You’ve studied for at least a decade, and now, you’ve finally entered the workforce and joined the ranks of “working adults”. Congratulations!
While the Singapore education system has prepared you well for the job you have, most fresh graduates are still ill-equipped to deal with their personal finance matters. Getting these first steps right is crucial in laying a firm financial foundation for your future.
This guide is meant to provide fresh graduates and young working adults with sound fundamentals in budgeting, insurance, investing and career matters.
We recommend you read the articles in sequence. However, whenever you find that you already know about a certain topic, feel free to skip to the parts that are relevant to you.
The transition from handling your allowance and income from part-time jobs to suddenly managing thousands of dollars each month is harder than it seems.
While you enjoy the perks of a stable income, you also need to fulfil the financial obligations of today, such as loan repayment, bills, and insurance premiums. In addition, you need to prepare for the future by saving up for big ticket items in life (like buying a home, getting married, or taking your parents on a round-the-world trip you promised), investing, and preparing for your retirement. Suddenly, your paycheck doesn’t look so big, does it?
Before you do anything, one of your first steps after you start work is to establish an emergency fund.
With multiple competing needs and wants, learning to properly planning and allocate funds each month is crucial.
For most fresh graduates, regular savings will be the primary means by which you accumulate financial resources to achieve your goals, at least for the start.
#2 Central Provident Fund
If you are a Singaporean citizen or permanent resident, you cannot avoid knowing about the Central Provident Fund (CPF), which is a mandatory savings scheme by the Singapore government to primarily ensure Singaporeans have some funds for their retirement.
The role of CPF has since expanded to allow Singaporeans to pay for their housing, healthcare and education needs. As a working adult, you should know what CPF is, what you can use it for, and how it fits in your overall personal financial picture.
As young graduates who have just entered the workforce, our ability to work is our biggest personal financial asset.
Even though we know insurance is important, many fresh graduates in Singapore have very little understanding about the types of insurance available. They are not sure what’s out there, and what they should be buying.
Getting health insurance should be a priority. Given your youth, one of the biggest risks you face is health issues, which may prevent you from pursuing a long and successful career. This risk can be minimised by buying the right health insurance.
There are plenty of misconceptions about investing out there. The truth is, you do not need to be super rich or hold a degree in Finance to be investing. Investing is also not gambling and trying to make insane profits. Rather, investing is a valuable too in your long-term financial planning portfolio that allows your money to create more value for you.
When you’re ready to get started, you can refer to our practical step-by-step guides.
#5 Career Advice
The economy and job market is evolving so rapidly, and we cannot take our jobs for granted. We need to remain relevant by improving our skills and knowledge, so we can continue to value-add in our current job or have the choice of taking another job in the future.
If you think you see the end coming, you should ensure that you are best prepared for your next adventure.
If you can think of someone else who can benefit from this guide, do share it with them!
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