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5 Personal Finance Milestones Singaporeans Should Celebrate

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Joanne Poh

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Many people think of graduation, weddings and promotions as personal milestones. Unfortunately, it’s totally possible to live through all those milestones with your finances still in a mess. Perhaps you might want to celebrate these milestones in your financial life, instead. Go on, pop open a bottle of champagne or throw a party when you’ve gone through any of the below rites of passage.

Paying off all your student debt

If you’re one of the many students who started out their professional lives already saddled with student debt, finally becoming debt-free is one of the first financial milestones you’ll be able to celebrate. If you can afford it, challenge yourself to repay more than the minimum sum each month. Allow yourself to discover just how wonderful it is to be completely debt-free, even if it’s just for a short time before you take on other financial commitments.

 

Building up your emergency fund

If you’re the sort of person who lives from paycheck to paycheck, finally building up an emergency fund of a certain size is cause for celebration. Depending on your financial stability and your needs, you’ll want to accumulate enough money to cover 3 to 12 months of your monthly expenses. No matter how bad you are at saving money, power through and you’ll soon find yourself arriving at an unprecedented level of financial security. Who knows, this might even inspire you to start growing your nest egg. Just don’t celebrate by blowing your emergency fund on champagne or something.

 

Making your first investment

At some point, everyone transitions from being that young, clueless worker who’s just started saving up his salary to a full-fledged investor. So long as you’re not investing in some dodgy scheme like the Suisse International gold buyback scam, your transition from saver to investor is putting you on the right track to retirement. Once you realise just how much your money can grow, you’ll be hooked.

 

Reaching your retirement goals

This may be many years or even decades away, but at some point in your career you will (hopefully) realise that you’ve saved up enough for retirement, and that you’re now working not because you depend on it for your survival but because you want to. Heck, you might decide you’re sick of the daily grind and start working part-time, do something else altogether or languish in retired bliss. When that day arrives, you’ll know for sure that you’ve attained your retirement goals. And as that’s an achievement many Singaporeans won’t get to unlock in their lifetimes, you definitely deserve more than a pat on the back.

 

Establishing your first passive income stream

If you’ve only ever toiled for an employer in exchange for money, you are missing out on the joy and the I-hacked-the-system feeling of receiving passive income. No matter what method you choose—investing in dividend stocks, renting out a room in your flat and so on, you’ll benefit not only from an added layer of financial security but also the knowledge that there are more ways than one to make money. Treat yourself to a little something to celebrate, and promise yourself that there’ll be more to come.

Which of the above financial milestones have you achieved? Tell us in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.

  • Rokawa Hakim

    No student debt. I can learn. But i cant study. So no degree.
    No car debt. No interest in driving only as a passenger.
    No more mortgage debt. Cheap 3 room.
    No emergency fund. When an income producing asset appear, burnt most of available capital. But cashflow is healthy at 2k+ monthly. If salary gone, still can survive from dividends, rental, interest income.
    1st investment. Yes of course the baby step done.
    1st passive income stream done.
    Reaching retirement goal. In progress. 4.5yr to 5 more yrs.

    • Lim Chuon Jenq

      Good

  • Charmaine Tham

    Great job on your article Joanne! So much insight!!