Here’s How You Can Stretch Your Paycheck

Your hard-earned money deserves to be treasured well. At the very least, you are entitled to get the most out of it if you know how to save and control your impulses. With all the temptations surrounding you lately, like 20% off on selected products and seasonal discounts, it is actually very hard to limit your spending only to the necessary.

However, just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible. With some tips and frugal lifestyle changes, you can actually become smarter about your expenditures. There are strategies to help you become thrifty – and this article will help you with your penny-pinching endeavor!

Research and compare
For when you’re leaning towards making a potential purchase, do your own little research and read buyer feedback first. You’d want to make sure every single penny counts in your purchase. Go to shopping sites online to find the best deal and have a general idea of how the product generally is priced at. This can save you a couple dollars!

Use coupons
Ever grown annoyed with random people handing you coupons while out in the streets? Well how about the e-coupons which has been flooding your emails? It is time to put these coupons to a use and avail them if necessary. These coupons can actually help you save! So the next time you think of discarding them straight to the trash can, you might as well give it a second thought.

Shop seasonally
Get acquainted with general sale seasons. Different leading malls and stores in Singapore usually cut down on prices at the end of the year to make room for new products. There are also sales which happen in between months. Keep an eye out for major clearance sales! You might end up scoring a worthwhile product for such a lesser price.

Limit your credit
Having a credit card means signing yourself up for the temptation of splurge shopping. While that may seem appealing, the costs can accumulate overtime and drain your paycheck in the long run. Be disciplined in using your credit card. Learn how to live within your means, and only use your card when necessary. This also helps you become wise with your finances.

Eat at home
Learn how to cook and prepare meals for your own. Restaurant bills can cut a big chunk out of your paycheck, especially if you’ve adapted the habit of eating out regularly. Learning how to cook helps you develop one of the greatest life skill you must learn in adulthood (that is cooking) and you can also save a good few dollars in so doing!

The Golden Rule of Investment

If given the opportunity here in Singapore, investment sounds good but it can be terrifying once we get to know the stakes even more. According to Victor Chng and Rusmin Ang, the founders of a finance blog called The Fifth Person, investing is our way to beat inflation.

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If we only save, our money will only be consumed by inflation but if we invest it, our wealth will grow because inflation allows us to generate more income. The inflation here in Singapore is 3-4% every year. If we consider our deposit accounts, we can only expect 1% interest per annum. This picture tells a lot – our money is just sitting in the bank.

How do we handle inflation? The answer is through investing. According to investors, there is only one golden rule of investment – always understand the things we are buying. This simple rule can make a different at the end of the day.

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We should not invest in something that we do not entirely understand. If we do not understand it because it is too complicated for us to handle, then we should not consider investing in it. If we really want to invest, there are different resources that we can consider. For instance, we can hit the books and even online sources before picking a stock.

If we study, we will know in time what makes businesses successful thereby knowing which stocks to follow and investment in. However, before plunging to invest, it is crucial that we save first. We have to make sure that we have sufficient money for investing and emergency fund.

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The Dangers of Bankruptcy  

We heard about the mishap of 50 Cent recently about him filing bankruptcy. As much as possible, we want to avoid this kind of financial turmoil because we are minutes away from getting kicked from our house and being broke. We do not want to live with nothing and start from scratch again. Filing a bankruptcy will break us and if we are not that strong to get back up again, who knows where we are heading.

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Bankruptcy also happens here in Singapore. Bankruptcy happens when a person owes more money that he/she can pay. To understand it better, bankruptcy is regarded as “reset” button. The reset button will allow us to start from scratch. Bringing with us nothing but lessons, we can still get back up again and at least recover but only a few ever get rich again.

We file for bankruptcy when we owe at least $10,000 and we have no way of repaying it. Once this happens, consequences will roll in. We will not like the consequences and it can quite taint our name. Knowing this, it is important that we should avoid bankruptcy. So, how can we avoid such misfortune? Here are the reasons:

  • Difficulties in looking for jobs: Yes, bankruptcy is not the end of the world but somehow it is the end of our career. When we file bankruptcy, many companies will have doubts and it will be harder to look for jobs.

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The worst thing that could happen is our company terminating our services because of the misfortune. Our bankruptcy reflects how we manage our finances and who would trust us with theirs? If we are given a second chance, we have to make it work and prove that we will not be in an unfortunate position again.

  • Restrictions in travelling: If we filed bankruptcy, we are allowed to travel within the country but not outside. Travelling overseas is restricted. Creditors will interpret going overseas as a means of escape. Creditors wouldn’t want that.
  • Restrictions in obtaining credit: When bankruptcy was out of the picture, our credit rating is as high as it can go. Bankruptcy will only give us heartache because we cannot obtain credit and if we can, it will not be greater than $500.
  • Restrictions in managing business: Bankruptcy is not something that we can just ignore. Even if we already paid our debts, we are restricted to manage any business let alone act as a director of a company here. We will forever bear the taint of bankruptcy.