How COVID19 is robbing your wealth secretly

How COVID19 is robbing your wealth secretly

COVID-19 has swept the world off its’ feet. With it still lurking around, are you aware that there are many silent robbers that are robbing you of your wealth secretly? In Wealthdojo 6 Level Wealth Karate, we talk the importance of shielding our wealth from these silent robbers.

In this article, we are also excited to partner with Jocelyn who is a self taught investor in her 40s. Do check out her website below.

Have you saved money while working from home?

How COVID19 is robbing your wealth secretly Working From Home

How COVID19 is robbing your wealth secretly: Working From Home

Since Singapore went into circuit breaker lockdown on 7 April, many Singaporeans have been forced to work from home where possible. Not all jobs are WFH-friendly but for those that are, benefits of a WFH arrangement include zero commute time, greatly reduced transportation costs and reduced weekday meal expenses (assuming you do not live in the CBD). 

For the 7 or so weeks that Singapore was in circuit breaker, most establishments were forced to close and people were advised to leave the house only out of necessity, such as shopping for groceries or if working in essential services. 

If you were working from home during the circuit breaker period, it makes sense to think that you should have saved quite a bit on transport and food expenses right? That may not necessarily be the case. Here are four reasons that may have prevented you from keeping within your budget:

 

#1: Ordering food delivery and “indulging a bit” 

How COVID19 is robbing your wealth secretly Food Delivery

How COVID19 is robbing your wealth secretly: Food Delivery

Instead of getting your weekday lunches from the nearby kopitiam or cooking at home, you may find yourself going for more expensive options when ordering food delivery. This could be to feed a craving or ordering from places that you’re not able to visit in person. 

It is not uncommon for F&B establishments to mark up their food prices on food delivery apps. They do this to offset the platform/commission fee that food delivery platforms charge for listing their menu on the app! This means that even when ordering from the same place, opting for food delivery may cost 5-10% more than physically going to the store to tabao your food.

What to do instead

  • Have a weekly limit on the number of times you order food delivery
  • Cook more meals at home 

#2: Spending more time (and money) shopping online 

Thanks for covid-19, online shopping saw a record boom worldwide. Instead of going to a neighborhood mall or Orchard road for retail leisure, Singaporeans went online instead, clocking record increases in app traffic and transaction volumes on popular shopping apps.  Shopee saw a 40% increase in screen time by app users along with increased sales during the circuit breaker period. 

How COVID19 is robbing your wealth secretly Online Shopping

How COVID19 is robbing your wealth secretly Online Shopping

Online shopping is just a click or tap away, with a lot less friction to carting out a purchase. With people being cooped up at home and spending less time outside, some have also turned to online shopping as a way to pass time. This can lead to impulse buys or spending more on non-essential purchases! 

What to do instead:

  • Move your online shopping apps to a folder and away from the first page of your phone, and unsubscribe from marketing emails. Out of sight, out of mind. 
  • Start an affordable hobby to spend your time more meaningfully! Eg. Exercising outdoors, reading, cooking
  • Create a budget for your shopping needs and stay committed to it. Remember to prioritize needs over wants!

#3: Paying for convenience

How COVID19 is robbing your wealth secretly convenience

How COVID19 is robbing your wealth secretly convenience

The rise in door-to-door delivery makes it incredibly convenient to buy groceries or choosing to dine in, with food delivery. The trade-off for this convenience is the delivery fee. An additional $2-3 to have a meal delivered to your doorstep may not seem like much but if you’re ordering meal deliveries multiple times a week/day, those delivery fees can add up very quickly. 

What to do instead: 

  • Consolidate grocery orders to capitalize on free delivery and/or save on delivery costs
  • Watch out for promotions and discounts so you can save on these necessary purchases 
  • Consider walking to a nearby kopitiam to tabao your meal instead of getting it delivered. 

 

#4: Paying for comfort 

With most people forced to work from home, many have turned to buying desks and chairs for a more comfortable working experience. This makes sense if your existing tables and chairs are not suited for long hours of desk work. A quality table or chair may be a good investment in the long term, but take care not to let these “investments” become white elephants once COVID-19 is behind us and offices reopen!

What to do instead: 

  • Get creative with your WFH setup!
    • Repurpose your dining area for work during the day,
    • If you have a small fridge, use it as a “standing table” when you feel like you need a stretch
    • Hunt for office furniture bargains on FB or Carousell. Businesses that have to downsize or close their offices will often need to get rid of their furniture. 

 

Stay committed to your cause

If you are already managing your expenses and/or budget tracking, you probably have a good reason for doing so. You may be saving up for a house, or a new family member or just trying to make ends meet with reduced income. Reminding yourself about this goal can help you refocus and double down on keeping to your budget. 

Sometimes, having a better picture of your money flow can help you manage your expenses and budgets. Create a sankey budget diagram of your monthly cashflow (check out mine here) and use that to guide your budgeting decisions!  

Guest writer: Joce
A self-taught investor working towards her goal of achieving financial freedom in her forties. Check out her blog here: Financial Freedom by 40

 

Final Thoughts By Wealthdojo

Congratulations for reading thus far. COVID-19 seems to be here to stay. The journey ahead seems like a scary one and I want assure you that you will definitely get through it.

Special thanks for Jocelyn. Thank you for your special appearance. I really enjoyed your article.

Join my Telegram Channel for a tip a day! In Wealthdojo, we dedicate a small amount of time daily for learning new things. Continuous learning is one of the greatest secrets of success.

For those of you who want to turbocharge your journey, contact me at chengkokoh@gmail.com. I would like to hear from you what your experiences are currently and from there, we develop a plan specially catered just for your journey.

We wish you all the best! Stay Safe and Take Care!

Chengkok, Sensei of Wealthdojo.

$30000 per month crazy rich asians

Is $30,000 Salary a Month Enough?

QNS: Is $30,000 Salary a month enough?

When I ask this question to my clients, the first response I get is: HOW I FIND SUCH A JOB??

Last Sunday, Straits Times published an article titled $30,000 salaries, yet in serious debt (it is an premium article). This started almost an outrage in the Wealth Management and Personal Finance community in Singapore. Most of the comments were related to where to find such a job and probably missed the point of personal finance. Let’s explore the reasons when $30,000 salary a month is not enough?

$30000 per month crazy rich asians

$30000 per month: Crazy Rich Asians: May not with $30,000

Reason #1: You spend more than $30,000 a month

Typically, as we grow in affluence, our purchasing power increase and we tend to spend more to.

Meet John. John is a hardworking young professional. His first salary was $3000/month and he had to live a simple lifestyle. Along the years, John got promoted for his outstanding working performance and ability to show results. His salary gradually increase to $15,000/month. John is now working harder at work and often end work late. He will take a cab home (he used to take the public transport) and order a good meal from a nearby restaurant (he used to cook) to reward himself for the hard work. When he sees something that likes during shopping, he will buy it immediately (he used to ponder if the item is essential)  because he feels that he can afford it and he don’t have much time to shop anyway. He buys his friends meals (he used to go dutch) because he feels he is doing well.

John wakes up one day and was shocked to find out that his bank account balance haven’t been increasing after his promotion and has decreased.

If you spend more than you earn, then you will be in deficit.

 

$30000 per month salary spending more than you make

$30000 per month salary: spending more than you make

 

Reason #2: You acquire more debts that you can handle.

Previously, I wrote about a Quick Ratio that we can use to evaluate whether the company is financially healthy.

“A company CANNOT go bankrupt if it doesn’t have debts” ~Chengkok

I can’t remember who said this before so I’m just going to quote myself until someone prove me wrong. (Haha). During the COVID19 season, we are seeing record number of companies going bankrupt and closing down. Examples are like JC Penny, Hertz and AMC just to name a few. If you look at their financial records, it would be just a matter of them that they will go under.

Similarly, for personal finance, if you take on too much debts than you can handle, your cashflow will be severely impacted.

 

Reason #2.1: Leverage

Reason 2.1 is a compounder for reason 2.

When I was 19 years old, I was scared stiff of the stock market. That was because I had a friend who lost over USD$50,000 in one night in his CFD trade. $50,000 is a huge sum to a 19 year old kid and it scared me silly.

Leverage works like this. You ONLY require a SMALL sum to get a BIGGER exposure. Most people who have limited capital are attracted to this because of the high returns. However, if the stock price goes south, you have to pay for the exposure too. A capital of $10,000 can easily give you an exposure of $200,000. However, if the stock price plunge, you could lose a significant portion of the $200,000 that you DO NOT EVEN HAVE and hence acquire the debts that you don’t want.

“Go big or go home. Typically in investing, people go home” ~Chengkok

$30000 per month salary leverage

$30000 per month salary: Leverage

 

Reason #3: Bad Habits

In The Straits Times article, bad habits or poor financial planning will cause your financial downfall no matter how much you earn. Data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore shows that

  • 34 home owners have asked to stop payment for their loan until December
  • 2100 people have problem paying education and renovation loans
  • 6200 have asked to convert high credit card debt into term loan on lower interest rates

The list goes on. Gambling is also one habit that might cause financial woes. We are often reminded by the National Council on Problem Gambling on not to gamble especially during the Chinese New Year.

 

Conclusion

Some questions that we can ask ourselves in our financial journey.

Income plays just one part in your Wealth Management journey. It is your habits, your mindset and the people that you hang around with that helps you reach the level of financial freedom you want.

 

No one will care about your money as much as you do.

In Wealth Management, it is important to Pay yourself first. Beware of scams. Before you invest in any company or popular investment opportunity, be sure to do your own due diligence. If you wish to learn more about investment, I hope to nurture genuine relationships with all of my readers.

Check out my most popular blog post in 2020 so far: 5 mistakes people make using their CPF.

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