Category: Budgeting

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Top 10 Things You’re Wasting Your Money On

[Guest article co-written by Lucy Wyndham] Many of us are trying to make the most of our money. However, the vast majority of people do not carefully track how that money is spent. The same sources of waste come up again and again. Do any of these money draining categories apply to you? Through aggregate survey sites, find out what are the top 10 things that make you part with your money unnecessarily. (more…)

Rent or Lend Stuff with Lendor, the Peer-to-Peer Library of Things App

As I mentioned in a previous article, the stuff that you own continuously consumes money, space, and/or resources, whether you actually use it or not. It’s not always ideal to buy and own something (and this includes property). Often an item is bought to ensure access to it, but sufficient access can be achieved without all the downsides of ownership, such as the purchase cost, burden of full responsibility, and underutilisation, where the item sits around collecting dust. Collective consumption, where there are many users who share access, reduces the downsides of ownership and is also more eco-friendly. This is where the Lendor App comes in, as it connects suppliers of rental assets with consumers who wish to borrow those assets. Here’s why you should try them.  (more…)

Government Policies on HDB Housing – Simplified!

Affordable and quality housing is one of the cornerstones of building social stability, and the sense of nationhood. Singapore’s public housing programme is no doubt one of the most successful public housing programmes in the world, resulting in low rates of homelessness, the elimination of slums, higher cultural and social integration, and lower crime rates. By comparison, in Los Angeles, when I grew up, public housing (aka the projects) was a hotbed for crime, drugs, gangs, violence, and disease, with little chance of upward mobility or even integration. Because homelessness results in a whole host of problems, keeping housing affordable and accessible, still remains one of Singapore’s top priorities. Though with all the various government schemes, it’s hard to keep track of what’s what. Here’s an attempt to help simplify the various public housing schemes available in Singapore:

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Government Personal Income Tax Relief – Simplified!

Taxes are not evil. As humans, our progress, survival, and even wellbeing depend on benefiting from and contributing to a group. And in a sense, taxes are the “membership fee” to belonging to this kind of organised society, where a government is put in charge of certain civil aspects of society that cannot be entrusted to the private sector, such as utilities, healthcare, education, environmental protection, security, and defense. But with any group, some members are tasked with contributing more while others are bigger recipients, yet at any time, these tables can be turned. This article attempts to simplify the various tax reliefs available for individuals, many of which are put in place to benefit families and the “sandwich generation”.

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Government Policies on Social Safety Nets – Simplified!

We all wish to live and age well, and nobody desires to be disabled or dependent. You could have your life perfectly planned and yet be completely blindsided by tragedy (the 3 D’s – death, disease, and divorce – are cruel and notoriously common). And this is why we have government social safety nets. But when tragedy strikes, it’s hard to know where to start. With different schemes spanning different ministries and agencies, it can be quite daunting. So this is another attempt to help simplify the various schemes:

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Government Policies on Family Benefits – Simplified!

“I don’t know what resources are out there” and “Why can’t the government just make things easier to understand?” are two common complaints I hear from the public across all ages, races, occupations, and gender. It has becoming increasing apparent that government schemes, like all messages, cannot be successfully communicated without addressing the UI/UX (user interface/user experience) issues. And yes, I do agree that there needs to be a better way to disseminate information in a more clear and easy-to-understand fashion. But to be fair, just saying “this is too complicated and until they make it easier, I give up” is a bit like saying speaking Mandarin is hard or driving is complicated, yet so many people do it all the time. We too, need do our part to facilitate our own understanding through repeated exposure, practice, and patience. And this is my attempt to help in this process:

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An Investment that Yields Outstanding Returns – And Lessons from Lindsay Lohan

Everyone wants high returns, and yet, every single conference or seminar I’ve been to neglects to mention the one investment that is the most lucrative and high-yielding investment out there. It is the foundation that Warren Buffett, Amancio Ortega, Ng Teng Fong (Singapore’s once richest man), and other billionaires use which is almost NEVER talked about. Yet without it, they definitely would not be rich; instead, they would be among the high-earners who ended up broke or bankrupt. So what is their secret? (more…)

Water You Waiting For – How to Deal With the 30% Increase in Water Prices in Budget 2017

The 2017 Singapore Budget announced a water price increase of 30% starting from July 2017, which is the first price increase since 2000. Some have argued that this increase comes at an inopportune time, as the global economy is experiencing weak growth. Others have pointed out that Singapore already pays higher water prices than neighbouring countries, and that this increase is unjustified. But we must face the fact that, as an island nation with no resources, we are not water-independent and are still quite vulnerable. (more…)

The Most Important Takeaway Message Regarding the Singapore 2016 Budget

budget
The 2016 Budget – what was missing and what you need to know.
(Photo by GotCredit)

It’s “budget season”, and it seems that everyone wants a piece of the proverbial “surplus pie”. Businesses, particularly SMEs, want more support as they face a downturn in the economy, while families want more assistance as society becomes more complex and social matters become more demanding. Budget 2016 has a whole slew of new grants, credits, schemes and other initiatives to address both sides. I’ll go over some of these in this article, and also list a few very crucial things that I think the budget was missing. Finally I’ll conclude with one BIG takeaway message that summarises what this budget should mean for you, your business and your family. (more…)