Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Homemaker...Be Proud...

The definition has evolved from housewife to stay-at-home mom to homemaker. Based on a 2007 survey conducted by, the annual salary of a homemaker is $138,095 (A 3% increase from 2006's salary of $134,121) The job descriptions used to determine the salary includes 10 jobs that moms do daily: housekeeper, day care center teacher, cook, computer operator, laundry machine operator, janitor, facilities manager, van driver, CEO and psychologist. It is interesting that the result raised a heated debate between working mothers, homemakers, and men. Try to guess who said the following quotes and then check your answer. It will surprise you.

“Those women chose to have children, and chose to stay home. Staying home is worth $0.00” (1)
“Stay-at-home parenting is a wonderful luxury, and it's a shame that it's a luxury today” (2)
“I'm tired of everyone praising the homemaker…Let them try living my life for a week” (3)
“I would like to see any working parent switch places with their stay-at-home spouse for one week and see just how humble it makes them” (4)
“I have to say that I am completely frustrated by the continued validation that we must give to stay-at-home mothers” (5)
“Staying at home is the right thing. it is in the best interest not only of the child but also to society” (6)

In reality you can’t really put a price tag for the homemaker. They are simply priceless. So next time someone ask you "what do you do", never say "I don't work" or "I don't have a job". Say "I'm a homemaker":0

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sending Money For Dear Mommy

Fast, low cost and secure international person-to-person money transfer is what everybody wants. But the "how" is not easy to answer. Banks charge a flat fee ranging from $30 to $35 and it takes about 2-5 business days. Money Service Business (MSB) or money transfer company such as Western Union and MoneyGram charge variable fees (The more you send the higher the fees). In addition to the fees applicable to the transactions, they also collect the difference between the exchange rate given to customers and the exchange rate that they receive. They say the money will be available within minutes. Shop around for a good rate. If you go online, you will find many money transfer businesses. By law, they need to register with the Department of Treasury. Both Bank and money transfer company will obtain your personal identification information (DOB, Driver License Number). Using a reputable MSB means less chance your ID will be used for fraudulent purposes. Use MSB with a good reputation. Ask for the final amount disbursed to the receiver and total fees paid by you and the receiver in advance. Ask the currency exchange rate applicable to your transaction. Ask the the person you are sending money to do same research.

Some people use unofficial risky methods of transferring money. These methods vary from using the postal service to send cash or checks and sending your bankcard overseas to a trusted person to use (Dear mom/dad/sis/bros). Make sure you monitor the user's banking activity through your statement, pay attention to the foreign exchange withdrawal fees and place a limit on the withdrawals if you can. I did some checking and these are just some examples to give you an idea. Contact each of the service providers for up-to-date detail information. Western Union agent in Indonesia includes BII, BRI, Bank Mandiri and PT POS Indonesia. You will need the receiver Bank SWIFT CODE (unique identification code of a particular bank) if you are transferring money between banks. Search the following portal for the Bank code and just to be safe confirm with the receiver Bank for accuracy. Hope it helps.

8/19/2007 Data, Amount Sent $500, US to Indonesia
Fee $10.00 Rupiah Rp. 4,650,750.00
Fee $20.00 Rupiah Rp. 4,735,450.00
Fee $43.00 Rupiah Rp. 4,500,075.00

8/19/2007 Data - Wire Transfer Fee ($)
Citizens Bank 35.00
Citibank 30.00
Sovereign Bank 35.00
TD Bank North 35.00
HSBC 30.00
Bank of America 45.00