Earn 4.2% p.a. on your first S$20k with this new fintech app

Introducing Chocolate Finance, the innovative solution for your spare cash that offers impressive returns without the hassle.

With an enticing 4.2% p.a. return on your first S$20,000 and a target 3.5% p.a. on any amount thereafter, it’s the perfect place to grow your savings.

Here’s why Chocolate Finance stands out:

  1. No Complicated Requirements: Forget about jumping through hoops. Chocolate Finance has no minimum or maximum balance requirements and no lock-in periods. It’s designed to be as simple and user-friendly as possible.
  2. Daily Return Updates: Stay informed and in control with daily updates on your returns. Check your progress every day right in the app.
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  4. Effortless Sign-Up: Getting started is a breeze. Simply sign up using Singpass MyInfo in a few quick steps, then add funds to your account.
  5. No Fees Until You Profit: They believe in earning only when you do. Chocolate Finance takes zero fees until you achieve the target returns, aligning their success with yours.
  6. Guaranteed Returns During the Qualifying Period: They’re committed to delivering on their promises. If they don’t meet the target 4.2% p.a. return for your first S$20k, they’ll top up the difference until 31st December 2024, ensuring you receive the target return during the Qualifying Period.
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How to Get Started

Opening an account with Chocolate Finance is completely free. Simply download the Chocolate Finance app, sign up with Singpass MyInfo, and start growing your savings today.

Important Information

Chocolate Finance is a brand of Chocfin Pte Ltd (UEN 202347190R). Chocfin Pte Ltd is licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore to perform fund management activities. Please note that all investments involve risk, and the 4.2% return is currently supported by a promotional ‘Top-Up Programme’, valid during the Qualifying Period and subject to terms and conditions. This does not guarantee future returns or capital.


This advertisement was prepared without considering your specific investment objectives, financial situation, or tax needs and does not constitute financial advice. Before applying, carefully consider whether this product or service is suitable for you. This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. We may receive an affiliate/referral fee when you sign up for services/products on this site.

For more information, visit Chocolate Finance. Privacy policy, terms, and conditions are available within the app.

Download the Chocolate Finance app today and start making your spare cash work harder for you.


How much to save for emergency funds and ways to save it

Singapore 50-dollar notes

Are you the sort that never plans for rainy days?

Life is full of surprises, and they’re not all the good kind. If a sudden big expense pops up, you might go into panic mode. Best to start building your emergency fund now and make it a minimum of 3 to 6 months of your usual spend.

With an emergency fund, you can sleep more peacefully at night knowing you’ve got a financial cushion if life throws curveballs your way. Take control of your money situation now for less stress and more stability overall.

Strategies for building your emergency fund
  • Cut out non-essential spending

Go through your monthly expenses and trim whatever you can, like eating out daily, entertainment, or subscriptions. Then redirect that money into your emergency fund. Even reducing discretionary spending by $50 a month can make a big difference over the course of a year.

  • Save a fixed amount regularly

Set up an automatic transfer of a fixed amount, say $100 per month, from your paycheck or bank account to your emergency fund. The amount depends on your income and expenses, so start with whatever you can afford. The key is to save regularly, even if just a little bit. Over time, you will build up a good amount.

  • Deposit any windfalls

When you receive unexpected money like a work bonus, cash gift, or even a government payout, put all or a portion of it into your emergency fund. Windfalls are a great way to give your fund balance a quick boost.

Where to keep your emergency fund
  • High-yield savings account

High-yield savings accounts are very liquid, meaning you can withdraw your money anytime without penalty. The interest rates are usually higher than normal savings accounts. Some recommended options are CIMB FastSaver (easy to start) and DBS Multiplier (easy to maintain).

CIMB Savings Accounts

  • Fixed deposits

Fixed deposits lock in your money for a fixed period, usually a few months to a year. In return, you will get higher interest rates than savings accounts, up to 3 to 4% per year. If you need to withdraw early, most banks will charge a penalty fee. So only put in money you won’t need for a while.

  • Singapore Savings Bonds (SSBs)

SSBs are issued by the Singapore government and you can earn up to 3%+ interest per year and your money is pretty safe. The catch is your money will be locked in for 10 years. Withdrawal is possible but you will need to pay a small fee.

  • Cash management accounts

Cash management accounts are a good option if you want to earn higher interest (fluctuates) but still maintain liquidity. However, they aren’t guaranteed by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC) so do your thorough research before jumping in.

Saving for your emergency fund is important and you better start saving now before the next financial crisis comes knocking on your door. Even saving $50/month can go a long way. Remember, you want enough to cover at least 3 to 6 months of essential expenses in case anything happens. Once you hit your target, don’t stop—keep adding money whenever you can. The more you save, the more prepared you will be for unexpected events. Saving money may not be the most fun thing to do every month, but having that emergency fund will guarantee plus chop give you that peace of mind if life takes a wrong turn.


How to reduce air-conditioning bills in Singapore?

a living room with an air-conditioner

As the tropical heat of Singapore continues to challenge our daily comfort, air-conditioning has become more of a necessity than a luxury.

However, the soaring energy bills that accompany constant usage can be a rude awakening. And that’s why I’m here to help you strike a balance between staying cool and keeping costs down. Or at least try to offer my two cents.

Let’s discuss some practical tips and smart habits that can significantly reduce air-conditioning bills, ensuring you enjoy a cool and comfortable living space without breaking the bank.

Maintain your air-conditioner

First up on our simple hacks list is the need to maintain your air-con properly and regularly.

Even if it’s a tedious process, it’s one that you should not siam.

Clean and replace filters where necessary (depending on usage), and service the unit via a professional to make sure it’s running smoothly.

This will ensure that you use less energy and cool down your room/home faster.

Opt for energy-efficient models

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just remember—the more ticks, the better it is.

You should be able to find better energy-efficiency products with ease thanks to the tick rating system we have in Singapore.

In other words, if an appliance uses less energy to produce the same results as an appliance that uses more, it is said to be more energy efficient.

And that will have a direct impact on how much you pay for electricity at the end of the month.

It’s almost a no-brainer, right?

So don’t just be a cheapo and go for the lowest-priced one, be a smart shopper for longer-term gains.

Set the right temperature
a remote controller at 25 degrees

Image Credits: luceaircon.sg

There’s no need to make your room feel like it’s winter in Antarctica, yeah.

The sweet spot should be around 24 to 25°C. Any lower than that and your bill will skyrocket like… a rocket. Every degree lower can add up to 10% more energy consumption.

Use a fan

If you really cannot tahan the heat without lowering the temperature, try using a fan to supplement. Or even better, use a ceiling fan.

Turning on the fan and the air-con together can help you set the aircon temperature higher. The fan will help to circulate the cool air and make you feel much better.

You don’t need to worry too much about the electricity bill because a fan uses waaay much less energy than the aircon. So, you can enjoy the cool air and save money at the same time.

How awesome is that?

Use a timer

Next, set the timer to turn off after a few hours, especially at night when you’re in deep slumber.

Some people like to leave the aircon on an entire day, and then wear a jacket or wrap themselves in a thick blanket because it’s too cold.


You’re just saboing yourself financially.

Insulate your home
blinds on a window

Image Credits: softhome.sg

You don’t need to hire someone to do it.

Just invest in some curtains, blinds, or window films. Block out the sun during the day, keep your home cooler, and reduce the need for air-conditioning at night.

And speaking of which, remember to also close your windows and doors. If your air-conditioner is turned on with an open window, you can’t blame anyone for those high bills.

Dress for the weather

People can die for fashion but I won’t sacrifice it for comfort.

I’m saying this because I used to have a friend who layers like he was going to the North Pole or what. He calls it the “layering fashion” and thinks it’s cool. Oh, well.

Anyhow, don’t be like him.

Choose lightweight items of clothing, like cotton or linen. They can help you stay cool and thus reduce the need to rely too much on your air-conditioning when you reach home from a warm day out.

Minimize heat-producing activities

When you cook or use appliances like an iron or a hair dryer, it makes your surrounding area hotter than your spouse’s temper.

The air-con works harder to cool down your house, so your bill goes up.

If feasible, turn on the air-conditioner after you’re done with all those appliances. It may sound like a “sis, you serious?!” moment but, hey, every little bit counts.

Install energy-efficient lighting

Those old-school bulbs are damn hot and can make your room feel even hotter than the weather outside.

But if you use LED bulbs, they generate less heat, and less power is needed also. Good, right?

Plus, LED bulbs can last longer, so you don’t need to keep changing them all the time.

Soaring air-con bills in Singapore really can make you want to pengsan. But don’t worry, follow the tips I’ve listed in this post to help you get by like a pro. To recap some points we’ve looked at: clean your aircon regularly. If there’s dust and dirt, the air-con must work harder to cool the room. Next, use a fan together with the air-conditioning. Not only will you be saving energy, but you will also instantly make the room feel cooler with the constant air circulation. Then, set the temperature to 25 degrees—no need to make the room feel like it’s winter. So there we have it, simple hacks for long-term gain 😉


Simple ways to save money every month starting today

expense tracker template

I’ll splurge today and save tomorrow.

Sounds familiar?

But having the mindset of doing things “later” almost always turns into “never.”

And if that’s you, this post is for you.

Automate savings

I don’t automate savings because I don’t see the need to.

But those with a fixed paycheck and on rather fixed pay dates may find it useful.

For instance, DBS has this eMySavings Account which promises “higher interest when you save more each month.”

DBS eMySavings Account

You can save any amount from S$50 to S$3,000 and edit the amount and crediting date anytime via the digibank app.

Not bad.

Or you can…

Use an Excel sheet

I used to spend money without thinking much about tomorrow.

But then having to repay a student loan got me into being more sensitive to the ins and outs of money management.

And speaking of repaying loans, you may be interested in this article I wrote 2 days back:

A student’s guide to navigating student loan repayment

Okay, self-promo’s over. Let’s get back.

I may be far from the money gurus out there but this method has gotten me quite far: using an Excel sheet to track salary and spending.

I have just one monthly log and two main tabs: spending & calorie count. Yep, TMI but I do track my daily calorie intake too.

Every dollar and cent that goes out goes into my spending tab. So whether I’ve topped out my EZ-link card or bought a McDonald’s vanilla ice cream cone, it gets tracked.

At the end of the day, I tally my spending to make sure it says within my daily budget.

No choice, got to do this when you’re not rich.

Review at the end of each month

My Excel sheet refreshes every month, so I get a fresh document ready to track every last day of each month.

At the same time, I’ll be able to see at a glance the total I’ve spent and how much I’ve left.

I used to “roll over” the remaining amount to the next month so I can have more money to spend at the start of each month (especially with bills to pay).

But now, I’ve decided to just shift the “leftover” amount to my savings account instead, since I have other financial commitments ahead of me.

I’ve used this method for years and it’s working very well.

I like how it’s not too complicated and that’s why I’m sharing it with you. It’s simple to implement and doesn’t take a lot of time to track.

Tip: Get the Google Sheets app on your phone so you can always input it right there and then you make a payment.

Using this method, you won’t ever get to the point where you wonder, oops, what happened to my salary?

For folks who want to go a step further, you can break down the spending into various categories, whether it’s bills, transportation, or lifestyle/entertainment costs.

I have never exceeded my budget and it takes a hell lot of discipline.

But if you’re the complete opposite, then maybe having sub-categories would make sense. When the time comes for you to make adjustments, you can straightaway identify the categories that are taking up waaay too much of your budget, and make the decision to cut back wherever necessary.

Or you can try using the newly launched Budgeting tool from OCBC to sync up your spending and paycheck.

OCBC budget tool

Be a little aunty when it comes to coupons and discount codes

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a little kiasu when it comes to getting the best deals.

Every dollar you save adds up and the aunty in you will thank you.

I’m not a very outgoing person so staying at home works for me most of the time. But if you’re always meeting friends and having lots of gatherings to go to, take advantage of coupons, discount codes, and even existing brand loyalty programs.

Some brands may not offer much but as I like to put it: it adds up.

For example, Shopee has this daily cashback voucher (usually a higher percentage on weekends) that allows you to earn cashback coins on most purchases.

Shopee cashback vouchers

There’s also a daily app “check-in system” that allows you to earn FREE coins so you can accumulate and use them on your next cart out.

And for bubble tea lovers, the KOI card offers “leaves” for your top-ups and drinks purchases so you can use it to claim a FREE topping, 1-for-1 drinks at times, and more! There are also birthday privileges on your birthday month. The same goes for the Starbucks card.

And when it comes to local deals, don’t forget to follow the Money Digest Facebook page for all the juicy deals my fellow editors are curating daily 😉

Saving money really doesn’t have to be that difficult. Find a routine that works for you and build on it gradually. Don’t get overly ambitious right from the get-go because a complete change to everything rarely works. You won’t last. Period. So as we close, the main takeaways from this article are: automate, track, review, and be a little aunty with discounts. Now, go feed your bank.