Tag Archives: money

british coins today

19 Sep

london 6.32pm 19.4C clear saturday 2015

i have lived here in london and used the coins everyday but never realise they spell out the shield when laid out in the way shown in this post by ya ma donkey. it is interesting.

though all that made me take a look at the coins i got  and found two £1 coins with different backs designs. both showing bridges. and they dont have any latin words on the rims. i hope they are real, ie not counterfeit coins.

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera


14 Nov


i got an email today from dailymail giving me a voucher for a starbucks coffee. it was part of their promotion whereby u exchange a unique number printed in saturday’s daily mail and they will send u a voucher to redeem at starbucks.

i did that about 2or 3wks ago and never received the email with the voucher so i sent them an email telling them of it. i did not get any reply and thought well that is that. haha. and decided to write it off. well, today i got an apology from them and a voucher. which i hope to print off and redeem that coffee.  

i was just thinking it makes life less stressful if u dont let it bother you.

these things happen and if i were a chap who wants to make my life hard, i would most probably get all angry and writing and phoning them and screaming at them.

but i have noticed that if u let them know and then sit back and forget it, (and in fact, i was thinking perhaps it is just as well, as those coffees are really full of suger) sooner or later someone will come back and correct it.

and if not, it might be a blessing in disguise , stops you from indulging in such a unhealthy activity. it certainly stopped me redeeming more numbers for the coffee as i would lose points , quite a big number too 75points, if i did. 

something similar  happened a long time ago with ryanair . that time ryanair was infamous for never refunding your plane fare for whatever reason. it so happened that when i was booking a plane trip on their website, i inadvertantly hit the submit keys twice and got two tickets for the same flight. well, instead of calling them which is on a premium line and cost a lot of money not to mention get a lot of grieve from it, i just sent them an email telling them of it. i heard nothing from them and i just put it out of my mind.

much later i got an email from them telling me they will put the money back into my credit card. i find that is a good philosophy, just dont sweat these things. if it is lost it is lost , forget it, and if they refund you the money, well that is nice. it is only money after all.

perhaps that is the secret of a happy life. just forget about the lousy things that happen. haha. 

Added.2pm. i am at the starbucks near the westminster cathedral,(the catholic one not the church of england westminster abbey), and using their wifi. it is very good, very fast, and also u can get online without having to register. and what is more, allows me to download gay websites, which a lot of other wifi wont allow. no wonder people like to go to a starbucks to get online.

(i spoke too soon, you still cannot get online to a gay website if u go direct, but if u go via a link in a email, you can. that was how i got through the first time, via a message from someone who wrote a message on my page and sent to my email from the gaywebsite. that is a useful thing to know.haha)

i got my eggnog latte. though this time, i did not get the whipped cream, it seems u have to ask for it. last time the woman asked me if i want it.

 they are very careful to get your name and want  to look at the email with my name on it. so not anyone can just print multiple copies of the voucher and use it. 

added. there is no eggnog in that drink. i dont know why but the name makes me think there is and i kind of look forward to tasting egg in it, but there isn’t. i dont know how other drinkers dont get a bit disappointed at it. starbucks have all these fancy names to their drinks but there is no substance to it. after my experience twice with these named drinks that dont have any of it in it, i am wise to it now and so dont want to drink them anymore. i wish they would put eggnog flavour in it. it cannot be that difficult to concoct and artificial flavour in the lab. they are able to invent so many chemicals that give u strawberry flavour, etc etc, it cannot be beyond them to make one that tastes and smells of eggnog, or pumpkin.

live below your means

3 Nov


i was reading this in my wordpress reader, about what the most important thing in personal finance. and the simple answer is ‘live below your means’.

this advice i got from my accountant too. she said just make sure that your outgoings do not exceed your income. that way u dont have to raid your capital and you will have savings. in fact, i have been following that unconsciously (i just did it without analysing it , it seems like common sense really) right from when i was very young. so it is not new to me.

like i have said, i would eat salt fish and rice and nothing else if i have to. in fact, i do like eating salt fish with rice. its delicious. haha. i never have to eat it from force of circumstances because i always live below my means.

i dont understand how people can get to rely on payday lenders.

it is easy to live within your means. but i think that is because of the way i cultivate a mindset that would make me enjoy things that i have to do or not do, to be able to live below my means. its all in the mind really. to me i never feel deprived if i have to do without or to do something to live below my means.

its natural to me and nothing to do with being deprived or rewarded or feeling good or bad about it. i often read from bloggers who did something and then say they bought a cake and coffee to reward themselves.

what is all this about rewarding oneself? a bit silly really.

a strong £

28 Jul

Digital StillCamera

london 2014 monday

The uk has finally come out of the longest depression. this one started in 2008, and it is now 6yrs later .

i have a feeling a lot of that is due to the £ going down. nothing encourages more exports and less imports than a falling £ and that is good for business and the country as a whole.

for me, i can remember a time when the £ = 6.5Rm(ringgits) even hitting 7Rm, compared to now = 5.4 Rm. and of course that wonderful time when we can get 1.5Euros for £1. now it is 1.26Euros. at one time not that long ago, it used to be even less. 

If the £ is low, because it costs more to import stuff , it seems; cost of living goes up for those of us living here but that seems to be the price all of us here have to pay to shore up the economy.

in a way, because VAT is zero for veg and meat, if u keep to those, like i do,  u wont be much affected and side stream yourself from having to pay the increased cost of living.

Those who are clever can structure what they buy and change their lifestyle and not pay anything like the prevalent cost of living.  And if u keep to basics range you would hardly notice the rise in the cost of living.  Certainly for me, i don’t notice it. 

i have to add a correction. actually my monthly outgoing for food has doubled, from £20 a month, it is from such a low base that i dont notice it even if it is doubled now. so i guess perception is a very subjective thing. haha. in the past the supermarkets discount their meat a lot at the end of the day and there are plenty of them, so easy to get;  but now , there are less of those bargains, in fact i would say there are none now. that accounts for why my food bill has doubled. 

Now i read the news that the £ has gone up and many companies mention that as their reason for profit warnings ahead. It seems the £ has risen on the anticipation of a interest rate rise. The bank of england governor have been hinting at it but not doing it for real. almost as if the bank of england wants a higher £ but without having to actually raise the rate. clever strategy, and seems to be working… for now. it is a way of dampening the rate of growth, without actually raising interest rates which will dampen business activity in the country. 

If you think that the strong £ will mean you get better exchange rate for your tourist money, think again. it seldom happens that you get a stronger exchange rate, as soon as the £ strengthens, though rates drop immediately everytime the £ weakens. if u search, u will find £1 = US$1.70. £1=1.26 euros;  but will you get that rate in the money changers on the high street? i bet u wont. i shall have a look at their rates when i go out later, and see what rate they give.

added. 4pm. i am surprised the rates are quite good.  1.245 euros, and $1.68. only a spread of .02 . no commission. no wonder there was a long queue stretching outside the office and round the corner. it was the american express office in victoria st, near the westminster cathedral. 

added. i have noticed converting euros to £, or $ to £ is not so good. so as usual if u are a tourist wanting to convert to £s, you lose out. i think tourists are like the wildebeest in africa, being the prey of all the predators lying along its path as they migrate across the plains. the only thing is the wildebeests have to do it, to follow the rains, but you dont have to be a tourist. 

money laundering

27 Jul

london sunday 2014

Ever wondered why anyone would pay £140million for a flat in london? This article in the independent makes me realise why.

the flat is at one hyde park. and it is a penthouse that has sold for that price in 2010 and is still a shell. how does it work?

like this… you want to get your money out quick, so u buy this flat, pay all the other subsidiary (stamp duty, etc,etc) costs to buy one , and presto, you have moved £140million into uk. u sit on it for the requisite number of years and then sell at the same price and you free the money.

i am sure other flats/houses in london are sold to foreigners on the same basis. no questions asked as to how u earn that money. the prices are not so high as this 1hydepark flat, and there is the real chance of you being able to sell it on for a higher price than you bought it. not to mention you could rent it out and make some money too. it is a win -win-win situation.

people have warned that london’s property boom may crash. if this is true, that a lot of the money is laundered money, even if there is a property correction, i doubt it will crash , not in london. people think illegal money for laundering is drugs money, or crime money, but a simple thing like not declaring earnings for tax can fall into that category. plenty of people may have money like that to use up and make legit. 

it is perfect for laundering money and getting it out of your own country. there is also gains to be made if , as now, sterling increase in value. though that is not the primary concern. the money is now legit and u can use it in legit businesses.

one thing though, you will have to pay high service charges. this article which says there is a separate entrance in luxury blocks to differentiate their low cost tenants from the others, not only separates the rich from the poor tenants but also separates the high service charges too.

 I have a feeling that a lot of things happening in the commercial world is tax and money laundering fronts.

as well as lots of luxury flats being built in london, there are a lot of restaurants and eating places opening in london. why? there must be tax and money laundering advantages here. it is a way for foreign money to get a toe hold in london, and to legitimise the money invested. like mafia bosses opening businesses ( for eg laundromets, and restaurants) to clean up their money, i think restaurants (and buy- to- lets) are a great pathway to make the money clean.

the old £50 note cease legal tender from 1st May

28 Apr


I read it first at the mirror newspaper, a few days ago in  the library copy, but strangely no other newspaper that day featured it. I thought it was important news, because it will alert us all to find old £50 notes and spend it quick or change it at the bank. 

i went to the barclay bank branch in pimlico to change it , but the woman cashier there flatly told me they are not accepting it and to ask me to put it into my account. very unhelpful of her. but at first i thought maybe it is just the bank trying to stop money launderers… but this morning when i set out to get rid of my remaining notes, the hsbc bank in victoria took it without any problems and changed it for me. so it seems that barclay woman was just being onery. remind me to boycott barclay bank. 

then i went to the primark near marble arch on oxford st, because i wanted to buy a swimming trunk to replace the one i lost when i left my bag at the bus stop. but there were no swimming trunks like the speedo style, (what the australians call budgie smugglers). lots of bermuda style shorts with it reaching down to the knee. i can see they are swim wear as they all have an inner lining. but it was not what i wanted. I allready got a bermuda style swimwear made by adidas.

the cheapest shorts they got were from £3.50. which is quite a good price if i were in the market for it. so i did not buy any but bought socks instead. primark is brilliant for socks. they are £2 a pack, 6 ankle socks , 4 sports socks. i can always do with socks because they always gets lost in our flat.

simon buys them too and still we run out of them. where do they go?

the cashier took the note and asked me to wait saying she need to verify it. when she returned she  accepted it. 

next i went to the tesco in vauxhall, and bought frozen chicken pieces 2kg for £3.50 ( good value at £1.75/kg) and frozen fish 540mg for £1.68. they are white fish which i find v useful for everything. i daresay they are from this s.e.asian bottom dweller ( with a name like pollock haha) which look huge and gross and ugly. haha. but it has excellent meaty flesh. i bought tesco basic instant coffee too… i just love it (though when i got back i found i allready got a spare bottle).

but anyway the cashier told me at first they dont accept it anymore. the £50 note. but i persisted ( well actually i just continued packing up the goods and repeatedly saying it’s money isn’t it?haha.) and she said she will ask and came back to say i am in luck, it expires on wednesday… so the mirror article was not wrong… 

i am really glad i read that article, but why the other newspapers did not carry it i wonder. 

i tried to find the mirror article online the day i read it in that day’s newspaper; but nothing on their website or I could not find it. i wanted to blog about it then, but did not bother when i could not find the link. ah well, hope those who have the odd £50 note lying around is not too late to get rid of it. I think i have got rid of all my notes now, though i wont rule out finding some more when the deadline is gone. I sincerely hope not because it would be a huge botheration. 

£50 notes are not something u use, and you tend to just put them aside as they are really awkward to carry about and shopkeepers are always reluctant to accept them for small purchases. the self service tills in supermarkets wont accept them and so u have to queue up to get the human cashier to do it, and it is a lot of bother with them humming and hawing and fingering it; and holding up the queue. 

ah well, after 1st may, u will have to go to the bank of england to change it. it will always be possible to change it at the bank of england, and the notes do not expire. but it is hell of a bother to go to the bank of england to change the odd note. 

Why does Wonga even exist? It’s a question no one on the left asks | Zoe Williams | Comment is free | The Guardian

18 Dec

hy does Wonga even exist? It’s a question no one on the left asks | Zoe Williams | Comment is free | The Guardian.

this article came to the wrong conclusion, that it is the fault of low pay.

i think it is the fault of a kind of mentality very prevalent in the west…which is i want it and i want it NOW!

we all think it is only the very poor and desperate who will take up these loans, but it is not so. wonga is very successful, it cannot all be accounted for by the desperate and poor people who cannot get loans elsewhere; many who are working and might be earning a salary that can well cover the minimum costs of their day to day lives, and who can take a loan from their banks, dont want to do so, because of the paperwork, they prefer take out  loans from wonga  because it is hassle free, and  they just dont want to wait till pay day to buy services or goods that they crave. they want it and they want it now.

the article says

The veneer of criticising the corporation – usually Wonga – masks what would otherwise be the straightforward attribution of poverty to stupidity. In this reading, it’s not your fault that you’re at the stupid end of a phenomenally stupid deal; it’s the fault of that cunning organisation. 

and goes on to ask why do these people need these loans, and concluded is it due to low , inadequate pay?

i dont think so. i am sure there will be those cases, but even the well to do, sometimes get cash flow problems, and wonga is a quick answer. it would not surprise me that wonga et al is making such huge profits from these working people who earn an income able to pay back the loan, who dont want to wait to get what they want. perhaps buying in sales where the bargain can be gone if not bought now.

there are lots of reasons why you might need to get hold of money now.

personally i would do without and save up, but that is an old fashioned mind set and shows my age. haha. the young are so used to living on credit, it is nothing to them to be in debt. there is no stigma to being in debt. and the laws are quite lenient to those who are in debt.a bankrupt can be discharged in 2yrs for eg. and credit scoring records are kept for only 6yrs. in fact, if u got a record of borrowing your credit rating is better than someone who never borrows.

what surprised me is that this kindof lending used to be the province of money lenders operating on the shady side of the street. now it is all in the open. how come wonga et al got the license to do so? and the internet makes it international, and lots of people borrowing small amounts (less than £1000) can make for huge profits.

Wonga is a great business model. better than making some product and trying to sell it at a profit. sell money instead. haha.

added. i was thinking in some perverse way it has a lot of logic to it. For eg, let’s say i want £100, so why dont i borrow £115 from wonga, and keep that £15 aside, and spend the £100 . the interest on £115 is £16.35 over 9days.

added. i knew there was a catch. i did not see it at first, but i forgot that you still have to pay back that £100. (correction, pay back that £115). It is really strange, i could see in the website if i borrow £115 i should pay back £131.35. it is clearly spelt out, and yet i chose to not see it. And this is me, who is so careful with money, can be fooled by myself. 

All in all, it really is foolish to borrow money. you can see how easy it is for someone who is naive to think someone is doing this and not making alot of money out of it and you are the idiot who will pay for it. maybe there is some truth to poverty happens to those who are stupid or naive or both.

I am it seems paying them back with their own money…. its a win win… i know there is something wrong there with the logic, but hey, it looks good doesn’t it?

I went into wonga website to get the figures. interesting that they limit my loan to £400 and 31days. so for total strangers, that is the limit. it is like 36%(about £36) interest for the month. so it does not work if u borrow it for that long. 

added 31.12.13 read here about kerry katona,(can’t say i know who she is exactly) talking about her endorsement of a payday loan company. they fired her when she filed for her second bankruptcy. it is rather ironic really that she is endorsing payday loans, and really believe they are ok, and said she will borrow from them if she had to.(this is a case of do the opposite of what she advocates) she gave as an eg if her boiler packed up in winter or your car failed its MOT.  most people would do exactly like as she did, but it goes to show how i think, because i wont borrow money to repair it.  i would rather cope with the cold by wearing warm clothing, drinking hot soup/drinks, eat well, etc rather than repair a central heating which will not only cost me to repair it,  but make me have the heating on and get me to spend even more.If i cannot even afford to repair the boiler, what makes u think i can afford the heating bill!!!

And I would get rid of the car.

i prefer to get rid of that single biggest expenditure and consider it a blessing in disguise that the boiler or car packed up. 

I think having a pay day loan is like you asking the bank for £200 of your own money and that person taking £60 of it and giving you £140 for you to use.  because that is about the interest for 1month’s use of it. If anyone does that u would scream blue murder, but not when a payday loan does it in the name of interest. 

added,maybe she is clever. she filed for bankruptcy twice. she owes the taxman $70,000 .  that means she must have earned at least £200,000 that year. but she  filed for bankruptcy the first time, and dont have to pay it. and she did this twice. I am not saying she did it as a strategy, but if u learn from it,all your debts wiped out … it seems a great way to get a clean slate by using bankruptcy as a way. makes me wonder if i am the sucker for not borrowing money… (just kidding, because i just dont have the temperament for that. )

Builder handed nearly £18k unclaimed cash to police but wont see a penny | Mail Online

5 Nov

Builder handed nearly £18k unclaimed cash to police but wont see a penny | Mail Online.

couldnt the court at least give him a 10% finder’s fee? greedy of the govt to take it all, on the spurious reason that it probably is a criminal stash, just because the money is so neatly stashed. well, i wont blame anyone for not telling if they find cash.

reblog from mrmoneymustache

26 Apr



This post by him entitled ‘why should I be frugal when I am so rich’ encapsulates my own motives for living frugally.

I have a feeling both of us dislike waste. Sure we can buy and consume expensively and in excess, but our sense of it being wasteful is strong.

And what also highlighted by him is that we like the fun of doing it, living frugally I mean.
There is not much fun if u are so rich that u can buy anything and everything without a thought.

I know, plenty who are poor will think , ah, if only… if only, I shall be the happiest person …

But it destroys your happiness.

What is the point of it all, when u can get anything u want?
Or be served hand and foot for ever. It is boring.

It is the fun of the journey that makes life wonderful.

I remember one day walking to the gym suddenly dawning on me that I enjoy finding things on the street that I like…it is the fact that it came free… and realising that if I win the lottery it would destroy the extreme pleasure I get from this kind of foraging. Finding things by serendipity make up a lot of the pleasure I get from life.


That is why I don’t bother to buy lottery tickets. I don’t wish to get this windfall. It would make my life duller.



26 Mar

If u have been wondering about cyprus and why they are not bailed out by the EU on the same terms as greece, here is why.

It is a place for money laundering by the Russians, that is why.

And it looked like they, the Russian money launderers will lose 40%.

I guess most of us wont feel too much sympathy for them. Haha.

The mistake the cyprus govt made in the first round was to include the small savers of less than 100,000 euros. Now the new deal put in place will exclude those savers.

Normally, these banks would just declare bankruptcy. If the banks go bankrupt, everyone of the depositors will lose their money, except those with less than 100,000 euros, as that is guaranteed. So the money launderers should be grateful that they get back 60%.

Added. i can never understand why they dont let the bank go bankrupt. after all, these are businesses, and if they go bankrupt it is not for the govt to prop them up. let them go bankrupt and others will take the hit. and there is no need to even borrow 10billion eurosfrom the IMF.

This sounds like a good formula to use next time a bank goes tits up.

It should have been used for the royal bank of Scotland.

The world is beginning to learn how to handle these big banks that are considered too big to fail.

I think the financial world may come to realise this is the realistic way to deal with banks that are too big to fail.

The old system of lumping all banks together and trying to save bad banks, means everyone else who are not involved in it have to pay. This means the taxpayer , and the other banks that have been prudent.
It sends the wrong message, that bad banks can continue with their bad practises, if they get bailed out every time.

Now people might be careful to check out the bank before they put money in it. And not just chase interest rates.
Ah well, it is all rather an academic exercise for me. Haha. I don’t have that much money to fear losing it.

If u have no money , you too should take all this with equanimity. After all you have no money to lose. That is another nice thing about not being so filthy rich. Haha. U don’t ever need to worry about losing it.

Same with not owning lots of expensive stuff. You need never get to feel the anguish of losing them or being robbed of them. Such bliss don’t you think?