Monday, January 11, 2010

5 Smart Financial Moves to Make in Your Twenties

There was this article in Yahoo provided by iFAST on some of the things twenty somethings can do to make themselves financially more prepared for the future. It summarises the article with these 5 things that it says young people should do.

•Save at least six months of your monthly salary in an emergency fund
•Put aside at least 10% of your income towards goals that you want to achieve
•Start budgeting and sticking to your plan.
•Use credit cards responsibly (pay off your balance before the due date)
•Acquire a hospitalisation plan, critical illness cov¬erage and death coverage

Out of this 5 goals, I have already done 4.

The only one that I have not done is the part about budgeting and sticking to my plan. Seriously, who in this world still uses a budget? I really cannot find the discipline to do any budgeting. I just make sure that I do not spend too much money.

Anyone of you able to do all the 5 things listed here?


  1. You laugh at me har?


    After collecting your next salary or income, what can you do with your money:

    1. Spend it,
    2. Save it,
    3. Invest it,
    4. Lose it,
    5. Give it.

    Some will squeeze every cents out of their money to save as much as possible; but, there is nothing really wrong with this approach.

    But, is there a better approach to saving?

    There are few things that we need to remind ourselves before we become too focus on saving.

    You only live once.
    Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, for there may be no tomorrow - Lee Wei Ling
    It is not wise to live poorly and die with plenty of money not spent - CreateWealth8888
    Instead of focusing how much you could save, why not focus on how you could spend your money wisely and moderately, and save the rest. You can have an annual and monthly budget on how you should spend your money so that you can still enjoy your life and any excesses become your saving.

    Any money unspent in the month will be rolled over to the next month. You can then decide to have some extra money to spend it or simply roll it forward to the next month. At the end of year, you either choose to spend some of it or end up with more saving than expected.

    In this way, you may not over save and under spent. Remember: we are not immortal and there may be no tomorrow and die with plenty of money unspent

  2. I have done all five, except number 4th point. Cos I do not have credit card.

  3. I'll budget some money to buy ff lunch. ff is my favorite blogger. ff, you want to lunch with me?

  4. Hi FF,

    'Seriously, who in this world still uses a budget?'


    It has helped me pull through the past two years. Things seemed uncertained (ie. job, economy) and yet, I need to spend on certain items like housing, wedding stuff, etc. With a budget, I know what type of house I can buy, how much available money I have for investment, holidays, renovation, etc.

    With a Budget I can predict my cashflow. I will also know how much I need to save or if I need to save harder.

    Budgetting helps me remove uncertainty which is within my control.

    I can't be going to shop for a house without a budget can I?


  5. Hi FF,

    I always budget, even if it's just a rough guide in my head. Methinks you de-emphasized the importance of budgeting to your detriment, sorry if I sound harsh. One should always make a mental note of large expense items, and a budget is the best way to do that.

    I do simple budgeting by listing all GIRO expenses for the month on a spreadsheet, so that I set aside $X for that at the start of the month. Major expenses like one-off insurance premiums, subscriptions to magazines, taxes etc are also budgeted for, and the remainder of the cash is funnelled into my "don't touch" savings account for investments.

    My advice is to try to start budgeting, even if it's simple steps. In time, you can manage your money much better.


  6. I agree with the rest. it's crucial to budget. If you find it hard, you can trick yourself by putting aside money in separate accounts.

    I'm sure you know the reasons for budgeting, but rationality is hardly a good motivator to budget. Tell that to a person who needs to lose weight and I'm sure he/she knows all the right reason to do so but just can't do it.

    Trick yourself to budget, I'm sure you can do it too.

  7. I have already done all 5. On using budget, I used to want to save as much as possible but in recent years, I am starting to be more conscious about “over-saving”. I dun want to end up as a slave to my money, instead I want to enjoy using my money in a prudent manner and spending it on things that I like.

    I take the approach of using a budget to estimate how much I need every month, based on historical expenses. This fixed amount is transferred from my salary crediting account to an "operational account" at the start of every month for food, transport, giro deduction, household expense to mom, etc.

    I’ll also determine how much I need to put aside for my retirement nest, savings to pay down housing loan, my daughter’s education funds, etc. Once that is done, I’ll decide on the amount for miscellaneous adhoc expenses, like yearly overseas trip, etc.

    Well, the remaining amount is the residual sum that I can spend on things that I like, be it frivolous stuff. Not a lot but at least I know that is what I can spend freely on, without feeling guilty!

  8. Wah Dream,
    I am so touched! I am your favorite blogger!

    To the rest,
    I just find it difficult to budget and I always thought that NOBODY in this world budgets. I am glad to know that it is actually possible to budget and stuff.

    I can budget but I guess I lack the discipline to monitor whether I am really keeping to my budget.

  9. FF,

    Haha, come under me - I whip you until you follow your plans, wahaaha


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