Friday, April 3, 2015

Spending Your SkillsFuture Credit

Joanne from MoneySmart writes on an array of random money-related articles and I quite enjoy her work.

Her latest article about what to do with the new SkillsFuture credit that was announced in the latest budget.

I like the ideas that she gave!
  1. Cooking classes
  2. Business Chinese
  3. Photoshop
  4. DJ techniques
  5. Ikebana
  6. Tour Guide
Cooking classes sounds fantastic. I don't know about you, but I'll be pretty impressed with anyone that I meet that has a WSQ Higher Certificate in Culinary Arts! Also cooking your own meals is almost definitely healthier since you watch what you put in, and there are good odds that is is cheaper too.

Learning Business Chinese sounds like a pretty good deal for people that don't happen to be fluent in Chinese, or aren't Chinese. Even for some Chinese, unless they have interest in business, it isn't a given that you will be confident conversing in this niche topic, especially if you fumble with the vocabulary. Anyway, Chinese isn't the only language you can learn, there are tons more! Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Russian, etc? Interested? Can!

Personally, the course that I am most interested in is actually the tour guide course. Weird, right? Like Joanne rightly points out, even if you don't use this skill to make a living, you will at least get to learn and appreciate Singapore more! Don't you feel sometimes that tourists know more about Singapore than you do? I still haven't been on the Flyer yet!

Guess what? Mix in a language course with the tour guide course and BOOM, you've just carved yourself a niche market. If people needed private tours of Singapore conducted in Japanese, you can do it! I've always thought that tour guides that speak a few languages have a pretty fun job, especially if they knew the different languages already and just decided to be a tour guide. Just look around at the neighbouring countries that we visit as tourists. Don't the local tour guides or local services that can confidently speak English manage to make a good life for themselves? I've always admired such people!

I think people that argue against the SkillsFuture credit and instead want the $500 credited to their banks so that they can spend more money are exactly the kind of people that will get left behind as the world rapidly change. Those people should be the last people to complain about job opportunities or depressed wages.

I've never enjoyed school that much, especially with the regimentation and the fixed parameters to learn and operate in. However, learning is always something that I enjoy. I used to spend hours going from link to link on Wikipedia. I've read hundreds of random topics. Am I a nerd? Perhaps, but I'm a serial killer when it comes to trivia.


  1. Hi GMGH,

    Serial killer when it comes to trivia?

    Game on!

    On a more serious note, I really like the idea of going for a tour guide course and pairing it with another language. I learnt elementary Jap before and it might be time to step it up further.

    I guess it would be an amazing experience to bring a group of civil & kawaii (and maybe even guilty) Japanese around Singapore. =p

    1. Hi Mr 15HWW,

      Nice! I am thinking of taking up a language course too, but probably without the SkillsFuture credit because I actually want to start soon!

      For me, it will be a way to convince friends from overseas to visit, since they will get the services of a licensed and professional tour guide, haha!

  2. Yeah, SkillsFuture is pretty sweet. I kind of wish I could use it for MOOCs ($500 would be enough for some of Coursera's specialization certs, which include 5 or more courses), but I guess it makes sense to let the money go to local companies.

    1. Hey J,

      Oh, I love Coursera too! Yes, that would actually have been really nice. I just read an article in the recent papers that SIM will be offering modular courses that can be used with the SkillsFuture credit, that could be really interesting as well!


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