5 Reasons Why Some High-Earners are in Debt

Sep 12

Wearing high fashion clothes, dining at the hippest restos, and taking vacations in Europe, high-earning executives – those earning between $5,000–10,000 a month – seem to have it made. Yet, some of these art directors, lawyers, and publishing executives may actually be tens of thousands in debt. Below are the common financial pitfalls for people with huge wages.


1.       Inability to delay gratification

Compared to that of our parents’, our generation lived in comparably comfortable times. Singapore was already what it is now by the time we had any financial awareness, and so many of us really didn’t learn how it is to save money for the future: when we want something, we want to have it now. And so we pay for today’s pleasures with next month’s salary.

2.       Overuse of credit cards

What with low interest rates and aggressive lending policies by banks, it’s become common for people to have two, three, or even four credit cards. And for many of us, these credit cards create the illusion that we have a lot of money left to spend even as we acknowledge that we’re already owe thousands to each of these cards.

3.       Paying for past extravagances

It may come as no surprise that weddings are a prime suspect to why many couples are in debt. A lot of us spend so much for this event that they still have to pay for it even way past their honeymoon phase. Other culprits include getting a house or car that we couldn’t really sustainably pay for.


4.       Social “necessities”

When we earn a lot, we feel somewhat obligated to treat our friends who earn less than we do by giving gifts or paying for dinner. Then at home, those of us who aren’t married yet also have to give spending allowances to our parents, siblings, and even some distant relatives.

5.       Overestimating one’s salary

An account executive earning $7,000 a month may think it’s easy to justify a $500 luxury bag. But if she already has a debt in the thousands and it’s not the first bag she’s bought on a whim this month, it gives a much different picture. We should buy something in view of our financial standing, not our salaries.



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Signs That You’re Mishandling Your Money and How to Fix It

Sep 09

How can you definitely say that you have a problem managing your money? Here are 7 definite signs:


  • You’re counting down to the next payday. That’s ‘cause you need money, and you need it now… for things you bought yesterday.
  • Your late bills are piling up by the month. You’ve fallen behind your payments for your credit cards, utilities, car, rent, phone, and mortgage. Some of your bills are even months due?
  • You’re borrowing from practically everyone. You’ve borrowed from your parents, siblings, officemates, relatives, and friends. You’ve even already taken an advance on your paycheck.
  • Things are stressing you out. With all the payments you’re due, and people hounding you for their money, things are putting a strain on your work, health and relationships.
  • The bank won’t loan you anymore. You have a very low credit rating and any pleading won’t get your loan application approved. They’re even threatening to revoke your credit cards.


Hopefully, the five signs above don’t all apply to you. But if they do, or even if just one of them does, here are ways on how you can put things back into order:

  • Pay your bills on time. Sounds obvious, but a lot of people still miss this, opting to use their money to make purchases or some other treats.
  • Cut back on your expenses. We know there’s a social cost of living a frugal life and sometimes we have to maintain appearances, but things will only get worse if we continue to buy things we can’t afford.
  • Stop using your credit cards. Credit cards are convenient, but they often tempt us to buying things we don’t really need. Pay with cash so you have a good idea just how much you can rightfully spend.
  • Cancel useless cards. If you’re getting discounts from only one card, then there’s no sense keeping two or three others. Saving money means efficient spending.
  • Embrace a simple life. That can be a bit of a challenge for Singaporean urbanites, but it could be necessary. Cut back on your holidays, take public transport, and stop eating at fancy restaurants.
  • Get professional help. There are firms who work by consolidating your debts and finding ways on how you can best use your salary to pay off your dues. You can also try the non-profit Credit Counselling Singapore to set up a debt repayment plan.


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