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Written by Singlife | 28 Aug 2020 |
Have you ever wondered whether you’re saving enough, and how much those around you save?
Most of us want to save just the right amount—not too little or too much.
You probably know the perils of saving too little, like suffering should a “rainy day” occur—whether that means losing your job or facing an expensive medical emergency. We can never be too cautious.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you save “too much” (some of you might be wondering if there’s actually such a thing; indeed there is), rather than choose to divert some money into investing, you might miss out on potential extra earnings.
So… what is the “sweet spot”?
Look, we understand everyone’s priorities are different, and we should not be assuming everyone’s ‘sweet spot’ is the same. So, for better insight, we will look at 3 working millennials and how they allocate their monthly salary. Hopefully, one of their stories will resonate with your own priorities, and you can glean some insight from their thought processes.
Charles has been working for almost 5 years, and has just set the audacious goal of saving $100,000 over the coming years. (Imagine what he could do with that?!)
Impossible? Well, he’s almost halfway there.
Inspired by the popular advice out there on saving at least $100,000 before you hit 30, Charles takes it upon himself to do so in the next 5 to 6 years. “I’ve already crossed the 30-year-old mark, but I think it’s never too late to start doing something beneficial for my finances,” says Charles.
Once he’s reached that goal, Charles intends to use his savings to partially fund the purchase of a Build-To-Order (BTO) unit with his wife.
There’s also a pretty philosophical element to his planning. Charles believes in the process of diligent saving as a form of character-building.
About a quarter of Charles’ salary goes into his personal savings. Charles uses this savings pool fund to keep extra cash handy in case of any emergencies, occasionally channeling some of it into an investment portfolio.
“In the current low interest rate environment, I’m looking out for something that offers better returns and still remains flexible so that when I need money I don’t have to worry about withdrawal penalties”, says Charles.
Charles scouts around and finds the Singlife Account, an everyday insurance savings plan which provides up to 2.5% p.a.^ returns. With this, he feels that it is a great plan for him to grow his savings. The Singlife Account plan has no lock-in period; he can make withdrawals anytime without incurring any fees. Moreover, he can also get life insurance coverage of up to 105% of his account value. Knowing that the Singlife Account only needs a minimum initial premium of $500, Charles is not worried about having insufficient money to start this insurance savings plan.
Find out more about the Singlife Account plan here.
About 30% of Charles’ salary goes into food and transport. He also contributes $500 to his parents.
Charles then allocates about 9% of his salary to utility bills.
The rest goes into things like activities with friends and personal purchases.
Currently an Art Director, Anne has been working for almost 6 years.
Anne plans to save up $20,000 to $30,000 for her wedding happening in 1 to 2 years, which she intends to be of a relatively smaller scale. She also aims to save at least another $50,000 before turning —keeping all that money as an emergency fund.
Something she firmly believes in is clearing her debts as soon as possible. “I had student debt previously and wasn’t earning much. Because of that, I had to cut down expenses to pay off my debt ASAP,” Anne says.
Why? “You’re not actually saving money if you have debt. Once you’ve cleared them, you then can start saving money such as for rainy days; even a little bit is good,” Anne advises.
Anne saves almost a quarter of her take home salary, and is looking at increasing this proportion to a third.
Anne budgets about 7% of her salary to insurance premiums. Another 10% goes to her parents, with a similar amount going to church and charitable causes.
The rest of her salary is spent on areas like beauty regimes, food, transport, and gifts.
Anne dishes out some advice on tracking expenditure: “I think a good way to track your expenses is by using an app; it makes you more aware of where you’re actually spending your money. Most importantly, spend within your means!”
The Singlife app, for example, is a one-stop mobile solution to manage your money in the Singlife Account, the insurance savings plan. If you also order the complementary Singlife Visa Debit Card, you will get instant notifications on your transactions when you spend. You can also manage your money with spend categories. All your savings, spending and returns earned are shown neatly on the interface, helping you to get the clearest understanding of your finances, anytime.
You can download the Singlife app from either Apple iOS Store or Google Play Store.
Getting married and moving into a new home aren’t just big life milestones, they’re big-ticket expenses too! Mike is a millennial who’s worked for 7 years and is preparing for all that.
By the next 5 years, Mike aims to accumulate up to $50,000 for wedding expenses. He wants to save at least another $35,000 for the renovation of his new flat.
Mike puts aside about $700 a month, which goes into his own personal savings. He also channels $500 into a joint account shared with his girlfriend.
Mike budgets about $200 for insurance premiums. “Before purchasing insurance, I prefer to browse through websites that offer me a clear idea of what the plan is like. This helps me to understand products quickly and easily, especially when I’m constantly on the go.” Mike says.
At Singlife, we use smart technologies to make insurance totally digital and convenient. Head over to Singlife’s website for a clear idea of our plans and benefits and to get a quote.
Mike currently contributes a total of $300 to his parents. “I plan to increase this allowance when I earn better pay,” he says.
The rest of Mike’s salary goes into transport expenses and monthly subscriptions like media streaming services.
For his music streaming subscription, Mike purchased a family bundle so he could split the costs with friends and save money.
Does your budget planning pale in comparison to these three millennials? After reading this, some of you might feel like: Can I really do this savings thing?
Here are some well-corroborated savings approaches that you can consider putting into practice.
The rule is simply this: Allocate 50% to needs, 30% to wants, and 20% to savings.
Needs are “must-haves” such as food, transport, mortgage payments, and healthcare. On the other hand, wants are things that aren’t entirely essential—from another new handbag to video streaming subscriptions.
The 20% portion should go into savings, including allocating some to an emergency fund. But what’s an emergency fund, and how much should you have in it?
An emergency fund is money set aside for emergencies such as accidents or unexpected loss of income.
This emergency fund should be enough to pay 6 months worth of your expenses, whether it’s for food, transport, or your home loan.
You can determine how much your emergency fund should have by calculating your expenses in a single month. Then, multiply this amount by 6. If your expenses are $2,000 a month, you should have $12,000 stashed away as an emergency fund.
It is important for us to ensure that we have a safety net during our rainy days. Aside from having an emergency fund, we can also protect ourselves and our family with life insurance.
Let’s all tackle this adulting thing together.
 Warren, E., & Tyagi, A. Warren, 2005, “All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan”, page 26 & https://www.thebalance.com/the-50-30-20-rule-of-thumb-453922
^2.5% p.a. returns on first S$10,000 | 1% p.a. on amounts above S$10,000. | There are no returns for amounts above S$100,000. | Crediting rates (returns) are not guaranteed.
The information is meant for your general knowledge and does not regard any specific investment objectives, financial situations or particular needs any person might have and should not be relied upon as the provision of financial advice.
All Singlife policies are protected under the Policy Owners’ Protection Scheme which is administered by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC). Coverage for your policy is automatic and no further action is required from you. For more information on the types of benefits that are covered under the scheme as well as the limits of coverage, where applicable, please contact Singlife or visit the LIA or SDIC web-sites ( www.lia.org.sg or www.sdic.org.sg).
This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Information is correct as at 28 August 2020.