4 Bad Financial Habits Singaporean Millenials Need to Outgrow

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4 financial habits singaporean millenials need to outgrow

With today’s uncertain economy, the good times won’t last forever. Let’s make a serious effort to outgrow these bad financial habits this year.

Everyone is guilty about a bad habit or two, but if you must give up any of these habits year, make it your bad money habits. Overspending is a major part of being young and Singaporean, and it shows with last year’s large decline in financial literacy and growing credit card debt.

We get it. It’s hard to prioritise something as unglamorous as retirement savings when there are things to buy, restaurants to try, and places to travel to. But with today’s volatile economy, the good times aren’t going to last forever. If you lose your job or something happens to your parents, you’re going to wish you had savings to fall back on.

It’s not the same instant gratification as buying a new smartphone, but with some simple changes, it can be really easy to build your nest egg and still have fun.

This year, let’s prove our aunties wrong and stop falling into the stereotype that millennials never think ahead. Let’s make a serious effort to outgrow these bad financial habits.

1. Spending Everything You Earn

Even if you aren’t in debt or living beyond your means, spending your entire paycheque puts your financial future at risk. By blowing your money on fun, food, and gadgets, you’re missing out on opportunities to save for major milestones like your first flat, your wedding, or your retirement.

It can be tough to make these goals a priority when your whole life is still ahead of you. But by building your savings early, you give your savings more time to grow.

How to Break this Habit

Automating your savings is the easiest, most effortless way to save serious cash. Decide how much you want to save each month and open a savings account separate from the one you use daily. Then set up an automatic transfer to your new savings account on a certain day every month.

This whole process will only take you about 10 minutes tops. As soon as it’s set up, you never have to think about it again.

2. Thinking of Your Credit Card as “Free Money”

To young 20-somethings who can finally afford to buy their own toys, credit cards are a dream come true. Now you can buy ANYTHING you want, even if you can’t afford it with your salary. I mean, it’s basically free money from the bank, right?

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as free money, and this kind of thinking is what leads to horror stories about never-ending credit card debt.

When used as a mode of payment, the best credit cards actually help you save by giving rebates or discounts. But you need to make your monthly payments in full and on time to reap the benefits.

How to Break this Habit

Use your online banking to pay off your card the moment you make a purchase. By doing so, you can see how much you’re really spending and you don’t run the risk of missing your statement’s due date.

If you’re trying to pay off an existing debt, make a commitment to pay more than the minimum amount due. Use only cash until you’ve paid off your balances, and keep your credit card locked away at home.

See Also: The SingSaver.com.sg Team’s Best Secrets to Managing Credit Cards

3. Keeping Up With Your Friends

Trendy whiskey bars, impromptu shopping trips, eye-popping tabs at the latest Michelin-starred restaurant to hit Singapore. It’s all part and parcel of having friends with lots of disposable income. It’s hard being THAT person who doesn’t want to spend much, but has no choice but to go along with the group anyway.

How to Break this Habit

It’s easier said than done, but overcoming this habit requires getting a firm grip of who you are and what you value. And once you’ve figured that out, create a few simple rules that allow you to socialise with friends without breaking the bank.

If you value the time you spend with friends, you can cut back on other expenses to make up for your high entertainment costs. Or you can proactively suggest alternatives that are within your price range.

And if your friends insist on crazy shopping sprees and expensive nights out, perhaps you should try finding another group of friends to spend time with–people who place less importance on acquiring material things and more energy onto meaningful activities.

4. Complaining About Your Small Salary

Even if you don’t splurge on designer items and expensive restaurants, it’s easy to feel like your salary can’t keep up with Singapore’s high prices. But all the energy you spend complaining about your small salary can be better spent finding ways to improve your cash flow.

How to Break this Habit

Spend at least an hour a day doing anything that develops your talents and skills. Read up on industry trends, apply what you know on a side project, or learn a new skill altogether. With and plenty of MOOCs, self-development is easy and free.

As you master your skills, you can use these to start a side income or get a promotion at work. And with your increased earnings, you’ll have more to set aside for savings and more to enjoy in the present day.

Read This Next:

5 Emergency Expenses You’re Probably Not Prepared For
How to Save Money for a Flat Before Your 35th Birthday


Lauren Dado

By Lauren Dado
Lauren has been a content strategist and digital marketer since 2007. As SingSaver.com.sg’s Content Manager, Lauren edits and publishes personal finance stories to help Singaporeans save money. Her work has appeared in publications like Her World, Asia One, and Women’s Weekly.