Living in Singapore is expensive, we all know that.
After struggling through that Economics module a long time ago, one of my very few takeaways is that there are two ways to make it more affordable. One can either find means to increase his income or make things cheaper (if that is even possible). Well, the latter is only possible if you move to Malaysia, hence, we are pretty much left with trying to improve our own income.
While making more money is a good thing, there usually is a trade-off. In most cases, it is the precious time with our loved ones that we let go of.
Getting Paid More at Work
When was the last time you receive a pay raise?
If it is not recently, it is about time to make it happen.
Negotiate with your boss for this. There’s a ton of guides out there and one should take some time to go through it, mainly to learn more about the psychology behind negotiating a pay raise. Dr. Robert Cialdini’s books will be a great help.
One of the common “tactics” is to ask for a higher increment in salary than expected and make a compelling case on it. Your superior will probably negotiate a lower amount. One can also use surveys of the salary of his jobs online as “evidence” when negotiating.
Another way will to find a job offering higher paycheck at a different company and make known to your boss should the company offers. One may receive a counteroffer from his current job should his work be valued by the company. Otherwise, one can always take up the job offer.
Have Some Side Income Project
Online freelance works like designing, writing, programming, etc. are high in demand. Driving for Grab is a good idea too. Delivery, tutoring, sales and a ton other part-time tasks can bring you a nice stream of income. There are endless opportunities and one can try to switch between different tasks before settling with one that makes him happy.
One can also opt for project-based assignments where the income is consistent with the amount of effort one put in. One of which includes reselling items online. One does not need to be a rocket scientist to be good at this. There are tons of supply on Alibaba and whatever you need is on the platform. To sell online, there are Carousell, Lazada, Shopee and other platforms you can choose from.
On top of that, if one is really good at a hobby or a specific thing, go on and start a blog about it and start a community. Earning can come from affiliation, advertising and sponsorship. Running a YouTube channel, writing a book can be an option too, though it may take a while to get there.
Learn to Invest Your Savings
Better start sooner than later.
The journey towards it is like getting a degree. Start learning today, to graduate faster. If you is lucky enough to have a high paying job, having something on the side and saving up well, can produce a realistic 6-figure ($100,000) savings within 5-7 years.
Top that savings with an 8% annual return can work out to be more than $8,000. If you’re not an investing expert yet, you can always consider Exchange Traded Funds (ETF)
The factor making investing awesome is compound interest. The earlier one starts, the better. There are many ways to learn to invest, from books, online courses to blogs like Seedly. If you prefer to pick individual stocks, set up a brokerage account and be ready to make many, many mistakes.
Every financial product (stock, ETF, bond, etc) has a certain amount of risk. One should understand the risk versus return trade-off clearly before investing.
Save, Save, Save
The point of making more money is to increase financial security and one will not have any if all the income is being spent. Below are two useful practical tips.
Budgeting is a must-do. Have a habit of setting a specific amount for an expense like shopping, eating out, groceries. This prevents one from overspending. It’s a good idea to do this early because as we grow older and after having a family, there will be so many things to worry about.
Pay more with cash if one has problem budgeting. Holding cash limits one to a certain physical amount that he can spend. This practice helps one prioritises the important items to buy first. Using cards, however, makes one budget feel unlimited. Companies urge customers to use their cards for exactly this reason.
Seedly Contributor: Edward Nguyen
Edward Nguyen hopes that his humble advice as an investor who has made a ton of mistakes can benefit many Singaporeans embarking on their investing journey.
Editor’s note: The above is a really insightful article by Edward Nguyen who is a part of our Seedly community. For readers who are interested in the investing aspect of personal finance, check out Seedly’s content on Investing!