My thoughts on spending money

spending money的圖片搜尋結果What would you do if you had a windfall of several thousand dollars? You might probably say that a few thousand dollars is just a small sum and would not be able to buy much here in Hong Kong with inflation constantly rising. Still, that amount of money can be spent on something that you have longed for a while. Some people might use it to wipe out some debts, arrange a trip to Paris, take up a CPD program Hong Kong, replace your old laptop model, get a new mobile phone, buy a handbag (especially in the case of ladies), invest in shares or simply save it in the bank account. However you spend it, make sure you spend it wisely, for it reveals your attitude towards money.

I’m not saying that we refrain from spending money on luxury items and put every penny into your bank account or invest it in shares for investment returns. As you may already know, parking money in your bank account for a long period of time will likely result in a decrease in the real value of your money given the ever increasing inflation. Investing your money in shares or bonds may be a better option. But no matter which forms of investment you’re making, there’s no guarantee for profit.

Therefore, if you decide that saving or investing is not your preferred way of spending those few thousand dollars, you may consider buying something that you have been longing for for a while, such as a good quality handbag or the latest laptop model. Contrary to popular opinion, spending money on expensive items (here I mean items that do not under normal circumstances belong to the category of daily necessities) is not something that we should feel guilty about. In my own definition, expensive items should be fine in quality, which translates into greater durability. A frugal living lifestyle does not necessarily mean a low quality living. It may simply mean spending your money wisely. You can spend $50 for a cheap pair of pants that won’t last six months, or you can spend a hundred on a pair with better quality that can last for years. It saves you more money to get yourself items that can last longer.

Sometimes it’s not durability that matters, it’s about saving you time. Compared with a newer laptop model, working on an old model will very likely slow down your pace of work. If you believe that time is money, then better equipment that can speed up your work will be worth your investment.

It’s all about choice when it comes to how we use our money. To me, striking a balance between quality and price is the sensible way of spending money.

A few tips on choosing property agent

property agents的圖片搜尋結果Many people are taking advantage of the rise in the local real estate market by investing in residential or commercial properties. Young people are rushing to join the bandwagon of homeowners as they fear that climbing property prices will make home-buying impossible if prices continue to surge. By the same token, parents of new graduates are willing to fork out hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay up a big chunk of down payment to help their children buy their first residential units. Not only are potential home buyers and property investors enthusiastic about sweeping up units, residential property agents also welcome a heated market as they stand to benefit from a greater volume of transactions.

Notwithstanding forecasts by economic and financial analysts about a frothy property market and the notable decrease in the number of transactions closed during the past six months, many people are still closely following market movement and are prepared to take action whenever property prices dip. If you are interested or planning to buy in the near future, you might take note of some tips when you look for a property agent.

First of all, if you have a friend who is or is friend with a real estate agent, that would be great. But often this is not the case or your friend is not familiar with the district where you are looking for a unit. In this case, you have to look for one yourself. People who have a little knowledge about the local property market will know that there is no guarantee of service quality and professional ethics whether an agent works for a branch of a major property agency or a small one. This applies to both residential units as well as commercial leasing agent in Hong Kong, meaning that you cannot solely rely on your agent for information. Despite getting answers from your agent, you should do research on your own and keep yourself informed with all the information you can find from various sources.

For people using online real estate platform to look for suitable residential units, they should bear in mind that information available from these websites are not 100% reliable. Very often, snapshots of units available for sale or rent on these websites are outdated or simply fake (taken from other flats which are in fact not available for rent or sale). Information about unit size and other statistics may be inaccurate. It is common for real estate agents to post fake ads as hooks in order to get more calls from potential buyers. You should always get a real person to talk with to get more accurate information about the unit you are interested, and backed by information you dig up by your own efforts. 

Tips for going on vacation in Mongolia

mongolia, vacation的圖片搜尋結果Summertime is approaching and people are beginning to look for great vacation spots. Have you ever thought about going to Mongolia this summer? Despite being one of the most promising destinations for making capital investment in recent years, you might think that going to Mongolia on vacation is definitely out of the question. But before you completely dismiss the idea, let me tell you about the many wonderful things exploring Mongolia as a tourist can be other than channeling your capital and investing in Mongolia.

There are many beautiful things to see in Mongolia.

There is the 131-foot tall statue of Genghis Khan, who is considered to be their founder. The statue of the horse which Genghis Khan sits on is also the tallest statue of a horse in the world. The statue is located just outside of Ulan Bator, Mongolia’s capital city.

The Gobi Desert located South Mongolia is also something to visit. Despite being called a desert, it isn’t only filled with sand. The Gobi Desert is a vast landscape filled with many things. Since it used to be a sea, there are many fossils located mostly in the northwestern parts of the desert. Animals such as the Bactrian two-humped camels—indigenous to Mongolia—and Przewalski horse—the last wild horse in the world—can also be found in the Southern Altai Gobi Nature Reserve. There are many more animals to see in the reserve and many more sights all over the Gobi Desert. Booking a tour or a trip is easy nowadays with the help of the internet.

Another must-see is the Terelj National Park, one of the national parks in Mongolia. The park is located not far from Ulan Bator, some 90 minutes, which definitely says how accessible it is. The best thing about this park is the view it offers to tourists. There are mountains and trees located all over the landscape. You can even ride a horse to go around the park as everything is far in between. There are campsites offered for tourists if you plan a more-than-a-day trip.

When staying in Mongolia, it is recommended to try sleeping in a ger for at least a night. A ger is portable tent that Mongolian nomads live in. In the Gobi Desert many of the families that house tourists stay in gers. There is no better way to get acquainted with Mongolian culture than to live like the Mongolians, even if for just a day.

You must also remember to give Mongolian cuisine a try. Some of their traditional dishes include Khorkhog, which is meat stew served specially for guests. In Ulan Bator, a restaurant chain called Modern Nomads offers a wide range of Mongolian cuisines as well as Western. 

Planning for a trip in Mongolia also entails the costs of staying there. You don’t have to worry though because, although not necessarily cheap, the prices for the things you will need in Mongolia are affordable enough and justified. There are also certain travel guides that can help you plan your vacation better, especially if you’re looking for cheaper options.

Just like any vacation, always plan your trip well and research more on Mongolia to have a feel for the country you will be visiting. 

Speed dating tips

1Have you ever taken part in speed dating event? Did it work for you? Have you ever successfully asked a guy or a girl out you met in speed dating? If your answer is no, it might as well go without saying that you don’t buy into speed dating.  Hong Kong speed dating services are becoming more common than ever but speed dating has got a bad rap for a while ever since it was first introduced to the city. But it does not have to be the case. Here are some tips which might help you succeed in speed dating and win friendships.

Don’t just ask questions. You might be tempted to ask many questions as a way to fill the possible dead air in the first meeting. It is a nice manner to keep the ball rolling in the air but asking too many questions may render you to be unduly inquisitive and annoying. Ask your questions in a polite way and wait for answers. If you get a short answer, it is fine to ask a follow-up question to keep the action moving. But a long answer is given, you can give you own comment to encourage others to ask you questions. This will create a proper flow of conversation where both sides are taking questions and giving comments. This will also give rise to a fair and level playing field where everyone gets an equal chance to get to know each other. To be better prepared, try to come up with some popular topics that everyone can talk about. People are drawn to someone who can involve all, not someone who dominate the conversation.

Another point to note about asking question during speed dating is that don’t pry too deeply into someone’s private life. At this stage there no need to ask others how many boyfriends/girlfriends they had or how much money do they make each month. You should bear in mind that a speed dating is a chance to know some new friends. It is a preliminary stage for people to know each other. So if someone do not want to take certain questions, don’t try too hard to press for answers.

Don’t be late. You might also be tempted to arrive late for the first meeting just to give an impression that you’re a busy professional or you’re not really taking the event too seriously. This is not something to be encouraged. You will not look cool if you’re late for the event and instead will give a bad first impression to others. Arrive on time or 15 minutes earlier to show your sincerity if you want to be treated in the same way.

Lastly but not least, wear properly. Prepare a nice outfit for the first meeting is always the rule of thumb for speed dating. Smart casual is the way to go if you don’t want to look too formal or too casual. For females, it won’t do harm to put on some make-up when you’re nicely dressed up for the occasion. Lighten up your face by adding some colors can win you a good first impression.

These are the basic rules for speed dating that you can apply in your next meeting. Wish you success and have a good time.

Why High Heels are Bad for You

Tanya-Heath-Paris-1-490x326Ladies, in case you haven’t heard, high heels are bad for you. They put pressure on your back and feet and could cause severe pain symptoms. I understand why women are willing to go such great lengths to look as fabulous as they could be even at the expense of serious health problems. Sometimes you want to look presentable and dress to impress – that’s completely reasonable. But let me go into further details about how high heels affect your health and what you can do to make it better.

When you wear high heels, you are imposing the entire weight pressure on your forefeet. Think about the limited feet support you get without an insole and thin heels. Over time not only your back will suffer, your feet and spine will also be affected with the change of posture. When you wear heels, your lower back is pushed forward, resulting in the loss of alignment with your hips. For women who wear high heels on a day to day basis for at least six to eight hours to go work, there is no doubt it could seriously affect your health in the long run with constant pressure on your knees and feet.

So what can you do to make it all better? I know that heels are just too good to resist sometimes. They help perfect your outfit better than a nice clutch or earrings. Luckily, as a heels lover, I discovered that there is something called interchangeable heels that allow you to transform your pair of flats into heels in no time. These detachable heels come in all sizes and shapes. During day time on your way back to the office, you could wear your comfortable flats all the way until you have to meet with a client or attend an important event but still looking fabulous as ever with your transformed high heels. These detachable heels are usually available at custom design platforms. Many shoe brands offer online design platforms for you to design your own shoes. The upside of such platforms is that you could pick any color, materials and style you want to go with your outfit. Most importantly, you don’t have to compromise your health to look gorgeous with the detachable heels that come with the package. How great is that?

So ladies, if you are thinking about making your next high heels purchase, consider ordering and designing them online for the sake of your health. Even if you are not a crafty genius, there are tons of styles available at your selection in one of these online stores. So get ready for your next dinner party with a new pair of comfortable heels now!

Three Reasons Why You Should Use a Personal Trainer

Bad-Personal-TrainerIf I had the extra money to spend, I’d definitely go for some one-on-one personal training. Most personal training in Hong Kong are offered in gyms and could be quite costly. If you are planning on working out regularly at the gym, here is three reasons why you should use a personal trainer.

First, you may not know what you are doing. Whether you want to get in shape or tone your body, you may not necessarily know what you are doing. If you don’t have the perfect workout to support your new diet, all the sweat and work can go into waste. Personal trainers are professionals in fitness and health and they are confident in what they do best. Just look at their toned muscles and perfect shape, you’ll see what I mean.
With all the complicated machines at the gym, sometimes you just aren’t sure if you are in the right form targeting the correct muscle groups. Let’s not forget the gym membership is so expensive these days. If you spend three months at the gym with no results, why even bother?

Second, personal trainers can serve as an accountability system. We have all been there – skipping out on workout sessions because we feel tired or lazy. You give yourself all sorts of excuses to skip training. I get it – sometimes we just want to get lazy and veg out on the couch. But if you are constantly finding yourself wanting to give up, getting a personal trainer is a great way to get back on track again. If you skip out on practice, they hold you accountable and make you realize how terrible you have been. When you are held accountable for your actions, you are naturally inclined to want to put more focus and effort in your workout.

Finally, sometimes you just need somebody to talk to, and personal trainers are there to help you adjust your mindset and reassure you. During your fitness journeys, you are going to hit many roadblocks and obstacles mentally and physically. A lot of times, you are the one who’s stopping yourself from achieving your goals because you are always giving yourself excuses. A personal trainer knows how to readjust your mentality by giving you sincere feedback and honest opinions. They are there to give you the right motivation to achieve your goals. Knowing that you are not alone in this fitness journey helps you stay that much more focused and determined sometimes.

A lot of people think that getting a personal trainer in Hong Kong is weird and awkward because we don’t want to be stared at while working out. But the tips above really show that personal training can help you in so many different ways. If you are contemplating on getting in shape, give personal training a thought and you may just surprise yourself with great results.

How to Stay Fit and Healthy in Hong Kong

healthy_for_kidsStaying healthy is definitely easier said than done. This is especially difficult for people who live in a city like Hong Kong where long working hours and little workout time are the norm. I’m not going to lie – I’ve gained almost five pounds ever since I started working after graduation. Here are a few tips I’ve come up on how to stay fit.

First, stay away from temptations. Living in Hong Kong, you definitely need to find a way to resist all the good, fatty food. Restaurants and dining places are literally everywhere you go and it’s very easy for you to get lazy and eat outside every day. Unless you are only eating salads every day, eating at a regular restaurant on a day to day basis will get you fat. I remember when I was working as an intern a few years ago I ate at restaurants every single day. I put on at least five extra pounds after that summer was over. Now I know better to just pack my own lunch and avoid going out to eat too much.

Second, avoid eating snacks at work. It’s so easy to grab a pack of chips and start crunching on them while working. Snacks are the worst when it comes to a healthy diet. Most of them contain high levels of sugar, salt and sodium and are simply unhealthy. If you know that you are going to get hungry a couple hours after lunch, make sure you are eating the right snacks at least. I know nobody likes to work on an empty stomach, but it is extremely essential that you control the amount of food intake each day. It’s not hard to find healthy snack products in Hong Kong. Many grocery stores and supermarkets provide a wide selection of snacks for your including some of healthiest ones like nuts and crackers. It’s time to say goodbye to the tasty chips and cake now.

Third, I know some people are probably going to disagree with me on this, but health products are just not necessary in my opinion. In fact, I believe relying on health or vitamin supplements can create adverse side effects for your health. Health products in Hong Kong like to target white collars specifically because most of them are just too lazy to exercise these days. But I believe that doing it yourself is always the best option. Why rely on supplements when you can just spare a few moments during the week to work out and keep yourself healthy?

Above are just some tips that help you stay fit and strong. Remember, staying healthy is a long journey, but you won’t get any results unless you take initiatives. Good luck!

How to Have Flawless Skin

A question that gets asked by millions of women every day in Hong Kong. If you are sick of spending tons of money on cosmetics to cover up your awful skin, this is the perfect article for you. Let me break down the ways where you can regain natural glow for your skin.

I cannot say this enough, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle really goes a long way when it comes to skin care, especially if you have acne outbreaks often. Make sure you eat healthy and incorporate Vitamins into your diet. They help keep your skin radiant and healthy. Also ensure that you are getting enough sleep as your skin regenerates itself during night time. If you don’t want dark circles under your beautiful eyes, be sure to rest well at night. Eating and sleeping well are undoubtedly the most natural remedy for skincare.

Second, make sure your skin products are natural and chemical-free. If you have sensitive skin, it’s the best to reduce the use of chemicals in your skin products to avoid allergies and irritation. I used to jump from one skin product to another until I found something that finally fits me. I found that natural organic skin care products work the best on my dry, sensitive skin as it keeps my skin moisturized all day. It was recommended by an Indian friend of mine who has been using organic skin care products for years now. Organic skin care in India is definitely much more popular than that in Hong Kong. Organic skincare products incorporate the most natural ingredients that carry skin cell regeneration properties. These days you can’t just trust what commercials tell you; you have to see and try the products for yourself.

Third, reduce the use of makeup products. Have you ever been shocked at the differences makeup can create? I have. And that is why I refuse to use makeup on a day to day basis. Think about how awful you will look without it just for one day. A little bit of concealer and lip gloss are fine, but putting foundation cream on your skin every day can really cause some serious damages in the long run. Makeup also clogs your skin and worsens blemishes and pimples. If you are going to use makeup, at least make sure that you cleanse your face thoroughly every night before you go to sleep. But my best advice is simply reducing the use of makeup and find ways to let your skin shine naturally – you’ll be surprised how well it’s going to work.

Having trouble searching for the best skincare products in Hong Kong? Why not just follow the tips and steps above? You may just save yourself thousands of dollars from buying unnecessary skincare products again.

The Importance of Work-life Balance

work-life-balance-1I came across this article the other day on Business Insider about the best jobs for work-life balance, and, lo and behold, SEO specialist is on the second of the list. I cannot agree more with what I’m seeing. A day in the life of a SEO specialist can be quite hectic – not only do we manage Google and Yahoo SEO work, sometimes we dabble in paid search as well. While I know that some Hong Kong SEO companies can be quite cut-throat, most of them are quite laid-back compared to other industries. To be honest, in a place like Hong Kong, a job with no overtime work is a blessing already. I’m fortunate enough to work in a company that very much values work-life balance. However, most employees in the city just want to suck the life out of you and leave you very little room to live. Let me tell you why work-life balance should deserve more attention from companies.

First, excessive workload and stress ultimately cause inefficiency. When you are constantly under pressure, you are more prone to make mistakes at work and your productivity naturally declines. Imaging sitting in front of your computer for nine hours straight with one hour of lunch break only – it can really drive one insane. If you are working overtime every single day and are always going home late and tired, don’t be surprised you find yourself constantly making mistakes in a day.

Second, work-life imbalance can lead to a negative working environment. If your employees go to work every day looking dreadful and exhausted, it can be detrimental to the spirit of your team. Creating a positive office environment is extremely important in boosting office morale and ultimately the efficiency of your employees. When you are happy, you work better and faster – that is just a simple fact of life.

Last but not least, we simply deserve a life outside of work. We have our friends and family we want to spend time with besides our co-workers and bosses. Sitting in front of your desk and pretending to work is simply the biggest time-waster ever. Coming from someone who has been there, I can tell you there is nothing worse than that, not even ten reports due on the same day with client chasing you through the phone and email constantly. After all, we are all human and we are very much entitled to a life outside of work.

I have seen too many friends getting suffocated under this horrible working culture in the city. If employers could be a bit more understanding and lenient, perhaps it could help ease up the pressure at work and create a much more pleasant, positive working environment, which benefits your company at the end of the day.

 

Ways to Treat and Prevent Bed Bugs

bedbug-bite3Bed bugs could be your worst enemy if you don’t treat them seriously. Although they do not pose any immediate health threats, they can potentially result in severe allergic reactions. Let me break down the reasons why they appear and ways to prevent them here.

Bed bugs do not just appear out of nowhere, the most common way of getting an infestation is through used beds and furniture. It is very hard for you to determine what causes bed bugs to appear at the first place because sometimes travellers unknowingly bring them back to their home from hotels. Bug beds like to hide in the cracks under the mattress and bed frames. Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs do not thrive on dirty environments; instead, as long as they have plenty of room to hide in a warm place, they will continue to survive and flourish. Bed bugs travel and spread fast – once your home gets infested, you are in for some serious trouble.

If you have signs of constant itching at night and even blood on your bed sheet, chances are you have a bed bug problem. Bed bugs are the most active during night time and feed on human and animals blood to survive. They can severely get in the way of your sleep, causing you to feel exhausted and restless all the time. Studies have shown that these little creatures cannot carry diseases, but continuous itching and sleeplessness are already irritating enough. In some cases, serious itching can also cause allergic reaction, which has to be treated right away to prevent a skin infection.

So how should you treat them if you happen to have such a problem at home? First, conduct a thorough search under your bed and furniture such as couches and closets. Clear out all the items and check the hidden cracks and areas to ensure a careful inspection. If you do discover a problem, the best solution is to hire professional help from a pest control company. Common treatment methods used in bed bug control include vacuuming and biocides. Doing it yourself is possible, but if the examination is not through enough, the problem could still persist. Besides, incorrect use of chemicals could be harmful to you and your family. Therefore, professional help is strongly recommended in the case of any pest situation.

If you encounter the above problem in the future, do not hesitate to contact professional companies. Their effort can really save you the time and cost. What you can do at least to prevent the problem from breaking out again is examining your furniture and mattresses regularly, and make sure that everything you bring back from travels are disinfected and cleaned. That way, you can effectively reduce the chances of getting an infestation.