Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Things changed, hence I change my mind.

Things changed, hence I change my mind.

 I am sure many of you will think of the word FICKLE minded. And fickle tend to have a negative connotation. But hold on a moment, is changing your mind that bad?

Let's use this example. A high income parent promise the child an extravagant birthday celebration. But shortly afterwards there is a significant cash outflow that make this extravagant party too extravagant. Should the party go ahead as promised?

Or for career. You promised a colleague to help up with a task for his project, but then you are hit by an urgent task in your project. If you only have time for 1 item, will you sacrifice your task for a promise you made?

Conversely, how many times have a manager promise promotion if you do xyz, only to say sorry circumstances changed, I can't give you the promotion.

Alright. I make examples that point very much to changing your mind or breaking a promise is okay. But many times, why was a promise or why was the mind changed? Simply because there are better options available or we see things in a different light and chose to stray from the originally intended mind.

Should you put yourself in disadvantage just because you have said you would do A?  

There are some people who take what they have said so seriously that they would rather put themselves in disadvantage than to go back on their words. I had been like that before. But as I see people changing their mind, or taking back their words, to their advantage, I see that putting yourself accountable simply to what you have said is pretty silly. 

The world is so dynamic, and even taxes can change (:p) , so why can't our mind. Trying to hold ourselves accountable for what we have said is plain silly, unless there is a contract to bind us by it.

Similarly, expecting others to continue keep their words is plain silly.

Nothing is constant. Things change, and our minds and decisions can change. No need to hold yourself to what you have said or promised unless it it legally binding.

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

What a breach taught me

I was checking my bill over the weekend, and was horrified that my credit card had been used for a shopping spree. Someone had apparently used my card and swiped it for A WEEK prior to me noticing it. It was scary how vulnerable things are. Apart from my credit card being used, someone also attempted to get into my PayPal account. This, was detected by Paypal and they sent me an email with a notification of a suspicious activity. 

So, the first thing I did was obviously to call the bank and cancel the card. And dispute the charges. It will take up to 90 days for such dispute. 

Next thing I did was to relook at what I have. 

This incident taught me one thing - the importance of notifications. I used to think that since a bank has been sending me notification on promotions and so on, they would be sending me notifications on my transaction. No. Do a check on your credit card, and make sure you set a notification for this! I could have detected this unauthorised activity a week ago had I put on this notification.

Next, relook at your credit card limits. Usually we simply use the default credit card limit, and this limit could be huge. If you won't spend till that limit all the time, why bother having such a high limit? And you could always change the credit limit whenever you want. 

I have very few credit cards. And well, I'm glad it's so. But I'm thinking of increasing the number of cards. You see, this is not the first time my card was being used for others' shopping, but this is the first time that the amount was ridiculously high. What I do realise is the credit card that are being used fraudulently, are often the ones that I use for online purchases. So, I'm going to set up a card just for online purchases, with a super small limit. Hopefully, the bank lets me have such a limit.

So, if you are interested in credit card, check out this link here on some credit card deals from SingSaver [disclaimer: Affiliate link]. Anyway, I like that the offer gives me an option that I could get an Apple Watch or $300 cash if I spend minimum $200 within the next 30 days of card approval (simple considering Chinese New Year is near).

We sometimes use Facebook, or Google or whatever for sign- ins into multiple platform. While this reduces the hassle to remember so many logins and passwords, once one account is hacked in, many associated with it will be. So, set up an account for non- essentials, and use another account for things that are important to you (the email that you use for your banks, etc.). Google is awesome, and it allows you to have so many account. Why keep to one then?

Platforms like Google allow 2FA (2- factor authentication). So for important email accounts (e.g. email address use for money related items), always activate 2FA.

And finally, no system is impenetrable in this day and age. So, have a backup plan on what to do if that system is compromised (e.g. phone number to dial and so on). Contingency plan! And, for platforms that do not allow you to contact them if they are down, or the way to stop the compromise is too difficult,  and the consequences are significant, don't use them.

Friday, 22 January 2021

What I aspire to do when I am in my 40s

 So on Wednesday, I wrote about being thankful for my jobs past and present to motivate myself through work. While being thankful, I don't want to stay addicted to the perks of job and forget my long terms aspiration.  

Since today is Friday, it's time to think far about where I want to be years down the road. When I was an engineering consultant, climbing up some towers, I told myself I don't want to be climbing towers when I am in my 40s. I am glad before 40, I left that job.

Now with 3 years before I hit the 40 year old mark, there are other things that I want to change. When I am in my 40s, I don't want to ask for permission to take leave. I want to be able to spend birthdays with my family and heck the important business stuff. 

So while I recently said I aspire to do nothing, I am embarking on projects on the side. Doing nothing most probably could buy me instant happiness, but I'll probably be doing what I am still doing now years down the road. Cannot imagine asking could I take my leave when I am in my 40s, or being subjected to 3 months of no leave due to probation ( if I just switch job). 

I am starting a project now. To be more specific, I am starting a passive income project, to build my sources of passive income. Making sure I follow through so that it gets done. I dream to be busy with nothing before I am 40.

So now, I am working hard to fulfil my aspiration- to do nothing.

Have a great  and fruitful weekend.

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