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Making Sense Of Your Personal Finances

Learn to set S.M.A.R.T. financial goals and work out how much you need for your goals.
4.1 (181 ratings)
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12,487 students enrolled
Last updated 6/2016
  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 9 Articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
Understand and set financial goals
Prepare a budget
Save effectively
Manage your debt
View Curriculum
  • Internet access
  • computer or smartphone
  • basic knowledge of spreadsheets
  • a money sensible mindset

This is a short course on basic money management which is conducted by the Institute for Financial Literacy, Singapore. We provide free and unbiased financial education programmes to companies and organisations.

Description of Module:

Learn to set S.M.A.R.T. financial goals and work out how much you need for your goals. Develop a budget by tracking your spending and savings on a regular basis. Learn how to cut down on expenses and reduce debt.

Financial planning includes: Managing your income to meet your current as well as future needs, such as your retirement or your children’s education; Managing exposure to unforeseen events like pre-mature death, illness or disability; Managing savings and investments to meet your financial goals.

Setting up a budget is a good way to start taking control of your financial situation because it helps you to: Live with your financial means, and meet expenses; Track spending, in order to meet both your long-term and short-term goals; Control your money, so that it does not end up controlling you.

The concept of money comes with a lot of associated feelings. Too little money can make you miserable. Too much money can also make you miserable. Managing money means knowing how to: Make and earn money; Hang on to it once you have it; Spend it; Invest it; Enjoy it in our golden years.

In this module, we will cover essential money management skills such as setting financial goals, preparing a budget, Paying Yourself First (Saving a portion of your income the moment you receive it), assessing your expenses, stretching your dollar and debt management. We will also cover important topics such as the Power of Compounding Interest and Consumer Debt. Take this module as a step towards financial wellness.

Browse through the text content in the lectures and download the supplementary materials for additional learning. This course will take your about an hour to complete.

Who is the target audience?
  • Working adults
  • Students
  • Basically anyone who handles money
Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed
Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 24 Lectures Collapse All 24 Lectures 01:23:05
2 Lectures 02:35
This video contains the course objectives of this e-learning module.
The are namely:
  • Are Your Financial Goals S.M.A.R.T. ?
  • Is Interest Your Friend Or Your Foe?
  • Where Did Your Money Go?
  • Developing A Good Spending Plan
  • Budgeting Made Easy
  • How Do You Stretch Your Dollar?
  • What Is The Real Cost Of Instalment Plans?
Introduction to Making Sense Of Your Money

In this Lecture, find out more about MoneySENSE's core financial capabilities:
  • Understanding Money
  • Understanding yourself, your rights and responsibilities
  • Managing everyday money
  • Planning ahead
  • Selecting financial products
MoneySENSE Core Financial Capabilities Framework
Financial Goals
5 Lectures 10:41
Find out more about setting S.M.A.R.T. financial goals. Namely, financial goals which are:
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-Bound
In the next two lectures, you can read notes based on what is explained in this video.
Are Your Financial Goals S.M.A.R.T. ?

In this lecture, we provide some notes on what financial goals are.
Why Set Financial Goals?

In this lecture, we provide a written example of a S.M.A.R.T. financial goal.
How To Set Financial Goals?

This video lecture illustrates the power of compounding interest. It also explains the Rule of 72 which can be used to estimate the number of years to takes for your money to double.
This video can also be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6nnvghbRkg
Is Interest Your Friend Or Your Foe?

This lecture demonstrates how an excel spreadsheet can assist you can calculating interest rates.
Excel Demo - Interest Rates
8 Lectures 17:03
This video lecture explains the importance of tracking your spending. It also illustrates the concept of "Paying Yourself First".
You can also view the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWr-GVD4OLo
In the next lectures, you can read notes based on what is explained here.
Where Did Your Money Go?

In this lecture, we look at a simple method of tracking our spending.
Tracking Your Spending

In this lecture, we look at an amazing financial management concept known as "Paying Yourself First".
Pay Yourself First

This video explains the process of budgeting and developing a good spending plan. In the next lectures you can read notes based on this video.
This video can also be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGqxpfXAy4Q
Developing A Good Spending Plan

This video explains four different types of budgeting systems:
  • Envelope System
  • Written Record System
  • Electronic System
  • 3 Bank Account System
This video can also be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TfsVQqmmM0
Budgeting Made Easy

In this lecture, we will look at simple steps to set up our family budget.
Preparing A Family Budget

In this lecture, we will look at some guidelines to budget effectively.
Guidelines To Effective Budgeting

In this video, we will discuss practical ways of cutting down our expenses.
This video can also be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhSwmwS32vI
How Do You Stretch Your Dollar?
Debt Management
6 Lectures 13:20
In this video, we will consider ways of avoiding and reducing our debt.
In the next video we will consider the real cost of instalment purchase plans.
Debt Management

Find out more about the real cost of instalment plans. It is always more cost effective to pay upfront than to take on long instalment plans.
The Real Cost of Instalment Plans

In this lecture, we provide notes on practical ways to avoid debt.
How To Avoid Debt

Find out more about how consumer debt, in particular Credit Card debt.

Understanding Consumer Debt

Find out how credit card interested is computed in this lecture.

Case Study 1 - How Credit Card Interest Is Computed

In this lecture, we consider ways of avoid consumer debt, in particular, credit card debt.
Consumer Debt
3 Lectures 34:58
In this video, we conclude this e-learning module. We will also look at the Power of Habit.
This video can also be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwXeSdSWw6o
Summary and Conclusion (The Power Of Habit)

Try this simple quiz based on this e-learning module.

Making Sense Of Your Money Quiz
6 questions

This lecture contains links to additional resources where you can learn more about money matters pertaining specially to Singaporeans.
Additional Resources

In this Podcast, Mr Gerard Ee from Beyond Social Services gives a speech on "Wanting Less Is Not An Option". This talk addresses the problems faced by the Low Wages Segment of society in Singapore.

Podcast - Wanting Less Is Not An Option
About the Instructor
3.8 Average rating
457 Reviews
24,299 Students
7 Courses
Financial Literacy Trainer

Ferris Wee

BA (Hons) Business and Finance

Ferris Wee is a qualified Financial Planner, and through his previous workplace, a global financial services company, he has helped more than one hundred clients with his clear process in reviewing their financial needs. Specifically, he has helped clients to identify their goals and ensure that they make the right choices to meet those goals today, tomorrow and in the years to come.

Ferris is passionate about leading people beyond financial breakthroughs, and has conducted financial literacy training in Singapore and Indonesia, as well as sports camp training for youths in India. Ferris is also an experienced financial counselor, helping many people manage their budget to meet their financial responsibilities.

Ferris is a Certified Will Writer, and has provided Professional Will writing, estate planning and custody services. He is also an Associate Estate Planning Practitioner.

Prior to his career in financial planning, Ferris was with the Republic of Singapore Air Force working on budgeting, logistics, maintenance and overseeing safety issues. For his strong leadership qualities, Ferris received the Outstanding Safety Warrior Award.

Ferris has a BA (2nd Class Upper Honours) specializing in Business and Finance. He also holds industry certifications in M5, M8, M8A, M9, M9A, HI, BCP and PGI.

3.9 Average rating
742 Reviews
30,915 Students
13 Courses
Financial Literacy Trainer

Peggy Chan, Financial Literacy Trainer, Institute for Financial Literacy


Peggy has 8 years of experience in the financial services industry, helping clients understand their financial needs, objectives and risk tolerance as well as reviewing company policies and procedures to ensure compliance. She was also an adjunct lecturer with a Polytechnic, teaching insurance and retirement planning subjects.

Prior to joining the financial services sector, Peggy was working in the information technology sector for 13 years, first in a government agency and subsequently served as a Senior Systems Analyst in an international bank.

She is a Certified Financial Planner, which is a professional certification specific to retirement planning and wealth accumulation in addition to overall financial planning.

Peggy has a Masters of Science, majoring in Network Management. She also holds other industry certification in M5, M8, M8A, M9 and HI.

3.8 Average rating
1,112 Reviews
43,151 Students
23 Courses
Unbiased Financial Education Courses

The MoneySENSE-Singapore Polytechnic Institute for Financial Literacy is a collaboration between MoneySENSE, the national financial education programme in Singapore and Singapore Polytechnic.

MoneySENSE is spearheaded by the public-sector Financial Education Steering Committee which comprises representatives from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social and Family Development, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Manpower, Central Provident Fund Board, Monetary Authority of Singapore, National Library Board and People’s Association.

Our financial education courses cover basic money management, financial planning and investment know-how.

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