Last year has certainly passed us by in the blink of an eye. How has your financial year been this year? With news of increasingly negative economic outlook for the year ahead, retrenchment from MNCs going on and depressing business sentiment, it does look like we need to brace ourselves for a rainy day.
During times like this, having a good amount of savings is important to tide us through whatever unexpected financial calamities that can befall us. If you haven’t been saving up last year, it’s a good time to review your finances and make it a point to save up in the coming year. So here’s our advice on using multiple ways to help you reach that $10,000 savings goal in 2017.
- Save Up The Bonus
Many companies are either cutting back on their bonuses or skipping it altogether. But if you belong to one of the lucky few, you might want to consider saving it up this year instead of splurging on something. Saving your bonus is one of the best ways to save a lump-sum. If your bonus sum is in the 5-figure category, put it in a timed deposit so that you can receive a higher rate of interest.
Amount saved – $5,000- $10,000.
Interest savings from timed deposit – around 0.8% or $80 per year.
- Work on your Monthly Budget
Have you already got a monthly budget? If not, it’s never too late to start. If you put in the plan and follow it, you’d be surprised how easy saving money and cutting out unwanted expenditures can be. Some money saving tips for daily savings include the following:
* Cutting out gourmet drinks on a daily basis (e.g. Starbucks coffee, bubble tea): up to $50 savings per month
* Eat in more often, pack your lunches at least once a week and eat at the hawker centre: up to $80 savings per month
* Cut down on having alcoholic drinks outside; switch to more house parties: up to $100 savings per month
* Take the bus and MRT as much as you can
These steps may look small but you will be surprised that altogether, they can save you at least $100 to $200 per month!
Amount saved – $1,000- $2,000 per year
- Automate Your Savings
Another way to ensure you do not overspend is to pay yourself first. This means that you keep two accounts – one where your salary is credited and use for your daily spending, and another where you purely save and make no withdrawals. Using this method and automating your savings means it keeps the money out of your sight, so you don’t think about using it at all. Make it a point to save at least 10% and more if you can and you will find that the $10,000 goal is not so hard after all!
Just saving $300 a month will amount to $3,600 at the end of the year!
You can also use special banking products to help you receive more interest on your monthly savings. For instance, the OCBC 360 account lets you earn bonus interest when you fulfil some of their qualifying conditions.
The account gives you a base interest rate of 0.05%, but gives you an additional 1.2% if you credit a monthly salary of at least $2,000 a month, an extra 0.5% if you use it to pay at least 3 bills and another 0.5% if you spend at least $500 on your OCBC credit card. Let’s say you put your bonus amount plus some savings you have right now (assuming the amount to be around $25,000), you get to actually earn $562.50 at the end of the year!
What’s more, if you are using the OCBC 365 card, you also qualify for rebates with the card as well. The card is a good all-round cashback card that gives you rebates of dining, online shopping, petrol spend, grocery and recurring telco bills. With a minimum spend of $500 per month, you will be able to earn at least $20 to $30 of rebates per month easily, up to a maximum of $80 per month.
- Earning Extra Income
If the above 3-steps do not get you your $10,000 goals, look at some other ways to increase your income. Perhaps you can look to sell away your old items on Carousell, rent out a spare room in your apartment or drive with Uber in your spare time?
With these steps, you should be able to reach that savings goal for the year, but remember to curb your spending as well! In any case, having savings is all part of a good financial plan, so if you haven’t been saving consistently, it is a take a good look at your finances and start today!