Monday, July 22, 2013

Lucas is 2!!

Lucas turns two! What a journey it has been, and we are only just began...

We were in two minds whether to celebrate his birthday with our family as Xavier had HFMD (again? yeah I know. It's like an annual thingy for Xavier) the week before. Thankfully he recovered in time and Lucas didn't show symptoms of it. We celebrated his birthday with our families 2 days earlier on a Saturday.

That morning, Xavier made a birthday cake for Lucas out of Duplo blocks, complete with zoo animals and the zookeeper on it. That was really sweet of him.

He loves Lucas, most of the time.

Afternoon was the celebration with my parents and my in-laws. Plenty of food of course.

Lucas has always been a mummy's boy since birth, sticking to Lilian like a koala bear.

Time to bring out the real birthday cake. Nothing fancy, just a simple cake from Bengawan Solo. But any birthday cakes will excite the kids.

Let's clap and sing the birthday song. Drama by Xavier over blowing of candles.

Family shots.

We had a small cake and birthday song singing on Lucas actual day.

Happy Birthday Lucas! Hope you let us brush your teeth without making it a wrestling match every day.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Credit Cards For The Family Man

I have always view credit cards as just another means of payment and a way of redeeming shopping vouchers with points accumulated from using the card. So I have always tried to concentrate spending on one or two cards and have not signed up new cards for a few years.

Recently, however, I signed up two cards in one week. I feel these two cards, together with some cards I have existing, are useful for The Family Man, Daddies. The big game changer for me is cash/bill rebates.

Before you read on, this is on condition that you too view credit cards as just another means of making payments and you fully pay off all credit card spending every month. Paying minimum amount and letting credit card bills snowball would be a very silly thing to do.

First on the list is the Maybank Family and Friends Platinum Mastercard. This is a must have for all families, at least up to 31 December 2013. Why so? Because it offers 5% cash rebates on all spending on NTUC and Cold Storage, Guardian & Unity NTUC Healthcare, Popular Bookshop, Toys "R" Us &Yamaha Music, among other outlets, cap at $600 per calendar year.

The first two covers almost all groceries needs of all families. Use the NTUC link card at NTUC and the Passion Card at Cold Storage together with this credit card to maximise reward accumulation. And if I remember correctly, it pays the rebate from first dollar up. Must have.

Next is the OCBC Frank Card. This is another must have if you are into online shopping. And I know many parents do a number of online shopping as its usually cheaper or have a larger variety. This card gives you 6% cash rebates for all online shopping payments, as long as you spend at least $500 on that month. The cap is $60 rebate per month so that works out to be $1,000 online shopping per month with rebates. Check out my "Online Shopping Encore" post for online shopping ideas.

Metro-UOB Platinum Card and OCBC Robinsons Visa Platinum are two cards good for getting toys and children stuff with discounts and rebates. I favour the Metro-UOB card as Metro has a excellent variety of Lego sets and they have those 20% sale almost every alternate month. Plus a 5% Metro$ rebate system, it is almost like getting Lego sets at 24% discount during sales period.

OCBC Robinson card has a cash rebate system and every now and then they have special bonus voucher events. Technically its better but their Lego collection are not as Metro's.

Lastly its the Standard Chartered Manhatten World credit card. It was my favourite card for big ticket purchases of between $3,000 to $4,000 on a particular month per quarter. For that, you get a 5% cash rebate of $150 to $200 per quarter. Sadly, I just received a letter late last month that they are reducing the cash rebate to 3%. Boo.

Do read the fine prints of the various cards before using and the above information may change as and when the banks want to. So do check the information with the bank.