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Taxi Driver's Vocational Licence

I decided to obtain a Taxi Driver's Vocational Licence (TDVL) so as to gain an additional avenue to earn income. I guess I could drive a taxi in between job changes in the future, or after retirement, drive to pass the time and earn some income as well. With this licence, I can be a Private Hire Car Driver too.
There is information on the Land Transport Authority's (LTA's) website about how to apply for a TDVL. I followed the instructions and made an application online. I then had to wait for LTA's letter, which I need to bring along for my medical check-up. I did my medical check-up at SATA, and then went back two days later to collect the medical report.
Thereafter, I went to ComfortDelGro Taxi to sign up for the TDVL course. Part of the course fees can be paid for using my SkillsFuture credits. I signed up for the full-day course, which was on a Saturday and Sunday, from morning to late afternoon. They offered part-time courses that take place in the evenings, but I f…
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Dividends received in 2018

The only equity investment I have are some Starhub shares that I purchased a few years back. For the year 2018, I received a total of $528 in dividends from these shares. This averages out to be $44 per month, which helps to cover my monthly mobile phone bill.

For this year, I aim to invest more and hope to build up a stream of income that can help to cover other monthly expenses. Looking forward to the days ahead!

CPF interest received in 2018

When I checked my CPF accounts today, I'm glad that I received a total of $7,445.60 interest from my Ordinary, Special and Medisave accounts. 
My Ordinary Account (OA) balance is currently sufficient to cover nine months of my apartment's mortgage instalments. In the event that there is disruption to my monthly cash flow, this would be a source of emergency funding to help me with my mortgage payments. This gives me a little peace of mind.

The new Full Retirement Sum (FRS) is $176,000. After having received the CPF interest earned in 2018, my Special Account (SA) balance is now slightly above the new FRS. Seeing this pool of money grows makes me feel less anxious about my post-retirement financial needs. 

As the interest earned from my Medisave Account (MA) is credited to my OA (because my MA has reached the Basic Healthcare Sum [BHS]), there is no injection into my MA and it is currently at $54,500. The new BHS is set at $57,200.Hope my MA reaches the new BHS soon through my job…

Sapporo

Our last destination for this trip was Sapporo. We stayed two nights here at Waga Yado Hare, which was about $38 per person per night. This hostel was about 10 minutes' walk from Sapporo Station, which took some effort to reach as it was snowing and the road and pavement were slippery.




The first floor of the hostel had a small living room area, one toilet, one wash basin, two bathrooms, and one washing machine and one dryer. I had to pay 500 Yen for detergent and use of the washing machine and dryer. The dryer was not working well and we had to do multiple cycles in order to get our clothes dry. The second floor was the sleeping quarters and it was quite cramped, and there was no heating as well. There were two toilets and one wash basin at this floor. Overall, this place didn't have sufficient space and shared facilities, and I don't quite like this place and would not recommend people to stay here.   


Although our accommodation was disappointing, we managed to have a good …

Noboribetsu

The train ride from Hakodate to Noboribetsu was very long and I was asleep for most of the journey. In Noboribetsu, we stayed at AKA & AO Guest House, which was just one minute's walk from the train station. The stay was about $45 per person per night. The first floor was the reception area which doubled up as a cafe. There was a kitchen for guests to use as well. The second floor was the sleeping quarters and toilets. I really liked the clean toilets and shower units, as well as the spacious bunk beds which were close to a super-single bed size. The only downside was the inadequate heating in the sleeping quarters and it felt quite cold at night when sleeping.
At the train station, we purchased bus tickets to go to the Noboribetsu-Onsen Terminal. The bus stop to board the Donan Bus was on the right side after we exited the train station.

The Donan Bus ferried us to the Noboribetsu-Onsen Terminal, where we alighted and walked up the main street to look for lunch. Do remember to …

Hakodate

After Niseko, we travelled to Hakodate and it was snowing heavily there too! There was simple and beautiful Christmas illumination right outside the Hakodate Station. Over here, we stayed at Smile Hotel Hakodate. It's less than 5 minutes' walk from the train station, and the room was about $37 per person per night for a twin-sharing room. This room was bigger than the one we had in Otaru, and the bathroom was more spacious too.


We were looking for a place to have dinner, and after randomly walking around our hotel, we came to Daimon Yokocho which was an area with many small eateries. We had dinner at one of the shops - Crab House - where we had really nice crab fried rice and seafood hotpot. Do come to this area to look for food if you are in Hakodate!


The next day, we went to the Hakodate Morning Market to look around and to find breakfast. Other than seafood, there were also stalls selling fruits, vegetables and other food items.




It was snowing and very cold, but we still walke…