Money is a tool that can help you to achieve your goals. It can provide comfort and stability for your family, make it easier to plan for the future, and allow you to save towards important milestones. But to achieve these things, you need to know how to make your money work for you. Making your money work for you means taking control of your finances, then using that control to improve your financial stability and security continuously. You may eventually be able to gain financial independence or build wealth through investing. But neither of those things can happen without first understanding where your money is going and learning better ways to use it.
Develop a Budget
It’s something we’ve all heard a million times before, but most of us don’t really plan and stick to a budget. If you’re guilty of being in the dark about your inflow and outflow of cash, putting together a budget is one of the best ways to start taking control of your finances. In a nutshell, a budget shows you if you are spending more or less than you can afford. It also helps you direct your money to where it matters most, so you can stay on top of bills, pay down debt, and start saving money to meet your future goals.
Typical expenses to consider include:
- Fixed expenses
- Vehicle running costs and transport
- Education expenses
- Discretionary expenses
- Eating out
- Sports and recreation
- Personal care items
- Rent or mortgage repayments
- Phone and internet
- Childcare costs
- Vehicle registration
- Debt repayments
- Variable expenses
- Utilities like electricity and gas
- Food and groceries
- Medical costs
There’s a wide range of free budget planning tools online, you can try to use them. If you are more old-school, just stick to a good old spreadsheet.
Open a High-Yield Savings Account
In an ideal world, you’d have an emergency savings account totaling about six months of living expenses stored in cash. Even if that isn’t the case for you right now, it’s wise to start putting money away in a high-yield bank account that earns interest while you save. Most transaction accounts offer an interest rate of around 0.01% – the equivalent of hiding your money in a sock under the bed. High-yield savings accounts, on the other hand, typically offer interest rates above 1% i.e. 100 times higher than a regular checking account. Interest rates, fees and conditions vary depending on the bank and the product. Online-only banks tend to offer higher interest rates because they don’t have the expense of maintaining branches, but this isn’t always the case.
Also, remember that some banks put restrictions on how often you can withdraw your money from a high-yield savings account, so it’s worthwhile comparing your options online to see what’s available.
Use Rewards Credit Cards to Your Advantage
Conventional wisdom says that credit cards are best avoided, but there’s a caveat. If you choose a card with rewards appropriate for your lifestyle – think frequent flyer miles, cashback, gift cards, and more – you can actually save big in the long run. Most credit card companies offer specific cards that come with rewards for spending. If you pay off your entire balance each month during the interest-free period, you can reap the benefits of these rewards without paying a dime in interest. Hypothetically, you could funnel all your spending through your credit card and rack up some serious rewards, as long as you’re diligent about paying off your balance in full every month. This tactic takes careful budgeting and restraint, though, so it’s not the best idea if you’re prone to building debt (or have existing debt).
Pay Down Debt
Whether it’s credit cards, student debt, or other loans, most of us will deal with some form of debt at one point or another. And while owing money might just seem like a way of life, the faster you can remove the burden of debt from your life, the faster you can take control of your finances. Think of it this way: Every dollar you use to pay down your principal saves you from having to pay interest on that sum – and that can mean being debt-free years earlier than expected. In other words, paying down debt faster equals guaranteed returns in your bank account over the long term.
Create an Emergency Fund
Surprises are scary when you do not have control of your finances. An unexpected car repair, a medical procedure, a job loss, or any other financial emergency can quickly send you spiraling into new or more debt, wiping out any progress you’ve made towards taking control of your money.
Creating an emergency fund is another way to make your money work for you because it means you have planned for surprises. If an emergency does come up, you can put the money in your fund to work and regain control of the situation. Building an emergency fund can take time. Ideally, you should save the equivalent of three to six months’ worth of income. But every little bit you can set aside will help. If you are still paying off debt or don’t have much wiggle room in your budget, set aside whatever you can in a “surprise expenses” category in your budget. At the end of the month, transfer whatever is in this category to a separate savings account.
Become a Silent Partner in a New Business
Starting your own business can be a risky move, but if everything goes well, it can certainly pay off. Another way to reap the benefits of a successful new startup without the stress of getting a company off the ground is to become a silent partner who invests capital but doesn’t handle any of the day-to-day operations. The prospect comes with pros and cons. You won’t have any say in how the company is run or the daily decisions active employees make. But you’ll earn a cut of any profits the business makes without putting in any long hours. However, you still run the risk of a financial loss if the venture tanks.
There are lots of ways to make your money work for you. Look into these and others, and you may enjoy greater income now or in the future, with some help from your money.
Legal Moneylender in City Hall
If you find that you are in need of money due to sudden bills or expenses, you can always approach us. KBB Credit SD Pte Ltd is a licensed money lender in Singapore. We are here to provide you the cash that you need to tide over your problems.
Despite the ways that we have provided you to make your money work for you, it will still require time for the money to materialise. In the meantime, if you encounter and financial difficulties in the short term, just know that we are always here to assist you.
Since 2002, we have helped many small businesses and people in Singapore. Click here to find out what our customers have to say about us.
You can always drop an application form to get a call back from us. Not to worry, by submitting this form, it does not mean that you have applied for a loan. It is simply an enquiry.
You can also visit our office at 111 North Bridge Road #01-35 Peninsula Plaza Singapore 179098. Or call us at +65 6255 6998 to find out more.