Sunday, 20 September 2020

5 Tips on How I Save More Money

Saving habits can be cultivated from young and it is good to start saving as you develop a routine to put aside a sum of your income every month. 

There are many different areas that you can save on in terms of your lifestyle, I will be sharing the 5 ways I make changes in my lifestyle to save more money. 

  • Pack meals to work and spend almost nothing on weekdays

I currently pack food to work about 4 days leaving Friday for me to spend it with my colleagues. I understand that socialising with your colleagues is essential to some jobs like sales or if you like to eat with your bosses.

For me, my bosses do not eat with us and considering the current covid situation, only 5 ppl can eat out at one time and since we alternate our work week, bringing food to work now really makes much more sense. If you are not able to bring food, at least make sure you are not spending too much on your lunch.

With me bringing lunch to work daily, honestly the only thing I spend on is transport which I take public transport to work and that usually adds up to about $3 plus per day.

Bringing a water bottle out with you during lunch or the weekends really helps to save money because you find it really unnecessary to get a drink unless you will be sitting at the cafe for a period of time. 

  • Not buying new clothes except once every few years

Dressing up can make a difference but try to alternate your outfits and also being in comfortable outfits are great.

For me, I do have 5 or 6 different sets of working outfits and over the week, I just choose one each day and since it covers Monday to Friday, I don't have to think about it and just go through the routine.

It really frees up my mind in deciding what to wear the next day because after a day of work, thinking what to wear the next day can be tiring.

But I understand that some ppl are involved in jobs that they need to meet clients or new ppl and they have to dress to impress. Alternatively, they can buy some lower end clothes to match

  • Indulge in restaurants/cafe only on weekends or special occasions

Sometimes we do need a little treat and I have developed a routine where I wait till the weekend before I get a cup of bubble tea or fast food. This pushes me to only spend during the weekends and my weekdays as previously mentioned usually consist of home cooked food which really saves me a lot of money.

Going for expensive food can be because it’s an anniversary or birthday just to make sure you are not bursting your budget every month. Making sure it really is special and eating at these ‘nice’ places once in a while makes them more delicious. Know that you can have quality food elsewhere without burning a hole in your wallet.

In Singapore, hawker food is a really good place to have your meals and they offer a wide variety of food at affordable prices. Cafes used to be a thing where I would be going but food at the cafes can be really expensive especially when you spend almost $30 every weekend on a meal.

  • Give yourself a few days to think before making a purchase

Impulse buying is also something to avoid if you are planning to save money. For example, the 9.9 sale recently, where shopee had Phua Chu Kang sing you their song, it was very catchy and definitely attracted a lot of ppl to go online to purchase stuff.

There will be 10.10, 11,11 and 12.12 coming up soon too. Online shopping can sometimes be a lot cheaper than physical shopping but you have to make sure you are buying essential items and not splurging on items you will not use.

Giving yourself a few days to think can make you analyse if it really is an impulse buy or is it a need for it. This has certainly helped me in not making non-essential purchases.

One good tip is to not save your credit card details in any online sites for safety as well and not to download any shopping apps basically to remove any easy access to shopping apps.

  • Put your money somewhere not easily accessible and automate

Out of sight, out of mind. This means that you should put your money in a savings account where there is no atm card or you can leave the atm card at home. It will be even better if the bank does not have many atm machines around.

It is also good to automate your savings as well. To ensure that you are putting money aside on a regular basis and it will build up over time.

You have to know that it will be a long journey to saving a substantial amount of money, it will not be short term and things will be hard in the beginning but if you can make it a routine, it will get easier.

Definitely, you will need to give up a little on your social life as decreased spending means that you will not meet up at expensive places so if your friends are not willing to accommodate then you will be meeting them less often.

Building up your income is a huge part of saving as well, cultivating the habit of saving + having a high income can push you further ahead in accumulating your wealth.

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Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Resigning from your job - Should you quit when you can't take it? Or stay on for the pay?

A recent article, Why are Young People Quitting their Jobs in this Economy by Rice Media describes a few individuals who chose to resign their job for various reasons during this difficult period. For me, I can roughly relate to a few of them on why they chose to resign on their end. 

I actually also considered resigning and am also still considering but in my case, as I am currently the only one working full-time in my family, I need a job to be lined up for me before I quit. 

Read more: How much money do you need to be earning to be happy?

During this uncertain period, a lot of people have realised that the company that they work for really just needs them to complete the mundane or repetitive job to a certain extent and when they are no longer needed, they will be asked to leave to made redundant. Seeing all the large numbers of retrenchments going on does make me feel afraid that my main source of income is so dependent on the company that I am working for.  

We really just don't know what might happen to us if we are not able to work or reach the standards set. One of the interviewee in the article mentioned that he resigned from his job and his parents were okay with it because since WFH, he works till about 2am during the weekdays and even his weekends are not spared. 

I try to complete my tasks for the day and whatever that can be done the next day, I try to do it the next day but often, I will stay late because the work piles up and deadlines are also set. I see many of my colleagues log on late in the night to complete their work as well. 

Since going back to the office to work on 1 Sep 2020, my colleagues have commented that working from home is so much more productive as lesser distractions are around. As a restructuring was done recently, 3 departments were grouped into one department and lesser manpower as some of the contract staff were not renewed. This means that we face more new and daily work but lesser manpower to cope.

The larger workload affects us to a certain extent and what more when our boss doesn't appreciate our effort because she thinks we are not doing our best working from home. Our weekly meetings have become a dreaded thing as we always get scolded by her on our work. I have to say that part of it is our fault as well, we used to not on our video cameras and not respond to her thinking that we can hide behind our computers. 

Read more: No such thing as an iron rice bowl

I think that gave her the impression that we didn't respect her in a way. Since the hybrid work model started on 1 Sep 2020, our meetings have gotten better as she can physically see half of us (due to split operations). 

Mental health is definitely very important, if the stress from work is really too much to handle, it might be better to leave. For me, I am still coping okay and understand that my job scope has changed and widen, it is a good learning curve and definitely hope it can make my resume look more impressive. To be honest, some times I do doubt my own capabilities on handling my work. 

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