We’re into Q3 of the year and if you’ve not done any “stocktake” on your financial health, it’s a good time to do so now! Who knows, you might be able to plan for a year-end family vacay as a reward – now that’s something to look forward to!
Not sure how to do conduct a personal financial review? Read on to find out!
Personal financial checkup checklist: 6 easy steps!
#1: Know where your money is
I’ve mentioned this many times – it’s important to know your expenses which includes your monthly bills, instalment for loans (e.g. property and car) and how much you are paying for insurance coverage and/or investment plans including stocks and cryptocurrency. Are you paying endlessly for Spotify subscription? Having that clarity is the first step to being in control of your cash flow and earnings.
#2: Review your life plans for both current and future
Next, take stock about your current financial status and start planning for the future. Are you planning to move to a new house in the next 2 years? Such big ticket expense most likely require taking loans. Not sure if you’re financially ready to have another child? Map things out (use Excel!) and see if your lifestyle goals in the near future is realistically attainable. If not, how are you working towards that?
#3: Draw up your budget for present day and for your near future
If you’re planning for kids, will there be lifestyle changes to be made? There may also be gynaecologist fees and hospital bills that would amount in the thousands from pregnancy to delivery. Put down the expected costs for hiring a confinement nanny and herbs for confinement meals too. If you’re returning to work after delivery, include the budgeting for infant care school fees, or cost to hire a foreign domestic helper. These will be the near future expenses that couples need to discuss too.
#4: Review your financial goals and check your insurance coverage
Most of us have home insurance, car insurance, life insurance and hospital plans, but are you paying more than you can afford? Doing a regular review with your insurance advisor lets you find out your coverage, premiums and perhaps, some perks that may be offered. Some tweaks may be done especially if your income has reduced, or your expenses have increased considerably since your last insurance review.
More importantly, look out for any gaps in your insurance plans. For example, don’t have a life insurance plan and are welcoming a baby? This might be something to consider. The life insurance coverage includes financial payouts that would help with the costs of raising kids should you pass on. Similarly, pregnant mums usually get a maternity insurance for peace of mind. You can read this to find out which is my preferred maternity plan in Singapore.
Most of us might even have to pay for our aged parents’ medical bills and health care needs in the near future. CareShield Life is a mandatory long-term care insurance scheme which extends basic financial support to Singaporeans who become severely disabled (especially during old age) and require personal and medical care over a prolonged period. Consider upgrading CareShield Life to increase the monthly pay-outs amongst others, when things happen.
#5: Start working towards your retirement plans
There will be a day when we will stop working, either by choice or by circumstances. Do you know what your retirement journey looks like? Never too early to start saving and work towards retiring. Some of the key things to look out for when planning to retire – decide your ideal retirement age, calculate your required retirement income for the desired lifestyle and projected expenses and consider any tax incentives or benefits available for retirement savings in Singapore amongst others. Find out how to calculate the amount required to save today for retirement!
#6: Seek professional advice from trusted financial experts
There’s so much information about the best investment methods or how to make your money grow. But there are also equally many scams going around! It is extra important to be very careful when you hear of too-good-to-be-true get-rich schemes. Arm yourself with the right financial knowledge or speak to a trusted advisor when it comes to money matters and can help you with personal financial reviews too. If insurance jargons and financial plans are mindboggling, talk to someone who is experienced and always in the forefront of financial products, tips and current affairs.
Jenelle’s financial tips for mums in Singapore
- Families with Singaporean newborns are entitled to Child Development Account (CDA) and Baby Bonus cash gift.
- Worried about infant care and childcare expenses? There are subsidies for parents to help defray some costs of raising a family.
- Don’t forget to claim these parental tax relief to save some money and enjoy parenthood grants to help defray expenses too!
As a Singaporean living and raising my family here, I understand how expensive things are becoming and why we must work towards our goals and attain financial freedom one day. Planning ahead is half the battle won! Unsure about how to do a financial checkup for yourself and your loved ones? I’m just a phone call or text away to share my knowledge and experience as a mother and financial advisor.