To make the process of planning as easy as possible, starting early is key. It gives us decades for our plan to bear fruits. It all starts with how we live today.
Understanding your cost of living
Most of us already know that Singapore is an expensive place to live in. According to the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU), Singapore consistently ranks among the most expensive cities in the world in its annual Worldwide Cost of Living reports – and 2020 was no different with Singapore ranked the 4th most expensive city in the world.
This just underscores how important it is to have financial clarity so that you know how much you can set aside for your daily needs, occasional indulgences, emergencies and how much to set aside to invest.
The easiest way to stay on top of your finances is to understand where your money is going to each month. As simple as this may sound, the answer could surprise many – as discretionary spending can quickly stack up if we don’t pay close attention to it.
For example, if you spend $6 a day on coffee, this adds up to about $180 a month, and over $2,000 a year. This doesn’t just apply to coffee but any other daily treats that we give ourselves, be it bubble tea, avocado toast or choosing to lunch at a café instead of the coffee shop.
Once you know where you’re spending your money on, it’s easier to figure out which are the monthly expenses that don’t really give you any satisfaction and to cut out these spending.
At the same time, you’ll also understand the discretionary expenses you are incurring that brings greater happiness to your life. And, you’ll know what your “non-negotiable” minimum expenses are for each month.
This sets you up nicely to be in greater control of your finances. Sounds good, but it also sounds like a lot of work. The solution can be a simple app on your phone, with Autumn – giving you a one-stop solution for future planning.
Piecing together financial information from all parts of your life
To understand whether you have too much or too little emergency funds, you also have to piece together your finances, which will typically be scattered across various banks, the CPF accounts and investment portfolio on different trading platforms.
Autumn leverages on Salt Edge, an advanced fintech solution that helps connect your bank accounts in Singapore and globally, in over 5,200 banks in more than 50 countries. This gives you a bird’s eye view of your assets.
Once all your accounts are linked, you get financial clarity on your total networth and you can start planning how to make your money work harder for you.
One simple way is knowing whether you are keeping too much or too little in emergency savings. Ideally, you want to have at least 6 to 12 months of your average monthly expenses in liquid savings for this.
Get a better home loan
In Singapore, 90% of residents own their own homes and home loan repayments tend to be a major recurring expense.
Autumn doesn’t only serve to empower you with information, it also strives to get you to improve your financial situation. In this regard, we work with Redbricks to provide you with the best home loan rates in the market and let you know whether you could be refinancing or repricing your home loan to free up cash.
With a home easily costing a few hundred thousand dollars and home loans spanning two to three decades, getting a better rate can lead to substantial savings over time.
Unlock your future with unbiased investment advice
You can also keep track of your investment portfolio on your Autumn app by tracking your investments and foreign currency holdings across different accounts and trading platforms. Autumn integrates with Bloomberg to allow you to track your portfolio movement on a daily basis.
This information set also enables Autumn to highlight concentration risks in your investment portfolio, and use data-driven recommendations for your portfolio allocation. This equips you with information and strategy to make better investment decisions.
Now, you’re ready to set financial goals, such as saving up for a holiday (once travel reopens) or investing for your children’s education 1 to 2 decades down the road.
Closing your insurance coverage gaps
Insurance is another key area of your personal finance you simply cannot afford to neglect. However, according to the Life Insurance Association of Singapore (LIA), working adults in Singapore are doing just that.
Currently, economically active working adults here tend to have a life insurance gap of 2.1x their annual income and a critical illness gap of 3.1x their annual income.
While many people have insurance gaps, how large your insurance gap is can be a personal matter. By understanding your financial situation, you can determine if you have adequate life insurance to cover your loans and provide your dependents with a similar standard of living in your absence or sickness.
Your retirement – Crunching your net worth
Keeping a close tab on your finances isn’t always fun. For some people, this may even be something you dread. The good news is that after getting an understanding of your current financial well-being and making adjustments to your lifestyle, you can take your foot off the gas in the interim.
With Autumn’s retirement calculator in your hands, you always have this number a few clicks away.
Making financial decisions with confidence and certainty
In Singapore, between working some of the longest hours in the world, spending quality time with your family, participating in some leisure activities and, of course, sleep, there can be precious little time afforded to always stay on top of your finances.
This is the problem Autumn is working to solve – being a one-stop solution to keep track of your monthly savings and expenses, longer-term retirement savings, insurance gaps and optimising key areas of cash outflow such as your home loan.
Autumn liberates you from the traditional conventions of financial planning. With, personalised tools, easy-to-understand content, and independent and unbiased support never tied down to one bank, you can start planning now and live for today.
With Autumn, you can live in the moment everyday because you’ve prepared for tomorrow. Autumn is now available at Google Play Store or App Store. Download the app now and we’ll help you simplify future planning into small steps.
*The information in this article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, investment advice, trading advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by Autumn.