Financial Planning | Personal Finance | Article

5 Money Mistakes That’s Keeping You Broke

by Sophia Lee | 31 May 2023 | 8 mins read

This article was brought to you by Singtel Dash 

There’s no running from inflation and its effects on our purchasing power.

That’s why it’s important to make sure we’re doing all we can to grow our wealth consistently!

And though it may seem like a gargantuan task, it’s all about starting the journey, to begin with—only, we’re just taking small, calculated steps.  

Here are some mistakes you should avoid if you want to grow your wealth, even just a little bit at a time (because every bit counts)! 

Not negotiating your salary 

The quickest way to grow your wealth is to grow your earning potential from the get-go.  

The job market’s still a tough place to be today. It may be tempting to gloss over the matter of your salary if you’re desperate for a job, but nothing pays off more than knowing exactly what you’re worth.  

To negotiate a better salary with confidence, you’ll need to have that knowledge on hand—so ask other professionals in similar jobs, hop on the internet, and do some research. Also, measure yourself in terms of your experience and what you can offer the company, because that could translate into a higher salary!  

These are all things you can do to make sure you have a ballpark amount ready to start negotiations with. This will save you the trouble of starting at a disadvantage and having to ask for raises over the next few years to get you where you should have been in the first place. 

This brings us to the point of making salary negotiations regular practice, especially during appraisal season. If you feel you’ve been excelling at your role or going above and beyond (i.e. taking on more responsibilities than what you were originally hired for), then there’s a good chance you’ll get the raise—as long as you ask. Don’t be afraid to shoot your shot and believe that you’re worth it.

Not upskilling yourself

In a fast-moving world of trends and rising industries governed by the gods of supply and demand, it’s almost a waste to not even think about upskilling yourself. Even if you’re thriving in your current role, a forward-thinking mindset can never work against you. Think of it another way: by upskilling, you’re essentially futureproofing yourself against becoming irrelevant, ensuring you’ll always have a job offer waiting for you. 

Upskilling also allows you to switch industries, particularly to industries that are more lucrative and in-demand such as tech. This is a high-effort way of growing your wealth as soon as possible. It’s also something to consider if you feel your skillset is under threat of becoming irrelevant or overshadowed, or if you feel like your career has presently begun to slow to a halt and you’re no longer making as much progress as you’d like to. 

At the end of the day, upskilling will ensure you remain employed and also open you up to a whole host of choices! 

Letting inflation win and erode your hard-earned savings

No matter how you slice it, inflation is an unstoppable and necessary force that will increase your cost of living and expenses.  

The last thing you want after slogging to earn and save as much money as possible is to have your savings lose value to inflation. So, if you don’t have a high-interest account or you’re not trying to invest your money (even a little!), you might find that the struggle is not worth your time and physical energy. At the end of the day, you will grow old, and it’s ultimately unrealistic to expect that you will be able to keep working to support yourself until the end of time. 

Look out for low-risk, liquid accounts with high-interest rates that will help you grow the money that you save. While the payoff isn’t immediate, your savings will snowball eventually; in other words, take comfort in the fact that while you work hard to earn money, your savings are also working just as hard to keep up with the economy! 

Investing without a clue

If you’re looking to grow your wealth over the years for your retirement, reckless investing without proper research won’t get you very far. Don’t squander your hard-earned money on bad investment choices. After all, time is valuable, and blindly following trends or mimicking what other investors are doing for the sake of potential big returns is rarely worth it.  

For absolute beginners, starting with ETFs or funds such as low-risk money market funds or bond funds are your best entryway into the world of investing. But if you’re still unsure and find it hard to understand the market, it’s probably wise to invest as much time as you need in doing your research. It might be even wiser to seek the guidance of a professional financial advisor—or even consider utilising one of the many robo-advisors available on the market.  

Paying unnecessary additional fees 

There are lots of “hidden” fees we could very easily overlook. And if we’re not vigilant enough, these fees can erode your wealth and your efforts to grow your hard-earned money.  

These fees can include foreign transaction fees, late fees on your credit cards, hotel fees for things such as getting extra towels or using the mini fridge (so remember to ask hotel staff upfront!), and even subscriptions you don’t remember signing up for because all you wanted was a free trial.  

Constantly check your statements and ask questions when you’re unsure if there are hidden fees. A little bit goes a long way—this applies to savings, but it also, unfortunately, applies to the small amount of money you’re spending here and there without your knowing. 

Growing wealth is entirely possible for everyone

Achieving and growing wealth is no easy feat, it’s true, but it’s not a goal that’s out of reach. All you have to do is work smart and keep a close eye on your finances. Working longer hours or committing yourself to a role or industry without thinking may not be the best approach —instead, be constantly on the lookout for opportunities to grow and protect your hard-earned money. Even seemingly minor and inconsequential oversights or missteps can chip away at your progress.  

This content was sponsored by Singtel Dash  

Dash PET 2 by Etiqa Insurance can be one option you can use to grow and protect your savings. Dash PET 2 is a top-rated insurance savings plan that makes it easy for you to earn returns on your short-term savings that you can withdraw any time while getting insurance protection. 

Earn up to 17.06% upon maturity with a flexible basic plan and add on 1/3/5-year fixed plan riders to your base plan as per your savings goal. You can earn an additional 0.25% per annum more with each add-on protection plan to your basic plan. Start saving from just $50 with your capital guaranteed.  

Each plan comes with FREE Life Protection of 105% account value and you can even add on more protection from just 2 cents a day. You can choose from 3 plans: Major Cancer, Death & Total and Permanent Disability, and Accidental Death.   

Sign up for Dash PET 2 on the Singtel Dash app before 30 June 2023 and get up to S$10 signup cashback 


Find out more here

*This is based on a 5-year fixed plan with S$50,000 savings, which earns a guaranteed return of 3.20% p.a. and matures after 5 years.

#Crediting rate for the basic plan is non-guaranteed.

^The minimum deposit per fixed plan is S$1,000, top-ups are not allowed. The aggregate cap for all Dash PET and Dash PET 2 policies and fixed plan riders per Life Insured is S$500,000.

Dash PET 2 is underwritten by Etiqa Insurance Pte. Ltd. (Company Reg. No. 201331905K). Terms apply. Protected up to specified limits by SDIC. As buying a life insurance policy is a long-term commitment, an early termination of the policy usually involves high costs and the surrender value, if any, that is payable to you may be zero or less than the total premiums paid. You should seek advice from a financial adviser before deciding to purchase the policy. If you choose not to seek advice, you should consider if the policy is suitable for you. Information is accurate as at 31 May 2023.