Buying a property in Singapore is a complicated thing.
You need to take into consideration things like Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD), Additional Buyer‘s Stamp Duty (ABSD) if you are buying a second or subsequent property, loan to value (LTV) and such.
Plus, it is a huge financial commitment, with a down payment of 25%, of which 5% must be in cash.
In today’s article, we will take a look at some ideas on how to save for the down payment when buying a property.
1. Cut down on unnecessary expenses
All of us have monthly expenses for both essential and non-essential things.
Essential expenses such as food, children’s education etc are a must, but do a review and see which non-essentials can be cut down or better still, eliminate altogether. Non-essentials would be things like dining out in expensive restaurants, pubbing, impulsive buying etc.
The money you can save by eliminating all these can be put into a piggy bank for your downpayment.
Cut down on eating out, especially in restaurants, and eat home-cooked food is another way of reducing expenses.
It may be a bit more troublesome but think about the money you can save.
In this digital age, many people are shopping online. This could lead to impulsive buying where you buy things you do not really need.
This money could be added to the downpayment savings.
2. Reduce debt obligations
Credit card bills are one of our highest monthly expenses.
As we move into a cashless society, many of us are using credit cards to pay for almost everything.
That is not a bad thing, given the benefits and cashback that some credit cards are offering.
The danger is when you do not pay off the bills in full and let them roll over.
Most banks charge rollover credit card bills interest rates of more than 24% per annum, so be sure to pay off your credit card bills in full every time.
If you already have rollover credit card bills, make an effort to find out which one charge the highest interest and pay off the balance.
If you do not have the resources to pay off the balances, you can consider making a balance transfer.
Some balance transfers offer 0% interest for a period of 6 months with a 1.5% to 2.5% admin fee. The 1.5% admin fee is definitely much better than paying 24% p.a. on your outstanding balances.
However, beware that the 0% interest is only for 6 months and you will need to clear them to avoid the regular interest rates. So do this only if you already have outstanding balances and are paying high-interest rates.
If you are on to pay off credit cards bills in full monthly, you can look at reducing other debts such as car loans. Money is not free and any debt you are carrying come with an interest payment.
Remember, the less interest you pay means money saved.
3. Start a part-time job
If you can spare the time, you can look at doing some part-time work.
In the current economic downturn, many people are doing part-time jobs such as delivery.
Food delivery and parcel delivery companies are constantly looking to expand. If you own a car, you can also consider becoming a private hire vehicle driver (PHV).
These are jobs that you can do during the weekends or after the standard 9 to 5 workday.
4. Start an investment/savings plan
Certain banks have a save as you earn facility that automatically debits a portion of your monthly into a special savings account.
This not only ensures that you are saving regularly but also getting a higher interest on the amount.
If you have extra cash, you can consider taking a short term investment plan. Some of these plans provide guaranteed capital protection and pays higher interests than savings and fixed deposit accounts.
Most of these plans come in 3 to 5-year tenures, so be sure you have no need for this sum of money as early termination may result in suffering a loss on the capital amount.
5. Divestment is crucial
If you had already invested and the investments are profitable, you may want to consider selling it and reinvesting it as a downpayment for a property.
Markets that go up will come down, so you may want to sell off while you are ahead and reallocate your funds into a better opportunity.
6. Selling off unwanted items
To be honest, how many of you have a lot of unwanted items lying around the house covered in dust.
Things like kitchen gadgets, old toys, furniture, designer handbags, sports equipment etc.
If the items are in good condition, you can head down places such as Cash Converters or speciality shops that deal in pre-loved items to make extra cash.
It is also a good way to declutter your home instead of just throwing or giving them away.
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