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Financial Spring Cleaning: 4 Things To Do Before Chinese New Year To Get Your Finances In Order

While you clean your home, don’t neglect tidying up your personal finances as well.

Spring cleaning CNY

In preparation for the Lunar New Year, many individuals take part in the tradition of doing spring cleaning. Apart from just sprucing up your home, it can be worth considering a spring cleaning of your financial life as well. Embarking on a financial spring cleaning can set the stage for a year of prosperity, stability, and growth, ensuring you remain in excellent financial health.

Here are four key financial spring cleaning goals to consider, designed to help you streamline your finances and bolster your financial wellbeing.

#1 Cancel Under-Utilised Credit Cards

If you find yourself holding on to too many credit cards, take some time to review your credit card spending and cancel those that you are not using very often. This will declutter your wallet and give you less tension in having to keep track of multiple billing cycles of different credit cards. Should you miss a payment cycle, you’ll be charged late payment fees and interest on your outstanding amount.

Most credit cards also charge annual fees. By holding on to under-utilised credit cards, you may end up paying annual fees for cards that you are not using regularly and getting the full benefits out of. Furthermore, if your spending on these credit cards for the year is not substantial, it may also be harder to qualify for credit card fee waivers on multiple credit cards. You may be better off concentrating your spending on fewer cards to qualify for the fee waivers.

#2 Review Your Subscriptions

Subscriptions often go under the radar as the amount you pay every month may seem affordable. By reviewing all your subscription plans, you may identify certain services that you no longer require or even find a more economical way to subscribe.

For working adults headed back into the office, you may be able to read your newspapers in the office rather than continue paying for a personal edition.

One example of finding a more affordable subscription is the Spotify premium account. The usual cost for a premium account is $10.98 per month. Couples can sign up for a $14.98 Duo account, while a Family bundle may also make more sense at $17.98 per month for up to six users. Singtel users can also subscribe to Spotify premium at $9.98 per month with a 12-month contract (first two months $0.10).

By looking out for better deals and enjoying group discounts, you can enjoy the same services for less money.

#3 Bundle Mobile Phone Plans With One Telco

By bundling the post-paid mobile plans of your family members under the same telco, you can save up to 30% on your monthly bills. Singtel, StarHub and M1 offer family discounts if you bundle multiple post-paid mobile plans under the same company.

Discount Program Discounts No. of Lines Services Required
Singtel Circle 10 – 30% 1 – 5 Mobile Plan, Fibre Broadband, Singtel TV
StarHub HubClub 15 – 30% 1 – 6 Mobile Plan, Fibre Broadband, StarHub TV
M1 Multi-Service Saver 15 – 30% 2 – 6 Mobile Plan, Fibre Broadband

To qualify for the discounts, you need to sign up for the bundle services. If you are already using fibre broadband from one of the three telcos, you may want to consider switching mobile plans over to the same company. For Singtel and StarHub, you are given a discount even if you sign up for only one line under the discount program.

It is possible that you can’t transfer the mobile plans yet as the contracts have not ended. In that case, you may want to mark the contract end date on your calendar as a reminder to switch over to your desired telco at the earliest possible time.

Read Also: [Cheatsheet] The Best SIM-Only Plans In Singapore

#4 Refinance Your Home Loans

If you took out a home loan more than two years ago, you likely benefited from the lower interest rates available at that time. However, since the start of 2022, there’s been a significant increase in interest rates globally. This shift can impact homeowners, especially those with fixed-rate mortgages approaching their renewal period.

Given the current economic climate, the new rates offered by your bank are likely to be higher than what you were initially charged. This increase means that monthly mortgage payments would rise.

One strategy to mitigate the impact of rising interest rates is refinancing your mortgage. Refinancing involves taking out a new mortgage to pay off your existing one. This new mortgage can come from your current bank, also known as repricing or a different bank.

The goal is to secure a loan with a more favourable interest rate than what you’re currently paying. By shopping around and comparing offers from different banks, you might find a loan with a lower interest rate. Even a slight reduction in the rate can lead to significant savings over the life of the loan.

However, refinancing comes with its own set of considerations. There are costs involved, such as legal and valuation fees. These costs can add up, so it’s important to calculate whether the potential savings from a lower interest rate outweigh the expenses of refinancing.

Read Also: Refinancing VS Repricing Your Home Loan: What Are The Differences?

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