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


How To Survive Awkward Holiday Gatherings

This is the season when party invitations pour in. From family gatherings to company celebrations, the holiday cheer assails you from every angle. Not everyone holds the cheerful tune in the same manner.

If you have social anxiety or have a tendency to be awkward during parties, then you are not alone. Many people experience “holiday anxiety”. Here are some ways to deal with it…


Whether you like it or not, small talk is the core of social gatherings. If you label yourself as a person who is not good at conversation, you might be so stressed about the things you say that you end up saying nothing at all. Navigate through casual conversations by preparing for it.

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Share at least two interests or experiences. Or better yet, dwell on the new things that you can learn from the person that you are talking to. Focus on the other person. Ask simple questions such as “What keeps you busy?” or “How do you see your field changing a few years time?” You may also ask a couple about the story of how they met.


Be honest with yourself! You probably get along better with your friends than your family or co-workers. That is completely understandable. You have chosen your friends based on your compatibilities. Being with them this holiday season can be a breeze!

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While, family members are fixed whether you are like-minded or not. Accepting this fact can help you quit expecting to get along with everyone. Instead, focus on loving your family in spite of your differences.


Parties are the breeding grounds of strangers. I know that you are way beyond the “stranger danger” stage, but you might be worried about meeting new people. The anticipation of interacting with strangers can stimulate personal questions such as will you be boring or weird during the conversation. Stop ruminating about these thoughts!

Remember that a conversation is a two-way street. It is not your duty to carry the talk the entire night! If the person seems uninterested or less chatty, he or she may be tired or preoccupied. Who knows? This person may be socially awkward too.

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Above all else, you must do your best to stay present in the moment. Post your holiday photos a day or two later. You do not need to compete online or keep up with the people who brag about how amazing their holiday experiences are!

Sources: 1 & 2



Turn Your 2018 Money Resolutions Into Reality

It all starts with a dash of imagination…

Vividly envisioning where you are headed improves the likelihood of meeting your financial resolutions. Allocate at least a few minutes of your day to contemplate on your past experiences as well as your current standing. Afterwards, visualize the financial situation that you desire to experience in the future. Some people may find satisfaction in their year-round travels. While, you may find serenity through altruism. The mere act of visualization will motivate you to reach the goals that you set.

Plan to start small…

Like anything in life, you must have strategic plans. Money resolutions such as paying off debt or building retirement savings are not always easy! This is why you must commit to small things first. Commit yourself to a “small” task that you will accomplish for the rest of the year. Consider writing down every dollar that you spend. For the adjustment period, you can write down each transaction in a notebook or in a journal. Awareness is increased through the mentally exhausting act of writing. It is exhausting in a sense that it activates different parts of the brain. The enhanced brain activity improves your attention and memory.

As the act becomes second nature, you can turn to electronic devices for help. Find an efficient budgeting app or a software to track your transactions. Keep a record. This will help you spot the weaknesses and strengths of your budget. Please adjust accordingly.

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Divide and conquer…

Absorbing the essence of all your financial resolutions is overwhelming! Try dividing a single goal into bite-sized pieces instead. Focus your efforts on a goal before moving on to the next. Observe your progress by ticking off the “resolutions” that you have accomplished.

Remember to be as concrete as possible when identifying your financial resolutions. You may state something along the lines of avoiding credit cards for a month. Or, you may pay an additional of S$50 to your credit card debts. Aim to minimize your debt in a shorter span of time.

Parting thoughts…

Use affirmations to remind yourself that being responsible for your finances will impact your personal life and that of your family’s. Valuing your hard work starts with making few financial alternations.

Sources: 1 &2


Four Financial Strategies To Usher The New Year


Overspending during the festive season happens to most of us. I cannot blame you! The competitive prices of the shops as well as the constant sales are undeniably tempting. This is why the New Year is a good time to revisit your previous household budget. Understand what went wrong in your current budget to help you succeed in 2017.

Start by making a detailed list of your total income. Then, collate all your annual expenses including debts. Build a robust budget plan out of these information. Do not forget to pay off all of the extra debts that were incurred during the season. Be realistic when it comes to how much you can pay at a given point in time.


Have you ever noticed that the individuals who partake in those “crash diets” (i.e., defined as a method of losing body weight quickly by eating very little) eventually bounce back to their previous figures? The significant relapse can be due to the dramatic and sudden changes in actions. It is unlikely that change will occur if you speed up the process. The same idea applies to your finances.

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Beginning with a humble note entails welcoming the new year with small and simple financial goals. This strategy is smart as it helps you to build confidence and momentum to achieve more complex and longer objectives. Learn how to adjust your behavior by reading the book entitled, “Investor Behavior: The Psychology of Financial Planning and Investing“.


Say that you are done planning out your short-term and long-term goals for 2017. Put your creative juices to test by devising ways to remember those objectives. Personally, I use technology to create visual lists that I can view in my laptop and in my mobile phone. It helps me to monitor my financial progress.

If staying prompt is a part of your New Year’s resolutions then, you may consider setting up payment reminders. Do not tolerate late fees and payments by placing a notification on your eletronic calendar.


Conquer a certain goal or eliminate a certain debt throughout the year by using one of the most potent strategies – to “Pay Yourself First”. This works well if your resolution focuses on saving money. Set aside a portion of your income as soon as you receive your paycheck. Allocate this portion to your CPF, retirement, or savings account.

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This means that the first bill that you shall fulfill is your own’s.

Sources: 1,  2, & 3


Watsons run a 1-day New Year Sale-bration. Enjoy 1-for-1, up to 50% off Hot Buys & more at 62 outlets on 28 December

Cheers to a New Year.

Watsons announced that they will run a one-day New Year Sale-bration on 28 December 2016.

Many items will be on sale including plenty of ‘1-for-1’s, up to 50% off hot buys and 6% cash rebate for POSB Everyday Card.

Purchase a Philips Rice Cooker for just $49 (U.P $89) when you make a minimum spend of $10 in a single receipt.


Find the nearest Watsons store here.

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