4 Money Decisions That Will Bring Future Satisfaction


What happens next if your ridiculously expensive car needs an engine replacement? If you are like countless people in the world, you will opt for using your credit card or taking loans. This will only build piles of debt.

Instead, you must commit to building an emergency fund to use during the “rainy days”. Financial professionals recommend to save money that can cover at least 6 months’ worth of your living expenses.


If you envision a life of comfort after you leave the working scene, you will not regret your decision to maximize your contributions to your CPF account or to your retirement plan.

Remember that the amount of money you need to save depends on what type of lifestyle you want to achieve during your retirement. You will need more savings if you plan to purchase a rest house, travel the world, keep your cable TV subscription, and other luxuries. Building your retirement plan while young can bring huge advantages to your financial future because of the power of compound interest. So start boosting your retirement savings as soon as possible!


Before you lose some or all of your savings, it is important to understand the risks of the investments. Investment hazards include credit, liquidity, market, concentration, inflation, and devaluation risks. Taking a higher risk can potentially give you higher returns. But you have consult a financial adviser first.

As you make informed choices for your wealth, you will appreciate the day that you evaluated the risks before investing.


The debt that you accumulate in your 20s (e.g., student or car loans) can haunt you for the rest of your life. So before you take one more responsibilities such as getting married, starting a family, and buying a flat…you must avoid and eliminate your debts first.

Start by paying off the debts with high interest such as quickly as circumstance permits. Then, avoid accumulating debt by purchasing items that you can actually afford.

Image Credits: pixabay.com (License: CC0 Public Domain)

Image Credits: pixabay.com (License: CC0 Public Domain)

Sources: 1 & 2


Income versus Expenses: How Are We Faring?

Income Expenses

Singapore is not cheap, which makes you wonder, how do we thrive? To help us understand better, let’s talk about our cost of living.


In general, the property prices in Singapore are going down, thanks to the efforts of the government, including reducing the loan-to-value ratio and capping home loans up to 35 years. Moreover, you have several property options, although more than 75% of us live in HDB flats, of which the cheapest can be a 2-room home with a possible net selling price (after grants) of $52,000.

But this would need a median income of $1,500 and a monthly instalment to income ratio of 11%. So far, as of 2014, the median income calculated during the mid-year was $3,770. If you can’t afford to buy the property yet or you have no intention of doing so at least within a few years, you can take this time to start saving, managing your debt for a better total debt servicing ratio (TDSR), and comparing mortgage loans.


Singapore promotes a universal healthcare program. Under this are Medisave, Medishield, and Elder Shield, to name a few. A part of our CPF contributions is intended for healthcare by the time we’re old (and, yes, our population is getting way older than before). Other countries have commended our healthcare system for having some of the best hospitals and well-trained staff with training and expertise comparable to that of European and North American countries.

But our healthcare isn’t immune to inflation, and premiums for coverage such as Medishield are expected to go up. Moreover, the government provides only subsidies, which means you still have to pay for the remaining healthcare costs. If there’s some good news, it’s that many companies do provide healthcare and even life insurance at no extra cost on your end.


Singapore stresses the huge importance of education, so much so that it allocates at least 20% of its annual budget to it. It is also compulsory for children between 6 and 15 years old, but it’s not unusual to see children as young as 4 to go to school, which means education expenses can also start early, and a nursery class may cost $900 per year. University is expected to go up by as much as $30,600, but subsidies can greatly help by decreasing tuition fees by as much as 26%.


A huge chunk of a family’s budget goes to food, and the expenditure keeps on increasing every year. In 2013, the average food expenditure was $1,188, an increase of $239 from 2008. There are two possible explanations for this: inflation and our penchant to eat out.  We are the highest spenders in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of dining out with a monthly expense of around $324.

Can We Afford It?

The high cost of living, however, is just a partial way of evaluating our capacity to thrive in the country. The much bigger question is if we can afford our necessities. Thankfully, the answer still remains yes.

More households are earning $20,000 and above a month (including CPF contributions), and even if our total household expenditures have gone up through the years, they’re still lower than our average monthly wages.

This doesn’t mean, though, you won’t go bankrupt or continue to live from paycheque to paycheque. Your own spending habits and financial decisions can have a significant impact on your expenses and income. As an example, while you have many choices for credit cards, going for the ones that help you earn rewards with your credit card is more sensible as you can take every dollar you spent further.  

To conclude, whether you’re living in Singapore or anywhere else in the world, being financially smart can shield you from all the money woes.

(This article is brought to you by SingSaver.com.sg)


Reduce Your Debts Dramatically With The Debt Diet

Ellie Kay once said: “Getting out of debt is like going on a diet — it may sound simple, but it sure isn’t easy.”

Debt takes a toll on your relationships, your family, and your future. Just as being obese leads to physical and emotional challenges, debt has its own negative consequences too.

Inspired by Oprah Winfrey’s Debt Diet, three financial experts namely: David Bach, Jean Chatzky, and Glinda Bridgforth were sent to help several families to solve their monetary dilemmas. They shared debt elimination tips and suggested practical ways for people to increase their income and reduce their spending.

Before anything else, here are the “signs” that you need to go to participate in the Debt Diet:

1. You depend on your credit card to pay for your living expenses.

2. You rely on overtime pay to make monthly expenses meet.

3. You utilize your credit card/s to pay for items that you used to pay for in cash (e.g., groceries or clothing).

4. You use your emergency savings to pay for your bills.

5. You borrow money from your family and friends to pay your bills.

6. You delay paying one bill in order to pay an overdue one.

7. You utilize credit card A to pay bills for credit card B.

8. You can only pay the minimum amount due on your accounts.

If most of the “signs” point to YES, you may employ the following steps of the Debt Diet:

1. Determine how much debt you have and what it is costing you.

2. Monitor your spending and look for ways to make extra money (e.g., by giving up certain expenses).

3. By understanding how credit cards work, use your credit card/s to your advantage.

4. Stop spending on unnecessary things.

5. Make a strategic monthly spending plan.

6. Determine ways to increase your income and identify the steps you need to achieve it.

7. Prioritize your debts.

8. Do your best to know yourself and your spending behaviors.

Image Credits: pixabay.com (License: CC0 Public Domain)

Image Credits: pixabay.com (License: CC0 Public Domain)

Sources: 1 & 2


Newbie’s Guide To The Dynamics Of Debt And Credit


Before anything else, we must define two terms: debt and credit. Debt is the amount borrowed by one party (e.g., corporations or individuals) from another (e.g., banks). While Credit is the lawful agreement in which a borrower receives something of value today and agrees to repay later on in the future, usually with interest. Simply, when you use your credit card, you create debt. Debt here is the result from your ability to borrow – from your credit.

Now that you know the definitions and the differences between these two terms, you must discover the pros and cons of using credit as well as the 3 C’s of worthiness. All these are according to the Credit Bureau Singapore. Credit Bureau Singapore was set up in lined with the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s vision to enhance the public’s risk management abilities.

Image Credits: pixabay.com (License: CC0 Public Domain)

Image Credits: pixabay.com (License: CC0 Public Domain)


The pros and cons of using credit or credit card are plain and straightforward.


Being able to buy what you need right away

Not having to carry cash

Automatic record of purchases

More convenient than cheques


Interest especially for items of higher cost

Have additional fees

Financial difficulties may arise

Elevation in impulse purchases may occur

Image Credits: pixabay.com (License: CC0 Public Domain)

Image Credits: pixabay.com (License: CC0 Public Domain)


Before swimming in a pile of credit, know if you are worthy to take the plunge by asking yourself a set of questions.

1. Character (Are you the type of person who will repay his or her debt?)

Does your credit history show that you are honest and reliable in paying debts?

Do you pay bills on time? Do you have a good credit score/report?

Can you provide a couple of character references?

How long have you been at your present occupation?

How long have you lived at your present home?

2. Capacity (Are you able to repay the debt?)

Is your job income enough to support your credit usage?

Is your job stable and steady?

How much is your salary?

How many loan payments do you have in total?

What are your current debts?

How many people are dependent on you?

3. Capital (Do you have back-up if you cannot repay the debt?)

Do you have a savings account?

Do you have various investments to use as a collateral?

Can you enumerate the properties that you own to help secure loans?

What other valuable assets do you have that could be used to repay debts?

It is essential to know all these to assess whether you are truly fit to apply for a credit card or loan. Furthermore, you may use the information to guide you in your responsibilities as a borrower. 🙂

Sources: 1 , 2 & 3