Unhealthy Spending Habits To Kick To The Curb

How you spend your dollar is just as important to your financial health as your decision to save or to pay for debt. Savvy spending habits keep you from overspending on an item or a service. Nobody needs a stack of infomercial items paid for by impulse buying.

Spending smartly by kicking your bad habits to the curb allows your dollar to go further. Lead a resolute year by leaving these spending habits in 2019! A better 2020 is up ahead.


I am guilty of paying for out-of-network ATM fees at the expense of my convenience. I withdraw money from other banking institutions from time to time as it is more favorable proximity-wise. The service fee may be minimal, but it adds up. A good solution is to open up an account at a bank that is more favorable to where you live in or where you work at.


Many Singaporeans are guilty of spending money that they do not have. How is this so? They spend money through taking loans, cash advances, or credit cards. Spending money you have yet to earn creates a pile of debt for year 2020. It will continue to grow, if you do not fully repay your debt each month.

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Solve this bad habit by cutting down your expenses and relying on your debit card or income to pay for your essentials and wants. Prioritize your needs first.


Speaking of expenses that pile up, you must look into your bottled water expenses. Water is a necessity, which we cannot escape from. Your daily water consumption can cost you more than S$1,000 per year. Reduce this number by drinking from the just-as-healthy tap water from the tap. In the long run, a little savings goes a long way.


Using debt to pay off your debt is not healthy. You are lying to yourself when you think that you are solving your problems by paying your initial debts with other cards. You are simply shuffling your debt around and incurring more interest in the process.

Using debt to “pay off” debt can only be beneficial if you can transfer a balance from a high-interest rate credit card to a lower limit one. Be careful when you do this. Transferring balance to take advantage of a good rate is different from continually dodging your credit card payments.


Last year, I refrained from using a money tracking app. I lived without a financial tracker to see how my finances will be affected. Interestingly, I spent more within the year than I ever did in the past couple of years. Keeping up with your expenses is a healthy way to ensure your financial health.

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You can either whip out a ledger or download a money tracking app. Start using a budget tool such as Mint or Spendee to stay on top of your spending habits and to eliminate unnecessary expenses.

Sources: 1 & 2


Debunking The Myths On Frugality

Do you seek to attain financial independence? Well, you may consider taking “frugality” at heart. Frugality is the quality of being thrifty, prudent, or economical in the consumption of consumable resources (e.g., food). This quality is embodies while avoiding waste and extravagance.

For people who are mystified by this term, keep reading along.


For a fortunate number of people, frugality is a choice. They see frugality as a method to create a strong link between time, labor, and money. Every purchase represents the time and effort they have spent working. It is a conscious decision to plan ahead for their short-term and long-term financial goals.


On the surface, people may assume that frugality and cheapness are one and the same. Similarities may be present, but these two are entirely different characteristics. A frugal person sees the best value for his or her money. While, a cheap person focuses on the lowest price.

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Say that you are grocery shopping for the entire family. A frugal person will use accumulated coupons and purchase items that are only on his or her shopping list. On the other hand, a cheap person will highly decline to spend more than S$50 on a week’s groceries.


Even frugal Millennials splurge from time to time! When you are able to skip on things that are not essential to your lifestyle, you will be able to free up more money for the things that are important to you. It’s a no brainer! For instance, I spend most of my money on quality food and cosmetics.

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Frugality is not all about self-sacrifice. If you are skilled in long-term savings, you may choose to spend the excess on something that you deem to be priceless. Personally, catching a sunset in Santorini sounds like a great idea to me!


How To Finally Stop Spending

Unfortunately waving a wand will not help you to cut down your spending. Instead, here are some practical tips that you may start with!


When you spot a tempting item from the mall, wait until 30 days before purchasing it. Write it down on a list of pending items. When a month has passed, cross out the items that you are willing to skip on. The only exceptions to this rule are groceries and other fixed expenses.


How many times have you purchased an item that you “deserve”? Yes! You may be using your hard-earned money to enjoy finer things in life. However, hard work should not be an excuse to spend. Income does not automatically increase as your workload expands! Your budget must outweigh your work stress.


Leaving your credit cards at home is one of the easiest ways to stop spending. Equip yourself with the amount of cash that you are willing to spend in a grocery store or a shopping centre. You can only bring your card with you if you are planning to pay off an item through an installment plan.

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Leaving these plastics behind will help you avoid the temptation of impulse purchases.


As you alter your spending habits, setting realistic short-term financial goals is a great way to stay motivated. Having these goals will remind you of the reasons why you are making several sacrifices at the moment. It is important to be specific when it comes to thse goals as it will be easier to aim for. Instead of saying that you want to decrease your coffee budget, you may say that you will “decrease your monthly coffee costs from S$200 to S$100”.


Lastly, re-frame your thoughts by looking at the brighter side of your goals. The technical term for this is opportunity cost. Opportunity cost is defined as “the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen.”

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Saving money and cutting back will give you an opportunity to reach your goals!

Sources: 1 & 2


Fastest Ways To Drain Your Money In Singapore

1. Visit the nearby grocery while you are hungry. Shopping hungry typically leads to adding unnecessary items to your cart. You will be amazed by the length of your receipt!

2. ATMs are easily accessible in Singapore. So, draw more money that what you actually need. Your S$40 can disappear as quickly as drawing only S$20.

3. Embrace tardiness! Paying the bills late takes you back by a decent amount due to the late fees and surge in interest rates. Doing this regularly may potentially damage your credit score too.

4. Promotions and other good deals are everywhere these days. Nothing will flush your money faster than becoming an impulse buyer. See something you like while window shopping? Grab it and worry about the cost later.

5. Shower your pets with #OOTD options by purchasing clothing for all occasions. From a fairy ensemble to a Santa costume, pet clothing and accessories can cost about S$3 to S$30.

Image Credits: pixabay.com

Image Credits: pixabay.com

6. Get additional S$10 or more on your teleco bill by exceeding your data limit. Some network providers apply the charges even if you exceeded your data capacity by 0.000001GB!

7. Many of us depend on a trusty cup of coffee to keep us energized throughout the day. With branded coffee chains at every turn, it is hard not to be tempted. Spending at least S$6 a day will add up to S$42 in a week. The same idea applies for artisan water.

8. Be hooked on a smartphone app! An addicting game can lead you to scoring some in-app purchases. You really need that power-ups from Candy Crush, right?

9. Do you have a thirst for excitement? Be surprised by the variety of fees and penalties that you can acquire by not reading a contract. You signed on the dotted lines thus, you are obligated to pay for all of them.

10. Watch your money fly by regularly purchasing disposable razors. Disposable razors tend to lose its sharpness and durability quickly. You will end up buying this product frequently.

11. Go to the grocery store at least twice a week. Making this a routine suggests that you are not properly tracking your food consumption or adjusting your expense categories.

12. During rush hour, you can either book a regular taxi or a Grab taxi. The latter offers a flat fee that is calculated upfront without hidden fees. While, the former is decked with extra charges for traffic conditions or bad weather.

Image Credits: pixabay.com

Image Credits: pixabay.com

As obvious as this may sound, you must avoid the items written above. Alter your spending habits and stick to your realistic budget!

Sources: 1, 2,3,  & 4


Surefire Ways To Gain Financial Willpower

If you lack self-control or you are low in willpower, you may constantly catch yourself wondering where your paycheck went. Give these three strategies a sincere shot! You will be glad that you tried.


To understand how willpower works, you must imagine stretching a ribbon for seven days straight. The ribbon will eventually tear. The same principle applies to your willpower – “it loses its strength when you exhaust it”.

Image Credits: pixabay.com

Image Credits: pixabay.com

Willpower affects the way you spend. Compared to people who have not exerted their willpower, people who are running low on willpower spend an increased amount of money and purchased additional items. It goes to show that multiple decisions can test your willpower’s strength. Thus, it is best to take one financial decision at a time. Do not overwhelm yourself!


Having a depleted willpower is not a problem because you can always search for someone whose willpower is stronger than yours. Choose a trusted ally that will support you for a common financial purpose. The ally may either supervise you or help you regulate your money.

If you trust the person enough (e.g., your parent or spouse), ask him to keep your money and not give it back until you have reached your goal. Alternatively, the person can regularly ask you how much you have saved and spend in the past two weeks. Be careful who you trust!


One of the primary reasons why institutions advocate credit cards is that it has the ability to distract the holder from how much they are spending. This is problematic for people who lack self-control or are low on willpower. They can pay their monthly bills thru credit without realizing the consequences of their purchases, until their minimum credit card bills became huge. It will take them years before they can pay off everything!

Image Credits: pixabay.com

Image Credits: pixabay.com

The solution for this scenario can be as simple as leading a cash-only lifestyle. If you do not have enough cash to cover an expense, then you must skip it or save enough money for it. Commit yourself to this lifestyle for at least eight months. When you know what you are doing, you can eventually use credit in a smart way.

Sources: 1,  2,  &  3