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Gladys Tan

Financial Consultant

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Watch Your Diet: Are You Keeping Your Financial Diet in Check?

Over the last couple of years, I've seen some amazing transformations among my peers. Some have taken up new hobbies such as baking (and even making a business out of it), some have dedicated their time and efforts towards a healthier lifestyle by watching their diet and leading an active life.


In the backdrop of a pandemic, the saying 'Health is Wealth' has never been truer.


In fact, recently, the team at finexis also shared a very interesting point of view about the choices we make with our beverages. Check it out below.


Grading Your Drinking Preferences


Before you decide on a drink - whether a soft drink or an instant beverage, do you check its nutrition label? If you haven’t been checking, it’s high time you start doing so.


The Singaporean government has announced that all pre-packaged drinks must have new nutrition labels by end of 2022, reflecting sugar and fat levels.


According to MOH, Singaporeans consume 12 teaspoons or 60g of sugar daily on average. More than half of their daily sugar intake comes from beverages, of which pre-packed beverages contribute 64%!


So, if you wish to understand more about the drinks grading system, here’s a simple guide you can download: https://bit.ly/IsYourDrinkAsGreatAsItsGrade



Watching The Meals You Eat


If we talk about diet, how can we not discuss our dietary intake?


If you're into fitness, you probably heard people talk about macro and micro nutrients. If you're looking to lose some weight, you might be working on a calorie deficit. Your diet depends on the goals you are working towards.


For the rest of us who are happy to simply maintain, My Healthy Plate (https://www.healthhub.sg/programmes/55/my-healthy-plate) seeks to educate and encourage Singaporeans to enjoy balanced meals.


Go through the website and you'll see multiple mentions of "quarter, quarter, half" - a division of whole grains, fruit and vegetables and protein that should be on your plate.


Source: https://www.healthhub.sg/programmes/55/my-healthy-plate

What Can Your Dietary Preferences Teach You About Your Financial Diet?


In case you’re wondering, I am not intending to change my career nor be a nutritionist. But reading these guides has helped me reflect on how we watch and plan for our financial diets.


I felt that everything was pretty much inter-linked.


Say, if I wish to lose some weight, I should reduce the number of times I eat out or order takeaways. Instead, I would want to prepare my meals so I can be mindful of what goes into them and at the same time, be able to control the portion size.


Similarly, if I wish to increase my cash flow, I either need to earn more or spend less. Or do both if possible.


Hence, to summarise my reflections, here are three of my takeaways:


1) Have a system


To achieve balance, we can adopt systems or budgeting methods for our financial diets. Check out the budgeting formulas that I have discussed previously. Can you find one that suits you?


For a start, you can consider a 50/30/20 approach or even a 25/25/50 (like My Healthy Plate) depending on your situation. This way we can ensure you have enough to spend on necessities, budget for investments and savings for a rainy day.


2) Grade your current status


We can only improve what we can measure. Take a stock take of your current financial status and then work on ways to improve areas you have identified. I also recommend that you speak to a professional to improve your rating.


3) What you consume matters


I enjoy a nice, cold cup of bubble tea, especially when the weather gets too warm. But enjoying this cup often also means more money spent (not to mention the calories). We don't realise it but spending a significant amount of money on food is a pretty common thing in Singapore. Especially today when we can even order food through delivery apps. Our tendencies to eat out are also causing a domino effect on our health, especially if we're prone to eating junk food or when we regularly consume a diet that is high in fat and oil. An unhealthy body will definitely require more doctor's appointments and medicines for treatment.


So, take a look at what you're consuming. For all you know, our eating and drinking habits are actually affecting our financial diet too.


I hope the resources shared in this post also gives you a chance to reflect or act as a guide to help you keep your financial diet in check. If I could be of help, don't hesitate to book a call.

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