12 Months in Money

So what if you haven’t stuck to your New Year’s savings resolution? It’s never too late to kick off a new season of financial freedom.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
So what if you haven’t stuck to your New Year’s savings resolution? It’s never too late to kick off a new season of financial freedom.
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Future-proof your finances
Setting personal targets is the key to financial success. Whether it’s a new pair of Ray-Bans, a Greek-Islands getaway or a deposit for a house, an app like Wally or Goodbudget (available for free at the Google Play and Apple App Store) can help you set, plan and track your saving progress.
Score a better deal
Instead of hitting the GSS sales, make June get-a-better deal month. Start by switching up your everyday bank account to one that offers a better interest rate and watch the savings stack up.
Protect your goods

Singaporeans lost more than $500,000 to cybercrime in 2014, and as we move to an increasingly cashless future, beef up your financial security by changing your banking passwords and checking your credit records. To get a personalised credit report, visit MASapproved credit bureaus like Credit Bureau (Singapore) Pte Ltd and DP Credit Bureau Pte Ltd.


Be your own financial guru
Boost your financial well-being with help from The New Savvy (thenewsavvy.com), a free portal that offers advice on money management catered to women. Ranging from investment tips to milestone planning, the website also offers simple financial calculators that can help show you how to get ahead.


Spring clean your CPF
Retirement might be a million years away (OK, so maybe more like 50), but thinking about the future now means more pina coladas and cruise ships later. Head to cpf.gov.sg or iras.gov.sg to assess whether you’re in a position to contribute more money into your CPF. Tip: voluntary contributions to your Medisave are tax-deductible!


Have a buy-nothingnew month
Why do you need new A/W clothes anyway? Rather than splurge on a brand new wardrobe, grab some preloved bargains at second-hand shops, on Carousell, or at e-tailers like Back Alley Project (backalleyproject.tictail.com). You can also swap, share or borrow clothes from your besties!


Win the money race
Research suggests that the “ask” gap is a strong factor in the gender pay gap – because men tend to ask for raises and negotiate their salaries more often than women, they earn more as a result. Your annual review should be coming up soon, making this the perfect time to lean in, hard. So go ahead and ask for that raise – you’re worth it!


Give with love, not debt
Take a planned approach to Christmas. Make a list of everything you need, check it twice and shop around to compare prices. Pay cash where possible – it’s still the cheapest way to make purchases, and that way, you have more control over what you’re dishing out.


New-year money detox
Take a break from excessive party- season spending and make some solid 2017 budget resolutions. Apps like Pocket Expense (free from the App Store and Google Play), help to monitor exactly where your money ends up each week. New year, new cash-conscious you!


Ang-power up your savings
Why not make the most of being eligible – to receive ang pows, that is? The temptation to spend the cash you get this month will be strong, but treat this as just a regular month and pretend that all those extra funds don’t even exist. Instead, bank them directly into your savings account and be pleasantly surprised when you exceed your savings target at the end of the year!


Credit card boot camp
Those bargains you scored at the Christmas sales? Yep, they’re hitting your credit card statement right about now. Talk to your bank about putting together a plan to pay your debt off, and get ahead by switching to a low-rate card with no annual fees. Think of it like signing up to banking bootcamp.


Learn to love tax time
Filling in forms is the worst. So is hunting down receipts, remembering your Singpass username and calculating exactly how many hours you worked from home. But guess what’s even more painful? Getting hit with a late filing fee or late payment penalty. So bite the bullet and get it done, pronto!