Is Life Possible Without Astro TV?

TV Static by Thane Works

I’ve finally made the decision to live without Astro TV.

This is a rather major decision, having lived with Astro for almost 8 years.

Some of you may even wonder why I’m taking such a ‘drastic’ move. What would we watch on TV if we didn’t have Astro?

WHY!?!?!?

First of all, why did I come to such a decision?

  1. To save money. If I cancel my Astro subscription, I get to save RM600 a year. The money may not be a lot, but it helps to feed another mouth.
  2. Rachel is starting to get addicted to TV cartoons. I don’t want her to start learning bad things from the TV.
  3. TV programs don’t add much value to my life.
  4. The Internet has become a viable alternative.
  5. I’ve had several bad experiences with the company. First they allowed complete strangers to re-open an account under my name (and charge me for it), and they send me an SMS each month reminding me to pay my bill, even before the due date!

My Expectations

I’m willing to give this a try because I expect the following improvements:

  1. We will have better quality time. Nowadays our evenings and weekends are spent staring at the TV. Not much talking to each other.
  2. More time for other activities such as exercise, going for outdoor activities, or just playing board games.
  3. Less likely to gain weight from those tempting food commercials
  4. Rachel and Daryl to grow up reading books, rather than watch TV
  5. No more temptations to upgrade to a HD TV.
  6. Fewer late nights staying up to watch TV

Do take a few minutes to check out a blog post by Celestine Chua on 10 reasons to stop watching TV.

I agree with many of the reasons.

I do expect a rather difficult transition period, removing Astro TV from my house.

There are some potential difficulties:

  1. Rachel will be bored
  2. We will miss live TV events and sports events
  3. Poey Chin will miss her evening news
  4. Poey Chin will miss her TVB series
  5. Visitors will be bored at our home

But the TV won’t be totally gone. We will still have the free channels. We will still have a DVD player and the Nintendo Wii for entertainment purposes.

I just know that this will be for the best.

Action Plan

Here is my plan.

For the month of June, I will start to look for entertainment alternatives, and solutions to address the difficulties I foresee.

In July, we will do a trial run. I will hide the Astro smart card somewhere, and we will see how things are.

If we can live without Astro, I will then cancel my subscription shortly thereafter.

Some of you may be wondering what Poey Chin thinks about my idea. She said okay, but gives me the resigned look she gives me whenever I want to try something crazy.

Help

Do you have any resources for watching TV programs online? Do you have any tips to share?

So is life possible without Astro TV? Stay tuned for updates on my experiment!

Photo By: Thane Works / CC

Reset Button Saved Me RM400

Last Friday the water heater in my second bathroom failed to work. The power was on, but the heater just didn’t work.

This water heater was inherited from the previous condo owner, so I guess it has to be more than 5 or 6 years old.

It is an Ariston brand water heater, and I assume it lasted so long because it is an imported brand.

My parents adviced me to get a new one because the water heater was so old.

This morning I checked out the prices in the store and a new Panasonic water heater with installation comes up to RM400.

Having recently spent so much money on baby Daryl, I decided to try getting an electrician to come take a look first.

I came home, studied the water heater and I noticed a little Reset button at the top of the heater. I pressed the button, and voila, the heater worked again!

So happy that I managed to delay replacing my water heater, and saving so much money!

Photo By: renaissancechambara

Tip-Tip Kewangan Untuk Rakyat Malaysia

It is always a joy when I find Malaysian personal finance books. I mean, browse the personal finance section in the book store and all you can see are books written by overseas financial gurus.

Nothing wrong about reading books from overseas, but I always find it hard to apply some of the tips they write about in Malaysia.

I came across this new book, Tip-Tip Kewangan Untuk Rakyat Malaysia (Money Tips for Malaysians) because I subscribe to the author KC Lau’s blog.

Mr KC Lau is a veteran in the personal finance business since 2003, and is a leading personal finance blogger in Malaysia.

This book is the Bahasa Malaysia translation of his best selling book Top Money Tips for Malaysians.

Don’t worry, I don’t think you will have any problem reading the Bahasa Malaysia version because it is simple, clear and understandable.

What Is The Book About?

The delivers what it promises on the book title. It is a compilation of 24 personal finance management tips that are 100% applicable to us Malaysians.

The book is divided into four areas:

1. Tip Kewangan Bijak will educate you in the basic areas of personal finance. Discover how the wealthy may not think like you and me, and how they manage their cashflow.

2. Tip Menjana Wang gives you a guide to making more income and how to start investing.

3. Tip Menjimat Wang suggests tips to help you save money in major purchases such as car insurance, unit trusts and mortgages.

4. Tip Melindungi Wang contains tips on protecting our wealth.

Each “tip” is expanded and elaborated in a chapter of its own, so rest assured that each topic is covered in depth.

My Opinions On This Book

First of all, I love how the book is organised. There is a logical flow from changing our financial mindset, to generating more income, to saving more income, and then to protecting our wealth.

I’ve already mentioned how the tips are suited for Malaysian readers. Many (expensive) books we get from overseas authors give us tips we can’t use.

A lot of examples and references are provided to teach us the concepts. When KC Lau suggested we watch videos online instead of subscribing to Astro, he provided 1.5 pages of online video websites!

I think the book is a great value. Some of the money saving tips more than cover the price of the book.

I like how the tips are illustrated with funny comics.

My only wish is there could be even more tips included in the book. If you’re a fast reader like me, you’ll finish the book quickly because you won’t be able to put the book down. I guess I’ll have to wait for the next book to be published!

Why Would I Need This Book?

This book will be great for anyone who is starting to take interest in personal finance. The tips are simple to follow, you won’t need any degree in accounting to understand how to manage your own finance.

If you are like me, then you will love how the tips are applicable to Malaysians. There are tips that talk about EPF, income tax laws, unit trust charges, and insurance in our Malaysian setting.

Finally, this book will make a great gift for someone who is just starting to manage their personal finance.

Where Can I Find the Book?

You can buy the book for RM29.90 at all major bookstores, or you could buy Tip-Tip Kewangan Untuk Rakyat Malaysia online.

Finally, check out (and subscribe to) KC Lau’s website for more financial tips.