At Seedly, we believe that anyone can achieve financial freedom with the right tools and the right mindset. We aim to become a modern and relevant way to manage your money by leveraging the latest technology.
A lot went down during Monday’s Budget Speech by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat. Beyond the concerns about our 9% GST, many of the things mentioned directly affect the lives of youths. Guilty as charged, I admit that the 2-hour Budget Speech, though important, slides past my interest and I believe that this is the same for many other Singaporean youths.
So to make things easy, we broke things down and summarised the 5 most important things Singaporean Youths need to know about the Budget 2018:
P.S. Haven’t watched the speech? No problem, we’ve digested the two hours’ worth and summarized its highlights for you here.
1. Edusave Top-Ups
As announced during the budget, close to $200 Million a year will be spent on supporting our education schemes. This includes an increase in the annual Edusave contributions by $30 for primary school students, from $200 to $230 and $50 for secondary school students, from $240 to $290. A student’s edusave can be used to pay for school enrichment programmes and the eventual balance can be used for post-secondary education funding as well. This scheme will take effect from 2019 onwards.
2. Support For Lower-Income Family Students
MOE Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS)
To give more support to lower income families, the FAS will raise their annual bursary for pre-university students by $150, from $750 to $900.
Edusave Merit Bursary
The income eligibility criteria will be updated for the Edusave Merit Bursary and Independent School Bursary to expand its benefits to more students from lower to middle-income families. The ceiling will be raised from $6000 to $6900 so more households can be included.
This bursary is awarded to the top 25 percent of the academic performance of their level and course, and whose household income does not exceed the prescribed income criteria.
Schools Meals Programme
The school meals programme where Students in primary and secondary schools on the MOE FAS receive subsidies for seven meals per school week will see more meals being covered.
3. Be more tech-savvy
One of the 3 big shifts mentioned was the emergence of new technologies which have been reshaping the economy and jobs all over the world. This sentiment of an appreciation of technology was echoed throughout the budget speech.
I suppose this further emphasises how much technical skills matter to today’s economy and how much they are valued. For youths to be more relevant and employable in the future, honing their technological skills should start now!
The government has in place schemes such as the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme, a work-learn programme, as well as the Go Southeast Asia Award, which matches undergraduates with regional internships that will provide valuable exposure.
This scheme is eligible for Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents who are within three years of either graduation from the ITE and polytechnics or the Operationally Ready Date for National Servicemen.
4. SG Bonus: Cash Payouts!
If you’re above 21, lucky you! The government is giving out a “Hongbao” to every adult Singaporean from $100 to $300 regardless of income.
This HongBao is otherwise called the SG Bonus, which shares some of the year’s surplus with Singaporeans.
5. Better Financial Literacy
In a bid to build the foundations of financial literacy of Singaporeans, the government is starting from the youths. A new financial education curriculum will be piloted in Polytechnics and ITEs.
Overall, Singapore’s economic performance in 2017 was good with a GDP growth of 3.6%, up from 2.4% in 2016, overall productivity growth and a rise in real median income for Singapore citizens by 5.3%.
What else do the youth need to know about finances?
As we near full-fledged adulthood, the number of financial concerns increase and so should your financial knowledge. Here are some of the most highlighted concerns and things you need to know as a young adult in Singapore.
1. Affording Tietary education
University fees are a major headache for many students and most of us aren’t fortunate enough to land a Scholarship. Paying off your student loans.
As a student, information on savings accounts and interest rates were all things we could not quite comprehend. The fact is, a savings account could have earned you a good sum of interest alongside other incentives by now.
For example, the OCBC Monthly Savings has no initial deposit or minimum monthly sum. Plus, you can earn up to 0.40% interest which can amount to a few hundred dollars a year!
3. A list of tips before coming an adult
Let the budget speech be a timely reminder for us to do some financial planning for ourselves so that we can readjust to our New Year’s needs and be able to be comfortable with our expenditure!
Read the news to leave an intellectual first impression on people
Add professional pieces to your wardrobe
Earn some money on the side
For pointer 10 and a breakdown on how much money you can save with the above tips, read more here.
A limited understanding of money management can lead to costly financial mistakes when these bad habits accumulate in the future. Take time to understand your finances, it really isn’t all math. If you need advice, head to our friendly Seedly Personal Finance Community on Facebook and post your financial queries so we can all discuss it together!
Visual data is processed 60,000 times faster by the brain than the same data in form of text.
With 65% of the world’s population being visual learners, Instagram becomes one of the mostly browsed social media platforms.
If you are looking to take an occasional break from all the pictures of unfairly good-looking people, heavily edited photos of food and unaffordable luxury, here are some Instagram accounts that can help you get better with your finances.
12 Active Instagram accounts that help you get better at your money
Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board is definitely doing something amazing on their Instagram.
CPF posts tons of localised content revolving around CPF and personal finance
Their Instagram totally got rid of Singaporeans’ usual stereotype of government policies and organisations being dull and boring.
Investing is fun, but only when you make money, or even beat the market if you’re that competitive.
However, there are countless bumps on the journey to get there. It takes half a century for Warren Buffett to be known as the Oracle of Ohama (where he lives) and decades of experience for Peter Lynch to be a legendary mutual fund manager who averaged 29.2% returns annually (wow!).
Reading up blogs, news and taking online courses can only get one so far. To be able to achieve results, any beginner needs to understand the thought process of previously successful investors to develop their own fundamentals and improve with experience in the future. Books allow you to do just that.
In this article, I will be recommending books according to one’s level of interest in the stock market.
Why should I even be investing in the stocks market?
If you are already interested in making money in the market, you can skip this one.
If you are financially clueless, reading Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki helps. In his book, he explains the philosophy of money and by the end of it, you will be coming back to Seedly to learn more about investing, I promise you.
If you are very much like myself who enjoys researching about everything involving the stock market before your hands on, this is the book for you.
Think of it like the fairy tales, with stocks involved. It sums up all the major events on Wall Street over the last 50 years, from the Asian Financial Crisis, Internet Bubble, all the way to the Housing Crisis which occurs just years ago.
As an investor, one will have to find out about all of this sooner or later, why not find out everything there is?
Interestingly enough, this book also covers both technical and fundamental investing styles. Personally, I know nothing about technical analysis existed until 6 months into investing. It is important that one understands the pros and cons of each. Coupled that with the chapter Behavioural Finance, one will understand how the stock market works.
This guy bags an average 29.2% annual return for 13 consecutive years as a Fidelity fund manager. That is a total of 2,800% return throughout his whole career. He is a fundamental investor, very much like Warren Buffett as well as many others, and hopefully you.
Peter Lynch argues that retail investor, like an average Singaporean, can perform the same way he does simply by using what we already know. His book will also walk you through the process of picking a great stock.
Honestly, you can beat the market, but it is going to take a lot of work and experience to do so. The books below are at the advanced level, requiring basic knowledge to understand. Reading (and following) these will give you lots of advantages over other investors (who don’t).
I have read this book 3 times. Each time I read it again, I learn so much more. Anyone who’s in the stock market has read or heard of this book. Understandably, Warren Buffett has one copy of his own.
This book goes in-depth into fundamental investing. However, it was written a long time ago and behaviour of investors has changed so much since. Nevertheless, the core philosophy applies today. It’s a must read if you want to outperform others. If you give it a try, read Chapter 8 carefully, memorise everything. I promise you it will serve you well.
Warren Buffett personally writes letters to update his shareholders every year. Not only does he deliver spectacular returns to his investors, he’s also a visionary leader. This book is for anyone who wishes to understand what makes a great CEO like Warren Buffett to trust with your investment.
This book is mainly for choosing investment funds.
There are funds that can outperform the market significantly. What do you need to pick the right one? Founding The Vanguard Group, John C. Bogle is one of the most reliable men you can seek advice from when choosing a fund.
The task of picking stocks can be extremely time-consuming. For each stock you invest in, you’ll probably have looked at ten, inside out. If finance is not your profession, you may want to consider investing in a fund. Believe it or not, I’m actually in marketing. I currently only have one fund in my portfolio because I enjoy picking stocks.
Closing Thought: Books help deliver results over time
Reading all the books I mentioned above won’t make you a billionaire overnight. It is through consistency, that will deliver results over time. Be prepared to make many mistakes along the way, so much so that you can write a book to document all of it.
However, you can void the costly ones and learn to pick the winners by following the successful investors. Lastly, investing is so much fun when you win.
Seedly Contributor: Edward Nguyen
Edward Nguyen hopes that his humble advice as an investor who has made a ton of mistakes can benefit many Singaporeans embarking on their investing journey.
Editor’s note: The above is a really insightful article by Edward Nguyen who is a part of our Seedly community. For readers who are interested in the investing aspect of personal finance, check out Seedly’s content on Investing!
Editor’s note: Even more when our trains break down.
In Singapore, 60% of our working population depends on public transport, and the median commute time is 30 to 45 minutes. That’s a whopping 7.5 hours that we spend on the move each week and 390 hours (16 days) per year*.
Instead of aimlessly scrolling through social media, here are some suggestions on productive things that you can do during your commute:
* If we count a return journey, and base it on a 5-day work week.
Complete personal administrative tasks
With smartphones that are as powerful as ever today, we have quick and easy access to our emails and the Internet at our fingertips.
This makes your time on-the-go perfect for settling personal administrative tasks that you’ve been putting off:
making a dinner reservation on the restaurant’s online reservation form or a reservation booking platform like Chope
drafting an email to customer service enquiries
setting up a doctor’s appointment on their online e-appointment systems
finishing up administrative tasks for volunteer groups you are actively involved in
I find it helpful to keep a running note on my phone to remind me of the personal errands I need to do, and working on what I can act when I am on the move.
Learn a new skill
Expand your vocabulary, learn a new language, or even coding, when you are commuting.
You can easily download apps to pick up new languages, and learn to code, or store learning materials on your phone. I find that learning that involve memory work or mental calculations are the best since you don’t need a pen and paper to work out a solution.
If you don’t feel like studying, you can play ‘games’ like Elevate, Lumosity, and Peak to keep your mind sharp. These apps aim to improve your cognitive functions, including your memory, processing speed, and problem solving skills, and help maintain your psychological well-being.
Turn your time to cash
You can turn your time on commute into money.
Online surveys, offered through portals like Mysurvey will give you cash vouchers or money for completing their surveys. Other ways include coming up with snazzy descriptions of items you would like to sell online on C2C platforms like Carousell, and leaving reviews for online purchases on platforms like Qoo10 which give you points that you can redeem for discounts.
Read the news, or build up knowledge on a topic
It pays to be a more well-read person – it is great for making conversation, networking, and helps you project yourself as a more intellectual individual.
News apps, like News App or Flipboard, or email news round-ups from newspapers like The New York Times and The Straits Times, are great for aggregating the day’s worth of news highlights.
Articles from news publications like The Economist and Time Magazine, and business-centric pieces from publications like Harvard Business Review and think tanks like McKinsey Global Institute are also great for building depth on your knowledge of key news and business issues.
Apart from the news, you can also read e-books, or listen to an audiobook on topics that interest you. Be sure to also check out the wide selection of e-books that you can borrow for free from the National Library Board.
Brainstorming new ideas
J.K. Rowling came up with the idea of Harry Potter while she was stuck on the train for 4 hours – and this turned into a best-selling book that grew into a $25 billion franchise, and changed her life forever.
Studies have shown that flashes of insight tend to come when the brain is relaxed. This makes your time on commute a great time for a new idea to pop into your head. If you don’t feel like doing anything that generates immediate concrete output, let your mind wander, but be sure to record down any new thoughts or ideas you have. It could be just the beginnings of the next earth-shattering idea.
Check up on a friend or talk to a stranger
We lead busy lives, but that does not mean that we should neglect our personal relationships. Why not use the time on your commute to send an encouraging message to a close friend who is struggling, or drop a message to an old friend you haven’t spoken to in a while? This could make someone’s day.
Alternatively, why not connect with the world around you instead of getting sucked up in your own little world on the train?
If appropriate, try striking up a conversation with a stranger sitting next to you. There is a lot you can learn from a discussion with someone new, and you never know if that person could be a valuable contact for you in the future.
Take time to reflect
In midst of all the busyness, we sometimes forget to take the time to reflect on our lives.
You could take the time during your commute to step out of the rat race and do some serious reflection – where are you now, and what do you want out of life? If you’re grappling with any particular issue, you can also read self-help articles or books, or even inspirational quotes, to get some guidance.
Seedly Contributor: Charlene Ng
Charlene is a young professional working in Singapore and enjoys writing in her free time.
She hopes to share her experiences and lessons learnt as she navigates adult life to help others become more financially savvy.
Editor’s note: The above is a really insightful article by Charlene who is a part of our Seedly community. For readers who are interested in the lifestyle aspect of personal finance, check out Seedly’s content on Lifestyle!
This community group started as an experiment around 7 months back. Today, it’s grown into something really exciting and meaningful. Let’s keep it that way.
Making Smarter Financial Decisions
A community is only as strong as it’s members and their beliefs. Very quickly, we realize that we are on to an often taboo topic of “personal finances for the masses”, and simplifying it quickly through group discussions and engagement. Let us remind ourselves:
“We are all here for Meaningful Discussions”
In Singapore, I don’t believe there are actual groups like this which you can get really solid discussions with experts and newbies all in one place. Other online groups like Money Mind on HWZ are filled with internet trolls and slammers behind fake accounts which don’t provide value to new people and spread proper financial literacy at all.
Which puts things into perspective: At close to 8,880 members, we have noticed some things which we are keen to shed a light on.
What has been good:
We’ve been growing very quickly with a large amount of referral traffic from friends and families
People really need help and they find that Seedly community is that place to get help
For the large part, discussions have been really fruitful and everyone can definitely learn from each other
What has been bad:
Members treating Seedly community as a battleground between agents vs non-agents
Subgroups ganging up against each other with multiple hidden agendas
Some salespeople (like 5% of the community) going out to fish for leads and deals
All things considered, we can see that there are definitely more good than bad, and we are actually severely impacting lives here with meaningful discussions in #SeedlyQnA and other crowd-sourced open discussions.
Our Moderation Stance
Our Seedly team will definitely aim to do better to serve our members.
At this juncture, would love to highlight that we are indebted to Zhirong, Aik Kai, and Xiao Hui who are actually regular people who volunteered to be moderators. People on the street who are doing this out of goodwill and belief in the community’s mission – Helping each other make smarter financial decisions. We are always open to more moderators if you are keen to join our mission.
Follow up action:
We urge all salespeople to stop selling (this is not a group for you)
We would also urge all members regardless of industry to stop using Seedly as a battleground
More active moderation by the community members to ‘call out bad behavior’ and also ‘recognize good behavior’
If you do not agree to our stance, you are kindly free to leave the group
We’ll continue striving towards more in-depth and meaningful discussions as per what is most valuable to all our members here:
#SeedlyQnA: Every day with anonymous selected questions
#SeedlyReviews: Every Tuesday to look at everyday financial products and services
#SeedlyNewbies: Every Thursday for newer, junior members to get their questions answered
#SeedlyStocks: Every Sunday to discuss stocks and market movements
To end of, we want this community to continue running for the next 7 months, 7 years and beyond. We believe that this is really only the start and with already a huge impact, there is much more to be desired and the message of personal financial literacy for the masses can be a lot deeper and far-spreading.
Impact of GST hike on the lower 20% earners in Singapore
For better illustration, we exclude the impact of inflation for the example below:
The lower 20% earners in Singapore’s income is less than their monthly expenditure.
An average household’s expenditure for the lower 20% is at $2,286.30 per month.
With the additional GST, it is going to increase to $2,329.04 per month, an additional cost of $42.74.
That adds up to an additional cost of $512.81 each year.
How can this 20% lower income earners survive?
Again, linking back to our illustration, the bottom 20% income earning households are actually earning less than their monthly expenditure.
The bottom 20% households earn an average of $2,071.22 per month.
This amount is already lower than their monthly expenditure before the GST hike.
With the new GST hike and expenditure to increase to $2,329.40 per month, they will need a 12.47% pay increment to break even.
(well, try going to your boss today to ask for a more than 10% pay increment due to GST hike and see what they say)
Will the Ang Bao be enough?
As bad as it sounds, the government will be giving out a one-time SG bonus for eligible Singaporeans.
The annual income of the lower 20% earning Singaporean should be less than $28,000 which means that they are eligible for the S$300 SG Bonus.
Assuming two members in a household, that will add up to be S$600 worth of SG Bonus.
We calculated before that S$512.81 is the additional cost incurred from the increase in GST, S$600 looks like a sufficient number to cover it.
Do take note that we did not take into account inflation cost and menu costs of vendors.
Example of menu cost can be:
The actual ingredient cost of cooking a bowl of Bak Chor Mee is $2.00, and they charge the consumers $2.50.
This means a 25% profit for the Bak Chor Mee owner.
When costs of ingredient increase with GST, the cost of making a bowl of Bak Chor Mee increases to $2.04.
The vendor now needs to charge about $2.55 to make the same percentage of profit, but they will not do so.
Bak Chor Mee will instead cost $2.60, due to menu cost.
Anticipating possible price increment in future and owner lazy to change menu again
And also, who uses 5 cents coin these days?! So $2.60 sounds like a nice number.
Businesses required to register for GST?
As a business, one will need to register for GST when their taxable turnover exceeds $1 million.
Further Reading: More About Singapore’s Goods and Service Tax (GST)
GST rate is the second-largest source of revenue for the Singapore’s government:
Source of government revenue
Corporate Income Tax
Government Service Tax
Personal Income Tax
Vehicle Quota Premiums
Fees and charges
Customs and Excise Taxes
(TOTO, 4D etc.)
Motor Vehicle Taxes
Statutory Boards' Contribution
GST stood at 7% for the past 10 years:
Is GST A Lazy Option?
With GST being the second-largest source of government revenue, most Singaporeans would go on and ask, “why not increase the one bringing in the most revenue?”
The answer is simple.
Corporate Income Tax brings in the highest percentage of our revenue. While it sounds easy to increase Corporate Income Tax, the impact might be devastating, should Singapore loses its edge to attract foreign investment.
Are there other options available? Maybe, but they all come with their pros and cons too. Increasing the GST can be a rather difficult option too, with the ruling party putting the risk of losing precious votes on the line. Yet, if they went ahead with it, it might indicate the lack of a feasible solution to our increase in country’s expenditure moving forward.
Budget Allocation: Country X
So something interesting happened on Seedly Personal Finance Community as we were sharing the breakdown of our government’s spending for Financial Year 2017.
A community member of ours shared with us a breakdown of Country X’s government’s spending and remind us Singaporeans to be happy with what we have.
Country X spends 83.6% of their revenue on administration and the remaining on the development of a country.
There is probably no perfect policies and countries, Singaporeans should come together and help one another. Surrounding yourself with friends to embark on a well-researched personal finance journey is definitely a good way to go about it. If not, there is always Seedly Personal Finance Community. We got your back!
Seedly will be providing our insights on The Budget 2018 as it happens.
3 main objectives of The Budget 2018: Building o a strong position in technology: Smart nation movement to make a more vibrant and innovative economy
Various broad Initiatives:
– Technology, innovation & enterprise
– Welcoming more talents into Singapore
– Smart, green and livable city
– Ageing is a constant concern to many
For small businesses and increasing business costs:
– Extending Wage Credit schemes (WCS) for 3 more years
– Enhance and extend Corporate Income Tax rebates
For smart nation aspect:
New technology: New markets and new needs to be met. This also means new challenges for Singaporeans. With this, the inclusion of older workers will be important.
All these will be done on 3 enablers:
1) Foster innovation throughout our economy
2) Building deep capabilities to compete in value and skills we bring
3) Form partnerships both locally and abroad.
Measures to do so:
1) Innovation – To help embrace new tech. and innovation.
Support businesses to buy and use new technology. Increase tax deduction for licensing payment will be reverted to 100% for YA 2019 and beyond.
Raise tax deductions on licensing payments for the commercial use of IP to 200%, capped at $100,000 of licensing payments per year.
This cap can ensure small business to benefit from innovation.
2) Sustain public sector R&D to 1% GDP annually.
National Research Foundation launched by Temasek to grow companies that draw on Ip from publicly funded research.
3) National robotics programme will be extended.
Smart Nation Movement
Deep skills development is required.
Train older Singaporeans in digital skills – Govt will be expanding Tech Skills Accelerator into additional sectors like manufacturing and professional services.
Young working adults:
Capability Transfer Programme supports skills transfers from overseas trainers to Singaporeans. This can help reduce difference in skillsets that are lacking in certain important fields in Singapore.
3rd Key enabler of the budget 2018: Strong partnerships
All our firms and industries need to be prepared for the same major shifts in the global environment. Innovation, building deeper capabilities in our firms and our people, and forging stronger partnerships will put us in good stead for the future.
The government, through Local Enterprise and Association Development (LEAD) programme, to bring local and international firms together. This can help us develop infrastructure projects.
Technology X Singapore
Government is looking to launch projects and initiative to lay foundational infrastructure & drive adoption of smart technologies.
Starting from the year 2019, to address climate change: Singapore is vulnerable to rising sea levels. To combat climate change, a carbon tax will be implemented on firms producing 25,000 tonnes or more greenhouse gas emission. The first payment of this tax will be in by the year 2020.
Funds to be set aside starting from 2019. This fund will be used to help companies improve energy efficiency.
There will be NO addition tax for petrol and diesel (subjected to changes down the road should there be a need).
Impact of the carbon tax on households will be small. To help households adjust to the carbon tax, the annual U-Save rebates will be increased by $20 per household for 3 years from 2019 to 2021.
SG Care movement
SG care movement:
Provide support for individuals & families to better prepare for the future & care for one another
Strengthen partnerships between Govt & community
Encourage a spirit of giving in Singaporeans.
Increased annual Edusave contributions from Jan 2019 to $230 for each primary school student; to $290 to each secondary school student.
Income eligibility criteria for the Edusave Merit Bursary, and the Independent School Bursary, to benefit more students from lower-to-middle income families.
Enhancing MOE Financial Assistance Scheme for pre-university students from $750 to $900; updating the income eligibility criteria; and covering more meals for secondary school students under School Meals Programme.
This scheme will cost $200 million per year.
Help Singaporeans better prepare for their financial needs at key stages of their lives
Financial Education curriculum at our Polytechnics and Institute of Technical Education.
Enhance existing services to Singaporeans when they buy a flat and when they retire, to provide more information at these major milestones.
The Government is reviewing ElderShield. To ensure that the enhanced scheme remains affordable, there will be premium subsidies for lower and middle-income Singaporeans. An update will be provided later in the year.
Living with parents is now strongly encouraged
Enhanced Proximity Housing Grant for families buying a resale flat to live with their parents or children to $30,000. Those buying a resale flat to live near their parents or children will continue to receive PHG of $20,000.
Singles who buy a resale flat to live with their parents will receive an enhanced PHG of $15,000. Those who buy a resale flat to live near their parents will receive a PHG of $10,000.
Changes in the criteria of “near your parents”:
To give applicants more choices when choosing a resale flat to live near their loved ones, Govt will revise the criteria for the PHG to “within 4km” (currently defined as living in the same town or within 2km).
To give applicants more choices when choosing a resale flat to live near their loved ones, Govt will revise the criteria for the PHG to “within 4km” (currently defined as living in the same town or within 2km).
About 900,000 eligible HDB households will receive 1.5 to 3.5 months of rebate on their Service and Conservancy Charges (S&CC).
Singaporeans are living longer! Hence,…
Domestic helpers levy: To continue supporting families who need help caring for young children, the elderly, or family members with disabilities, the Govt will retain the concessionary Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) levy of $60.
Over the last 10 years, the number of FDWs in Singapore has increased by about 40%. To ensure that FDW demand is commensurate with need, and to avoid over-dependence on FDWs, adjustments will be made to the FDW Levy framework, with effect from 1 April 2019.
For seniors: Community Networks for Seniors pilot will be expanded nationwide by 2020. Agency for Integrated Care will be the central implementation agency to coordinate services for seniors and caregivers. Pioneer Generation Office renamed Silver Generation Office, will be merged with AIC.
$300 million top-up to Community Silver Trust.
$100 million top-up to Senior’s mobility and Enabling Fund.
Contribute back to the community
250% tax deduction for donations made to Institutions of a Public Character (IPCs) will be extended for another 3 years, until 31 Dec 2021.
Community Development Councils (CDCs) will receive increased support – increasing the annual matching grant cap from $24m to $40m.
Business and IPC Partnership Scheme will be extended for 3 more years until 31 Dec 2021. SHARE as One scheme will be extended until FY2021.
Dollar-for-dollar matching will be provided on donations received by the Empowering for Life Fund (ELF) under the President’s Challenge, for the next 5 years.
Contract: I get a Samsung Galaxy S8 with a 3GB 2-year combo plan, my plan will be $48/month and the cost of a recontract phone will be $788, amounting to $1951 in 2 years
SIM-only: I get a Samsung Galaxy S8 with a 3GB 2-year SIM-only plan, my plan will be $24/month and the cost of my phone bought elsewhere (eg. Carousell) will be $1,008, amounting to $1584 in 2 years.
Cost Savings: At least $183.50 / year
2. Meal Prep: Make Your Own Lunch
Doing meal preps for just 1 meal every weekday can save you up to $50 a week!
A typical working adult spends around $5.40 minimally at the food court every weekday, adding up to $27 per week.
However, meal prep can cost as little as $12.50 a week, complete with 5 main ingredients such as chicken, broccoli etc.
Making your own lunch for every weekday in a year: ($27 – $12.50) x 52 weeks = $754
Cost Savings: At least $754 / year
3. Allocate Your Monthly Salary
Take time to sit yourself down and properly reallocate your monthly salary. The start of the Lunar Year is timely to straighten up your finances! It is always tempting to treat yourself when you first get your pay. But, the way to long-term financial stability comes with a bit of discipline.
It’s that time of the year again, Seedly smells money in the air. In order to save you all the searching, we have put together the instructions on how to play 3 popular card games during Chinese New Year: Blackjack, Poker and In-Between
Here’s the simplified guide!
1. How To Play Black Jack (Ban Luck)
“Ban Luck”, otherwise Chinese blackjack is the most commonly played card game at any house during visiting. This is probably because it is a relatively simple game of drawing cards in order to reach the closest to 21 points. The good news is, we also made a cheat sheet on how you can win Blackjack (Ban Luck), with a little bit of math.
Step 1: Dealing Cards
After the dealer shuffles the card, one of the players will ‘cut’ the deck, splitting the deck into two. This is to ensure fairness in the game.
The dealer will then give out two cards to each player, including himself. Note that blackjack can be played by as many players as you want.
Unlike blackjack in the casino, Singaporeans usually deal with 2 cards facing down.
Step 2: Counting Points
As mentioned previously, Ban Luck is about trying to get closest to 21 points, without exceeding.
After you open your own 2 cards, start counting:
Cards 2 to 9: The number on the card represents the point
Cards 10, J, Q and K: All represent 10 points.
If one has a total of 2 cards in hand, Ace can be 10 or 11.
If one has a total of 3 cards in hand, Ace can be 10 or 1.
If one has more than 4 cards in hand, Ace is equaled to 1.
Step 3: Rules To Take Note
Now that you know how to count your points, each player must at least have 16 points to play.
Card combinations lower than 16 points will mean that the player or dealer has to draw from the pile when it’s their turn
Should a player or banker has exactly 15 points in his first two cards, he can choose to surrender.
Step 4: Special Card Combinations = Win More $$
There are special combinations which allow the dealer or players to get back more than 1X of their bet amount.
Ban Luck (Ace with J, Q, K or 10): Player to win 2X his bet unless the dealer has 15 points or Ban Ban. This is the same for the dealer.
Ban Ban (Ace pair): Wins 3X the bet amount.
7-7-7 (Triple 7): Wins 7X the bet amount.
Dragon (obtain 5 cards without exceeding 21 points):
Should a player wants to hit after receiving his fourth card, he will have to reveal all his 4 cards.
Should his total points of all 5 cards not exceed 21 points, he receives 2X his bet.
2. How To Play Poker
We found out that many people actually don’t know how to play poker! We sure don’t want you to be one of those bullied rookies during Chinese New Year, here are simple steps on how to play Poker:
Step 1: Dealing Cards
After the dealer shuffles the cards, one of the players will ‘cut’ the deck, splitting the deck into two. This is to ensure fairness in the game.
The dealer will then give out two cards to each player, including himself. Note that poker can be played by as many players as you want.
Note: Dealer changes after every round
Step 2: Card Combinations Rankings
This is the most important part of poker: How you can win.
If you know how to play “Tai Ti”, otherwise knows a Big Two, the combination of cards are similar. The list goes from 1 being the biggest to _ being the smallest:
Royal Flush: 10, J, Q, K, A, all in the same suit
4 of a kind: 4 cards of the same number
Full house: A combination of 3 of the same numbered cards + one pair
Flush: 5 cards of the same suit
Straight: 5 cards of consecutive numbers
3 of a kind: 3 cards of the same number
2 pairs of cards
1 pair of cards
Highest card: If no player has any of the above combinations, the player with the highest card wins
Step 3: Big Blind, Small Blind
This is to ensure that there is enough money in the pot at the beginning of each round to pay off people who win
The player on the left of the dealer is the big blind, and the player to the left of the big blind is the small blind.
The big blind puts in twice the amount of money that the small blind puts into the pot of money. The amount of money is typically determined by what your group is used to.
Step 4: Starting The Game
If we continue from Step 1, after each player opens their own 2 cards, they will determine if they stand a good chance to win according to the combination rankings in Step 2.
The player to the left of the dealer will choose to either
Bet: Bet a certain amount of money
Check: Do nothing
Following the same clockwise order to take turns, the rest of the players can choose to:
Call: Follow the first player’s bet
Fold: Give up
Raise: Raise the first player’s bet. When a raise happens, everyone else will have to either call, fold or continue raising until everyone playing has the same bet.
The dealer will then deal, which means layout 3 cards for everyone to see
Players can bet/ call/ raise/ fold
The dealer deals the 4th card for everyone to see
Players can bet/ call/ raise/ fold
The dealer deals the 5th card for everyone to see
The final time players can bet/ call/ raise/ fold
The player with the highest card combination rank (refer to step 2) wins!
3. How To Play In-Between
In-between is a fast moving card game with relatively simple rules. But watch out, fast moving means your money will be moving fast too!
Step 1: Dealing Cards
After the dealer shuffles the cards, one of the players will ‘cut’ the deck, splitting the deck into two. This is to ensure fairness in the game. This game can also be played by as many players as you want.
Step 2: Contribute To The Pot $
Each player will put a standardised amount into the pot of money to start of the game
Step 3: Starting The Game
The dealer will open 2 cards for the first player on his or her left
The player will then bet an amount of money according to the chance of the 3rd card falling in between those 2 numbers. Step 4 will teach you how this thought process works:
Step 4: Rule Of Winning/ Losing
Winning or losing money depends on the 3rd card the dealer opens for you
If the card:
Falls in between the 2 cards:..
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