5 Ways to Improve Your Personal Finances

Many believe that only business owners need to have financial literacy in order to pay taxes, fulfil day to day accounting needs, etc. What they fail to recognise is that these businesses have numerous resources to support their financial needs, if it’s a large scale business or a startup they are sure to find the right MYOB pricing, or a different resource that’s well priced. However, because of this many overlook how essential financial literacy is even for individuals, and there are much fewer resources to manage personal finances, making it absolutely necessary to at least understand the basics to fulfil the individual needs. Reinstating the importance of finance in financial literacy and personal finance are both very important aspects of your life, and improving them can benefit you in many ways, such as helping you make informed decisions about how to handle your money, reducing the stress and anxiety you feel when it comes to your finances, and even helping you to earn more money in the future as a result of having more knowledge about your money. Here are five ways that you can improve your personal finances so that you can be better off financially in the future.

5 Ways To Improve Your Personal Finance

1) Calculate your net worth

Net worth is a big picture number that is an excellent starting point for your financial literacy. You can calculate it by taking your total assets and subtracting your total liabilities. When you start investing, look into how each investment affects your net worth; at a glance, you’ll see if you’re building wealth in one area while draining it in another (or if your investments are actually adding to your net worth). Also consider using personal finance apps like Mint or YNAB that track all of these numbers for you automatically—at least as an easy way to check up on yourself. They’ll help reinforce financial goals, keep you accountable, and alert you when things aren’t going so well.

2) Check your credit score

Before you set out to improve your personal finances, get a credit score. There are numerous ways to check your score, but it’s best if you do so with a reputed credit agency in your location. Remember that your score will differ at each agency, so make sure you check with a variety of places before taking any action on improving your scores. Once you have a firm grasp on where you stand with credit rating agencies and what it takes to improve those numbers, set about establishing financial literacy for yourself. A few ways you can start is by reading financial journals, books, or even listening to podcasts surrounding wealth.

3) Create a budget

Without a budget, you may be tempted to spend beyond your means and dig yourself into debt. Creating a budget and sticking to it will help you gain a greater degree of financial literacy and ultimately save you money. It’s hard, but setting up a budget is essential for anyone trying to take control of their personal finances, and it’s been a practice ever since the time of ancient Babylonians. There are plenty of great resources online (and elsewhere) that can guide you as you start or manage your first budget. A simple Google search should yield enough material for hours of work; when you’re done, not only will your finances be in better shape, but also so will your mind-set.

4) Create an emergency fund

Everyone should have an emergency fund. This is money that you can access easily in case of financial disaster, such as a job loss or illness. An emergency fund can be invaluable for keeping your finances on track when life happens. The average length of unemployment is four months, so having three months’ worth of expenses set aside in an easy-to-access account will keep you from racking up debt while looking for a new job. Many utilise their pension plans or 401Ks as emergency funds, however, having a separate account specifically to save up for emergencies can be beneficial. In a bank opening a high yield savings account can definitely help some, or maybe you need to get an insurance plan. Ultimately, your emergency fund should work for you both right now and in the long run.

5) Analyse your spending patterns

Keeping track of your spending is probably one of the most effective ways to improve your personal finances. It helps you see where you’re wasting money and gives you an idea of what sort of budget categories are most important. Once you have a grasp on your spending, it’s easier to make changes. For example, if entertainment is eating up too much of your budget, there are lots of cheap or free alternatives (think public parks) that can help save money while still providing a pleasant experience. If you’re looking for more specific advice, try searching for personal finance software or visit one of many personal finance blogs on any topic that interests you. Analysing your spending can also help you discover specific patterns about yourself such as what actually drives your spending, which can heavily impact your overall life.

In today’s world having your personal finance in check is important, especially with all the uncertainties and the rising costs of even essential products. The earlier you start in your personal finance journey, the better.




4 Important Things Teens Don’t Know About Finances

An eye-opening study showed that only 17% of teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 knew how to manage their money. Among these respondents, 24% said they did not know the difference between credit and debit cards. Budgeting was a concern as well as learning how to save money.

One of the reasons why the teenagers lack knowledge of money matters boils down to their parents. They elaborated that their parents were not doing an excellent job in teaching them about money. Moreover, personal finance was not embedded in most of the academic institutions.

Fill in the gap by instructing your children about these important financial subjects.


Budgeting is among the biggest priorities of teenagers. Budgeting allows an individual to track where the money is going and where it needs to be. While it is tempting to accept money from your parents and quickly burn through it, it is vital to know how to maximize it.

Parents must not let their children be dependent. They will end up unaware of how to manage their finances.


Instilling in children the concepts of earning, saving, and investing is essential in developing life skills that they can use in the future. Opening a bank account or a savings account can help the teen to manage his or her own money.

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Knowing the basics of bank account such as navigating through the online banking and transferring funds to other accounts is important. As there are no up-to-date teaching tools to help teens learn about bank accounts, you may take your child to the bank to get a hands-on experience.


Compound interest is the interest on a deposit or loan calculated based on both the accumulated interest from previous periods and the initial principal. Time is the teens’ friend. They all have the potential to be millionaires someday, but the odds of attaining that goal increase sharply if they save early.

You can start by putting away a reasonable amount per month. Let it grow!


Whether you come from an affluent household or a modest one, putting away some money for emergency use is essential. Parents may teach their children about the importance of emergency funds by painting real-world scenarios such as assigning a job per child. Ask the child what they would do if they suddenly had twins or a critical illness. Remember to keep things simple by excluding complicated jargons to your conversations.

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Make it a priority as a family to be more mindful with your money. Spend less and celebrate how money is grown over time.

Sources: 1 & 2


Beginner’s Guide To Setting Up An Emergency Fund


An emergency fund consists of the money you set aside to cover large, unexpected expenses. It serves as your cushion to save you from drowning into debt  and other unfortunate events. It can be used for unforeseen medical expenses, home appliances replacement, automobile repairs, and managing unemployment.


When you are starting to build your emergency fund, it is important to value what you have. No matter how small, every dollar counts. Focus on the habit and consistency of saving money. When your financial situation improves, you can increase your savings.

The right amount for you depends on your financial situation, but a good rule thumb is to have enough money to cover your living expenses for six months. If you lose your job during pandemic, you can use your emergency fund for necessities while you hunt for a new job. You can also use the money to supplement your small business. Start small and increase your savings as your financial situation improves.


Tracking your income and expenses enable you to get a realistic view of your financial situation. It can pinpoint the amount that is sufficient to cover your living expenses for six months. You can track your cash flow by writing down how much money comes in every month and by writing down your fixed and variable expenses per month.

Do not forget to include recurring expenses such as your rent, utility bills, school fees, and childcare.


You can put your emergency fund inside a savings account with a high interest rate and an easy access system. Since an emergency can strike at any time, having quick means to access your funds is crucial. However, you must keep your emergency funds away from your primary bank account. This will help lessen the temptation of dipping into your reserves. Moreover, having a high interest savings account enables you to reap the benefits of compound interest.


Establishing financial goals and developing a plan to achieve those goals go hand-in-hand. Part of your plan may include specific and realistic targets to work toward. For instance, you may save S$50 per week to put into your emergency fund. Once you have created a robust plan, make sure you follow through.

Sticking to your plan can sometimes be the hardest part of saving for an emergency fund. A good way to stay on track is to save automatically. You may automate your savings and set up a systematic transfer from your primary savings account to your “emergency fund” savings account. Alternatively, you may keep a money jar and label it with: “for emergency use only”.

Sources: 1 & 2



Small Financial Steps To Complete This 2019

As the new year chimes in, there will come a chance to set new resolutions or goals.

The other day, my sister and I were casually chatting about her 2019 resolutions. She reiterated how important skincare is. She seeks to apply sunblock and lotion on a daily basis. Her skincare resolutions were concrete and doable. So, I asked her why she kept her goals simple. She looked at me and said…”If I cannot follow through these simple goals, how can I complete the bigger ones? I have to start with smaller chunks.” She made a valid point.

The best way to achieve your desired outcomes is to start small. This statement applies to your financial life. On that note, here are some “small” financial steps that you may consider this 2019.

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Without a shadow of doubt, knowledge is power. Research and further study on the different techniques to manage and grow your wealth will help you develop essential financial skills.

Aside from visiting educational websites such as Money Digest, you may find quality information in the nearest public library. Books are gateways to a new world. Who knows? The financial book you just pick up at the bookstore may just lead to the completion of your financial goal.


Time and time again, I shared how important it is to build a sufficient emergency fund. Having an emergency fund or a financial reserve is usually perceived as a short-term financial goal. However, its personal benefits last long!

For starters, it diminishes your money worries as you will have a cushion to support your tight budget. Secondly, it can cover sudden events such as job loss or medical expense. Lastly, it exercises your ability to save money.


Utilities are essential to one’s daily life. Just because you have to spend money on utilities does not mean that you have to be lax on it. Continue to look for ways to save on electricity and phone bills. Also, you must apply money-saving techniques to cut down a basic need – water!

For instance, you may eliminate your cable bundle by subscribing to mobile streaming services (e.g., Netflix or Toggle Singapore) instead. Or, you may simply turn off the switches when not in use.

Be frugal! You will save hundreds of dollars a year by cutting costs on these mandatory expenses.


2018 was the year that I actively to built my insurance umbrella. I wish to continue to drive to this path in 2019. When it comes to insurance, many people either pay too much for their coverage or pay too little to cover what they need. Striking a balance between these two is a good financial goal.

A significant aspect of this goal is to find a credible and competent insurance agent, who understands your situation best.


I was fortunate enough to have ridden a cab with a man full of wisdom. The driver was a retired Engineer who worked in Singapore and United States. In the span of his career, he observed how most of his co-workers preferred to stay in a box. They kept their first jobs due to level of comfort and security it entails.

Many of us choose to stay in our comfort zones. However, growth comes from shaking things up! If you choose to stay the same, nothing will happen. You need to embrace change.

Complacency breeds mediocrity. Open new doors in your life by learning a new skill. Let’s take my uncle as an example. To negotiate a higher salary, he furthered his skills by attending seminars and trainings. You may also further your educational background. Start small by learning a new skill from an online course.

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Fully improving yourself is often time consuming. A lot of hard work and money goes into it. But, improvements will help you take on bigger challenges and responsibilities in the future!

Sources: 1 & 2