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Diners eating on Smith Street in Chinatown December 12, 2014. This outdoor Chinatown Food Street features food stalls offering authentic local Singapore dishes from Shutterstock.com

Consumers in Singapore remain savvy in managing their finances

The Mastercard Consumer Purchasing Priorities Index (H2 2017) has revealed that one in five consumers in Singapore wished they had started saving earlier with 93% of consumers intending to save more or the same in the near future.

Consumers continue to have a positive disposition towards financial planning and adopt good money management habits. 91% of consumers have the ability and understanding of budgeting day to day finances and 72% of consumers keep track of their spending on a weekly or monthly basis.

When it comes to defining personal success in life, having a happy family life (29%) was a top indicator and important success factor. Achieving a work-life balance (22%) and having enough money to do what they seek to do (20%) were also in the top three.

In the event that they lose all household income sources, consumers in Singapore are confident they can survive for six months on their savings, compared to five months on their savings in H1 2017. Consumers in Singapore also feel that they can retire comfortably with sufficient financial support at the age of 61 years old.

The top three spending consumers will cut back on in the event of a household income lost, are spending on overseas holiday (45%), dining out (17%) and big ticket item expenditure (8%). On the other hand, if the household receives an additional monthly income, the top three spending priorities are putting the money into a savings account (41%), an overseas holiday (20%) and paying off debt - mortgage, loans and credit card bills (15%).

When it comes to using technology, there is greater acceptance with 62% of consumers in Singapore currently using or are considering to use mobile applications to manage their money, compared to only 59% in H1 2017.

Deborah Heng, Country Manager, Mastercard Singapore said, “From the results of the Mastercard Consumer Purchasing Priorities Index, it is encouraging to see that consumers in Singapore are taking greater ownership in managing their personal finances. This is made easier with the growing use of electronic payments, together with online and automated tracking tools, which enable consumers to spend and control their finances more effectively. Good money management ensure consumers are
able to save and spend comfortably throughout their different life stages.”

The results are based on online surveys that took place between May and June 2017 with 417 individuals (18 to 64 years-old) in Singapore.