Category: The New Savvy

5 Popular But Terrible Misuses of Personal Loans

This article originally appeared on ValuePenguin The rise of household debt has been a big issue in Singapore. Due to lackluster real income growth compared to the rate of inflation, consumers have been borrowing more to fund their consumptions. While this has been particularly case for expensive purchases like cars, it has also led to rise of personal loans. For instance, Google’s study of financial markets in Asia shows that personal loan was the most searched financial product in Singapore in Q4 of 2016. A quick search around the internet, however, reveals that people might have huge misconceptions about how to properly use personal loans. Therefore, our team at ValuePenguin prepared the below study to demonstrate why you should never use personal loan for certain purposes, and which usage areas are more appropriate for using personal loans. 5 Popular Usage of Personal Loans That Are Actually Counter-productive Some of the popular use cases for personal loans include the following: Home renovation project Education Paying off credit card balance/debt consolidation Temporary funding for an inconsistent or late paycheck Big purchases (i.e. cars, luxury items, vacations) Weddings Medical expenses While this list is not comprehensive, there are several items here that are actually […]

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3 Tips on How to Choose Which Supermarkets to Shop At

This article originally appeared on ValuePenguin Buying groceries represents one of the biggest spending areas for the average consumer in Singapore. In fact, according to a survey done by the government, Singaporean households spend about 25% of their monthly budgets on food. But where should you be spending all this money at? Here are a few things you should know in order to make sure you are getting the best deal on groceries. Prices Are Relatively Similar, Except for A Few Exceptions There are 4 main supermarket chains in Singapore, with a few other online players that have emerged in the recent years. To help you understand how these retailers’ pricing compare to one another, we have collected their prices for a few major food items, like milk, egg, veggies and chicken. Overall, we’ve found that there is little difference in pricing except for Cold Storage and RedMart, which tended to be more expensive. For example, consider price of 1 litre of fresh milk, which on average cost about S$3.4 across all retailers. For eggs, a case of 10 small eggs cost about S$1.4. However, these prices were meaningfully higher at Cold Storage as well as online retailers like RedMart. […]

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How to become a better (and wealthier) investor right now

What if you only needed to make a few small changes to become a better investor? Well, you can… it’s called kaizen. And it’s incredibly powerful. Kaizen is a Japanese word that means “continual improvement”. It refers to the process of making positive change and improvement through small, steady steps. It’s based on the wisdom of Tao Te Ching, a Chinese text famous for the proverb: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Ask anyone who’s conquered Everest, built a billion-dollar business from scratch, or achieved the seemingly impossible, and they’ll tell you the same thing… they did it a day at a time, step by step. So what small things can you do today? And how can they make you a better investor? Start by asking yourself these 3 questions before you buy – anything As the old Wall Street saying goes: Two factors move the market, greed and fear. But emotions lead to bad investment decisions. I know that’s easier said than done. But here’s the good news: Just ask yourself these three questions before you buy anything, and you’ll avoid many of the ways that emotions can be investment pitfalls. Why am I investing in it? In other words, what […]

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How To Cure “My Child Does Not How To Spend Wisely!” Symptom With A Dose of Patience & Trust

Many parents often voice out that they have children who do not know how to spend their money wisely. This may be subjective as the concept of money is different for everyone. Some may feel that they should purchase quality goods over quantity. Others may prefer short term pleasure over long term rewards. Indeed, it is a grey area to decide who is right and how does someone spend wisely. Hence, it may be a good idea if we start to empower our children on how to judge the value of their money instead of forcing our answers on them. Ultimately, our children should take responsibility for their money management. As such, we can provide a dose of parenting patience and trust to guide our children towards their own financial management. Here are some scenarios that we can consider when we engage our children in financial literacy lessons:   For children younger than 12 years old: Bring your children along when you are heading out for grocery shopping. As you expose them to the variety of goods and prices, you can also ask them to think about the comparison between two visually similar goods of different brands . For example, what […]

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3 Pieces of Financial Advice for Uber Drivers and Other New Economy Contractors

This article originally appeared on ValuePenguin With the rise of tech startups like Uber and Airbnb, a lot of people have been taking up new jobs in the recent years either as a full-gig or as a way to earn supplementary income. Though these jobs can be attractive especially in face of rising unemployment rate and slow income growth, they are not without their own financial pitfalls. This is especially true if you are considering becoming a “new economy” contractor like driving for Uber or hosting Airbnbs out of your HDB flat. Open a Personal Line of Credit A rising tide lifts up all boats. When companies like Grab, Uber and Airbnb are growing like weeds, people who are participating in that growth can be rewarded immensely. Now, Uber drivers in Singapore can expect to make S$26 per hour in Singapore. If you work 50 hours a week, that’s easily more than S$5,000 per month of income, which compares favorably against the national average of S$4,056, though there are other costs involved like paying for petrol. However, when you are first starting off as a contractor, it’s not easy to forecast exactly how much money you will earn or even […]

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Do’s And Don’ts When Getting A Credit Card Cash Advance in Hong Kong

Guide to Borrowing a Cash Advance with Credit Cards Hong Kong A credit card cash advance is not something that card owners in Hong Kong are accustomed to using. According to the statistics provided by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, cash advances make-up 6% of the total credit card transactions in the last quarter of 2015. That is equivalent to HK$9.4 billion of the HK$156.9 billion transactions during the last part of 2015. This is actually good news because relying on your credit card to get a cash advance is not the wisest financial move. Credit cards, in itself, is notorious for the high-interest rate. If you withdraw a credit card cash advance, the interest rate will even be higher than that. You can also expect that transaction fees will be charged depending on how much cash you got from your card. If you find yourself in dire need of cash, you are probably faced with a transaction that does not accept credit cards payments. While it is possible to be in a situation wherein a cash advance is necessary, you need to know how to use it smartly. Here are do’s and don’ts when you are forced to get […]

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How To Choose The Right Type Of Mortgage

Home Buying In Hong Kong: Which Mortgage Type is Best For You?   If you want to buy a property in Hong Kong, you have to choose the right type of mortgage to help finance this purchase.   According to an article published on the website of the Hong Kong Free Press, properties here are “outrageously expensive.” In fact, the article revealed that paying half of your salary for rent is the norm in the city. Imagine how much of your budget is being eaten by your housing needs? While buying a house may seem like a huge financial endeavour, it is one that will benefit you in the long run.   Being a home owner is not an easy feat. There are so many responsibilities and payments to make, and the mortgage that you have to borrow can be very expensive. But you need to view this from a different angle. If you continue to rent, a huge chunk of your income will only make your landlord or landlady rich. However, if you buy your own home, even if it is financed by a home loan, every payment you make will be credited towards the equity of your home. […]

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How to Earn A “Free” Around-the-World Trip With Miles

This article originally appeared on ValuePenguin If you have ever dreamed of going on an around-the-world trip, you were probably daunted by the thought of spending so much money without making an income while you are traveling. But did you know there’s a way to get free around the world air ticket just by using your miles? For instance, Singapore Air offers an around-the-world ticket through Star Alliance for 180,000 miles for an economy class seat. But how exactly are you supposed to earn this astronomical amount of miles? Our team at ValuePenguin analyzed all the best credit cards in Singapore to figure out how someone can earn enough miles to redeem for a free global trip ticket. Miles Required to Redeem for an Around-the-World Award Ticket Singapore Air Korean Air Economy 180,000 140,000 Business 240,000 220,000 First 360,000 Premium Rewards Credit Cards Unless you are travelling all the time, you need to be using an air miles credit card in order to earn miles. And when it comes to earning miles, premium credit cards offer some of the most efficient ways possible. In Singapore, there are 3 premium cards that stand out. First is Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card. […]

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How To Buy Public Housing In Hong Kong

Home Ownership: Guide to Buying Public Domestic Housing In Hong Kong Public housing in Hong Kong is a popular choice for many residents. It is not a secret that the real estate market in this region is one of the most expensive the world. Even if you have a stable job and a great compensation, the cost of private housing is too great for the average resident. Many do not have many housing choices because they may not have high-paying jobs. With the rising cost of living and the dwindling liveable space in Hong Kong, the government had to take steps to keep squatters from exploding within the city. Not only are they an eyesore, but there are those who take advantage of these poor people who are getting desperate to find a place to live in.   The high demand for decent living space is the reason why people are clamouring to have a part of the public housing program in Hong Kong.   According to the data from, 30% of the Hong Kong population live in public rental housing. Some of them are hoping to get approval so they can buy one of these homes. They can […]

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4-3-2-1 Approach to Financial Freedom

I speak to clients on a daily basis regarding management of their wealth. Many people aspire to reach financial freedom at some point, but most are clueless how to get there. Financial freedom is the point in your life when your work becomes an option …