but one that is well-suited to a cashless lifestyle is reverse budgeting. This involves allocating your monthly income towards different functions or financial goals once you get your salary.
25-year-old marketing executive Jolene Ng swears by this budgeting method. “I always start by asking myself: what’s the amount of money I want to have in my savings by the end of the month? As much as possible, I will put that amount into my savings account when my pay comes in. To be honest, once I formed the habit, it’s quite easy to maintain and it just feels automatic now!”
2. Stay On Track with Technology
Now that you’ve set aside your savings, it’s time to look at how you use the money allocated for spending.
In a cashless society, we no longer need to ensure we have enough cold hard cash before committing to a purchase. So how do we keep ourselves in check? Do it the smart way by letting your mobile phone do the heavy lifting! There are several personal finance apps on the market that are user-friendly and widely available.
Ryan Thomas, a 24-year-old financial advisor, admits having a lack of discipline when it comes to spending. “I’m a huge foodie, so I tend to overspend on food. I used to manually take note of how much I spend by typing it out in the Notes app on my phone, but I did it very sporadically because it was quite troublesome”
Since then, Ryan has downloaded a personal financial app which now monitors his expenditure regularly. “It’s about making sure you cultivate the habit of updating it in the app. They’ve made it super simple for you to use, but at the end of the day, you need to be the one who takes initiative to use it for your own good.”
Another great use of technology is to stay informed of your CPF savings. The
CPF Starter app gives you money management tips, growth projections of your CPF money to give you an idea of how much to save for your future, and even shows you how you fare against your peers in terms of building up your CPF savings.
You can also try joining relevant Facebook Groups — members exchange tips on investment and money management, keeping each other updated on the latest discounts and cost-cutting promotions. It’s a great way to be part of a like-minded community that values good financial management too.
3. Save The Smart Way
Saving smart is more than just saving huge sums of money, it’s knowing where to put the money.
Currently, 20% of your salary goes to your monthly CPF contributions. This sum is distributed to your Ordinary Account (OA), Special Account (SA) and Medisave Account (MA). As you grow older, the allocations shift to suit your needs at different life stages. You can find out more
While this is helpful in building up a rainy day fund, not many people realise the importance of saving more money in their SA. The more you have in your SA, the more you can earn from compound interest. This is how it works:
Praveen has $10,000 each in a fixed deposit, his Ordinary Account (OA), and his Special Account (SA).
At an average interest rate of 1%, the $10,000 in Praveen’s fixed deposit account would have grown to $13,478 when he turns 55. One the other hand, the same amount in his OA would have grown to $20,933 — that’s nearly twice the final amount in the fixed deposit. The largest difference can be seen in the eventual amount in his SA, which at $51,678 is nearly 4 times of his fixed deposit savings at 55.
The attractive interest rates of up to 3.5% in your OA and up to 5% in your SA (inclusive of the extra 1% interest paid on the first $60,000 of your combined balances) can go a long way in growing your savings, especially when they are compounded over the years.
Saving money regularly in your SA is much easier than you think. Simply make the cashless way of life work to your benefit by automating your top-ups with GIRO. You can easily arrange for yearly or monthly GIRO payments
Singapore’s evolution into a cashless society appears to be an inevitable reality. It is just a matter of time but the need for good money management forever remains a constant.
In a cashless society where convenience is king, automation and technology is your best friend. So learn to harness their power and make it work harder for you. The key is to keep your processes as simple and seamless as possible. That way, practicing good money management in a cashless Singapore becomes effortless and easy!