24Apr

Money-saving tips for new graduates

Ah, yes. Graduation.

Finally!

Independence!

Freedom!

The world is your oyster…if only you had the money.

Graduation creates this illusion of immortality for fresh graduates, especially for those belonging in Asian or other conservative families wherein they usually live with their parents or remain tethered financially until they hold a job of their own. So, the moment that the diploma is received, a surge of energy initiated by a newfound sovereignty course through their veins.

It makes sense though. You’re a youngblood with high hopes and dreams, you’re seeing the world beyond the books for the first time. You don’t have a curfew, homework, or a parent to answer to.

All of this rush of adrenaline doubles that moment you get employed because job equals money equals “add-to-cart”, right?

For a moment, there is harmony in your cash-ins and cash out. But at one point, maybe on the day when your employer can’t give your salary on time or when somebody gets sick, you’ll realize that you do not have a cent in the old piggy bank. Then, the reality of adulthood sets in. It’s time to decrease the “YOLO” and start saving.

Here are some tips money-saving (and maybe even earning) tips for all our fresh graduates out there:

1)   Invest

While having saved money in your account is good, placing them in good investment is better. Rather than letting them just stay in your account until your next impulsive buy, why not make them do the earning for you? Aside from insurance companies, some banks provide services on investments wherein you can start small, just enough for the entry-level salary.

2)   Wants and needs

Do you need another pair of shoes for work? My Economics professor once told the class, “If you can distinguish your wants from your needs, then saving is easier.” and that is financial wisdom I still hold today.

Needs which are your basic food and drinks, toiletries, clothes.

Wants are your 5-star meals with a bottle of champagne, Jeju face masks, and plain, white shirts that cost five digits.

Always reflect before you buy: “Need or want?”

3)   Allocate

Once you fully recognize your needs, you need to be very familiar with your cash flow and where to place them. It is important to list down the daily, weekly, and monthly expenses so setting a budget is easier.

4)    Something on the side

If you have an 8-hour job, especially one that keeps your weekends open, I would encourage having a sideline. Something non-committal, that you can do from the comfort of your home and that will take only a few hours of your time. It can be writing, copyreading, editing pictures, translating, even online tutorials.

There are such jobs out there.

Once you receive your pay, keep it safe. Don’t spend it. That’s your side hustle money.

When you’re a young investor, it doesn’t hurt to earn a bit more cash.

5)   Be wary of your circle

Friends and workmates are a great influence even in young adulthood and, sometimes, when one of them declares a night out or a trip to somewhere pricey, it’s difficult to say no.

There’s nothing wrong if your friends have more money than you, just as there’s nothing wrong if you have less money than your friends. But it’s important to remember at which part of the spectrum you are, and not get carried away. Also, be mature enough to not be insecure about the financial differences that you feel the need to spend money like them to achieve validation.

Learn to decline when it no longer hits your budget. If your friends are really good people, they’ll respect that.

6)   Splurge money

As contradicting as it is, it’s also important to spoil yourself every once in a while.

Have “splurge piggy bank” and invest a fixed portion of your savings to it.

It can be money for a concert happening in a few weeks or a monthly shopping spree/fancy dinner dates for yourself.

The point is, you have to spend money on you too. Sometimes, we impulse buy because we’ve been deprived for so long. So, it’s just better to just have a controlled source of cash for an “I deserve this” splurge. Just make sure that the “I deserve this” days aren’t every day.

7.) Get insurance early.

If you buy permanent life insurance early, this gives you a longer period of time to put money into the insurance plan and also allows you to draw interest on your money for a longer period of time. We help expats in Hong Kong find the best personal insurance. Get in touch with us today.

14Apr

Hong Kong Federation of Insurance Urges You to Check Your Policies

With regard to the continued spread of the Novel Coronavirus, the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers (HKFI) has provided the following information regarding various types of insurance you can get if you’re not covered yet.

Supplement your travel insurance policies if you’re planning to travel anywhere that hasn’t been affected by the flight bans in several countries.

We also recommend that you check your current policies if you’re covered. The actual coverage is subject to the terms and conditions of individual policy.

Medical Insurance

> Some insurance companies have announced that hospitalization/treatments prescribed for the Novel Coronavirus will be covered. If the insured person is diagnosed as suffering from Novel Coronavirus or is ordered mandatory quarantine, the insurance company will provide additional hospital cash protection. For customers taking out a new policy within a specified period of time, the waiting period for Novel Coronavirus will be waived.

> At the same time, some insurance companies have prioritized and simplified the outpatients and hospitalization claims diagnosed with the coronavirus.

> The above-extended coverage varies among insurance companies. Policyholders are advised to check with their respective insurance companies/intermediaries.

Employees’ Compensation Insurance

> Employees’ Compensation (EC) Insurance is statutory insurance. If an employee sustains an injury or dies as a result of an accident arising out of and in the course of employment, his / her employer is in general liable to pay compensation under the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance (ECO) and the common law.

> For example, if an employee suffers from a slip injury during work from home as arranged by the employer, he / she needs to prove that the injury is related to his/ her work. Otherwise, he / she may not be covered by the EC insurance. For common law damages, the employee must obtain proof that the accident was caused by the employer’s negligence.

> The Novel Coronavirus is not an occupational disease specified in the ECO. However, if an employee is infected with the Novel Coronavirus as a result of an accident arising out of and in the course of employment as stipulated in the ECO, the employee can still claim for loss under this ordinance. Yet the final result is subject to the court’s judgment.

For any enquiries about the insurance policy, please contact the insurance company / intermediary directly.

Travel Insurance

> If the itinerary is cancelled due to restrictions on entry (such as refusal of entry or failure to obtain a visa), in general, it is not a named peril covered by the travel insurance. Passengers should apply to vehicle operators, such as airlines, for refunds of airfare (depending on the arrangements of the relevant organizations).

> If the insured person unfortunately contracts the Novel Coronavirus while he’s overseas, he can claim for the medical / hospitalization expenses. If the itinerary needs to be changed because of his health condition / medical treatment, the additional accommodation and transportation costs may also be covered.

> If the insured person unfortunately suffers from the Novel Coronavirus before the tour starts and cannot start the journey, he may apply for compensation on the tour cancellation.

As the products of different insurance companies vary, policyholders should pay attention to the terms and conditions of their own policy and should check with their insurance company / intermediary directly for enquiries.

8Apr

Updating Your Health Insurance

As we go through different phases of our lives, so do our needs for health insurance cover. Does your current plan still cover your needs or are there parts of the policy that are not longer needed?

Health insurance covers must also adjust to the rest of your family member’s needs which is why it’s important to check with your provider every two years.

Here are questions you should ask when reviewing your policy:

1. Is my policy limit enough to cover my needs and my supplementary? There are policies that offer unlimited annual policy offers.

2. Do you have plans of moving or traveling more frequently? This means you might need a health insurance policy that covers the places you will be traveling. There are international health insurance covers that follow you wherever you are and plans that excludes the US or UK.

3. If you’re married and have a growing family, is your insurance plan able to adapt to maternity and child needs?

4. Do you need to add a policy for pre-existing, mental, hereditary, congenital and chronic conditions?

5. If you have a policy taken care by your current employer, you also need to evaluate if you’ll need a separate private medical insurance if there are plans of changing jobs. Check if the company health insurance covers for family members or for chronic diseases. If you have special medical needs and your company insurance does not cater to its treatment, an international health insurance cover should be able to take care of what’s lacking.

AS AN EXPAT, CONSIDER INTERNATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE

This health insurance policy is generally comprehensive and can cover maternity and cancer treatment. It all depends on your needs as well as your family’s. Village Insurance Direct helps expat find affordable and complete international health insurance from established providers in Hong Kong.

As an expat, you need to foresee if you will be moving in the next years and having international health insurance that follows you wherever you will give you peace of mind in situations where a local hospital may be unable to provide for your needs. The advantage of having this type of insurance is also having local service from your provider’s customer support so you know exactly what your policy can cover.

Ask your insurance provider about your current policy. It is also crucial that you do your own research especially if you’re paying a substantial amount for medical insurance you yourself and your family.