Youths: Your Ultimate Personal Finance Guide (15 - 35 Years Old)
322
shares

Youths: Your Ultimate Personal Finance Guide (15 - 35 Years Old)

Xue Miao
322
shares

SeedlyExplains Banner

There are soooo many things I wish I’d known while growing up.

For one, I wish that we were taught the importance of personal finance in school.

It’s basically the know-how behind how to manage our money, and it’s something we’ll need to know how to do every step of our lives.

In fact, having the right personal finance skills is really important if you want to meet your financial goals in life.

And the sooner you start planning, the more beneficial it is for you.

Mr Krabs Looking At Money
Source: SpongeBob SquarePants | Giphy

Winning at the personal finance game shouldn’t be difficult.

And that’s why we’ve created this ultimate guide for you to help you take charge of your own financial decisions!

Let’s go!


The Seedly Money Framework: Youth Edition

Here at Seedly, we’ve created the Seedly Money Framework which is a simple guide to help Singaporeans on their personal finance journey.

But we know that it could still be daunting for some of you.

So… we’ve created The Seedly Money Framework: Youth Edition to simplify it even more and make it more relatable to youths.

The framework is broken down into three different levels.

And includes two other segments, which are applicable regardless of which level you’re at.

Youth Personal Finance Guide Beginner Button

Youth Personal Finance Guide Intermediate Button

Youth Personal Finance Guide Advanced Button

Youth Personal Finance Guide Health & Wellness Button

Youth Personal Finance Guide Starting a Family Button


National Youth Council (NYC) Singapore

This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and National Youth Council (NYC) to develop a framework for youths to access their financial well-being and have ways to evaluate their habits and make better financial choices.


Seedly Money Framework Youth Edition Beginner

Beginner

Seedly Ultimate Personal Finance Guide Youths - Beginner

This is an introduction to personal finance.

In other words, this is for you if you’re a complete personal finance noob.

Back to top

1) Income

Understand Your Monthly Cash Flow

To kickstart your personal finance journey, one important basic knowledge to have is to understand your monthly cash flow.

What does cash flow mean?

As its name suggests, cash flow is fluid, meaning there are both inputs and outputs.

Input would be your monthly allowance (or salary for some of you who are working part-time) or the earnings from the sale of your clothes on the secondhand market.

Output would be you spending money on a brand new pair of sneakers or your favourite bubble tea.

How Do You Figure out Your Cash Flow?

Refer to your latest 3 months’ worth of bank and card (if you already have one) transactions to determine how much is going in and out of your bank account.

FYI: if you work part-time, your monthly CPF contributions are also considered as part of your monthly cash flow!

Keeping track of this means that you’re building awareness of your financial health.

You could use an Excel sheet to help you or a simpler way is to just use the FREE Seedly App to track your expenses.

If you’re a National Serviceman Full-Time (NSF), you’ll be getting an NS allowance.

Seedly Lifestages National Serviceman Full Time NSF

To help you figure out what to do with that, you can refer to this comprehensive guide to get your personal finances in shape while you’re training to be soldiers!

2) Spending

Even if you don’t have much now.

It’s still very important to know where and how you’re spending your money.

By tracking your expenses, you can better control your expenditure.

Your expenditure can be categorised into either fixed or variable expenses.

And the biggest fixed expense that you have to contend with is probably the furthering of your tertiary studies.

tuition fee loan for local universities singapore

If you’re planning to get your diploma:

If you’re heading to university:

And here’re some resources on student loans and repayments:

Remember that this is an investment for your future!

Stay in school and do well!

3) Savings

It doesn’t matter how much you actually have.

The first thing you need when it comes to savings is to set up an emergency fund.

From there, you can set financial goals and then find ways to reach them:

Since you’re just starting out, you might want to build a habit of constantly reviewing and understanding what is your net worth.

It’s basically what you get when you subtract your liabilities from your assets.

how to calculate net worth

This magical number measures your financial situation and gives you a better grasp of your financial progress.

4) Insurance

Insurance is important because it protects you (and your finances) from the unexpected.

Think about it.

It would really suck if you had to choose between going on exchange or a holiday (which you’ve been saving up for) and having to pay for a huge medical bill because of an unforeseen accident right…

It’s also important to note that there is NO one-size-fits-all solution for insurance coverage either.

So you should first take the time to understand what are the key insurance policies to get.

Key Insurance Policies

This way you don’t get end up in a situation where you buy whatever an insurance agent ‘recommends’ to you…

Insurance Agent Meme

5) Investing

Investing might seem like one of the more complicated (and intimidating) aspects of personal finance.

Many of us might associate it with complicated charts, thick stacks of data, and the intense monitoring of multiple computer screens.

However, if you wish to grow your pot of wealth, then investing is key.

Note: you should only start investing AFTER you have sorted out everything else prior to this!

You’ll need to do a lot of studying before getting into it…

So start by reading the Ultimate Guide to Investing in Singapore.

Ultimate Guide To Investing

We’ve written it in a way that’s not too cheem so you can understand it better!

If you’re starting your investment journey:

If you want to understand the various investment products:

And if you’re looking to understand investment strategies:

Ready to move on to something more advanced? Back to top!


Seedly Money Framework Youth Edition Intermediate

Intermediate

Seedly Ultimate Personal Finance Guide Youths - Intermediate

If you’re clearing your student loan.

Trying to get a job.

Or are thinking about marriage…

Basically, you’re embarking on your next stage in life.

Then this is for you!

Back to top

1) Income

This is the time when you’re trying or just got your first job.

You’ll probably be getting serious about your career too.

And since it’s a huge shift from school life, here are some resources to help you make the transition:

If you need some help with your job search, this should come in handy:

Before you go out and spend your first paycheck, you need to know how to manage your income.

And one of the most basic things to do is to allocate your monthly salary.

Seedly 50 30 20 Rule Budget Allocation

By segregating your money, you can learn how to budget and reduce your expenses more effectively.

Since you’re earning a steady income, you’ll need to learn how to file and pay for your income tax too.

Seedly Income Tax Guide Singapore 2020

If you’re self-employed, here are some resources for you:

2) Spending

You’re probably spending a little bit more now.

But you should always actively try to keep it as low as you can and SPEND ONLY WITHIN YOUR MEANS!

To be a true winner at the personal finance game, every small detail counts.

So… you’ll need to optimise your spending as much as possible!

Seedly Food Delivery Promo Codes June 2020

Food Hacks

Shopping Hacks

Life Hacks

Monthly Bill Hacks

Seedly Cheapest SIM Only Plan

3) Savings

At the intermediate level, you would have gained sufficient knowledge and can start optimising your savings with a high-interest savings account.

Seedly Best Savings Account 2020

Because your kid’s savings account is only giving you a miserly 0.05% interest p.a.

It’s really simple to do all of this, just use our FREE savings calculator to figure out which is the best account for you!

Or maybe you’d like to park some of it in a fixed deposit, then you’ll want to know what are the best fixed deposit rates in Singapore.

4) Insurance

Now that you understand the concept of insurance and know which policies to buy.

If you’re looking for health insurance:

Integrated shield plan comparison

If you’re looking for life insurance:

calculating how much coverage you need for life insurance

If you’re looking for other types of insurance:

Note: you should still get insurance even if you’re a freelancer or self-employed

Also, you’ll want to review your policies periodically to see if you need more coverage or to trim off the excess.

You can either DIY or talk to a trusted insurance agent.

Alternatively, you can always turn to the friendly SeedlyCommunity for advice and more perspectives before making a decision!

5) Investing

Now that you’ve gotten the basics of investing down.

It’s time to make your first investment!

And that means opening your Central Depository (CDP) and online brokerage account.

Opening a CDP and Brokerage Account

Need help figuring out which is the cheapest and best online brokerage to go with?

Cheapest and best online brokerage

We gotchu!

Even after you’ve started investing.

You should still continue reading and learning as much as you can about investments!

You can check out Seedly’s ‘What Is…’ series to brush up on common terms which you might come across.

what is S&P 500 index

And also the ’60-Seconds Guide’ series to get a quick summary of various companies listed in Singapore.

Capitaland-Limited-60-sec-guide

All of these resources contain valuable information presented to you in a simple manner so you don’t have to pore through stacks of company statements.

And as always, you can discuss all things investment-related with the ever-enthusiastic SeedlyCommunity too!

Ready to move on to something more advanced? Back to top!


Seedly Money Framework Youth Edition Advanced

Advanced

Seedly Ultimate Personal Finance Guide Youths - Advanced

By this point, you’ve pretty much got your personal finance game sorted out.

But what if I tell you that you can up your personal finance game?

Back to top

1) Income

Apart from the monthly income which you can get from a regular 9-to-5 job, you can also have a side hustle to really maximise your income.

Or increase your value by upgrading your skills (read: can command higher pay).

P.S. if you’re still studying, a side hustle is a great way to earn some extra pocket money.

You could give tuition or better still, make use of a hobby like photography to earn some serious kachingz.

How much can freelance photographers earn based on experience

If you’re looking for a side hustle to earn extra money:

If you wish to upgrade your skills and improve your chances of higher positions or a promotion, which usually comes with an increase an income:

Alternatively, you might be considering a mid-career switch to a more lucrative industry:

In the worst-case scenario where you’re retrenched (touchwood!), here are some resources to help you get back on your feet:

2) Spending

Besides hacks and making smart lifestyle choices to trim your expenses.

You can also stretch your dollar by using credit cards because you’ll be able to enjoy certain perks and benefits.

Note: you should only use a credit card if you can control your expenditure and pay your balance in full at the end of the month

If you need help looking for a credit card:

Seedly How To Apply Credit Card Singapore

Here are some of the best credit cards based on various categories:

cashback credit card with no minimum spend

If you’re interested in getting REALLY good at the credit card game, you can check out real-user reviews left by the SeedlyCommunity and join in their discussion as well!

3) Savings

Did you know that a typical Singaporean would spend up to $390k by 30 years old?

Singaporean journey how much personal finance

And all of this is on typical milestones type of stuff.

In fact, it’s almost impossible to survive any major milestone in life without taking on debt.

And if you do not have proper planning and fail to pay on time, the interest rates on these loans can be a personal finance nightmare.

Having crippling debt will also affect your credit score, and that would ultimately affect your ability to get loans to finance a mortgage or a business in the future.

So now that you’re at the advanced level, you want to pay close attention to how you plan your debt repayment schedules.

And clear your debts fast and effectively too!

Cash savings aside, you should also look closely at your CPF and think about how you can make that money go even further for your future retirement:

OA SA Cash CPF Hacks Seedly 1

4) Insurance

Now that you have insurance, you can look into optimising your coverage.

When you form a family of your own, you’ll find that you need to expand your coverage or buy other types of insurance in order to protect your dependants.

Or you might find that certain policies you have might be maturing.

And you can switch to a more cost-effective alternative which gives you the same (or even better) coverage for less.

Apart from speaking to a trusted insurance agent.

You can also find out what real users have to say about various insurance plans on our SeedlyCommunity:

5) Investing

By now, you should have an investment portfolio which you’re making regular contributions to.

So what’s next?

Well, what about finding ways to optimise your investments in order to achieve higher returns?

You can revisit the basics by reacquainting yourself with our Ultimate Guide to Investing in Singapore.

And check out our Stocks Analysis to find in-depth analysis of various companies and market movements.

If you’re interested in diversifying your portfolio and want to look overseas:

Guide to Investing in Ireland Domiciled S&P 500 ETF

Looking to diversify into other asset classes like REITs?

How to pick the best REITs

Or use the FREE Seedly REITs Tool to help you make an informed investing decision!

Back to top!


Health & Well-Being

The importance of our health and well-being cannot be neglected as it largely influences our perspective of life — regardless of which stage of life we’re at.

Even if you’re the richest person on Earth, money is insignificant if it cannot bring back your health.

Therefore, it is important for us to be aware of the potential cost of health-related issues, especially when healthcare in Singapore is steadily rising:

Cost Of Healthcare In Singapore

Well-being is more than just taking a vacation or treating yourself to a bubble bath.

In the course of our lives, we often have to deal with or make difficult decisions.

And these might cause stress:

Knowing the costs and what to expect can help us to better prepare our finances for the inevitable (or even the unforeseen).

So that we don’t find ourselves at a loss when a loved one (or even yourself) requires medical attention and assistance.

Back to top!


Starting a Family

Congratulations on starting the next phase in your life!

Starting a family involves a LOT of money so advanced planning is highly recommended.

Saving As a Couple

First, you’ll want to learn how to manage your finances as a duo:

Buying Your First Home

If you’re at the “Ai BTO mai?” stage, you’ll find this Ultimate Personal Finance Guide to Applying For Your First BTO extremely useful.

Seedly HDB BTO Flat Guide

P.S. there’s more to it than just money that you need to think about

Getting Married

If marriage is on the cards:

Once you’ve popped the question or you’ve said yes, you’ll need to start thinking about your wedding.

And that can be a REALLY expensive affair — enough to get your head spinning.

If you’re unsure where to start, you can just use our Seedly Wedding Playbook.

Seedly Wedding Guide Singapore

In it, you’ll find out how much a wedding costs, the prices of wedding venues, and even how much it costs to hire a photographer or videographer.

Psst… want to save money on your big day?

Why not hold your wedding at a coffeeshop?

Planning For a Child

Parenthood is an expensive but rewarding undertaking:

comfortable monthly combined income before deciding to have a first child

Want to give your child a headstart in his or her personal finance?

Seedly How To Start Investing For Children Future

Planning for your child’s education in advance?

Back to top!


SeedlyExplains is a series of sponsored articles where we collaborate with government organisations to explain the latest announcements, initiatives, or policy changes in a simple and straightforward manner.

The intent is to provide accurate and useful information to keep our readers informed of what these updates and changes mean to Singaporeans.

About Xue Miao
A millennial who is learning to adult. She doesn't believe in the rat race and hopes to live on a farm someday.
You can contribute your thoughts like Xue Miao here.

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

Stay updated with the latest finance tips!
Receive bite-sized finance on Telegram here.

What's Popular

    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
Comments
322
shares

What's Popular

    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles

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