7 Things To Check On Our Financial Check List Before The Year 2019 Ends

With 2019 coming to a close in less than 6 weeks time, it is time to take stock on our financials. This is probably one of the most favourite time of the year for the both of us, as with everyone else. 

End of the year usually means less hectic days, holidays to look forward to, planning for the new year as well as retrospecting the previous year and see if we can reap any benefits from the hard work we put in throughout the year.

Here are some financial checklist for both Mrs Budget and myself to clear before welcoming 2020.

1. CPF and EPF contribution

One of the main thing we set out to do every year is to top up our CPF to have forced savings as well as to enjoy tax relief on the top up. In case you are unfamiliar with this, you enjoy tax relief of up to S$7,000 on your taxable income for every dollar you top up on your CPF. 

Both Mrs Budget and myself have already topped up our SA account earlier this year, so this is checked. Other than that, for Mr Budget, every month when he received his OA contribution from his employer, he would instantly transfer that OA amount to his SA account to enjoy a higher interest rate, leaving S$0 in his OA Account.

On top of topping up of his CPF account and transferring his OA to SA account, as Mr Budget is a Malaysian, he has an EPF account. One of the checklist for Mr Budget is also to top up some amount to his EPF account. For EPF, the interest rate is even higher at 6.15%!  He has made a partial top on once earlier this year, and will do another top up in December.

2. Insurance Review

The second thing to do is to review your insurance coverage. As we get older, it is good to constantly review your insurance coverage with your Insurance Agent.

For Mrs Budget and myself, we are covered by a term insurance, which is sufficient for us at this point. We have already done a few check ins earlier this year with our Insurance Agent, and our next check in will probably be mid next year.

3. Credit Card Review

The third thing on our check list is to do a clean up of our credit card, and to relook into our spending patterns to see if there are any better ways we could have optimise our credit card spend.

For now, we are mainly using DBS Live Fresh, UOB one, Standard Chartered Unlimited, as well as Citi Premier Miles. 

We will have to review the cards again and see if there are any better cards out there. Of course, end of the year is also a good time for you to pay off any of your credit card bills and make sure you don’t bring them into the new year.

It is also probably a good idea for you to check on your credit rating. Mr Budget has a habit of purchasing his credit rating report every 4 – 6 months to ensure that his credit rating is on the higher band. You can purchase your credit report for just S$6.42.

4. Reap your rewards

At the end of the year, it is also a good time to reap the rewards of all the hard work you put in throughout the year.

Throughout the year, we have been actively utilising cash back cards, coupled with Shopback to earn additional cash back. On top of that, we have also been collecting miles.

It is a good time to cash out all these earned rewards and see if you want to spend them on a trip, or simply use them to reinvest into a savings account. 

For cash back, Mr Budget has earned over S$3000 in total cash back from January to October this year, and for interest income from his DBS Multiplier Account, he has enjoyed S$800 in interest income so far in 2019. 🙂

5. Housing Matters

Another thing which we want to check off our financial checklist end of the year is also to tabulate all the cost associated to our properties.

As we are living in a condo now, we will need to tabulate all the expenses incurred, so that we know how much we have spent if we were to calculate the actual return of the property should we choose to sell it down the road.
Expenses include, renovation, condo management fee as well as any one-off expenses incurred. 

6. Marie Kondo your portfolio

If you’ve been reading our updates, we would also like to do an annual clean up of our portfolio, which Mr Budget recently did.

Basically, review your individual counters and ask yourself if you are comfortable in holding on to the counters you are holding on. Does the fundamentals of the counters stay the same? Will they reward you for holding them on into the new year? Do they spark joy (lol)? If they are not, you should probably sell them off and keep the cash to reinvest in other more attractive counters.

It is also a good time for you to Marie Kondo your room or house so that you can throw away the unnecessary stuffs, as the saying goes, 旧的不去,新的不来。

7. Personal Net Worth Reconciliation

Finally, the last thing on our check list, will be to reconciliate our finances for the year, and compare that against the target we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year. 

What this means, is to calculate our total CPF, cash in hand and asset value at the end of the year, and then see if it is satisfactory. 

Currently, we are using our own custom spreadsheet to do our monthly reconciliation, and we will be sharing that spreadsheet if we have enough request for it. 🙂 

Are there anything that we’ve missed out? Let us know in the comments below!

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