Budgeting

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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Business

Rebalance Your Portfolio With the Right Investment Strategy

Portfolio rebalancing is like detoxing periodically to ensure you are in optimal health. Rebalancing your investment portfolio is an opportunity to not only restore your asset allocation to its original balance but also add some juice to your portfolio returns. When you established your investment portfolio, you determined the optimal asset allocation to meet your investment objectives. As the prices of the stock, bond, commodities and other investment assets in your portfolio fluctuate daily, your asset allocation changes.  Over time, these daily fluctuations can substantially change the risk profile of your investment portfolio. A young, growth investor may have had 60% in equities, 30% in bonds and 10% in cash in the summer. Following China’s Black Monday in August, his equity stake may have fallen to 40 and bond stake increased to 50.  This new asset allocation will deliver significantly lower returns over the long term, and may prevent him from reaching his retirement savings goals. How to Rebalance Your Portfolio You can rebalance your portfolio by buying and selling assets once a quarter, or as necessary, to re-establish the original asset weighting. At the time of rebalancing, you will want to consider the following: Your risk tolerance – Review […]

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Business

The Sharing Economy – Benefits, Impact & How It Affects Your Life

You alone are responsible for about 5 pounds of trash a day. Your waste footprint includes the shipping, packaging and processing of the coffee beans you are currently drinking at Starbucks; the resources used to generate the power heating your home; and the waste used to make the Sushi box you are eating out of. We are a society guilty of the overuse, misuse, and depletion of resources. The world generated over 40 million tons of electronic waste in 2015. Sharing is a way of significantly reducing our waste. We all have goods and services we do not use all of the time. So rather than buy new, why not share? The sharing economy is an ecosystem of people who share in the consumption of goods and services.  By sharing, participants use resources more efficiently. Sharing Economy Here are some ways in which you can participate in the sharing economy. Share cars – Car pooling is the most popular form of car sharing. Car ridesharing services are springing up all over Asia. Hong Kong’s Carpool King and Singapore’s ShareTransport provide more sustainable ways of travelling while saving on car expenses, which can eat up one-third of your salary. More young […]

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Business

Advice For Millennials: How Can Investment Advisors Help?

A new report by investment fund giant on millennial retirement savings habits Vanguard dispels many of these myths. Millennials are doing just fine, thank you, when it comes to retirement savings. Automatic enrolment in retirement plans has helped improve the retirement savings of adults under 35. Target-date funds have also helped millennials keep retirement savings plans on track. These funds automatically shift the weight of portfolio allocation more towards fixed income than equity investments as investors near retirement age and become more risk adverse.  The biggest myth that millennials are investment laggards was blown up. Millennials have more money in their retirement funds than Generation X at the same age. Related: 6 Ways to Make Extra Money Without Quitting Your Day Job The millennial lifestyle and life plan poses challenges to the traditional retirement investment model. It has pushed demand for retirement savings products that deliver higher returns and sooner, such as annuity- and insurance-linked products that are tied to the performance of stocks or other underlying securities. These products have a place in the young investor’s portfolio, but history has shown that they are not likely to outperform the value of savings and compound interest.   Advice For Millennials Investment […]

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Business

Investing 101: All You Need To Start Your Investment Portfolio

If you are young and upwardly mobile, you may have a carefree attitude toward investing. The newest iPad is a more practical use of your resources, you reason. Think again! Generation X has no time to slack off. With fewer assets than your parents on average, investment advisors say you must start saving today to prepare for retirement. The idea that you can place money in high return investments to make up for lost time is a dangerous fallacy. Longer term, low risk investment strategies deliver a higher return. So, what is the right level of risk to provide safety and meet retirement goals? Welcome to the first and most important step of investing – determining your risk profile. The universe of investment securities keeps growing and can seem daunting to a beginner investor. How do you decide what to invest in – stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs – how much and for how long? Once you know your risk profile, allocating the right mix of investment securities to your investment portfolio becomes easy. Investing 101: Why invest now? Most investors share the same goal – to earn as high of returns as possible on our investment portfolios while minimizing […]

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Business

Tips For Success: How To Make Your First Million Dollar

Most of us suffer from illusory superiority in our early investing years. No matter how many investors are scammed in land deals and gold investing schemes, we believe that we have superior investment smarts. The telephone call from the pump-and-dump stock operator offering a 200% return on your money in two weeks was too attractive to resist. The mining stock in a part of the world so remote that no one has pictures to show you was the investment tip of a lifetime, you thought at the time. Many investors get beat up many times before they concede that they are not a superior investment being. So you lose some more money in a few high growth stocks and, finally, concede that three decades of financial market performance cannot be wrong. Passive investing beats out active investing over the long term. Making your first million dollars does not have to be about making high risk investments and putting your life savings at risk. To make $1 million, you only need discipline. Make Your First Million #1: Delay Immediate Gratification Young children understand the secret to making a million dollars. In the famous Stanford University marshmallow experiment, children were given the choice […]

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Business

10 Steps to Develop a Healthy Relationship with Money

The Duchess of York has been linked to another financial scandal. In the ongoing efforts of the former wife of Prince Andrew to make more money, she has tarnished her reputation and that of her family, and now the good name of one of Britain’s leading universities. This time, she is using her role as an ambassador for the Institute for Global Health Innovation to promote a $100 blender on US television. Underlying the Duchess’ never ending financial problems, says financial advisor Suze Orman, is a psychological problem, a low sense of “self-worth.” Even those who have money let money control their lives. Psychologist couches are full of people who have met and surpassed their financial goals, but are not happy. Even among the comfortably retired, there are discontents. Financial planning is often divorced from what is really important to us in life. For many of us, “managing money” is somewhat of a misnomer. Money manages our lives. This is because we have deep emotional attachments to money. Our relationship with money begins in childhood. If you received your allowance for doing your chores, you will work hard in life in exchange for your pay. If your father gives you […]

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Business

Effects of Inflation and Steps to Protect Yourself

What is inflation? Inflation is the term used for general price rises in the economy. It is the rate at which, on a general basis, the prices for goods and services rise. Deflation, on the other hand, is the rate at which prices and services fall. Central banks have the job of managing the level of inflation in the national economy – they attempt to prevent high inflation and high deflation levels in order to help maintain a stable and productive economy. The majority of countries’ central banks will aim to maintain an inflation rate of between 2% and 3% a year. What are the effects of inflation? How does inflation affect us? Inflation and price rises can also be thought of as a deterioration of the spending power of your money. For example, if a can of coke costs a dollar and if the annual inflation rate is 4% then in a year the price of the same can of coke will be $1.04. This means your money is going less far in all areas of spending. Why is inflation important indicator? Because of these factors, inflation is an important part of the economy’s ability to function and grow. […]

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