Category Archives: Others

British Cities May See More Muslim Than Christian Children

The number of Muslim children in several British cities is fast eclipsing that of Christian children, according to birth rate statistics that reveal the country’s significant demographic change.

The Daily Mail reports that the latest statistics, extracted from the 2011 Census, shows that of 278,623 young people in Britain’s second largest city, Birmingham, 97,099 registered as Muslim compared to 93,828 as Christian.

Meanwhile in Bradford 52,135 children, forming 45 percent of the total, are Muslim, compared to 47,144 Christians. Leicester has 22,693 young Muslims compared to 18,190 Christian children. The London borough of Tower Hamlets has the biggest difference, with 62 percent of children being raised Muslim. Christians in the borough are significantly outnumbered by 34,597 to just 8,995.


Source : / 30 Sep 2014


Tips on Saving Petrol

The fuel price hike on Sept 3 came as a surprise to many Malaysians (RON95 petrol went up by 20 sen a litre, and RON97 rose 15 sen a litre two days later). Here are eight things you can do to keep your fuel costs down.

1.Keep your tyres inflated
Properly inflated tyres have less contact with the road, which helps reduce friction, and hence petrol consumption. That also helps preserve the integrity of your tyres, and give you a safer drive.

2.Swipe a credit card
Many banks offer fuel incentives. For example, CIMB’s Petronas MasterCard and Citibank’s Shell Gold Visa Credit Card offer up to 8% in fuel rebates. Loyalty programmes such as the Petronas Mesra Card, offer points for fuel redemption.

3.Drive smoothly
Instead of accelerating and braking harshly when driving, slow down before coming to a complete stop. With momentum driving, you will be saving petrol. And don’t rev your vehicle.

4.Eliminate excess weight
Unnecessary weight makes your engine work harder.

5.Consider carpooling
Say goodbye to lonely drives home. Enjoy the company of others and shave your petrol budget.

6.Avoid idling
If you’re waiting more than a minute, switch off the engine.

7.Avoid peak-hour driving
The higher the gear you drive in, the lower your engine speed (number of revolutions at which the crankshaft turns). A lower engine speed can improve fuel efficiency, so avoid peak-hour driving.

8.Give public transport a chance
Is your workplace close to an LRT station? Park and ride.


10 steps to making a financial budget

1. Budgets are a necessary evil.

They’re the only practical way to get a grip on your spending – and to make sure your money is being used the way you want it to be used.

2. Creating a budget generally requires three steps.

– Identify how you’re spending money now.

– Evaluate your current spending and set goals that take into account your long-term financial objectives.

– Track your spending to make sure it stays within those guidelines.

3. Use software to save grief.

If you use a personal-finance program such as Quicken or Microsoft Money, the built-in budget-making tools can create your budget for you.

4. Don’t drive yourself nuts.

One drawback of monitoring your spending by computer is that it encourages overzealous attention to detail. Once you determine which categories of spending can and should be cut (or expanded), concentrate on those categories and worry less about other aspects of your spending.

5. Watch out for cash leakage.

If withdrawals from the ATM machine evaporate from your pocket without apparent explanation, it’s time to keep better records. In general, if you find yourself returning to the ATM more than once a week or so, you need to examine where that cash is going.

6. Spending beyond your limits is dangerous.

But if you do, you’ve got plenty of company. Government figures show that many households with total income of $50,000 or less are spending more than they bring in. This doesn’t make you an automatic candidate for bankruptcy – but it’s definitely a sign you need to make some serious spending cuts.

7. Beware of luxuries dressed up as necessities.

If your income doesn’t cover your costs, then some of your spending is probably for luxuries – even if you’ve been considering them to be filling a real need.

8. Tithe yourself.

Aim to spend no more than 90% of your income. That way, you’ll have the other 10% left to save for your big-picture items.

9. Don’t count on windfalls.

When projecting the amount of money you can live on, don’t include dollars that you can’t be sure you’ll receive, such as year-end bonuses, tax refunds or investment gains.

10. Beware of spending creep.

As your annual income climbs from raises, promotions and smart investing, don’t start spending for luxuries until you’re sure that you’re staying ahead of inflation. It’s better to use those income increases as an excuse to save more.

Five Financial Must-Haves for First Time Home Buyer (in Malaysia)

Here are five financial prerequisites that are musts before you sign on the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA).

1. Have adequate Down Payment

Whether you are buying directly from developer or from seller at the subsale market, you must have the down payment of 5-15%. The first step of buying after you’ve identify your desired house, is to sign the booking form and pay 1-2% earnest deposit, or the booking fees. This will allow 14 days for you to arrange for SPA signing.

Upon signing the SPA, you will be required to pay the remaining down payment that adds up to the total of 10%. After that, you’ll need to finance the rest of the purchase price with a bank loan, assuming that you don’t have the ready cash to pay in full. In some cases, depending on the type of the property and your credibility, you may get lower or higher financing margin compared to the industry standard of 90% financing.

If the banks only lend you 85% of the purchase price, you will need to fork out another 5% for the difference. Of course, there are cases with literally no money down. But you will still be required to fork out the down payment and get it back in short term period due to some smart negotiations, special discount or rebate from developer, or creative financing. So the first financial must is to have 5-15% of the down payment accumulated.

2. Estimate How Much Can you Borrow

After you’ve got your down payment ready, the next thing you want to find out is how much installment you can afford to fork out every month. This will determine how big the loan amount you can take. Nowadays, banks are getting more stringent.Your loan servicing affordability is assessed by calculating your personal Debt Service Ratio (DSR).

DSR is equal to your total monthly debt repayment obligation, divided by monthly take-home income (that’s after tax and EPF contribution). Bank Negara requires the bank not to lend borrower more than 60% DSR. In other words, if your take home pay is RM5000/month, you will be able to serve a loan payment of RM3000.

However, it is really not recommended to go for the limit. I would recommend that you keep your DSR under 30%. And this 30% should also include your car loan. Depending on the loan tenure, the younger you are, the longer term you can take, probably up to 30-40 years to completely pay up the mortgage.

At the current interest rate of about 4.3%, and 30 years loan tenure, a monthly payment of RM1000 can serve a loan amount up to RM200,000. After knowing how much you can borrow, the next financial must have is to understand how much you can really afford to pay every month.

3. Understand How much Can you Afford

When you have your own home, there are other related expenses that comes with it, other than the monthly mortgage installment. First, is the maintenance fee if your property is in a gated and guarded community, or a high rise building.

Secondly, you will also need to pay yearly fire insurance premium, quit rent and assessment. Thirdly, there are also regular expenses such as Indah Water Konsortium, water and electricity bill, not mentioning the initial deposit for all these utilities.

Therefore, you’ll need to understand that your expenses will increase when you are staying at your own house, comparing to staying with your parents or renting a place. So how much exactly can you afford? A thorough calculation is recommended.

4 Transaction cost

When making a home purchase, there are also other one time fees that can’t be neglected. You may need to pay real estate broker commission who helps you hunt for houses. There are also legal fees involved to prepare the SPA and also the loan agreement.

Besides that, the biggest amount of all is the stamp duty payable to the government.

SPA Stamp Duty Rates:
First RM 100,000.00 = 1%
Next RM 100,000.01 – RM 500,000.00 = 2%
Next RM 500,000.01 – RM 2,0100,000.00 = 3%
Above RM 2,000,000.00 = 4%

Meanwhile, the loan agreement stamp duty rate is 0.5% for any amount. So all these transaction expenses can add up to a total of about 5% of the purchase price, easily.

5. Get ready with Renovation and Furnishing Cost

After the house keys are handed to you as the proud new homeowner, you will get to do more alteration and enhancement, which will definitely incur some renovation and furnishing. You can always decide the enhancement that suits your budget.

No matter how frugal you are, there will be some basic furnishing required before you can stay comfortably in your new home. So get ready with a minimum fund to cover this inevitable expense. Buying your own home is probably one of the biggest and most important financial decision in your life.

Some people depleted all their accumulated savings after the purchase. Some even incur more consumer debts when they swipe credit cards and opt for installment payback to furnish their home. However, at the end of the day, it is a different feeling, which is more towards satisfaction and fulfilment when you are able to stay in a property that has your name in the ownership title.