Sunday 28 March 2021

How I manage my money with a lower than average salary

Hi Guys, so today I like to share a little about my salary and also how I save with a lower than average salary.

Most recently I found a new job with a different job scope though still within the same function and would like to do some reflection on my short career journey so far. I have been working for about 2 years since I first graduated from University. My starting salary was below average (as per Seedly's guide, university graduates median salary ranges from $2750 to $5200) with it being $2700 before CPF deduction. I was glad to be able to find a job a few months before my official graduation even though it was a contract role. Being from a general arts degree, I knew finding a job would not be easy so I was glad to be given an opportunity even though it was a short term job. After my short contract, I was performing relatively well and was offered an extension twice with a pay raise each time. There was no headcount for a permanent position and hence explains the 2 extensions. Although not much, I was thankful that there was an increment. Late last year, I did feel like I need a new environment to advance in my career and try something new while I am young. So I started my job search process last year and it took me quite long, after a few interviews to secure another job.

How I manage my money

Receiving a lower salary than my peers who either went into civil service or into technology roles, I felt the need to reduce my expenses in order to save more. I know comparing is really not the way to go but in SG, it is not easy to not compare yourself with others. I have learned to do things on my own pace and manage my financials as per what it is.

I knew all along that automation would be the way for me to build up my investment portfolio and also to increase my savings/emergency funds on the side. This would mean setting up standing instructions which can easily be set up to the account that receives your salary so let's say you receive your salary on the 7th of every month, you can set a set of standing instructions on the 10th of every month where $X goes to an account that is not easily accessible like Singlife or Standard Chartered as savings and then $X to your parents for allowances and then $X to another account for investing. This really helps reduce your mental capacity of having to physically manage the transferring of your money.

Standing instructions can easily be found in the transfer tab if you use DBS or POSB ibanking otherwise it should be somewhere in the website for internet banking

Read more: My 3 sources of income at 25 years old

Increasing my salary

Beside learning how to manage your salary, I think most people would also agree that you will need to increase your income as well. There are ways to increase your income and a few ways is through negotiating with your current boss on a pay raise but it will usually involve you listing out your responsibilities and letting your boss know that you might take on additional workload or you hope to justify the pay raise through a certain project. Another way would be to change your job where you will be able to ask for a higher pay but it will come with a change of environment and even job scope in some cases. Lastly, would be to work on side hustle(s).

Most people would recommend increasing your main income and make that the aim because you can definitely save more on a $6000 salary compared to a $3000 salary. This is also something that The Woke Salaryman advocates and even in this podcast they did, to find the supply of demand of the job market and position yourself with an advantage. But you have to also be rational and not pressure yourself too much, know that to increase your income takes time either because you need to take up additional learning or need the time to network and build up your work experience.

Side hustles are a huge thing in our generation, it seems like everyone has to have a side hustle. I don't think you need to have one if you are comfortable with your main income and it is sufficient. Otherwise, you can always just work on your hobbies and work on it being part of your side hustle.

I actually started writing as a record of my investment journey and my portfolio has grown though not as fast, I can still remember my first post about why I am starting to invest using POSB invest saver, those were good times as I was in school and had so much free time on hand. Thinking back, I should have worked and saved more then but no more looking at the past but to look ahead from now.

Read more: First Year-End Review of portfolio

Looking back, I am glad i started investing in 2017 and I guess the blog slowly managed to generate a small amount of revenue for me and seeing how YouTube videos can also generate revenue, how can I not hop on the bandwagon. But increasing my main income is also one of my priority now. My videos are definitely not high resolution, neither does it have great effects but I try to use a software to make it as engaging as it can. For now, I am slowly adjusting into my new job and will provide updates on my financial journey!

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1 comment:

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