Singaporeans taking better care of their finances

| 28 Apr 2021

Despite a global economic crisis, 1 in 3 Singaporeans' relationship with money has changed for the better since the pandemic, a survey conducted by personal finance website SingSaver found.

Conducted across March and April this year, the survey analysed 1,000 responses to understand better Singaporeans’ change in relationship with money as compared to before the pandemic, and the new financial habits they have adopted since.

According to the survey, Singaporeans mentioned that they have had a better relationship with money since the pandemic, citing the economic recession (47%) and change in personal goals and aspirations (41%) as key factors influencing this relationship.

It also identified a key variance between those whose relationship with money improved compared to those who did not, with 63% of those who had better relationships with their money seeking personal finance information at least once a week as compared to only 42% of those whose relationship with money was unchanged or worse-off.

With Singapore easing into reopening plans, 75% of Singaporeans are more concerned about their finances, with nearly half of them (48%) starting to track expenses on a regular basis and 46% of them starting to compare between products before purchasing since the pandemic. When asked what their main motivations for their change in relationship with money were, Singaporeans cited preparing for unforeseen circumstances (51%) and gaining financial freedom (47%).

“Singaporeans are taking charge of their personal finances, especially as we continue to navigate pandemic related challenges,” said SingSaver country manager Henry Sewell.

“We see this reflected in our website traffic, which has increased 2.4 times compared to the same time last year. The survey findings have reinforced our belief that personal finance content and comparison tools are key to a positive relationship with money,” he said.

Additionally, Singaporeans are doing more in terms of investing and retirement planning. The survey found that 36% of them have started investing since the pandemic, 58% of them have started investing more of their income and 62% have diversified their portfolio by investing in new products. On top of that, four in 10 Singaporeans have started investing in bonds and stocks while 27% of them have started investing in cryptocurrency.

Singaporeans are not leaving retirement to chance either, with 35% of them already actively planning for retirement pre-pandemic, and an additional 28% of them starting since the pandemic. Tellingly, more younger people aged 18-34 are preparing for retirement earlier, with 45% of them starting retirement planning within the first five years of employment as compared to only 25% of those over 45.

A better relationship with money does not mean Singaporeans are cutting back on expenses entirely, however, as 55% saw up to a 20% increase in monthly expenditure, including food and drinks, healthcare and utilities, as compared to before the pandemic, partly due to more people working from home.

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