Now is a good time to think about the year that has just passed, and to reflect on mistakes and milestones so that you can draw new goals for this year. We hope that you feel energetic for 2022, as it is paramount to get started on a positive note.

Let’s start with what many tend to overlook when drawing financial goals. If you made a lot of “sacrifices”, perhaps opted for hawker food instead of the expensive restaurant for the entire year as well as other cost-saving actions, the truth is that you might still be way behind from attaining your financial goals. Why the scenario? In this post, we delve deeper into experiences and discoveries of managing money correctly over the years.

1. Make Sure to Research before Hitting the Buy Button

When making decisions about buying a product, knowledge is the most important thing. Simply put: you need to know where your hard-earned cash is going. You should compare the different options and determine what is best for you before making the final decision. Note that this should be used for everything that you buy, from travel services to cabs and telco plans.

Avoid following just hearsay or simply basing your decision on biased reviews. In addition, you need to conduct some soul searching and only go for what you need. This will help you save some money and further develop good usage habits.

2. Always Make and Follow Smart Decisions

A pair of the latest and most expensive fashion wear would look awesome in the new year. However, would your favorite clothing not work at only half the price? Here, you need to determine whether this is a want or need, but how do you do it? Here are some questions to ask.

a) Do I really need this item?

b) Will this item be of use next week, month, or three years down the line?

c) Is it possible to buy this item without going for my savings?

If the answer to all the three questions above is “yes,” you can go ahead and buy the item under consideration. If it is an item that you really, really wanted for a long time, it is okay to go for it. However, make sure that the item is not galloping a lot of your savings.

3. Plan Your Budget Well

It might sound challenging because there are very many items to consider in a budget, but it will come in handy to ensure you have good cash flow and credit balance. It is especially critical when considering items such as big-ticket spending, home renovation, and weddings. These events can take up the entire savings in one go and it is important to think of how to cushion some of it.

Start by checking your daily, monthly and annual spending. These expenses are likely to be things such as shopping, plane tickets, festive shopping, and gas costs for your car. Then, set a realistic target and test it for a short period, preferably one month and make adjustments on the budget.

Second, include some costs for the unforeseen occurrences. These are expenses that you might not have predicted. Perhaps, your kid falls ill, the computer breaks down, or your phone requires to be replaced.

To make additional savings, identify the time for shopping festivals on your calendar so that you are prepared for everything. For example, you need to be prepared about the money that you will use to buy gifts for Christmas. Taking advantage of the shopping deals allows you to buy products at lower prices compared to the normal rates. For example, Black Fridays have the best offers for different products.

4. Plan for a Financial Date

You might ask, “a financial date?" Yes, it is, and it works wonders. Here you take your partner out to discuss matters of finance once every month. During this date, you get to discuss things such as investment, finances, and review progress over time.

It might be a joint savings account or anything that is related to your finances. Consider this date as a method of empowering each other and amplifying your financial health.

5. Regularly Review Your Plans

If you want your finances to stay as planned, perhaps checking whether the budget is working, you must include regular reviews. A good option is taking something such as 10-30 minutes every week, two weeks, or month to check on your financial health.

The start of the year should be used to make small steps and objectively grow as the year progresses. Let's be frank here: you will not jump from being an employee in the second month to the company's CEO in just a month. So, try to be as realistic as possible by making small changes in your finances and sticking to them.

6. Be Wise on How You Manage Your Debt

Your finances will never be good if you do not know how to manage debt well. Here, it is important to be wise. So, if you find that the debt is spiralling to about three times your monthly salary, it will be a good idea to take a low-interest rate personal loan to clear it and then repay it in instalments. In many cases, credit card bills come with very high-interest rates and it is a good idea to knock them down with personal loans that are far cheaper in Singapore.

7. Ensure Your Credit Score is Healthy

Your credit health is like a resume that creditors use to determine if you qualify for a loan or credit card. Indeed, it is not just the banks that check your financial score in Singapore. Today, even employers and telecom companies are checking the report to understand the people they are dealing with. So, you better start developing positive financial habits right away so that your score is good.

The best thing is starting with a single credit card and planning your spending well. Then, ensure the bill is repaid in full and on time. Then, do not shy away from taking loans. Go for short-term loans and repay them on time to build a positive credit score. You should also maintain a good credit mix and avoid making multiple loan inquiries. Remember that the best way to apply for a loan is through Lendela, the best lender comparison site in Singapore.

8. Make Your Money Grow through Investment

Saving your money is an excellent thing. However, you need to move to the next, and we call it the smart way to grow your investment. One way of doing this is to consider your savings as a form of fixed expense and ask your bank to deduct it the first time your salary is processed. Then, this money is transferred to a high-yield savings account or another preferred investment. You will not just be making savings, but this will be an excellent way to earn something more from it. One investment plan that you might want to consider is HSBC's Life Online Endowment that provides guaranteed returns of at least 2.5% per year. Risk-free Singapore Savings Board might also be an excellent pick for people not willing to take high risks. These ones yield about 1.88% per year and the amount is paid twice per year.

When it comes to New Year resolutions, making good financial health your number one goal is important, and the tips we have listed above can help you get started on the right note. Remember that most of these targets require time and patience to get the expected results. So, you need to stay focused and you should not shy away from taking (a good) loan because it could help you avoid using the savings. For example, if you really need a car, a personal loan in Singapore could be a great choice because it will be repaid in instalments and will not interrupt your savings plan. On top of that, you will not have to. Make sure to always apply for a loan through Lendela to simplify the loan application process and get the one with the best terms and conditions.