Save (and invest) smart: 5 habits of a successful saver.

You’ve started your career. Paid down some debt. 

Are you ready to take the next step and get serious about building your savings? Or are you wondering how to maximise the money you’ve already socked away by investing it? To fund your goals in life and retire when you’re ready, you will need to make sure your money is working hard for you.

Here are five financial tips to get started: 

1. Live within (or below) your means.

While you don’t need to eliminate all the fun, small changes can make a big difference over time. Start by creating a budget and find ways to live on what you make. Consider these options to save versus spend: 

  • Drive an older vehicle or take public transportation
  • Own a modest home
  • Don’t travel as much as you want 
  • Do DIY projects instead of hiring outside help 

2. Be smart about debt.

To be more specific, super savers suggest paying off your credit card balance each month. 
Find what works best for you. There can be a couple of good methods to pay down debt.

  • Avalanche method (tackle high-interest balances first)
  • Snowball method (pay off your smallest balance first)

3. Plan for retirement.

Think about the life you want and make a plan to achieve the things you see in it. That may require you to investment more than the required EPF contributions, such as investing in the Private Retirement Scheme or other investment vehicles each year you receive a raise. You can also take control of your EPF account 1 savings and move funds into unit trust funds to better maximise returns. You can get started today through the EPF i-Invest platform. 

4. Set up an emergency fund.

Would a RM 2,000 expense throw off your budget in a big way? If the answer is yes, it’s a good idea to set up an emergency fund. “That way, the unexpected doesn’t derail your long-term plans.”

5. Keep learning about personal finance.

Education drives confidence, and confidence drives action. Even investing a small amount of time learning more about personal finance can have a huge boost to confidence in financial decision making. Not sure you have cash to invest now? A small amount can make a big difference, or you can start by maximising your account 1 savings in EPF and investing in unit trust funds – no cash required!