On shopping spree - Spending and Savings

My household expenses rocketed this few months as I was on shopping spree. It's not because of the upcoming GST hike nor the attraction of Year-end sale. 

Image source: Unsplash

It's because of my mom and because our household appliances are throwing in the towel one after another. Considering that it's been almost 10 years since we moved into the BTO, these appliances have been used way past their warranty and already to money's worth. I was surprised that some of them can even last for so long.

First is our Samsung washing machine which the Start button spoilt. I bought one of Midea brand from Shopee at a sale. The only dissatisfaction is that it does not have a wash timer, unlike the Samsung one. Since we always wash almost the same load of clothing and use the same mode of wash, we can remember the estimated completion time now after a few washes.

Second is the ceiling fan. Our old Fanco ceiling fan wasn't good, it required servicing in about a year's time after we bought it and since then have not been spinning at desirable speed. So I bought a desk iFan to put in the living room and used that most of the time although not as aesthetically pleasing. Shopee had a flash sale for Daiko brand during the Black Friday event, which included installation at $148.80. I thought it was quite a steal. The fan looked sleek with a tri-colour choice of lights, hopefully it will be more durable than Fanco. The only qualm is we heard that the LED lights inside are hard to change, so have to call the company if replacement is needed.

Third is the storage water heater. Initially the pipe joints were leaking, now the heater itself is also leaking. I quickly bought one online via the Christmas flash deal today for $154 (excluding installation cost). Installation and pipe replacement would be $135.

The light switch's buttons are also falling off one by one like ripened fruits. Instead of getting an electrician, I thought it wouldn't be too difficult to do the replacement myself. So I went to Youtube on "how to replace light switches". True enough, it cost me just 5 bucks (per switch) and about 15 minutes to replace a 1 way 1 gang switch. Some cement came out when I pulled the switch frame so I just used Blutack to seal up the "hole". Money saved with DIY!

Broken switch can be dangerous. Tape back the switch cover securely until replacement is done.

My mom's dementia and knee problem are getting worse. She can barely walk to the bus stop even with slow steps. I wanted to apply for a wheelchair through the AIC's SMF subsidy for her, but the assessment would take some time. So I rented a wheelchair from a nearby RC to bring her to the hospital for her follow-up appointments (I bet some of you didn't know there's such service). However, their wheelchair is really heavy. By sheer luck, I managed to find a second hand lightweight wheelchair (more like a push chair) at only 10 bucks on Carousell. Really grateful to the seller who's willing to let go of it at token price. It was quite new and in fantastic working condition. Actually I saw that Carousell has many sellers for mobility aid, it can be very cost-saving if buyers don't mind second-hand. Some of them were with wear-and-tear although still in working condition. I thought it would be great if there are refurbishment services to savage these devices and help those in need of them, at the same time saving the environment.

Her dementia is also a headache for me to deal with. She would ransack the fridge in the middle of the night, create a mess from opening up food stuff and spilling them; or subsequently get a diarrhea from eating the cold food (eg. packet buns without steaming). She emptied out my fridge and partied when I was out last weekend then was down with diarrhea for 3 days. So I decided to buy a small bar fridge (ChiQ, a brand that I have not heard of but has 5 years compressor warranty) to put in my bedroom for storing essential cold stuff and leave the main fridge empty until the fridge locks arrive. I was using child-proof locks earlier and they worked well in keeping her from opening the fridge for a few months until she figured out how to unlock them. So it seems that despite being slow and forgetful, she's not entirely wasted from the ability to learn new thing and retain such learning. I wonder if the lock-and-key ones would hold since they are taped on. Worse come to worse, I would forgo using the kitchen fridge. I am also contemplating whether to install a door at the kitchen entrance.

For information, if you have elderly at home above 65yo, you could get six grab bars installed around the house under the EASE program for only $20+ after gov subsidy. This is to prevent falls at home.

I am currently using the no-frill UOB Absolute Cashback card for a flat 1.7% rebate on all my spending that can be paid with AMEX. The next best option is Standard Chartered Simply Cash Mastercard, which is the rebranded version of Unlimited Cashback Credit Card and gives a 1.5% cashback on all spend. If you are thinking of how to fight the 1% GST hike coming year 2023, you might want to consider getting one of these cards.

Merry X'mas! 


Earn well, save well and, most importantly, spend well!

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  1. I can imagine how tough it is to look after an elderly at home with dementia. I think it is a full-time job on top of the emotional anguish. Perhaps you can get your sibling to help with the workload. Take care.

    Merry Christmas.

    1. Hi Market Observer,
      Thank you.
      Yup it is tough, that's why I have to convert to working part-time now to juggle with care-giving.

  2. Rainbow girl,

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

    From one caregiver to another, wishing you strength, good health, and loads of patience... And most of all, sound and peaceful sleep!

    Working weekends as my "off days" from caregiving is the best decision I've made.

    Do take time "off" to rest - mentally and physically.

    We can't play our role if we are not standing tall....

    May the wind lift your wings always.

    1. Hi SMOL,

      Happy New Year to you! :)

      It's the opposite for me. I work on the weekdays (put her at Eldercare) and have care-giving weekends. A couple of hours of going out is still manageable. Just gotta make sure things that are dangerous are all properly kept away and locked.


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