Five Cents Ten Cents

Friday, April 4, 2008

Five Cents Ten Cents has moved to a dot com domain

Flickr! photo by *Micky.

Dear friends,

Five Cents Ten Cents continues to bring to you the principles of financial freedom in our new website at

  • Living within your means
  • Saving and investing
  • Growing your means
It explores the journey towards financial freedom and how we can take specific actions to live our lives in accordance to what we want to achieve.

Each of us has to determine the path that we lead. The road that we travel. The steps that we will take.

Continue this journey with me in

Be well and prosper.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Financial freedom: allowing you to spend your money and time on others

Five Cents Ten Cents has moved to

Please update your bookmarks and new feeds are available at my new website!


This article above has interesting implications from a financial freedom point of view. As you are on this journey towards financial freedom, do you consider the reason behind why you are driven towards this goal?

All human endeavour that seeks to achieve a certain degree of success requires effort, focus and perseverance. This comes only when you have a strong desire and a clear purpose as to WHY you are pursuing your goal.

Financial freedom is a worth-while pursuit when...

Financial freedom for the sake of financial freedom doesn't satisfy. I have alluded to this concept that you are drawn to achieve financial freedom because you want to escape the time-money trade-off or in simple terms the "rat race". The rat race sees us in this value-chain of getting up, going to work and fulfilling our role in the work-earn-spend-work cycle. Never ending when we are in thrall to our housing loans or other consumer debt.

To break free of this rat race is to be able to wake up and decide what you want to do with your time, energy and life without worrying too much about how you can feed yourself and your family. That, to me, is the practical dream that drives me towards financial freedom. It is the ability to make choices ordinarily not available to those who do not chose to aim to break free of the rat race.

Some of you may like to live a life of hedonism and enjoyment within the passive income that exceeds your lifestyle. So be it. Some of you may want rather, to give more of yourself to causes that wouldn't pay well in the real world, for example, volunteer in certain capacities. I realise that with my daughter in my life, I now want to work towards financial freedom because it gives me more time to spend with developing her to the fullest of her potential and to let her grow into the matured, productive and life-changing person that she can be. I also want to be liberated from the rat race to pursue my interests in writing, sharing my own skills and knowledge in areas where I can share and to basically touch lives in ways that I am restricted.

Individuals have told me I can do it WITHIN the rat race by choosing the career that satisfy and to do volunteer work in my spare time. I have tried that out and while I still continue with my career because the earned income helps me accumulate investible savings, I realise the same 24 hours leaves me little time to spend on family and volunteer work while keeping a 9am to 6pm job.

Financial freedom - freedom to do for others as you have done for yourself

Back to our article above. I do believe that it is more blessed to give than to receive. But you still need to take care of yourself and your loved ones first before giving. I have done my share of volunteer work in teaching children reading skills as well as helping out in a supervised homework group program for 5 years or so. I have helped out in a non-profit professional association as a board member that has benefited my peers in the industry in terms of training and experience sharing. I have done for others and it has made me more fulfilled as a person. Now, I realise my focus is on financial freedom so that I can take better care of my loved ones because the time-money trade-off becomes less a burden on me with ever cent that goes into growing my passive income sources.

Would financial freedom make you happy? Why? You may want to take this long weekend to mull about the reasons behind achieving financial freedom. The deeper this desire comes from within, the more the desire is fueled by something more than self-gratification, the more you realise your actions will be aligned to the financial freedom principles:

  • Live within your means
  • Save and invest
  • Grow your means

In the meantime, rest, recreate and refresh yourself over these three days and remember to take care of your health too!

Be well and prosper.

Financial freedom: Growing your means by taking ACTION!

Five Cents Ten Cents has moved to

Please bookmark the new website as this blog will not be updated after 21 March 2008.

Thank you.



Rottnest Island

One of the pillars of financial freedom is to grow your means. You can do that in many ways. The most obvious way that occurs to you would be to hunker down, work hard and work smart to get ahead in your career or business.

Growing your means, a paradigm shift…
Get that promotion. Gain that increment. Grab that career move that pumps up your income and earnings. That is one way to grow your means.

The other way that is increasingly evident in our globalised economy that is Singapore Inc. is to seek alternate sources of income. Investment income is one such way. In generally, Singapore’s tax laws are laid out such that interest is not taxed. Dividends from stocks and shares for certain exempt sectors are also free from tax. Even for dividends from companies taxed at 18%, you get a tax credit to offset the taxes on your dividends that result in you only paying tax on dividends at your effective personal tax rates.

Internet income is starting to become a reality. I can’t quit my day job but AdSense revenue is paying for my web hosting for this blog. Hence, my blogging efforts are able to generate enough money to make my blog more professional with its own domain name as well as paid web hosting. The new paradigm in our ever changing value-chain is to diversify your income sources. Relying on your job for 100% of your financial security gets riskier with age and with winds of change blowing through the business landscape.

Growing your means, taking action!
My own foray into growing my means has been really using AdSense and blogging to explore how you can make some additional sources of income from non-traditional activities of trading time for money. Don’t get me wrong, AdSense requires still some trade-off but it gives you some flexibility in working on your blogs when you have time and at your own schedule.

Based on what I’ve read, unless the main stream media picks up on my blog and gives me free publicity to a few hundred thousand people, my humble blog would be challenged to generate anything close to even my investment income. I realise I need to either sell my own product or services through my websites where I’ve build up a small audience. That is the way to go. This revamp of Five Cents Ten Cents seeks to make my blog more adaptable to change as the look and feel can move very quickly using Wordpress templates. In addition, I can also add functionality that exceeds what Blogspot can do for me.

To grow our means is to be open to opportunities and to try. Almost one year ago, I started out Five Cents Ten Cents as an experiment. What this experiment has proven is that it can generate real dollars and cents and it has also allowed me to get re-aquainted with Web 2.0 technologies and to marry my skills in writing, personal finance, information technology as well as some dabbling with designs and photography. Increasingly you will note that Five Cents Ten Cents uses photos from my own Flickr! albums that were taken on my trips overseas as well as my activities in toastmastering, kidsREAD and others.

How are you growing your means? What concrete steps, however small, have you taken to grow your means. In our current low returns from fixed deposits and treasury bills, even if you can generate $10 a mth from whatever alternate source, it represents $12,000 that you would have needed to set aside at 1% (Fairprice Plus savings rate) to get the same returns. So don’t underestimate the power of this alternate income source.

Be well and prosper!