Singapore is among the wealthiest countries on the planet, but the Lion City hasn’t escaped the economic effects of COVID-19. The nation has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic in Southeast Asia.
Although Singapore is in a better position to ride out the coronavirus outbreak than most of its neighbours, there’s no denying that 2020 has amplified the importance of financial discipline among its already financially literate population.
Many young adults in the city-state have taken steps towards self-reliance. Some took online courses to acquire new skills to boost their incomes. Others have gone to a bookstore to get expert advice on self-development.
Whether or not you’re financially struggling to live through the pandemic, it pays to develop good habits to spend money more wisely.
We can’t compress the wisdom a financial book contains into a 500-word article. But we believe you could use the tips below to get you started.
Let Go of Luxuries
The average Singaporean is willing to pay good money for convenience. However, the ongoing economic hardship must have highlighted the value of austerity.
Many Singaporeans, especially those in their 20s and 30s, have reassessed their expenditures and separated the essential from the unnecessary.
There’s nothing wrong about buying a cup of coffee or using Grab in moderation. But modern conveniences can add up and drain your bank account if you rely on them too much.
Sometimes, a little bit of inconvenience is good from a financial standpoint. The pandemic is a good chance to fix your budget to set aside a bigger portion of your income to start building your rainy day, emergency, and retirement funds.
Go Easy on Cashless Shopping
COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of online banking services in Singapore. More people have now realised that the risks of using physical money. The country may not become a cashless society after the pandemic, but the online banking boom is here to stay.
While the sudden rise in the sales of goods online is good for the economy since it opens new business opportunities, online banking might also encourage over-consumption.
When shopping through a digital channel, you’re more likely to spend more than you usually intend to. Paying with cash comes with the pain of parting ways with our money, and it helps us value our purchases more.
Banking online exclusively is sound practice to combat the spread of coronavirus. But it requires unwavering discipline.
Leave No Credit Card Balance Every Month
Now is the worst time to fall into arrears on your credit card payments. The surest way to stay out of debt or at least manage it properly is to zero out your bills every month.
Settling just the minimum balance will incur you interest. It’ll be carried over to the next month and compound monthly until you pay your bill in full.
Saving up cash matters, but it’s useless if you can’t use credit whenever you need to because of severe indebtedness.
For the most part, common sense is the only thing you need to sharpen your financial acumen. But it’s easier said than done, especially at a time like this. Never stop learning, and keep on investing in yourself to protect your finances during the pandemic and trying times in the future.