Author: Singapore's Budget Babe

Buying A New Property? Here’s An Attractive Home Loan You’ve Not Heard Of

What’s the biggest big-ticket item you’ve bought? For most of us, that will probably be our house, which we generally don’t have the ability to pay upfront anyway. Therefore, getting a good home loan is essential. I’ve recently been on the lookout for affordable home loans where my regular repayments will ideally be as low as possible. Most Singaporeans opt for a floating rate package, typically pegged to the SIBOR, which have generally offered better value than the fixed rate packages. However, an ex-colleague just told me about a new home loan promotion by DBS called the May Day...

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The Road To Financial Independence

The road to financial independence isn’t easy, but it isn’t difficult either. It has been close to 1.5 years since I started writing about finance and lifestyle in Singapore as Budget Babe. In all this time, much ink has been spilled and much breath has been spent talking about the topic, and the elusive goal of how a young adult can start on the right foot towards achieving financial independence. As such, I’ve decided to consolidate all the posts written so far, to provide a cohesive summary. You can click on the posts linked to read for more details...

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Understanding Home Loans in Singapore

I was chatting with a friend today about how I’m considering investing in REITs, and he reminded me about how the rising interest rates environment are going to impact REITs negatively, since they mostly have high gearing on their properties. Then I realized, oh dear! REITs won’t be the only ones affected when the Fed raises interest rates, because that affects our home loans too! How Your Home Loan Is Affected by the SIBOR   Source here Most home loans are pegged to the Singapore Interbank Offered Rate (SIBOR), which is the rate by which our banks lend to...

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Up to 7GB + 100 minutes + FREE Whatsapp data + caller ID + roaming for $28/month on Circles.Life!

Singapore’s newest telco, Circles.Life, seemed to have just fallen from the sky out of nowhere, and I got the chance to attend their event yesterday. Among their attractive offerings, here’s the best part: They’re offering UNLIMITED DATA on Whatsapp, for free! This includes all messages, photos, videos, voice-recordings sent and voice calls made through Whatsapp. No kidding. I had to verify the offer myself with the folks behind Circles.Life because I could hardly believe it myself. If you ask me, this feature is truly a game-changer. Not only has Circles.Life built innovative data-centric plans that gives you the power of...

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Cut Your Expenses by 20% Within A Month

I found these awesome savings infographics and decided to add on with some of my own! Ever since I graduated from being a student to becoming a full-fledged working adult, it seems as though my monthly expenses has gone up exponentially. I still remember my university days when $500 was more than enough for me to survive on, but today, it seems like the busier I get with work (i.e. earning money), the more I inevitably end up spending as well. A lot of these costs are a result of paying for convenience, such as taking taxis in order...

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Retirement Saving Plans in Singapore – A Good Deal Or No?

If you aren’t already confused about all the different insurance plans available, here’s a new type of plan to befuddle you further: retirement savings plans. AXA, Manulife and Tokio Marine are just some of the insurers who have launched new plans to cater to the growing demand for retirement products in Singapore. The plans generally promise regular payouts over 10 to 30 years to provide you with income that can supplement your retirement expenses. The main difference between the plans which you probably need to consider lie in their type of payout (fixed, variable or increasing) and the duration...

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Millennials Want Financial Security But Don’t Know How To Get There?

Sometimes, it really amazes me at how so many people talk so much about wanting to get rich / become financially-independent, but yet are not willing to do the work required to get there. Credits: Human Resources Online Didn’t their parents teach them that you can’t have your cake and eat it too? The spotlight for the past few weeks have been on expats grousing that Singapore is one of the most expensive cities for expats to live in. One follow-up article by AsiaOne featured an American family who spends a whopping $10,650 a month, while Mothership followed a 20-something-year-old...

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How China Will Affect Singapore’s Stock Market

Screengrab from The Financial Times documentary Like many investors in Singapore, I pay attention and monitor the news surrounding the macro-economic sentiment that might affect the performance of our stock markets, including the Fed’s decision on interest rates, commodity prices (especially oil) and unemployment rates. But of all these, the one that has piqued my interest since 2015 is the state of China i.e. the world’s second-largest economy, which some say may trigger the next global recession. This started with Black Monday on 24th August 2015, which wiped billions off global stock markets. The event was initiated by China, where its...

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The Easiest Way To Build Wealth In Your 20s

You probably already know that your 20s are going to be the best years of your life. Here’s another nugget of golden advice I hope someone has already told you about your 20s : it is also the best years of your life to start building wealth. No, this post is not about the book, although its cover does provide an apt summary of what I’m about to say. Before you get all happy and go about blowing off your first paycheck (or bonus), think about the fact that your 20s is the period of your life when you...

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Telco Price War: The Best Provider For Each Budget?

Everyone knows by now that MyRepublic has plans to become Singapore’s fourth telco and snatch a slice of the market share away from SingTel, StarHub and M1. Even their website (https://my4thtelco.sg) boldly claims this vision. Shortly after it announced that it would give customers unlimited data for just $60 a month, or 2 GB for $6, the other three telcos launched into a price war within hours. The main aim is clearly to prevent those who are in the unique position of switching over to MyRepublic, as the new data offers are mostly limited to new customers or those...

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Should Investors Rejoice Over OSIM’s Takeover Offer of $1.32 Per Share?

Many of us were keeping an eye on OSIM when it was announced that there would be a trading halt to OSIM shares on the stock market since last Wednesday. Today, CEO Ron Sim announced a takeover offer in a bid to privatize the company. For investors who own OSIM shares, could this be good or bad news? Well, that depends on when you bought OSIM. For many investors, OSIM was a darling stock, especially during its spectacular rise between 2012 – 2014 which came after 22 consecutive quarters of record profits. The brand, familiar to almost everyone on...

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Here’s another reason to cancel your ILP

If you need another reason to cancel your investment-linked policy (ILP) which you may have bought a few years ago, consider this: a lot of financially-savvy folks are now cancelling theirs. I bought my first insurance policy, an ILP, at the advice of my then-financial agent. 2 years later, I cancelled it once I realized how I had been misled to think favourably of a policy that clearly wasn’t that beneficial to me. The biggest flaw I didn’t spot then was the distribution fees, which entitled the fund managers and my insurance agent to be paid rather handsomely for...

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3 Golden Rules In Managing Your Money

Managing one’s finances isn’t always easy, but it needn’t be that difficult either. In fact, in this Internet age of limitless resources and financial blogs, we already have it easier than our forefathers did. Yet, whereas the older generation leaned towards frugality and savings, our generation seems to be splurging away our wealth instead. But if you’re on this side of the world with me, where we’re all working hard in hopes that we can achieve financial stability and freedom soon, here’s an easy formula to follow (especially for the beginners): The 3 “I”s : Income, Insurance, Invest. Rule...

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Your Chances of Winning The TOTO in Singapore

With the jackpot for this Friday’s TOTO Hong Bao draw at $13.9 million, even those who typically never gamble at the Singapore Pools have now lined up in queues just to try their luck. Including yours truly (haha!). While I did it purely for fun, this prompted me to look into the statistical odds of winning the TOTO. Disclaimer: Before you jump to buy a TOTO ticket for the Hong Bao draw, take note that more people buying also means you’ll be splitting the prize pot with more people for the same number, given the same probability. In other...

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5 Important Questions To Ask Your Partner Before Your Next Big Step

With Valentine’s Day approaching, many of us will be celebrating another milestone in our relationships – especially for those of us who are in it for the long term. Frankly speaking, the thought of committing to one person for the rest of our life does seem a little intimidating, but there are some steps we can take to make the road ahead more smooth-sailing. At the core of your discussions for a future together, experts recommend that financial considerations should be at the heart of everything you do. If you’ve not discussed these things with your partner yet, here...

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