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If the Covid-19 outbreak hasn’t already made you take a serious look at your financial health, perhaps it’s time you did — 2020 will be the year that your finances will come into the spotlight.
For many of us, pay cuts — or even worse, retrenchments, are on the horizon. Even if we’re fortunate to be in a stable position now, Covid-19 is still a good opportunity to see how we can make adjustments to improve our financial health from here on out.
Thankfully, DBS just updated NAV Planner, a powerful personal finance tool that can help you keep track of your financial health. Kinda like how J.A.R.V.I.S. is to Iron Man — a smart, always-on assistant that helps the superhero perform at his peak and to point out anything that can be optimised or needs improvement.
Here are some ways NAV can help you out:
1. Take stock of your finances
What were your financial goals and strategies in the past, and how have they worked for you?
How do you spend and save your money, are you on track with budgeting?
Are you fully covered by protective policies?
And are you growing your money through prudent investments?
These are important questions you should be asking yourself.
You might be using an excel sheet (or not at all) to track your finances for now, but DBS/POSB customers, did you know that the Plan tab in your iBanking interface leads to DBS NAV Planner, a powerful personal finance tool with a difference?
Here’s how to access the DBS NAV Planner:
Just from this main dashboard, NAV Planner helps track how much you spend, grow and protect your money — everything in your DBS/POSB accounts, including credit cards, savings and investments are automatically logged in, so you can get an overview of your finances in an instant.
That said, if you do have significant holdings outside the DBS ecosystem, NAV Planner also lets you manually input everything else, such as CPF monies, insurance coverage, property holdings and so on, for a big picture overview of your financial health.
On DBS NAV Planner, this appears as my Net Worth — total assets minus total liabilities charted across the last 6 months. It’s a great yardstick for NAV Planner users to make informed financial decisions and build up their robust portfolio no matter what life stage they are at.
2. Cut your expenses
We know, we know… tracking each and every expense can be somewhat of a hassle — yes, we’re talking about every last cent. But this is still really important — it LITERALLY all adds up!
Rather than experiencing the “Oh no!” moment, see this as an opportunity to focus on what is really essential and find ways to grow your savings.
In addition to the budgeting function on DBS NAV Planner, the automatic categorisation and analysis of the total money in/money out is also useful for seeing what you’re overspending really helps. But you’re not stuck with those categories — you can always go in and make your own tweaks.
3. Build your emergency savings & protection
Using your past spending habits, the NAV Planner can also alert you if you have enough emergency funds. The general rule of thumb is to have 3 to 6 months of emergency funds (6 is better).
This is the formula it uses:
[Total cash savings] divided by [6 months’ average expenses] = emergency savings
i.e. $100,000 divided by $6,600 = 15.15
Your average expenses should be based on essentials/recurring payments, such as groceries, bus fare, mortgage payments, bills, money to your parents, school fees, diapers, pet food and maybe your daily kopi…
NOT that impulse-purchase Nintendo Switch or designer handbag (those should come from another fund set aside for your “wants”).
As far as insurance is concerned, DBS NAV Planner will also help to ensure you have enough insurance protection. Tell the web app about the life stage you’re in and it will also suggest some policies for you to take up!
4. Keep tabs on your investments — are you investing enough?
If you’re one of the Singaporeans out there who don’t invest regularly, NAV Planner will be sure to call you out. (Just check out the picture above, do you feel personally attacked?)
Everyone — and we mean everyone — needs to do some basic investing, if not to grow our savings, prepare our retirement nest egg, or just hedge against inflation.
If you’re underinvested (many people are), it’s time to start making your money work harder for you.
If you don’t know where to begin, DBS NAV Planner has some helpful investment ideas and resources to nudge you in the right direction.
Some DBS products to consider are robo-advisory tool digiPortfolio and regular savings plan Invest-Saver (these 2 products are automatically synced so you won’t need to manually input them).
And when you hit a milestone, DBS NAV Planner serves up a celebratory notification too.
Who says artificial intelligence needs to be cold and calculating? DBS NAV Planner shows us that sometimes we do need a little emotional support.
5. Start building your retirement fund
Not to sound naggy, but a 20-year-old who begins saving money in a retirement savings account will build up their retirement fund quicker vs someone who starts in their 30s. TL;DR: START EARLY.
It’s more than staying employed until 65 (or whatever the retirement age is during 2070) and relying solely on your CPF monies — which very often isn’t enough — which is why we often advocate that you have some of your own retirement funds to supplement your CPF.
After tracking your spending and making sure you have enough emergency funds and are adequately invested (DBS NAV can help you with all of that), the next thing to do is to set aside your “extras” in a retirement fund.
Take matters into your own hands:
We know we mentioned DBS Nav Planner is kinda like J.A.R.V.I.S., but the truth is, any A.I. assistant is only as capable as its human counterpart. Our suggestions?
Start having good financial habits.
Learn to separate needs and wants.
Stay invested, and invest regularly
It’s time to make 2020 the year you turn things around. Log in to DBS digibank to access NAV Planner now!
Disclaimers and Important Notice
This article is meant for information only and should not be relied upon as financial advice. Before making any decision to buy, sell or hold any investment or insurance product, you should seek advice from a financial adviser regarding its suitability. All investments come with risks and you can lose money on your investment. Invest only if you understand and can monitor your investment. Diversify your investments and avoid investing a large portion of your money in a single product issuer. This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
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