If you don’t already know, DollarsAndSense has a Telegram channel where we constantly update our subscribers with the latest content and gather some of the most interesting insights about what Singaporeans think about financial products and the decisions that they have to make.
Telegram is a great channel to find out people’s behaviour for a few reasons. Similar to our general elections, telegram polls conducted are anonymous. This means that people who are on the channel can choose to vote freely (and honestly). Telegram channels also automatically allow for only one vote per account, which means that the risks of multiple votes from the same user – which could skew the result of a poll, isn’t possible.
Of course, in order to get results that are significant, we first need a large enough telegram base and subscribers who are keen to vote on the polls. Fortunately, with more than 4,000 subscribers to date, it’s easier for us to conduct polls and to receive sufficient votes to get a holistic conclusion.
Over the past few weeks, our Telegram channel has given us some interesting insights to the financial decisions and behaviours that Singaporeans have. Here are 5 interesting insights that we have gathered from the group.
Editor’s Note: All poll results cited had a minimum of 200 votes.
# 1 Do you & your partner have a joint account?
It’s interesting to note that there is a group of couples (11%) who believe in the concept of having a joint savings account but would rather save the money in a personal savings account, which is doubling up as a joint account. Part of the reason could be the fact that there are not as many good joint savings accounts in Singapore as compared to personal savings account.
# 2 Are you using a SIM-only plan?
We have been writing for quite some time about the merits of using a SIM-only plan to help reduce our mobile phone bill and it seems many of our subscribers have heeded this advice. Half of our respondents for this poll shared that they are currently on a SIM-only plan.
What’s also interesting to note is that among the 50% who are not on a SIM-only plan, 32% also indicated that they would be opened to switching when the time comes. Hence, it should come as no surprise that telcos are increasingly offering more data at lower price in order to completely retain market share in this competitive landscape.
# 3 Open Electricity Market (OEM): Have you made the switch?
It has been more than a year since the Open Electricity Market (OEM) was soft-launched in Jurong (in April 2018), and subsequently rolled out in phases island-wide. Since then, many Singapore families have opted to make the switch to one of the retailers that have been licensed to sell electricity. Based on our recent poll results, slightly more than 50% of readers have opted to make the switch.
# 4 For those with a HDB flat, which housing loan did you choose?
With interest rates rising in recent years, it comes as no surprise that most home owners now prefer the more stable interest rate (2.6%) which is provided to them via a HDB loan, as compared to a bank loan. Taking a HDB loan also allows homeowners to pay a lower downpayment of 10%, which can be paid using a combination of CPF funds or cash. This is in contrast to a bank loan when one will need to make a downpayment of 20%, of which 5% needs to be in cash.
Unlike bank loans, there is also no early repayment penalty for a HDB loan. Thus, there is really no benefit to handicapping yourself by not giving yourself flexibility.
# 5 For those that have gotten their driver’s license, where did you learn how to drive?
By far the closest vote, it appears to be an (almost) even split between people who go to a driving school to take their license, and those who opt for the (presumably) cheaper private instructors. If you are 18 and medically fit to drive, it’s worth checking out how much you need to set aside to earn a driving license – both by enrolling in a driving school and as a private candidate.
Subscribe To Our Telegram Channel Today
If you already have the telegram app on your mobile phone or desktop and have yet to follow us on telegram, do consider joining our group today. Besides giving you a peek into the financial decisions and behaviours that everyone else is making, you can also stay up to date with any exclusive events and deals that we have for our telegram subscribers.
We look forward to welcoming you yo our group here: https://t.me/dollarsandsense
DollarsAndSense.sg aims to provide interesting, bite-sized and relevant financial articles.
Learn together with like-minded Singaporeans at the Personal Finance Discussion SG Facebook Group by discussing a range of personal finance topics.
If you have not done so, subscribe to our free e-newsletter to receive exclusive content not available anywhere else.