Life is getting harder here in Singapore after knowing that it is one of the most expensive cities in the world. If you do not act immediately, your personal finance decisions can cost you a lot of money at the end of the day without you knowing. You always wonder why you are losing money, it is time that you discover the reasons behind it.
You lose money every day since every move will incur cost but have you considered your mindset? You drill your minds thinking where you did wrong but you haven’t thought about taking a closer look at your mindset. There are things and customs that you do every day that can cost you money and it is time to discover it.
It is important that you discover the reasons why you lose money so you can change your mindset and save more money in the long run. Here are some reasons that you have to look closely and resolve immediately:
- Listening to financial advices of relatives and friends: You trust your relatives and friends so when they recommend something, you listen to them and consider it as well. If you remember that scam of Suisse International, many Singaporeans fall prey. Though the people behind it was penalized, it doesn’t change the fact that many people lose money. It was widespread because relatives and friends encourage many to join. There is nothing wrong if you listen to your family members and unless they are expert financial advisers, you should not entirely put your faith on them.
- Believing in gimmicks: You have to believe that sugar coating is innate in the society. You get things without thinking of the real picture because companies or institutions sugar-coated it. How do they do that? Well, they bombard you with freebies thereby hiding the real cost. Do yourself a favor and avoid it.
- Not comparing financial products: You do not compare financial products because you do not understand it or you do not have enough time to understand it. This mindset should be changed because it will turn out that you will spend more. It is important that you compare financial products first so you will know which institutions offer lesser interest rates.
- Choosing cheapest deals: It is true that you can save when you consider cheap things but sometimes, you have to rely on quality if you really want to save money. There is nothing wrong if you choose cheap deals but you have to consider its true worth.
One of the hurdles to becoming wealthy is your mindset. You have to change it to change your life.
There is no right time to save for our child’s college than today even if he is still just a wee baby. Sending a child to college is expensive here in Singapore let alone sending him overseas. If we have an average income, it is hard to set aside money for college but we have to do it for the sake of our children.
Here in Singapore, a four-year course costs S$25,000. It does not end there because we still need to give our child monthly allowance not to mention school projects. Let us assume that we will spend $50,000 in total in the course of four years. Let us also take into account the inflation rate of 1.5% per annum so parents should expect about S$67,000.
How do we amass this $67,000 in 20 years for only one child? This sounds difficult but it is necessary if we want to ensure the future of our kids. Here are some tips on saving for our child’s college without compromising our retirement plans:
- Do it diligently: Saving is hard especially with everything that is going on but if we do it diligently, things are possible. We have to give credit to parents who diligently save for the future of their children.
- Baby bonus + CDA + savings: Here in Singapore, for every child born, the government will give a baby bonus worth S$8,000. It does not end there, the government also promise to match dollar for dollar money saved in CDA (Child Development Account) up to S$6,000. These opportunities should not be taken for granted.
- Baby bonus + CDA + ETFs: Granting we have $8,000. The government only allows dollar for dollar matching up to $6,000. We can put the remaining S$2,000 into ETFs. ETFs are investment plans given by brokerage houses. The investment plans will permit us to secure stocks for as low as S$100 per month.
Somehow many Singaporeans prefer credit over cash. For Singaporeans with credit cards, they surely love credit cards because it yields different rewards and benefits. According to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), as of May 2015, there are 9, 721, 768 credit cards in circulation. In addition, there are about 1.58 million credit card users here.
MAS furthermore discovered that the average credit cardholders hold at least six cards each. This is a pretty good picture telling us that most people here use credit cards. People have asked questions: how many are too many or how many are too few? Experts will say that there is no required or average number a cardholder can hold but everything will depend on how we manage the accounts.
It is crucial that we know how to manage our accounts if we do not want to have a poor credit thereby destroying our good name and reputation in the financial industry. Here are some things that we need to know about our credit cards and hopefully it can help us manage our accounts:
- Does the number of credit cards we have affect our credit rating? We have to know that before we are approved of a loan or mortgage from any financial institution, they will take into consideration our credit score. The credit score is the bank’s way of gauging whether we are good payer or not. The credit rating includes our credit history, spending habits and annual income. Here, the score ranges from 1,000 to 2,000 (2,000 being the highest and 1,000 being the lowest). This means that if we have credit cards and pay it on time, it will help our credit score compared to those who do not have credit cards.
- More credit cards mean more rewards: Here, credit card companies entice people to sign up thru their rewards. Banks offer different credit cards to cater to the differing needs of consumers like travel credit cards and cash back credit cards. For cash conscious people, they will surely prefer cash back but for travellers, the travel credit card can give them travel related rewards.
- Managing cards: As mentioned earlier, the number of card really depends on how we are able to manage it. The only trick is to find a system that can help us pay our bills on time every month. For example, we can sign up for GIRO deduction. GIRO deduction will link our credit card account to our bank account and automatically deduct our monthly bills without the hassle of falling in line. We only have to make sure that our bank account has enough money to pay it all.