In UK, Oil is Cheaper than Packed Water

Can there be an economy where oil is cheaper than water? If yes, how will it affect its countrymen?

According to United Kingdom’s The Independent, a British national newspaper publication, Oil by barrel is now cheaper than the 6 packed bottles (1.5 liter each) of Evian Natural Mineral Water.

A liter of bottled water costs about 42 Pence (S$87 or US$0.66), while it costs about 24 Pence (S$0.49 or US$0.38) a liter for gas…that is 40 percent cheaper!

The price of oil has notably collapsed, affecting every single person in the country. A market analyst for Reuters named John Kemp, highlighted the bizarre state of economy on Twitter saying that not only that the current oil price represented “an unsustainable low level” – but that it was “impossible to predict how low prices might fall”.

Image Credits: Daniel Oines via Flickr

Image Credits: Daniel Oines via Flickr

This is not the first time it has happened globally.

In 2011, Saudi Arabia’s petrol costs about 0.45 Saudi Arabian Riyal or 0.16 Singapore Dollars and 0.12 United States Dollars, which is absolutely much cheaper than bottled water. Saudi’s government spends SAR26 Billion on water subsidies every year to keep down their citizens’ water bills (Finfacts, 2011). That is equal to S$26 Billion.

An interesting thought is that unlike any other countries in Southeast Asia, the tap water in Singapore is safe to drink. We can just get a glass of tap water then refill it for free. But, a liter of bottled water in the supermarket is still more expensive than United Kingdom’s liter of oil today.

Image Credits: Luis via Flickr

Image Credits: Luis via Flickr

Although this economic state in UK may cause lower annual prices of other goods easing the cost of living of the citizens…the falling energy prices may result to inflation and threaten the financial stability of the whole country. The Bank of England backs up this statement of warning.


4 Unusual Places to Find and Earn Money

Some people make it their golden mission to find hidden treasures throughout their lives, while others accidentally stumble onto them without effort. Whether it be practical or not, here are 4 Ways You can Find and Earn Money in the most Unusual Places.


A couple in California discovered treasures in their own backyard while walking their dog. They found 1,427 rare mint-condition coins dating from 1847 to 1894. Then, the coin experts estimated and appraised the coins at US$11 million. Today, you can find the last piece of coin that is offered for sale at Amazon.

Image Credits: Kagin's, Inc. SRH via Amazon

Image Credits: Kagin’s, Inc. SRH via Amazon


A man once bought a painting of a country scene at a flea market in Pennsylvania in 1989. It turns out that it was one of the 24 known copies of the original 1776 Declaration of American Independence. In 2000, it was sold for US$8.14 million to the television producer named Norman Lear.

There are various flea markets in Singapore. Maybe you’re the next person to find antiques or special items in the flea market. Nonetheless, you can always find cheap yet useful items, which you can resell again.

Image Credits: Nasrul Ekram via Flickr

Image Credits: Nasrul Ekram via Flickr


Participate in paid focus groups, online surveys, or research studies that maybe in the field of science, marketing, etc. You may google the opportunities that are near to your city or those that pay even if you are in any place of the world through reputable services such as Paypal. Although while in search, you must make sure that the center or the institution is credible to ensure your safety.



Selling your old books and magazines on online sites such as Amazon or Carousell can be a valid option. Not only can you earn extra money but you can also de-clutter at the same time! Also, some people have had success by compiling used books of others or buying books on the cheap garage sales, and reselling them again for a higher price.


The 10 Best Places to Retire In The World

Best Places To Retire

It would be no surprise if you have come to this article looking for the best places to retire overseas.

After spending decades of your life slogging in Singapore, you feel it is now time to venture out and get some fresh air. It might seems appealing to you to spend the next half of your life in a place where you get the best healthcare and quality of life  – in addition to your mansion that is overlooking the horizon by the sea or a farm located at the top of a mountain. Tranquility is what you desired most.

We hear and feel you.

In what we defined ‘best‘, we use Natixis’s CoreData 2014 Global Retirement Index which examined 4 thematic indices that incorporates 20 performance indicators in our article.

The 4 thematic indices include:

  • The Health in Retirement Index – measured using the geometric mean of life expectancy at birth, health expenditure per capita, physicians per 1,000 people, non-insured health expenditure and the number hospital beds for every 1,000 people.
  • The Material Wellbeing in Retirement Index which measures the ability of a country’s population to provide for their material needs. It took the geometric mean of the income per capita, income equality and the rate of unemployment in their studies.
  • The Finances in Retirement Index that is calculated using a range of indicators such as investment environment, old age dependency, inflation and interest rate, tax pressure, bank non-performing loan, government indebtedness and institutional strength.
  • The Quality of Life and Environmental Index is a sub-index that captures the level of happiness of a society as well as environmental factors such as water and air pollution and the level of climate change.

8 out of the 10 in the list are European countries and they are a popular retirement haven where millions of retirees flock to in the past few years.

Let’s take a look at 10 best places to retire in the world.

1. Switzerland

Switzerland Alps

(Image Credit: adina*raul, via Flickr)

Total population: 8,061,516 (July 2014)
GDP per capita: US$80,477.43 (2013)

Switzerland has overtook Norway moving up one place to top the retirement index. When the Swiss nation topped a number of indicators with the highest life expectancy, lowest inflation (-0.10% in November 2014) and the least air and water pollution, you could see the reason why. Coupled with improving healthcare and income equality, it is everyone’s dream to retreat there.

Interesting facts: From Swiss watches to chocolates, you get the finest of everything. What about a trip to the Swiss Alps?

2. Norway

Norway Retirement

(Image Credit: Jarkko Laine, via Flickr)

Total population: 5,156,451 (1 October 2014)
GDP per capita: US$100,818.50 (2013)

Even though Norway has dropped one place, it is a country that boasts a very high quality of life, exceptional healthcare and sound financial system. With a sovereign wealth fund of $800bn, it is also one of the wealthiest countries in the world on a per capita basis.

However, its ultra-low interest rate and high level of taxation could pose huge a challenge for retirees to grow their retirement saving.

Interesting facts: Norway is famous for its Fjords, a long and narrow inlets with steep cliffs. Also expect to see many trolls figurines in shops and along the street as they form part of the Norse folklore.

3. Austria

Hallstat, Austria

(Image Credit: – peperoni -, via Flickr)

Total population: 8,507,786 (1 January 2014)
GDP per capita: US$49,053.82 (2013)

Taking third place, we have Austria who has climbed two places in last year’s index. What contributed most is their healthcare system where there is free access to basic healthcare even if you are a tourists or just staying temporarily if you are from a EU country. Low unemployment and high income equality has led to a high material wellbeing.

Interest facts: Known worldwide for its music and architecture, Austria has produced many famous musicians, actors, composers and philosophers. Think Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mozart, Sigmund Freud and Ferdinand Porsche.

4. Sweden

Stolkholm, Sweden

(Image Credit: Ulf Bodin, via Flickr)

Total population: 9,557, 532 (15 December 2014)
GDP per capita: US$58,269.03 (2013)

Sweden also boasts one of the best healthcare system in the world. Like many others in the list, Sweden has low level of income inequality and inflation and hence fared well in the Finance in Retirement index. With a GDP per capita of $58,269.03, it is one of the highest in the EU.

Interesting facts: The Swedes love their fermented herring more than anything else. It forms one of their staples since the 16th century. Fika, or coffee break, is common in Sweden. Everyone gets together with their colleague, friends and family to enjoy coffee so expect to see many Fika cafes in Sweden. Wait, do you also know that they are famous for its glass?

5. Australia

Sydney Opera House

(Image Credit: Hai Linh Truong, via Flickr)

Total population: 23,692,600 (11 December 2014)
GDP per capita: US$67,468.07 (2013)

Australia is one of the country that made it into the top 10 list and has rose from 11th to 5th in 2014. As a economy with strong commodities industry, it is one of the fastest developed economies in the world. With low unemployment, tax pressure and a strong social system, it is no surprise that Australia has made significant improvements to its ranking.

Interesting facts: Whenever someone mention Australia, kangaroo and koalas are the first that comes to my mind. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world largest coral system and was selected as one of the world heritage sites by UNESCO. If you are a retiree who love outdoor activities, stop at Australia. What’s Australia without surfing and camping?

6. Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark

(Image Credit: Jim Nix, via Flickr)

Total population: 5,627,235 (2014)
GDP per capita: US$58,894.00 (2013)

Denmark is one of the ‘happiest’ nations on the planet which is reflected in their high Quality of Life index. Outstanding living standards and government welfare has benefited the Danes. Free university and gay rights has led to high level of freedom amongst the Danes.

Interesting facts: Denmark has the highest level of trust in the world with each citizens supporting one another. And if you are mad about food, Noma should be in your hit list for haute cuisine. It is the best restaurant in the world with about 20,000 people attempting to get a reservation in a day. Oh and did i mention LEGO was invented by the Danes?

7. Germany

Dresden, Germany

(Image Credit: Trey Ratcliff, via Flickr)

Total population: 82,652,256 (July 2014)
GDP per capita: US$45,084.87 (2013)

Germany is the largest economy in Europe and also one of the most influential European nation. Known worldwide for its manufacturing of high-end products such as cars, kitchen utensils and hiking products – expect everything to be world class. Excellent welfare and health care system in the country has allowed the country to be a good retirement haven.

Interesting facts: Entrenched with rich culture and heritage, there are plenty of museums, theatres, and libraries for retirees to visit. And if there is Mozart, we have Beethoven. If you are famish, how does a bratwurst accompanied by a beer sounds? Heaven.

8. Finland

Northern Light, Finland

(Image Credit: Timo Horstschäfer, via Flickr)

Total population: 5,268,799 (July 2014)
GDP per capita: US$47,218.77 (2013)

Despite dropping two places, Finland has one of the highest qualify of life with a good healthcare and financial system – something that is common in Nordic nations. Low crime rate and the least corrupted government has also made Finland a safe place to retire. Something that also stood out is their world class education system that has consistently ranked above many nations.

Interesting facts: Helsinki, capital of Finland is voted as one the most liveable cities in the world. Finland is also one of the best place in the world to spot the Northern Lights. And good news if you are a sauna lover, there are over 2 million saunas in Finland. End your visit with fresh Finnish coffee.

9. New Zealand

New Zealand

(Image Credit: Trey Ratcliff, via Flickr)

Total population: 4,551,482 (16 December 2014)
GDP per capita: US$41,555.75 (2013)

New Zealand is one of the 2 non-European nation to make it to the list. A free market economy has led to the ease of doing business in this Oceania country. It has fared well this year in the Finances in Retirement index moving from 88th to 5th place due to lowering of tax pressure and improvement in other factors such as non-performing loans. People in New Zealand can also access to public healthcare for free – something that is important for retiree.

Interesting facts: Besides picturesque landscape, New Zealand is famous for its indigenous people, the Maori as well as their native bird, Kiwi. And make sure you catch a game of All Blacks in Westpac stadium and do some hiking at Mt Cook’s in your free time.

* In 2010, New Zealand Immigration launched a pilot project aimed at attracting Singaporeans migrants. You might want to check with their immigration should NZ be the ideal destination of your retreat.

10. Luxembourg


(Image Credit: Dennis Jarvis, via Flickr)

Total population: 520,672 (July 2014)
GDP per capita: US$111,161.69 (2013)

With a GDP per capita of US$111,161.69, Luxembourger are the wealthiest people on the planet despite being severely affected by the global financial crisis. Luxembourg has  the second largest fund administration industry and thrive on the banking sector. It scores in the Material Wellbeing Index with almost ideal income equality and relative low unemployment rate of 5% in 2014.

Interesting facts: If you are claustrophobic and want a get away from busy roads, packed trains and high rise HDB flat, you may be interested to know what Luxembourg is the least populated country in the European Union – with 194 human inhabitants per square kilometers. (vs 7,148/km² in Singapore) And it’s not only human who love to set foot there, big global companies like Skype, Amazon, Rakuten and Paypal call Luxembourg home – also known as a tax haven.


So where does Singapore stands?

Singapore is ranked 41 in the list. While Singapore fared well in the Finances in Retirement Index, it need to focus on improving the quality of life. Singapore achieved a Happy Planet Index (HPI) of 39.8 which put us in #90 out of 151 countries analysed. Perhaps it is time for us to work on achieving a better work-life balance to avoid being a nation packed with disgruntled and overworked citizens.


5 Fun Family Activities in Singapore under $10

Who says that no family activity in Singapore is cheap? Think again! In fact, some of them are FREE! From free shows to art appreciation, here are 5 Family Activities (under $10) that you will surely enjoy.


Be amazed by the stars and constellations you will see in the Omni Theatre at the Singapore Science Centre. Gaze over the vast universe from 7:50 to 10 pm every Fridays through a series of telescopes. Best of all? It’s FREE.


In Singapore Botanic Gardens, your family may stroll over the Rain Forest Trail to see various forest animals (e.g., Giant Mahang and Common Tree Frog) ,and forest plants (e.g. Rattan and Meraga Tree) or the National Orchid Garden to see the beautiful orchids. The entrance for the National Orchid Garden is S$2 for adults and S$1 for children and senior.

Image Credits: Edwin.11 via Flickr

Image Credits: Edwin.11 via Flickr

You could lay down your blanket almost anywhere in the Gardens, but one of the nicest spot is probably at Palm Valley and Symphony Lake, especially when they’re staging one the regular free classical music concerts.


Cycle and jog across the lush greeneries and wondrous beach view of the East Coast Park. If you don’t own bike, you may rent one for S$6. You may also indulge in a family barbecue here, and stay on your own tents to cozy up.


Be absorbed with great contemporary art in the Singapore Art Museum. Their Learning Gallery especially caters for the young minds. It is a rich visual sight that your children don’t usually see. The admission is free for citizens and PRs, otherwise you may check the prices here.


Enjoy the free “Wonderfull Show” at the Marina Bay Sands every evening from 8pm (full showtimes here). In here you will immerse yourselves in light, sound and music where your little ones will awe in delight. Remember to get there early to secure the best seats!

Image Credits:

Image Credits:

You don’t have to spend too much to have fun with the ones you love. At the end of the day, your presence and quality time spent are more than enough to make them happy. 


Watch Out for these 6 Grocery Store Tricks!

Have you ever experienced going into the grocery with a shopping list in mind, and ended up buying more? Maybe it is because you shopped hungry, or just because of the grocery’s marketing strategies. Some grocery stores have subtle, psychological, and clever tricks to make their consumers buy more. Thankfully, I’ve uncovered 6 Grocery Tricks that will help you save more on your shopping bill.


Upon entering the grocery, you’ll notice the shopping carts. An invention designed in the late 1930s have grown in size over the years. Since larger purchases are easily done, the bigger the cart, the more money may be spent. So, if you intend to buy a relatively medium amount of items opt for using a friendly basket.


Imagine the smell of baked breads mixed with the fresh smell of flowers. Very enticing right? This is why newly baked goods and fresh flowers are placed near the front door. The goodness of smell will surely make you feel hungry, and keep your mood up!

Image Credit: Paul Swansen via Flickr

Image Credits: Paul Swansen via Flickr


Most grocery stores place popular items on the right side of the shelves to move shoppers from the left to the right. This is because all items throughout the store are strategically placed to follow the “right” path.


Another strategy is to target the children’s interests because they play an influence on what goes inside the carts. Supermarkets purposely place cereals, toys, and sugary treats at a kid-friendly level. So, do not give in to what your kid wants (unless he/she makes a huge and uncontrollable scene) or you can just leave your kids at home.


Essentials such as dairy, bread, eggs, etc. are placed at the back of the store and far away from each other so you’ll be forced to travel the whole store to get it. Once you have travelled, you probably bought more that what you’ve needed. By knowing this trick, you may start with going straight to the back with your shopping list on your hand to keep you on track.

Image Credit: Redjar via Flickr

Image Credits: Redjar via Flickr


Instead of putting a price of,  “$4” for example, they will put an irrational price of “$3.99 or $3.96” to make you think that you saved more money by scoring a better deal. What’s more? They will also put that if you buy more then you will save more! It’s these small details that may sound silly but it surely works.

Sources: Grocery Coupon NetworkIdea Finder, & Lifehacker

Grocery stores, like any other businesses, are looking for making profit. This is why they have used strategies and psychological obstacles to entice you to put more items in the cart. I hope that by knowing these tricks, you will be able to shop smarter and save more!