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Ultimate Guide: Maximise Your Ang Bao Money This CNY

TL;DR: Maximise your Ang Bao money this CNY

  • Changing your lifestyle can help you save S$16,244.50 per year.
  • Growing your Ang Bao money to beat inflation can help you Huat even more.
  • Simple investments and changing of your bank account can make you at least $1,400 richer!

new year new huat

New Year New Huat

As we usher in the new year, let’s start things on the right foot by reviewing our lifestyle choices. The real huat starts not from buying 4D but by making smarter day-to-day decisions!

Here are 8 (huat!) areas you can begin from, and how much money you can save in a year if you make those changes!

change to sim only telco plan

1. Change your Telco plan: SIM Only

Our mobile phones are now basically our entire lives. Buying your phone without a convenient combo plan can actually save you heaps in the long run.

Comparison Scenario:

  • 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

meal prep prepare own meals

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

salary breakdown allocate monthly

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.

For a start, follow our 20% Savings, 50% Expenses, 30% Wealth guide:

  • Automate a transfer of 50% of your pay to your credit or debit card
  • Put 20% of your savings into a savings account. Assuming it is the DBS Multiplier as broken down by our best savings account analysis, there will be a 1.85% interest.
  • Put 30% into your wealth accounts such as ETF or a regular savings plan, with average returns of 6.3% per annum.

Total Huat accumulated (assuming $2000/month salary): At least $12,581 / year

save money prolong lifespan skincare makeup

4. Prolong The Lifespan Of Your Beauty Products

Both males and females use skincare and beauty products every day. Here are some quick tips to save your skincare products and your wallets:

  • Use multi-purpose products instead of specific purpose products
  • Keep your beauty products away from sunlight and heat
  • Reinvent and recycle foundations and leftover lipstick

If we replace specific-use products, for example, a fancy lip balm and eye cream with a gentle moisturizer or Vaseline, it can save you up to $50 / 4 months

Cost Savings: At least $150 / year

cheap fly travel air fare tools

5. Know Where To Find Cheap Air Fares

If you fall into the “I aim to travel once a year” category, this tip is extra important for you. With 9 long weekends in 2018, this is the year to satisfy your wanderlust without breaking the bank.

Here are 5 essential tools to help you before you embark on your trip-planning frenzy!

  1. Seedly Deals: Deal site for special airlines promotions & deals. (P.S The newest deal is a $498 Melbourne flight with Singapore Airlines)
  2. Skyscanner: Airfare aggregator that compares cheap air tickets across 30+ websites
  3. Expedia: Flights+hotel aggregator with Expedia+ Rewards Points program
  4. Hellowings: Airfare aggregator that compares air tickets across the year
  5. Airline newsletters: Newsletters with exclusive airline deals in your inbox

Cost Savings: Average $300 / trip

cheap gym membership price

 

6. Change Your Expensive Gym Membership

Fitness quickly becomes one of the main concerns of a working adult. Yes, we mean metabolism slowing, beer belly showing — that kind of stuff.

But worry not, there are many ways you can keep fit cheaply without a fancy gym membership.

  • Swimming will cost you less than $2 and join Fit Club’s group exercises are less than $5 per session.
  • If we compare gym memberships solely, you know that ActiveSG meets most of your exercise needs (Unless you need a personal trainer!)
  • When you sign up for ActiveSG a free $100 will be given to you for gyms, pools and external classes.
  • More high-end gym memberships such as the ones at Anytime fitness cost around  $1000 / year

Considering that MyActiveGym’s membership is $300 a year for adults and you switch over from a high-end gym membership:

Cost Savings: At Least $700 / year

money saving tools

7. Know Your Money Saving Tools

The internet is a wonderful place – that helps you save money.

  • Carousell can save you $10 on a top online or $200 on a TV
  • Shopback gives you up to 10% cashback
  • Taxibot can save you $4 with promo codes, and so on
  • If you use RATEX to get a big ticket item you can save on conversion rates

Going about the whole year with a constant $4 saved on rides, $10 on clothing and $200 on bigger purchases, we can safely add this up to ($4 x 100) + ($10 x 50) + ($200 x 2) = $1300 / year!

Cost Savings: At Least $1300 / year

broadband price

8. Change Your Broadband Plan

Home is where the WiFi connects automatically. That is why your broadband plan is so important.

  • Assuming your family is currently subscribed to a typical Singtel 24-months 1GBPS plan, you are currently paying approximately $60 / month.
  • Alternatively, a WhizComms contract is about $37/month inclusive of router.

Switching can save you: At least $276 / year.

Of course, if you have other needs such as gaming broadband series or you prefer no-contract plans, read more here for a more comprehensive breakdown of the best broadband deals out there.

Adopting our 8 Huat Tips this New Year can save you $16,244.50 in a year:

 Huat TipsMoney Saved: 1 Year
1Telco Plan - SIM Only$ 183.50
2Meal Prep$ 754
3Allocate Monthly Salary$ 12 581
4Prolong Lifespan -
Skincare Products
$ 150
5Find The Cheapest Air Fares$ 300
6Cheaper Gym Membership$ 700
7Money Saving Tools$ 1300
8Broadband Plan - WhizComms$ 276
Total $ Saved $ 16,244.50

new year even more huat

New Year Even More Huat

Chinese New Year will be a good time to really put the cliché “New Year, New Me” to a real test and into action. What we do with our Ang Bao Money matters, in the long run.

On top of the above lifestyle tips that can save you a lot of money, there are definitely ways to grow your Ang Bao money!

With Ang Bao money ranging from $0 (assuming you lost all your Ang Bao money while gambling) to more than $500. Here are some ways to help you grow it!

Editor’s note: For the below illustrations, we used Singapore’s median salary of $3,500 easier calculation.

My Ang Bao money is $0

Assuming you lost all your money over at your cousin’s gambling table, or Mobile Legend kept you away from house-visiting, here are some financial decisions that you can adopt for an even more huat Chinese New Year.

The first step to personal finance can be as easy as choosing the right card, best savings account or brokerage.

Best saving accounts for student

  • A proper personal financial decision can start as early as when one is a student. Getting the best student savings account for the year 2018 is your first step.
  • If you are a richer student with minimum $1,000 in your account, going for the CIMB Fastsaver and enjoying the 1% interest rate will be the most ideal.

Switching to the best savings account can get you: $12/year ($1 interest per month, assuming $1,000 in your account throughout).

Best savings account for working adults

  • For working adults, choosing the best savings account can give one up to 1.85% per annum worth of interest rate.Seedly Best Savings Account 2018

Switching to the best savings account: $631.68/year (Standard Chartered)

Best credit card for students

  • As we grow older, our expenses increase with it. It is important to try and reap some benefits from this increase in expenses.
  • The Citibank Clear and DBS Visa debit offer the highest rebate at 5-10% rewards.

Getting that credit card: $120/year (assuming $200 expenses each month)

Best Credit Card for Working Adults (Cashback/ Miles)

  • Depending on whether you are from the cashback camp or the miles game there are cards that cater to both preferences.
  • For cashback credit cards, here are some of the best options.
     Big Purchases

    Unlimited Cash Back

    Dining/ Entertainment/ Online

    Transport/ Groceries

    UOB One

    SCB Unlimited Cashback

    AMEX True Cashback

    BOC Family

    Citi Cash Back

    OCBC 365

    UOB Yolo

    OCBC Frank

    Citibank SMRT ez-link

    Cashback
    rate

    3.3%-5%

    1.5%

    1.5%

    5%-7%

    8%*

    3%-6%*

    3%-6%

    3%-6%

    2%-5%

    Max. cashback cap

    $50/ $100/ $300 per quarter

    None

    None

    $100 per month

    $100 per month
    ($25 per category of dining/groceries/petrol)

    $80 per month

    $60 per month

    $60 per month

    Max 600 SMRT$ per year

    Min. Spend (Monthly)

    $500/ $1,000/ $2,000

    None

    None

    $500

    $888

    $600

    $600

    $400

    None

    Best for

    UOB One bank account holders/ Wedding/ Renovation payments

    Fuss-free
    Unlimited cashback

    20% Uber Cashback*

    Fuss-free
    Unlimited cashback

    BOC SmartSaver account holders, Dining, Online

    Grab rides,
    Dining, Groceries,
    Petrol

    OCBC 360 bank account holders, Online shopping (3%),
    Weekend dining (6%), Weekday (3%)

    Weekend dining & entertainment (6%), Weekday (3%), 1-for-1 at Cathay Cineplex

    Online Shopping

    2% on ez-link auto top-up, 5% on groceries, fast food, movies and coffee

    Sign-up bonus

    None

    $138 for new customers

    $25 Grab/NTUC voucher

    None

    None

    $125 Grab/NTUC voucher

    $120 cash back if you hit $200 per month for 6 months

    None

    $50 cash credit*

    None

    $125 Grab/NTUC voucher

    $120 cash back if you hit $200 per month for 6 months

  • If you belong to the miles camp, we got you covered too for the best miles cards.

Getting that credit card: Cashback capped: up to $12,00/year

Best brokerage/ stock trading account

  • Never belittle the cost of every transaction you spend when making your investments.
  • Trading on the cheapest stock trading platform can definitely help you save in the long run.

    Stock Brokerage (Cash Upfront) Comparison

     Stock Brokerage
    (Cash Upfront)
    Minimum Fees
    (S$)
    Trading Fees
    1KGI Connex250.18%
    2CIMB Securities180.18%
    3DBS Vickers100.12%
    4Maybank Kim Eng100.18%
    5Phillips Securities
    (Poems)
    10
    (till 30 June 2018)
    0.12%
    (till 30 June 2018)
    6OCBC Securities180.18%
    7UOB KayHian100.12%

My Ang Bao money is about $100

One can kick off his investment journey for as little as $100!

Regular Savings Plan

  • We did an illustration based on past results for Regular Savings Plan into the Straits Times Index ETF for only $100 per month.
  • Assuming compounding of interest at 6%, one can save up to $45,564 per year!
  • Check out the cheapest Regular Savings Plan here:

Embarking on a regular savings plan: $72/year

Robo-advisor

  • Robo-advisors promise low-cost diversified passive investing for as little as $100 per month
  • As it is quite a new product in the market, the returns are uncertain as of now.
  • Check out the best robo-advisor:
    Robo-Advisor Comparison Singapore
  • One can also read real user reviews on these products before making a decision.

P2P Lending Platforms

  • P2P Lending platforms connect the public to businesses in need of funding.
  • Public investors can lend money to these businesses and get returns based on interest rates when borrowers repay the loans.
  • Check out the best P2P platform:
  • Read real user reviews about P2P Platforms in Singapore too!

Embarking on a P2P Platform at about 10% returns: $120/year

My Ang Bao is more than $500

Lucky you! Your Ang Bao money can open your doors to so many other instruments now.

Singapore Savings Bond

  • $500 is all it takes to make an investment in low risk Singapore Savings Bond.
  • While the returns are not sky-rocket high, it is one of the safest instruments which Singaporeans have the privilege of investing in.
    Singapore Savings Bonds vs Banks vs fixed deposits

Investing in Singapore Saving Bond with 2.12% returns on average: $10.60/year

Funds and Blue Chips

  • $500 can open the doors to funds and blue chips too, especially when 100 lots of shares is all it takes for each investment in the Singapore Exchange (SGX)
  • Of course, all these investments require more effort to read up on them.
  • Learning to read a fund factsheet will be a good start.

 

 

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