Budgeting

Business

Break The Habit: How to Change Your Bad Money Behaviors

Coming from a family whose members earn really well, we still never really reached the status of being “rich”. Even my mother admits it’s because of their tendency to overspend. They are one of those people who buy the newest iPhone models, constantly go shopping for clothes (both online and in the mall!), and give expensive gifts to families and friends. Whenever I share this to other people, they are surprised by how different I turned out when it comes to money. What I tell them, as I will now tell you, is that bad money habits can be changed! These are not just mere words by financial experts and advisors; it can actually be done if you only be patient and persevering enough to work towards it. What makes change difficult for many people these days is the tendency to submit to the thinking that either you are born with a talent in managing money or not. Others, they think that once they developed bad habits, there is no coming back. However, those are simply not the case. We have 2 good news for you. First, no one is born an over spender. Good money habits are developed, just

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Business

Budgeting For Beginners: 4 Ways to Lower Your Bills

Handling one’s finances isn’t as easy as people first think. When times are especially hard, it is convenient to come up with ways to even a few bucks. Whether you are finding yourself drowned by debts to pay your bills or just in need of some extra cash and savings, here are some techniques you can follow and try for yourself to lower those numbers in your receipts and monthly bills. Monitor your monthly bills and receipts. These electric companies and banks probably would not make mistakes in computing your bills, right? Wrong! There have been a lot of cases where accounts have been accidentally exchanged, customers are charged extra for things they did not consume or benefit from, and others situations like it. Therefore, you should never assume that what is stated in your bill is right and just pay them off without checking. And when you do find mistakes, do not give in to laziness and go to the nearest branch to clarify instead. There will be some tellers and customer service representatives who will give you a hard time, and in times like this, you have to stand your ground and know your rights as a customer.

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Business

How To Budget For A Family In Hong Kong

First-time Parenting: Creating a Family Budget Plan in Hong Kong Learning how to budget for a family in Hong Kong is an important step to ensure that you can survive in this expensive city. According to the survey conducted by Mercer, a human resource firm in New York, Hong Kong landed second to the most expensive urban centres in the world. This data was actually intended for expats planning to live in Hong Kong. While they have a choice whether they want to live in this expensive city or not, the local residents of Hong Kong have to deal with the harsh reality of this city’s cost of living.   Usually, expensive cities justify the cost of living with high wages. But then again, how do the wages fare in Hong Kong? According to the data published by the South China Morning Post, fresh graduates are given HK$10,860 as their first salary. Do you think that is enough for you to live by?   Obviously, when you reach the point when you have to budget for a family, you should have gone through a couple of salary increases. Let us say that you are already earning HK$20,000 when you decided

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Business

Simplify Your Budget With the 50-30-20 Rule

This article originally appeared on ValuePenguin With unexpected events and irresistible cravings hiding in every corner of our lives, controlling our expenditures on a daily basis can be a difficult task. However, just because it’s difficult to do, it doesn’t mean we can ignore it completely. One way to keep our spending habit in check is to create a budget and try to stay within the limits that you have set for yourself. However, planning out your budget and following it are different matters altogether. A common problem is that it is annoying to have to keep track of every little expenditure that you make. While most people begin this budgeting process with great enthusiasm, they soon give up and revert to their old ways. However, budgeting is an important part of achieving long-term financial happiness, as it is also crucial in helping you set some money aside for your retirement. According to a recent survey conducted by HSBC, seven out of 10 working Singaporeans above the age of 45 say they would like to retire within five years. This is not possible unless you have a substantial level of savings. What is the solution? Is there any method that

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Business

3 Pieces of Financial Advice for Uber Drivers and Other New Economy Contractors

This article originally appeared on ValuePenguin With the rise of tech startups like Uber and Airbnb, a lot of people have been taking up new jobs in the recent years either as a full-gig or as a way to earn supplementary income. Though these jobs can be attractive especially in face of rising unemployment rate and slow income growth, they are not without their own financial pitfalls. This is especially true if you are considering becoming a “new economy” contractor like driving for Uber or hosting Airbnbs out of your HDB flat. Open a Personal Line of Credit A rising tide lifts up all boats. When companies like Grab, Uber and Airbnb are growing like weeds, people who are participating in that growth can be rewarded immensely. Now, Uber drivers in Singapore can expect to make S$26 per hour in Singapore. If you work 50 hours a week, that’s easily more than S$5,000 per month of income, which compares favorably against the national average of S$4,056, though there are other costs involved like paying for petrol. However, when you are first starting off as a contractor, it’s not easy to forecast exactly how much money you will earn or even […]

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Business

3 Tips on How to Get Rid of Your Piling Personal Debt and Credit Card Balance

This article originally appeared on ValuePenguin Personal debt is a growing problem for Singapore’s consumers. According to ValuePenguin’s study, unpaid credit card debt and personal loans represent 46% of S$55,000 household debt per capita of an average person in Singapore. Sure, having loans for your home or your car is a reasonable cost of living that you can’t avoid, but if you have S$20,000 to S$30,000 of credit card debt or personal loan, you really need to be looking for ways to become debt-free quickly. These loans can easily cost you 15-25% in interest every year, which can add up to thousands of dollars. But what are the best ways to actually repay these high cost loans quickly? Our team at ValuePenguin has investigated the best financing options to help guide you back to financial health and happiness. If You Have A Small Amount Of Debt that You Can Repay In 12 Months: Balance Transfer Loans If you have a growing balance of unpaid credit card bills, you might want to consider getting a balance transfer loan from bank. Basically, you can transfer your credit card balance to a different bank, and get a “grace period” of 3 to 12 […]

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Business

Millennials: Navigating Investment, Marriage, and Housing ~TFIF 2017 Series

In this recap series of The Future Is Female conference 2017, we dive into one of the panels, A Look At How Millennials View Investing, Marriage & Housing “Sometimes, we think it is a must to move out once we get married, but it can work out beautifully if you don’t.”-Violet Lim, CEO of Lunch Actually Group Unlike most couples, Violet and her partner have lived with her in-laws for more than a decade.  The arrangement complements her work schedule, especially in the first few years of her business. She reasoned that purchasing a BTO requires time to assess and it was not the best choice at the time when she was married. “Staying with your parents may lead to a lack of privacy, but it may also save you time and decrease your stress as your parents or in-laws can help you manage your crazy schedule!” she shared.   On the other hand, home ownership allows more flexibility in your lifestyle and the way you raise your children.  “When you’re a newly married couple, sometimes the context and environment matters. You will want your own place to create your own memories, sink your roots in. There is also the relationship […]

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Business

7 Ways to Trick Your Brain Into Getting Rich & Achieving Your Financial Goals

Getting rich is never really “easy”, especially when you are chasing it on your own. On top of that, it’s not just about the amount of hard work you put into that goal; even things such as your upbringing as well as your unconscious thoughts and beliefs on money will affect your progress. Thankfully, there actually are ways to make your way around obstacles like this. When it comes to unconscious, the trick is, well, to trick it. Here are 7 ways to do it: Automate your savings. Before you spend all your month’s income and have a problem with your spending, perhaps due to a hard-to-control impulse to buy, you can choose to automate your regular deposits to your savings account. This way, your savings are safe and sound in your bank account before you get your hands on them. Visit the nearest branch of your bank to inquire about this option. Use cash more often. What we use when we spend affect how we perceive money and their value as well. Obviously, when we use credit cards, it is easier to overspend; this is because you do not see your money being spent. It is for this reason […]

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Business

What Is Lifestyle Inflation? How To Manage & Avoid Lifestyle Inflation

If you’re a great performer at work, you probably can’t wait for the next raise. There are two top reasons. One is you acknowledge your responsibility as a grown-up and you know you have to save more and invest for your (early) retirement and make sure that you will have enough money to support you until your later days. The second reason might be your plan to elevate your lifestyle. Don’t feel guilty; somehow at some point in our lives, we all want to live the lifestyle we feel we deserve. The pay raise came, and you immediately pump up your lifestyle to match your idols and other people you want to hang out with. Sooner than you expect, you’ll realize that either you ended up with no money left to save or the amount left for savings did not really increase as much. What are the chances that the same thing will happen again and again? Very huge, that is, if you don’t take not of the following ideas regarding lifestyle inflation. Prioritize sustainable living is over lifestyle change Before you think of increasing your spending, you have to realize first that you still have to live on. Survival […]

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Business

Advice to Millennials: How to Prepare For Unplanned Expenses?

Millennials often feel that budgeting is difficult and it is tedious to prepare for unplanned expenses. However, this oversight can spell trouble when we do not manage our money properly to meet our needs and wants. Looking to have the latest fashion, gadgets or even going on luxurious overseas trips? All these treats seem affordable as we enter the professional world and start to earn a decent income. Yet, it may not be the wisest choice to live paycheck to paycheck. In a recent survey on the millennials of ages between 18 to 30 in Singapore, the “Mo-Ments” team from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) found that only one in three young adults here often plan their expenses, while less than half of them frequently set aside money for unplanned expenses. As such, many of us may not have enough money to tide over unexpected emergencies and this can also hinder our financial health drastically. What Does Financial Freedom Mean to You? Financial Questions that Matter The team discovered that many people in their target group are not committed to good budgeting habits because their struggle to maintain the effort. The top 3 barriers that millennials are found to be dealing with […]

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Business

4 Ways to Reduce Expenses and Lower Your Monthly Bills

Handling one’s finances isn’t as easy as people first think. When times were particularly hard, it is convenient to come up with ways to even a few bucks. Whether you are finding yourself drowned by debts to pay your bills or just in need of some extra cash and savings, here are some techniques you can follow and try for yourself to reduce those numbers in your receipts and lower your monthly bills. Monitor your monthly bills and receipts. These electric companies and banks probably would not make mistakes in computing your bills, right? Wrong! There have been a lot of cases where accounts have been accidentally exchanged; customers are charged extra for things they did not consume or benefit from, and others situations like it. Therefore, you should never assume that what is stated in your bill is right and just pay them off without checking. And when you do find mistakes, do not give in to laziness and go to the nearest branch to clarify instead. There will be some tellers and customer service representatives who will give you a hard time, and in times like this, you have to stand your ground and know your rights as […]

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Business

5 Financial Tips for 2017 From A Former Hedge Fund Investor

It’s 2017, and we’re all making resolutions to lead a better life in the new year. Usually, we set goals in different areas like health, finance, career and relationships. Having spent a number of years investing at a few hedge funds, we’ve learned a few important things about how to improve a company or a person’s finances healthy. From an expert’s point of view, personal finance is actually quite similar to corporate finance. With careful planning, we can create a healthy balance sheet that can allow us to invest for the future while preparing for emergencies.  Below, we have prepared 5 tips that can help significantly increase your financial health in 2017. 1. Define Your Fixed and Discretionary Expenditures The first step of being financially healthy is knowing what you need and what you want, and comparing it to how much we can afford. The important principle to uphold here is that your expenditures should not exceed your income. Otherwise, you would have to borrow money to finance your consumption, which could be a dangerous exercise. Borrowing money to spend today means less money for you to use in the future. Unless you are extremely certain that your income will […]

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Business

A Step-by-Step Guide to Financing Your Wedding

A wedding is possibly the most important event in a couple’s life. It presents a unique opportunity to share your joy and happiness with your friends and relatives. The preparations usually begin months in advance and every new bride and bridegroom want their wedding events to be a great success and remain indelibly imprinted in the minds of their guests forever. But every perfectly executed wedding requires hours of hard work and meticulous planning. There are guest lists to be made, venues to be reserved, and a bridal package to be decided upon in addition to a number of other matters to be taken care of. Above all, you need to ensure that the total amount that you intend to spend is within your budget. Trying to anticipate every detail can be a nerve-racking experience, and it can all get a little overwhelming. To help you plan the wedding you’ve been dreaming of, we’ve prepared the below guide that explains each step and how much you could expect to spend on each component of the wedding. How much does a wedding in Singapore cost? While we estimate the average cost of a wedding in Singapore to be around S$40,000, you […]

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Business

How To Budget In The Simplest Way – 4 Easy Steps to Follow

Creating a Budget In The Simplest Way? It’s Elementary! Make a spending plan that you’ll love to live by. Like a good friend, it will need to communicate well with you. You’ll need to understand its ins and outs. Above all, you’ll want to feel comfortable with it 24 hours a day. So make sure that you’re consistently at ease with your budget. That starts with creating a budget that is simple and easy to respect and follow. An overly complicated spending plan can demotivate people in their budgeting efforts. Many young Singaporeans are incredibly pessimistic about their financial situation. According to a Nielsen survey, eight out of 10 Singaporeans between the ages 18 and 29 are not confident about their current financial situation, while nine out of 10 feel that they are not financially prepared for the future. Although thinking about realising your financial dreams may seem daunting at first, getting there is achievable with a positive attitude and the right tactics. To help you track earnings versus expenses, and to guide your spending habits, create a simple budget that you can easily follow. While a detailed budget with countless spending categories can be effective for some, it may […]

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Business

How To Kick the Overspending Habit Permanently

Buying new stuff can be exciting and fun. But it’s not fun racking up a credit card balance that you can’t pay off because you’ve spent more money than you have. It’s tempting to overspend on discretionary expenses like entertainment, food, clothing and other consumables that excite the mind and soul, especially if there’s a credit card in the purse or cash in the bank account because the electricity bill balance is only due two weeks from now. It may also be very easy to say, “No matter if I overspend this month, I’ll make it up again by spending less next month.” If your overspending habit is regularly causing a mismatch between your income and expenses, change that right now! Overspending is a dangerous habit that can hold you back from attaining financial freedom. In fact, the Insolvency and Public Trustee’s Office under the Ministry of Law cites overspending as one of the three most common reasons why Singaporeans go bankrupt. Overspending Habit and How To Overcome Them To truly conquer your overspending habit, it is important to dig deep into the issue and take a look at the background on why you spend more than you should. Here […]

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Business

Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck – Break The Cycle

Living from paycheck to paycheck means that you spend every penny that you earn. The days prior to getting your next paycheck may be fraught with anxiety as you pray that an unexpected expense won’t force you to overdraw on your bank account. With no savings to fall back on, you’re disempowered. You’ve dropped the reins of control over your financial security. You become easy prey for high-interest lenders and a downward spiral on your credit card balance lurks in the background. It’s time to get back in the driver’s seat and the break the cycle of living from one paycheck to the next. Some Singaporeans end up living paycheck to paycheck for a number of reasons. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, in 2015 Singapore ranked as the most expensive city in the world for the second year running. This makes it even more important that Singaporeans optimise their financial habits and maintain positive fiscal situations. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to circumvent having to stretch one paycheck to the next. Here are six tips to help you alleviate the situation of paycheck to paycheck living, and find some peace of mind with regards to your […]

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Business

7 Common Financial Stress – What Scares Most People Financially?

No matter where you are in the world, money keeps it going – from food to education but we have found out there are seven key financial stress about money that would normally be found just lurking beneath the surface of our minds, always circulating around and worrying us about. Common Financial Stress These are the top seven most common financial stress that people fear most: High amount of debt I think this part speaks for itself. If you were to ask anyone who has a large debt from the various loans and fees to service, I doubt that person would sleep easily every night. These days, it is so easy to overspend on unnecessary goods too – with easy access to credit cards, mortgage loans as well as interest-free instalment plans, it would be all to simple to merely swipe that credit card and voila – $4,000 gone in a moment. This also makes it extremely easy to spend much more than what you make. Not enough savings in the bank This is another large stressor for majority of us. It is only natural that we feel very stressed out when we see our bank account draining down to […]

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Business

Get More Mileage from Your Budget – Plan Smart!

A personal budget is a highly effective tool that will help you open doors to your own financial freedom. Always a work-in-progress, dependent on how your life situation evolves, a good budget flexes its muscles and grows along with you as you get promoted, purchase a home, marry, have children and retire. A great budget will have optimal impact on your financial planning only if it reflects your current affairs calculated with your future goals in mind. So it pays to re-visit your budget regularly and tweak it as your life evolves. Here are five tips on how to get the most value out of this fantastic financial tool. Create a budget for the year, not just the month. By creating a spending plan for an entire year, you’ll include nonrecurring expenses such as birthdays, holidays, insurance premiums and the like in your budget. Forgetting to account for these intermittent expenses, especially if they are costly, can really throw your budget plan into chaos. When creating a budget, look beyond your monthly bills. Be sure to consider any expenses you pay on a  quarterly, bi-annual or annual basis. If you want to integrate your sum total expenses into your monthly […]

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Business

Best Mobile Data Plans In Singapore For Pokemon Go

Have you caught on with the Pokemon Go Craze in Singapore? If you’ve jumped on the bandwagon and has gone Pokemon-hunting sometime since the start of its launch in Singapore on 6th August, you’d have noticed your mobile data consumption heading north. While you may not have received your telco bill for this month, you should watch out for the increased mobile data usage and learn some useful tips on how to optimise your mobile data consumption before you receive a bill shock.First up, let’s look at how much data it takes to play the game: Mobile Data Usage on Pokemon Go Good news for those who think that your normal 3 to 4GB data on your mobile phone plan is not enough! In fact, according to several online sources, such as Techinsider and MobiPicker, the average data usage per hour for Pokemon Go is around 5 to 10 MB per hour, and this is if you’ve kept the game on your screen throughout. For most of us who are casual players, you probably play it on your way to work in the morning, walking out to get lunch and on your way home from work. Considering this, you are […]

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