The month of love: season of romantic dates and gestures of love and appreciation towards others. Well, it is also equally important to be reminded to love and appreciate yourself — and we are here to remind you of it.
We are familiar with self-care practices such as eating well, indulging in healthy activities for the mind and body. However, today, let's talk about a self-care element that has been often overlooked — that is maintaining the practice of getting and feeling more in control of your finances.
We feel you. Deciding to prioritise yourself and having a “me and financial wellness come first” mindset can be tough and so is committing to it. It is perfectly alright to take baby steps to get there!
Without further ado, here are some tips that will kick-start your financial self-care journey.
1. Repeat this: “I am setting myself up for the best possible financial future”
Whether or not you believe in manifestation, verbalising reminders to yourself cultivates mindfulness — the state of being aware of the purpose and meaning of your actions.
We truly believe that financial self-care is one of the key foundations to fulfilling your other self-care practices. To get yourself started on the right foot, set the right intention and everything will tend to fall into place!
2. Financial success starts with reducing your expenses
Once you’re off on the right foot, it’s time to take a step and do a cleanse. We agree with our friends at Stashaway that the first step to financial success is to reduce your debt. No healthy savings plan is accompanied with a huge accumulation of expenses — especially high-interest expenses such as over-the-budget food and dining spending on your credit card.
“If I’m spending less, what if I don’t reach my credit card’s minimum spending?”
Here’s a smart tip for you to hit your minimum spend without having to introduce extra expenditures. Are you currently paying existing expenses such as rent, insurance, income tax, mortgage loan? Shift those payments onto your credit card. Platforms such as CardUp enable you to pay these large payments via your existing credit card and earn card rewards. It incurs a small transaction fee, however, depending on whether you’re accumulating miles, cashback, or points, the reward can easily outweigh the small transaction fee incurred.
“Wealth is an accumulation of good decisions, and not only financial ones”
3. Plan, set budgets and track your finances
How do I spend more wisely? Start by creating a budget. Creating a budget and sticking to it helps to minimise unnecessary bills — yes it could mean having to spend less on eating out or going on staycations, but that would easily save you thousands of dollars each year.
Budgeting and tracking your finances are not as troublesome as you think. There are now smart apps that make budgeting a lot easier. Here are some of our favourite picks from Singsaver’s list of budgeting apps!
Spendee is a neat budgeting app that tracks all your incoming and outgoing transactions directly from your bank account. It then presents easily digestible charts of your finances based on real-time insights.
Cost: Free for basic features, $35.98 per year for its premium plan
Best for: Customisations, overview of spending habits
Wally is one of the most popular finance apps. It is a little app with multiple useful features. It breaks down all the complexities of budgeting into easy-to-digest sections, and even allows you to set reminders to pay bills or create lists for shopping. It also stands out for its joint account feature, where you can start groups to manage shared finances with your family and/or friends.
Cost: Free for its basic features. S$33.94 and up for it’s tiered memberships.
This is an all-in-one app that allows you to manage all your finances — from savings, to insurance, debt and investments. With over 40 partnerships with banks and financial institutions, you can sync and integrate your accounts and credit cards in the app hassle-free, and manage all your bank transactions.
What’s cool is that it also gives you a full breakdown of your insurance policies and provides personalised assessment of your insurance needs.
While saving habits are important, as much as possible, it should still bring joy and feelings of self-fulfilment. Self-care may not necessarily be expensive. It can come from the small things in life such as allowing yourself to buy your favourite drink once a week, or prioritising 15 minutes of self-meditation each day. There is also no harm to treat yourself to a big ticket item or activity once in a while, as long as you have a plan on hand.
Are you thinking of using your credit card to enjoy more savings?