Power Move: Putting Your Emergency Fund in BIBD Aspirasi 2


Last post, I was pretty heavy handed in judging BIBD’s new initiative to get people to save. While I don’t agree with them calling this product a “Certificate of Deposit” or CD, there are some ideas that stewed in my mind. One of this came from a conversation I had with a friend of mine. Putting your emergency fund in BIBD Aspirasi was just an idea that sparked.

I like to ask people “What do you think of BIBD Aspirasi?” to see if my train of thought made sense. So the conversation from this one friend actually started with talking about emergency funds. He told me “I’ve got the right amount set up (6 months expenses) and I’m never touching it!” Surprise, surprise, I instinctively said “In that case, why not put in BIBD Aspirasi?” And this lead to me thinking “Wow, maybe I’ve been too hasty in judging it.”

My Reservations on BIBD Aspirasi

I need to put forward my stance once again. There are 2 things that I am not happy with Aspirasi:

  1. 0.2% returns,
  2. Lucky Draw as a selling point.

I really have nothing against BIBD but the way they spun this product to attract people to save feels wrong to me. I feel that they’re not instilling the discipline that is to save; rather, using a game of chance to thrill and excite the non-savers. But I digress. With these in mind, let’s dig into the pros! (Whereas the last post was mostly cons)

Know what an Emergency fund is

First thing’s first, an emergency fund is set up so that you have quick access to cash during unforeseen financial problems. An example of this might be car parts needing fixing, emergency house maintenance or even retrenchment. The base concepts of an emergency fund are:

  1. Having at least 3-6 months’ income or expenses saved up,
  2. Needs to be easily accessible i.e. not locked in stocks or investments that takes time to convert to cash,
  3. Only used for unforeseen financial problems.

Putting Your Emergency Fund in BIBD Aspirasi

The pros I’ve mulled over isn’t the product on the surface (i.e. as an investment) but using it as a tool for your financial needs. If you ended up putting your emergency fund in BIBD Aspirasi, there’s a potentially large reward compared to negligible risks.

1. Maximising your chances at Lucky draw

The thing with Aspirasi is that for every $50 you put in, you gain a chance to win their cash prizes. So if your emergency fund is $5,000 you’d have 100 chances! And since you shouldn’t be touching that money for a while anyway, why not park it there to up your chances?

2. The money is liquid

Because of how Aspirasi is set up, your money is not “locked” in the similar way as if you put it in Fixed Deposits. Therefore, you do not incur penalties for taking the money out if there really is an emergency.

3. 0.2% is still better than the normal savings account

Fine, 0.05% is still 0.05% more. I still don’t like the returns for this but it’s an additional “bonus” for parking your money there. Again, it’s money you don’t absolutely need to use so it’s only more beneficial. Compounding interest will work its magic over time and do better than normal savings accounts.

4. Your money is protected

Again with the “Maximum $50,000 deposit insurance”: emergency funds are unlikely to be gigantic amounts so your funds should be pretty safe in Aspirasi.

Conclusion

BIBD Aspirasi isn’t a product I’m crazy for when viewed through the investment lens. However, putting your emergency fund in BIBD Aspirasi has potential upsides while having practically no downsides! So, if you’re considering parking your emergency funds, at least for the next year or two, you can check out BIBD Aspirasi. Who knows, you could even win the cash prize!

For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate.

– Margaret Heffernan

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About Fox

Founder of The Savey Fox. I am interested in how money works and makes the world go round. Borne from picking up a personal finance book when I was unemployed after University, I strive to continually learn and share about finance. Other than the big $ signs, I am an avid gamer, coffee lover and seasonal gym rat.

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2 thoughts on “Power Move: Putting Your Emergency Fund in BIBD Aspirasi

  • roshnox

    Hi! Let me start by saying I have always enjoyed reading your posts. There are a lot of “money guides” out there that I enjoy reading (and applying), but to find and read something that is applicable to Brunei in an honest way is truly refreshing. I especially like how it’s easily understood here.

    BIBD Aspirasi. I may have to concur with your previous post relating to it. When I first saw the ad, I was not impressed. In fact, I was confused. I personally have liquid emergency fund (to use the same term you stated here) saved up in BIBD’s Easy Saver, that gives me 0.4% returns, same deposit insurance, and is fee-free (sure Aspirasi’s fee is a low once-off $5, but that’s still a difference) …so I thought, “how is BIBD Aspirasi appealing?” Of course you also won’t get the profit from Easy Saver if you withdraw within the month, but that’s exactly what your emergency fund is for – only withdraw in emergency cases, which hopefully shouldn’t be so often.

    The only drawback is I’m not receiving rewards, which I wouldn’t mind.

    Is my line of thought …correct?

    • Fox Post author

      Hi Roshnox! Thank you for commenting and I’m glad you found the posts here enjoyable and useful in some way!

      First of all, your thought process is very right! Since you’re not touching the fund anyway, a higher interest rate would be better. Aspirasi is an option to consider (especially for people who love lucky draws, lol). Since you don’t mind the rewards, a higher interest rate would be better because of the power of compounding!

      There’s no right or wrong way to save (only more efficient), so it all boilds down to personal preference. If you want to take your interest rate game one step further, you could even park money in Taib’s Akaun Biasa which gives a rate of 0.65%! In the end, I personally didn’t opt for Taib simply because of convenience i.e. we have to manually withdraw and deposit because Brunei’s banking system charges us for online interbank transfers. But if this charge is waived, I’d definitely opt to save with the highest rate possible regardless of owning multiple accounts.

      Hope this helps, take care!