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West-siders, WE HEARD YOU, you guys are not forgotten! If you have additional tips for our Community here, feel free to share with us your kind of weekend dates!

If you have not been to the West, here are a few reasons to bring your other half (or future partners) to have your weekend dates!

ActivityPlaceCostNearest MRT
Star GazingScience Centre ObservatoryFreeJurong East
BaseballHomerun Baseball$4 Per GameJurong East
BowlingThe Chevrons$5.50 Per GameJurong East
Ice SkatingThe Rink (JCube)$9 Per HourJurong East
PrawningATC Fishing Village$12 Per HourBoon Lay
SingingTeo Heng KTV Karaoke Studio$14 Per HourJurong East
JumpingAMPED Trampoline Park$18 Per HourChinese Garden
Bird WatchingJurong Bird Park$30 Per EntryBoon Lay

Note: This list is not exhaustive and only includes some of the most common activities in West Singapore.

Weekend Dates #1: Star-Gazing

“Eh dear, do you know you can’t spell universe without u n i?”

Stargazing is not common in Singapore as a weekend date but it is in fact very economical. Economical because it is FREE unless you have to take a cab home to Changi (the other end of Singapore) after.

WhereObservatory (Omni-Theatre building), Science Centre Singapore, 15 Science Centre Road, Singapore 609081

Nearest MRT Station: Jurong East MRT Station
WebsiteScience Centre Singapore
Opening HoursEvery Friday night from 7.45 pm to 10.00 pm, except on public holidays.
Weekend Dates #2: Baseball

“Eh dear, do you know which animal is best at baseball? The Bat!”

Want to fulfil your K-drama dream? This is the place you want to bring your date to! While wishing Gong Yoo would suddenly appear instead.

Cost$4 Per Game
Where200 Pandan Gardens, #01-01, Singapore 609336

Nearest MRT Station: Jurong East MRT Station
WebsiteHomerun Baseball
Opening HoursMon –Thurs: 1PM to 11PM
Fri: 1PM to 1AM
Sat: 9AM to 3AM
Sun: 9AM to 12 Midnight
Weekend Dates #3: Bowling

“Eh dear, I was going to tell you a really bad bowling pun, but I thought I’d spare you.”

Would not recommend this if you would gutter all the time and embarrass yourself though.

Cost$18 For First 2 Hours
Where2 Jurong East Central 1, #03-11, JCube

Nearest MRT Station: Jurong East MRT Station
WebsiteThe Rink
Opening HoursAs the ice skating rink might be closed off for private practice sessions, it is advisable to check the public skating time slots on their website before going.
Weekend Dates #4: Ice-Skating

“Eh dear, look at the little girl over there, she more zai than you sia!”

The only time where you can pretend to have a bad sense of balance for him/her to hold you close!

Cost$18 For First 2 Hours
Where2 Jurong East Central 1, #03-11, JCube

Nearest MRT Station: Jurong East MRT Station
WebsiteThe Rink (public skating session)
Opening HoursAs the ice skating rink might be closed off for private practice sessions, it is advisable to check the public skating time slots on their website before going.
Weekend Dates #5: Prawning

“Eh dear, do you know if you were a fish, what fish would you be? An Angelfish.”

Do check with your date for their allergies first! You don’t want to be rushing to the doctor’s on the first date!

Cost$36 For 3 Hours
Where241 Jalan Ahmad Ibrahim #01-15/16 The Village @ Jurong Hill Singapore 629143

Nearest MRT Station: Boon Lay MRT Station
WebsiteATC Fishing Village
Opening HoursDaily, 24 Hours
Weekend Dates #6: Singing

“Eh dear, let’s sing a duet together.”

Would not recommend “海阔天空” or “我問天” to serenade to her, try “Fall For You” instead (it’s quite fail-proof, I hope!).

Cost$14 Per Hour
WhatTeo Heng KTV Karaoke Studio @ Jcube
Where2 Jurong East Central 1, #03-14/15/16 Singapore 609731

Nearest MRT Station: Jurong East MRT Station
WebsiteTeo Heng Karaoke
Opening HoursMon – Fri: 1PM to 1AM
PH Eve: 1PM to 2AM
Sat: 12PM to 2AM
Sun / PH: 12PM to 1AM
Weekend Dates #7: Jumping

“Eh dear, you jump, I jump.”

Add some cardio in your mundane love life at trampoline parks, you would exceed your yearly exercise-quota within 30 mins.

Cost$18 Per Hour
Where200 Jurong East Ave 1, Yo:Ha, Level 2 (Sports Hall), Singapore 609789

Nearest MRT Station: Chinese Garden MRT Station
WebsiteAMPED Singapore
Opening HoursMon: 10AM to 3PM (All Ages)
Mon: 3PM to 7PM (12 Years and Younger)
Tues – Fri: 10AM to 10PM (All Ages)
Sat: 9AM to 10PM (All Ages)
Sun: 9AM to 9PM (All Ages)
Weekend Dates #8: Bird-Watching

“Eh dear, do you know what kind of birds are we? Lovebirds.”

Taking it slow with a stroll down Bird Park admiring the elegance of birds watching them fly in the cages when they could fly across borders freely, you then realise – you too could fly across borders freely but you are comfortable living in your own cage.

CostAdmission Tickets for Adults - $30
Admission Tickets for Child (3 – 12 years old) - $20
Where2 Jurong Hill, 628925

Nearest MRT Station: Boon Lay MRT Station
WebsiteWildlife Reserves Singapore
Opening HoursDaily, 8.30am to 6.00pm

Seedly Contributor: Terence Cheong

Terence is an ordinary man who once said “you too” when a movie usher said “enjoy your movie”, and sometimes he lies awake at night thinking about it. Other times, he writes about his life experiences on topics ranging from psychology, productivity to milk tea.

He seeks to find the answers and provide actionable steps to questions such as “How can we develop our passion?” and “How can we get closer to a life well lived?”

While you are still here, do check out our blog for more unbiased content for your personal finance journey. If you have any questions along the way, feel free to ask away while you’re at it. Don’t worry, we are all here to learn!

The post Cheap And Not So Typical Weekend Dates In Singapore (West-Siders Edition) appeared first on Seedly

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One dollar a day? Is it THAT easy to become a Millionaire? Where do I begin? Can I start today? Sign me up! Wait, hold on… This sounds pretty dubious, is that even possible?

Purely Saving One Dollar

Assuming there are 360 days a year, saving one dollar a day would take you 231 years to make your first million on pure savings. I don’t know about you but I definitely do not have 231 years to live, even Abraham died at age 175. If he had saved a dollar a day, he would have only saved $766,500, a little short of a million.

Sorry to burst your bubble, folks! But let’s see how we can work around our situation, shall we?

Invest One Dollar – Power of Compounding

Same as above, but you invest it and manage to earn 6% in return annually. That would take you 88 years to reach $1 million, in fact, $1,081,252 to be exact. That’s almost 2.6 times faster than just purely saving, that’s the power of compounding. Yes, I did use a bit of trial and error and my trusty financial calculator to get this result.

Double that Dollar, Make that $2

What happens if you double it? Instead of putting a dollar in your investment a day, try $2. You would reach your first million 11 years earlier, taking 77 years.

How much to save a day?How long to reach a million?
$1050 years
$2039 years
$3033 years
$4029 years
$5026 years
$6023 years

Now, you are probably calling me mad. Saying how are you going to save $60 a day if you don’t even have that. But let’s look at the numbers in a month.

How much to save a Day?In a Month

Still not convinced it is possible? Let’s show you that it is possible.

Allocating Your Salary Properly

We are a huge advocate on allocating our salary proper. There are many variations as to how you could do it, for us, we follow our “golden rule” of 20/50/30, where you save 20% of your salary, spend 50%, and 30% of your salary goes into your investments.

An Average Chap
  • Monthly Salary: $3,000
  • Allocates his salary according to the “golden rule”
Savings/Expenses/Investments – 20/50/30

Placing 30% of your salary, $900, is the same as investing $30 a day. Now, does that sound more achievable?

Reduce Savings, Increase Investment – 10/50/40

If you are more adventurous especially once you have your emergency funds ready, you can try moving the 10% allocation to your savings into your investments instead.

Another way to increase the allocation of your investment is to reduce your expenses, meaning the salary allocation ratio could be 20/40/40 (savings/expenses/investments) instead.

Increase Investment, Reduce Everything Else! – 10/30/50

In our previous article, we showed you how it is possible to reduce your expenses to 30% of your salary, so if that works for you, you can try reducing your expenses and increasing your investment too!

To help you reduce your spending, you should start tracking your expenses as you are more aware of what you are spending on. You can download the Seedly App, any other apps available or if you are very meticulous, you can even track it on your own excel!


By reducing your expenses and increasing your investment, you are able to place $1,800 into your investment in a month. With that, in 23 years you could be A MILLIONAIRE!

I should have titled this as “Earn your first million in just 23 years!” or something more click bait-y. Meh…

Don’t worry if you are not adventurous enough to do park 50% of your salary into investments.

Let’s look back at the numbers.
How much to save a Day?In a MonthHow long to reach a million?
$10$30050 years
$20$60039 years
$30$90033 years
$40$1,20029 years
$50$1,50026 years
$60$1,80023 years
  • Using the Golden Rule of 20/50/30: 33 years
  • Increasing your investment allocation by 10%: 29 years

It is not daunting after all, you will still be able to achieve your $1 million even by allocating your salary the golden rule way.

Yes, there are some years where you would outperform 6% annually in returns, and sometimes we will underperform but on average a rough gauge would safely be around 6%.

I have found 3 articles for you to check out if you would like to start getting into investments, they are unbiased and digestible so don’t worry about information overload. Bookmark them if you need to for your reference!

If you encounter any questions, feel free to ask Our Community! Do check out our blog for more information while embarking on your personal finance journey!

What would you do with your first million dollar? Share with us in the comments section below!

The post Become A Millionaire With Just A Dollar A Day Or Not appeared first on Seedly

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Work stress, Study stress, Mundane mid-year, end-holiday blues, the list goes on — There’s always a reason for a getaway with your friends. Need a short break? Here are some travel destinations recommended by the Smarter Way Community so you can pack your bags and run away to with your group of best buddies on a budget. Don’t worry, they aren’t just the typical Taiwan and Bangkok.

Under $500 per pax? Easy. Here’s a TLDR of where you can go:

Travel DestinationPrice (Under $500)Length of stayRecommended for
Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)$5004 Days 3 NightsCulture
Shanghai (China)$5004 Days 3 NightsCity Life
Bali (Indonesia)$5004 Days 3 NightsChill
Cebu$5005 Days 4 NightsAdventure and city
East Java (Indonesia)$4003 Days 2 NightsAdventure

Note: All flights and accommodation prices are according to dates in the first week of August, for 3 travelers. Prices may vary over time!

1. Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)

Credits: Cao Dai Temple The Pinay Solo Backpacker

Community Member, Shimei:

“Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Jogjakarta, Langkawi! Nice views and flights there are cheap!”

Culturally diverse Ho Chi Minh and bustling Saigon won’t fail you with its many sights, delicacies, temple, and memorials.

Calculations are according to 4 Days 3 Nights in Ho Chi Minh City.

Flight costs (Round Trip):

  • Scoot: $280
  • Lionair: $295
  • AirAsia: $301

Transport and food costs:

  • $130
  • Taxi

Accommodation costs:

  • Airbnb: Total $90 per person, 3 nights

Attractions: Cao Dai Temple, Binh Tay Market, Hang Pac Bo (Cave)

Estimated Total Expenditure: $500

P.S. A community member suggested trying Anywhr.co. It brought her on an adventure within budget to Vung Tau in Vietnam!

Here you can choose your preferred travel “theme”, budget, number of travellers and so on. They will help narrow down your preferences and surprise you with something fun!

Similar Travel Destinations: Jogjakarta

2. Shanghai (China)

Nan Jing Dong Lu

Community Member, Zhi Rong:

“Just found out Shanghai is about $650 for 5 days with hotel and travel. Can be cheaper if sharing!”

Can’t get enough of the city life? Shanghai is a place with modern, contemporary, museums yet rich in the chinese culture.

Calculations are according to 3 Days 2 Nights in Shanghai.

Flight costs (Round Trip):

  • China Southern: $350
  • Shen Zhen Airlines: $400

Transport and food costs:

  • $100
  • Metro, Public bus

Accommodation costs:

  • Airbnb: Total $90 per person, 2 nights

Attractions: The Bund, Yu Garden, Nanjing Dong Lu (Shopping), Oriental Pearl Tower, MoCA Museum of contemporary art, The Jade Buddha Temple

Estimated Total Expenditure: $500 – $550

Similar Travel Destinations: Hong Kong

3. Bali (Indonesia)

Community Member, Cindy:

“Bali – If you’re traveling with a bunch of friends, Bali definitely can do for $500 for like 4D3N or 5D4N? Note that don’t go during peak season and a lot of cheap & nice villas for 5-6 pax in Bali. Can try to look at Booking.com or Agoda!”

Bali is a favorite amongst many with its beautiful beaches and scenic Mount Batur sunrise hike. Fancy a dip in the ocean?Here’s your chance.

Calculations are according to 4 Days 3 Nights in Bali.

Flight costs (Round Trip):

  • Scoot: $280
  • Lionair: $295
  • AirAsia: $301

Transport and food costs:

  • $150
  • Bemo (Chartered driver) or taxi

Accommodation costs:

  • Airbnb: Total $120 per person, 3 nights

Attractions: Musa Penida Beach, Mt Batur (Hike), Omnia (beach club)

Estimated Total Expenditure: $500 – $550

Similar Travel Destinations:

  • Langkawi in Malaysia
  • Lombok in Indonesia
4. Cebu (Philippines)

Source: Kawasan Falls

An all-in-one place where you can enjoy the city life yet visit natural waterfalls, go on hikes, enjoy the nightlife and immerse with the locals. Perfect for a short holiday where you simply can’t decide on a location.

Calculations are according to 4 Days 3 Nights in Cebu.

Flight costs (Round Trip):

  • Cebu Pacific Air: $293
  • AirAsia: $293

Transport and food costs:

  • $140
  • Transport: Grab/ Taxi

Accommodation costs:

  • Airbnb: $70 for 4 nights

Attractions: Sugbo Mercado (Night market), Kawasan Waterfalls, Osmena peak (Hiking), Candongao Peak (Hiking), Nightlife clubs and cafes.

Estimated Total Expenditure: $500

5. East Java (Indonesia)

Mt. Ijen

Community Member, Cindy:

“I’d recommend this tour package in East Java (can go to Surabaya first), then you can visit Ijen Crater and Mount Bromo!”

For the adventurous! You can easily book day packages that take you to the sunrise on both Mount Bromo and the Ijen Crater here in East Java. 3 days 2 nights is sufficient but 4 days would be great for one more day to explore Surabaya or head to Malang too!

Calculations are according to 3 Days 2 Nights in East Java.

Flight costs (Round Trip):

  • Scoot: $129
  • Jetstar: $140

Transport and food costs:

  • $200 (Inclusive of day package for driver pick-up to hike destinations)

Accommodation costs:

  • Airbnb: $50 for 2 nights

Attractions: Surabaya (city), Ijen Crater, Mount Bromo

Estimated Total Expenditure: $400

Quick Travel Tips:
  1. For more cost savings, book with ShopBack to get cashback on hotels and flights (Agoda, Hotels.com, Airbnb, Expedia, Airasia etc.)
  2. Don’t forget to buy your travel insurance. Check reviews for which is the best for you.
  3. Prepare yourself with travel hacks: Download offline google translate if you are visiting a place that doesn’t speak your language
Other Recommended Travel Destinations by the community:
  • Yangon, Myanmar
    • Zhi Rong: Better go there before it becomes over-rated!
    • Trichie: Yangon or bagan myanmar! 
  • Pontianak, Indonesia
    • Zhi Rong: Pontianak, Kalimanatan!
  • Langkawi, Malaysia
    • Kenneth: Lombok, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Penang, Langkawi!
  • Hong Kong
    • Mingli: Hongkong. Doable lah. Share hotel room mah. Food – order and share.

Remember, you don’t have to break the bank (or your adventure funds) to go on a trip to Paradise Falls (“Up” movie references, anyone?)

Any more travel-money questions? Ask our enthusiastic community..

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This is the story of how a little girl, me, earned 10% interest from loaning her dad her piggy bank to save money he would otherwise be spending on cigarettes and buying 4D and TOTO.

Don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t a heavy smoker nor did he spend an exorbitant amount on the Singapore Pools. He probably even spent a little less than the average Singaporean on these things. Yet, we were able to save $1000 a year since 2008, and that little bit a month has amounted to $10,000 today.

My dad used to spend $12 on TOTO and 4D, as well as $10 on cigarettes every week. I still remember the 4D lucky number would be our car plate number or house unit number —  I’m sure many Singaporeans can resonate with this.

Spending $22 on 4D, TOTO and cigarettes can be pretty typical or even less than average since regular smokers usually buy two packs of cigarettes, amounting to $20 a week at that time. Many Singaporeans habitually spend this amount and similarly, my dad did this for many years.

This went on until one day in 2008, when my dad asked to borrow my extra piggy bank from me. He told me he was going to stop buying the lottery and try to stop smoking as well.

In return for the piggy-bank “rental”, he said happily that he would give me a 10% cut of whatever the savings are at the end of the year. Honestly, as a little girl still in primary school at that time, I didn’t really care how much money he was going to give to me. But in hindsight, 10% was a pretty amazing deal. So from that day onwards, he would put the $88 he would otherwise spend on his bad habits into our piggy bank instead — and this went on for the next 10 years until today.

A couple of years on, I realised what triggered his sudden change was when an old friend gave him some advice over golf one day. That old friend was in the lottery business, and have seen many people put their money in all kinds of bets year on year with negligible returns. So when they were discussing about my dad’s habit of putting $10 on our car plate number in 4D every week, this was what he said:

“You just put that money aside and see, by the end of the year you already win second or third prize!”

I think hearing this personally from someone in the industry really brought the point across. He took the advice and combined it with some determination to quit smoking for better health.

This was the amount of money he was able to save:

Loss-turned-SavingsSupposed SpendingsFrequency
4D ($5 Big, $5 Small)$104 times / month
TOTO $24 times / month
Cigarettes$10 (Year 2008)4 times / month
Monthly Savings$88 / Month
Yearly Savings$1056 / Year
10 Year Savings$10,560

Note: Cigarette money is capped at $10 for easier calculation. Cigarette packets are $12-$13 on average today.

Imagine if you quit the casino (that essentially has strategies to make you gamble more anyway) or soccer betting and horse betting, leaving that money for your family’s savings instead. Even setting aside all your $5 notes could accumulate into much more over time.

There is no magical formula involved, it simply shows how a typical Singaporean could change his lifestyle by just a bit, and make a whole lot of difference to his savings over time. He chose to put cash into a piggy bank instead of an actual bank at first because it was more encouraging to see cash accumulating every time he put money in, and he could also include his daughter in this process.

What did he do with those savings? We would go for a nice family dinner every couple of months and the rest of the savings would be put aside in the bank for further saving.

To put things in a better perspective, this is how a $10,000 savings would look like if we saved the money in a higher interest yielding savings account instead:

 CIMB Fast Saver (1%)DBS Multiplier (1.85%)
1st year$10,100$10,185
2nd year$10,201$10,373
5th year$10,510.10$10,565
10th year$11,046.22$11,760

Note: Interest rates are based on the realistic total we calculated here.

Leaving your money in a savings account instead can save you about $1000 more easily. In case you’re not sure what savings account is the most suitable for your salary, bank balance etc, here’s a savings account calculator that could help.

This saving method clearly isn’t rocket science, nor is $88 a month a lot of money to some of us, but what it does show is that bit of discipline with your money can go a very long way! I hope this simple little story of mine can inspire you to take a further step towards making smarter financial decisions. A little can mean a lot.

Have some financial insights to share, or simply have one to ask? You can do so on our community platform where we talk about all things finance. Hop on!

The post A Short Story: How A Dad Saved $10,000 With His Little Girl appeared first on Seedly

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We’ve crossed the middle of the year again and if you’re as lucky as I am, you should have been informed of your salary increment for 2018.

This year, I got a small increment of $195 in my monthly payroll so that’s an additional 195 one-dollar soldiers awaiting for deployment every month!

I checked my Salary Allocation Budget that I update every year and it looks like there are no additional expenses incurred so far. That’s good news to me because all the 195 one-dollar soldiers will be deployed to investment wealth accumulation.

What’s a Salary Allocation Budget?

A Salary Allocation Budget is essentially just a budget plan.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

To plan how every dollar of my salary is used each month, I designed a Salary Allocation Budgeting template. I update my Salary Allocation Budget each year to ensure every dollar is put to good use.

Plan how much is Saved and how much is Spent

Personally, I strive to maintain a savings rate of around 50-70%. Having a budget helps me build a plan to achieve this.

To date, I’ve managed to maintain a savings rate of 61.3% to date for 2018. In my opinion, that’s a pretty decent achievement and I’m hoping to maintain the savings rate through the rest of the year.

I can’t say I would have achieved this result without proper planning and ensuring I do not overspend in each budget category.

Use this salary allocation budgeting template to plan your retirement

In this article, I’m sharing my salary allocation budgeting template to help you plan your monthly budget.

To use my template, click here to open my salary allocation budgeting template and save a copy in your Google drive.

In my template, I’ve added a fake persona of someone to help you understand how the final budget should look like, with a monthly income of $6,000

I try to keep it super simple to use and not confuse myself with rocket science mathematics for budgets.

Here’s how you use them.

Step 1: Enter your monthly income
  • Enter your monthly salary income and other income sources, if any.
  • For self-employed individuals, I would suggest using an average of your annual income as a forecast.
Salary $6000100%
Other income$00%
Total income$6000100%
Step 2: Input your CPF contributions and taxes
  • Before we pay ourselves, we have to pay the government first.
    – I’ve added CDAC and CPF contributions along with Income Tax and Property Tax here.
  • Other forms of taxes that you are paying, feel free to add them here.
Income Tax$00%
Property Tax$300.5%
Step 3: Pay yourself first with savings
  • After paying the government, we then pay ourselves next.
    Here is where I pay myself first by chalking up my savings and trying to max out my tax deductions.
Stock Investments$70011.68%
SRS Contributions$127521.27%
CPF OA Top-Up (Self)$583.339.73%
CPF SA Top-Up (Self)$00%
CPF RA Top-UP (Family)$583.339.73%
Step 4: Identify necessary and discretionary expenses

I sorted my expenses into 2 expense categories:

  • Necessary expenses
  • Discretionary expenses

Necessary expenses are expenses that are necessary for living.

  • The ‘needs’ portion of my living expenses – food and transportation

I find that food and transportation form the bulk of my monthly necessary expenses whereas the rest are pretty standard and don’t change much.

Discretionary expenses are expenses that I don’t consider necessary for living.

  • The ‘wants’ portion of my living expenses – shopping, travel etc.

These are typically the monsters of my expenses and the ones that I have to rein in tight to prevent overspending.

Necessary Expenses$%
Food - Food Court$3005%
Food - Restaurants$2003.34%
Personal Insurance$2003.34%
Household Allowance$5008.34%
Public Transportation$500.83%
Discretionary Expenses$%
Travel & Vacation$00%
Personal Care$200.33%
Personal Development$00%
Step 5: Validate your cash inflow and outflow for surplus/deficit budget

By looking at your surpluses or deficits, this is the final check to validate that you aren’t spending beyond your means.

A Tiny Surplus

  • Your Total Cash Outflow does not exceed the Total Cash Inflow

A High Surplus ($100 or more)

  • You could potentially save more money!

A Deficit

  • You need to adjust your savings or expenses to balance things up (because we don’t have huge cash reserves to operate on budget deficits).

You can also examine your Total Savings versus your Total Expenses to see if you are happy with how much you are saving (52.41% in this example) as compared to how much you are spending?

Step 6 (optional): Check your total taxable income for the year

If you hate paying unnecessary taxes to the government as much as I do, here’s a bonus item for you.

I’ve added

  • Income Tax Calculation to take into consideration the taxable income;
  • Tax deductions that I’m entitled to each year.

Most of these tax deduction items will make use of your Salary Allocation Budget to do the necessary computation.

The only items you need to manually change is Charity Donation. As this is not a full list of tax deductions available, feel free to add other tax deductions that you are entitled to.

I’ve been using my Salary Allocating Budgeting Template to plan my monthly budget for 2 years now and I’ve been consistently updating it to suit my needs.

I hope you find my template useful for your budget planning. Please share your thoughts on the comments below.

Seedly Contributor: Mickey at Retire By 50

Mickey J is the typical white collar Singaporean who works in a 9-5 desk job. With a goal to retire by the age of 50, he blogs about his personal finance experiences and thoughts on retirement planning.

He believes in keeping thing simple and automated to focus on the more important things in life.

Retire By 50 is all about personal finance and retirement planning in the Singapore context.

Seedly Editors’ Note: Really liked what Mickey has done with his Salary Allocating Budgeting Template, would definitely try it out for myself. This article is really wholesome and would definitely use the Seedly app to refer to (because that’s really where all my expenses are tracked at). Anyway, I hope that we will all find it useful together! – Cherie

While you are still here, do check out our blog for more unbiased content for your personal finance journey. If you have any questions along the way, feel free to ask away while you’re at it. Don’t worry, we are all here to learn!

The post Reduce Your Expenses To Only 30% of Your Salary With This Budgeting Template appeared first on Seedly

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The world of online shopping is again exploding in Singapore as we head beyond GSS into the year end. We decided to ask around and learn from our SG Personal Finance Community on the best money saving tools in Singapore to get the best deals

(Updated: July 2018 with the newest products in the market which you’ll find useful for sure)

We curated a complete guide you can refer to below, hope you like it! 

TL;DR: Leverage The Internet’s Marketing Power (Potential % saved)
  • Carousell: Best for pre-loved items on Carousell for more expensive items (potential 40%)
  • ShopBack: Best for Holidays, Electronics amounting to huge cash-back! (potential 5%)
  • Money Digest: Best for random deal alerts on their facebook posts (potential 1-1)
  • EZBuy: Best for savings on huge shipping costs from USA or China (potential 10%)
  • Entertainer1-1 food deals for most restaurants and cafes across Singapore (potential 20-30% yearly)
  • Burpple Beyond: Enjoy 1-for-1 deals at curated restaurants, cafes and bars.
  • Eatigo: Restaurant reservation with off peak discounts!
  • Fave: Best for dining and beauty savings (potential 20%)
  • GroupHunt: Best for community-driven group-buys!
  • AirFrov: Getting travelers to bring back overseas products
Further Reading: A Typical Singaporean Buyer’s Journey

In an everyday Singaporean’s life, you would most likely have to buy something online. With the advent of new technologies and mobile platforms, online companies often find ways to grow. Making it more efficient to shop is one of the benefits from this. Hence, consumers should be smarter with a full list of options to jump on and save money.

By the way, this list was completely crowd-sourced by our good friends in the Seedly Personal Finance Community, where we discuss such hacks on how we can save more and spend smarter.

A Simple Example: Buying A SAMSUNG HD TV
  • First, you go to CAROUSELL to search for potential sellers and people who may be keen to offload their second-hand TV
  • If the choices are limited, you can simply head over to SHOPBACK to compare the prices from merchants like Lazada, Shopee or Courts to potentially save up to 10% cashback
  • If you are still not convinced and perhaps want to buy a special edition version of the HD TV from the USA, and you land on Amazon US. Even better to get someone to bring it back to you via AirFrov!
  • You input a local address that EZBUY had assigned you for free US delivery, and a cheaper shipment fee back to Singapore!
  • Next, you get tired and hungry after all the online shopping and head over to FAVE SG (previously Groupon) to buy a buffet dinner at $32 (instead of $55). You can also do this via Eatigo, Entertainer or Burpple Beyond as well!
  • By going through SHOPBACK to book your GRAB ride or online purchases in general, you get to get additional cash rebates
Total savings = MASSIVE

Okay, you may think that you need to be a tech expert to maneuver such an online shopping paradise. However, here is a real screenshot of one of our community members who earned over $570 in cash back (refer to image below).

Because We Love Our Community Of Savers  For New SHOPBACK Users – Get $15 now 

P.S: This is not a sponsored post. We do not get anything out doing this. Simply, we are supportive of good products addressing interesting money-saving opportunities, especially in this digital age. Cheers!

Read also: 4 Apps To Help You Save On Lifestyle

The post The Complete List Of Money Saving Tools In Singapore 2018 appeared first on Seedly

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In this day and age, we’re spoilt for choice. Fund managers are no longer limited to Human Financial Advisors, there are also automated Robo-Advisors that can do the same job at a lower fee.

If you are still unsure about what exactly Robo advisors are, they basically offer low-cost diversified passive investing where algorithms help recommend you stocks and manage your portfolio.

Main Differences Between Robo-Advisor And Human Advisor
Fees0.2% - 1% of total invested per year2% - 3% of total invested per year
ServicesManages investmentsManages investments + More specialised services (Eg. Tax advice, Estate planning)
Good for- Beginners
- Less complicated investments
- "Lazy" Investors
- Experienced investors with more assets
- More complicated investments
- Prefer flexibility and control of investments
How To Choose? 1. Fees

The more straightforward differentiating factor between Robo-Advisors and Human Advisors would be its service fees.

Robo advisors charge less in general. They typically charge 0.2% to 1% of your total amount of money invested per year. Some charge upfront fees, performance fees, platform fees and brokerage fees. Do understand the costs before delving into it.

Human Financial Advisors typically charge 2% to 3% of your total amount of money invested per year. Higher costs are for more one-to-one, personalised services

2. Services

Robo-Advisors and Human Advisors offer the same basics but still differ in terms of a wider range of services. Decide for yourself if you simply want investment management or more holistic planning.


Robo-advisors usually put your investment money into a basket of Global Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) which exposes the fund to the global economy in different sectors in some form of a mix of equities and bonds. Some of these ETFs are not available to retail investors.

They are great at using algorithms to automatically buy and sell assets, rebalancing your portfolio over time rather than trying to beat the market.

Human Financial Advisors

Human financial advisors provide your basic investing too but allow for a more tailored, specialized experience. They additionally provide services such as estate planning and tax advice if you need them. If you want an advisor to be able to diagnose your personal financial problems and opportunities for improvement and not just something for the masses, this may be a better option.

If you want to use your CPF or SRS to invest, you cannot do so with robo-advisors.

Do remember to check the records and certifications of the company or person you plan to hire before you make your decision.

4. Stage of investing and preferences

Here are three questions you can ask yourselves. Are you:

A Beginner or experienced investor?

Robo-advisors provide exciting money-saving options for smaller investors since they offer lower-minimums at a lower cost. This may be better for beginners who have less capital and have less confidence to start investing.

Human advisors customise your approach to investing which you may want if you have a larger pool of assets. Being experienced, you may have certain personal takes to different investments and may not want a robo-advisor to plainly decide on your risk tolerance. Human advisors are more flexible and can help you prioritise your investments, tracking your goals better.

Do you want to know more or you don’t really care?

If you don’t really care, a robo-advisor is perfect for you. Robo-advisors is generally for passive investing, which essentially means you can dump your money in and really not care for awhile while the algorithms do the work of rebalancing your portfolio.

However, if you want to gain more knowledge about investing, an in-person advisor is better for you to ask questions and understand your investments. Human financial advisors may be able to better communicate the value of investing to you by providing explanations and context about what is happening to your money. Basic information and close mentorship in this case may also be better for someone just starting out.

Have time or no time?

If you have less time on your hands, leaving your money with a robo-advisor is a hands-off activity that does not require much direct contact.

A human advisor, however, requires your direct contact with them in order to decide what you want. Being a more tailored service, they will also need interaction to determine what your preferences are.

5. Look At Reviews

Hindsight is a beautiful thing. We all know our first source of truth is always to ask our friends or the experienced people in the field to ask for advice and opinions. Perhaps for human advisors this would be hard to compare since there are over a hundred out there, but for robo-advisors it is a little simpler.

Here are some feedback:

  • Operations: MAS Capital Market Services Licence (CMS100604-1)
  • Methodology: Economic Regime-based Asset Allocation (ERAA)
  • Fees: Between 0.8% to 0.2% of total invested per year
  • Minimum: No minimum to start

  • Operations: MAS Financial Advisor Licence (FA100064-1)
  • Methodology: Diversification across major asset classes, geographical regions, and industries.
  • Fees: Flat 0.5% of total invested + USD18 platform fee per year
  • Minimum:  S$3,000 to start

  • Operations: With VCG Partners (external fund manager)
  • Methodology: Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT), a mix of equity and bond ETFs
  • Fees: Between 1% to 0.5% of total invested per year
  • Minimum: No Minimum to start

Phillip SMART Portfolio
  • Operations: Phillip Securities Pte Ltd (A member of PhillipCapital) Co. Reg. No. 197501035Z
  • Methodology: Diversified portfolio of primarily Exchange-Traded Funds across geographical regions, countries and industry sectors.
  • Fees: 0.5% p.a. No upfront fee, no brokerage, no performance fee and no platform fee.
  • Minimum: $5,000 to start

Overwhelmed? If you have any questions about all this, feel free to ask our community of financial gurus here, we’re always ready to help! Unbiased reviews and answers are how we roll.

The post Choosing A Financial Advisor: Robo-Advisors VS Human-Advisors appeared first on Seedly

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Over the past weekend, we ran our largest Personal Finance community Meetup for the Seedly users and readers. We saw over 140 individuals coming down to MOX for the event to learn about Investing basics and strategies.

Here are some quick facts:

  • Almost 50% of the people who came are from the millennial segment (most have just started working, aged between 20 to 35 years old)
  • We also had a good equal representations of both male and female investors! (unlike most other investment workshops)
  • Overall, we had a solid response for the event which was sold out within days.
coffee meets investing video - YouTube
Here’s what went down!

I will now aim to do up a quick summary of what was shared – in 6 segments with the best questions which were covered during each segment.

Personal Finance 101 – Kenneth from Seedly
  • Prudent Personal finance is adopting a holistic approach at growing your wealth
  • You will need to cover your bases first before shooting for the skies
  • The best investment is the one that pays you the most when you need it the most (Insurance)
  • Insurance = Your Goalkeeper = Sufficient coverage for the right reasons at the lowest costs
Q1: How much should one spend on insurance based on their age group?

Age group is almost irrelevant. Let me explain why…  A 35 year old Single man who sits at home and plays games all day has a very different liability profile compared to a 35 year old married man with a spouse and 2 kids. 

ETFs and Robo-Advisors – Tai Zhi from AutoWealth
  • It is extremely difficult to predict the market and actively manage your own funds (e.g with Trump, Brexit, Trade wars etc)
  • Almost 90% of actively managed funds get their decisions wrong
  • Over the historical averages, you’ll find that if you had invested in the Indexes (eg the MSCI World Index) you would have outperformed most actively managed funds
  • Robo-Advisors offer a transparent, fuss-free, low cost method of investing for beginners and intermediate investors
Q2: Are ETFs the same as Mutual Funds (Unit Trusts)?

Collective investment schemes, the legal term used by MAS, comprise of:

  1. Mutual funds (unit trusts)
  2. Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
  3. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

ETFs are different from mutual fund in the following ways:

  • listed and trades easily on the stock exchange as opposed to not being listed
  • Fund manager typically do market benchmark-tracking as opposed to fund manager who actively engage in stock-picking and market timing

Yes, we had an amazing selection of healthy greens to go along with our kopi.

Portfolio and Age Strategy – Ming Feng from Seedly
  • Our goals change as we age, likewise for our financial targets and aspirations
  • Your portfolio should shift start with more equity (more risk) when you are early in life and shift towards more bonds as you age (less risk)
  • At each age profile you would know that you have different risk appetites due to different liabilities and commitments (eg family, kids, home loans etc)
Q3: Supposedly I’m in my 20-30, with a recommended 70/30 investment ratio, but faced with a bearish market soon. What should I do?

You may want to consider starting with either a 60% stocks 40% govt bonds portfolio or a 40% stocks 60% govt bonds portfolio, especially if that helps you to be psychologically more resilient against a market correction/downturn…Therefore, it is certainly worth the effort to carefully assess your resilience against market corrections (ie. risk appetite) and select a portfolio risk level you feel comfortable with, even in a market correction.

Value Investing Like a Boss – Alvin Chow from DrWealth
  • There are many false investing beliefs in the market with lack of data to prove that they work (eg wearing a red underwear, sticking a coin on calculators, sell in May etc)
  • Value investing is a proven way to look at small cap stocks which are often underlooked by most investors because they are less sexy and non blue-chip – hence undervalued from the onset.
  • The goal is to use the Net-Net strategy to figure out the fundamental price per share of the stock to decide if the stock is undervalued (with a margin of safety of 2/3)
  • Gave examples of Creative Technologies and Qian Hu (fish supplies)
Q4: How do we identify companies that will meet the Net-Net criteria?

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“Want to BTO?” Has become the indirect Singaporean version of “Will you marry me?” Applying for a BTO is the first step a couple would take towards marriage. This is typically done about three years before the actual marriage, but, anything could happen within the span of three years.

This question was asked by a community member a couple days back:   

Ask A Question Here! 

Everyone talks about their BTO application and its arduous process, but no one talks about the expensive break-up cost after that. It is an ugly truth you wouldn’t want your friends and relatives to know about, but this does happen to more Singaporeans than you think.

So here it is, your healthy dose of reality as we lay out the real costs involved in defaulting on your BTO. 

But before we talk about how much money a couple could lose, here’s a TLDR on the full cost of a BTO flat to put things in perspective.

The Costs Involved: Applying for A BTO

Sample Case Study:

  • Typical 4-room flat in Bukit Batok
  • Flat price of BTO: $328,200
  • Purchase price: $339,003.50
BTO Step-by-stepFee DetailsFee for 4-room flat (example)
Application for BTOApplication$10
Option Fee (Booking flat)$2000 (4 room flat and up)
$1000 (3 room flat)
$500 (2 room flat)
Signing Lease AgreementStamp Duty and Legal Fees:
1% on first $180,000
2% on next $180,000
3% on the remainder
10% (HDB Loan)
20% (Home Loan)
$33,107 (10%)
Collection of keysStamp Duty and Legal Fees$870
Fire insurance (5 year premium including 7% GST)$27.50
Balance of the purchase price$297,963
Defaulting On Your BTO 

Aka: The heartbreak

If you decide to break-up early into the BTO application, you may only lose the initial $10 fee or else $2000 more if you are already allocated a unit. However, anything from here and after signing the lease agreement could cost you a leg and arm, from 10% of the downpayment to its full amount depending on which stage you decide to default on your BTO at. 

A: Ballotted for flat and selected unit

Money Lost:

  • Application Fee: $10
  • Option Fee (booking of flat): $2000 (4 room flat and up), $1000 (3 room flat), $500 (2 room flat)

Chances Lost:

Estimated Total Loss (4-room BTO) = $2010

  B: Signed Lease Agreement

Money Lost:

  • Application Fee: $10
  • Option Fee: $2000 (4 room flat and up), $1000 (3 room flat), $500 (2 room flat)
  • Downpayment (5% purchase price):
  • Housing grant: 5% – 10% of purchase price
    • Stamp Duty Fees:
      1% on first $180,000
      2% on next $180,000
      3% on the remainder
  • HDB Lawyer Fees for caveat: Waived

Chances Lost:


  • If parents’ names have been listed in application of flat, one partner can retain the flat with their parents. 

Estimated Total Loss (4-room BTO, 5% downpayment) = $30,000

C: Collected keys

Money Lost:

  • Application Fee: $10
  • Option Fee: $2000 (4 room flat and up), $1000 (3 room flat), $500 (2 room flat)
  • Downpayment (5% purchase price):
  • Housing grant: 5% – 10% of purchase price
    • Stamp Duty Fees:
      1% on first $180,000
      2% on next $180,000
      3% on the remainder
  • HDB Lawyer Fees for caveat: Waived
  • Survey Fee = Around $300
  • Lease In-Escrow Fee $38.30
  • Mortgage In-Escrow Fee (Loan fee): $38.30
  • Mortgage Stamp Fee $500
  • Fire insurance (5 year premium including 7% GST) = $27.5
  • Balance of purchase price: 80%-90% of purchase price
  • Wedding costs (by now, most Singaporean couples are already preparing for the wedding, assuming you intend on collecting your keys right after/ before marriage) = $15,000 and up

Chances Lost:

Estimated Total Loss (4-room BTO, 5% downpayment) = $200,000 and up (highly dependent on individual situations)


  • CPF is the couple’s Ordinary account is usually used to pay off a portion of the flat price 
  • Housing grant is used for purchase price only and cannot be used to pay for fees (eg. stamp duty, legal fees)
  • Example and fees are applicable for Singaporeans only

What You Can Do To Alleviate The Problem

Hindsight is a beautiful thing, here’s some advice from the community we picked out that may just help if you’re in this dreadful situation now: 

1. Appeal To HDB

Appealing to HDB can be an arduous process since it is a case-by-case basis review. Although strict, this may still be worth a shot.

Paul: If financial is an issue, work out with HDB as to whether payment can be by installments etc. If not, approach your MP. Exhaust all appeal avenues until they are closed. Good luck.

2. Transfer Wedding Package

The average cost of a wedding is around $30,000 to $50,000. By the time you have signed your lease, you probably already started preparing for your wedding by engaging a wedding planner and signing for a wedding package. These things definitely won’t come cheap, especially if you have book an expensive hotel for the banquet. However, you can try selling off or transferring your wedding package to someone you know whom is planning for their marriage too. 

Siti: For the wedding, is there a way to transfer your package or wedding decor stuff etc to another couple? Maybe can advertise. Surely some couple don’t mind to take over your wedding preparations package at a discounted price? 

Steph: Take this w a pinch of salt pls: try selling the wedding package on Carousell?

3. Unorthodox: One Side Takes Over BTO With New Partner

If you manage to find a new partner during this period and are confident of the relationship, it is possible to transfer the flat’s name to your new partner instead.

Hafiz: I have some friends in this situation before. There’s no way out of it… unless one of the couple finds a new partner to take over the BTO… (case by case basis) it did work out for a couple of people that i know of. a bit unorthodox i know. but somehow it worked out for them.

4. Work Hard To Pay Off

The most straightforward way to solve this problem is to work hard enough to pay off this debt. The truth is, you’ve got to still pay at the end of t

Here’s some advice our supportive community has for you:

Veronique: My advice is to pay up, save harder and be thankful you had the wisdom to call it off rather than be married for the sake of the BTO.

5. Prevention: Get Married First

Kenneth: Also, instead of BTO-Ing first, attempt to ROM and actually get married first. I just did that and am happy to report that things are working out well financially

And to the anonymous man who..

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Most of us opened our first savings account with the bank when we were young, lugging our piggy banks to the actual bank to open an account with our parents or grandparents.

Some of us are still holding onto our first savings account that we had since we were a kid, Got to admit, that’s me and it is the legendary POSBkids Account.

Editor’s Note: We are not sponsored to write this, neither are we in any collaboration. I personally still hold onto my POSBkids account and I am curious how much I am missing out. 🤔

Our First Savings Account

Even if it is not POSBkids account, it would most probably be a kid’s account too but in another bank.

  • You get earn daily interest.
  • No minimum deposit and fall-below fee until you turn 21 years old.
  • Waiver of coin deposit fee until you turn 16 years old.

Or maybe our grandmother was nagging at us about POSB being the best bank.

Pretty sure you have outgrown these benefits and they no longer apply to you, and they started charging you $2/month for not keeping your account above $500. How many of us kena the $2 charge?

Daily interest? Earning 0.00013699% per day in interest should not interest you, let’s be honest, especially where you can earn more from high interest yielding savings account.

If you do not understand the rationale behind that irrational number, it’s the interest that POSBkids Account offers, 0.05%, divided by a year, 365 days.

Opportunity Cost of Holding Onto My First Savings Account

I am using this savings calculator to check how I am able better optimise my savings by finding the bank that offers me the highest interest for their savings account.

Base off a profile of an average Singaporean, whose

  • Current Savings: $10,000
  • Salary: $3,500 (median salary of Singaporeans)
  • Credit Card Spending: $500
  • Investment: $200 (Monthly)

The best savings account that I should have would be DBS Multiplier earning me 2% interest per annum, which is additional $200 on $10,000 savings.

Yeah, now you will be saying there is a lot of conditions for you to fulfil. Don’t worry, we got your back!


I mean, what if you are currently not salaried but you just want a high interest yielding savings account with no conditions.

Like for example, if you are a:

  • Freelancer
  • Student

CIMB FastSaver is offering 1% for a minimum deposit of $1,000 with no fall-below fee.

One of the reviews by Chen Yong Ng from the Seedly Community – “Fuss-free to get 1% interest with no salary crediting and spending required. It is a good account for students with no salary.”

How does 0.95% more in interest look like?

With a savings of $10,000, here is how your savings could look like if you made a change in your savings account.

 POSBkids Account
CIMB Fast Saver
1st Year10,00510,10095
2nd Year10,01010,201191
5th Year10,025.0310,510.10485.07
10th Year10,050.1111,046.22996.11
  • After the 5th year, you can go for all funded trip to Thailand.
  • After the 10th year, you would be able to fly to Osaka!

Why are we throwing such opportunities away?

Now, how does 1.95% more look like?

With the same amount of savings of $10,000 as above, here is the difference if you have DBS Multiplier as your savings account as compared to your first savings account.

 POSBkids Account
DBS Multiplier
1st Year10,00510,200195
2nd Year10,01010,404394
5th Year10,025.0311,040.811,015.78
10th Year10,050.1112,189.942,139.83

You can beat the approximate inflation rate of 1.9% by leaving your money in a higher yielding DBS Multiplier.

Or you can go take the difference after the 10th year and go on a return trip to Iceland! Do all influencer personalities do that? Is that how they afford all their holiday trips?

Convinced yet?

I hope you are. But being a sentimental-being, and having memorised my POSBkids Account number, I think it would be a little hard for me to close my first savings account. *shed tears

Personal Finance as a Whole

Savings is just one portion of your personal finance journey, there is still investment and expenses especially when it comes to allocating your salary. Or even finding the combination to maximise your interest and rebates. Wow, personal finance is really a journey.

Don’t worry! We are here to journey on together, you can start by reading unbiased financial content or even asking any questions or reading reviews from the Seedly Community.

Till then, I’ll see you in the next one!

The post The Hidden Cost of Holding onto Your First Savings Account appeared first on Seedly

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