So much to do, and only a limited pool of money to work with 😵 If you're trying to find ways to boost your savings, uncovering your money blind spots will be a big help. Here are some important questions to think about.
You may not splurge large sums of money on brand-name items, but the ‘harmless’ smaller expenses can quickly add up if you are not diligently keeping track. Also, consider ‘price’ versus ‘value’ – something you buy on sale but hardly use or spoils soon after gives you less value than something a little more expensive that lasts a thousand uses or more. that doesn’t mean you should stock up on something just because it’s on sale. Having the right mindset towards money helps you plug unnecessary money leaks.
Can’t survive a day without your mobile phone? That should give you an idea of how significant the services, entertainment and purchasing power in your device truly are.
First, spring clean the apps on your phone. How many premium subscriptions are you paying for but rarely use? Netflix, Spotify, Deliveroo?Also, look out for ‘free trials’ that became paid subscriptions because you forgot to opt out.
Secondly, on how many apps do you have a ‘saved credit card’? The price of convenience is easier, quicker spending. Leave this feature on a few selected apps and delete the rest. The time taken to fetch and key in your card details could give you a chance for second thoughts… and less spending.
Third, how many mobile wallets have you pre-populated money into? Every dollar sitting in a mobile wallet is not earning interest. Flush funds from idle or duplicate wallets back into a savings account or fixed deposit
If you were made to sit down with a blank sheet of paper and manually write down your expenses, chances are you will remember your regular expenses like your data plan and one-off expenses like your year-end holiday.
The ‘sometimes’ expenses are the easiest to lose track of. Wedding/birthday/festive gifts multiplied by the number of friends/colleagues/nephews and nieces. Special occasion dining for promotions (not yours!), anniversaries, birthdays, farewells. Assorted grooming appointments for face, hair, nails, teeth. Car maintenance and servicing. Home maintenance like air-con servicing.
All this can amount to a lot, especially because we tend to be more generous for happy and festive occasions, and when we feel we are giving ourselves the pampering we deserve.
Being more deliberate with our ‘sometimes’ expenses can free up a significant amount of money across the year. This can go towards bulking up our savings.
Once you have identified your money blind spots, your head knows where the opportunities to free up money are. Now your heart needs to come along for the journey so you can stick to your savings plan and reap the rewards. Consider opening a DBS Multiplier Account and work towards unlocking categories, or even using NAV Planner (find this in your digibank app) to help budget your life.
Take a moment to remind yourself why you would like to build up your savings: the peace of mind from financial pressure in emergencies and lifestyle choices that become available to you in future. Then each time you put away some more money into your savings, give yourself a pat on the back and watch your savings build up over time.