Millennials can be a pretty apathetic and even cynical bunch when it comes to money matters. And with student loans and bills on top of the ever increasing inflation rates, we get it. Saving money is no easy task, especially when it means putting off your wants and needs of today for the (in)discernible future. On top of that, it might also sound like it requires a lot of effort and coordination on your part. But trust us when we say that it doesn’t have to be a painful process! In fact, saving is actually easier than you think. Not convinced? Well, we came prepared. Here are some reasons why you should start saving, and how you can get started!
You’ll never know when you might need the cash
Life is known to throw curveballs at us. You’ll never know when you might need to dip into your savings in order to get out of a difficult situation. For instance, while you might have insurance coverage, you would still have to make a payment first before having your insurance claims processed if you get into an accident or need to be hospitalised. No one wants to be stressed out over money woes when they’re trying to nurse themselves back to health, do they?
Having a rainy day fund can help tide you through other challenging (and less severe) times. For instance, if you need to replace your phone, urgently service your car, or endure several months of unemployment, knowing that you are still able to live comfortably after spending a little more than usual can be crucial for your wellbeing too.
We know that it may seem like we’re serving up truth bombs a little too hard and fast, but just know that all these come from a place of care and concern.
Paying your future self
Self care is important, we’re sure you know that by now. After all, how many times have you splurged on a new outfit or gotten your bubble tea fix, all under the guise of #treatyoself?
Before you get sheepish about it, remember there’s no guilt there! But with that analogy in mind, you should also project this level of self-love onto your future self. Just imagine 5 years from now when you have more responsibilities to take on like paying off your BTO and utility bills. If you’re in a good financial state, then there’s only one person to thank, and that’s younger you!
If you’re still having a hard time painting this image of success in your head, here’s one more analogy to end off: ever cleared out your wardrobe or packed your room, only to find that $10 note in between the pages of a book, or if you’re lucky, a $50 note tucked away somewhere in your drawer? Let that feeling sink in and know that it’s what you should be striving for in the future!
We’re pretty sure you’ve fantasised about moving into your own apartment with a bunch of your best friends, and doing everything and anything your heart desires. Beyond the importance of preparing for emergencies or rainy days, having savings also means that you’re more likely to achieve financial independence much earlier on in your life.
So if you want to move out on your own or even buy a car, knowing that you can make these crucial life decisions without worrying too much about potential setbacks simply shows how important saving money is.
We hope that we were able to give you some insight as to why saving money, while a daunting task, is so important especially when you’re still young. Here are some tips on making the process a lot more bearable!
Reframe your idea of savings
Living in the digital age means a stronger emphasis is placed on instant gratification, which might explain why the idea of saving money for the future might appear off-putting for some. In order to develop a more positive mindset when it comes to savings, it would require a certain reframing of the mind. Enter the Japanese philosophy of Kakeibo.
The philosophy is simple — if we see saving money as a chore, then we’re less inclined to do it. However, if we can reframe our mindset of saving money as a means to an end, like saving money for a greater purpose in life, then might help to encourage better savings habits.
Automate your savings
On a similar note, if you find that you’re not particularly disciplined when it comes to setting aside money on a monthly basis, you can opt to use your bank’s Standing Order, to Standing Instruction function. What this means is that you can set up a recurring payment scheme over a period of time. This allows you to pay off bills punctually, as well as automatically move your money into a savings account, giving you no reason to not stick to your savings plan.
Don’t have a savings account? Standard Chartered’s JumpStart account* is a perfect start! It’s a savings account that not only offers an attractive interest rate on your first S$20,000, there is no minimum deposit or salary crediting requirement either, making it ideal for growing your wealth!
Explore reverse budgeting
How many of you tried tracking your finances through excel sheets or money saving apps, only to conveniently forget about it 3 weeks later? While some people do thrive on keeping track of every dollar spent, a simpler way of making sure you stick to your savings plan would be to reverse budget.
What does reverse budgeting mean? It’s simply the act of setting up designated budgets for the different wants and needs in your life. These can include money for transportation, food, travel and leisure, for instance. If you end up spending money in one category before the month ends, then the onus is on you to reconfigure your expenses without touching your savings. Not only does this method help you develop greater financial discipline, it also helps you get a clearer overview of your spending habits, all without having to track each and every dollar spent!
Tip: If you want to save money while spending, using your JumpStart account and its accompanying Cashback Debit Card* can give you a monthly cashback on eligible spends, letting you chalk up a little more savings!
Every cent counts
Many people often think that having a monthly savings plan means having to set aside huge amounts of money each time, but this concept can be further from the truth.
Whether you choose to set aside half your paycheck a month, or to simply save $10 a week, every cent counts! Create small challenges in order to make saving money fun. In fact, if you’re reading this in 2020, chances are you’re spending tons of time at home due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This makes it the perfect time to flex those creative muscles, and come up with fun money-saving challenges you can take on once things return to normalcy. For instance, it can be as simple as setting aside all your loose change from the week into a piggy bank, or implementing no-spend weeks to challenge yourself. You’d be surprised by how much money you can save through these small acts!
If you find that you want to up the challenge and make your money work a little harder, a Regular Savings Plan, or RSP, is a good alternative to your smaller weekly challenges. All you need to do is to set aside a fixed amount of money each month (no amount is too small!) which will be invested into a unit trust of your choice! While investments are never completely risk-free, regular investing in small amounts can allow your money to grow with lesser volatility to worry about, while ensuring that you stand to gain higher returns since RSPs allow you to practice Dollar Cost Averaging! Remember – investments are meant to help you build long-term wealth, and starting young allows you to slowly build your wealth incrementally for when you need it in the future.
By now, you would’ve seen that saving money doesn’t have to be a boring process. But for today, go ahead and treat yourself to that bubble tea you’ve been craving for the longest time. Just remember, your future self will thank you for all the saving that you’re about to do now!
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