The ultimate adulting guide to help you take stock of life

Adulting: Where to Begin?

You’re independent now. Or at least, more than you have ever been. What does it mean? As if on cue, the real world once bolstered by the well-intentioned protectiveness of your parents rushes up to greet you in rude awakening. Interest rates, CPF contributions, taxes and other strange percentages confound you ceaselessly, and the conversation at family gatherings informs you that you are expected to find a partner, get married, buy a house and have children before the next festive season. All this talk about the future… how will you deal?

While overwhelming, the panic of suddenly realising you have to get your life together is something everybody experiences as least once in their youth. But feeling this way certainly doesn’t mean you’re underprepared or underqualified for adulthood. Here’s our checklist for keeping your relatives’ gossip at bay. With these in mind, the next time anyone asks, you’ll respond, “I’ve got it covered.”

1. Treat yourself to a good holiday

Your new independence is worth celebrating! For those of us graduating from school, a good break as a reward for years of studying wouldn’t be amiss. You may not have huge savings, but perhaps just enough for a quick hop to a nearby destination. Click here for ideas on where to go!

While you enjoy planning for your getaway, don’t forget your travel protection for a worry free trip. Nobody wishes trouble upon their holidays, but with Tiq Travel Insurance, you’ll be prepared for any unforeseen circumstance.

2. Get your savings in order

Money isn’t everything, but planning your finances well can bring you peace of mind and the assurance that you never have to worry about not having enough. One great way to start is by tracking your expenses. This can give you an idea about how much you spend versus how much you need to save each month – exercise prudence now and thank yourself later!

You can also purchase an insurance savings plan, which means you put your money (either all at once or spread out over a period of time) with an insurance company, who may invest it and return it to you later with interest. This statement, however, is not true of all insurance savings products, so do check with your respective providers on the product features on the payout policy. Although it means you may have to make do with less savings for a few years, patience comes to those who wait! Here at Etiqa Insurance, we have just the thing for you – our whole-life insurance savings plan, ELASTIQ ^, affords policy holders more flexibility. Earning 2.02% p.a. interest for the first three years from the day you start saving with ELASTIQ, with the affordance of adjusting your account value after the first 90 days. The policy also includes a loyalty bonus for longer-term policy holders (terms apply).

You may also consider applying for a credit card. Speaking of credit cards…

3. Save smart with a credit card

Credit cards come with all sorts of spending rebates – some offer money and others, miles, vouchers, gifts and so on. While attractive, rebates aren’t the only basis on which to select the best credit card for your purposes. Instead, remember also to take into consideration any charges you may incur from borrowing money from each bank, such as payments you will have to make if you don’t repay your monthly balance. Some companies also charge a fee for use of the card. Such details may be a little difficult to gather from the rather sparsely informative bank websites, so pay careful attention while you do your research! Another consideration could be the cashback component that some cards offer on certain types of expenditure, so take your lifestyle into account while you choose!

4. Becoming a first-time home owner

Nothing screams independence more than owning your own home. The road to home ownership, however, can be quite a complicated one with many steps, especially if you plan to purchase a home before marriage, like the majority of young couples today. If so, remember to do your research early so you know what to expect when the time comes.

While waiting for your new home, take a look around for ideas on how to furnish your space. Seeing as flats have been getting smaller and smaller since the 80s, here are some tips on how to organise your home efficiently. Additionally, you can protect your home with home insurance, which offers help in instances of emergency or damage.

5. Manage your own insurance

Taking over insurance payments from your parents can be daunting, since in many cases the decisions have long been made on your behalf, and changing plans could incur charges. Nonetheless, it’s important to understand what kind of coverage you have, what sort of claims you can make, and if anything’s missing. New insurance plans emerge all the time, so take your time to choose something that suits your needs.

Take things slow

Everyone who has been through the transition to independence will vouch for the fact that things can be a little daunting at first, but give yourself time to get used to managing each aspect of your life, and one day this will all become second nature to you. As you prepare for your future, remember to enjoy the process – young adulthood only happens once in your life! With that, we wish you all the very best with learning to adult!

 

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^As buying a life insurance policy is a long-term commitment, an early termination of the policy usually involves high costs and the surrender value, if any, that is payable to you may be zero or less than the total premiums paid.

This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Information is accurate as at 28 Mar 2019. This content is for reference only. You should seek advice from a financial advisory representative before making any purchase. In the event you choose not to seek financial advice, do consider whether the product is suitable for you.