The Internet has provided us with a lot of conveniences; with just a flew clicks or taps, you can communicate with your friend living on the other side of the world, meet new people, get a job and do your work, and of course, do your regular shopping. But what many do not know is that there are ways to make the most of your time and money whenever you shop online. Here are some smart hacks for cyber shopaholics: Stick to sites with free shipping. Not sure what size would actually fit you? This would not be too much of a problem if you opt for free-shipping online shopping sites. This way, you can buy a certain product in more than just one size, try them on, and return those that don’t fit well. Just don’t forget to check out the website’s return and exchange policies. More than that, that $10-20 shipping fee can be used to buy another item or two instead, and if you do a lot of online shopping, these shopping fees combined could actually amount to a lot more. If there are specialised online shopping sites that you religiously follow but do not give out
Category: The New Savvy
As you go through the results of your search in Amazon, intending to buy that one dress you need for next week’s event, you end up filling your shopping cart with stickers, books, and a week’s worth of office and casual clothes. Walking around that mall that just opened to check out which shops are there and to window shop, not intending to purchase anything, you end the day with your two hands clutching three or more shopping bags from different shops. Sound familiar? You’re not alone! With the rise of credit cards, massive shopping malls, multitudinous selections, and countless online shopping websites and apps, it is even made more difficult to refrain oneself from adding a few more items to your cart than you originally planned. This is why we have to put more conscious effort on trying to beat the temptations and our tendencies to go swipe our credit cards more often than we planned on doing. Start with some of these ways to avoid overspending. Do your own budgeting. Financial advisors might make out finances quite easy for us, but there are still advantages when you regularly plan your budget on your own. But if you
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Have you ever thought about the effects of debt and death to your family? Both of them are dreadful but if you combine them, it could be a lethal combination. According to the data published on the HKEconomy.gov, the household debt in Hong Kong reached HK$1,571 billion by the end of September 2015. The data revealed that this is already equivalent to 70% of the GDP in Hong Kong in 2014. The bulk of the debt is mortgage loans – which is not surprising because of expensive real estate prices in this region. Home loans are actually 71% of the total debt in Hong Kong. Personal loans came in next at 22% and credit card debt comes in at 7%. The data revealed that the household debt grew by 11% compared to the same period in the previous year. This is evidence that consumers are quite confident in borrowing money – which can both be a good or bad sign. On a positive note, credit confidence is an indication that the financial situation of households in Hong Kong is gaining strength. This is especially true if you consider the fact that the bulk of the debt is caused
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This article first appeared on Letters of the Law. Tracey graduated from the University of Singapore (now the National University of Singapore) with an LLB in 1979. She was appointed Vice Chairman, Asia Pacific, Wealth Management, UBS AG in July 2016. She was until recently Vice Chairman of Citibank ASEAN Corporate and Investment Banking. Tracey has more than 35 years of investment banking experience having worked on a whole spectrum of corporate finance transactions from equity fund raising (IPOs, equity placements and rights issues) to debt offerings to advisory work, including takeovers of public companies in Singapore and ASEAN. She is also the President of the NGO, Live to Love Singapore. Tracey is a five-time Singapore National Squash Champion and is married with three children. This Letter is addressed to herself one year after graduation from law school. She had assumed she would go on to become a lawyer, but quickly realised that law did not have a place in her heart like squash did. To the Tracey of the year 1980 You were thrilled to tears to graduate albeit with a 2-2! Who wouldn’t be when they had spent the most part of their university life chasing a little
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Secured loans are rising in Hong Kong. According to HKEconomy.gov.hk, the household debt in this region grew considerably after the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 and a big share of this borrowing is focused on secured debts. But what exactly does it mean to have this type of debt? Secured loans refer to a type of consumer loan that requires a collateral before you can borrow. It is deemed to be ͞secure͟ because the lender will hold an asset as security for the money you will borrow. In case you fail to pay back the loan or meet the terms of the contract, the lender or creditor can get this asset to compensate for their losses. The sale of the asset should help minimise the loss brought about by your inability to pay the loan. This arrangement is the reason why most secured loans have low-interest rates. This is a low-risk investment for creditors and lender because they have the collateral to fall back on. Over all, it saves the borrower a lot of money in terms of the interest amount that they will pay until the maturity of the loan. However, it does put their asset at a high
According to the Singaporean government’s studies, income inequality has been falling in Singapore, reaching its lowest level in a decade last year. However, the top 10% of the country still makes 3x what an average household makes in a month. Of course, everyone wants to be part of this top 10%, or even top 1%, and enjoy a secure, affluent and happy life. But how do you become rich? Ironically, what many people may not realise is that to achieve “financial security” often requires taking risks. Why Risk Is Actually Good Mark Zuckerberg, the founding CEO of Facebook, famously said “the biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” Of course, we aren’t all going to be as successful as Mr Zuckerberg. However, this statement is extremely important to think through. To understand what he means, it’s useful to imagine what it would be like to take the conventional career path sought out by most people. Base Case Scenario of the Conventional, “Safe” Career Path: Forced “Retirement” in Your 40’s or 50’s If you don’t take a risk and walk the well-trodden path, you
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The potential for volatile price swings and therefore large profits, makes Forex trading an attractive prospect for many. But, blindly picking currency pairs and hoping for a good result is akin to placing an expensive bet on a horse by randomly underlining a name in a newspaper. The key to picking a ‘winning’ pair in the Forex market lies in making informed decisions based on ‘Fundamental Analysis’. This is done by looking at a number of key factors that influence the values of a national currency and the market as a whole. In this article we’re going to focus on just two of such influences: interest rates and economic stability. Why are interest rates important? When trading in currencies, you need to pay careful attention to their current, past and potential interest rates, as they will have a highly significant effect on their value, and in determining how attractive they are to investors. These interest rates are set by the central bank of the country in question, who may adjust the rate in response to other factors in the overall market, and external events. For example, interest rates in Singapore dropped significantly at the beginning of 2017, as a result
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How can you afford both a home and a car in Singapore? Everyone dreams about one day owning a car and a home. However, this is not an easily achievable wish for most people: homes can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, while Singapore is notorious for having extremely expensive car prices starting from S$100,000. Then, how much salary do you need to make this dream come true? As it turns out, quite a lot. In fact, 60% of the top 100 jobs in Singapore don’t pay enough for a person to be able to afford both a home and a car. How Much You Need to Make to Buy a Home and a Car According to ValuePenguin’s analysis, a person needs to make at least S$6,400 per month to afford a housing loan and an auto loan while not sacrificing their other expenditures. Here’s how we break down the math. First, an average 4-room HDB flat costs about S$500,000″ in Singapore. Realistically, most people will choose to make the minimum of 20% down payment, which is 20% S$100,000. To service such a loan over 30 years at an average cost of 2%, a person has to make a monthly instalment of S$1,478. Then, there is another S$60,000 of
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Dating can be an expensive proposition. Going on dates on a regular basis can be even more expensive. And if you live in Singapore – the most expensive city in the world – going for romantic outings can be very heavy on your wallet. How can you save money on dates? Whether you’re looking to meet new people on a casual basis or seeking a long-term partner, keeping track of your expenses is as important as the dates that you will go out on. To ensure that your romantic life continues to be a financially viable experience, here are some tips you can follow to avoid runaway spending. 1. Set a budget for your date This is perhaps the easiest method to save money, but the hardest one to follow. A budget sets limit on your expenses and also allows you to narrow your options for things to do during your date. A good type of budget to set for yourself is by adopting the 50-30-20 rule. This rule is used for monthly budgets, where 50% of your income is spent on necessities, 30% is used for discretionary spending, and 20% is used for savings, investments and emergency expenses. Your
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Credit Scoring 101: Benefits of High Credit Ratings in Hong Kong Consumers in Hong Kong should seriously start paying more attention to their credit scores. An article published on the newsroom of TransUnion.com revealed a survey that indicated how consumers in Hong Kong are behaving when it comes to credit use. Angus Choi, the Managing Director of TransUnion in Hong Kong revealed that 1 out of 3 respondents in the survey admitted that they did not keep track of their credit activities. These respondents also admitted that they fail to pay their debts (personal loans and credit card balances) on time. The article concluded that it is obvious that consumers in Hong Kong have a lot to learn about their credit scores and its role in their financial life. What are credit scores? A credit score is like your body temperature – it measures your credit condition at a certain point in your life. It varies from time to time – depending on what is reflected in your credit history and how you behave when you use credit. It is calculated based on the credit report that is compiled by credit referencing agencies. According to one of the