The Seedly Money Framework: Your Complete Guide to Winning Your Personal Finance
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The Seedly Money Framework: Your Complete Guide to Winning Your Personal Finance

Kenneth Lou
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We are currently halfway through 2020.

If you told yourself that this is THE year that you’re going to manage your money properly and sort out your personal finances…

How’s your progress so far?

Source: Giphy

If you haven’t done anything yet…

Fret not!

All you need is The Seedly Money Framework and just ONE WEEKEND to sort out your money.

If you’re already doing something about it.

You can still use the framework to conduct a mid-year health check-up of your finances!

Ready to get your life in order?

Let’s go!


TL;DR: Sort out Your Personal Finances With The Seedly Money Framework

Seedly Money Framework

The Seedly Money Framework was specially created to help non-financially trained Singaporeans start their personal finance journey on the right track.

It was distilled after many hours of poring through complicated money concepts and moderating the questions and answers on SeedlyCommunity.

At the end of the article, you should have chosen at least 5 key actionable items to get started with.

How to Use The Seedly Money Framework

The Seedly Money Framework

It’s a really simple checklist with 15 key actionable items across 5 different categories.

The key actionable items are also structured into 3 different levels of difficulty.

Here’s how to use The Seedly Money Framework:

  • Block out 5 hours (preferably on a Saturday or Sunday, so you can really dedicate yourself to it)
  • Download and print out The Seedly Money Framework
  • Read and understand what the key actionable items are
  • Circle AT LEAST 5 key actionable items you wish to accomplish by the end of the year
  • Paste The Seedly Money Framework somewhere where you can see it every day
  • Follow the instructions listed for the key actionable items you chose

Yes, it’s really that simple!

With this simple framework, your personal finances could go from ZERO to HERO.

To make it more entertaining (and helpful) for you, I’ll also include podcasts which we did on MONEY FM 89.3 as well as relevant SeedlyTV episodes!

And if you find yourself having more questions or would like to help others level up.

Feel free to share your perspectives with the friendly SeedlyCommunity!


Seedly Income

Income

This category focuses on the key ingredient in your financial planning: your income sources and cashflow.

Income Level 1: Understand My Monthly Cashflow

  • Why: Understanding the INs and OUTs of your monthly cashflow will help you to figure out how much you’re spending and saving
  • How: Refer to your latest 3 months’ worth of bank and credit card transactions to determine how much goes IN or OUT of your bank account
  • What: Use a simple excel sheet or the Seedly App (on iOS and Android) to help you keep track

Besides your bank savings account, don’t forget that you’ve also got money going into your CPF account.

Want to find out more about CPF?

Check out this MONEY FM 89.3 podcast where we talked about how to maximise your CPF savings:

Income Level 2: Automate My Monthly Cashflow (Pay Myself First)

Seedly 50 30 20 Rule Budget Allocation

  • Why: By allocating your monthly salary into 3 separate accounts, you ensure that you can only spend from ONE account (Expenses)
  • How: Set up a Standing Instruction (SI) to automatically transfer money out — from an account which your salary is credited to — to your ‘Savings’ and ‘Wealth’ account
  • What: Look for savings accounts are which are easy-to-use and have solid online interfaces so it’s easy to set up recurring payments

Income Level 3: Work on Side Hustles and Earn Extra Income

  • Why: The digital world makes it easier for people to have side hustles and earn extra income either through investing or working part-time jobs and projects. Or you can also look for ways to upgrade yourself to improve your value at work.
  • How: Figure out what your current base pay is and find side hustles which can give you a high ROI
  • What: It could be personal hobbies like baking, using your knowledge and expertise in a subject to give tuition, or your skills to do freelance projects

210220_HobbyTurnedHustlingCoverImage_SeedlyComicSeries


Spending

This category focuses on where and how you spend your money.

Spending Level 1: Monitor My Expenses (Weekly or Monthly)

  • Why: It is important to understand where you are spending your money in order to control your expenditure, this can be segmented into Fixed and Variable expenses
  • How: Refer to your latest 3 months’ worth of bank and credit card transactions to sort your spending into categories for eg. food, utilities, bills, and etc.
  • What: Use a simple excel sheet or the Seedly App (on iOS and Android) to help you keep track

You can start by using this simple budgeting template to reduce your expenses to only 30 per cent of your salary!

Spending Level 2: Cut My Monthly Expenses by ___% (Weekly or Monthly)

  • Why: The next step after knowing how much you spend, is to cut your expenses by managing your ‘Needs’ and reducing your ‘Wants’
  • How: Review your ‘Wants’ and prioritise what is important, cut what is unnecessary, and set short-term goals to achieve those that you REALLY want
  • What: Use a simple excel sheet or the Seedly App (on iOS and Android) to help you keep track closely

If you’re paying a lot for your monthly mobile bill, you might want to look at a cheaper SIM-only mobile plan to cut your expense.

Seedly Cheapest SIM Only Plan

Or if you’re spending a lot on food, make sure you use these mobile apps or food delivery promo codes to get a discount!

Spending Level 3: Maximise My Rewards by Using a Cashback or Miles Card

  • Why: You should only be in the ‘Credit Card game’ if you have control of your spending and are NOT overspending to begin with
  • How: Figure out if you are a cashback or miles person based on your goals and lifestyle
  • What: Use our SeedlyReviews to compare and choose the best credit card, and pick one or two cards (max!) to use

There are different credit cards best used for different purchases.

All of which can give you rewards, cash rebates, or even air miles.

Best Credit card for online shopping. Miles and cashback

Some examples include grocery credit cards and online shopping credit cards.


Savings

This category focuses on savings (both for an emergency as well as for short and long-term goals) and how to manage or clear your debt if you have any.

FYI: we spoke about this at length on this MONEY FM 89.3 podcast:

Savings Level 1: Review My Overall Net Worth (Assets and Liabilities)

how to calculate net worth

  • Why: Take stock of what you have and figure out your net worth so you can get a better sense of your financial progress and goals
  • How: List out all of your assets (savings accounts and investments) and liabilities (home loan, student loan, and etc.)
  • What: Use a simple excel sheet or the Seedly App (on iOS and Android) to help you consolidate everything

You can use this simple template to list down and calculate what is your net worth.

Savings Level 2: Optimise My Savings Accounts (And Rainy Day Fund) for the Highest Interest

  • Why: You should always have a rainy day fund (minimum 6 months monthly expenses) as an emergency because you never know when you might be retrenched or get involved in an accident. Savings are also useful for short-term (for eg. to renovate your new home) and long-term goals (for eg. to pay for your children’s university education).
  • How: Don’t just stick your money in your kid’s savings account — which gives you a paltry 0.05% p.a. interest — because you’ll lose your money to inflation
  • What: Use this free Seedly Savings Account Calculator to figure out which is the best high-interest savings account to use

Seedly Best Savings Account 2020

If you want some easy strategies to save up for your rainy day fund.

Be sure to check out SeedlyTV S2E07 – Easy Strategies for Beginners to Save Up to learn the basics and even some special hacks!

SeedlyTV S2E07 Easy Strategies For Beginners To Save Up

Savings Level 3: Plan out My Debt Repayment Schedule and Re-Finance Loans

Singaporean journey how much personal finance

  • Why: In Singapore, it is almost impossible to survive without taking on any debt (for eg. a home loan or education loan) and if you don’t pay down your principal, the interest will slowly but surely kill you
  • How: Plan ahead to start saving up so you can avoid taking a loan, or can take a smaller one. Even if you take a loan, figure out how much you’ll need to service monthly and whether you can afford it.
  • What: If you’re on an existing loan and are out of your lock-in period, find out what are the latest rates try to reprice or refinance to a loan with a lower interest rate

If you’re planning to buy your first HDB BTO, figure out whether a CPF Housing Loan or a Bank Loan works better for you.

HDB LOAN VS BANK LOAN

By using home loan calculators like HDB’s Monthly Instalment Calculator.

Or speaking to the banks to sort this out.

If you have any unsecured or personal debt, you’ll want to find out what are the best hacks to clear your debts fast and effectively.


Insurance

This category focuses on protecting your finances.

Insurance Level 1: Consolidate My Insurance Policies

  • Why: Understand how insurance works and know what types of insurance policies do you currently own (or do not own)
  • How: Review your policies yourself or talk to a trusted insurance agent to find out more
  • What: By consolidating your insurance policies, you can figure out if you have the key insurance policies needed for you and your dependants

Insurance Level 2: Review My Policies With My Agent or DIY to Understand Gaps

  • Why: Figure out if you need to buy more coverage or should you trim off the excess, so that you’re not just paying insurance premiums for nothing
  • How: Review your policies yourself or talk to a trusted insurance agent to find out more

A common insurance-related question that we see on the SeedlyCommunity would be whether you should get term or whole life insurance?

Do I need an integrated shield plan?

What kind of travel insurance should you get?

P.S. This can get complicated, so you’ll probably want to allocate more time for this

Insurance Level 3: Optimise My Policies Allocation (Cost vs Coverage)

  • Why: For every dollar of coverage you get there are (sometimes) better alternatives you can consider
  • How: You want to spend the least amount of money, to get the most amount of coverage for you and your dependants (more bang for your buck)
  • What: Fully consider all aspects before purchasing any form of insurance (for eg. the company’s reputation, level of service, ease of claims process and etc.)

The best way is to read real-user reviews about insurance products left on SeedlyReviews to find out for yourself!


Investing Seedly

Investing

Before moving onto this category, you’ll want to make sure that you have your Savings and Insurance sorted out first!

Protecting your downside is WAY more crucial when it comes to proper financial planning.

Ready to start investing?

We’ve talked about it on this MONEY FM 89.3 podcast:

Investment Level 1: Learn About the Different Asset Classes

SeedlyTV S2E05 Picking Winning Stocks

Here’s a quick overview of the various investment products out there.

Investment products that give guaranteed returns

Investment Level 2: Build My Portfolio and Make My First Investment

Seedly Comic Things I Wished I Knew Before Making First Investment

If you invest for the long-term and have a long time horizon, you can lower the time it takes to double your money (or even more).

Investment Level 3: Optimise My Investments for Better and Higher Returns

Once you are in the market and have received your first quarter of dividends or results.

You will start to want more.

And you’ll want to figure out how to beat the market OR even push for higher returns.

  • Why: This is the next level and I would grade this from Level 3 to 100, basically, how far you go and how good you get at it will depend on your years of practice and experience
  • How: You can use our free REITs Tool or online stock screeners to help you invest better, and you should continue investing and reading widely

An even faster way would be to ask questions and have active investment-related discussions with our friendly SeedlyCommunity!


Start Sorting out Your Personal Finances Today

It’s NEVER too late to start getting your finances in order.

In fact, the earlier you start looking and doing something about it, the easier it will be for you to retire comfortably in the future.

We all have (roughly) the same amount of time on Earth.

Saving up for retirement

So if you want to use the power of compound interest to its full advantage.

The best time to start was yesterday.

And the next best time to start doing something about it… is TODAY.

Use The Seedly Money Framework as a starting point to help you learn important money habits and lessons on your own personal finance journey.

Good luck and all the best!

About Kenneth Lou
Co-founder of Seedly. Passionate about helping people make smarter financial decisions.
You can contribute your thoughts like Kenneth Lou here.

Still have more questions after reading the article? Fret not, ask our community here!

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