AMA SG Budget Babe - Seedly

AMA SG Budget Babe

Held on 14th Aug 2018, Tuesday

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(AMA Ended) I saved More Than $100,000 Before 30. Ask Me Anything!

NOTE: This AMA has ended. Find the Q&A with SG Budget Babe in the section below under the tag "AMA Sgbudgetbabe".

Hello Seedly community!

I'm Dawn, also known as SG Budget Babe, and I write at www.sgbudgetbabe.com! My mother was retrenched during the Asian Financial Crisis and was unable to find work for many months, where she had to bite her teeth and borrow from relatives and friends in order to tide us through. At 17, my parents dropped a bombshell on me - they had no money to pay for my university fees. If I wanted to get a degree, I needed to find my own way (or money). I had to even borrow money from my dad to get tuition in one of my weaker subjects, after promising to pay him back. At the age of 18, my weekly allowance was cut off and I was on my own.

My inner Budget Babe then materialized into an online persona for me in December 2014. She was born mostly as an avenue for me to indulge my love for writing, but later evolved into a familiar guide to help Singaporeans looking to take control of their finances as well. I write on topics around rising living costs, personal finance, investing, career development, school, as well as beauty and lifestyle trends with a finance slant.

Feel free to ask me any questions related to:

  • Personal Finance hacks
  • Wedding planning and tips
  • Couple Budgeting and family planning
  • Insurance for young adults
  • Investments and what to look out for
  • What is my favourite meal

NOTE: The host may choose at his/her preference to not answer particular questions. The AMA is moderated by Seedly, so let’s keep the questions friendly and open!

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Lifestyle

Wedding

AMA SG Budget Babe

Dawn Fiona
Dawn Fiona
Level 5. Genius
Answered on 14 Aug 2018
Talk to your parents, set limits, and try to reach a compromise. I put my foot down on my parents inviting their colleagues - to me, the priority for guests was first direct family (no distant cousins whom I've not seen or hardly see, please), then friends and our colleagues, followed by my parents friends, then their colleagues. Some try the route of making their parents pay, but I don't think that's very nice la cos our parents don't earn a lot, so we didn't impose that. To each their own. We allocated a limited number per category outside of direct family. So if my parents wanted to invite more people, sure, but only if we have enough seats left. As it turned out, there was enough to go around for everyone in the end cos we opted for a caterer instead of a hotel banquet :)

General

AMA SG Budget Babe

Dawn Fiona
Dawn Fiona
Level 5. Genius
Answered on 14 Aug 2018
45! I wanna have time to pursue my own dreams without worrying about money - 45 is the latest I've set for myself to become a published author!

General

AMA SG Budget Babe

Junus Eu
Junus Eu
Level 8. Wizard
Answered on 18 Mar 2019
I agree with Dawn and applaud him for bringing in the dough for a start! As a working adult, there were times when I would end work very late, and start early the next morning. The last thing on my mind is to start thinking about family finances, not because I don't care, but there are so many things that are burdening me at work. On top of work issues, there would be inevitably people issues, politics, promotion issues that he would need to think of as well. If he lost his job, that would likely be more immediately detrimental than him currently not caring about household finances, especially if he is the sole breadwinner. To think about it from another perspective, perhaps he trusts you wholeheartedly to manage the family's finances! You could always broach the topic on weekends where he might be less stressed, and even start with your children first re: personal finance? You never know, he might start getting interested!

General

AMA SG Budget Babe

You will have to determine your budget and comfort level. I’m afraid no one has the ability to determine that for you. If you did set up the CDA, that is one avenue that you should not forgo. Based on: - Your budget - How long do you intend to save/invest - Risk appetite Endowments, ILPs or Regualr Saving Plans from banks are some of the available options. Actions leads to reactions/consequences. Choices available depends on the knowledge you hold. Get more information to increase your choices and then you will be able to make a decision that is best for you.

Parenting

Lifestyle

AMA SG Budget Babe

Investments

First...you will have to understand: - How long do you want to stay invested? - When do you see yourself liquidating/surrendering/cashing out your investment? Endowments and ILPs might be other avenues for you to consider other than Regular Saving Plans from banks. Actions leads to reactions/consequences. Choices arise from the knowledge you have and thus, making the best decision with its consequences something you can bear.

Lifestyle

Wedding

Credit Card

AMA SG Budget Babe

Albert Millardo
Albert Millardo
Level 3. Wonderkid
Answered on 05 Sep 2018
My card strategy for my wedding payment: 1. UOB One Card Ask if your wedding venue (most hotels should be okay), if they allow you to pay monthly up to your wedding day. If yes, then you can maximize by charging the card $2k for every month and that will give you 5% rebate. Note: UOB One Card requires 5 transactions per month to qualify for the rebate (just simply buy water at NTUC also can :p) AND please check your statement quarter as the rebate is calculated per quarter basis and missing one of the month in the quarter will disqualify the rebate. 2. DBS Debit Visa Paywave / Contactless (Beep Beep Kaching promo) This is good for small items that you might need for your wedding as this debit card can give you 10% rebate (promo til end of September) or 5% (normal rebate). Note: Minimum spending of $400 and maximum $50 rebate. Only transactions below $200 will be considered for the cash rebate, so if the amount is more than $200, ask the merchant if can split into several transactions. I've tried with my bridal studio and managed to split into 6-7 transactions for $2k bill so I can maximise both me and my fiance rebates :) 3. Amex True Cashback For everything else. New sign up will give you 3% rebate for the first 6months with maximum of $5k. So you can utilize this til you hit $5k. After 6 months or beyond $5k will only earn you 1.5%. 4. HSBC Advance Card For everything else. Spending above $2k will give you 2.5% which is 1% higher than Amex True normal rebate or StandChart Unlimited. The cashback is capped with total spending of $2800 though. So do not spend more than that, unless you have an Advance banking relationship with them. Then it's different story. 5. SC Unlimited Card For everything else after you hit all the above. This card will give you 1.5% rebate, similar to Amex True Cashback. However not all merchants accept Amex. So it's good to have this just in case. No cap on the cash rebate. 6. SC Manhattan Card This card is actually discontinued. However if you have this card then you can use this as it will give 3% cash rebate per quarter. I forgot the mechanics to maximise it so please check it online! Extra tips: Sign up credit cards from third party site such as: SingSaver, BankBazaar, MoneySmart, Finty, GoBear. All these sites will normally give you extra perks such as cash gift / capita vouchers / ntuc vouchers etc on top of the welcome gift from the bank by signing up through them. Compare the gifts given for each site and decide :).

AMA SG Budget Babe

General

Property

Insurance

Bank Account

Lawrence Yip
Lawrence Yip
Level 2. Rookie
Answered on 05 Sep 2018
Hi, before planning to do a Will, need to understand more on your family structure and what are the concerns you and your parents have. At my side, we have a monthly complimentary seminars on Will Writing presented by Lawyer and it is advisable to attend to find out more if really keen to draft a Will, thank you.

AMA SG Budget Babe

Property

General

Charmaine Ng
Charmaine Ng, The Code Breaker at @ Every Chye Peng Stall
Level 6. Master
Answered on 16 Aug 2018
Hi, Consider the following: - Who will be staying in the house? The needs of a young couple vs family including babies and elderly can be very different. Example, young couple do not require a larger place at moment but if they can afford then yes please go ahead while a family will definitely require a larger house which resale may be a better idea. - Financing. How are you going to finance this (cpf/cash) and do you have enough liquidity? I know of a couple who threw in all their savings and now they're struggling to keep afloat. Select something that fits into your budget. - Location. Do you prefer a certain estate due to the vibe or accessibility? How about the maturity of estate? For myself I'd definitely avoid punggol at all costs because of all the young couples having BTO in the area now and the density of the estate isn't what I like. Can you accept somewhere quieter and slightly further from MRT for a lower price point? Even the floor storeys matter if you're selecting a HDB or Condo. I know of people who would never take 2nd floor house (I was one of them too) but now to think of it I can run the fastest if anything happens 😂 - Do you plan to sell your house and change to something bigger or smaller in 5-10years time? If you have then it probably doesn't matter but if not and you are planning to form a family; the location of the schools around you would makes a difference. - The community and your MP. Some estates have better facilities (think parks, bigger community centres and library etc.) If you're an avid jogger who loves nature; consider this. Hope this helps!

AMA SG Budget Babe

Career

General

Dawn Fiona
Dawn Fiona
Level 5. Genius
Answered on 14 Aug 2018
Depends on you! For me, I focus on skills and experience. What do I want to learn? What job will give me that? In the early days of my career, salary was secondary - in fact, I graduated with higher credentials and an experienced portfolio than many of my peers, but accepted a lower starting pay for my first job than most of them, because learning > money to me back then. Of course, today I value and look for different things, more intangible ones. How's the company culture like? Do they value my work and contributions? Do they micro-manage? How are their KPIs measured and is it fair? Who will be my boss and how is she / he like? (having a good boss is VERY important). Will the pay be enough to feed my family and save for the future? Etc.

AMA SG Budget Babe

Nope, buying a car is for the sole purpose of convenience
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