Life passes us 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 it seems like nothing ever gets done. Will 2019 be any different?
Here are Singapore’s 5 most popular new year resolutions and some action plans we think might actually make a difference.
1. Lose weight and get fit
One of the most popular goals that Singaporeans make is to shed some pounds. That is why gyms and parks get really full in at the start of January, and then the enthusiasm fizzles out even before we cross 31 Jan.
A fun way to keep focused your fitness goal is to sign up for a marathon or a themed run, which Singapore has no lack of. If you are running as an amateur, sign up for a 5km or 10km. Start with mini goals as you train, aiming to complete 1 km in your first week, then 3 km, then 5 km, and so on. If you’re thinking of joining some fun runs, read Singapore Marathons & Fun Runs 2019 – 10 Races with Early Bird Tickets.
Or, simply start setting aside workout clothes every evening, which will make getting out of bed to go for a run or swim a little easier, setting yourself up for success.
2. Be debt free
With irresistible credit card offers, 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 air miles”.
Now that 2019 is just around the corner, most of us are probably resolving to clear whatever we owe.
However, as with all bad habits, bad debt is not something that disappears overnight. Effective steps include prioritising debts and living within your means.
Start by making a list of all bad debts and prioritising them in terms of urgency. You’d want to pay off debts with the highest interest rates first, which are typically credit card bills. If you have a couple, rank according to the debt-to-credit ratios (balance of card divided by the credit card limit) and pay off the debts with higher debt-to-credit ratio.
If you have multiple credit card debts, consider looking into a personal loan to consolidate them, as personal loans usually have lower interest rates than credit cards’ “24% per annum rate”. Check out Singapore’s current best personal loans.
Then, get committed to repayment. Ensure that you set aside a portion of your income every month before you start spending, and track your expenditure with a wallet app. If need be, increase the sources of income by getting freelance or part-time jobs.
3. Travel to a bucket-list destination
Singaporeans are avid travellers and most of us have a bucket list of destinations that we want to travel to. But each year we wind up going to the same places that we usually go without managing to strike anything off our bucket list, because those destinations are often “too expensive”.
However, if you use a good air miles card and diligently collect miles from your daily expenses, you may potentially score discounts off flight tickets. Signing up for airline newsletters helps you to keep tabs on promotional flights so if you’re aiming to go to Europe, sign up for Air France or FinnAir newsletter.
Take fewer trips to the usual Batam, JB, or Bangkok and save the money you would typically spend on several short trips so as to have one epic adventure. This way, you save up those annual leave days so you can travel during non-peak periods to save even more money.
Itching for frequent breaks? Go island hopping in Singapore or check out local haunts you have not explored instead.
4. Progress your career
Today, employers are starting to expect more for the same pay than they did a few years back.
To keep up, you can consider upgrading yourself by going for courses, such as Singapore Institute of Management’s part-time courses that 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.
5. Learning how to invest
Singaporeans are a financially literate bunch, and most know about the eroding power of inflation on their savings.
However, the number of investment products out there are mind-boggling, and it’s easy to get intimidated.
As a start, you can invest with your CPF monies, which is relatively low-risk.
What are some big goals you want to achieve this year? Share them with us here!