Author: ValueChampion

Where Can You Afford to Purchase an HDB Flat in Singapore?

Housing prices vary dramatically between neighborhoods in Singapore. For this reason, affordability varies for individuals and families across the island. Have you ever wondered how much you would have to earn to live comfortably in various neighborhoods in the country? In this article we analyse how much you would have to earn in order to afford a typical 4-room HDB flat in each of Singapore’s neighborhoods. What Kind of Salary Do You Need to Purchase a Home in Each Neighborhood? In order to answer the question of how much one would need to afford a home in each neighborhood...

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Is HDB Lease Buyback Really Worth Pursuing?

As announced by Prime Minister Lee’s National Day Rally speech, the HDB Lease Buyback Scheme will be extended to all HDB flats. While it has generated a lot of hype since it gives Singaporean homeowners more flexibility around what they can do with their biggest asset, there is still a lot of discussion on whether one should participate in the scheme. Therefore, we wanted to crunch the numbers to actually assess whether consumers should be participating in the scheme to sell a portion of their HDB leases. And indeed, our analysis below shows that participating in the HDB Lease...

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How Much Could You Actually Save by Not Owning a Car?

Owning a car in Singapore is very expensive. For example, most sedans cost about 4 to 5 times more in Singapore than in the United States or Korea. Due to these high costs Singaporeans have reduced their reliance on driving and it has even become “fashionable” to not own a car. Instead, individuals can take advantage of the availability of ride-sharing, public transportation and other types of transportation such as bicycles and scooters. With that said, how much could you actually save by avoiding driving completely? How Much Does it Cost to Own a Car in Singapore? We estimate...

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Strengthening SMEs & Singapore: SME Interview Series with Funding Societies

Funding Societies is a remarkable, Singapore-based startup that uses its crowdfunding platform to raise loans for small businesses. So far, the company has generated over 12,000 loans amounting to more than S$243 million for SMEs in Singapore. This platform has been very successful in generating contributions from individual investors, which is due in part to its extremely low default rate of about 1%. We reached out to Funding Societies to learn more about their journey from the inception of their idea at Harvard Business School to becoming one of the largest crowdfunding platforms in Singapore. Additionally, we think that...

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How to Go on a Round the World Trip Without Going Broke

As we sit, cooped up in our cubicles and offices, our minds may start to wander about what it would be like to pack our things and spend the next few months exploring the world. Unfortunately, for most of us, it is a mere pipe dream as we are kept firmly tied down to reality with bills, familial obligations, work deadlines and the trip’s sheer potential cost. However, if you’ve got the time but not the money, there are still things you can do to be able to afford a long-term trip. Below, we discuss some of these ways,...

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4 Ways to Get the Most from Your SG Bonus

Starting today, 2.8 million Singaporeans will learn how much they will receive from their SG Bonus benefit, either via mail or online using their SingPass. These bonuses are available to Singaporean citizens that are at least 21 years old and range from S$100 to S$300 based on recipients’ 2017 annual income. Some recipients may already know exactly how they want to use this money; however, others will have an interesting chance to put these funds to good use. In this article, we outline some great ways you can use your SG Bonus. Pay Down Your Credit Card Debt For...

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Planning Your Year-End Holiday? These Are the Cheapest Days to Fly

The end of 2018 is approaching quickly. With only 3 months left in the year, Singaporeans also only have 2 more major holidays left. If you’re planning to travel during the holidays but haven’t made your booking syet, you need to start locking down your travel plans soon. For example, a new survey from CheapAir.com reported that the ideal buying time for flights is 70 days in advance of the date of travel. ValueChampion’s own research also showed that airfares are generally 20% to 60% cheaper 3-6 months before the departure date compared to last minute bookings. While these...

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ValueChampion Student Interview Series: Jacob Jarabejo, Yale-NUS Class of 2021

Education is a crucial factor in influencing a person’s resources and experiences. Here at ValueChampion, we are interested in sharing the stories of the future generation of Singapore’s professionals. To this end, we have been preparing a series of Q&A interviews featuring top students at different universities in Singapore. Jacob Jarabejo, a sophomore at Yale-NUS, has a keen interest in finance. He is specifically interested in the asset and management and investment banking sectors. Outside of class, he has held important student positions in the Yale-NUS student investment group student organisation and the finance committee in the Yale-NUS student...

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How Behavioural Economics Can Help You Pay Off Debt

Outstanding loan balances for Singaporean households have increased steadily over the past 20 years, most recently reaching almost 70% of household assets. This means that Singapore’s residents are more saddled with home, education, car and other loan debt than ever before. How can individuals effectively manage their current debt and be savvy about taking on new debt? We looked to research by behavioural economists to provide strategies for borrowers seeking to get their personal debt under control. Peer Pressure Pressure from your friends and colleagues can be very influential. For example, it can be easy to be convinced into...

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How Behavioral Economics Can Help You Pay Off Debt

Outstanding loan balances for Singaporean households have increased steadily over the past 20 years, most recently reaching almost 70% of household assets. This means that Singapore’s residents are more saddled with home, education, car and other loan debt than ever before. How can individuals effectively manage their current debt and be savvy about taking on new debt? We looked to research by behavioral economists to provide strategies for borrowers seeking to get their personal debt under control. Peer Pressure Pressure from your friends and colleagues can be very influential. For example, it can be easy to be convinced into...

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5 Financially Responsible Ways to Increase Life Satisfaction for the Elderly

There’s nothing more heartbreaking than watching a loved one succumb to a life of loneliness, poor physical health and depression. Unfortunately,an alarming number of Singapore’s elderly population has been facing this type of situation. With geriatric suicides and depression at an all time high among elderly citizens in Singapore, it hardly matters that healthcare advancements have led to longer lifespans. Afterall, who wants to live a long life plagued by chronic physical pain and quickly declining mental faculties? Furthermore, with Singapore’s elderly population facing financial burdens as they leave the workforce, it may seem like options to improve their...

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3 Things You Need to Know to be a Great Gifter (While Saving Money)

People go through so many occasions for giving and receiving gifts each year. From birthdays, anniversaries to holidays, it seems there is at least one occasion every other month that require us to go shopping for presents. However, despite this frequency, many people still view gifting as one of those deceivingly difficult tasks. In fact, gifting can sometimes become increasingly more difficult the more we do it as we run out of ideas. Even the way people think about buying presents varies: some prefer to give big and expensive gifts, while others believe giving small but thoughtful gifts. To...

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5 Things You Can Do to Get Top Dollar for Your Used Car

From the exorbitant prices to the costly insurance and maintenance costs, it’s no secret that cars in Singapore are extremely expensive to own. That’s why most prospective car buyers take a long time to research diligently, ask for advice and take precautions to make sure they’re getting a car that will last them for at least the duration of their COE. However, those who realised they may have bought the wrong car for their needs or have changed their mind about owning a car may end up with thousands of dollars in losses, even when putting their car up...

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Is It a Good Time to Purchase Your First Home in Singapore?

Following measures introduced by the government intended to reign in the housing market, Singapore’s housing prices have declined in recent months. For example, the HDB Resale Price index is 2 points lower than it was a year ago, while the prices private non-landed homes declined for the first time in 2018 in August. These might be encouraging figures for individuals that are excited to soon purchase their first home, but what other factors should these individuals take into account before preparing to buy a home? Prices Have Actually Increased in Certain Neighborhoods First, while home prices have declined on...

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4 Ways to Make Your Luxury Trip Worth Its Cost

Luxury travel is often thought of as an opportunity for a no-expense spared ultimate experience. However, Singaporean luxury travellers often prefer to score a great deal rather than spend frivolously for the sake of luxury. With high-end resorts and vacation packages costing upwards of tens of thousands of dollars, we wanted to explore ways luxury travellers can get their money’s worth and make the most out of their vacations. Use a Travel Agent for Customised Holidays Whether you use an online booking agent or go to one in person, travel agents can offer several things that can make your...

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