If you haven’t been keeping track of your finances or saving money adequately, it can feel overwhelming but it is never too late to start. We speak to Singapore’s most money-savvy women – these inspirational women live, eat and breathe all things to do with wealth – share their money advice on how you can create and manage wealth better.
Money Advice By Manisha Tank
Money FM 89.3 DJ, SPH Radio
“Contrast and compare your options. Utilising online tools to do this not only facilitates greater financial awareness but boosts your chances of finding a product that’s a good fit.
“Do your research and don’t take someone’s word for it. Even if you have compared and contrasted bank loan options, for example, ask lots of questions. Leave no stone unturned.
“Know your finances. Never spend money you don’t have. You don’t need anything you can’t afford as it only adds to the debt.
“Making sure you always have basics covered, is more peace of mind than money could ever buy. If you take a loan, be sure you can finance it.
“Have a vision. If you have the capital to spare, go with a growth-and-nurture attitude. Where and how you would like to invest isn’t about making money for money’s sake.
“Having the greater good in mind will help reap the rewards. Studies have shown that a happier you leads to “happier” finances. Take a breath and relax. Money doesn’t make you happy, but a gratitude attitude makes your money work for you.”
Money Advice By Anna Haotanto
Chief Executive Officer, The New Savvy
“Take a look at your own portfolio of cash, savings, investments and insurance. Plan for what your life and financial goals are. Be objective about how much you can save and invest.
“As investors, look at mutual funds, bonds, and blue-chip stocks. A combination of these is an excellent idea for a healthy and diverse portfolio. Always make sure that the investment strategies are in line with your investment objectives.
“I recommend putting at least 20 per cent of your monthly paycheck into savings. It is tough to meet this savings goal if you don’t budget properly. To make sure you do not miss the 20 per cent savings goal, write up a budget and itemise your income and expenses.
“Aside from consistently contributing to your retirement plan, start setting up an emergency fund of at least three months of expenses. This can keep you from raiding your retirement plan on a rainy day. Get yourself covered for accidents and emergencies. The earlier you start, the better as premiums are cheaper.
“As you get older, you may need to allocate more money for healthcare. It may take just one major illness to wipe out your savings. A basic Medishield can help you offset hospitalisation bills in government hospitals. From there, you can upgrade to other private integrated plans with better coverage.”
Money Advice By Val Yap
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, PolicyPal
“Always save before spending. Set aside your monthly savings before spending the rest of your salary. It is vital to ensure that you pay off your bills before they snowball into a colossal figure.
I believe that everyone should think about their budget when making big-ticket purchases. A budget is essential as it helps you to think about what are the things that are really important in your life. That can be saving for a vacation, a new car or a new bag.
“However, if you do a proper budget plan, you can avoid overspending as it would all already be accounted for. If you prefer to have a second opinion, get a financial advisor to review your portfolio and assess your financial situation.
“Everyone’s financial status is unique. If you find it difficult to save a fixed amount every month, consider buying an insurance savings plan. It helps to grow your money with a high-interest rate while providing death coverage.
“This way, it forces you to save, and you will be able to withdraw in a few years. Consider diversifying your finances. With a stable emergency fund, start looking into short and longterm investments.
“Different types of investments come with varying levels of risk, so by diversifying, you will not risk putting all your eggs into one basket. Research is necessary here, but you can also turn to a trusted advisor for help.”
Text: Natalya Molok