Last updated on July 11th, 2021
Saving $100k, especially by 30 years old, may be something that you’re aiming to achieve.
Some of you may even be aiming to save $100k within 3 years!
However, is it really possible to do it in Singapore, especially with its high cost of living?
Here are the steps that I’m taking to achieve this goal. Hopefully, it can serve as a guide for you too!
- 1 How to save $100k in Singapore
- 2 #1 Increase your savings rate
- 3 #2 Maximise your employee benefits
- 4 #3 Increase your income
- 5 #4 Consider passive sources of income
- 6 #5 Place your funds in accounts that give you a good return
- 7 #6 Consider investing your money to reach $100k faster
- 8 #7 Reduce your income tax by receiving tax relief
- 9 #8 Take advantage of government grants
- 10 #9 Continue to persevere, even when times are hard
- 11 Conclusion
How to save $100k in Singapore
Here are 9 steps you’ll need to take to save $100k in Singapore:
- Increase your savings rate
- Increase your income
- Maximise your employee benefits
- Consider passive sources of income
- Place your funds in accounts that give you a good return
- Consider investing your money to reach $100k faster
- Reduce your income tax by receiving tax relief
- Take advantage of government grants
- Continue to persevere, even when times are hard
#1 Increase your savings rate
It may be very obvious, but the first thing that you can consider is to increase the amount you save from your income.
To understand what you’re spending on, you can start with tracking your expenses.
You can see where your money is going towards. Furthermore, you are able to cut down on any unnecessary expenses you incur every month!
It is much easier to spend money now compared to before
In the past, it used to be easier to resist the temptation of spending any money.
You could only buy things from physical stores, so you could resist the temptation by not visiting them.
However, online shopping and e-commerce is really prevalent now. With so many sales, you may be buying things that you actually do not need!
Here are some possible ways to reduce the distractions you may face:
- Turn off notifications from your shopping apps
- Disable marketing emails from these platforms
In this way, you’ll only use these platforms when you absolutely need to!
Reducing expenses can be done with everyday decisions
Apart from reducing online spending, reducing expenses come with everyday decisions you make.
Should you buy that $5 coffee from Starbucks, or get it free from your office’s pantry?
In the end, it boils down to whether you wish to receive instant pleasure from the thing that you buy, compared to the delayed gratification of saving that money.
Every small bit that you save with each decision can really add up over time!
#2 Maximise your employee benefits
As you signed the contract with the company you’re working with, you may have seen quite a few employee benefits that you may have.
However, when you’re too busy trying to get by each day, you may forget that you actually have these benefits.
As such, it’ll be good for you to look at your contract and see what benefits you are being provided. This can include:
- Gym memberships
- Dental cover
- Outpatient medical coverage
- Health screenings
- Insurance coverage
For example, you may fall sick and you may see a doctor to get your MC. Your company may actually cover the cost of seeing the doctor for you!
All of these benefits are available for you, but you may not be aware of them.
As such, you should really consider making the most of these benefits, as they can help you to save on certain expenses!
#3 Increase your income
Once you have started trying to save as much as you can, you may have realised that there is a limit to how much you can save.
The maximum limit that you can save each month would be your income.
As such, you can try to find ways of increasing your income. There are some strategies that you can consider, including:
- Improving your skillset
- Finding a side hustle
1. Improving your skillset
Your income from a company is a reflection of how valuable you are to your company. If you have a high income, this means that you’re deemed to be valuable.
One of the ways you add more value is by improving the skillset that you have.
If you have a skill that your fellow peers do not have, you will definitely be more valuable!
Finding and learning skills which are relevant to your company can help you to negotiate a higher pay with your employers.
2. Finding a side hustle
A side hustle can be anything that you can do on the weekends or any time that you’re not working.
This can include jobs like:
- Food delivery rider
- Freelance photographer
- Tuition teacher
One of the ways that you can find a side hustle you enjoy is by looking at the current skills you have.
After that, you’ll need to think of how you can monetise your skill!
By offering this skill to people who value it, you will be able to earn an additional income from your skill.
Be careful about lifestyle creep
With an increase in income, there is a hight chance that you may succumb to lifestyle creep.
Lifestyle creep occurs when your discretionary consumption increases on non-essential items as your standard of living improvesInvestopedia
Let’s say you were earning $4k a month, and you were comfortable with spending $2k each month.
If your income increased to $5k a month, you may be tempted to increase your spending.
As such, you may start to spend $3k a month, even though you were initially comfortable with only spending $2k!
The temptation is extremely high for you to increase your spending with an increase in income.
However, you’ll need to think of the long-term goal of saving $100k. Any extra amount that you earn should go towards this goal, instead of spending it on non-essential items.
It takes a lot of discipline to resist the temptations of spending!
#4 Consider passive sources of income
You may be working as many hours as possible to earn as much as you can. This is possible when you’re still young, and you have the energy to do so.
However, would you be able to continue working such long hours when you grow older?
Furthermore, you will be sacrificing time to build up your relationships, especially with your family and friends!
As such, you will face another limit when trying to increase your income: time.
For all of the side hustles and jobs that you’re working in, you are being paid for your time.
The more hours you work, the more pay you will receive.
However, everyone only has 24 hours a day! As such, there is a limit to the amount that you can earn through these jobs.
This is when passive income comes into play, where you are able to continue earning money even when you’re not working.
Passive income can be very controversial
The term ‘passive income’ can be very divisive. This could be due to the number of scams that are out there which promise you high returns for doing nothing much.
However, the best way to earn passive income is to start your own business.
A business can be anything, from:
- Writing a blog
- Running an e-commerce store
- Making a YouTube channel
- Writing and publishing e-books
The power of online marketing has really made it very easy for you to scale your business. Moreover, you are able to attract a wider audience as well.
The most important thing you’ll need to do as a business is to solve someone’s problem.
So long as you provide value to your customers, the money will come eventually.
I never saw myself as an entrepreneur, but here I am now, with this blog as my business. If I am able to do this with no business skills whatsoever, I believe that you can too!
The main thing you’ll need is perseverance to achieve success.
Building a business can be really tough
If it were so easy to build a business, then why aren’t most people doing it?
That’s because of the mentality that may have been ingrained into us.
Most of us would expect to get paid for every hour of work we put in.
As a business owner, you may not get paid for the first few months, or even years! During this time, you may lose heart and start to give up.
However, it is only those who persevere who will be able to see great returns!
Instead of expecting to be paid immediately, you’ll need to look at the long-term goal.
Once your business is up and running, you can consider finding ways to scale up and automate certain processes.
In this way, you’ll be able to continue earning money even when you’re not putting your time into your business anymore!
#5 Place your funds in accounts that give you a good return
After increasing both your savings and income, you should have a sizeable sum of money. However if you were to leave it in the bank, they would offer very low interest rates of ≤ 1%.
The value of your funds would slowly erode away due to inflation!
As such, you can consider alternative places to park some your funds in. These can be the same places where you store your emergency funds too.
Here are some examples:
|Type of Plan||Examples|
|Insurance Savings Plans||SingLife Account |
|Cash Management Accounts||Syfe Cash+ |
Endowus Cash Smart
These plans offer you a slightly higher rate of return (1-2%) compared to leaving your savings in a bank account.
However, there comes a cost for this higher return, which is liquidity.
For bank accounts, you can send and receive money almost instantly via FAST.
However for the accounts mentioned above, there are some limits to your liquidity:
- You may only receive your money a few days later OR
- You are charged a transaction fee for every withdrawal
As such, I believe that these accounts should be mainly used for your short-term goals, such as saving for a:
It is best not to put the funds that you need for everyday expenses into these accounts!
In this way, your savings for a long term goal will be able to earn a slightly higher return. This may help you to reach your $100k mark faster.
#6 Consider investing your money to reach $100k faster
After setting aside money for your emergency funds and your short-term goals, you may have some spare cash lying around.
Instead of leaving these funds in a bank account, you can consider investing it instead.
Investing may sound extremely overwhelming, and you may think that stocks are the main things that you invest in.
However, there are other options you can consider too!
An investment is anything where you put money into and expect to receive a positive return in the future.
There are many different types of investments available, depending on your risk profile:
ETFs and Unit Trusts
Here’s one rule of thumb to remember: you should not invest any money that you need in the next 5-10 years.
If you are just starting out, you can consider either regular savings plans or robo-advisors. These allow you to start your investment journey with rather little capital!
As you improve your investment knowledge, you can eventually form your own strategy instead!
When you invest your money, you are able to receive a much higher return. With the effect of compounding, this can help to grow your wealth even more!
By investing any spare cash that you do not need in the next 5-10 years, this will help you to reach $100k much faster.
#7 Reduce your income tax by receiving tax relief
Taxes may make up a large amount of your expenses every year.
As such, you can consider finding some ways to reduce them.
There are some perfectly legal ways to reduce your taxable income which are listed on IRAS’ website, such as:
- CPF Top Up Relief
- SRS Relief
- Earned Income Relief
Moreover, if you are self-employed, it is even possible to claim some of your expenses as a business expense.
This means that certain things that you purchase for your work can help to reduce your taxable income!
However, not everything can be claimed as a business expense.
IRAS states that you’ll need to show proof of why you need to incur the expenditure to earn your income.
As such, it would be best to separate your business expenses from your personal ones. That way, it’ll make it easier for you to know which expenses you can claim for!
Understanding how to reduce your taxable income can generate considerable savings
If you can find ways to reduce your income tax, it can help you to save a substantial amount of money.
For example, you may have earned $85,000 a year. If you are able to reduce your taxable income by $5,000, you would have saved $575!
As such, you can consider using certain strategies to reduce the amount of income tax you’re paying!
#8 Take advantage of government grants
Similar to tax reliefs, there may actually be certain government grants that you are eligible for.
If you qualify for certain grants, you may be auto-included and will receive the grant. However, there are certain grants that you’ll need to apply yourself!
You can check the SupportGoWhere website to view which grants you’re eligible for.
For example, you can take advantage of the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) when you’re applying for a HDB flat.
This will help to reduce the amount that you’ll need to pay for your flat!
By receiving grants that you’re eligible for, it can help to reduce your expenses. This will allow you to save more and reach your $100k goal!
#9 Continue to persevere, even when times are hard
It can be hard for you to continue this saving habit, especially with a lot of temptations out there.
However, it will take extreme willpower and determination for you to achieve this goal.
One way you can motivate yourself is by finding friends or even communities that want to achieve the same goal as you.
This way, you can receive support from like-minded individuals, which will make your journey much easier!
Saving $100k in Singapore by 30 years old can be a really tough milestone for you to achieve.
However, the most important thing is that you cannot give up!
If you follow some of these steps, then you have already won half of the battle.
I wish you all the best in your journey towards this goal!
Are you passionate about personal finance and want to earn some flexible income?