Look Out for the Best Credit Card Christmas Deals

Watch Out for the Best Credit Card Christmas Deals

Christmas gives you a perfect excuse to go shopping. Get the best credit card Christmas deals this holiday season.

In addition, Christmas gives you a perfect excuse to go shopping while the banks have the right reason to entice you with the best credit card deals. Discover these promos before the year ends.

Maybank

  • Still not done wrapping your Christmas gifts? Take them to Maybank’s participating branches at Northpoint, Waterway Point, Jurong Point, and NEX mall until 24 December 2016. Do not forget to show your charge slips to avail the free gift wrapping.
  • Going somewhere before the year ends? Get a $50 cash rebate when you charge at least $1,500 worth of Singapore Airlines ticket purchases. To claim your rebate, you must send an SMS with the code MBSQ and your name, NRIC, and quantity. You can only redeem your rebates twice.
  • When you go shopping overseas, you can earn a $70 cash rebate to purchase at least $1,000 with your Maybank Credit Card. Do not forget to send an SMS to 79898 containing the keyword “OSR,” your name, and quantity. You only have a maximum of two redemptions.

Maybank Singapore | Watch Out for the Best Credit Card Christmas Deals

Standard Chartered

  • You can get a 15% cashback when you charge a total minimum spend of $5,000, including online and overseas purchases. However, you must remember that the cashback is capped at $150.
  • With every charge worth $150 or more in just a single eligible transaction, you will get a chance to play. You can only have one chance a day. So do not forget to register either online or through SMS.

Rewards

  • You can take home a Samsonite Casso 28” Spinner luggage if you spend a minimum of $8,000 up to S$15,999. However, be mindful to check if it is still available during your purchase, as it is only given to the first 3,500 cardholders.
  • If you want to spend quality time with your significant other, you might be lucky if you are one of the first 1,000 cardholders who spent S$16,000 and above this season. Then, you can avail a free overnight stay in the Wonderful Room at W Singapore – Sentosa Cove.
  • You can have a chance to win two Singapore Airlines Suites tickets to fly to Paris. For the first $1,000 spent, you get 10 chances. Then every S$100 spent will give you one additional chance. However, if you purchase less than S$1,000, you won’t be qualified.

Standard Chartered | Watch Out for the Best Credit Card Christmas Deals

DBS / POSB

Redeem instant gifts with the DBS Lifestyle app with every single-receipt purchase of at least $250. Note that you only get a chance to play once a day, and only 1000 cardholders can register per day.

On your first to the fifth redemption, you can get S$5 cash credit. It will increase to S$10 on your 6th to 10th redemption. Should you redeem 11 times or more, you will get S$15. Aside from cash credit, you can also choose other special gifts such as a free stay in The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, a dining voucher at The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, Wing Tai Retail shopping vouchers, and AirAsia BIG Points.

Do not forget to refresh your DBS Lifestyle app. Tap “Christmas 2016 Spend & Redeem” to register and start the game. Select a gift box to get your e-coupons and redeem your gifts.

POSB Credit Cards

Citibank

To qualify for Citibank’s holiday promos, you have to register by sending the SMS to 72484 using your Citibank registered mobile number.

Spend & Get

If you are one of the first 1,000 registered cardholders to spend at least $5,000, then you are eligible to take home the 20” Travel Luggage (K-2SO). Or, if you are one of the first 2,000 cardholders to spend S$2,000 to S$4,999, you will get the Duffle Bag (Death Star). The promo will end on 26 January 2017.

Trip-for-2 to Orlando for the STAR WARS Celebration

With every S$50 spent with your Citi Card, you will get a chance to win a pair of roundtrip tickets to Orlando on April 12, 2017. It includes five nights and six days of hotel accommodation and a US$200 spending spree at the Disney Store.

Citibank Singapore | Watch Out for the Best Credit Card Christmas Deals

OCBC

  • You can get 20% off of your total food and beverage bill at the Fairmont Singapore, Antidote, provided that your payment is fully charged on your OCBC credit card.
  • Get 10% off of Swensen’s / Earle Swensen’s ice cream log cakes from 12 Dec to 25 Dec 2016.
  • Receive 8% off from your hotel accommodations in Singapore, Macau and Hong Kong. Other hotel feelings in any other destinations will be deducted by 7%.
  • By entering the voucher code, you will be entitled to 10% off your hotel bookings on expedia.com.
  • You can have $10 off with the $80 you spend when shopping in any Royal Sporting House Outlets. However, it is only valid for the first 3,000 eligible customers.
  • Lazada gives $7 off with at least $50 spent. If you are a new customer, you will get $10 off.

OCBC Credit Cards in Singapore

HSBC

You must first register your card by creating an SMS: Christmas16-digit credit card number, then send it to 74722. Then, charge your Christmas purchases on your card, but you must reach the minimum spend to qualify.

You can get $10 CapitaVouchers with every $500 charged on the card. Note that you can only acquire a maximum of 5 vouchers.

HSBC Singapore | Watch Out for the Best Credit Card Christmas Deals

UOB Credit Card Christmas Deals

  • Get 15% off Cold Stone Creamery log cakes until 31st Dec 2016. You must order the log cake 3 working days in advance.
  • If you are going out of the country, spend a minimum of $300 overseas and earn 2.4 miles for each $1 spent.
  • Get 5 to 10% off from Dean & DeLuca Christmas related purchases until 29 Dec 2016.

UOB Credit Card Singapore

Christmas is inevitably coming faster as we prepare our gifts and parties. If you prefer cash for your holiday shopping, get a quick cash loan from Cash Mart today.

What You Need to Know About Credit Cards

What You Need to Know About Credit Cards

Singaporeans are not new when it comes to credit card use. In July 2016, 7,940,471 credit cards existed in the city-state, excluding the supplementary cards. Since most Singaporeans have a personal bank account, you must have encountered the enchanted card called Credit Cards. It seems that you can avail anything with a single swipe. First, however, you must understand what it really is to be able to maximise its use and prevent caving into shopping temptations.

Credit Cards in Singapore

Credit Cards are unsecured loans offered by banks with terms and conditions, which can get tricky. However, many credit card programmes offered in Singapore also have various appealing perks. Though it seems you can purchase anything just by swiping these plastic cards or sending their details to online merchants, you must remember that it has a credit limit. You can shop both in establishments and e-commerce sites with a credit card. Also, you can use some credit cards to withdraw cash from ATM branches. The biggest credit card issuers are UOB, Citibank and DBS Bank.

To understand how credit cards work, you must know the parties involved every time you use them for transactions. Cardholders are the individuals authorised to purchase goods and pay for services through credit cards. Cardholders include your spouse and kids with your supplementary cards. The consumer finance companies and banks which issue credit cards are Card Issuers. The merchants are the shops and e-commerce sites you transact with.

When you buy something online with your credit card, the bank (Merchant Acquirer) will process the transaction with POS terminals. Credit Card Organisations are the middlemen who link the merchant acquirers and card issuers. These are the logos you see on your cards, such as Visa and MasterCard.

what you need to know about credit cards

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General Types of Credit Cards

General Purpose Local Currency Credit Cards

These are the standard cards categorised as classic, gold and platinum, which you can avail of depending on your salary range and creditworthiness. Once your credit card gets approved, your spouse and children can have supplementary cards. If you use your card overseas, all your transactions will be converted into Singaporean Dollars, and you will be charged 1% to 2% for a foreign transaction fee. The bank will establish the credit limit according to your finances.

 Prepaid Credit Cards

These are cards not tied to any existing checking account. Thus it does not help with building up your credit score. You only need to load money onto the card to be able to use it to purchase stuff or pay for services. There are no minimum payments since all your purchases will be deducted from your card’s balance. You can renew your spending limit by reloading your card.

Limited Purpose Credit Cards

Limited Purpose Cards are used for large merchant partners such as stores and gasoline stations. Use these credit cards with minimum finance charge and payments. Some known Limited Purpose Cards are Takashimaya Cards and DBS Esso Card. Depending on the rules, limits and restrictions of the cards, you can earn discounts, points, privileges and even airline miles which can also expire if you don’t use them.

Business Credit Cards

People in business need to keep their transactions separate from their personal life. That is why business credit cards are designed for them.

Student Credit Cards

The design is for college students who do not have any credit score history yet, and it is their first time being a credit card applicant. In addition, the cards may come with various perks, such as low-interest rates on balance transfers.

Cashback Rebates

These are rebates you get every time you use your credit cards in a transaction. The accumulated rebates may be credited each month or per quarter of the year. The more spending you do, the more rebate you can get as the general rate range from 1% to 3%.

Reward Points

Reward points are part of a loyalty scheme to attract more customers to the business. Each merchant can have a different set of terms and guidelines with the pointing system. The points can then be exchanged for air miles, gifts and vouchers.

Credit Card Interest

When comparing credit card monthly interest charges, use the Effective Interest Rate (EIR), which usually ranges from 25% to 28%. Various banks start charging interest rates at various periods. Some banks start charging a month after your credit card gets approved, while others start later.  It is an interest-free period. Your grace period will be forfeited if you fail to pay your balance from the previous month.

Credit card terms and conditions can be very tricky. That’s why you need to know about credit cards. Ensure you understand all the conditions and know all the costs you incur to prevent outstanding fees. Use credit cards only when you need them the most. If you end up with maxed-out credit limits yet need to make an immediate purchase. Do not fret. You can always get a personal loan from Cash Mart.

Why New Graduates Need to Start Working ASAP

Why New Graduates Need to Start Working ASAP

Welcome to the real world! Where news grads need to start working asap.

Students are excited to end their college days and earn that degree they have been striving for.

Well, most of us know that many fresh graduates look forward to a grand vacation regardless of what the future may bring. Is it the right time to chill after years of burning the midnight oil?

Most of them have been given the notion that getting a job will not be as hard as it used to be a decade ago if you have a degree. Is it true? After graduation, should you go on a grand vacation or look for your first job? Here are why the latter could be the right choice.

5 Reasons Why You Should Start Working ASAP

Why New Graduates Need to Start Working ASAP

Credit: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2020/06/11/4-steps-every-new-college-graduates-should-take-during-covid-19/?sh=587587452c1a

A ‘better opportunity’ will come

Really?

Let’s say you have been looking for a job. You went to interviews smartly dressed, but in the end, you declined the offered positions as it did not fit your expected income. However, you are confident you’ll strike a better offer. Is there such a thing as a better opportunity?

Some millennials have a high expected salary because they think their degree deserves it. And it is not just the income. They want a job they can flaunt on social media to impress their family and friends. It is not practical at all.

Remember that you are a fresh grad. You may have a degree, but you lack experience. So it does not hurt to start at the bottom and work your way up.

And if you think it will take a longer time to get to the job you want, you can take a job at the factories or car dealerships. The pay is fair, and at the same time, you can look for a job while already earning for yourself. Being young and financially independent is something also impressive.

The long break is unattractive to employers.

How long do you plan to stay on vacation? Some employers dislike fresh graduates who took a long time to find their first jobs. So you better have a good explanation for why you did not work for longer than a year.

Longer breaks will make you seem too picky for a job or happy-go-lucky. If you are asked for your reasons, you better not say that you are still looking for a better opportunity. It will earn you a negative impression.

Start your savings

The earlier you start your work, the earlier you can start saving up in your CPF account. So what’s in it for you? CPF can help you get your home, have retirement benefits and even get education loans for your future children.

No matter how much you earn in your job, your employer is subject to providing 16% of your CPF contributions. It is still something compared to a zero amount. Imagine how much you could save up in a year.

You will have a good head start if you start working earlier than your peers. You will not only have CPF savings, but you can also learn more skills, gain experience and get more contacts. These are advantages you do not get with a degree alone.

A degree isn’t a guarantee.

A degree isn’t guaranteed that you’ll get your target job position immediately.

Yes, you earned a degree after studying for a few years. So your degree might give you an advantage in getting a job, right? But what if there are a lot of fresh graduates also eyeing the same job and they also have the same degree?

A degree may give you enough knowledge and skill to start and stay in your chosen career. But, it does not guarantee that you get your dream job easily. Also, you are not certain if you will be offered promotions by just having that degree. Why?

A degree isn’t a guarantee that you’ll get a promotion.

Most employers prioritise interpersonal skills. They will consider how you interact with your colleagues. It includes your professionalism and leadership. It will be a real advantage if you can show that you have learned new skills while on the job.

Not diving in your industry makes you obsolete.

If you do not get a job as soon as possible, you will be obsolete. You have learned theories at school, but these will change after a few years.

Take, for example, Basic Life Support. Health care providers learned that it was ABC: Airway, Breathing and Circulation. They need to check the vitals and do needed actions according to this order to revive a person. After a few years, it is now changed into the CAB: Circulation, Airway and Breathing.

The good thing about working in the industry as early as possible is that you can move forward as the industry moves on. In addition, your employer will pay for your training, and you will learn more which you can use to show that you deserve future promotions.

Vacation may seem fun, but you can’t take back the time you could have used to kick-start your career earlier than your peers. However, you have time on your hands, and you can convert it into advantages.

Do you need to start working asap due to urgent money needs? Then, head over to Cash Mart. It offers a low-interest personal loan. Also, the licensed moneylender approved an online application for zero credit borrowers. Check it out now!

Singaporean Household: Cost of a Foreign Helper

Singaporean Household: Real Cost of a Foreign Helper

A domestic helper is famous for household chores. But before hiring someone, know how much is the actual cost of a foreign helper.

Whilst Singaporeans are very hard working to provide for their families. They have very limited time for household chores: from taking care of the laundry to walking the dog every day. Thus, having a foreign domestic helper has been popular to keep the household in order.

Why are we reliant on maids?

Taking care of elders

While there are nursing homes for the elderly, many can’t afford such facilities and having a maid is way cheaper for them. Thus the government gives tax deductions to those who hire maids to care for their elderly parents. Instead of paying the monthly levy of $265, they are only required to pay $60 a month.

Long working hours

Since Singaporeans are known to have great dedication to their work, they have very little time with the household. They sometimes take home some of their work which they deal with after putting the kids in bed. Thus the work-life balance has been too much altered. There is a slight possibility of having still the energy and time to deal with vacuuming the floors and cooking.

Many don’t know how to cook.

Many Singaporeans are used to eating out because they lack practice when it comes to kitchen matters. In the Electrolux Asia Pacific Food Survey in 2014, 65% of Singaporeans admitted that they think they have limited or disastrous cooking skills. While singles can still handle eating in restaurants and fast-food chains, those with children have to resort to getting a maid.

Hiring a foreign domestic worker (FDW) is a standard solution to taking care of most house-related activities. However, you must know that the Ministry of Manpower has strict regulations for hiring FDWs.

Ministry of Manpower in Singapore | The Real Cost of a Foreign Helper

Before you start applying for a work permit for an FDW, you must know your helper’s biographic data such as name, age, nationality and other passport and personal details. MOM will also require you to identify the personal information of everyone living at your address.

MOM assesses applications strictly by income. So naturally, you can only hire a helper if you can afford it with your current income. However, there are certain exceptional circumstances.

Sponsorship is when an elderly at the age of 60 wants to hire an FDW, yet there is a lack or absence of income, and he/she has no other living adult with him/her. MOM will assess the application based on the sponsor’s (children, grandchildren or siblings) income.

Another way is through Joint Application. The employer can combine income with an immediate family member (other than the spouse) living with them at home.

Foreign domestic worker eligibility

Generally, the FWD must be a female aged 23 to 50 years old from the government-approved country. In addition, it must have a minimum of 8 years of formal education with a recognised certificate by MOM.

You may interview your potential FDW. Ask about their strengths and weaknesses. Also, test the appliances they know how to use. In addition, assess their household skills like cooking. Furthermore, know their motivation for work. See if they have children to create an understanding of her goals further. Finally, determine their level of English language. While some are good at English during the interview, many still struggle with everyday use. While interviewing, you may also be upfront about your expectations and other particular household rules.

Are you Eligible to hire an FDW?

While there are a set of eligibility requirements for FDW, employers also have theirs.

To apply for an FDW, you must be 21 years old, have never been bankrupt, and have the full mental capacity to discharge your responsibility as an employer. In addition, as a first-time employer, you are required to attend an Employer Orientation Programme (EOP) before you apply for an FDW.

The Cost of a Foreign Helper:

  • The monthly salary is about $500 or more per month. Note that the salary depends on the agreed salary multiplied by 26 days per day.

$500 x 12= $6,600

  • The monthly Maid Levy costs $265. However, remember that the levy for sponsored applications is only $60.

$265 x 12 =    $3,180

  • Maid Agency Handling Fee: S$2000/ or more as a “package” for a “new maid.”

The package costs around $1500 – $1800 for “rehire maid” or helpers who already have a record as an FDW. These costs vary depending on the agency. However, choose carefully which agency you will use. Again, try to look for feedback on the agency’s website and social media accounts.

  • First, Time Employers have to undergo an Employer Orientation Programme with an online test set costing $40
  • Settling-in Programme – $75 for first time FDW
  • Work Permit application – $30
  • Work Permit issuance – $30
  • Security deposit – $5,000
  • Medical Insurance coverage – minimum coverage of $15,000
  • Personal Accident Insurance – minimum coverage of $40,000
  • Paid Day Offs if included in the agreement. Day Offs maybe 2 to 4 days per month, and on Sundays.

Total:    $71,355

Conclusion

Hiring a new FDW will cost you $ 71,355 in the first year. However, as different employers have various agreements with their FDW concerning lodging, food and other miscellaneous expenses, these are excluded from the calculated costs.

Now you know the real cost of a foreign helper. Do you seriously need extra help in your household? Do you need more cash to start applying for one? You can start your loan application now, as Cash Mart can give you cash disbursement today. So visit the Cash Mart website and start filling up the loan application to experience the fast and smooth loan process you deserve.

5 Reasons to Start Building Your Emergency Funds

5 Ultimate Reasons to Start Building Your Emergency Funds

Most individuals face one or more challenges due to unexpected expenses. Though you do not want to spend more money than what is necessary, certain situations can force you otherwise.

Whether you are employed or a business owner, it is significant that you keep your emergency fund ready. An emergency fund will help you immediately sort out your financial emergencies. Think of it as your shock absorber should you get through a rough patch.

We have provided a list of the crucial reasons you should start building your emergency funds.

building your emergency funds

Credit: https://www.phroogal.com/never-deplete-emergency-fund/

You have started budgeting.

When you do budgeting for the first time, the chances are that you will leave out a few expenses. The emergency fund that you have can cover these expenses, and later on, you can add the costs to the budget plan.

These can be the annual expenses like the taxes and other gift items for your business organisation. Emergency funds can go a long way in assisting you in adjusting your budget without overstretching your monthly income.

When you see unplanned expenses coming up, you have to write them on a piece of paper and adjust the budget accordingly. After all, you need to minimise unforeseen expenses. If you want to settle your debts while building the emergency fund, you can opt to go through the debt settlement reviews.

You have a single source of income.

Most people with a single income source have to build a substantial emergency fund. It can help bridge the financial gap should you suddenly lose your job or get an illness that prevents you from working.

So how much should you save up as your emergency fund? If you are single and living independently, you can save up to six months’ worth of expenses. However, if your whole family depends on you, you have to double up your emergency fund.

Since you are supporting your family, it is your duty to work towards building your emergency funds as fast as possible.

Start building your emergency funds even if you’re self-employed

If you are a contractual worker, self-employed or freelancer, you will need an emergency fund to keep things afloat should you suddenly get a lower income. It is also vital that you have multiple income streams because the quantity of work tends to fluctuate at times.

Moreover, if you are already aware that the contract will end extremely soon, it is your responsibility to start building up the emergency fund.

If you are an entrepreneur, it is good to plan for extra savings, especially for those months when your business is going slow. Try to keep track of the invoices and ensure that you are not missing payment collection to avoid using your emergency fund.

You own the house you live in

When you are the owner of the house you are living in, it is evident that you will have to pay money for the upkeep and the repairs. However, it is significant that you set up sinking funds to cover the repairing costs such as plumbing and roofing. There is no need to feel worried and anxious since an emergency fund can cover extra costs.

There is no denying that home repair tends to be extremely expensive. That is why you should set up your fund before any expense occurs. Add to that. You also need to set aside some funds for your housing tax each year.

You do not live close to your family.

If you do not live with your family because of your occupation, it is obvious that travelling home will take quite some cash. Also, the prices can go up if you are travelling at the last moment due to an emergency. Therefore, it is a good idea to have the emergency fund saved up to easily cover the expense of the tickets in case of medical emergencies or unexpected deaths back in your home.

The price of airline tickets is extremely high, and you have to save money for that. You cannot ignore the fact that booking at the last minute can be more expensive than what you are expecting.

Conclusion

Emergency funds have proved to be extremely helpful for individuals who have had financial crises. However, if you still do not have one, you must plan on building your emergency funds as soon as possible. And in case you meet financial difficulties without enough savings, get an instant loan from Singapore’s licensed lenders. In fact, you can apply for a loan even on Sundays through online loan applications.

Looking for the best borrowing experience? You can surely get it from Cash Mart – Singapore’s reputable licensed money lender since 1969. Feel free to send your enquiries today.

Guide for Expats Financial Survival in Singapore

Expat’s Best Guide to Financially Survive in Singapore

Foreigners face many challenges living in Singapore. They encounter money problems, too. Here’s the best guide for expats financial survival.

Over the years, the expatriate population in Singapore has been blooming. There can be a lot of challenges for a foreigner living in Singapore, especially with managing the finances. Here are the things you have to know as soon as you land in The Lion City of Asia.

Quick Facts on Singapore

Capital: Singapore

Population: 5.535million (World Bank, 2013)

Major language: English, Malay, Tamil, Standard Mandarin

Currency: The dollar (SGD, $ or S$)

Time zone: GMT+8 Hours

The Best Expats Financial Survival Guide 

Rental property

If your employer is not going to handle your accommodation, you have to know the types of properties you can rent. There is nothing much to fuss about if you have enough cash to give your landlord a deposit for a month or two. However, if you are tight on the budget, here are some tips.

Shop Around

Take time to shop around. Look into various internet sites, ask your friends and colleagues, go to open houses and ask agents. Give yourself at least a month to look into multiple apartments that may interest you and imagine living in the place. Then, compare the areas before creating a shortlist at the end of the month.

By giving yourself enough time, you won’t be pressured when finally deciding. Consider your lifestyle, workplace, and preferred amenities. Search on Facebook forums to know what other expats have to say about the places you are eyeing. Also, you can search on EasyRoommate. There are rooms under $1,000 offered on the site.

Know the Real Price

Knowing the right price will give you the boost of confidence needed to negotiate with landlords. But, unfortunately, it is not enough to ask people you know how much they think apartments are.  Agents are also not a hundred present reliable, and so are the classified ads.

For the most accurate prices, you can look for Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) lists of leases. You won’t just see the prices. Also, you can see some information. These are the location of the apartment, the size, bedroom, accommodation capacity, and the monthly rental. Plus, you can estimate how much other tenants are paying for a similar apartment.

Urban Redevelopment Authority in Singapore

Poor Quality Listings may Mean More.

If you are looking for cheaper apartments, don’t waste time looking through more than 50,000+ advertisements for premium condos. If many people compete for one apartment since the advertisement has hooked many, it is most likely that the landlord will not give you space for negotiation.

The quantity of photos does not change the quality of an apartment. The apartment with one image may end up better than the other. Give it a chance, get in touch with the agent and ask for more photos, information and other things you think might be personally meaningful.

Use an Agent

Many Singaporeans think that using an agent is a bad idea, but if it means that you have a good negotiator and a financial adviser at your side, then it beats the downside. However, we have to admit that the agent knows more than you do unless you work in the real estate business. So let him/her do the work.

Another advantage is the agent can drive you around to apartments that you might get interested in. You can save time, money and effort going to various apartments. Be vocal and ensure the agent knows your allotted budget for an apartment.

Choose the One You Need

We have to admit that many apartments offer extravagant facilities. These are jogging tracks, pools, semi-professional gyms, and many others. Since you want to save your money, don’t fall in love with facilities you are not even going to use much.

Bank Account

There is a good chance that you already have a bank account way back home, but it is still more convenient to have a local one. Choose between POSB or DBS, OCBC and UOB. You can make bank transfers easier as their ATMs are easy to locate. In case you need to transfer money back home, ask these local banks. Confirm if you can transfer it to your bank in your country.

Credit Card

Singaporeans use credit cards sparingly, and you should, too. You are living in one of the most expensive cities on the globe. You have to make sure that your cards are paid in full and on time to keep your credit score in good shape. You can link your Singaporean bank account to your credit card. So it will be automatically paid off each month.

Foreign currency spending

To save up money, use your credit card when spending abroad. Some cards, such as the UOB Visa Signature card, give a 5-cent rebate every time you reach the minimum expenditure requirement in foreign currency.

Mobile data plan

Singapore has three telcos, SingTel being the most expensive, M1, and StarHub being the cheaper. If you stay in the country for 2 years, you can apply for a plan. However, some expats financial survival instinct is still to use a plan despite staying for less than two years. Therefore, they disregard the option even if they can transfer it to another subscriber.

If you would instead take over someone’s plan, you can search the Expats Forums. Also, find someone who is about to let go of a plan. All you need is proof of your local residence. Finally, you can get a prepaid plan if you are not into calls and your job does not require it.

Internet Service

You can choose from SingNet, M1, StarHub, MyRepublic and ViewQwest. They all provide superfast fibre-optic and broadband connections. However, if you are going to stay for less than 6 months, you may choose between MyRepublic. Or ViewQwest as they have a pay as you go plan available for expats.

viewqwest for expats financial survival

Join expat organisational groups and forums to keep yourself updated. Some expats about to return to their country may offer some of their things up for sale. Visit theExpat.com and InterNations to get the hang of living in Singapore. In addition, find other expats who can relate to your situation.

On the other hand, you don’t have to sacrifice much of your luxuries. Follow this expats financial survival guide in Singapore.

Licensed moneylender Cash Mart offers loans for foreigners. Visit Cash Mart or give them a call, and the friendly staff will be ready to assist you through the process.

15 Smart Ways to Save More Money When Shopping for Groceries

15 Smart Ways to Save More Money When Shopping for Groceries

Groceries are part and parcel of life. So here are smart ways to save more money when shopping for groceries.

You cannot eat your hard-earned money. But shopping for groceries can leave you feeling high and dry. It can burn a hole right through your wallet or savings.

You have come to the right place if you want to know more about the tricks and tips to save money at the grocery.

Let’s dive right in!

Go for the cheaper cuts.

For all the non-vegetarian friends out there, are you spending a lot on the supply of meat?

The bills can be pretty astronomical if you plan to stock up on meat and other non-vegetarian food items. If you want to save money and stick to your budget, you should opt for the cheaper cuts.

Don’t worry!

They are as delicious as the choice of cuts. Cheaper cuts can reduce the expenditure on meat items by half. Start saving more today!

Whole Cuts

Another way to save on your protein purchases is to go for whole cuts of meat.

It is evident that whole cuts are worth more even though you are paying less as a whole boneless pork loin would cost less/pound than a single roast or a tray of pork chops.

Buy the whole cut and ask the butcher to cut smaller pieces after your purchase.

Hydration needs

Water is absolutely essential, and we cannot do without it. Moreover, it should be a cheap commodity since most of the planet is covered with water.

Your local company offers you water at a meager price. So avoid making costly purchases of bottled water. Instead, invest in reusable bottles if you want to store some on the go. Don’t spend obscene amounts on the water when it is the most common and readily available item.

Local markets

All you need to do is invest time to cut down on spending on groceries. Then, search and shop from the local markets and farmers to slash your grocery bills almost by half.

Grocery stores can be your one-stop-all-purchase option, but your local market will provide fresh goods at reduced prices. So why spend more when you can save more?

local markets to save more money when shopping for groceries

Credit: https://www.timeout.com/singapore/shopping/the-best-markets-in-singapore

Buy all your ingredients.

Convenience is the reason we end up spending more on grocery shopping.

Prepared food items will always cost more due to the expenses associated with buying the raw material, preparation charges, and personal charges.

However, if you opt for buying the ingredients for cooking and preparation at your home, you will be cutting down on your expenditure. So, invest time in learning to cook for yourself. Plus, you can be the cynosure at all parties and events.

Plan your menu for the day

Before you head out to the grocery store, you must plan the menu of the day. It will help you avoid impulse buys when you see something at the store. Planning will save on the cost of grocery shopping as well as time.

Stocking up

It is essential for items you need regularly and has a long shelf life. These are rice, wheat, and your every day cereals and grains.

Learn the art of stocking up and buying wholesale from the local markets. Offering discounts can significantly reduce your grocery bills.

Brewing your beverages

Avoid the expenditures on expensive coffee and tea at Starbucks or other such options.

Your occasional hang-outs are okay, but before going to work, brew your own to save a ton of your money for that morning coffee routine.

Time the shopping

It is a scientifically proven fact that hungry people tend to overspend. So what you can do is shop after you have had your meal and schedule the completion of your grocery shopping within a fixed amount of time. That will help you with curbing unnecessary purchases. Always have the grocery list handy to buy only what you need.

Vending machines

It is a fact that vending machines rip you off. That bag of chips and diet soda can or aerated drink costs you a lot when you hit the vending machine.

Instead, it is always a great idea to bring your home-cooked food for lunch to your office or school. Add up your savings by bringing your food. Chances are, even the quantity will be adequate, and you will never go hungry. That is health and wealth together!

The stores

We tend to go for branded store products, but there is no evidence to prove that branded stuff is better for the quality of grocery items and foodstuff.

Unless there is a marked difference in quality, opt for store brands to help with your savings on grocery shopping.

Shopping coupons

There are shopping coupons available if you are on the lookout for them. These coupons are available through newspaper cut-outs and online websites. In addition, there are coupon apps as well. The options for discount coupons are endless if you are willing to spend a bit of time searching for one! Therefore, look for it to save more money when shopping for groceries.

Planning the shopping trips

Your local stores will allow for big savings once every week or month.

These offers are highlighted on the local newspapers and website landing pages. Be aware of discount pricing available at your local store and shop accordingly to save more on the trips for grocery shopping.

Eating out

You must avoid frequent eating out at fancy restaurants at all costs. The same goes for take-outs. If you plan to eat out in style, do it once every week, which will help you to save more.

Happy hours

Be aware of the happy hours when visiting your favourite food joint and restaurant.

Go in groups; invite your friends and family along with you. Take advantage of the happy hours when prices are low and save big.

happy hours to save more money when shopping groceries

Credit: https://thehoneycombers.com/singapore/best-happy-hours-singapore-bars/

Follow these simple and easy tips to save big on your grocery shopping. Saving is not rocket science. If others can, so can you!

What are the things you regularly do to save more money when shopping for groceries?

5 Money-Saving Hacks to Spend Less on Groceries

5 Money-Saving Hacks to Spend Less on Groceries

We all go grocery shopping at least once a week. However, it drags down our budget. So here are tips on how to spend less on groceries.

Who can survive without food, toiletries, detergents and other cleaning stuff? No matter how thrifty you are, you will still be bound to make a trip and spend on these.

Each grocery shopping to refill your cupboard and refrigerator costs hundreds of Singaporean dollars. Wouldn’t it be nice to save cash when shopping for your everyday needs?

In a state known to have one of the highest living costs in the world, we all look for various ways to save up. Being frugal does not mean setting aside your family’s needs. It means finding ways to save up while still getting your necessities.

Here are five ways to save up and spend less on groceries.

Involve your family

When planning to make a shopping list, you need to involve your family in it for a couple of reasons:

  • There are certain things on the list that they may need to add. You might be saving, but remember to prioritise your family’s needs.
  • If it is not your turn to buy the groceries, it must be clear that the list has to be followed.
  • Make it clear who has to buy the specific item. There are times when I have purchased some items on the list only to come home and find out that my husband has bought the same things.

Create a shopping list and stick with it

Creating a shopping list needs serious planning. First, you need to walk through the home. Then, check the pantry and open your fridge. Also, check which needs to be refilled, replaced or restocked.

I used just to make mental notes on things to buy, then by the time I am already pushing the shopping cart, I can’t remember everything. So you might end up having a couple of butter at home.

Visit the wet market.

Supermarkets are not the only place where you can buy your meat, fish, veggies, poultry, herbs and spices. If you are determined to save more, you can visit wet markets. You can buy your supplies there every week. Plus, you’ll be happy with how much you have saved.

Take note that wet markets are only open until noon. You need to set a time to go there. If you are employed, you might have to visit the wet market on your day off.

Go Online Shopping

When almost everything is available online, expect grocery items to be included. Ever heard of theories that grocery staff strategically position items so it would entice you to buy more?

Candies and other stuff on the counter are too easy to grab and add to your cart. Bright yellow tags say you can buy two items and get another one for free. Of course, you might not be planning to buy it. But the free item is not easy to pass up.

If you do not have strong self-discipline, you can buy online in your own home. There is no need to haul your groceries back home because they will be delivered right to your doorstep.

You can also use a credit card to get rebates every time you shop online.

Use a credit card

There are credit cards which give cash back whenever you shop for groceries.

credit cards to spend less for groceries

Credit: https://insinc.sg/most-popular-credit-cards-singapore-annual-fees

  • Citi Cash Back Card

Earn 8% cash back every time you shop in any supermarket and grocery store across the island and even around the globe. Note that the maximum rebate you can earn is only up to $25.

  • UOB Delight Card

Spend at least $800 in Market Place, Giant, Jasons, Guardians or Cold Storage and get an 8% cash rebate. The rebates cap is $50.

  • OCBC NTUC Plus! Card

Use OCBC NTUC Plus! Card to get a 12% discount every time you shop at Warehouse Club and FairPrice Stores. If you spend at least $400, they will deliver your groceries to your home.

  • Maybank Family & Friends Platinum

Enjoy 8% cash rebates when you spend at least $1,000. So, for example, if you only spend $500- $999, you can still get some rebates at 5%.

  • POSB Everyday Card

Get as much as 6% on your groceries. Also, you will earn more rebates in Watsons, Sheng Siong and other partnering merchants.

It is best to use a credit card that helps you save up while spending on the thighs which you usually buy.

Conclusion:

These are only five (5) suggested ways to save up and spend less on groceries in Singapore. Remember that not all of this can fit into everyone’s lifestyle. Choose the ones that best do yours. Saving up requires discipline. And while saving is a good cause, you must remember never to sacrifice your needs.

5 Ways to Save Up When Shopping for Groceries

Clever Ways to Save Up When Shopping for Groceries

Singaporeans have made saving up when shopping a hobby nowadays. But no matter what happens, nobody wants to cut down their expenses when it comes to groceries. According to Singstat, a huge chunk of Singaporean’s income goes to food and beverages. So we all constantly spend on groceries. Won’t it be awesome to save up while shopping? It has been made possible through credit cards.

Top 5 Credit Cards you can use to save up when shopping for groceries

5 Credit Cards you can use to save up when shopping for groceries

Citi Cash Back Card

Citi Cash Back Card offers cashback of $120 for those who will apply for membership before 2016 ends. In addition to the $120, you get to earn 8% cash back every time you use this card in any supermarket and grocery store across the globe. It means that you can use this card even when on holiday overseas. As an added benefit, you save up to 20.88% every time you refill at Esso and Shell. If you prefer other petrol stations, you still get 8% cash back.

If you want to eat out after shopping for groceries, you can earn 8% cashback when purchasing food and beverages in cafes and restaurants. However, before you go on splurging to get as much cash back as possible, you have to know that you can just earn up to S$25 per category. It means in total. You just get a maximum amount of $75 a month after spending on petrol, groceries and dining.

UOB Delight Card

UOB Delight Card gives up to an 8% cash rebate every time you shop in Market Place, Giant, Jasons, Guardians or Cold Storage with a minimum purchase of $800. If you can’t purchase as much as S$800, you can’t get any cash rebates. Do not forget to use UOB Delight Card every time you ride the MRT or LRT, public bus, and taxis, as you can get 3% rebates from these. Remember that you have to spend a minimum of $400 every month on all transactions via NETS FlashPay Auto Top-up. Be mindful that the cash rebate cap is $50. So you won’t spend too much than you should.

OCBC NTUC Plus! Card

OCBC NTUC Plus! Card offers a 12% discount every time you shop at Warehouse Club and FairPrice Stores. In addition, if you love purchasing from FairPrice Online, you can get free delivery and an 8% discount. To qualify, you have to spend at least $400 in stores aside from FairPrice Online, FairPrice, Unity and Warehouse Club.

Maybank Family & Friends Platinum

If you have Maybank Family & Friends Platinum, you can relish 8% cash rebates when you shop in participating merchants, but you have to spend at least $1,000. If you can only spend $500- S$999, you can still get rebates up to 5%. When you make purchases in other stores, you can still get 0.3% cash rebates.

Maybank Family & Friends Platinum has actually been renamed as Maybank Family & Friends Card. It is part of the bank’s move to give added protection to their cardmembers. All benefits will remain the same. But, you can only use the old cards until 1 December 2016. Upon expiration, cards have to be cut and adequately disposed of. After that, members will receive their new cards with the same name and other details.

POSB Everyday Card

Using POSB Everyday Card, you can get as much as 6% on your everyday essentials, including your groceries. When you go dining, you can get 9%cash rebates. If you shop for groceries at Sheng Siong, you will get a 5% cash rebate. Let’s say you plan to go on overseas vacation before February 28, 2017, use the card and earn a 5% cash rebate. Also, remember to use the card when refilling your car at SPC and get up to 20.1%. Enjoy shopping at Watsons with a 3% cash rebate.

These cards give cash rebates every time you buy your groceries. However, never forget that there are terms and conditions that you have to follow to get these. Also, never choose a card just because of the discounts and rebates, as there are minimum expenditures that you have to meet. It makes you spend more than you actually should. Instead, choose the card that fits your lifestyle and gives you benefits while spending what you usually pay.

Nevertheless, take out a payday loan from legal moneylenders if you want to save up when shopping for daily essentials. Cash Mart approves a personal loan for any financial needs. 

3 Practical Tips to Build Retirement Savings

3 Practical Tips to Build Enough Retirement Savings

Got your retirement planned out? Do you want to build enough retirement savings? Then, check if you are ready with these practical tips.

Over the years, Singaporeans have changed their perspective on retirements. Years ago, people thought that retirement stops work and then relax with time at their own disposal.

Now, millennials think that retirement is earning passively or with a job related to something they enjoy. They also aim for a life with financial freedom. As a result, they are more optimistic about their retirement plans than the older generations.

The Manulife Investor Sentiment Index revealed that eight (8) in every 10 Singaporean investors believe that they can maintain or improve their lifestyle even after they retire.

However, this same survey says that 49% of millennials fall behind their original financial goals due to finances and health concerns. In addition, most of them want to work (at least part-time) after retirement age. But, health conditions might make it impossible.

Also, they expect to take care of their own children and their retired parents. These responsibilities sandwich them. Moreover, they believe that they must not expect financial assistance from their children by the time they retire. If this is not enough financial concern, they must consider possible debts and mortgages even after retiring.

So how will Millennials build enough retirement savings?

build enough retirement savings

Credit: https://ocubc.com/rrsps-retirement-savings-plan/

3 Tips to Ensure and Build Enough Retirement Savings

Know your retirement goals

The first part of planning is knowing your goal. It has to be specific and attainable by ensuring that your goal is realistic. Here are things to consider.

  • Inflation

Due to inflation, your money’s worth now will not be the same in a decade. What your $1,000 can buy now will not be as much by 2028. Recognise that inflation will weaken your purchasing power. Therefore, it will give you an idea of how much you should save up before retiring.

  • Retirement age

Decide when you would like to retire. The retirement age in Singapore is 62 years old. If you would like, you can retire earlier, but you have to consider the lifestyle you will adapt to during retirement. Then, you can tell yourself the number of years left to save up.

  • Salary

Aim to draw an amount of at least two-thirds of your last monthly income. It may be an ideal amount, but this can still vary. It depends on the amount of your salary and current lifestyle.

  • Life expectancy

Another thing you have to consider is the number of years you would expect your savings to last. There is a strong possibility to live up to 80 years old. However, imagine if you have outlived your savings by 75. How are you going to survive then?

  • Retirement Calculator

A retirement calculator is a tool that gives you an estimated retirement income. We may all have our own individual needs, but it is better to know how much you might be spending during your retirement. Also, these calculators may give you an insight into what else you should consider. Make sure that the retirement calculator assumes the inflation.

Assess your current finances

Now that you have worked out how much you’ll need to save, you need to evaluate how much you can save. But you need to base it on your current financial status. At this stage, you need to maximise the ability of your savings. Therefore, pay off any outstanding loans and liabilities before you retire. Or at least minimise your debt obligation.

After knowing the funds, you expect to save until your retirement. So calculate its difference with the amount you will need. Do not forget to review your insurance coverage. It can help you reach your goal.

Start your retirement savings plan.

Take the time to learn about investing. You may have heard about its risks and potential returns. But, understanding the trade will help you get the most out of it.

Ask yourself how much you can afford to lose and not risk anything beyond it. Consider your insurance policy, CPF Special Account and Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS), Index Funds, Mutual Funds and other Equities and Property investments.

Moreover, constantly monitor your retirement plan. Make necessary adjustments if needed to avoid falling behind. Finally, create a budget and stick with it. It ensures that you can save as much as possible. Also, talk with a financial adviser if you are unsure where to start with your retirement plan.

Of course, there will be times when you have to get a personal loan. You can use a loan to get to a better financial status without getting back to stable finances. Make sure that you get your personal loans from trusted moneylenders such as Cash Mart.

Cash Mart offers multi-purpose personal loans. The 45 years of experience building a lasting relationships with satisfied clients sets it apart from the others. Aside from loans, Cash Mart also offers tips to its clients on how to handle their finances better.

Visit CashMart.sg today to find out more.