Singaporean

Here Are 5 Online Tools To Get Us Through Life

Even as our graduation days get increasingly further, the intimidation that comes from senior colleagues who seem to know everything we don’t, to the pain of paying off bills and income taxes, never seems to go away.

“Am I saving enough? What do all these terms mean? Will I ever be able to afford my own house?”

Asking your parents and peers might seem like a likely option, but often, the figures involved are private.

Luckily for us, there are many online tools and calculators that can answer your queries on different issues – from CPF contributions, to claiming from your Medisave, to how much you need to set aside to accomplish various goals.

The best part? They’re created by government bodies, so you can be sure that the information is legitimate.

Here are several tools that you’ll find helpful, because trust us, we’ve all been there!

1. MoneySense Goal Savings Calculator

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 6.27.35 PM
Screenshot of the MoneySense goal savings calculator

What Is It?

Our lives are made up of a series of goals.

Whether it’s something short-term like the next holiday, or something to make lasting memories like a wedding celebration, the common theme running through them is realistic – we need money for all of them.

However, it can be tough to keep track whether we are putting aside enough each month.

This is where the MoneySense Goal Savings Calculator comes in.

Who Is It For?

The go-getter who wants it all.

Truthfully, as lofty as the ideals for our day jobs are, they’re mostly just a means for us to not only survive, but to purchase items and experiences we desire as well.

It’s easy to set our eyes on something we want, but to save up religiously for it is another thing altogether. The calculator would give us a (sobering) look at how much we’ll need to set aside so that our dreams won’t just remain as dreams.

What Else Do You Need To Know?

The final calculation also takes into account the interest rates of the bank you’ve put your money into, and potentially lightens your monthly strain.

2. CPF Contribution Calculator

cpfcontrcal
Screenshot of the CPF contribution calculator

What Is It?

Calculations can be daunting, especially to those of us whose strengths don’t include mathematics, so CPF has a calculator specifically for this purpose.

And did you know that while 20% of your salary will go to your account, your employer would also need to contribute an additional 17% each month?

Churning out the numbers from this calculator takes less than a minute, and will show you the amount going to your Ordinary, Special, and Medisave accounts.

Who Is It For?

The enthusiastic accountant who takes note of every single cent going in and out of their bank accounts.

While you won’t get the instant gratification that comes with having a full salary in your bank account, the CPF contributions are going to help in getting a house, paying off medical bills and building your retirement nest…so it’s not bad at all!

What Else Do You Need To Know?

This quick overview for what each CPF account entails:

Image Credit: CPF
Image Credit: CPF

3. Medisave / MediShield Life Claims Calculator

medisavecal
Screenshot of the Medisave/Medishield Life Calculator

What Is It?

Medisave is a national savings scheme which helps us save for future medical expenses, especially after retirement.

The funds in the account can be used for either yourself or immediate family members, and can be used at all public healthcare institutions and approved private hospitals and medical institutions for your medical care fees, and hospitalisation expenses listed in this table.

Do note though, that there are withdrawal limits for each claimable case, and this can be easily calculated using the Medisave/MediShield Life Calculator.

All you need to do is to select the options applicable to you, and within 2 steps, you will be directed to the amount that you can claim from your Medisave.

Who Is It For?

The YOLO daredevil who’s also rather clumsy.

In all seriousness though, this is actually a very important calculator because you’ll never know when illness or an accident will strike.

This is probably also where you realise that the 20% taken from your salary actually goes a long way in easing your financial burden in times like these.

What Else Do You Need To Know?

For those asking what MediShield Life is, it is a basic health insurance plan administered by the CPF Board, which helps to pay for large hospital bills and selected costly outpatient treatments, such as dialysis and chemotherapy.

4. HDB Monthly Instalment Calculator

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 5.37.53 PM
Screenshot of the HDB monthly instalment calculator

What Is It?

Of all the important things one needs to own in life, a house is probably at the top.

However, a few hundred thousand dollars for a place of your own doesn’t come easy, and unless you’re lucky and have your parents supporting you fully, many won’t be able to pay off the house in one shot, and will need to take on a HDB Housing Loan, which allows repayment between 1 and 25 years.

The calculator works as simply as it looks – input the loan amount, the repayment period, and it will calculate the amount you’ll need to pay each month.

Who Is It For?

The sweethearts who want to take their relationship to the next level.

Many young couples applying for Built-To-Order (BTO) flats are still young in their careers, and thus don’t have much savings. The amount calculated would help couples pace themselves in terms of savings and expenditure.

Think about it, won’t working towards a common goal make the relationship so much stronger?

What Else Do You Need To Know?

Before you can do all that, you’ll first need to check your eligibility for a housing loan, and apply for a Housing Loan Eligibility (HLE) letter as soon as possible.

The letter will provide you the maximum loan amount, monthly instalments, repayment period you can take, and also other important information you’ll need in the process of your financial planning.

5. OneService App

oneservice
Screenshots of the OneService app

What Is It?

This one deviates from the finance-related ones above.

Launched in September 2014, the app was a joint collaboration between the Municipal Services Office (MSO) and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), and came in a bid to let Singaporeans conveniently report about municipal incidents.

Some examples are abandoned trolleys, littered grounds, mosquito breeding grounds and so on.

Who Is It For?

The inner complain queen/king in all of us.

However, with the outbreak of Zika happening now, it’s actually all the more important that Singaporeans are able to report potential hotspots in the fight against its spread.

Millennials are the most tech-savvy of Singaporeans, and the app comes not only as a place for menial complaints, but also as a means that we can point out broken items (drains, potholes, signboards) and even sightings of potentially dangerous animals so that we can keep each other safe.

What Else Do You Need To Know?

Uploading of photo attachments and geo-tagging is available, so that the relevant government agencies (including AVA, HDB, LTA, NEA, NParks, PA, PUB and the Police) will be able to taken action efficiently.

The app is available for iOS and Android.

There Are Many Others Available Too

These are just a few tools created by the government that will definitely come in handy. Personally, I’ve not used them as much as I should have, but after this, I’m definitely going to use them to get my finances back in order!

Have you tried any other tools that you’d like to recommend? Let us know!

Feature Image Credit: Getty Images

 

Subscribe to Vulcan Post Newsletter

Stay updated with our weekly curated news and updates.