5 Mind Tricks to Help You Stick to Your Budget

When it comes to spending less and saving more, it is tempting to bury our heads in Sentosa’s sand. The way we manage our finances today is entirely different from the way money was managed in the past. It is getting increasingly easier to spend money, and more challenging to save money.

When done right, budgeting can direct a series of clever financial choices to move you closer to the things you want out of life. Take the time to get this right at the start, to give yourself a massive advantage and benefit from the results for years to come.

Start by using simple brain tricks to help you stick to your budget.


Consider your savings account as another monthly bill. Start by allotting money towards your fixed expenses, followed by assigning a certain amount towards your future. You can use this fund either for your retirement or your future goals, but do not go out and blow it on things you do not need.

Saving for your future is just as important as paying your other bills. When you treat it that way, you will develop a wealth-building mindset.


The convenience of online banking and banking apps cannot be denied. Your banking app can show you the movements of your funds in real time. Moreover, you have the ability to input your debit or credit cards directly onto your phone to experience fast payment processes. When there is no barrier between you and your money, it becomes easier for you to spend more.

Place a barrier between you and your emotional shopping tendencies. Whether you are keen on putting a long passcode on your banking app or using two-factor authentication for your online banking, you will be less tempted to spend when barriers exist.


Your small, frequent purchases add up. Every time you buy a coffee or eat out, your ability to save decreases. It might not seem too much at the moment, but it adds up to a significant amount. Track your expenses by writing down every small purchase per month. This will increase your awareness and help motivate you to cut down on your spending.

You might be shocked to see the number at first. However, you will be able to recognize why you are struggling to save.


As you are walking down the aisle of the nearest grocery store, you find it difficult to resist the promotions from left to right. Control your spending by giving yourself 15 minutes to ponder about your potential purchase. Giving yourself 15 minutes will allow you to resist your impulsive purchases.

If you can, it is even better to wait for a full day or a week before making purchases. Remember that having a waiting period is the best way to train your brain.


We are creatures of habit. This is why people resist changing their insurance provider, telecommunications provider, and so on. There is a desire to keep everything the same and anything different can be perceived as a loss.

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However, staying in our comfort zone means that we are paying more for services than we need to. Pushing yourself out of it will allow you to shop for the best deals. Start with reassessing your mobile plan, before moving to your utilities, insurance, and other providers. Revisiting these plans on a yearly basis will ensure that you are maximizing your hard-earned money.

Sources: 1 & 2



Students in Singapore to go Cashless by 2025

With a handful of coins in your pocket, you are wondering what unnecessary item you can splurge on in the school bookshop. Good times, right?

Singaporean students in the near future will no longer experience the same thing as they will be using the cashless method soon. By 2025, most of the students in Singapore have the option of using e-payment for purchases made in school bookshops and canteens. Instead of giving pocket money, students will be given cards or smartwatches to buy their needs.

The Singaporean Ministry of Education recently signed a memorandum of understanding with DBS to expand the POSB Smart Buddy program across all primary and secondary schools in Singapore. Junior colleges and Millennia Institute are also included.

Clarence Tang, MOE’s Divisional Director of Finance and Procurement Division said:

“Having a cashless option in schools will provide students with an environment to use e-payment safely while enjoying the convenience and benefits of going cashless, such as faster transactions when making purchases.”

Mr. Tang highlighted that the program is aimed at providing a safe environment for students. So, expect to see tap-and-pay terminals around the campus in the next few years.


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Introduced in 2017, the POSB Smart Buddy programme is the world’s first integrated in-school wearable digital savings and payment method.

Digital payment infrastructure or tap-and-pay terminals will be installed in schools. It can accept payments made through POSB Smart Buddy smartwatches or cards, School Smart cards, and EZ-Link cards.

This initiative will allow both students and parents to track the spending and saving patterns through a mobile app. Students can use the app to set saving goals, while parents can set daily allowance limits and view their child’s purchases in real-time. This way, their child can avoid overspending.

Students will be able to track their financial patterns and learn how to save.

Sources: 1 & 2


Fundamental Rules Of Budgeting

As you gloss over the pages of old personal finance books, you will realize that they stress on the importance of creating a budget and sticking to it. Poof! All your financial problems will be solved in a snap. However, life is not as simple as that.

Budgeting is the process of creating a financial plan based on your estimated revenue and expenses over a period. It is a complex task that takes your entire financial profile into account. It is up to you to embrace the process!

On that note, here are the fundamental rules of budgeting.


Awareness of how much money comes in and how much you spend will enable you to pinpoint your spending habits. Be honest with yourself! You will be surprised that everything adds up, once you keep track of your money on a regular basis. Start by writing down your expenses for a week and continue. Include your daily coffee runs and Netflix subscription. You can use online budgeting tools to help you monitor your money.


The only permanent thing in this world is change. Your efforts of controlling your environment will be put to waste because change is inevitable. If you reached the end of the month and noticed that you are struggling to pay bills, something needs to change. Alter your budgeting strategies and identify which categories you can cut down on. Fortunately for you, small changes can make a big difference.

Your income, expenses, and priorities will change over time. You must adjust your budget accordingly.


Within my immediate social circles, my partner is the primary model for self-control. He steers away from luxury and focuses on strategies that make him a savvy spender. He practices delayed gratification too. Learning self-control can help you accomplish your realistic budget.

If you are lucky, your parents or teachers taught you this skill when you were a child. If not, you will learn the importance of delaying gratification. Despite the tempting nature of credit cards, it is better to wait until you have saved up the money for a purchase. You do not want to spend the rest of your years paying for your credit cards alone!


Notice your spending habits. If you are constantly overspending on a budget category, consider having an envelope system. Use the allocated cash from the envelop and stop spending once it runs out. It is the ultimate accountability strategy.


Be realistic when it comes to your budget and your priorities. Whether you are paying off student loans or building an emergency fund, you need to focus on the goal. Knowing the reasons behind why you are saving and why you are making sacrifices will help you sustain your budget.


Ensure that your hard-earned money does not vanish by taking some safety measures. IF you are renting a flat, consider getting an insurance to protect your belongings from fire or burglary. If you just bought a laptop, sign-up for the warranty. This will help you cushion the costs of repairs.

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You must educate yourself on budgeting and handling money. The more you learn about handling money wisely, the more concrete your reasons for budgeting will be. Good luck!

Sources: 1 & 2


Splurges That Turn Out To Be Wise Savings

Having money allows you to live the life you desire to live, if you spend it wisely. You have to weigh whether an item is an essential (need) or a non-essential (want) expense. In some cases, you have to spend more at the moment to save more in the long run.

Certain items are worth splurging on to help you earn more money or experiences in the future. Here are just some splurges that are actually wise savings:


Purchases that help you advance in your field are good investments. Know which tool you cannot work without and list them down. For instance, you must invest on a high quality camera and a reliable laptop as a photographer. There are also online classes and software programs that a photographer can benefit from on a daily basis. If an item supplements your future growth, it could be a smart move to spend extra cash on it.


Before spending your hard-earned money on a product or a service, think of how long you are likely to use it. Then, breakdown the price using these factors (e.g., cost per wear). You may realize that the iPad you have been eyeing for so long may only cost you S$1 per day due to your current academic needs.

Home appliances and cookware are just some of the items that we use frequently. You can save so much money by cooking at home. Splurging on quality kitchen items such as knives and refrigerator can make a difference. It is recommended to invest more money on home appliances and cookware that you will use heavily because you will only end up spending more on repairs with low-quality appliances.


Now more than ever, it is important to consume items that can strengthen our immune system. You really are what you eat! So, do not feel guilty about spending more money on fresh produce and healthier food items. What you spend on these items may help reduce your hospital bills.

Along with grocery shopping comes the ability to save more time. You may get your groceries delivered to your doorstep instead of going to the store. This will minimize your contact with the crowded places and will enable you to have more time to enjoy your day.


It is alright to splurge on an item that you have strategically saved up for in advance. For instance, you may have kept a portion of your monthly salary to splurge on a good laptop or a luxury bag at the end of the year. Some non-essential items are worth spending money on as long as you have saved enough funds to cover your significant expenses. Furthermore, it is a rewarding and a joyful experience to see the fruits of your labor.

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It is more than fine to get spend your hard-earned money on the finer things in life as long as you are smart about your purchases. Consider the points that were previously discussed above.

Sources: 1 & 2



Welcome The New Decade With This Financial Mindset

The Financial Mindset is a predetermined set of beliefs about money. Although you cannot verbalize what your mindset is, it still exists. We all have this set of beliefs within us! It is important to note that your financial mindset affects the energy you give off and the energy you receive.

With a new decade, it is high time to refresh your finances with your financial resolutions or goals. Laying out your new financial resolutions or goals can help shift your mindset and give you new ways to perceive your life in general.


Start the year right by creating a vision board with your 2020 financial goals. Much has been said about creating a life you want to indulge in through visualization. You attract what you set your mind into. So, put several images of the things or milestones you want to achieve this year.

There are no wrong answers! Whether you want to have your own car or keys to your new flat, you can put all these on the board. Find inspiration on how to make one in Pinterest or in this Money Digest article.


In a world where people are so used to taking, aim to be the one who gives. Ask yourself some wealth-creating questions such as “What unique product can you offer?” or “Which service can your peers benefit from?” This trait is seen in many millionaires and entrepreneurs. Search yourself to know how to add value in other people’s lives. This will enable you to make money in the process.

You may not be able to answer these questions right now, but the important thing is to put your mind in a resourceful and open state.


How many of you have created a budget based on your average earnings per year? This may seem as a premium plan to have, but you are not creating a realistic budget. Realistic budgeting goes beyond creating an Excel sheet and figuring out how much to allocate for every category. It enables you to look at how much money you have right now.

Based on your current funds, you will be able to create a realistic budget for the month. When you blow a category up due to overspending, you must not quit. You need to have an emergency fund for that. Only budget and consume the money you have right now.


It is common to have a financial resolution whereby you want to save more money. In order to do that, most people start by tracking their spending. See where you can cut back and where you can make room for more savings. It is a tedious task at first! However, you can re-frame your mind by attaching your Psychological wellbeing in the mix.

To help you with your frugal mindset, you must experiences purchasing differently. Track your spending and write down how you felt after the purchase. Do you feel happy or guilty? Where you shopping while you are bored or angry? Emotions play a huge part in managing and spending your money.

It is crucial for you to be aware of your spending patterns and triggers. Mindfulness of situations that trap you to spend can enable you to change your financial life. Bring value and joy to your finances through healthier spending patterns.


Your mind is a powerful tool, which creates your reality. It dictates what you believe is possible and leads you to it. This is why it is important that you feed your mind with optimism grounded in your current circumstance. Consume books such as Think and Grow Rich from Napoleon Hill or podcasts from trusted financial advisers.

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Feed your mind with a grow mindset to indulge on a better financial year ahead!

Sources: 1 & 2