This article is meant for those who truly have the heart for saving some cash at the end of the month, but somehow always fail to achieve their objective.
We recommend you to try some of the methods below or if you have a friend who splurges, do send it to them. We promise to keep this article bite-sized!
This is not a sponsored article; we will provide information on the methods you can use, but not the company or agent you can approach. Which means it is a very fair article as a guide for you!
Develop your disciplined saving plan
It is recommended to save at least 20% of your income (Feels like your CPF?). Note we used a percentage because it was never about how much you earn, but how much you save. A well-to-do professional making S$10,000 a month may only save S$1,000, which is 10%, while another individual earning S$4,000 a month may save S$2,000. That is 50% of his or her income.
After determining the amount you want to save, the rest are your expenses. Calculate your fixed costs. Fixed cost refer to costs that are regularly billed, like your phone bill, (unless data explodes), car instalments, utility bills, and travel expenses. If you are lucky enough not to be paying bills yet, look at your variable expenses such as apparel, gadgets, etc.
You could use a gauge of how much you want to use for your spending to determine how much to save, but we recommend doing the opposite and setting how much you want to save instead. Set aside that money and the rest of it are free for you to use.
With this figure, visualise your lifestyle.
Scenario: If you have only S$500 left to spend for the whole month, could you see yourself eating at restaurants every day? Save on the luxuries; it will pay off. If you are someone who is living this lifestyle now, you would realise that there is a tendency to overspend way before the end of the month. It’s okay; every failure is a lesson. Train your mind and persevere till you can manage to have some excess by the end of the month.
What do you do with the excess? We bet the first thing that comes to mind is “Save”. Wrong! Spend it. Spend it on luxury (do not even save it for the next month), just spend it – either on an uber ride, a buffet meal, the Godiva ice cream, just splurge whatever is remaining at the end of the month. Trust us. It’s for the long term. One word – Motivation.
The logical reason behind this is to incentivise the mind by giving it a “reward.” If everything is about saving, saving, saving, you will soon be sick and tired of “living that life.” A month is about the right time to reward yourself for your hard work. It might sound contradicting, but look at the bigger picture; this will prevent you from losing that discipline.
Get a savings plan from an insurance company
There are plenty of saving plans from insurance companies which are targeted at students or young adults. It is usually about ten years; premiums can be as low as S$100. So once committed, you will have to force yourself to set aside that amount every month. As mentioned, it is a savings plan. Please do not think of it as an investment plan or even a get rich quick scheme. There will be no returns of close to 10%, but it will be better than leaving it in your bank or risk spending that money. This amount plus compounding interest through the ten years could potentially give you close to S$14,000 upon maturity with a premium of S$100 per month.
The number may not look attractive, but it’s better than nothing!
The S$5 hoarding challenge
No, it’s not the S$5 a day challenge that was quite popular some time back, remember what we said about motivation? Keep living on S$5 a day, and you’ll spend S$5,000 the next day being sick and tired of living in hell.
Instead, keep every S$5 that comes back as change. Even if something costs an exact of S$5, use two S$2 notes and one S$1 coin. Just keep the S$5. Keep it in your drawer, piggy bank or wherever out of sight. Make sure not to use them at all. Count them only at the end of the year.
You will realise that while this S$5 note may not affect your daily expenditure when you keep it, you can potentially accumulate a substantial amount of S$5 which surely add up to thousands of dollars.
To the future you: If you did not keep any savings but have miraculously followed through the $5 hoarding challenge, please do not spend it. You have wasted enough! Use that money, to invest in yourself.
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Last updated on July 1st, 2019.