Ways households can weather slowing growth

With slowing economic growth and a tight job market, Singaporean households must remain vigilant and avoid a knee-jerk reaction to such a situation ("Can S'pore households weather slowing growth?"; March 18).

The key is to prepare for possible pay cuts or redundancy by safeguarding one's own personal finances and situation.

We can respond sensibly to looming change in our financial circumstances by taking the following three steps:

First, clear debts with high rates (credit cards, for example) and cut debt costs by moving them to lower rates (for example, lines of credit or personal instalment loans).

Second, build an emergency fund of cash for three to six months of living expenses.

Third, create a proper budget by analysing our expenditures and eliminating items no longer being used or needed (for example, cable TV subscriptions and high-speed broadband connections).

It is important to assess one own's situation, take necessary precautionary steps and not make hasty decisions out of fear.

Rohith Murthy

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2016, with the headline 'Ways households can weather slowing growth'. Print Edition | Subscribe