Money talk

Jan 31, 2011

The positive side of a credit card

Is there such thing?  I think there is.  I have been using them (yeah, I have more than one, and all are islamic cards) since the year I started working and still using them now.  Alhamdulillah, they have never caused me to become insolvent so far :D  The rule of thumb is - never spend more that what you have.  Then you are safe.

The main reason why I have a credit card is CONVENIENCE.  There is no need to worry for having to carry a large sum of money in the wallet all the time.  We can also avoid long queue at ATM machines.

The second reason is centered financial management as (almost) every purchase of the month will be billed in a single statement.  Petrol, groceries, Touchngo reload, monthly bills, you name it.

Third is the option to delay payment until after 20 days of the statement date.  So you can place the money somewhere and it will generate daily dividend for you while waiting to be used for the credit card payment.

Fourth, for online purchase.  This one I LIKE!  Since you can get good bargains with online purchase.  Much much cheaper than offline purchase.

In fact, you can even take advantage of your credit card ;)  Namely, the treatpoints scheme.  Usually, for every RM1 spent, you will be given 1 treatpoint.  But some credit cards have better offer such as 5 treatpoints for every RM1 spent of petrol at Brand X petrol stations, for example.  So, your treatpoints can accumulate more quickly.  These treatpoints can be used to redeem many things.  One of my favourite items is shopping voucher.

In our case, on average, we can collect around 5000 treatspoints per month.  An RM50 shopping voucher at a shopping mall that we usually go for our hari raya shopping costs 9300 treatpoints.  In other words, we can redeem the voucher roughly every two months.  When the time comes for the next hari raya shopping, we will be having (hopefully) 4 pieces of that RM50 vouchers.  Isn't that nice?  That is after setting aside 15000 treatpoints to be used for service tax redemption, of course.

So, here are some tips that I would like to share based on my experience in using credit cards so far.

  1. Use supplementary cards for your spouse, rather than having an individual card each, so that the treatpoints can be combined for redemption.
  2. Use the cards at as many places as possible as long as there is no additional charge for using it.  Some merchants may charge you a few percent extra for credit card purchase.
  3. Be alert of any promotions or campaigns and take advantage of them if they happen to be in line with your planning.  But not the other way round, *heh*.  For example, you plan to buy a new iron as your old one is broken and there is this triple treatpoints promotion if you buy electrical items at Brand S outlets.  Go ahead and buy your iron at the nearest Brand S outlet as long as the price is not excessively higher that it should be.
Have a safe cashless shopping!

Jan 21, 2011

Is my baby ready for solid foods?

S.O.S!  20 oz gone before 3.30 pm!  I received an SMS from the babysitter last Monday, informing me that my baby had finished all her 20 oz daily supply of EBM and the time was 3.38 pm.  The 20 oz usually lasts up to 6 pm.  Red alert!!!

In desperation to look for solution, as I don't think I can pump that much to meet her new demand, I searched for information to see if my baby is ready for solid foods.  I found the following checklist.

Signs of readiness
My observations
Loss of tongue-thrust reflex [1, 2]Well, I tried to let her 'taste' mashed potato last Sunday while I was having it for dinner.  Just three very little pinches of the mashed potato.  She could accept it very well.  She is 4 and a half month old after all.  How on earth would you know unless you try, right?  An excuse :)  So, this one is a tick.
Ability to let you know she is full from a "meal" [1]She used to suck and swallow and suck and swallow until she was extremely full, and a few minutes later, the overloaded milk bursted out of her mouth.  That hardly happens now and sometimes I can even see her satisfied smile when she detaches her mouth from the breast.  So, this one is a tick.
Ability to sit up and hold head up unassisted [12]Unassisted?  Certainly no.  Unless when she is in her bumbo seat.  She cannot even roll from back to front yet.  So, this one is a cross.
Interest in your food [12]Certainly.  I have no doubt about this.  No need to say more.  So, this one is absolutely a tick.
Doubling of birth weight [1]She was born with 3.75 kg birth weight :)  She was 5.8 kg during her 3-month jab.  She was following the growth chart perfectly.  According to the chart, her weight now should be around 6.5 kg.  Hmm ...  Not yet doubling her birth weight.  So, this one is a cross.
Frequently waking in the middle of the night when a solid sleeping pattern had been established [1]She established her sleeping pattern when she was 2-month old.  She would sleep as early as 8 pm and waking up for milk at around 4 am.  But recently, she wakes up 2 to 3 times throughout the nights and early mornings for milk.  So, I think this one is a tick.
Baby is ready and willing to chew [2]I could see her doing something to the mashed potato that I fed her that day and did not swallow it straightaway.  So, this one is a tick.  Err ...  I hope that I am not being bias here :)
Baby is developing a "pincer" grasp [2]She has better control of the things that she grabs and holds lately.  But I need to do a few more 'tests' before I can make any conclusion about this.  So, lets put a cross first to be on the safe side.

Luckily, the situation did not prolong.  She consumed the usual amount on the next day.  So, maybe I can wait for a few more weeks until she scores all ticks ;) Then I will feel much better to begin introducing her to solid foods.  So, myself, keep on pumping (rigorously)!

Jan 12, 2011

NEW Autumnz printed cloth diapers for sale

RM32 each.  Buy 2 at RM62.  Each CD comes with 2 free inserts and each CD is enclosed in a transparent, snap button plastic casing that doubles as individual CD wetbag.  Available prints are:

Daisy Lilac
Safari Blue
Daisy Lime

Camourflage
Very limited stock available.  First come, first served.  Reservation will be held for 24 hours only.

Jan 11, 2011

More milk or thicker milk?

I only managed to express 10 oz at the office yesterday and today is thus far showing the same pattern. *Help! Help!*. Although I managed to cover the needed 2 oz through marmet technique at home last night, I should still be worried, shouldn't I?  I should be getting 12 oz from the pumping sessions at the office alone. Whatever amount that I can express at home would be a bonus :)  Luckily, help is just around the corner.  *Taraa!!!*
My Shaklee set B trial pack is here!
Packed in a cute container :)

I blogged about my intention to try dried longan juice before, which is claimed to be able to help in producing more milk.  But until now, I haven't had the chance to get them.  This Shaklee set B for breastfeeding mothers on the other hand is claimed to be able to produce milk that is thicker and richer in content.  Both share the same objective, that is to make the baby full and satisfied with just the breast milk and hence, to make exclusive breastfeeding a success, but in slightly different ways.  Hmmm ...  So, more milk or thicker milk then?  Having had problem before with EBM storage due to limited freezer space, the option of having thicker milk that makes baby feel content with lesser quantity of it sounds great ;)

I still have one more concern before I can happily try out this product though.  If the milk produced after consuming the pills is creamier and tastier, is there a possibility that the baby will refuse to drink the frozen EBM stock expressed prior to consuming the pills, which is less creamy & tasty?  Care to share your experience?  I would greatly appreciate it.  Thanks for reading :)

Jan 8, 2011

A week has passed

It has been a week since my little baby began her new daily intake of 20 oz a day.  In fact, last Thursday, the babysitter asked me if I could provide 6 bottles instead of 5 daily because sometimes 5 bottles are just not enough.  I told her that 20 oz a day was already a lot for me to produce and at the moment I can only provide that much.  She was fine with it.  What a relief.

I followed all the five items on my to-do-list and Alhamdulillah, I managed to consistently produce 16 oz daily for the past five workdays.  My baby took 16 oz on Monday, and 20 oz on the rest of the days, so I had used a total of 16 oz of frozen EBM stock last week.  I expressed a total of 6 oz this morning and hopefully I can get around that amount tomorrow morning, so that I can restock at least 10 oz, and achieve the target to slow down the EBM stock outflow.  So far so good.  Just need to keep it up.

Double pumping works for me ;)  Should have done it right from the start *sigh*.  I only double pump at the office.  I single pump at home, so as to reduce the number of parts that need to be washed after each pumping session *lazy eh?*  But the result is not bad.  I achieved a record of 6 oz this morning with single pumping.  I don't recall being able to collect this much before, even during confinement period :)  Thank you Allah for answering my prayer.

A record breaking 6 oz this morning
I haven't got the chance to try dried longan yet.  I haven't got the time to look for some.  I have ordered Shaklee trial pack set B for breastfeeding mothers, just in case.  I still have some reservations about it though.

Jan 7, 2011

Do you see what I see?


Certainly.  But do you think what I think?  Stray dogs don't have owners, do they?  They can't read either.  Then ...  why is this sign post?  =))

AVENT VIA breast milk cups for sale

Photo courtesy of anythingmaternity.com
New, unopened.  RM60 COD/self collect or RM65 including delivery cost (peninsular Malaysia).  Retail price is usually RM65.90.  5 sets available.

Stackable in the fridge.Stackable on the shelf.
Great value for money.  Their use can be extended to store frozen baby food.  Warm the food and use spoon to feed baby directly from the cups.  All in one ;)

Jan 5, 2011

Living cabin giveaway from [-suziey-] dot com

Contests are addictive, aren't they?  I just joined one yesterday, and here is another one that I join today :)  The rules are usually very simple.  Becoming a follower of the organiser's blog is usually a must.  One way to increase traffic to the blog, for sure.  So, dear Suziey, please count in this entry of mine ;)  Thanks.

Jan 4, 2011

MIAKIDIDDLES year end giveaway

link to M.I.B



Momma Mia is holding a contest.  A very simple one that I can't resist to join ;)  So, Momma Mia, here is my entry.  My guess is ... 24 packs altogether.  Hope that I do it right.  This is my very first attempt to join such contest.

Jan 2, 2011

Yet another year

Time flies.  Not as fast as the speed of a Boeing 777 maybe, but fast.  New resolution?  Nope, I don't have any.  If I have a resolution, it doesn't have to wait until new year to be implemented.  But I do have piles of tasks to be accomplished today, in preparation for tomorrow (so, what am I doing here in front of this PC huh?).

It is going to be Angah's first day at kindergarten.  Hope that he is going to be alright.  Along will be in standard three tomorrow.  Achik is going to go to the taska as usual, totally oblivious of the new year :) 

Ya Allah, jadikanlah anak² kami ini anak² yang soleh di dunia dan akhirat, amin.
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