A RocketUncle (Zyllem) Experience 

I was clearing my annual leave this whole week and had the opportunity to try out something interesting with the extra free time I had. 

Introducing RocketUncle (now known as Zyllem), a leading provider of fast, cost-effective and reliable same-day delivery service in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines since it was founded in 2013. The Zyllem app is available to both customers and couriers so they can readily access the services on their mobile devices. 

Zyllem was introduced to me by my friend recently. Depending on the urgency/timing of the job and its package size, a courier can earn between $5 – $15 per delivery. He mentioned that Zyllem was more of a supplement to cover some petrol, parking fees and kopi/makan money.

After fiddling around with the app, it seems the average courier fees one can earn per delivery was about $6 (not inclusive of out-of-pocket expenses like parking fees or ERP charges). I wanted to see if it can be a good source of income if one were to commit full-time being a Zyllem courier, probably making about 20 trips daily.

There are 3 considerations for me:

1. Most HDB car parks allow a 10-min grace period, so if I am in and out fast enough, I can avoid parking fees. 

2. I intend to take up jobs where I do not have to enter the CBD area, thus avoiding any ERP charges.

3. Lastly, I will study the routes of available jobs. In order to cut down on petrol wastage, it makes sense to plan the pickup and delivery routes in the most fuel efficient way. 

Below is a screenshot of my travel route for 26th December:

Green = Pickup

Red = Delivery

Notice how all the pickup and delivery locations are within close proximity of each other. It would be ideal if I had a pickup near my starting point in Boon Lay to “justify” the drive towards the east. Too bad there was none that Saturday morning. 
I started off at 8.45am with a total of 6 jobs assigned. One by one, I collected the courier items from the senders. 

However, there were 2 pickups which couldn’t be made due to the following reasons:

1. Sender forgot to bring the item to office for pickup 

2. Sender indicated the wrong pickup address

Sender #1 was very nice and told me to treat the delivery as complete because I had already made the trip down to the office. 

Sender #2 wasn’t at the pickup location because the item was supposed to be picked up from her home, and her home was not near at all to her office where I was “patiently” waiting outside. She asked if it was alright for me to leave the order as “Unfulfilled” at this moment and that pickup be carried out on Monday instead. I told her honestly that I wasn’t doing Zyllem full-time and I won’t be doing any pickups on Monday. 

I later rejected the delivery via the app and entered my reasons for doing so. I hope Zyllem will still reimburse me for my wasted trip down to Sender #2’s wrong pickup location. 

Making my deliveries back in the west, I completed my jobs by 11.45am and had clocked a total of 88km, at a F/C rate of 9.1l/100km. I had used up about 8 liters of petrol and considering I paid $1.666 per liter, my cost was about $13.35.
These jobs would pay out a total of $37.65 (excluding that 1 trip I had rejected). Less the petrol cost, and it should be a nett “earning” of $24.30.

What may seem like only $24.30, can actually help to cover 3 meals daily for maybe 2 days. Imagine if one had taken up 3x as many jobs in 1 day, he/she could potentially earned about $65 – $73; or $1,300 – $1,460 monthly (considering 20 work days).

I am not saying that this can/will be my full-time job because the income just isn’t sufficient for my current financial commitments in life. However, this may still be considered good income for someone else in need of money but unable to command a higher salary.

I have learnt to appreciate the efforts put in by delivery couriers and have new found respect for them.

They will face frustrations when wrong information (like pickup or delivery addresses) is being passed down or face difficult senders/recipients, causing them wasted trips and time. However, come rain or shine, they do their best to try ensure their jobs are completed and provide a source of income for themselves and/or their families. 

The next time I placed an order online with delivery, I will think of the hardworking courier who will be delivering my package to my door step. Thank you very much!


How To Save $10,000 Yearly?

First of all, I wish to inform that this saving plan should be achievable by most middle-income adults in Singapore, as long as you do not spend your money unnecessarily.

I started a savings plan at the beginning of this year after reading an article on how to save money.

The original savings plan goes like this:

Week 1 = Save $1,
Week 2 = Save $2,
Week 3 = Save $3,… so on and so forth…
Week 52 = Save $52.

By the time you come to week 52, you would have saved a total of $1,378 for the year.

I was thinking, how about I up the challenge and try something different?
Hence, I adjusted my own savings plan as such:

Week 1 = Save $1 every day for that week (total $7),
Week 2 = Save $2 every day for that week (total $14),… so on and so forth…
Week 52 = Save $52 every day for that week (total $364).

It seems 1st Jan 2014 is a Wednesday and since 31st Dec 2014 is also a Wednesday (entering week 53), I have to save an extra $53 for that day. With this, I will be able to save a total of $9,699 for the year.

The early weeks were manageable since the amount to save each week was small. However, as I progressed beyond week 30, I was pretty much struggling to save at least $210 ($30 x 7 days) per week.

I was into week 45 earlier this month and felt it was a real torture! Imagine I had to save $315 for that week and counting, on top of other commitments.

That’s when I decided to end the “misery” once and for all.

I had already saved a total of $7,245 by week 45 but realised that putting money in a tupperware container wasn’t earning me any interest as compared to the money being in a savings account. Therefore, I decided to complete the savings “project” in advance and save even more by topping it up to $10,000.

So that is how I managed to save $10,000 for the year. Try it!
It would be great if I can achieve such savings every year for years to come.

Staying True

The most important thing is staying true to what you want to capture on your camera.

There are times when you thought it would be nice to capture what others did, but then you realized it was nothing you had wanted to capture in the first place…


I used to be particular at how sharp my photographs turn out until recently, I realized it is how much I can bring out my subject that matters.

This photograph of my son, Evan, isn’t a sharp one: it’s not even in focus, but it sure brings a smile to my face whenever I see it.


Emo Thursday

Out for lunch at a Japanese restaurant in town now when I saw a mother out with her two kids. It immediately brought back fond memories of my parents bringing my siblings and I out for a meal together.

We would often go to a Japanese restaurant at Bugis Junction or sometimes, my Mom would bring us to Jack’s Place at Parkway Parade for steak and mushroom soup when my Dad was busy at work.

It seemed like only yesterday that I had my cha soba with some wasabi and a quail egg added into the dipping sauce. I also remember how I would add tobasco sauce over my escargots and downing it whole (less the shell of course).

Come to think of it, to bring three kids out once or twice a month for such food wasn’t cheap. But my parents never once held back on spending when it comes to food.

At this point of my post, I am almost tearing but since I am still in the restaurant, I controlled my emotions.

I just want to take this chance to say a big thank you to my parents for your love and for bringing us up.

Mom and Dad, I love you.

Your son,

Evan’s Hysterical Giggle

As Evan starts to interact with us, Frances (my wife) tries ways to amuse him (and ourselves). This is the first hysterical giggle of Evan captured on video.

Project: Save Money 28 – 30 / 30

Finally wrapped up this project with my final 3 lunch sessions at an affordable cai-berng stall in Orchard. It may be a simple one but at least I completed it!!! Yippeee!