Why Is It So Hard To Save?

With the surge of expenses from left to right, many find it difficult to save money on the side. The difficulty arises not only due to the lack of self-control, but also due to our perception. Harvard Economics Professor Sendhil Mullainathan tells CNN Money that “it is human nature not to save, but we can get better at it”.


The first step to building your savings is acceptance. Accept your current financial situation and today’s economy. Whether you admit it or not, saving money is harder than ever. As prices in Singapore increase, we have less “disposable” income that we can allocate to our financial goals.

Acceptance of these will enable you to focus on the future priorities rather than focusing on the urgent expenses. You can automate your savings and allocate it to your retirement or education funds. I suggest you start small with the “52 Week Money Challenge”. This challenge encourages a slow and steady approach to saving money.


The second step to building your savings is to remove unnecessary elements such as your multiple credit cards. It is no surprise that saving money is hindered by the accessibility of credit. You see, our cashless society diminishes our appreciation for every dollar that we spend. Credit cards enable us to spend money before we save. And, there is no going back!

Not to mention, credit cards enable us to subscribe to monthly services such as video and music streaming. Our subscriptions add up! Every dollar you spend on meal delivery or Taobao delivery add up. What’s more? It can be difficult to cancel a monthly service that you forgot to sign up for. Just take caution with your plastics!


The last piece of the puzzle is our perception towards savings. Many Singaporeans think that saving is challenging because it requires a heroic feat of tightening one’s budget. In reality, saving money can be done gradually. It should not be driven by sacrifice. Instead, it should be driven by opportunities harnessed by self-control.

For instance, you may save money without being conscious about it all the time through automation. You can automate a specific amount of your salary for it to go straight to your savings account. You cannot spend what you cannot see!

Image Credits: pixabay.com

Reset your perceptions about saving money. There are benefits to moving forward. And, moving forward you must do!

Sources: 1 & 2


Practical Strategies To Beat Inflation

Inflation is a sign of a healthy economy as it shows that the country’s wealth is growing. During inflation, you will experience periods of price surge. This is the perfect time to be more conscious of your spending. Do not worry! Inflation rates will eventually taper after several months. When this happens, your wallets can have the sigh of relief!

Ultimately, here are some strategies that you can employ to beat the inflation.


Let’s face it! To outpace inflation, having a high-interest savings account or long-term time deposit is not enough. Consider sparing some of your money to investment options that are safe to grow in spite of inflation. I am referring to asset classes such as mutual funds or pooled investments. Nowadays, many financial institutions in Singapore offer mutual funds at friendly rates. Read this article to learn more.


The Singapore government has declared this year as the Year of Climate Action. Take a page out of this initiative by getting on board with the public transport. You will not only save money by taking the bus or the MRT, but you will also minimize the carbon footprints.

Image Credits: pixabay.com

People who own cars spend around S$2,600 per year on petrol. Not to mention, there are other accompanying costs of car ownership such as parking and road tax. Taking public transport could diminish your costs significantly! Use your extra money to combat the price surge due to inflation.


An emergency fund is an account for funds set aside in case of events brewing from personal financial dilemma (e.g., loss of a job or having critical illness). When inflation rates elevates, your emergency fund becomes an added cushion to cover the sudden increase in the prices of goods.

It will keep you secured until you can adjust your budget. Experts recommend that you build an emergency fund covering your expenses for at least six months. If you have a family, then covering nine months’ worth of expenses would be a better target.


A major chunk of our expenses is allocated to food. Whether you like it or not, inflation affects all goods differently. For instance, the cost of food rose faster than the general rate of inflation between September and October 2017. This price hike held across all types of food, from dairy products to vegetables.

Image Credits: pixabay.com

To get the best prices on food, you may use price comparison websites (e.g., diffmarts.com) or use online coupons. Spot the latest deals to bring down the cost of your basket!

Sources: 1 & 2


5 Secret Features Of The Singapore Currency

Whether you call it SGD or Sing-dollar, Singapore Dollar is our country’s official unit of currency. It consists of paper notes and coins. Paper notes are divided into S$2, S$5, S$10, S$50, S$100, S$500, S$1,000 and the rare $10,000. While, the coins denominated in 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents and S$1. All these money hold their very own secret features.

Read through the post to find out more.

Image Credits: Aleksandr Zykov via Flickr Creative Commons


Grab a S$5 note from your wallet. Do you see the Tembusa tree printed on it? Believe it or not, that tree is still standing in the Botanic Gardens. It is believed to be at least 200 years old. Imagine the wonders it holds!


Ever wondered why polymer banknotes exist? For starters, these plastic notes are water-proof. Not only can a polymer notes survive a washing machine spin, but it can also survive being forgotten in your pockets for a long time. According to the the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), polymer notes last three to four times longer than their paper counterparts.

What is more impressive? Polymer notes have ingredients that are not available commercially. This is a way to prevent production of counterfeit notes.


Rocking accessories made from or resembling Singapore coins sounds pretty cool! However, wearing these jewelries may land you at the wrong side of the law. Under Singapore’s Currency Act, it is illegal to “mutilate, destroy or deface” any form of Singapore currency. Be ware as offenders can be fined up to $2000!


The seemingly unnoticable “line” at the top of every banknote is actually a microtext. You do not believe me? See for yourself! Get a magnifying glass from your father’s tools and take a closer look. At the top left-hand side of any note, the microtext shall state: “MONETARYAUTHORITYOFSINGAPORE”. Interesting way to hide your name, MAS!


Have you accidentaly tear up one of your paper notes before? You are not the only one! A S$50 with a missing corner is practically worthless. Fortunately for you, you can exchange your note at the local banks.

What is the catch? Firstly, you must present at least two-thirds of the original note for a full refund. Lastly, you must provide evidence that you did not intentionally destroy your banknote.

Image Credits: Narin BI via Flickr Creative Commons

I hope that helps! 🙂

Sources: 1 & 2


How To Preserve Your Currency Collection Effectively

Currency collection is both a hobby and an investment to many people. After reading the “Newbie’s Guide To Collecting Currency In Singapore”, it is time to know about the ways to effectively take care of your collection.


Employ some precautions when handling the banknotes and the coins. To pick up your collection properly, you can either use a pair of trusted tweezers with studded ends or wear a pair of cotton gloves. Avoid using your bare hands as it may stain the coins and soil the notes. Furthermore, your collection may absorb contaminants that may damage it.


To create an appropriate storage environment for your precious collection, start by finding a dry place that avoids direct sunlight and artificial light. The high levels of ultra-violet rays are not only harmful to us but also to the notes. So store it at a constant temperature of 20-24 Celsius with a relative humidity of 45-55%.

Notes and coins are best kept in small containers, protective holders, and albums. Or you may purchase a safe for your home to avoid paying the recurring fee of renting a safe deposit box.


More than anything else, improper cleaning has damaged valuable coins. For example, un-circulated coins should never be cleaned as improper cleaning can cause permanent loss of value, original mint finish, and antique color. This is why experienced collectors and dealers recommend that the experts should only be the ones to polish coins.


To help detect deterioration at its early stages, you must regularly inspect the condition of your collection. Complete repair may no longer be possible if the deterioration is discovered too late!

Image Credits: pixabay.com (CC0 Public Domain)

Image Credits: pixabay.com (CC0 Public Domain)

When you decide to take action, always seek the advice of an expert regarding the cleaning or restoration procedures as unqualified attempts will more likely cause a decrease in its value.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4,  & 5


Newbie’s Guide To Collecting Currency In Singapore

Welcome to the wonderful world of currency collection!

History manifested coin and banknote collection as a pastime for scholars. Nowadays, being a scholar is not a mandatory feature of a collector. It is the interest towards currency collecting that drives this hobby into motion.

Banknotes are unique collectible pieces that  embody arts, culture, politics, history, and distinct serial numbers. Coin collecting, on the other hand, has been popular since the medieval times (collected by the European monarchs in 1500s).

As a start, you can collect the banknotes and coins available in Singapore and in the neighboring countries. If you have a limited budget, it is more inexpensive to collect currencies in lower denominations. Joining a currency collection club and attending related exhibitions are useful ways to update your knowledge. For instance, the Singapore Historical Banknote Collections’s Facebook page announced the “Singapore International Coin Fair” last April 1-3. It is a coin and banknotes exhibition that happens only once a year. Follow their page to stay informed.

Newbie collectors are advised to specialize not only because of a tight budget but also because of the opportunity to become an expert on a certain series. Currency collection with a face value can both signify a hobby and an investment.


  • UN-CIRCULATED COINS: These notes are taken out from a pack of unused banknotes and are placed carefully in protective holders.
  • COMMEMORATIVE ISSUES: These notes are issued to honor a special event such as the ones issued to celebrate SG50.
  • RARE NOTES: These were created with misprints or errors. Being one of its kind, these are sold at a high premium.
  • NOTES WITH DISTINCTIVE MARKS: These are notes with distinctive logos, commemorative text, and serialized numbering of notes printed.
  • NOTES WITH LIMITED CIRCULATION: These are sought after notes due to its limited supply.
  • NOTES WITH AUSPICIOUS NUMBERS: In the Chinese culture, there is a widespread belief of auspicious or lucky numbers. These auspicious feature can only be found in notes where numbers are serialized.


  • SINGAPORE CIRCULATION COINS: A complete set of all the coins in Singapore must start in 1967. There are 6 denomination of coins in circulation such as 1 cent, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, and $1.
  • CIRCULATION COINS: One of the least expensive and the most popular collection among beginners.
  • EARLY COINAGE OF SINGAPORE: These are the coins issued before the formation of the Republic (expanding way back to 1819).
  • NUMISMATIC & COMMEMORATIVE COINS: These are released occasionally at various times of the year.
  • COINS BY THEME: These are collectible coins with themes such as people, endangered species, sports, and many more.
  • BULLION COINS: These coins are mainly minted with gold, silver, and other precious metals. They are sold at premiums marginally above their “gold content” to entice investors.
Image Credits: facebook.com/SingaporeCoinsAndNotesMuseum

Image Credits: facebook.com/SingaporeCoinsAndNotesMuseum

Sources: 1 & 2