Two words that are probably sweeter than the sweetest Pandan Cake. But in real life, oh so hard to obtain!
Or so you think.
Because we at Bankbazaar are pretty sure that all you need to do to ensure that your 2019 is financially sound is follow these 19 tips!
We promise these tips aren’t difficult to implement and they don’t require you to make drastic changes to your life. So, here goes!
1. Understand what your credit score means and learn to read your credit report
You’ve probably heard it a hundred times before but we’ll say it again – your credit report is an extremely important document. The report provides a comprehensive overview of your payment habits as well as any enquiries you make for additional credit. All of these factors are then combined into a final score ranging anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000. A good credit score means that banks are more likely to extend credit to you.
So, begin your journey towards financial freedom by first going through your credit report. There is a wealth of information that will help you make better financial decisions in the coming year!
Wondering how to get started? Check out this comprehensive guide to understanding your credit report written by the Credit Bureau themselves.
2. Pay down your credit card debt
If you ended 2018 with more debt than you can handle, worry not! Because there are multiple ways by which you can pay down your credit card debt without having to use up every bit of your savings.
Don’t believe us? Well, check out our blog post on the various options before you to help you reduce your debt one step at a time!
Practice any of those methods and you will be looking at a relatively smoother sailing 2019!
3. Make informed choices when it comes to loans
Contrary to popular belief, loans are not something you shouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole. In fact, there are many situations in life wherein taking a loan might actually be a better idea than trying to fund something by yourself. Study loans being a prime example. These loans can be repaid once you have graduated so the strain on your finances, while you are studying, is reduced.
If you are planning to get married or planning to buy a home or a car you are probably wondering if you should take a loan. Or you may want to know all about a loan before you apply for one. In either case, you should check out our guide to loans for all working adults. You’ll find whatever you need!
4. Tie the knot without breaking the bank!
In 2018, wedding costs in Singapore ranged from S$30,500 to S$68,500. That’s right!
Now, if you are planning to walk down the aisle in 2019, don’t let this figure get you down. There are ways you can have the wedding of your dreams on a budget.
We spoke to Alyona Yakovleva, founder of Gathered+Styled, who gave us some great tips on how to achieve the wow factor when it comes to floral arrangements at your wedding. All of this without going broke!
5. Get all your doubts cleared before buying your home
Buying a home is a milestone that is on every Singaporean’s list. It is also the most expensive purchase you will end up making in your lifetime. Which is why, before you make that down payment, you should make sure that the house you are about to purchase truly is the one you want to make a home.
So, take your time and do your research. Make sure you ask all the right questions before you buy that home in 2019.
6. Choose the right electricity retailer
Come May 2019 and the Open Electricity Market (OEM) will be rolled out island-wide. This means that you will now be able to choose an electricity retailer who suits your needs. Of course, switching to a private electricity retailer isn’t compulsory, but you can choose the type of electricity plan you want. So, if you decide to opt for a discounted tariff plan, you will be paying lesser than what you do with your current plan.
Read our blog to learn more about the OEM and how to choose the right retailer.
7. Make small changes to increase how much you save…
Like we promised in the beginning, we are not going to ask you to make 2019 the year of austerity. Instead, you can increase the amount you save by making small changes to how you live. In fact, most of the changes we are talking about are just a few mindset changes.
One of the methods is to think of each item you purchase (but don’t need) in terms of the number of hours worked. This method, in time, will automatically reduce the urge to spend, thereby leaving you with more money to spend!
Check out our blog to read how to go about doing this and more such easy mindset changes.
8.…And reduce the amount you end up paying as tax
No one likes it when the taxman comes calling, but taxes are an inevitability. But there are ways by which you can reduce the amount you have to pay as tax. Here are 6 ways you can save on taxes in Singapore.
9. Take advantage of Government schemes
We know that while Singapore is a great country to live in, it is also one of the most expensive. And our Government acknowledges it too. Which is why there are a number of schemes to help you deal with these expenses.
If you are planning on expanding your family or you are a new parent (congratulations!), check out these schemes.
10. Make the most of your CPF Savings
Whether you are self-employed or a salaried individual, you end up making contributions to your CPF account. And while the amount is for your retirement, there’s nothing that says you can’t use the money to buy your home or for your education!
Wondering what else you can do with your CPF savings? Check out this blog post.
11. Buy the right insurance policy (and not just the cheapest or the most expensive one)
All of us know that insurance is necessary. But buying the right type of insurance policy is both an art and a science. The most important thing to remember when buying insurance is that no matter what type of insurance you are looking to buy (whether life, health, or travel), it should cater to your needs. The most expensive policy doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the right policy for you.
If you are wondering which policy is the right one for you, you should check out this post by Singapore Life. It lists out different types of insurance policies that families may need.
12. Choose the right credit card
When it comes to credit cards there are a number of things you need to consider before you decide to apply for one. From minimum spend requirements and cap on rewards to lifestyle privileges and complimentary travel insurance. You need to get a credit card that not only has the right combination of features but also rewards your spending pattern.
Before you apply for a credit card in 2019, check out this handy guide on cashback cards.
13. Get a side hustle to bring in some extra income
No one would ever say no to extra income. And side hustles are a great way to earn a little extra while studying or even if you have a full-time job. If you are good at languages you can become an online translator or if you are creative, you can sell crafts in Etsy!
If you feel that you are neither good with languages nor are you creative, fret not! Here are 28 other side hustles to help you earn some extra income!
14. Equip yourself with skills that will help you climb up the career ladder faster
Your career is what shapes and defines you. And it involves making the right decisions along the way. While those of us with work experience find it easy to prove our worth to potential employers, it becomes especially hard for fresh graduates or people looking to re-enter the job market after a long hiatus. At times like this, equipping yourself with skills that will give you an advantage over other candidates is always helpful. In fact, you can always upgrade your skills even if you have plenty of work experience under your belt.
So, if improving your career prospects is one of your resolutions for 2019, this blog post about career websites you can refer to is a must read!
15. Use technology to invest wisely
You have probably heard of the terms ‘alpha’ and ‘beta’. But have you heard of ‘smart beta’? If you haven’t heard of it (or any of the other terms) you should check out how smart beta is revolutionising the way you invest.
You could also consider using a robo advisor to help you make wise investment decisions. Banks such as OCBC, UOB, and CIMB all have robo advisors and they also make sure that you reach your financial goal at fees that are lower than those charged by traditional fund management advisors.
You can learn more about robo advisors here.
16. Take a break from social media!
Yes, we know that you just have to post a picture of that beautiful matcha parfait from Tsujiri on Instagram. How else will your friends know that you were transported to Japan with just one bite? That being said, how about in 2019, you spent less time documenting your life on social media and more time enjoying every experience instead?
The other issue with social media is that it tends to make us spend more than we would want to just so that we get social media worthy posts.
So, how about you make 2019 the year of living and not the year of posting? You’ll thank us for it, really!
17…And travel the world while on a budget
At some point in our lives, all of us have vowed to travel more. But then reality hits and we realise that we don’t have as much money as we do places we want to visit!
If your 2019 resolution involved travelling more, don’t let money get in your way! You can take a picture under the Eiffel Tower in Paris and swim with the fish in Australia all on a budget!
18. Shop at places which don’t require you to blow a hole in your budget
A designer looking outfit at a not-so-designer price is the ultimate dream. And unlike most dreams that turn out to be impossible, this one isn’t.
You probably already know of places in Singapore where you can shop until you drop and not break the bank, but these places exist all across the world! Which is why, before you set out on your travels in 2019, go through this list of the best markets for budget shopping in Asia!
19. Retire in style!
“Who wants to be a millionaire?” This, without a doubt, has to be one of the best rhetorical questions out there. Because who doesn’t, right?
If you want to retire in the lap of luxury and get your own pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, you need to start planning for your retirement now. Remember it is never too early or too late to start planning for your retirement.
Here’s how you can go about ensuring that you have enough and more when you say goodbye to your job!
And there you have it! Follow these 19 tips for a financially sound 2019! Happy new year, everyone!
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