At Autumn, we’re all about keeping things simple when it comes to boosting your financial health. As we kick off and ease into the new year, we’ve come up with ten simple money habits to supercharge your finances in 2022. Have trouble remembering all ten? We’ve come up with a simple acronym to help you remember: SMART MONEY!
1. Start small
We understand: it can be incredibly overwhelming to think about everything you need to do when it comes to improving your financial health. At the same time, don’t overcomplicate things. Think about the concept of compounding: By simply saving $100 a month, with an interest of 5% a year, think of how much you’d make in 30 years? A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, after all.
2. Maximize use of offers & rewards
Get smart with offers and rewards from the various credit card companies you subscribe to, that is. Most, if not all credit card companies, offer various perks with their partner brand ranging from gas stations to restaurants. In fact, there’s probably quite a few that you’re unaware of – so make sure to take a look at the list online. Similarly, points built up on credit cards can be used to redeem things such as staycations, flights, and gifts.
3. Automate your finances
Automating finances involves setting up automatic payments that go towards your savings and investments. Opt for automatic deductions when making regular payments such as your credit cards or monthly insurance installments, or set calendar reminders to do so. Many apps today offer this useful feature. By doing so, you ensure that you are saving adequately every month and paying on time so as to avoid late fees and charges. (Tip: Autumn’s Insurance Dashboard sends you timely reminders on your monthly payments, so you can avoid those dreaded late fee charges.)
4. Retirement planning
Think you’re way too young to start thinking about retirement? Think again! Going back to our concept above on compounding, the sooner you begin saving, the more time your money will have to grow. Think about what a difference ten years could make – each year’s gains generate their own gains the next year. Given the uncertain times we currently live in, there’s no harm in planning for retirement early. It’ll help you better plan for your future while alleviating worry in the present.
5. Track your investments
Investments can come in the form of stocks, cryptocurrency, and bonds. Given the various forms they come in, it can be easy to lose track of the number of investments you have and how they are doing. Make sure to track them regularly – you never know when the market might go down or when it might make sense for you to get out. Not only will this help you avoid potentially nasty situations, but you’ll be kept informed on market trends.
6. Money “minute”
What’s a daily “money minute”, you ask? It’s basically taking a mere 60 seconds daily to check on your finances. Not only will it get you into the habit of being aware of where you are spending your money, but you’ll be able to quickly adjust your approach so you stay on top of your financial goals. Rather than dreading the end of the month where you have to make an inventory of your expenses, you can practice this habit on-the-go, during your tea break, or even when you’re waiting for your dinner date to show up. We recommend setting aside a specific time daily so you get into a habit that sticks long term.
7. Open an investment account
Haven’t heard of a robo advisor? They’re digital platforms that provide automated investment services with minimal human interaction. Often inexpensive to set up, all you have to do is answer a few simple questions before they come up with an appropriate portfolio for you. Many of them are linked to dollar cost averaging investment schemes.
8. No credit card rollover
Credit cards can be wonderful and give you amazing financial flexibility. At the same time, if you don’t pay when you’re supposed to, the interest costs can be downright overwhelming. In fact, the average credit card company in Singapore charges can have interest costs of up to 25%! To put that in perspective, that’s 2% per month which obviously adds up.
9. Educate yourself
Obtaining financial literacy can seem like an arduous task but with the number of apps, podcasts, and books available now, you’re bound to find something that resonates with you. Some of our favorites include The Financial Coconut, HerMoney, and The Psychology of Money. As per our first point, start simple – you don’t need to start ten courses at the get-go. Do what works best for you – you know your learning style best! (Pssst, we’re launching our very own financial literacy curriculum on the Autumn app. Watch this space in Q2 2022!)
Also read: “Financial Self-Care”: Why it matters and 8 ideas to start
10. YOLO (but within reason, of course!)
Of course, we’re firm believers in delayed gratification. Although it can feel instantly rewarding to spend your paycheck on that new dress you saw, there’s often a good case to save for the future. We’re also firm believers that life is meant to be lived – so let loose a little and remember, it’s not just about the money – but the memories! Tip: To give yourself some room and allowance to still enjoy your favourite restaurant meals or hobbies, start a “fun fund”.
So, there you have it… SMART MONEY!
Also read: 5 money habits you need to know if you are out of job now
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Written by Nicole Friets
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.