Author: Singapore's Budget Babe

10 Mistakes That Financially Savvy People Will Never Make

1. Live paycheck to paycheck. A common case for Singaporeans; I know of many folks who barely have any savings because their monthly expenses are almost equivalent to their earnings (or even more, which then leads them to credit card debts). You know you’re guilty of this when you find that you’re regularly running out of money before your next payday. It gets worse when you have to borrow money from family and friends, take out cash advances or charge to your credit card until you get your next salary cheque. You may think it is still too early...

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How We Can Make the Government Pay More for Our CPF

The issue of CPF was a popular one during elections season raised by many of the opposition parties, especially given how thorny the issue is. Indeed, the CPF system is a painful one. As a fresh graduate earning on $2,500 not too long ago, it was depressing to only get slightly more than $1,800 each month for living expenses. (If you’re thinking that should be $2,000 instead, you’re right – I actually suspect now that the accounts were incorrect, but back then I wasn’t financially savvy enough to flag out my employer for it. Oh well.) So what were the...

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You’re Never Too Young to Seek Financial Knowledge

Last week, a friend of mine alerted me to a feature published by POSB in Today newspaper – You’re never too young to seek financial advice. As I read it, the first thing I thought was, the focus ought to be on you’re never too young to seek financial knowledge! Thus the idea for this article was born. POSB’s article talks about a 24-year-old woman who initially sets aside 20% of her salary with an aim of accumulating $75,000 that will allow her to retire “comfortably”. Most of us don’t need to see a financial advisor or a relationship manager...

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Man Chalks Up $85,000 in Hospital Bills, Left Helpless After AIA Rejected Claims

When I last wrote about getting life vs. term insurance, and firing my insurance agent now that MAS has made it possible for me to buy direct, it caused quite a stir as the articles were being shared furiously to spread the word that Budget Babe doesn’t trust most financial advisors. Not surprisingly, I got quite a few hate mail from insurance agents after, but that’s not going to stop me from writing on this topic because I think it’s important that all Singaporeans start to learn how to be smart (and not swayed) when it comes to buying their insurance....

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Aspial 5.25% Bonds! Should You Buy?

Ever since Aspial Corporation Limited launched their 5.25% retail bonds (i.e. you get 5.25% returns on your money) a few days ago, I’ve received a number of messages from readers and friends asking if they should sign up for these bonds. Before we delve into the research, we must first understand what bonds are for and how they work. Bonds are a type of investment that offer a fixed interest rate and guaranteed capital return upon their maturity. They’re a crowd favourite with many investors given their risk-free nature and interest rates that are higher than keeping your money...

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What I Love Best About Singapore

Happy 50th birthday Singapore! Photo credits to my amazing friend Tien Leng A language that no one else understands You can spot a Singaporean when overseas based on the way they speak. And our local colloquials are so unique that only the locals get the jokes on The Noose. I love it! Our unofficial national language, Singlish, is so amazing that even BBC took notice. Peace and security For someone like me who hates jogging in the day because it is so darn hot, being able to go out jogging even at midnight is a huge bonus for me. And unlike the U.S.,...

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The Breadtalk Crisis – A Case Study of Poor PR

  Breadtalk. Once touted as a local pride and the darling brand of Singapore, the company has come under fire recently over allegations of deception over their “freshly prepared” soya bean. I’m not a huge fan, but when companies can’t get their PR right, it tells me a lot about their management, and also signals to me why I shouldn’t buy their stock.  Many people have also previously asked me what I think about the stock. My usual response is that while there’s no doubt Breadtalk is a growing company, I’m not convinced whether it truly has a good...

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Standard Chartered Raising Their Fees

Standard Chartered offers basic bank accounts for low-income Singaporeans, but have just announced that they will be imposing a $2 monthly account service charge regardless of your bank balance. Earlier this morning, I was alerted to the changes in Standard Chartered’s banking fees by Kenji. Surprisingly, I haven’t heard much about this from the mainstream media, so I decided I just had to share this with all of you readers, lest any of you get affected as well. Current SC account holders should have already gotten a letter about these fee changes, so I hope you read them. If...

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Should I Buy Life Insurance? (Answer: No)

If you can jump over this gap, then congratulations! Perhaps you’ll receive a huge payout sum from your life insurance policy. However, in real life, this hardly ever happens. Any agent who tries to sell me life insurance will, very quickly, find that I don’t give them my sale. Yes, you read that right. Budget Babe is strongly against buying life insurance. I expect to get a lot of hate mail from insurance agents after this post, but if no one speaks up for the consumers, then who will? So here goes! 1. I don’t need it. Life insurance...

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Being An Employee Will Never Make You Rich

Some of you might have seen the article “Highly trained, middle-aged and out of work” yesterday. A friend sent me the link while I was backstage preparing for my performance, so I only managed to read it today. What really stood out for me was the fact that a former GM (who earned $15,000 a month) and a former Head of Asia Sales (earning over $25,000 monthly) were unable to find jobs that would pay them the same which they used to draw at the peak of their careers. Presuming you earn $25,000 a month, you would have $1 million...

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Ditching the Car Can Make You A Multi-Millionaire

Is it worth it to buy a car in Singapore? This post was inspired by one of my readers, who commented that he regretted buying his vehicle. I’ve never had any desire to own my own car, but Terence prompted me to investigate the hidden costs of owning a car in Singapore, which I think many people do not really consider when they say they want to buy a car. Take my boyfriend for instance. He’s really wants to buy a car, and keeps telling me that he can get a used model for just over $20,000. But I...

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How to Save More Than $100,000 Before 30 (Without Working in Finance)

I remember when I was a kid, there was a man in front of me in the POSB ATM queue who forgot to take his receipt before he left. Before I threw it away, I couldn’t help but sneak a glimpse at the receipt, and I remember being awed by the account balance I saw – over $180,000! For those of us who are a bit more financially-savvy, it is a common goal to aim for $100,000 in savings before we are 30 years old. Of course, as Budget Babe, I hope I can reach this goal sooner by...

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If You’re Poor, It’s Your Own Fault!

Recently I had an argument with a good friend about how she hardly listens or give credit to my suggestions, until someone else (whom she trusts more, and who is a self-made millionaire) says the exact same thing.  My personal mantra is to always give every idea a chance. Because if you do what my friend does, by listening to the “experts”: Credits here. Coincidentally, this is also what I teach my kids during our GP tuition sessions. Unfortunately not enough people understand the sheer importance of this concept (fallacies in general), and even fewer people understand how to apply...

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The State of Taxis in Singapore

I remember a time when taking cabs used to be a reliable option for transport, especially if you were running late. The streets had a good amount of cabs and one would seldom be waiting for more than 10 minutes before you get to flag down a cab. Today? On more than one occasions in the past year, the state of taxis have been declining. I can’t say I’m not disappointed. Investors would surely know about how ComfortDelGro has been seeing a surge in revenue past the $4 billion mark recently, even reporting record profits earlier in February. Yet,...

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I Need Your Help for the Blog Awards!

  Hey guys, Work has been a bit crazy recently so I haven’t had much time to finish up my next post (on a huge secret for savings that apparently not many Singaporeans know about yet), sorry about that!  On a sidenote though, I just found out today that my blog has made it to the finals of the Singapore Blog Awards 2015 for “Best New Blog” and “Best Individual Blog”. Competition is pretty stiff so I have no expectations about winning, but there’s a section where you can help!   Part of the reason that keeps me writing...

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