This article was originally on GET.com at: Singapore Economy Slowdown: 5 Things You Could Do To Lessen The Impact Felt
In case you haven't heard, Singapore's economy hasn't been doing great with the gloomy global economic outlook looming out there corroborated by nasty swings in the financial markets and drastic fall in commodity prices amongst many other things.
If the reality has slowly sunk in for you and you've resolved to hold on to your job tighter by working harder and putting in longer hours so on and so forth, good for you! It sure doesn't hurt to start taking charge of your life.
Here are five things you could do to lessen the impact (to some extent) of the weakening economy that will be helpful for anyone who's looking to do something, whether it be upgrading and/or expanding his or her skill sets or cutting back on expenditure.
1. Cut back on spending
This is a no brainer though more often than not, it is easier said than done for chronic shopaholics like myself. Nevertheless, it wouldn't hurt to start small since every dollar adds up!
For instance, if you (like me) have an odd fetish for buying white shirts or jeans simply because of how versatile they are, think again (or thrice) before you take them off the racks and make your way to the cashier. Honestly speaking, you don't need 2,178,213 similar-looking white shirts or blue jeans in your closet.
Instead of spending money on sugar-free bottled green tea or 0 per cent bubble tea, why not make your own cup of tea? A box of 50 little packets of Japanese green tea will only set you back at $5 to $6 in supermarkets.
Remember that $7 cuppa you get daily without fail from Starbucks or Coffee Bean? Try cutting down progressively and opt for cheaper alternatives. You'll find yourself accumulating bits of savings that will grow in no time!
2. Pay off all credit card bills at the end of every month
Most of us use credit cards to pay for everything these days, be it a McDonald's meal or a plane ticket; after all, using certain types of cards like rewards credit cards and cash back credit cards means we get to earn cash back or rewards points which we can later redeem for rebates or shopping vouchers.
But the thing to note with credit cards is, you really should pay off your credit card bills by the due date each month. You do not want to start accumulating credit card debt and be slapped with hefty interest payments and late charges that snowball into astronomical sums.
Besides paying off your credit card bills promptly by the due date every month, it's important not to spend more than your credit limit.
Assuming that you aren't a bad debtor by nature and that you merely forget your bills at times, consider paying your credit card bills by GIRO. Just make sure your savings account has money, of course!
Do you already have debt problems? You can use this simple checklist to get rid of debt.
3. Upgrade yourself
Sure, you may have been at the same desk job for two decades or have just clocked two years at the company you're working for but that doesn't mean learning has to stop just because you're comfortable.
For the most part, it helps for you to remind yourself that learning is a lifelong process regardless whether you are eight or eighty (or anywhere in between, really).
Pick up skills to upgrade and/or expand your skill sets. These may not look like much for now, but your bosses will know that you're taking initiative to better yourself!
Or if you are looking at a career switch, it only makes sense that you equip yourself with extra skills to make yourself more employable.
And that management course that you've enrolled yourself in? That might come in really handy when the higher ups are looking to fill some managerial position.
For the clueless Singaporean out there, SkillsFuture is a national movement that has been recently rolled out to provide Singaporeans with opportunities to develop their fullest potential through a myriad of resources. Those above 25 will receive an opening SkillsFuture credit of $500.
If you'd like to start learning but you don't want to spend a fortune on it, check out these 10 free online classes.
4. Amass extra cash
Extending from the point above, if you are equipped with better skills through upgrading yourself, you may even make some money out of it by embarking on freelance projects if you have free time on hand after getting the required qualifications from completing certain courses for instance.
For example, you could take on freelance writing projects if you've proven that you possess a flair for writing!
Or if you are already well-versed in playing the piano or violin, go ahead and seek opportunities for yourself to teach music in your free time. What's not to love when you get to do the things you're passionate about and yet earn extra money at the same time?
The only tradeoff for amassing extra cash is that you lose some slack time for yourself. Well, if the economic crunch is bad enough, I'm positive you wouldn't feel very good if you have mouths to feed and bills to pay knowing that you could be earning a little more if only you did something.
If you're looking for ways to make some extra cash, check out these 5 jobs that you can do from home.
5. Embrace lifestyle changes
Making lifestyle changes one step at a time could be useful in helping you save money.
Sure, you may have loved clubbing and drinking with your homies but have you calculated how much money you've spent each time you party with your friends? Money that has flown out of your pocket went into things like cover charges, alcohol, cab fare, cracked handphone screens so on and so forth.
Simply by willing yourself to party less often (or not go at all), you'll get to save that money up!
Instead of spending your time and money on precariously expensive hobbies, why not pick up new hobbies that cost little to nothing such as reading, jogging or cycling? You'll get to save some money this way and better your well-being altogether. Score!
Some hobbies can even help you earn some money! Here you can see 4 ways that you can earn money from your hobbies.
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