Habits of cutting down the monthly fixed expenses

There are many fixed expenses when you have a house of your own.

Electricity bill, S&CC charges, Insurance, Internet, Mobile, & the biggest of all housing loan.

When the open market started for the electricity services, i switched to Geneco, and got some good rebates, and when my Geneco 2 years plan ends, i would like to switch to the Wholesale electricity market though Sp group. Every switch in theory should saved about $10 to $20 dollars every month, however i am not seeing a big difference in the billing, probably due to the hot weather or covid staying home period which blast the monthly bill through the rooftop.

The Singapore Government gives a big sum of rebates for the S&CC and electricity/water bills. After rebates, we are looking at <$100 per month for 2019 electricity & water, pretty decent for a family of 5.

For Insurance, i have switched to Aviva group term $400k at $196.80 plus Living Care (CI) $200k at $144, i am still on Great eastern Term life+CI $200,000 at $626, and i will be cancelling it at the end of the year before the next premium is due.

That is a saving of $285.20 per year until i am 36 years old with more coverage quantum. With Aviva group insurance, there are pros and cons.
36 years old onwards, the living care (CI) will be increased from $12/month to $19.80/ month, that’s a saving of $191.60 per year from 36 years old to 45 years old. After 46 years old, the aviva term and living care combination will be more expensive than Great Eastern, by then i should be cancelling my CI plan, as the family finance situation would have outgrown the $200,000 Aviva living care.

I am on Great Eastern Hospitalisation plan covered up to A ward, while i am more inclined towards getting covered up to private, the higher pricing especially towards the end hold me off. It’s a fine balance. Mine was signed many years back, so i still can claim up to 100% as charged.

For internet, i started off with 1Gbps, and i have since downgraded to 500Mbps, and saved about $7.50/month, i got 6 months free when i signed up for the 1gbps plan back then.

Mobile plan back then was about $40 minimum for a data plan, and i switched to the Starhub lite plan at $15/month and when the promo price ended after 2 years reverting back to $30 a month, i have switched to Giga at $10/month.

For expenses, less is more.

Looking to refinance the housing loan.

As our home reached the 5 years MOP, and our daughter going to primary school next year. There are thoughts of moving if we can get into a preferred school which is within the 1km to 2km radius but near to my mother in law house, though chances are very slim. We stayed near my mother-in-law house, a few bus stops away, but there are always lingering thoughts to move closer, as that travelling time always eat up the remaining energy after a long day. My mother in law plays a very big part in the children upbringing, which we are very appreciatively of, a lot of activities and school location are planned around that, which indirectly increase our travelling time and effort.

With interest rates dropping to a low level not seen for quite some time, i am thinking of changing our default HDB 2.6% to the POSB 5 years fixed rate at 1.5%.

With a remaining 25 years duration and about $320,000 loan amount, refinancing could save us $200 a month for the first 5 years, which is a total of $12,000 saved. And we intend to increase the CPF monthly payment, to free up more cash for investing purposes.

We have some very simple requirements, which is not looking at the cheapest of all but required us to refinance every now and then, rather something more stable, with preferably longer locked in period with rates better than HDB 2.6%.

The primary school phase 2c will be from 3th to 5th August, and by 17th August we will decide on our next move.

Updated 15.08.2020 – we got a <1km primary school, and thus we will be staying put, we have also decided not to proceed with bank housing loan, mainly due to my unstable income that dropped a lot in the covid period (self-employed). From my understanding and online research, even when we have signed up and locked in the housing loan, if my spouse’s income suddenly drop a lot or stop due to any unforseen event, the bank can demand for us to pay the whole loan even if we are able to continue paying the monthly payment. This is the biggest downside for us, as my income is too unpredictable from time to time and with the current HDB loan, we won’t have any issues with that and we are covered under Hps which is payable by cpf and have generous rebates from time to time. The $200 savings per month is really attractive, but the peace of mind gained by sticking to the HDB loan is priceless.

If anyone have a better idea with regards to my situation above, please feel free to comment below.

Hello World

The first post, the first step.

I am the CFO of my family, we are Singaporeans. And thus the domain name, cfosg.wordpress.com was chosen.

CFO can be Chief Finance Officer, it can also stands for Chief Family Officer or Chief Father Officer.

Join me as my family and i navigate through Singapore living standards, this blog will be more skewed towards the financial aspects of a typical Singaporean family.

It will be from my point of view, touching on some interesting purchases, some number crunching on the yearly expenses, my investing journey, and the decision i made over the years.

I am Y, 34 Male (Yr 2020), married with 3 kids, living in HDB with a housing loan, no car, self-employed with minimum CPF.

My current biggest financial goal is to invest wisely with a 20 years time frame, aiming for a 10% CAGR over the years, so that my children will not be the sandwich generation anymore.