While Singapore’s ageing population has been a massive social problem for the longest time, there’s a new group of people that also need our attention now more than ever: the Sandwich Generation.
Along with the rising cost of living in Singapore comes the increase in Singaporean adults juggling between caring for their ageing parents and raising their children.
In its simplest form, the sandwich generation is made up of adults between the ages of 40 and 60, who are “caught in the middle” of having to care for two generations in their family.
Between the pressures of providing financially for two dependent generations, balancing a full-time job, delayed plans, and taking care of themselves, members of this generation are considerably more stressed than any other age group.
Despite this, not all hope is lost. There are still ways to overcome this struggle and rise above it.
Here are 7 simple and effective ways you can thrive (and not just survive) as the sandwich generation!
7 Actionable Ways We Can Rise Above The Challenge & Thrive
1. Invest In Insurance Plans For Your Parents & Children
Many people still believe that insurance plans are generally expensive and that having savings is considerably better.
But believe it or not, investing in an insurance plan can do wonders for you and your family’s financial security and future.
In the event of an accident or medical emergency, there’s no doubt that your finances will be significantly affected, especially your savings.
In such circumstances, insurance plans protect your income from costly expenses, which essentially protects you and your family from any financial or emotional burden.
2. Start Saving More Aggressively With Your Paycheck
Ever heard of “paying yourself first”? This concept is a popular personal budgeting strategy that helps you prioritise your savings and investment goals before spending on other things.
Instead of focusing on your immediate needs and expenses such as monthly bills or entertainment, you essentially “pay yourself first”.
Once you receive your paycheck, immediately set aside funds for your long-term needs such as an individual retirement account, a university fund for your children, personal savings and investments, and so on.
Many of us only save whatever’s left at the end of the month, which isn’t the healthiest budgeting practice. Pay yourself first and work with what you have left; not the other way around.
Need more tips on spending less and saving more besides the “pay yourself first” method? Here are 8 simple tips to do just that.
3. Consider Taking Up A Side Hustle
Whether it’s starting a small business or getting into affiliate marketing, there are many avenues where you can earn extra income today.
While most people are taking on side hustles simply to sustain a hobby, some undertake it to make ends meet. To supplement their main source of income, these individuals have to come up with other ways to earn extra cash as well.
Taking up a side hustle may seem daunting at first, especially for those without prior experience in starting a small business. But there are plenty of ways to get started online.
From selling handcrafted items online to offering freelance graphic design services to clients, here are 13 side income hustles to consider.
4. Practice Healthy Eating & Exercise Habits For The Entire Family
In response to this, adopting better eating habits and an active lifestyle is a great way to keep all your family members healthy and safe. It can help you maintain a healthy weight, prevent severe health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, and even nourish your emotional well-being as well.
As our elderly parents and children grow older, it’s essential to adopt an active and healthy lifestyle to keep our body and overall health in the best form possible.
On top of that, it’s also a great way to foster intergenerational bonding within the family. Try going out for a walk at a hiking trail, exercise around Singapore, or cooking up a healthy recipe in the kitchen!
5. Make Better Choices Everyday When It Comes To Money
There’s a saying that goes, “even one small drop can make a ripple in the water”.
In the same way, one small decision can affect your finances even in the simplest way. The pillar of good money management is making better choices.
Every little decision adds up.
Think of it this way. Buying a cup of bubble tea every day may seem like a harmless expense. But when you calculate the amount of money you’re spending at the end of the month, you’ll realise that it isn’t such a small amount after all. It also could’ve been put to something more valuable such as your child’s school fees or your parents’ medication.
When it comes to your money, always choose to make smarter decisions. Avoid impulse buys and always ask yourself if it’s a want or a need.
6. Learn To Invest & Tap Onto The Power Of Compounding Returns
From wanting to earn more money to mere curiosity, more and more people have taken an interest in investing recently. If you’re looking to grow your assets but have no idea where to begin, one simple to get started is through compounding returns.
In a nutshell, compound interest involves reinvesting earned interest back into the principal investment amount to grow your assets exponentially over time. Instead of cashing out immediately, this growth is the result of letting interest compound over time.
By having more money in the bank, you can better safeguard your family’s financial roadmap in the years to come.
While it may sound like a complex system, it is relatively simple to start. Here’s a simple resource to help you get started with compounding in Singapore.
7. Schedule ‘Me-Time’ For Self-Care & To Boost Mental Health
We all know that being a part of the sandwich generation can be physically and financially taxing. But it can also take a toll on your mental health as well.
Members of the sandwich generation often find themselves feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and even guilty from the responsibilities of supporting both their children and parents, which results in a lack of time and space to care for themselves. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Practising work-life balance and self-care is essential.
Intentionally make time for yourself in a day, even if it’s just a few minutes, to rest and take a step back. Whether it’s a walk in the park or simply laying down while watching your favourite show, always make it a point to schedule me-time to recharge and relax.
Provide More For Your Family By Making the switch
One of our greatest household expenses comes from our electricity bills. While this is considered to be a fixed expense, there’s a way to save on valuable cash by making the switch.
With iSwitch, you can generate significant savings on your monthly electric bill with our affordable residential plans.
More savings in your wallet means more funds going towards supporting your entire family better!
Learn more about our residential price plans here and start locking in savings every single month.