Money management

Someone on HN asked for some money management advice and so I’d thought I’d copy and paste it here with some edits.

I’m from Singapore so some of the points below may not apply to you but here’s what I do in case it helps.

I bought an iOS app which I use to track my income and expenses. This doesn’t help me save money except track how much I’ve spent on my credit cards so I don’t overspend and will have enough money to pay back the banks at the end of every month and not incur any hefty interest.

Credit cards are useful for getting discounts on things. I get a 5% discount when I shop for groceries at a particular store. When the annual fee comes, I call up the bank and ask for a waiver. They usually agree to waive it off.

I have 2 bank accounts with different banks. The first one which is where I use for spending on everyday needs and depositing my salary. This bank, POSB, is known for having lots of ATMs and conveniently located branches. But lousiest interest rate. I keep a buffer of around $1000~2000 in this account in case I need to spend extra in a single month.

The second one is for savings it’s MayBank and gives me a better interest rate but not a lot of ATMs. I setup my first bank account to automatically transfer $500 every month to this savings account. This recurring transfer is also setup on the iOS app I mentioned earlier.

I also have a strong discipline not to touch the amount in my savings account unless I really reaaaally need money. I might be able to grow more money investing this sum but it usually means I can’t touch it for a long period of time, say 5, 10 or 20 years. What if something goes wrong and I need the money badly?

I have a savings insurance plan which after paying a small monthly sum for 20 years, I end up with a huge sum more than the amount of premium paid when it matures.

On google docs, I noted down what my regular expenses are, like transport, food, household bills. So I know how much extra I will have after those.

Don’t be tricked by discounts that tell you how much you save if you buy that product. You save more money not buying it. It’s different if the product is a daily neccessity or you think will be beneficial.

If I were you, I’d build up a substantial amount of savings first before investing. An amount that will allow me to go jobless for a few months.

Or allow me to do things that’s beneficial to myself in the long run such as buying a camera to learn about photography. It’s what they call “investing in yourself”

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