Conquering Your ‘Firsts’: How to Smash Your #GOALS in 2022, Finances Wise

DBS young adult firsts - milestones

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Now that 2022 is here, there’s a feeling of fresh hope in the air. Maybe this is the year things will finally start feeling normal again, so we can go out and live our lives once more.

For young Singaporeans who just graduated and/or started working, 2022 seems like a super exciting year when you can finally experience and celebrate the milestones that have been put on hold for the past couple of years — like your first job, first home and first (belated!) overseas trip.

While there’s no formula for what these “firsts” should look like, we believe it’s important to arm yourself with the right information and financial tools to plan your personal path of discovery. And our familiar local bank, DBS, wants to be there every step of the way.

Here’s how DBS can help you achieve your financial “firsts” in 2022.


Milestone: First job

As a fresh grad, you’re looking forward to finally being out of school and on to earning your own keep!

You’re officially going to be an independent young adult, starting your new dream job and receiving your first ever paycheque! Not forgetting other exciting milestones of #Adulting, such as your first trip overseas (in a long time, maybe solo), not to mention marriage, your own home, and even…a baby!

Yep, you’re not one to shy away from difficult situations (#challengeaccepted!), so let 2022 be the year to make the best of what you have, with the support of DBS.

Once you start drawing a stable paycheque, you’ll probably start thinking about starting to invest as well as buying your first insurance policy (pro tip: insurance is generally cheapest while you’re still young!). The DBS Multiplier programme rewards you with extra interest for those, too.

You’re all ready to hustle, so while you work hard at your job, make sure your money works equally hard for you too (let it grow, let it grow…don’t let inflation catch up)! Optimise your finances from the very first paycheque by opening a DBS Multiplier Account for your savings and getting your first DBS credit card. This winning combo rewards you with bonus interest for crediting your salary and spending on the card, and there’s no fall-below fee for account holders up to age 29.


Milestone: First trip overseas (in a looong time)

For many Singaporeans, Covid-19 has paused our travel plans indefinitely. But with borders opening up and more VTL arrangements materialising, you might soon be on a plane to explore the world.

If you’ve never travelled without your family before, 2022 could be the perfect time to make your first independent trip a reality. And believe me, once you get a taste of freedom and adventure, your inaugural trip will be the first of many.

I remember the first time I travelled outside of Singapore without my parents. I couldn’t believe that travelling involved so much planning and dealing with contingencies on the fly! Yet it was the best experience of my life thus far. It wasn’t just the country that was new to me — I also discovered so many facets of myself and my friends for the first time.

If you’re planning for your first trip overseas, the right financial tools can really make a difference.

For example, DBS’s multi-currency My Account functions as a virtual money changer, and you can use the bundled debit card to make purchases and withdraw cash overseas — this means you get to SAVE MONEY and not worry about fluctuating exchange rates affecting your spending power overseas. (Also, if only I had known about it the first time I went on a solo trip and ran out of cash…)

Meanwhile, you can stretch your travel budget by checking out hotels and flight deals on the DBS Travel Marketplace. Make sure to check out with your DBS Altitude credit card, which lets you earn air miles that you can put towards your next trip.


Milestone: First home

Moving out of your parents’ home is a huge deal for every young adult. It might even be one of the defining periods of your life — when you truly experience adulthood for the first time.

As a kid, I daydreamed about having my very own home. So when I bought a flat and moved out for the first time, I was thrilled at making my dream a reality. Finally, a space to call my own!

Of course, the path towards buying your first home isn’t easy. It felt like I was back in school, cramming several modules within a very short timeframe.

First, I had to learn about the different property types, eligibility criteria, neighbourhoods and flat sizes to figure out which was the best option for me. Then I was plunged into the jargon-filled world of home financing, with scary words like “mortgage”, “LTV ratio” and “floating interest rate”.

Read more: Buying an HDB BTO Flat: A Step-By-Step Guide (Dec 21)

Then it was time for everyone’s favourite module: Budgeting, in which I had to figure out how much this entire milestone would cost and how I was going to pay for it.

For the first time, I learnt just how expensive so many ‘adult’ things are — from the home downpayment to the renovation to the pantry staples to the utility bill. (I guess that explains my parents’ knowing smiles whenever I naively fantasised about moving into my own place.)

So do take your time to absorb the necessary information from websites like MoneySmart and DBS’s resources for first-time homeowners.

After you’ve graduated from Theory, you can move on to Practical by comparing home loan packages as well as considering DBS’ Green Renovation Loan that rewards you with a preferential interest rate and rebates while you you do your part for the earth by making your home environmentally sustainable through initiatives such as switching to green electricity retailers and so on.

Make sure your finances can support the loan repayments by evaluating your affordability with DBS’ loan calculator. Finally, don’t forget to set up a joint bank account with your partner (or housemate) to pool funds for big common expenses like furniture, electronics and household essentials.


Milestone: First child

… And baby makes three. Welcoming a new member to your family is amazing and awe-inspiring and exhausting, all at once.

If your tiny human being is on the way — congratulations! — it can be pretty difficult to stay on top of things in general. It seems like there’s no canonical set of parenting advice; everyone, from popular books to the doctor to your friends to family members, has something different to say. Yikes.

Before you get too overwhelmed with OB-GYN and pregnancy vitamin recommendations, though, don’t forget to plan for your first child financially as well.

Again, you can turn to DBS for help with this huge milestone. Make use of the DBS NAV Planner to plan for your child’s financial milestones, and conveniently purchase insurance policies (for yourself, your spouse and the baby) with just a few clicks.

Pro-Tip: Did you know you can set goals into the Map Your Money feature on DBS NAV Planner as well? For example, you can set goals to plan ahead for the costs of having a child, for their university education and so on — this is because the tool can project your finances 20, 30 and even 40 years ahead to help you evaluate if you’ll have enough assets to afford your goals and what tweaks you can make to your financial habits to improve your income stream, such as investing more and so on!

Need more advice? POSB Parents is an online parenting community where you can talk about all things baby and money. Get content and tips to guide you on your parenting journey, check out deals, and enjoy specially curated topics of the month and resources for your kiddos.

Of course, no matter how prepared you are, it’s totally natural to be nervous about having your first kid. But remember, others like yourself have been becoming new parents since literally the beginning of time — so don’t worry, you’ve got this!


How DBS supports your ‘firsts’ & more

Even if you’re not anticipating any specific “firsts”, 2022 is probably still going to be an eventful year. Count on DBS as a one-stop solutions provider to support you through your journey with its resources, from financial planning tools (NAV Planner, now supercharged with SGFinDex) to bank accounts, credit cards, investments and insurance policies, whatever your needs may be. You can even check out DBS’s The Burrow, a community sharing and learning space with likeminded people — just so you know, you’re never alone in this financial journey!

Here’s to unlocking new milestones and experiences in 2022!

Get all the information and help you need to level up in life. Find out how to boldly live out your “firsts” in 2022 with DBS.


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