miscellaneous moving costs have been covered, I am going to aim for this budget and track what I spend. I was tracking my spending at home too in NYC, but now it is even more important for me to do this because my income is lower and I have more expenses. (FYI, I receive a monthly stipend of SGD$2000 from a scholarship to cover living expenses. This would increase if/when I pass my Qualifying Examination…) Continue Reading

Graduate student personal finance (living abroad edition)

I’m a grad student again! First stop is Singapore. And that means a few things: different schedule (more and less flexibility in many ways!), taking classes again, moving expenses, and reassessing my monthly budget. Oh yeah, and making new friends. (I miss my old friends, so don’t worry, I’ll be back again!).

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term personal finance, it just means tracking your money and what you are worth, including financial goals and life plans. Continue Reading