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5 Popular Goals Singaporeans Want to Achieve in 2017

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Lynnette Goh

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Lately it seems as though life just is passing too fast. We go on a few short holidays here and there and what do you know, another year has passed. Year after year, we have a whole new checklist of things we want fulfilled on top of our daily jobs and chores. But nothing ever gets done. Will 2017 be any different? Here’s Singapore’s 5 most popular goals this year and some information we thought you’d find useful:

1. Completing a full marathon

The fever started with a few concept themed runs and now, it’s kind of a thing. To run, to live a healthy lifestyle. To complete a triathlon despite yearly reports of deaths during these runs. Guess nothing beats that sense of achievement.

Well, our first advice is really to start small. Despite the belief that results will only kick in after 15 minutes into the run (when you start feeling the “burn”), if you’re a running amateur it might be better to avoid excessively overworking those muscles. Start with mini goals such as completing 1km runs in your first week training, then 3km, 5km, 10km and so on. Once you’ve trained your stamina up and are thinking of joining some organised runs, check out U Sports’ U Run All Access Packages to get a bundle of them for cheaper.

 

2. Be debt free

With all the irresistible offers on signing up with credit cards, the endless sales and dining privileges, it’s no wonder many Singaporeans have given into the temptation of shopping and dining our arses off for the excuse of “earning airmiles”. Now that 2017 has come, we Singaporeans have resolved to clear whatever we owe.

As with all bad habits, bad debt is not something that can be deleted off overnight and it is essential we take effective steps to reducing those bills. Changes have to be made to our lifestyle to free up more income to pay up as much of those debts as possible and hopefully beat those astronomical interest rates.

  1. Making a list of all bad debts.
  2. Breaking down debts into smaller manageable categories and prioritising them one by one in terms of urgency. Learn 3 tips to help you get started.
  3. Saying goodbye to old habits of spending. Cut down on unnecessary expenses
  4. Taking up side or freelance jobs to make extra income

Breaking down debts help organize and strategize paying off debts in an effective manner. Pay off debts with the highest interest rates first, ie your credit cards. If have more than 1 credit card debt, list out your credit cards by their debt-to-credit ratios (the credit card balance divided by the credit card limit).

Give higher priority to paying off the higher ratios debt. In situations where two or more cards are close to being maxed out (similar debt-credit ratios), focus on repaying the one with the highest interest rate first. Here are some tips on choosing which card to pay off first. If a large portion of those bad debts are made up of credit card debts, consider looking into a personal loan to consolidate all of them. Personal loans usually have lower interest rates than credit cards’ “24% per annum” rate and serve as a channel to pay off all your cards at once. Check out Singapore’s current best personal loans.

Otherwise, if you’re having serious trouble paying off your debt, call up Credit Counselling Singapore, who can help you to work out how to pay off debt without going bankrupt.

 

3. Take a big trip in December

Even though each of us has our own list of places to visit. There are tools that can help in travel savings. Pick from our list of the best airmiles cards and accumulate points from your daily expenses. Sign up for memberships on Scoot, Jetstar, and AirAsia to keep tabs on promotional flights nearby and Air France for daily updates on ticket promotions towards Europe. Websites such as Agoda, Trivago, Kayak, Zuji and< Expedia also provide great hotel price comparisons. And when those don’t work, there’s always Airbnb for more affordable vacation home fixes.

On the other hand, do not be stuck on the idea that big trips can only be taken in December. Travelling during the off-peak periods such as non-school holidays makes for not only quieter but also cheaper flight options. Reading up travel blogs and forums to check out places of interests to go, good affordable places to dine-in, hip places the locals go to, how these bloggers saved money etc can help plan holidays to their fullest. It is also useful to get that travel insurance even if it does cost money, to cover potential go-wrongs during your holiday trip.

Stay tuned with us on Facebook as we update you on more affordable places to visit throughout the year!

 

4. Found a Start-up

Starting a business has got to be the most common Singaporean dream. Especially in our dear Generation Y. Fortunately, with so many platforms today, funding that dream is actually not that far from our reach.

Crowdfunding on sites such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter actually allow us to raise funds through small exchanges or sometimes even on plain donations, taking only a small percentage of fees from your funding total. Kickstarter does not even collect a fee if your funding isn’t successful. The government is also coming up with many schemes now to encourage entrepreneurship.

Scheme/ Grant Name Overview Who is it for?
ACE Grant SPRING will match S$7 to every S$3 raised, up to S$50,000 First-time entrepreneurs
SPRING Startup Enterprise Development Scheme (SEEDS) Provides equity financing of up to $2million for local startups that have an innovative idea or product. Local startups with unique & differentiated business ideas
Early Stage Venture Fund (ESVF) Scheme National Research Foundation (NRF) partners with venture capital firms to co-invest in Singapore startups on a 1:1 basis Early stage high-tech companies based in Singapore
Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) Covers 400% tax deductions up to $400,000 or 60% cash pay out up to $100,000, for investments in innovation and productivity improvements. All businesses

 

5. Progress my career

In our current economical condition, employers are starting to expect more for the same pay than they did a few years back. Fortunately for us, that can actually be a good thing as this means opportunities to grow and explore new areas outside our jobscope. This coupled with the endless options we have towards education and skills upgrading pushes us forward and keeps us relevant in the Singaporean workforce.

Check out the Singapore Institute of Management’s part-time courses, their programs are catered specifically to suit working adults with busy schedules. Kaplan also does great graduate pathways towards degrees for those of us that have not completed our diplomas.

For upgrading of skills, check your SkillsFuture account and use your credits to sign up for approved courses. The government gives all Singaporeans aged 25 an opening credit of S$500 with periodic top-ups and these credits will never expire. Hence, you may accumulate your credit to “save” up for courses that you would like to pursue. Fancy yourself some digital marketing skills to get into today’s online climate? Udemy has a large range of courses on digital marketing and even growth-hacking. These courses are mostly “SkillsFuture-approved”.

Alternatively, you can join Coursera for free and take up courses that reward you with official recognition from top universities in the world.

What are some big goals you want to achieve this year? Share them with us here!

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Lynnette Goh

Spoilt kid turned free-spirit, I’ve struggled finding and funding myself taking a road less travelled. These days, I enjoy writing lifestyle topics that bring value to life and its future, injecting humour to otherwise boring topics. Who said personal finance can’t be fun? In my free time, you can find me chasing American dramas, and having the occasional glass of wine over conversations with friends.