Finance 101: 5 Money Habits You Need to Know If You Are Out of Job Now

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In this time of uncertainty, building good money habits is important to tide you through especially if your job has been disrupted. Here are 5 money habits you could develop. They are so simple but often overlooked!

Tip 1: Plug Your Spending Leaks And Look For Lost Money

Start by spring cleaning your finances to identify spending leaks. This can be as simple as going through your credit card statements to ensure you’re not paying for a service you don’t use anymore or that you’re not double-paying for a subscription.

Could it be a 3 months free subscription followed by an opt out for a service that you no longer need? Are they alternatives to a similar solution that are free-of-charge? And of course look for gift cards or reloadable cards which may still have some spare change in them. Then, make a plan to utilise them instead of having the money lying idle.

Tip 2: Reign In Your Bills

Next up, check your daily habits. Are you spending too much data on your mobile, can you switch to a cheaper plan with more data? Or could you delay that hair cut by another two weeks to stretch your dollar or even switch to a DIY hair dye.

Instead of gourmet coffee, could you switch to a local coffee which costs only one third of the price. You will be surprised how these small changes in your daily habits could make a big difference

Tip 3: Recalibrate your budget

Firstly, always prioritise spending on your needs over your wants.

A need is something required for survival. Needs are water for drinking, food to eat, clothing to keep you warm, and shelter to live in. Wants are there to make life a little more enjoyable. And yes, we all should be enjoying our lives.

It is normal to want things, and it’s not a bad thing. You may want to take a trip around the world or get the latest iPhone, so try to prioritise your wants and start saving up so that you can reward yourself with something you like.

But always remember that your wants are not essential and that you can live without them. By realising what are wants and what are needs, you'll be able to cut some unnecessary spending and improve your financial situation.

Tip 4: Look For Best Value

In this climate, many merchants are rolling out special meal offers or discounts. Supermarkets may have special deals on certain days. Take the time to do research for the best deals. And if you are using a few credit cards because of various merchant offers, it’s time to consolidate your spend into one card.

Choose the card that offers the best promotions or rewards for purchases from your most frequented merchants. This way you will also get rebates from your purchases, saving you some money on your next purchase. Also by consolidating your spend into one card, you have better control and oversight on your monthly expenditure.

Tip 5: Start A Side Hustle

If you are out of job, it’s a good opportunity to assess your skills and experiences. Reframe and start thinking of what problems you can help solve. Then identify areas or industries where you could contribute.

If you have strong copywriting skills, you could tap on gig economy platforms such as fiverr.com which gives you access to the global market.

Companies are increasingly looking to cut costs so they will be looking at such platforms for freelance talents who cost less than an advertising agency. So, this is a perfect time to start a side hustle which not only gives you income but helps you stay relevant.

And if you want better control of your finances, get on the waitlist for the Autumn App to be launched later this year. www.autumn.sg. This app helps you aggregate all your finances across banks, CPF and insurance so you know how much you have as you start building towards a longer term financial goal.