Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Money Tricks

Everyone knows that money is never enough, no matter you make a few thousand, or five figure a month. The standard of living keep increasing, but the wage in Malaysia is not tracking the trend. I'm not going to moan on the failure of government to transform Malaysia into a high income country, but they should have done it. Inflation is at all time high, cost of food almost hike 30% since 3 years ago, blah blah blah.... we need to save for the rainy days and for your retirement ages (too early to think about it? Think again).

I just read an article of published in money.cnn.com, "Secret of extreme savers". I'm not an extremist, but as soon as I flip out my burnt pocket, I know that I need to do something, sooner rather than later. I want to share the points that being highlighted, hope the lucky reader could be benefited.

  1. Avoid debt (50%)
    Save for the big ticket items such as new cars, house, and so. Pay in cash. Imagine an auto loan amount of RM50,000 with interest 3% and 5 years repayment plan. If you pay in cash, you could save up to RM7,500. (That's the magic of mathematics)
  2. Delay gratification (35%)
    Hold yourself for 3 - 6 months for anything than cost you more than certain amount, which make some financial sense to you. I did it for the smartphones and DSLR. I'm cut off my wishlist, but still happy with my ancient Nokia phone and Alpha 200. FYI, one HTC phone is around RM1,500 and Sony A55 or Canon D60 is around RM4,000. (I tell myself to wait and wait)

  3. Create multiple stream of income (20-25%)
    Have taken up tuition classes, added some income and hopefully I can stabilize everything by next year, optimize the schedule, and make more time for myself for other things. I realize that I have been spending money like nobody business in 2011, for the new house, wedding, honeymoon, etc. Maybe I should conduct one-to-one, or one-to-two tuition?

  4. Live below your means (60%)
    That is not happening to me. Our appetite is big enough to swallow an elephant. The semi-D, the renovation, furniture, electrical appliances, etc, I guess most of them are top brands. Sometimes, it is difficult to balance the brand, price and quality. I have to sit with my wife to have a discussion about this one, because most of the time is me that request to pay more for the 'quality'.
  5. Cut down on every day expenses (40%)
    Cut unnecessary spending such as beverages (bring your own tumbler), less dining out (taking meal at home), join reputable and well-organized race only (not all chapalang ones), consolidate travels (cut the back and forth trips). I'm thinking to plant some vege at my new home, sounds interesting.
  6. Track your spending (30%)
    Yeah, my wife and I are doing this, but we did not make use of the record. Maybe we should spend some time together to review the spending, or to set a target saving amount for every month. I told my wife that we need to start budgeting already. Try to jot down everything, you'll be amazed how much you've spent on food, dining out, snacks, and some unnecessary items. (Does that inlcude Coach bags as well?)
  7. Live on one salary while bringing in two (38%)
    Yeah, my wife is very much looking forward to stay at home, running the house work and taking care of the children when the time comes. Therefore, I think it is a great time for us to actually live on one's salary while saving the other portion. Spend the small chunk and save the big chunk, how good if we can save RM3,000 per month. That would be RM36,000 a year. Should be able to get a 5-6 year old Japanese car :P
  8. Automate savings (35%)
    I have a couple of standing orders that keep sucking money from my deposit account. I did not really realize that but I tend to make it so. That's force saving. If I set aside RM200-300 per month for this purpose, I could end up saving RM2,400 - RM3,600 a year. Not much, but still it is money. People do it at RM500 - RM1,000 per month, perhaps I should try that too.
Maybe one or the combination of techniques can help you to save money. It is not an easy task, it takes effort and determination to be a prudent saver and a cautious consumer. Take up the responsibility and ownership of your own money. Multiply it, you be surprised how powerful money is.

Good luck.


Friday, July 15, 2011

A few updates

  1. Have been missing the running sessions because I was busy with the wedding and house renovation project. Have to push it very hard to get it done in a few weeks time.
  2. I'm officially confirmed as Philips Lumileds employees and entitled to get some 'extraordinary' benefits. Need to do some time doing the calculation see which does make sense to me.
  3. Kinda no mood to work, and seems like all my attention are diverted to getting the house done. I would say I'm crushed into pieces (means that I'm in a very unorganized stage)
  4. Donated 450ml of fresh blood. Get something very useful, which is the 'portable' cutlery, got everything I need such as a small spoon, fork and a pair of chopsticks, less the knife.
  5. Kinda addicted to become an interior designer but lack of exposure and training, so it would remain as a dream. I'm an amateur designer.
  6. Feel a bit exhausted in the middle of cross junction. I know I need to do more, but I'm lazy. At least I need to rest or sleep, but I don't want to. I'm doing all the rubbish things now.
  7. Another thing, I broke down in tears when I see how to police officers treat the people in 709 event. The government is failing the people as well. I'm kinda addicted to the news and youtube clips of 709, which surface at the wrong timing, too.
Just to summarize, it has not been a good habit, attitude or progress so far. I need to change that.

Go, go, go....

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Extra Flab Eraser... Let's Work Out

I just think that this is a good article/post, so I have to share it.

Erase extra flab with these super-effective tricks.

1. Catch the running bug. You'll continue to burn fat after your jog: People who run for at least four hours a week melt more calories than non-runners, even when they're not running, a Yale University School of Medicine study reports.
2. Crank it up early. Working out harder during the first half of your workout and taking it easier during the second burns up to 23 percent more fat than doing the opposite, according to a study from The College of New Jersey.
3 & 4. Go hard -- and make it quick. Staying at 80 percent of your max heart rate for 40 minutes can amp your metabolism for 19 hours afterward, research published in Obesity notes. And doing a shorter workout at 75 percent of your max aerobic capacity will give you a greater metabolic boost than sweating longer at 50 percent, a Colorado State University reveals.

5 to 7. Lift dumbbells ... slowly. More muscle equals mega metabolism boost. Strength training can help you trim major fat, research reveals -- and doing super-slow (versus normal speed) reps increases strength by 50 percent.
Plus, using dumbbells activates more muscle fibers than using machines, explains Gregory Haff, Ph.D., an associate professor in the exercise physiology department at West Virginia University.
8. Speed up, slow down. Alternating bouts of high-intensity and low-intensity cardio has been shown to torch pounds.
9. Put on weight (literally). Wearing a weighted vest (about 10 percent of your body weight) while walking can boost your calorie burn by 8 percent.
10. Download Rihanna, not Brahms. Listening to up-tempo songs actually makes you run faster and harder than listening to slower-paced music, British scientists say.
11. Let kettlebells ring. Not only does working out with kettlebells build muscle, but doing it for 20 minutes burns as many calories as running at a 6-minute-mile pace for the same amount of time.

12. Keep it up. As few as 80 minutes a week of aerobic or weight training helps keep you from regaining belly fat after losing weight, according to researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
13. Add poles. Use Nordic poles while you walk, and you'll burn 20 percent more calories, says research from The Cooper Institute in Dallas.
14 & 15. Lift first, nix the rest. Doing strength training before cardio can torch more fat than cardio alone. And if you do one move after another without pausing, "you'll see more gains in strength and muscle mass," says Dr. Pierre Manfroy, M.D., consultant for the book "100 Ways to Supercharge Your Metabolism."
16. Add pounds. Lift heavier weights for fewer reps to make your workout more intense -- and burn more fat -- Manfroy says.
17. Try aromatherapy. Exercisers who inhaled strawberry and buttered-popcorn scents torched more calories than those who sniffed neutral odors, according to research from the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago.

18. Box yourself in. Wii boxing knocks out nearly twice as many calories as some other games, like Wii golf.
19. Kick it. Playing soccer not only torches more fat and builds more muscle than jogging, but it feels less tiring, Danish research reveals.
20. Stay in shape. Fit people have more fat-burning metabolites in their blood than couch potatoes do, scientists say.

22. Get more protein. Eating a protein-packed breakfast and lunch helps you burn more post-meal fat than if you eat lower-protein meals, according to Australian research.
23 & 24. Guzzle green tea -- or coffee. Downing five 5-ounce cups of green tea a day boosts metabolism, says Lyssie Lakatos, R.D., author of "Fire Up Your Metabolism." Two cups of coffee will also do the trick, one study shows.

25. Have an omelet. Eating two eggs for breakfast while dieting will help you trim more weight and body fat than if you ate the same amount of calories noshing on a bagel, scientists say.
26. Stay above 1,200 calories... "The average person's body goes into starvation mode if she eats fewer than 1,200 calories a day," says Eric Berg, author of "The 7 Principles of Fat Burning." "That's stress, and stress creates more belly fat."
27. ... and cut calories gradually. If you diet, don't trim more than 250 calories a day. Cutting calories too quickly slows your metabolism down, Dr. Manfroy says.
28 to 33. Munch on these. Almonds, cherries, yogurt, grapefruit, whole grains, and spicy foods have all been shown to torch fat.

34. Fuel up right. Eating a low-glycemic-index breakfast (such as muesli and peaches) will help you burn more fat during a subsequent workout than eating a high-glycemic-index meal (like waffles), researchers from the University of Nottingham reveal.
35. Think before you drink. Sipping as few as 90 calories' worth of vodka can slow your metabolism by 73 percent, one study shows.
36. Graze. Women who go without eating for long periods are more likely to have higher body-fat percentages than women who nosh more regularly, one study notes.
37. Dine like a Greek. Eating a diet rich in monounsaturated fat (think olive oil, avocados) can help trim both weight and fat, research published in the British Journal of Nutrition shows.
38. Stop gorging. Your body can only handle so much food at a time, so stick to 600 calories or less per meal to maximize fat-burning, says Leslie Cooper, co-author of "Flip the Switch: Proven Strategies to Fuel Your Metabolism and Burn Fat 24 Hours a Day."
39. Skip juice. Reaching for an apple instead of apple juice is not only better calorie-wise, but it'll also do a better job of boosting your metabolism, Dr. Manfroy explains.

41 & 42. Get C and D. Vitamin C can help you burn more fat, and D may help you lose fat, research notes. Aim for 400 to 500 mg of C and 800 mg of D a day.
43 & 44. Walk more (in denim). Researchers found that fitness-friendly offices (think treadmill desks, mobile headsets) helped people trim pounds and fat, as did wearing jeans to work, since dressing casual encourages you to move more. Wear comfy clothes when you can, pace while on the phone, and stand while chatting with co-workers.
45. Add fish oil (And work out). Taking 6 grams of fish oil per day and hitting the gym three times a week can help nix body fat, an Australian study reveals.
46. Work the day shift. Keeping nontraditional hours lowers levels of hormones that trigger satiety, increases blood glucose and insulin levels, and raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol (which can drive you to eat more), scientists say.
47. Nix the boob tube. Cut your TV time in half, and you'll burn more calories each day, research from the University of Vermont suggests.
48. Go mental. People who visualized themselves training a specific muscle boosted the strength in that muscle group, researchers found.
49. Eat a smaller dinner. Your body may not digest food -- and burn fat -- as efficiently if you down a huge meal right before bedtime, especially because your metabolism is slower while you sleep, Dr. Manfroy says.
50. Jump-start your morning. Wake up your metabolism -- and get fat-burning started -- by doing some sort of exercise within the first few hours of being awake, Cooper suggests.
51. Get your snooze on. Sleep for a solid 81D 2 hours instead of 51D 2, according to research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and you'll lose more fat. Sweet dreams!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Green Tea

hmmm... I know that drinking Green Tea has a lot of benefits but I did not really look into it, until I Googled about it. I copy and paste the benefits down here, so that anyone of you that would like to start drinking Green Tea can find some reason to take it up.

Since I need to cut down some weight, and combination of caffeine and Green Tea is good for weight loss (see point no.6). I guess I can pair them up, maybe 2 cup of coffee and more than 4 cups of green tea a day? Sounds good.

The content are taken from : http://www.nutritionalsupplementshq.com/green-tea-benefits/

  1. Lowers your risk of cancer. Although the studies of how green tea affects cancerous cells are still in their infancy, there have been human trials which indicate that it does inhibit cells from developing cancer. EGCG in green tea regulates and inhibits cancer growth by killing cells that are growing inappropriately. In Japan, a study of 500 women with Stage I and Stage II breast cancer found that increasing their green tea consumption before and after surgery significantly lowered the risk of recurrence. Another analysis of 22 studies of the correlation between green tea and lung cancer concluded that by increasing your intake of green tea by two cups a day may reduce the risk of developing lung cancer by 18%.
  2. Eases the pain of rheumatoid arthritis. Study results reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that polyphenol antioxidants in green tea benefits suffers of arthritis by reducing the incidence and severity of the disease. EGCG protects cartilage destruction and reduces joint swelling and pain. This leads many scientists and health professionals to recommend green tea as a legitimate remedy for treating arthritis.
  3. Stabilizes your cholesterol levels. Researchers believe that green tea lowers your cholesterol levels by reducing its absorption in your digestive tract and increasing the rate of which it is excreted. However, your body does need cholesterol to build cell membranes, insulate nerve fibres and create hormones. For this, green tea benefits you by preventing the conversion of LDL cholesterol into it’s more dangerous, oxidized form. Oxidized LDL is one of the main factors in the development of atherosclerosis (the build of plaque that blocks your arteries as LDL gets sticky and clings to your artery walls) and increases your risk of heart attack or stroke. The amazing antioxidant effects of green tea protect this, helping to keep your arteries clean.
  4. Prevents cardiovascular disease. A Japanese study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed significant reductions in deaths from cardiovascular disease among green tea drinkers. The study found that over an 11 year test period, individuals who drank more than 5 cups per day had a 16% less chance of mortality and mortality related to cardiovascular disease when compared to individuals who drank less than one cup per day. They also found that green tea was especially beneficially in preventing strokes, due in large part to the antioxidants and how they prevent clogged arteries.
  5. Boosts your immune system. Catechins, the antioxidant polyphenol compounds, have been shown to have a major impact in your immune system. Research conducted by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2003 revealed that theanine, found in green tea, boosted the activity of the gamma delta T cells that form part of our adaptive and innate immunity. The study followed a group of coffee drinkers and a group of tea drinkers who each drank 600ml of their drink daily. Blood samples taken four weeks later quite clearly showed that production of these anti-bacterial proteins were five times higher in those drinking tea.
  6. Promotes weight loss. Both green tea and green tea extract have been shown to fight obesity and lower LDL cholesterol – both of which ultimately lead to a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes. The polyphenols in green tea are extremely useful for dissolving triglycerides, a substance in the liver and small intestine made up of mostly sugar and fat, and this is thought to be the reason green tea benefits fat loss. EGCG is also known to stimulate your metabolism and accelerate weight loss. When combined with the caffeine in green tea, this causes your central nervous system to release fat into the bloodstream to be used as fuel which burns your body fat off.
  7. Reduces tooth decay. Antibacterial properties found in green tea are also used by your body to kill the bacteria that causes plaque on your teeth. Research by the Journal of Periodontology has also shown that for every cup of green tea you drink, there is a decrease in indicators for gum disease. Fluoride is also found in green tea which helps to protect against cavities.
  8. Effective in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. In 2007, Dr. Orhan Aktas from the Institute of Neuroimmunology conducted a study of how green tea benefits sufferers of multiple sclerosis. While current patients do not have many options to prevent tissue damage and disability, he found that the flavonoid EGCG found in green tea could have a huge impact on multiple sclerosis. He concluded that EGCG is capable of directly protecting against neuronal injury in living brain tissue and that EGCG constituents may open up a new therapeutic avenue for treating MS by combining anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective capacities.
  9. Slows the onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. A recent report published in the journal Phytomedicine has found substantial evidence that the enzymes found in green tea protect your brain cells from damage. Another study conducted by the University of South Florida looked at the effects of antioxidant EGCG. It was shown to be a protein blocker which prevented the chemical reactions that can lead to nerve damage that can lead to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
  10. Fights the cause of allergies in your body. Methylated epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) has been shown to block a cells receptor involved in producing an allergic response. By blocking the production of histamine and immunoglobulin E (IgE), two compounds in the body that are chiefly involved in triggering and sustaining allergic reactions, EGCG could very well be the compound which prevents you from having watery eyes, sneezing and coughing.
  11. Helps to fend off infections. Again, as one of the main benefits of green tea, EGCG has been highlighted by a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology as being able to prevent infections, including the HIV virus. EGCG binds with CD4 immune system T-cell receptors and stops HIV from doing the same to reduce the risk of infection. While it is still way too early to peg green tea as a cure for HIV, an Egyptian study has shown that combining antibiotics with green tea significantly boosts the effectiveness of the antibiotic. In fact, when tested against 28 disease-causing microorganisms, green tea enhanced the bacteria killing power in every single case.
  12. Reduces and prevents acne. Green tea benefits acne in a number of different ways. It’s antibacterial properties attack and kill the acne bacteria while the anti-inflammatory benefits of green tea reduce the swelling and redness. Antioxidants fight against free radicals which damage the skin and make it more susceptible to acne also help to balance hormone levels to help prevent future breakouts from happening.
  13. Slows the aging process to prevent wrinkles. One of the latest benefits of green tea is the effect it has on your skin and the aging process. It is again down to the antioxidants that prevent cell oxidation and damage that can make you look older than you really are. Studies are mixed on this particular green tea benefit as new research has come to light which suggests the full benefits can only be had by applying green tea topically to your skin. However, many people have found that potent green tea extracts do have a positive effect on their skin, leaving it softer, more supply and younger looking.
    You can judge for yourself.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Dailymile 20110627 - 20110703

Erm... initially I registered this online application so that I can track my running activities, but somehow things change, and I'm here without any treadmill, everything since then changed, the weekly mileage is miserably low, or most of the time -- none.

Anyhow I'm gonna change that, since I do not have a gym membership, I don't have a treadmill, so the best way is to run in my neighbourhood. Going to increase the mileage and decrease the pounds building up 'silently' around my waist.

Now, 66.5 - 67kg, target 65kg by end of the month. Just had an apple, white coffee and a slice of honey dew for breakfast. Can I sustain?