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11 Unnecessary Things Millennials Splurge On

7 Nov 2017 by Johanna Teo

Can’t seem to get your bank balance growing despite your efforts at avoiding splurges on big ticket items? These 11 money-wasters might just be the culprit. 

#1 Paying For In-app Purchases

While most may be hesitant at shelling out for paid apps, the same can’t be said for in-app purchases. Whether it’s buying pretty filter packs in that “free” image-editing app or paying for extra credit in a Freemium/free-to-play mobile game, these dollars trickle away quickly and silently. And chances are, you wouldn’t track how much you’ve spent! The next time you’re tempted to buy something in-app, take an equal amount of money out of your wallet and put it away in savings. Yes, even if you have to ride out those pesky in-app advertisements! 

#2 Splurging On Subscriptions 

With paid subscription services like Netflix and Spotify becoming an essential in modern millennial lives, spending money on such platforms seem inevitable. While the best situation would be to not spend money on ’em at all, we suggest taking full advantage of promos and offers available, think student rates, family bundle packs, sign up discounts, etc. to split the cost. Every once in awhile, take inventory of your subscriptions and cancel off any unused or under-utilised ones. In addition, don’t forget about those free trial periods where you have to provide credit card details upon signing up; don’t fall prey to sneaky charges on auto-pay services you don’t even use. 

#3 Shelling Out For Extra Data

If keeping within our data limits is one of the top millennial struggles, then paying the price for it must be the most painful. Thankfully, our local telcos have made it slightly easier on our pockets with competitive data plans that offer deals like unlimited weekend surfing and affordable data plan upsizes. With that being said, avoid additional costs altogether by limiting data usage in Wi-Fi free zones, and remembering to turn off any background apps that might be siphoning data even when unused. 

#4 Not Paying Your Bills On Time 

For those who have started paying your own bills, it’s best to adopt the healthy practice of paying for your bills whenever it’s due, instead of procrastinating and incurring late charges when you eventually forget about it. The only thing more unnecessary than splurging on unwanted items, is paying for late fees and additional interest. If it helps, either apply for giro payments or set calendar alerts to remind yourself to pay up. 

#5 Getting Your Food Delivered

If you have an account on every food delivery service available and are frequently ordering food in, it’s time to nip that habit in the bud because your laziness isn’t worth the delivery fee and marked up menu cost. Let’s put it this way: most services only deliver food that’s within your own neighbourhood anyway, so why not get off your butt and tapau it yourself? 

#6 Heading Out To Eat

Following in a similar vein, eating out might be the easiest way to get your meals settled but it definitely isn’t the most economically-friendly nor healthy option. We’d suggest heading home for dinner or even prepping your own lunchbox for school. If you find everyday cooking a hassle, there are one-day recipes that offer easy meals you could eat all week. Your wallet and body will thank you in the long run! 

#7 Grocery Shopping While Hungry

Packing your own food involves heading to the grocers – the next time you’re headed there, ensure you’re going on a full stomach. It’s been proven that people tend to purchase more items when they’re hungry, so don’t fall into the trap of buying food you simply don’t need!   

#8 Buying Beverages 

It may be easier to spend a dollar or two on bottled water and other beverages instead of lugging your own water bottle around while you’re out, but these little costs still add up in the long run. The next time you’re packing your own food, remember to slip your water bottle into your bag! Additionally, instead of heading to Starbucks for your coffee fix, consider either brewing your own or opting for the cheaper (but equally delicious) kopi peng? 

#9 Shopping At A Sale 

Newsflash! Just because you bought a sale item at a drastically marked down price doesn’t mean you’re actually saving. Unless it’s an absolutely necessity, try resisting the temptation of buying something you don’t really need… 

#10 Paying For Something You Can Do Yourself 

From getting manicures to getting your food delivered to paying someone to do your homework (we’re just kidding on the last one), it kinda makes no sense to splurge on things you could easily do yourself. And as you get older, you’ll find that getting into the habit of spending unnecessary money to get stuff done for you, literally wouldn’t pay off. As much as possible, stick to doing things yourself! 

#11 Buying Low Quality Items 

This point may seem a bit ironic because good quality items naturally come with equally great prices – but sometimes, it’s worthwhile to invest in pricier items if that could mean saving more in the long run. Whether it’s good quality clothes or a pricy gadget from a trustworthy brand, avoid settling for cheaper options that’ll conk out in no time. 

Featured image: Matthew Henry on Burst

What are your spending vices? Share your woes in the comment section! 

More related stories: 8 Effective Ways To Deal With FrenemiesHow To Google Your Way To Better Search ResultsIncrease Your Efficiency With These Student-Friendly Apps

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If you still find your grades falling short even after hitting the books diligently, you might be taking the wrong approach. Take this short quiz to find out the best study method for you! 

  1. You open your new textbook and hope to see ____ to help you understand topics better:
    a) pictures
    b) extensive text
    c) diagrams and charts

  2. When you’re bored in class, you tend to:
    a) doodle
    b) sing or hum a song stuck in your head
    c) fiddle with a pen

  3. Your favourite pastime is:
    a) watching TV and movies
    b) listening to the latest hits and gossiping with your BFFs
    c) exercising and doing sports

  4. You’re likely to get in trouble with your teacher for:
    a) drawing on my assignments and textbooks
    b) talking during the lesson
    c) fidgeting and distracting others

  5. During revision of your school work, you prefer to:
    a) draw out mind maps
    b) get a friend to ask you questions and answering them out loud
    c) re-write notes word for word to memorise them better

  6. Your dream occupation would be:
    a) a painter, architect or artist
    b) a radio DJ or musician
    c) a sportsperson

  7. When in class, you would most likely get distracted by:
    a) sounds coming from outside the class
    b) passersby 
    c) having to stay at your desk for the entire lesson

If you got…

Mostly As: Visual Learner

As a visual learner, you tend to remember what you see (like power point presentations or graphs) over what you hear (your lecturer teaching), and you prefer reading and writing over listening to someone explain your study material. When making notes, try including lots of colour with highlighters to help you remember key points. And aside from creating mind maps, visual learners can also try to draw out the images that come to mind (as opposed to simply jotting down concepts) when studying a certain subject topic to help you better visualise and retain information. 

Mostly Bs: Aural Learner

Listening to details comes easily to you, and your strength is picking up on keywords that your teacher would point out. Make it a self-reminder to pin point the essential information and repeat them to yourself out loud during your revision sessions. In addition, get permission to audio-record your lectures or tutorials – they’ll likely come in handy during crunch time when you need to remember that exam tip mentioned in class!

Mostly Cs: Kinaesthetic Learner

There’s no cause for concern if you fall under the category of a Kinaesthetic Learner. Being one means you’re likely able to learn better with some movements or activity involved, and are elaborate in explaining academic theories by using hand gestures. You’re more receptive to practical examples rather than theoretical, which means you should try experimenting or acting out scenarios to grasp a particular subject better as well.

Which type of learner are you? Tell us in the comment section! 

More related stories: 6 Easy Ways To Stand Out At Your Internship, 6 Morning Habits To Help You Be Productive All Day, 5 Pro Tips To Help You Fight Procrastination, 17 Places In Singapore You Can Study At Without Being Chased Away

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8 Effective Ways To Deal With Frenemies

30 Oct 2017 by Germaine Cheah

Have a friend that constantly brings you down with snide words or odd actions? You may have a frenemy in your midst. Read on to find out how to identify a frenemy, and learn a few trusty ways you can handle them. 

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The One Who’s Competitive. This person lives by the “anything you can do, I can do better” motto, and are easily identified when you are unable to talk about anything you’ve done without them immediately following up with their own superior achievement. You ran 5km during your weekend exercise? They ran 10km. You scored 85 marks on a tough exam paper? Great job! They scored 90 marks. 

How to deal: While having an overly competitive friend can be ultra annoying, don’t engage in their petty games or squabbles. Instead, rise above gracefully by acknowledging their accomplishments and giving praise where it’s due. And instead of having them work against you, try adapting their competitive nature to your advantage – partner up in group projects, be their ally in team games, or identify common goals you could work towards together. 

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The One Who’s Narcissistic. All this person wants to do is to relentlessly talk about themselves and their problems. They will pay no attention to any of the people around them, or care if they have any problems of their own. Basically, your role in the friendship is to just nod and agree with whatever this person is saying. 

How to deal: Chances are, these pals care mostly about themselves and little about anyone else. If you’ve decided to stop going along with their one-man love fest, start by slowly distancing yourself from said friend – start establishing personal boundaries and be wary of sharing too much about yourself. Focus on other friendships where you can receive actual care and empathy from likeminded friends. 

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The One Who’s Secretly Jealous Of You. This is the person whom you get along with consistently – they talk to you regularly, you hang out after school almost daily and they even confide in you their deepest secrets. But underneath the friendly facade, they are (almost) always inserting snide remarks that’ll have you second guessing their praise or even trying to downplay your achievements to make you feel bad. At worst, they’re secretly scheming behind your back, spreading rumours in an attempt to ruin your reputation or a friendship you have with someone else.

How to deal: It’s a delicate situation. Ignoring your friend’s issues may raise even more resentment in the long run, while confronting it head on may cause some serious backlash. Before any action is taken, put yourself in their shoes and try to understand their point of view; what happened to have him/her feel this way? What would they say during a confrontation? Do you behave in a way that could cause them to feel jealous (like bragging or rubbing your successes in their face)?

When actually broaching the topic, do it in a calm, rational and honest manner. Avoid accusing them of being jealous – try sharing your feelings about how distant your friendship has grown, and invite them to share their thoughts. Give constant reassurance about how much you value the friendship, and your honest admiration for their character/achievements. Being open and candid about the matter will help to shed light and hopefully fix the issue. 

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The One Who Gives Backhanded Compliments. This person probably took a page out of our resident favourite Mean Girl, Regina George’s playbook. Every time this person says something to you, you get pretty confused because you’re never really sure if they were complimenting or insulting you. 

How to deal: There are several effective ways to respond to these confusing remarks – either ignore it, acknowledge only the good part and thank them for it (which will probably annoy your ‘friend’ to no end), use humour to counter that snarky statement, or address it straight on: “that comment was hurtful”. Whichever way you choose, don’t raise to their petty bait! 

Other ways to deal

Find Out What The Problem Is

Before taking any drastic action, try reaching out to this person and ask them why they’ve been acting in a particular way towards you. Who knows, they might not have had any idea that their actions were causing you any distress. Talking about what’s been bothering the both of you in a non-confrontational manner can help repair any damage done and help to get the friendship back to normal. 

Set Some Boundaries

We’re not saying that every moment you spend with this person is negative, but it’s important to not be tricked into having a false sense of security. While it might be unnatural to do so, set boundaries around various topics of conversation, and always avoid sharing personal information. The key is to not overshare and give them something they can use against you in the future.

Don’t Fight Fire With Fire

It just creates a bigger flame. It’s easy to want to give them a taste of their own medicine, but it’s not worth it, especially if you think that the friendship might be worth salvaging. Being mean towards them or talking about them behind their back would just mean that you’re stooping to their level, and it would create more tension and could potentially lead to an explosive argument between you two. 

Know When To Let Go

Lastly, if you’ve tried everything on this list and nothing else works, then it might be high time to end the friendship. Some people are just not worth the emotional draining. Losing the friendship may be hard at first, but your mental wellbeing comes first, and removing this toxic person from your life will help you feel better in the long run.

What are some other ways you utilise to help deal with the frenemies in your life? Let us know in the comments below!

More related stories: Students Share Their Tried-And-Tested Study Hacks, 6 Easy Ways To Stand Out At Your Internship, 9 Ways To Make A Good First Impression

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Setting sail on an unconventional journey into the boundless world of maritime, Teenage speaks to MaritimeONE scholars Thaddeus Tan and Calista Chan on their journey thus far. 

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What sparked your interest in the maritime industry?

Thaddeus: When I was young, my dad used to bring me on boat rides. The apartment where I spent my childhood also overlooked the southern coast and port infrastructure. However, my interest in the maritime industry was only crystallised after two internships, which exposed me to the massive ecosystem of the maritime industry in Singapore. It was a combination of these factors that led me to pursue my studies in this field.

Calista: Growing up, I wasn’t really exposed to the industry. So when I first heard about seafaring, it sparked a huge interest because it’s not like your average nine-to-five job. This made me want to venture into this unconventional field.

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Did the industry differ from your initial expectations?

Calista: I imagined it to be very rugged and filled with physically strong people – think Popeye the sailor man! As I’m quite petite, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to take on strenuous tasks. However, after gaining greater exposure to the industry, I realised that it encompasses more than just tasks related to seafaring; it also comprises port operations, chartering, brokering and many other ancillary support activities that might be based onshore. 

Thaddeus: After learning more about this sector through networking events and internships, I found out that it’s more exciting and dynamic than what I expected.

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What are the highlights of being a MaritimeONE scholar?

Thaddeus: Having the opportunity to forge lasting friendships in the maritime industry. From attending various events and workshops such as the recent Scholars’ Advance Programme, I discovered that the MaritimeONE scholars’ community is a close-knit one. We’ve had plenty of self-initiated events throughout the years and I see MaritimeONE alumni coming back to help out.

Take us through a typical day in school.

Thaddeus: As a Year 4 engineering student, my day begins in the lab – where I flit between having my breakfast, to tending to my experiments and handling different software. I meet friends for lunch and we collectively grumble about our final year projects before returning to the lab to work on my final year project. Then I head off for my night classes, since most Year 4 electives are held at night.

Calista: We attend lessons from 8am to about 3pm, depending on our stipulated timetable. Lessons are held mainly in the classrooms, but there are also opportunities for a more hands-on experience. We get to operate speedboats and receive practical lessons on lifeboats and life rafts at Singapore Polytechnic’s (SP) Poly Marina located at West Coast Ferry Road. After spending 12 months out at sea, we then learn about navigation at SP’s simulation centre in Year 3.

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What’s the most challenging and rewarding aspect of being in the maritime industry?

Thaddeus: The most challenging aspect would be keeping up with the trends as this is an industry that never sleeps. It has many diverse sectors from port to maritime services; global trade is ongoing and shipping runs like clockwork.

Calista: I would say the most rewarding part is how every aspect of the industry is interconnected. This creates a lot of opportunities and good career prospects for those interested in joining this field!

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What’s a misconception about the maritime industry that you would like to set straight?

Calista: Many think that the maritime industry is a male-dominated one. While this may be true, there are more female captains on the rise, all of whom are very good at what they do. I would say the industry is rather diverse – anyone is welcome to join!

What are the important takeaways from your journey thus far?

Thaddeus: I realised that I should always look at the big picture and ensure that my efforts pay off in the long run. During my internship, I also learned how to handle dynamic situations with ease and get creative when solving problems.

Calista: I’ve learnt that I’m not someone who gives up easily. I face challenges with a positive mindset, which puts me in a better position to overcome them. I also firmly believe in reaping what you sow, hence I devote a lot of hard work to everything I do.

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What’s a piece of advice you would like to give those who wish to pursue a maritime career?

Thaddeus: Internships are one of the best ways to really understand what this industry has to offer, so go for it!

Calista: Have passion for everything you do. With passion, work would seem less like a chore because you’d love what you do and even look forward to it every day.

Calista is studying the Diploma in Nautical Studies, Singapore Maritime Academy at Singapore Polytechnic, while Thaddeus is pursuing his Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) at National University of Singapore. This article was brought to you by Singapore Maritime Foundation. Click here for more information on applying for the MaritimeONE scholarship programme. 

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8 Tips To Love Yourself Better

13 Oct 2017 by Lynette Goh

Neglecting our emotions and innermost thoughts for too long can lead to insecurities and negativity. If this year hasn’t been too good to you, and you’re understandably feeling a little burnt out, here is a guide to self-love and appreciation because all you deserve it. 

#1 Aim to strive healthily 

If you find yourself feeling lousy about yourself because you cannot keep up with people’s expectations of you, then perhaps it is time to define the differences between striving healthily and being a perfectionist. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfectly, look perfectly and act perfectly, we can avoid the pain of blame, judgment and shame. It will keep you asking yourself, “What will they think of me?” Meanwhile, healthy striving is different – it targets your growth, your emotions and personal goals. It is about chasing after something you value, instead of what people want from you. No one is perfect anyway, and this consistent pursuit to meet people’s expectations is a never-ending race. Quit that to run your own, and you’ll be happier.

#2 Compliment yourself

“Love yourself like Kanye loves Kanye” and jokes aside, Kanye is totally an emblem of #SelfLoveGoals. The rapper even has a song about himself named “I Love Kanye” and even though he may come off as an arrogant egomaniac, his compliments are not frivolous or thoughtless. We can learn a thing or two from his confidence to give our self-esteem a little boost and realise how recognising our strengths is just another form of encouragement we need when times get tough. 

#3 Take care of yourself

Yes, you hear it from us: be good to yourself. Nothing beats celebrating your body and looking after it. “Honour its needs through thirty-minute runs, long showers, flossing my teeth and drinking lots of water,” are Mary Dunlop of Tiny Buddha’s top tips. Clean up your diet, ensure you are getting enough sleep and treating yourself occasionally are little things that we miss out on when our schedules get busy, and it will help you feel better about yourself.

#4 Be unafraid of vulnerability

Vulnerability comes in many forms – taking responsibility for something that went wrong at work, telling your parents you love them, or acknowledging that you are worthy of love – and we often find it hard to come to terms with the reality that we are flawed. Some people translate vulnerability into rage or disconnection, but one thing you can do for yourself differently is to transform it into courage; to recognise them, slow down and seek support. “Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance”, Brene Brown writes in her book, Daring Greatly.

#5 Explore different art forms

Art soothes and relaxes. It could be a new canvas with some paints and brushes, a karaoke session, making music, or pottery. Channel your inner Picasso or Adele by picking up a new skill that allows you to explore the realm of creativity. Art is liberating, and it will allow you to express yourself in many ways. Who knows, you might discover a new talent you never knew you had!

#6 Spend some time alone 

A great part of learning to be comfortable in our own skin is to enjoy some time alone. The whirlwind of life is unending, and it can get exhausting at times. Setting aside some alone time can help you learn more about yourself, organise your thoughts, and deal with your emotions calmly. The more time alone time you have, the easier it is to develop a sense of self-confidence and self-love. 

#7 Think positive thoughts only

If all of the above is not working out, you can try changing perspectives and possessing a positive mindset. We all have our inner critic that’s unnecessarily harsh on ourselves and you need to know when to shut it up. 

Start by giving yourself credit for the things you do – practice positive affirmation, forgive yourself for your mistakes, look at the bigger picture and be grateful for the little things in life. Positive thinking is a step ahead of recognising your vulnerabilities, and it needs to be put to constant practice. Make a conscious effort and it will impact your life greatly.

#8 Guilt is not bad for you

If you feel guilt, it is good. Guilt allows us to change the things we do and the decisions we make. It occurs when we compare something we have done, or failed to do, with our values. Guilt is: if you made a mistake that really hurts someone’s feelings, you will say “I made a mistake, I am sorry.” It is different from shame where it makes you go, “I am sorry I am the mistake.” Knowing the distinction is important because there is a difference in who we are and what we did. It provides a more positive outlook on life because we can change what we do.

Featured image: Bart LaRue on Unsplash

How do you pick up the skill of feeling good in your own skin? Let us know in the comments section!

More related stories: 6 YA Books About Mental Health Every Teen Needs To Read, 7 Tips For Quality Rest Every Sleep-deprived Student Needs To Know, 10 Things We All Do But Won’t Ever Admit

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