Hi there anon! I’m sure many undergrads & fresh grads are in a very similar position as they begin sorting their personal finance. Here’s my two cents worth of opinion! ! TL;DR: Follow our Seedly Personal Finance Guide & Seedly Salary Allocation Model Achieving financial independence begins with managing your personal finances well, which comprises of the following 5 verticals: 1. Income 2. Expenses/Spending 3. Savings & Debt 4. Insurance 5. Investments. I would touch on all of them in my sharing below but do refer alongside this Seedly Personal Finance Guide for more details :) For starters, I wanted to introduce you to Seedly’s income allocation model. I’ll be using $2,400 (your after-CPF salary) in the following example: - 50% expenses: $1,200 - 30% invest: $720 - 20% savings: $480 1. Expenses/Spending: 50% - Given that $500 goes to your parents every month, that leaves you with $700 for monthly expenses and insurance. I think it’s pretty alright if you have experience living on a budget from your university days but again, it’s dependent on your lifestyle . - Regardless, if $700 is insufficient for you, part of your passive income from giving tuition can be channeled to your monthly expenses! - As I’m unsure how much you earn from these monthly tuition sessions, I’ll still advice you to keep your expenses at bay . - On top of your day to day expenses, you’ve got to factor in your monthly insurance expenses too. Despite your debt situation, I would still encourage you to get health and term insurance at least! Additionally, if you’re thinking of getting a credit card, I would say pick those that will reward you with cashback ! This makes your expenditure feel a little more worth it / hurt a little less. I personally wouldn’t focus on any travel plans until my student debt is cleared, therefore, I wouldn’t suggest getting a miles credit card. Here’s a Seedly article recommending the top cashback credit cards in 2019. 2. Investments: 30% - I think $100 a month is fine right now as you still have debt to clear. - After your student debt has been cleared and you’ve set aside emergency funds (at least 6 months worth of savings), I would recommend you invest a little more and hit that 30% target. - In the meantime as you hustle your way to clear the debt and save your money, you can beef up your investing knowledge . Before embarking on your investing journey, you should do your due diligence at understanding the mechanics and risks associated with the various investment products. - Come up with a financial plan too - what goals do you have, when would you like to accomplish them, what’s your starting capital, what’s your risk appetite? You may read more about investing in our Seedly guide on investing for Singaporeans! 3. Savings (& Debt): 20% You didn’t mention anything about the amount you save every month at the moment besides the fact that you would like to grow it. That said, I’ve got 2 things I wanted to point out: - I acknowledge that the $480 channelled to your savings based on our 20% guideline is clearly insufficient to cover your monthly student debt repayment ($500). Hence, tweak the percentages according to your unique needs. If you choose to stick with our recommended 20%, I believe some of your passive income from giving tuitions can help in this area. - Picking the right savings account helps you in growing your savings too. Read this Seedly article on the best savings accounts with high interest rates that Singaporeans should get. I would personally recommend the DBS Multiplier Account paired with a DBS/POSB credit card. With regards to your question on what should be your benchmark, I would say your peers are definitely not it . Your peers have different jobs, family backgrounds, lifestyles, and investment preferences - it’s impossible to find someone remotely similar to you and your financial position. Therefore, you shouldn’t compare yourself against them and their financial positions, it’s not a fair match. In short, there’s no need to feel discouraged because the comparison shouldn’t even take place. I think you’re doing great because you are: 1. making some serious plans given your debt situation 2. side hustling to further aid your financial position 3. actively seeking advice from the community to improve your personal finance journey. If you REALLY want a benchmark for the betterment of yourself, I would recommend the checklist in our Seedly Personal Finance Guide. Check everything on the guide while living comfortably based on our Seedly income allocation guide and I would say you’ve achieved financial independence :) I hope this helped, all the best and keep up the good work!